Thursday, September 09, 2010

Ironman Dream #4 and My Cheap Attempt at Freudian Analysis

The Dream

I am competing in my 2nd Ironman, I'm so excited. The swim has gone very well, I'm through the changing tents in under an hour, right on my goal time. It's obviously Cozumel because I'm on an island with the sea on my right as I'm bicycling along. I go past a lagoon and Asa is swimming there with her friends. But I don't see Wayne anywhere, and I can tell that the tide is coming in and big waves are threatening to wash over the seawall into the lagoon. Any kids in there when that happens will be drug out to sea. I throw my bike down on the side of the road and go get her out of the water. Of course she wants to keep swimming and starts arguing with me (sometimes dreams are SO realistic!) I finally get her to see the danger and move to a safe place, get Wayne on the phone and make sure he's headed over to keep an eye on her. I get back on my bike and start pedaling, noticing that on my watch I've already lost twenty minutes to all of this.

Once I rack my bike and head out on the run course, I'm feeling good. The weather is warm and the glimpses of the ocean are beautiful. My finish time goal has been compromised though and I feel sad about that. I had hoped to be in the running for a Kona slot and I think that might be out of the question now. As I'm running along, I see an athlete on the side of the road. He's having leg cramps and is hollering and curled up in a ball. I know if I stop again, my whole race plan will have gone out the window, but I can't leave him lying there. I stop running. There's no one around. I give him some of my water and electrolytes and move him into the shade. I massage his calf until it unknots and he is able to sit up and drink some more water. I leave the water bottle with him and promise to send help back.

Now the run course takes a strange turn onto some old residential streets. The houses are brightly colored Victorians with peeling paint. It looks a lot like Key West Florida. The run course goes into a house, we have to run upstairs and down these hallways. We do this through multiple big old three-story houses. There are all kinds of things in the way like kids toys, dogs, and the people who live in the houses. I keep saying "excuse me!" and "I'm sorry" every time I am in someone's way. I think what an inconvenience it must be to these people to have all these athletes running through their house. Now I'm at the run turnaround, I see that it's already eleven hours into the race, and I still have half of the marathon to go. Because of all the stairs and the crazy race course, I'm way off the pace I wanted to run. I know I won't finish in under thirteen hours, way slower than my last Ironman. I feel like I've failed all of my goals for the race. I wake up feeling disappointed and sad.

The Cheap Analysis

I know I don't usually start having dreams about a race until I'm a few months or weeks out. I'm guessing I had this dream for two reasons. One is that I do have a half-Ironman coming up in a few weeks, and the Ironman in this dream could be a stand-in for that race. I could be worried about accomplishing my goals for that race. Also, if I'm going to do an Ironman like Cozumel in 2011, I'll have to sign up in a couple of months. I know that if I sign up, I'll be making big sacrifices again in the year to come.

The first thing that will be compromised is some of the time I spend with the kids and my husband. I think the dream shows that I'm worried about putting more of the family burden onto his shoulders again like I did the last time, and that I worry that without my constant care and attention, disaster may strike my family (as if my vigilance alone holds it off, LOL).

The second thing I worry about is that the Ironman is essentially a selfish goal. The man by the side of the road says I will be forced to choose between being selfish (focusing on my own goals) and being selfless and helping others around me. Friends, family, and strangers will be by the side of the road and I will have to choose to put my own goals first and run on by, or to set my goals aside to help them.

The last thing I worry about is disappointing myself and others if I don't fulfill my goals for the race. If I spend all this time, energy, and money training, and then I fall short of what I set out to do, I worry that it will all be for nothing. Of course, I know that the journey is really the destination and all of that, but you can't fool your subconscious and I know my dream is telling me that my goals for the race will be important to me and there's no getting around that.

Well, that's my cheap analysis of the dream. Unlike my friend Jody Mace, a professional writer who draws her own dreams and puts them on Facebook, regularly causing me to spew tea on my monitor (well, Jody is that kind of funny person anyways), I don't dream a lot lately. Some of that may have to do with the half-Ironman training which is reaching its peak this week. Mostly I fall into something akin to a coma when my head hits the pillow. Luckily, I've been getting a steady eight hours lately, which is probably why I finally got to do some dreaming.


Christy said...

You won't disappoint me girl. I am thoroughly impressed and appreciate all the hard training it takes to get to the starting line. I think you're a rockstar and no matter how YOU think you did that day, you will be IRONMAN to me when you finish!

Marv said...

I like it. And, I too find myself thinking "what if" for all my loved ones, should I embark on all this training. Sometimes I find tha I have projected myself into the role of the "great protector" of all. Yeah, that's me the naked guy statue with the whole world on his shoulder.