Saturday, December 17, 2011

First Weird Boston Dream and Training

If you clicked on this,  you might be expecting a post about dreaming big about the Boston Marathon.  Maybe a ramble about my goals and how I'm ready for this.  Excited.  Revved up. Eh, those things will come but I'm talking about a real dream.  A silly one.  But almost a nightmare.  It was one of those dreams you have before a big event, a trip, or something you've been thinking about a lot.  One of those dreams where you can't move very fast, you're late in packing your suitcase for a big trip, the plane leaves without you, you can't move your mouth to talk, or you forget your wedding dress on the day of your wedding.  You know...those dreams.  We've all had them at some point in our life, right?  With these dreams, I usually find myself feeling a range of emotions:  determination, will power to overcome this weird thing, panic, outrage, "You've got to be kidding me!!!!" kind of feelings, disbelief, and finally I usually end up surrendering to the situation and just accept it all as an unfortunate loss.  

This morning I woke up feeling:

  • So thankful for race volunteers
  • Glad that we have certified courses and we all know where to go when we are racing.  
  • Thankful for a fair playing field, chip timing, starting corrals, personal goals and every athlete being treated equally for the most part.  
  • Oh, and so thankful that the Boston Marathon (or any marathon/race for that matter) is not run inside houses like an obstacle course with yarn, jumping over chairs, crawling under tables and never being able to get to full stride.  
So, yeah, I was at the Boston Marathon and I still hadn't even checked my bags and we were already starting the race.  Having my backpack, shoes, and all my belongings without checking them was the least of my worries.  The race was so disorganized and there were only a few volunteers that really knew what they were doing.  And get this...the BOSTON MARATHON was really more of a stupid obstacle course through these houses and buildings.  We had to remember where to go because nobody was really there to tell us.  How UNFAIR when it came to having standards.  But the person in me that hates cheating, unfair playing fields, and lack of standards, tried desperately to follow the "Yarn-marked" course through the rooms, under chairs, over tables, around statues, and out onto an airport landing strip the best I could so that I could have an accurate time.  Only the entire time I was getting angrier and more emotional about my time getting slower and slower.  I was devastated.  When I finally did get on the road, it was because someone gave me a ride in their car and just chose a place to drop me in.  SO inaccurate.  It wasn't even worth continuing really except for the fact that it was the Boston Freaking Marathon!  I remember I kept saying things like:

  • "Who do I talk to around here about this?!" 
  • "I was on track for a 3:10 marathon and this is ridiculous!  There is no way I will get it now.  I've lost too much time"  (note:  I do not have it as a goal to run a 3:10 marathon...this must be my subconscious speaking.  Apparently, there must be a part of my brain that thinks this would be a good goal.  Ha!  I will be happy with a PR.)
Yes, I had my first panic-like Boston Marathon dream and it isn't even January.  So random. 
 I don't expect this to be a regular thing for me.  In fact, this might be my only one.  I really haven't even thought too much about the race and I'm certainly not feeling anxiety over it.  Just enjoying building a strong base right now and excited more than anything. So silly how the brain works.  Perhaps it was because I watched tons of Survivor (my favorite show) last night and then talked to people about the Warrior Dash.  

Whatever the reason for dreams, most of us have them at some point.  Although I don't remember dreaming often, this week has been FULL of pretty powerful dreams that stick with me for most of the morning.  Not sure what I think about dreams but I certainly think they serve a purpose, even if only to entertain us or help us process something.  They usually make me wake up with a new appreciation for life the way it is and not the way I just dreamt it was!  

On a running note, training is going great.  Still mostly base building with some fartlek intervals and progression runs ending in marathon pace thrown in.  I'm experimenting with marathon pace.  My range is 7:15 to 7:30.  I know, big range but in my opinion, right now is a good time to dapple and play around with numbers.  Once training gets more serious, I will have my marathon pace down to about a 5 second range and I will mostly likely shoot for a 7:20-7:25 range. Or 7:30 would be fine too since that would still be a PR. Not sure how high to reach here.  Other randoms:
  • Thankful for some amazing women in my life that are training or gearing up for marathon training at the same time.  It  has been great to have virtual and real-life running friends to talk to about training, goals, and thoughts about running.  So encouraging and motivating!
  • Mileage is still staying relatively high (for me).  Last week was 59.5 and this week was 65.  I start my new weeks on Saturday with my long run. 
  • I'm feeling strong and healthy.  Still listening closely to my body and giving it the rest it needs when it tells me it is ready.  I took a day off (mostly) on Wednesday even when it meant giving up a 10 mile day.  My body was thankful.  
  • It is so easy to get caught up on a number.  My Runninghood facebook status this week was:  
Conscious today of not letting NUMBERS define me: weekly mileage, race time, age....if you think about it, Numbers are a pretty big part of our world and how we label, size of our bra, weight, how many sq ft our house is, zip code, etc. With a number comes an idea or judgement whether we are conscious of it or not. As a runner, it is hard sometimes to not get attached to "the number". Like today, I'm thinking of taking the day off running "just because" but if I'm not careful, that 10 miles that I was going to run today kind of gets to me...I can feel the weekly total dropping. But really, in the end, my day off helps me better than that 10 miles will this time around. Just a doesn't define me.

