In a previous post of mine I wrote about my pre-race nightmares. When I have these dreams I do well in my races. It's when I don't have them that I do poorly. So far I have had four pre-race dreams before the Munich Marathon. The weird thing was that most of them were six months before the race, right around the time I decided I wanted to run Munich. Judging by the number of pre-race dreams that I have had so far, I should do well in Munich next month.
All sorts of things have happened to me in my pre-race nightmares: I have missed the start of a race, I have come in dead last, I finished after everything from the race had been cleaned up, I have gotten lost (usually combined with being all alone on the race course), I ran on courses that went through buildings or other strange places, I had no idea where the race start was, I was stuck in a long line to register for a race mere minutes before the start, I couldn't find my race gear or clothing, I ran on courses that were more like mazes than road races, I was supposed to race with a partner who was sleeping and wouldn't wake up, and I wore inappropriate clothing to races. In other words, anything that could have gone wrong in a race usually did in my dreams. I have run through houses, parks, castles, museums, construction zones, and even the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse at Disneyland. If only some of the real courses I have run on were that interesting.
Just when I thought that I had experienced every bizarre possiblilty in a pre-race dream, I had a totally new dream experience earlier this week. Here's what happened. I was at the beach with my husband and son. There was a marathon taking place at this beach. But there was no set start or finish time. The runners could start and finish anytime they wanted to. The catch was that the race was through the water to an island with a lighthouse on it and then back to the start. I decided to run this marathon. I was dressed in running shorts and a shirt with a race number on my shirt. I was barefoot. I took a big inner tube (it was the one that we bought in Italy for using in the water) and got into the center of it. Then I walked into the water to start the race. I ran on a hard, narrow ridge, which was supposed to be the race course. Imagine that ridge being like the plates on the back of a Stegosaurus. I ran in the middle of the inner tube on that ridge for a ways. Suddenly the ridge disappeared and there was nothing for me to run on. Yikes! I could tell that the water was over my head. There was only one thing to do--turn back to the shore and forget about doing the race. I turned around but couldn't find the ridge that I was running on before. It seemed to take forever just to move a couple of meters in the water. Then I woke up.
It's good to see that after over 20 years of having pre-race nightmares, something new can happen. My dream a few days ago was the first one in which I ran in the ocean. That's what makes my pre-race dreams so fun. I never know what is going to happen in them or where I will end up. I hope that as long as I keep racing I will continue to dream on.