I had one doosie of a nightmare, last night. A triathlon nightmare. A Kona nightmare.
The nightmare involved your's truly qualifying for Kona, though I don't know if it was by performance or lottery. Of course, most of you are probably thinking, "How is it a nightmare to qualify for Kona?" And you'd be correct to ask that question.
The actual qualifying wasn't the scary part. Nor was the training. In the dream, I arrived at Kona trained and ready to race. All the excitement of a major event was there. The people, Ironman Village, bikes, everything. Plus, I was in Hawaii, on the big island, there to race with the best triathletes in the world. The event of a lifetime for an average, age-group triathlete.
No, that wasn't what made the whole thing a nightmare. The scary part snuck up on me.
Race day came, and I headed down to the start area. Hundreds of athletes mobbed on the beach, waiting for the start. Tensions were high until, finally, the cannon went off and the race started. Triathletes surged into the surf, with the dolphins taking off into an early lead.
And here, as I moved towards the water, is where this dream took a wicked turn. Heading towards the start of the swim, I realized I had no body markings. I didn't have my race number on my arms. Then, I realized my bike (with one other, God only knows) was sitting in the water near the swim start. Just for clarification, that it was sitting in the water wasn't odd. In the dream, it made sense and provided valuable information.
It was then that I realized I hadn't put together gear bags, either. In fact, my bike didn't have a race number, and my transition area was empty (except for the bike, which somehow moved from the water to T1). No water, no cycling or running gear, no shoes. NOTHING.
And then it started. I began running around trying to figure out how to get my race number. I tried to find people to go get all my gear and bring it to the transition areas. I started trying to figure out how to make up for days of NOT doing all those things one MUST do prior to the gun going off.
I woke up before I figured out how to do just that. So, the image burned into my brain (as I get ready to sign up for IM The Ville) is one of my getting into a race, training, showing up, and then COMPLETELY forgetting that I have to actually check in. Wonderful confidence booster, that.
The mind. What a curious thing.