Wednesday, July 18, 2007


I would imagine that this is part of the process.

I, of course, have no idea, since this is the first time I'm attempting this absolutely insane journey.

But, I would imagine this is part of it.

Last night I was on a run through town and, oddly, my legs started feeling a little tight. With problems earlier that night changing gears on the bike (Banana's derailleur needs adjustment after having a rusty hanger sucked up into it's mechanism last week), I had worked them a little harder than I had liked because only the big ring was working. So, tight legs it is.

But for this run, I started daydreaming. Now knowing how mental this sport can be, at the most unlikely of times, I have promised myself to not ignore that side of the process. So, as my feet crunched the rocks on the side of Rt. 30, I didn't think about getting the bike into the shop or the groceries I needed to pick up afterwards. Instead, I thought about how it would feel to be at mile 10 in the marathon portion of IMmoo.

Strangely, this was the first time I had really done any visualization. And it was fun.

It hearkened back to summer dreaming with my best friend, Nicole, while walking back from playing tennis in the sun and hunting down spare balls outside the courts. It reminded me of dreaming of things like eighth grade dances and posing in my new black velvet (I know!!) dress in my bedroom mirror, with Joe Cocker in the background on my stereo. Daydreams of college and law school graduations, first kisses and championship games.

Collective mental snapshots of perfect moments and happy endings.

My Rundreaming last night was ever so slightly different than a middle school dance, but it was just as satisfying. I dreamed about just the right foot strike and nice strong cadences. I dreamed about keeping my shoulders back and looking around at scenery and spectators. I dreamed about feeling stronger than I likely will and running faster than I should expect. I thought about what I would think about out there. I thought about how I may feel. I imagined what those last six miles would feel like, as my body slows and grows tired. I practiced evoking memories -- of successful runs and surprising finishes. I practiced managing disappointment. I reminded myself to remind myself that wanting to quit will help me not quit.

Visualization is a good thing. It got me that awkward but thrilling slow dance with the exchange student from Peru in 8th grade. Hopefully it will get me through the marathon in September.


Donald said...

Lord help me - I have run (or bike or swim) dreams all the time. Usually in the context of some race that's become completely surreal.

I take it to be a good sign. Otherwise, I might need help.

Mallie said...

Visualization is something many coaches and athletes fail to realize as truly important. You're just that one more step ahead of the game!

Steve S. said...

Ahh...that perfect stride...still just a dream...

j. said...

I hear ya on the exercise dreams... I've been such a great athlete in my recent dreams that I'm thinking of pulling an all nighter before Vineman this weekend in hopes of falling asleep during the race and living my dream.


TriShannon said...

For me these thought only seem to surface during hard runs. I often find myself comparing how I feel to how I think I might feel during the marathon. I think that is what gets me through a tough workout. I wish I had the dreams of feeling strong, running fast and great finishes.

I need to visualize the good along with the bad.

Amy said...

I do love rundreaming. My head is stuck in dream land most days and so running time is about the only time it gets free reign to "free think". Thanks for stopping by the other day - I was so excited. Your journey is so much fun to read!