Race week just wouldn’t be race week without at least one anxiety dream and I had my first this morning. My recollection of it starts at some point into the run, for some reason I’d decided to stop and chat with the people at an aid station. I was quite relaxed about it all, enjoying the conversation and taking my time eating plenty of food. Things were good and then I checked my watch it was 8 hours 15 into the race! At this point I became aware I was about halfway through the run, clearly my sub-9:30 was out now, but I could at least get under 10 hours.
I set off running the next section of the race back to the turn-around point. This wasn’t too far off and also conveniently was my house, particularly handy as I decided a quick nap would be in order to run my best. So I pop in for a quick nap and stick to the plan of 15 minutes which oddly doesn’t massively impact on the time as it still seems to be 8:15 into the race. Rested I head out for the next lap and my legs feel good, except suddenly my run shoes are killing me. Every foot fall is crushing my toes and as a forefoot runner there’s not much I can do. I’ve no choice but to start walking some of the course, which surprisingly for Switzerland is some of the area I grew up in.
So now I’m walking, the clock is ticking and I realise that I made a mistake on the incredibly twisty run route meaning in the first half I did a section once when it should be twice. A part of me thinks if I cheat and let this slide I’ll still come in under 10 hours. Fortunately I’m more honest than that and have to admit that for this run to be honest I’ll need to do an extra lap of a section of the run course. Which means I’ve got to do more than a half-marathon in the remaining time and it looks like sub-10 might be out of the question… And then I wake up.
I’m generally pretty good at breaking down my dreams and working out the source of the events. What I’ll admit to for this dream is that clearly the run is my big concern in this Ironman, previously I’ve had anxiety dreams involving mechanicals on the bike, but entirely skipped that stage this time. Also I looked at the run course yesterday and at the time did think the route was a bit convoluted. 10 hours has become an important marker in my mind, I am more anxious about breaking that for the third time than whether I can break 9:30 this time. It’s a bit of an issue to deal with really as I’m at risk of being a bit more cautious to secure another sub-10 over sticking to a sub-9:30 strategy (assuming things don’t really go wrong).
The worst thing about tapering is you realise how much of your life is training. Suddenly I have a lot more time on my hands. Combine that with my restrictions on web browsing and inevitably I end up watching a lot more TV. Not quality programming either, unless ’10 Years Younger’ is your idea of great TV. Fortunately it’s not all a brain drain as I’ve been hitting the crosswords again though I’m sure I’ve got worse at them. The sad conclusion though is that without training my life is filled with TV and word puzzles. It’s not surprising I’m also getting more sleep right now.