Nike NightmaresAugust 27, 2012
They say that it takes 30 days to make a habit and once you make a habit of running, it becomes like taking a daily multivitamin. I don’t know who “they” are, but I’ve never had a vitamin nightmare. This weekend, I scored 67 miles on the week (injury gone, knock wood, cross fingers), then paid the running karma gods for my reovery from injury by collecting 12 pairs of my old trainers to donate, leaving a still shameful 6 pair in my closet:
- Trail shoes
- Cross trainers
- Nike Frees for non-running occasions requiring fashionable sporty shoes
- My nostalgia pair of trainers that I wore for my first marathon in 2002 (Adidas Brevard, best shoes ever, now discontinued)
I guess the purge of my old shoes stabbed my subconscious more than I thought because last night, I had a nightmare that I got to the start of Boston 2013 without my bib or my shoes and had to wear the Frees for the marathon. Ack! I woke up in a cold sweat. Some people have nightmares about being chased by zombies or losing a loved one. I have nightmares about running for 4 hours in minmalist shoes without medial posting.
$20 says tonight, my 12 pairs of shoes come marching back into the house like the brooms in the Sorcerer’s Apprentice.
I’d say an endurance sport habit, once formed, goes a little deeper than a basic commitment to cardio health. It enters your subconscious, which isn’t altogether bad, as long as you show up with the right shoes. I’ve never actually forgotten my shoes for a race, although in 2008, I accidentally left my shoes at the Boston Marathon, an act that was probably also directed by my subconscious.
I’m comforted by the fact that I’m not the only one with sport nightmares. Most of us have had the one where we’re running so slow it feels like we’re moving through water or we have to run up flights of stairs during a race. When I used to dance, I’d have dreams that I couldn’t stop a pirouette, spinning 30+ times before putting my foot down. I prefer that to the water running one. It’s funny that my running dreams are always anxious and my ballet dreams were always blissfully free, when in real life, ballet always stressed me out more. That’s Freud, for you, I guess.
Anyway, I’m also comforted by the idea that your nightmares are weirder than mine, even if that’s not true. Or that you have other evidence that you’re deeply devoted to this miserable sport. Maybe perhaps you have a track painted under your treadmill, which is pretty intense and, I’ll admit, a way more impressive act of devotion than my tattoo, bumper sticker, and Nike nightmares combined.
You should see the long jump.
I want that floor, but I’d probably wind up with dreams about trying to run 400s and smacking into the wall, except it wouldn’t be a deeply metaphorical reference to the standard marathon fear of burning protein when you deplete all the carbs. It would be real, and I’d wake up in a cold sweat with a pounding pain in my forehead.
I don’t think there’s any way to prevent race or running nightmares. It’s like what they also say: It doesn’t get easier, you just get faster. The dreams don’t go away, you just place higher in your age group. You don’t forget your shoes, you dream you’re racing in the ones you bought at DSW for $30 before a gait analysis diagnosed your mild late stage overpronation.
And with that, a very happy bloggy birthday wish to my coach/mentor/shrink/DJ/penpal, Mr. Fultz, who has provided me with many a nightmare track workout. I hope your day brings golf, Bruce, and a beer.