When I was a kid I played a lot of sports, not very well but I played them. Soccer, basketball, baseball, football, street hockey, wrestling, and of course track and cross country. I even did road races before I started running on a team in high school. Like most kids when I played sports I thought about being the great players in those sports. Larry Bird knocking down the game winning 3 pointer, Don Mattingly hitting the game winning homer, Marcus Allen running 98 yards for the game winning touch down… you get the idea and can tell what years I was a day dreaming kid. I never gave any real thought to playing any of those sports professionally and my childhood day dreams were about being those famous people doing great things not of being a famous doer of amazing sporting feats in my own right.
When it came to running I didn’t know any of the great distance runners, I only new Carl Lewis or Edwin Moses. This had an interesting effect on my running day dreams. When I thought of running triumphs it was always me accomplishing them. I remember lying in bed before track meets going over splits for my world record breaking mile performance. I can not once remember thinking about what splits I might actually run, this is probably because I didn’t find it very interesting to think about running 72 second 400’s.
Over the last 20 years a few interesting things have happened to my day dreams, most of which I have while running alone on my easy days. As a quick aside my wife thinks I have a problem because even when I’m running I think about running. If I day dream about baseball I don’t think about being Derek Jeter, I think about being the surprise 36 year old spring training invite who makes the team and has a season for the ages. Today when I day dream about running, I dream about doing very mundane things like running 5:08, 5:12, 5:08, 31 to break 16 minutes for 5k and set a new PR. It must be a sign of growing up that while you hold on to your dreams, you hold even tighter to your goals.