“Dreams, if they're any good, are always a little bit crazy. ”
Coach Mike, where I ask him whether I can do any of my training runs on a treadmill. He looks up in disbelief. His eyes say: "Fucking treadmill?", but he does not swear, so instead he settles on firm "No, Solo!". I sigh. Today looking at the wetness and coldness that I am about to encounter, I sigh again. A thought of maybe doing the run some other time crosses my mind. I squash it. Mercilessly. As Margaret wrote in a recent blog post, recounting the Fuego Y Agua 50k: "Every time it got a little tense I employed my mantra for the day, “we don’t have to do this twice, it isn’t dark, and we aren’t in homemade sandals”. Yeah, no kidding. I construct a similar approach in my head. "It's not the middle of the night. I don't have to crawl though mud. I will have a hot shower in an hour.". As I reach my gym, I change into my running gear so quickly and vigorously, you would think I had a personal training session with the Wolverine. Instead, I slap on my GPS and head out into the rain. First few steps - I am wondering how many minutes it will take me to get drenched. Twenty seconds in, I realize I may not need that long. The drivers are staring as I'm running by. As I turn onto a trail, it's getting dark. Running through the forested area, I entertain myself with thoughts of serial killers. "Is it raining out there?", the girl at the front desk asks. I am dripping wet, so it's a lazy joke, but I play along to be nice. "Yeah, a little. How can you tell?". My fingers are so cold, I can barely open my locker. I managed not to make any changes to my running apparel between the months of May and October. It may be time to get out something warmer than a t-shirt and running crops. "Wouldn't it be hilarious if I came down with pneumonia three days before the marathon?", I ponder. When I share the potential hilarity with Italian later in the evening, he does not seem to share the joke. Daytime anxieties aside, it's the dreams in the week before a big race where the fun happens.