TITLE: Five Years On, I Still Dream About Running AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: November 01, 2015 10:16 AM DESC: ----- BODY: 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 things changed. 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. -----