Monday, February 1, 2010

Running Down a Dream

I had a running dream last night.  Not the kind that dogs have where their paws are twitching about while they sleep, but a real runner's dream.  In my dream, I was racing in a 5K.  For some reason this race was indoors as in through the hallways of what looked to be a school.  Weird, I know.  Maybe it was a fundraiser for the school.  Anyway, you had to run through the hallways, up and down stairs, cut through classrooms.  There was one section of the race which was a loop that you had to complete twice before going on to the next portion of the race route.  Well, I got mixed up and started to do the loop only once, but I realized this about 30 yards past the point where I was supposed to loop again, reversed, corrected my course and got back on track.  This broke my pace and concentration and generally made the rest of the race mentally challenging.  Oh, and did I mention that I was carrying a purse?  Yep.  About that.  Don't really know how that plays into the meaning of this dream, but I started that race with my purse hanging on my left shoulder like it always is (not when I am running, but usually when I am not running).  At some point in the race, after the course correction, I got really irritated by my purse.  It kept slipping off my shoulder.  I kept jerking it back into place.  So finally around mile 2, I just dropped it off in a locker. Maybe it was my locker. I don't know.  But anyway, I got rid of the purse and then finished the race.  And my time was exactly what my time was in the first 5K I ever ran!  Crazy, huh?

That is weird but also very frustrating and motivating for me.  See, I did my first 5K almost 6 years ago.  I did this race with virtually no preparation and no running history (read not a great finish time.) I ran a little bit here and there for a few years and then I really started running three years ago.  I ran alot for about 2 years and got pretty fast for a 40ish, previously non-athletic type like myself.  Then I was stopped in my tracks by an organ gone bad and didn't run for about 8 months.  I am running again and am in the very early stages of building back my mileage and my speed.  So therein lies the frustration - a 5K time that hasn't changed in 6 years!  I know it was a dream and I know I had a set back.  But rebuilding stinks!  It's worse than building (for the first time) because you know what you used to be capable of.  When you are building, you have no idea what you can do so every little improvement is amazing.  You expect more when you are rebuilding and that can get frustrating.

Now I am a firm believer (as most runners are) that running holds many metaphors for life.  And any dream analyst worth a dime would say that this dream has ALMOST NOTHING to do with running.  So here's my quick and dirty life through the eyes of a runner dream analysis:

  • Race route in a school = life is all about learning, we are students of life, etc.
  • Almost missing the second loop = setbacks arise in life - deal with it, taking shortcuts doesn't pay, life requires course corrections
  • The purse = easy one...baggage!!!
  • Same darn finish time = it is the journey that counts, hare v. tortoise allegory

Or this dream could just be about running.  Either way, it motivated me....I got up this morning and did speed work.  It was hard but I made it through by thinking about what was in that purse....


  1. way wacky dream....but sounds like great motivation!

    You really ought to think about submitting your writing...maybe to a hip magazine like Mother Jones or fitness like Self or sumethin''ve got a real talent for putting the pen to paper(or mouse/keyboard to screen)

  2. and sometimes hallways speak of transition ...


Whaddaya think about that?