  • Today calls for a 12 mile run with the last 20 minutes (preferably uphill) moderate with the last mile at marathon pace.  Or I think that is what it said.  Maybe not.  I'm following this part of the plan VERY loosely.  Moderate for me right now probably means some where between 7:25 and 7:45. 
  • Doing daily doubles has been great for me.  Definitely one of the biggest reasons for my success with higher mileage.  I can carve out more time to fit my runs into chunks rather than say one long chunk of time to run 15 miles. 
  • I don't do doubles every day and when I do, I definitely try to incorporate some mid long runs of say 10 miles into one run.  I think these mid distances are important to get in without breaking up too much.  Rather, I might run a shorter/easier run of 3-5 miles in the morning and then get in a longer chunk of running in the afternoon or later morning if time allows.  
  • While I run on the treadmill, I've been enjoying watching Life at Ponderosa on Youtube.  Ponderosa is the camp that the players of Survivor go to after they are voted off.  It is so funny and fun to see what happens after they leave the game.  I love survivor  
  • I know that many out there are now saying that the 1% incline rule on the treadmill is no longer valid and actually not needed to simulate outdoor running.  I still like to put it on 1% but rather, I alternate my inclines often.  I even put it at -2% and 3% sometimes so I can get some downhill running in when I can't get outside.  Boston has lots of hills so if I can't get outside a lot then I will benefit from having my treadmill at higher and lower elevations.  
  • I'm so excited to run outside today!  
1.  Do you ever have weird dreams like this where you lose control and see something that is so important to you end up in total chaos?  
2.  Do you watch Survivor?  Who do you want to win?  I'm rooting for Ozzy at this point.  
3.  Do you learn from your dreams?  Or do you write them down and try to analyze your dreams?  I usually just chalk them up to things that I was thinking of that day or things on my mind that I don't realize when I'm conscious.  I have friends that really put a lot of emphasis on dreams and think that they are telling you something that you need to hear.  My mom has one of those dream books that tells you what certain things symbolize.  She even has dream journals.  



  1. 1. Beginning of the school year always brings some crazy dreams.

    2. I LOVE Survivor. We've watched every season. I'd like Sophie to win bc my husband has her name in the Survivor pool. :)

    3. I'm not nearly organized enough to write down my dreams.

    You sound like you're in a good place mentally and physically with your training. :)

  2. Sounds like your training is headed in the right direction. I like the "doubles" system you have going. I think that would be too much for my body to handle that right now (since my stress fracture) but maybe I'll be ready to incorporate doubles this summer. I agree, it is so important to listen to your body and know what works for you! :-)

    I actually checked on your blog this morning because I remembered you saying something about Zensah compression capris and I am in the market for new ones. Do you still like them? Maybe it's because I am in the thick of Houston training but I am all about wearing compression stuff these days!

    Have a great weekend!

  3. Tia, I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Zensah compression tights. I wear them all the time....especially during speed workouts or races. :)

  4. Oh, the dreaded pre-race dreams! My nutty dreams consist of all things baby-related, of course.

    As usual, I am so envious of your training right now. Reading about your running has me salivating to start training again. Soon enough.

    Keep up the amazing training!

  5. Oh my gosh, most of my racing dreams are "Inception-esque" (loopy and contained); and I am generally either lost or alone and lose a lot of time.

    While I don't analyze or record dreams, I do reflect on the thought that dreaming about it in this way means I care. Like you, I think of what I'm grateful for.

    Great perspective on your post. If we take our eyes of the outcome of an event and focus on the process, all kinds of good things can happen!

