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November 14, 2010 / elodie kaye

Sick Note

I do my best dreaming when I’m sick.  I’ve had the flu now for a week with the first 3 days under a delirious fever, so that’s a lot of really great dreams.  The last time I was laid up like this I dreamed about running a marathon, and then trained for it for five weeks before realising that dream was best left in my imagination.  Dreaming when you’re absolutely powerless to bring it about about is very freeing.

I’ve had the usual fantasies about beating old PRs or setting new ones at obscure distances like the 30K, 7.5 miles or peculiar courses.  I imagined running in the Cherry Blossom 10-miler, a course I watered with gallons of my sweat when I first started training and racing in DC.  The bridges, trees, and parkways are as familiar as the shoulder of a long time friend.  Then I dreamed of giving up racing for a year, and running nothing but trails.  I moved on to speculating about running nothing but trails for a year in South America.

Last night I dreamed that I was running in Banff, Alberta.  I visited Calgary as a child and was less moved by the mountains than the sky — the deepest, piercing blue sky my imagination couldn’t hold.  I rode in a horse-drawn sleigh for the first and only time, the kind with skids on snow, around a glacial lake embraced within a ring of mountains.  The sinking sun lit the snowy slopes in an exquisite rosy glow against the immense darkening sky.

It was not at all misty and tranquil as you’d suppose.  The path was more or less a trail through the woods and this horse knew his job.  He careened around tight curves setting the sleigh creaking on one skid, thumping over the ruts launching us into the air, at a full gallop for an hour.  His mane was wild behind him, the frenetic thrum of his hooves muffled by the flying snow.  In the back, we were bundled in borrowed fur skins, pulled up to our noses against the cutting wind.  My heart thundering in my ears, I pushed away the furs to feel more of his speed race through me in the brittle air, until the cold forced me to cover up again.
In my dream I wasn’t in the sleigh, I was with the horse.



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  1. Keith Peters / Nov 14 2010 11:00 pm

    Ouch. I have some pretty crazy dreams when I have a fever too. Yours sound a whole lot more interesting than mine though. In mine, I’m often trying to solve some stupid little thing, like some programming problem, which then becomes a metaphor for my life and it’s imperative I figure it out, but I can’t. Repeat every 5 minutes for all night long.

    Hope you feel better soon.

    • elodie kaye / Nov 15 2010 12:36 pm

      I have those too, they’re exhausting! I have a lot of dreams to choose from though in the last week, so I just gave you guys the good ones. 🙂 At least I waited until the end of the season to catch the flu, it could’ve been much worse.

  2. Anne / Nov 15 2010 8:30 am

    I like the way you dream when you aren’t feeling well. And the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler was always a favorite of mine when I lived on the East Coast. I hope some of your recent dreams come true in the coming year.

    • elodie kaye / Nov 15 2010 12:42 pm

      That one is a beauty, isn’t it? DC in the spring is hard to beat, and Cherry Blossom draws a fast crowd. What’s your favourite part of it, Anne?

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