The other night, I had a dream that I was running a marathon. Instead of running a normal race course (loop or out-and-back), everyone had to run back and forth across a gigantic field. It was like, 3 miles long. To my surprise, I was in the lead for the first 3 to 6 miles, but then I started getting REALLY tired, to the point where I started crawling. I looked back and saw that people were catching up to me, but I still couldn’t run. That’s pretty much all that I remember.
What does this all mean?? I haven’t even registered for a marathon yet, and I’m already having anxiety dreams?
The ironic thing is that on a conscious level, I’m not anxious at all. On Sunday, I’ll be running my 3rd half marathon. Even though it will be the most challenging one yet, I feel surprisingly calm about it. I haven’t been freaking out of about pre-race activities (eating, drinking, sleeping) like I was before the Oakland Half. So, it’s weird that I’m having these anxiety dreams. (I’ve also been having ones where the race course is all screwed up… perhaps a remnant of the Tilden Tough Ten mishap.)
(UPDATE: Since writing this post last night, I feel slightly more anxious about the race on Sunday. It didn’t help that my run this morning, which was supposed to be gentle and easy, felt much harder than it should’ve been at a 10:05 pace. Also, the weather is getting warm again after a brief cool spell. Drats, there goes my Zen.)
Dreams are funny. I remember when I was recovering from ACL surgery, I started having recurring dreams about running. This was at about 6-8 weeks post-op, when I could barely walk without a noticeable limp or stand for long periods of time without extreme pain or swelling in my leg. My physical therapist told me that it was a very normal part of the recovery process — that people want to get better so badly that their subconscious gives them a brief glimpse of full recovery.
Anyway, I don’t really know what my point is here, but I just thought I’d ramble on a bit about dreams and whether they mean anything.
Do you ever have dreams (good or bad) about running? Are they correlated with specific events (e.g., races, training, injuries)? What do you think my marathon anxiety dream means?