On the eve of big events, I tend to have strange dreams. Last night wasn’t exactly the eve of a big event, rather it was the eve-eve. Tomorrow I run in my first half-marathon. I’m pretty nervous. I just want to finish! Anyway, you probably would rather hear about my dream than my nerves.
It started out with me running down a grassy hill in some small town somewhere (partially reminiscent of Grove City, PA) in jeans, a t-shirt, and canvas slip-ons. I was running to get to the start of the half-marathon and I was late. The race had already started. I passed a wooden sign that said “Marathon Start” and started frantically looking around for the “Half-Marathon Start” wooden sign. As I approached it I realized that I was missing something.
My signed release waiver and a car battery, both items I should have turned in at the pre-race expo. So, I ran through the streets of this strangely deserted town trying to find my car. On the way I ran past a security officer with a couple German Shepherd guard dogs. Across the street there was another guard, also with dogs. They were chatting and seemed rather oblivious of my plight.
The guard on my side of the street made eye contact with me as one of his dogs ran toward me. I didn’t slow down. I was certain that the dogs were on leashes or that he would call the dog back. He didn’t. Instead the dog jumped up and sunk his teeth into my right forearm. It really hurt! I wrenched his mouth open, staring incredulously at his master who nonchalantly continued his conversation. The dog then sunk his teeth into my right thigh. Again, I used my hands to pry his mouth open. This time I held onto his snout and used it to fling him away from me. I took off running across the street and then jumped down an embankment into a stream, thinking that if I did that the dog couldn’t follow me.
Still bewildered by the whole dog thing, I found myself running through a field full of parked cars. placed next to most of the cars were car batteries of different sizes and shapes. “Clearly”, I thought, “they’re not collecting those car batteries like they said they would. That’s good since I forgot mine.” Then I was at my car. I opened up the rear door and grabbed my release waiver, turning toward the start line on a course that would give me a wide berth around those dogs.
Then I remembered I still hadn’t changed into running clothes. I ran back to my car, climbed into the back of it and fumbled around with my clothes until I emerged quaffed in proper attire. Waiver in hand I began running down a dirt road to the empty start line. I heard a vehicle rumbling up the road behind me. I turned and looked over my shoulder and it was a pickup truck with a bed full of tired looking runners, all standing and trying to keep their balance as the truck bounced over the uneven road, kicking up clouds of dust in its wake. The driver leaned out and barked, “Up in the back, slow poke. Course is closed.”
That doesn’t exactly give me warm fuzzies for my race tomorrow. I hope there are no dogs.