  6. What a terrible dream!
    My worst and most vivid dream happened during the school days between thanksgiving and holiday break. I am a teacher and I had a dream that we were all on a overnight camping trip and a tiger was invading the camps, but instead of shooting the tiger, I shot a child who was being very annoying. That made it tough to get up and go to work.
    I have just started running - I hope I don't have running nightmares!

  7. I constantly have crazy dreams like that about races, school, and even before a long run sometimes! I once had a dream that I was doing a race and I showed up not yet in my race clothes, and was led through a random run-down high school to change in the bathroom there. Then, while changing, I kept digging in my bag for my socks and either couldn't get them out or couldn't find them in the bag (although I knew they were in there--I just couldn't find them!). Anxiety much? :)

  8. Awesome dream! Typical anxiety type dream--I have them all the time.

    Didn't know that about the Survivor show--sounds really fun!

  9. Yikes...pre-race dreaming!! I'm so jealous of your running schedule...I've hurt my back and had to take it easy, so run a few for me ;-)

  10. One of my friends has a dream that she's had for a lot of her life. She's riding a bike in heavy traffic but she can't open her eyes and she knows she's coming to an intersection. She had it last a couple of weeks ago when she was trying to finish up marking for school and pack for her trip to Denmark. She wondered what it meant and I thought it was pretty easy - that she was feeling out of control.

    Yours isn't quite so straight forward. I liked the bit about the yarn-marked obstacle course. Wondering if you subconsciously want to join a team of knitting soldiers?

  11. You have got some high mileage going! I am running Boston, weird dreams yet. I have no goals for that race - it will be very hard for me to do well that late in the year (New Orleans will already be hot) and with the downhill stretches. I learned the hard way how my quads deal with that!
    Betcha you can do a 3:10 though!

  12. Ozzie owned this season for sure.

    Love dreams...they're fascinating. Even the bad ones (though I'd prefer the good ones!).

  13. I do like survivor! And it's getting pretty intense. I am curious about who you like/don't like. I thought it was funny how they cue the music up to evil music for Coach.

    The dream thing is interesting. I had a dream last year that I was going to race Eugene, but it started in a shopping mall. Also I had on flip flops and had to search for shoes at the last minute, then as we were racing, it became a progressive dinner, stopping at the Olive Garden. Now I like Olive Garden, but i saw my chance to pass a few people and decided to skip the dinner. I have no idea how I did in the dream race because I woke up. Ha :)

    Hope you are having a great weekend! I wish I was in Portland!!

  14. I dream about running quite often, but in the dream it is always so effortless! I don't ever really have dreams like what you described. When I'm stressed I have nightmares about war and natural disasters. Usually tornadoes. :/

  15. If I have to speak to a group of architects and engineers - I sometimes have crazy dreams the night before. Good job on the doubles. It will be interesting to find out if you feel like they help. I love the additional mileage they give me, but I have quite nailed down if they really help me or not. Good luck!

  16. I had the weirdest dream that I finished Houston and my husband was crying for me. :-) I told him he has to cry at my finish now so my dreams can come true. hehehe

    I love Survivor too!

    Great job ramping up for Boston! I only have one more high mileage week and I know I am going miss all these miles. Enjoy :-)

  17. Your dream is pretty funny! I love the yarn marked course - hard to get a 3:10 on that! :)

    Your mileage and training are so awesome - congrats on getting it all in!

  18. It appears Boston is weighing heavily on your mind :). I have very odd dreams when I have something I'm concentrating on. This week I have had some pretty strange ones and I'm not sure if that's due to Christmas or Carlsbad (or both, probably) but so vivid, which usually isn't the case.

    Good job on the running and increased mileage! I know exactly where you are in your plan (I had the same one :)) and smile when I see you post it (and I rarely get on FB, it's just way toooooo time consuming for me right now so sorry I don't respond much there). Glad your friends are there to help you when you need a little mental push. Me, I just rework everything in my head and never talk to a sole....we're all needy in our own different ways. Keep running strong, girl!

  19. AMANDA! We need to talk about this! I have had the exact same kind of dreams!! I have had this recurring dream that I am running the Chicago Marathon but the course takes me through people's apartments and homes and I stop to chat and it's awkward and I have to hop over their furniture and it takes forever to get through. Then it starts to get dark and I'm lost and terrified I won't find the finish. Can someone analyze?

    I haven't had a Boston dream yet, but am expecting one soon!

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