TITLE: Five Years On, I Still Dream About Running
AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford
DATE: November 01, 2015 10:16 AM
A little over five years ago, on October 17, 2010, I ran
my last marathon.
It was a great day. At the time, I didn't know it would be my
last marathon. I figured I'd take it easy for a couple of weeks,
allowing my legs to recover, and then I'd be back to running as
usual. And that's how things went, for a few months. Then
I wasn't a runner anymore.
The fifth anniversary of my final marathon passed with no fanfare.
That's unusual. I'm sentimental and prone to remembering
anniversaries. I remember thinking last summer that I should blog
a reminiscence about that Des Moines Marathon, and a paean to the
loss of running from my life. Then I got busy with family and
school, and the day passed unnoticed. Time marches on.
Last night, though, I dreamed I was running, and it all came back
to me. I was running through the town where I live, down a street
I don't ever recall running down in real life. My heart beat
faster. My breathing was rhythmic, strong. Soon the scene segued
into a strange nowhere, on streets and trails unlike anything in
my town; yet they felt as real and as much home to me as the
streets I walk every day. The run became the backbone of a crazy
dream, as some dreams are, but the running itself felt as it so
often did before. I was both aware of my body and oblivious to
it. The dream and the run seemed to go on for a long time, until
both were over in an instant.
Feeling these feelings again was at once sad and enormously pleasing.
It's sad to feel something I enjoyed so much and know that I can
never enjoy it in the same way again. But to feel that way again,
seemingly as real as any time I ever felt when living it, was a
surprising joy. I wonder how long my mind can hold these memories,
so real, and serve them up unexpectedly. I will gladly accept a
little sadness every so often, feeling the loss again, if it also
means being a runner again. Even if it's only a dream.