I had a running dream last night. It was actually kind of a fun dream, though exhausting. I'm pretty sure that the reason I was tired and my legs ached when I woke up this morning was because of the dream, not (just) because of my double elliptical workouts yesterday and staying awake too late last night!
I dreamed that I was running a half marathon. The first half or so of the race was on a normal course, roads and so forth. I was running easy, doing pretty well. In fact, for a long time there were only five people ahead of me! Around the halfway point people started to pass me, though, including my very pregnant sister, which was extremely irritating because not only is she pregnant, she does not run at all.
However, around that time the route also began to change from a road course to more of an obstacle course. I found myself winding around objects, crawling through a very tight tube (thinking that my sister would never be able to get through this), and climbing up very steep ladders. Luckily the course was marked by colored numbers and arrows on the ground, which was a good thing because otherwise I would never find my way! It really got complicated when the course began crossing itself. Luckily the color of the arrows changed with each mile so that helped keep me from doubling back on myself. Pretty much.
By now, you can imagine, I wasn't running so much as walking and scrambling. Nobody was passing me, though, but there was a whole crowd following behind me.
Things really got hairy around mile 11. That was when I had to climb up a scary steep ladder (like a rickety fire escape) and then swing along what appeared to be a string of Christmas lights. Impossible, right? Especially for someone who has never been able to cross the monkey bars arm to arm. I just don't have the upper body strength.
I don't know what I would have done next, if I hadn't woke up then. I was stirred up enough that when the alarm went off around 5:40 I didn't even hit the snooze button, just turned off the alarm and turned on my light.
I didn't, however, hop right out of bed and throw on my running clothes. My legs felt far too leaden for that. I just laid there thinking about getting up and running, contemplating how much time I could linger before it got too late, briefly thinking about not going but knowing that if I didn't run this morning I would have to eat much, much less today, which was not a pleasant option either!
Finally, as 6:30 grew very near, I threw myself out of bed and stumbled into my running clothes. Putting on my running pants always makes me feel better. Something about the snug, stretchy fit is energizing. Slightly energizing, anyway.
Instead of my usual iPod running playlist, I put on a new "London Songs" playlist that I compiled the other day. It's a bunch of songs that all have London in the title and generally have London themes. Some have a good running beat, others less so. But I thought this would be a good chance to listen to at least part of the collection.*
And I must say, this change of music really did help make the run go more easily. Listening to the Londonny lyrics made me think of my trips to England, future trips to England, other people's potential trips to England, and all sorts of other distracting thoughts.
I didn't feel like trying for speed work today, and I didn't push myself to run too hard. I had to make not one, but two bathroom stops, which made things a little uncomfortable at times. So I just ran at a pace that felt comfortable, picking it up when it felt right.
In the end I finished 6.02 miles in 59:58 (with the Garmin paused for bathroom breaks). My splits were pretty progressive (10:30, 9:40, 10:08, 10:04, 9:55, 9:35, 9:27, 9:31—there are more splits than miles, as some of them were partial miles). I felt pretty satisfied that I squeezed in under a 10-minute pace (9:57 average).
Not the half marathon of my dreams, but a pretty good run considering.
*Many—most—of the songs are not ones I necessarily knew before. I did an iTunes search for "London" and then listened to a snippet of each song to see whether I thought I'd like it before downloading. But I haven't listened to all of every song yet.