Running nightmares

As most people do, I have bad dreams from time to time – the bothersome little dreams that haunt you all day long: Showing up to a test unprepared; arriving at a party without your shoes or shirt; running through the forest from some unknown monster. You know, normal bad dreams.

Generally, those dreams don’t bother me much. I can almost always pin the dream to something happening in my life, and I’m aware that the dream is just a subconscious manifestation of my waking stresses.

But lately, I’ve been having the same bad dream quite regularly. And even though I have a couple of ideas as to why I’m having the dream – and that it is, in fact, only a dream – I can’t shake it.

In these dreams, I’m running a race. I’m managing quite well until my legs slow down, and eventually stop. I am physically unable to make my legs go forward. So I step back a few paces and start again, which allows me to go forward again. But only for a moment before my legs, once again, won’t go.

My energy levels are fine. My body feels great. I am not physically ill. I just can’t make it past a certain point.

So I back up even further – sometimes to the start of the race – and I’m OK again and I can run. Then, all of a sudden, my legs stop again. They just stop, despite the rest of me having the energy to carry on.

Sometimes, I try to leave the course for a bit, thinking that a small detour might get me to the finish line. But the roads don’t connect or a race marshal stops me and makes me go back to the main course.

I keep trying and trying and trying. But my legs just won’t move past a certain point. Everyone else is passing me. Some of them laugh; some of them offer me help. But I can’t move forward.

So, why this new dream all of the sudden? Well, I have two possible interpretations:

  1. I’ve been sick and unable to run lately because of a low platelet count, and even had to miss today’s Edinburgh Marathon on doctor’s orders. I was cleared for running again, but I need to take it slow until my counts completely recover. So, is my inability to run and complete a race in my dreams just a literal reflection of that?
  2. I’m feeling more and more like my dreams of living in Scotland and getting a PhD are un-reachable now. I keep trying new ways to make those dreams happen, but I’m constantly hitting a wall and having to stop and regroup. My biggest hopes and dreams seem impossible now. So, is that what my inability to run a race in my dreams is all about? Is it a subconscious reminder that I just can’t do it, no matter how many times I try to start over?

I think I’d much rather have dreams about my dream man – or even some of my widow dreams – because at least those dreams remind me of the past, and not a seemingly unattainable future!

One Reply to “Running nightmares”

  1. I certainly hope it is the 1st scenario. You’ve worked way to hard for it to be the 2nd and we (your friends & family along with you) will find a way to make it happen 🙂

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