I normally don't recall any of my dreams. Once in a while I'll go through a period when my dreams are so realistically bizarre or frightening or wonderful that I'll wake up and not be quite sure whether I had dreamed something or whether something had really happened ("is my grandfather alive?" "oh crap did I really start smoking again?" "is there someone in my bedroom watching me?" "am I in high school again?"). Last night I went to the marathon.
In particular, the Dallas White Rock Marathon, the one I'm DNS'ing this weekend. I had been looking forward to running that marathon (or any marathon this year) since the middle of the summer. I was so certain that I'd be in good shape, that my distance running would be going well, that I'd get to see a new city and run a new race. In my dream I had to line up at the very back of the pack, which was about the size and shape of the Rocket City Marathon (i.e. very small crowd). When the gun went off I had to stay behind to make sure that everyone else had started, before they'd let me start. Then I walked a couple of blocks and the markers said I was at mile 20 (or it may have been 18, it kept changing). I was told that they had to shut the course down early and only the fastest people could continue. At this point the course was similar to the Chicago Distance Classic course at about mile 10. They made me stand there for a long time, passing out towels and cookies to the thousands of other runners going by. I was then somehow magically transported to the 26 mile marker where I was allowed to walk to the finish. I refused to take a medal since I had only gone about 4 blocks total but they insisted.
Then I woke up, as tired as if I had run 20 miles, as sad as if I didn't get to finish a race I had started. I know I'm disappointed that I won't be running the race but usually my race anxiety dreams are for races I will actually be running. It makes me even more determined to get back to running distances, glad that tonight's a running night in my awake life.
Maybe tonight in my dreams I'll win the big $170 million lottery jackpot. If I do, I hope I dream that I then retire from work to run all the exciting marathons in the country, traveling every week to run a different state. I know that in reality some day I will run Dallas. Only in my dreams will I win the lottery!