triathlon nightmares

MY KITCHEN COUNTER // CHICAGO — Saturday was a good day. I got to walk around the corner from my apartment to run my first 5K of the year, and I got to do it with MW and one of my best friends. A good night of sleep, half a chocolate chip Hammer Bar and healthy amount of pain tolerance helped me hit a new PR (23:56).

It was a nice day, my friend completed her first 5K (yay!) and I shaved 2 minutes off my previous best 5K time. Naturally, we each celebrated with a bloody mary.

Then it was nap time.


Around this time 3 years ago, I was in the thick of wedding planning. I was not the wedding-obsessed kind of bride, but despite my general indifference to floral arrangements and centerpieces, I had nightmare after nightmare about wedding disasters. These bad dreams included forgetting to invite my friends, failing to get my dress fitted, forgetting to book the church and thinking the wedding was another day, among other things.

Now, the big thing I’m prepping for is triathlon season. Enter triathlon nightmares. I had one during my post-race nap yesterday:

It starts with the swim, which in this case was in a water park. Actually, the course was a system of water slides (in the water park).

Hang on, back up. Before the swim leg of my nightmare triathlon, I was trying to get my stuff together in transition, where I realized I didn’t have my bike, so I made my sister run to the hotel we were staying to get it. Oh, and pump up the tires while you’re at it, I told her. I trusted she’d get that all arranged while I ran down to the swim start, but I had forgotten my swim cap, goggles and wet suit. I decided to go ahead without them, but I missed my start time and went with the wrong wave.

It’s OK, I told myself. I’ll catch up. I jumped in the waterslide and started to swim over people, making my way up in the pack. (Yes, the whole nightmare is this bizarre.) The swim was an 8-lap loop through the slides, and I had made huge progress through the field, running out of the water feeling excited to get on the bike. I then noticed everyone else getting out of the water had a slip of paper, sort of like the voting receipt you get after you’ve participated in a Chicago election. Why didn’t I get a voter receipt?

Apparently, you get a receipt upon finishing your eighth lap, and I only finished seven. I tried to go back and finish, but the course was closed. OK, I thought, I just have to keep going.

I don’t recall the bike portion — it seems my sister successfully delivered my bike and pumped up my tires — but the run was nearly as disastrous as the swim.

First of all, transition to the run was out of Grand Central Station, but instead of going out onto the streets of Manhattan, as would be logical (not that logic has any role in this dream at all), the doors opened up to some beach — in the middle of the night. Yes, triathlon run via New York City on a moonlit beach. Seems legit.

As I headed out of transition, the lead runners were approaching the finish. In the lead: Dr. Cristina Yang of Grey’s Anatomy. All the runners were Grey’s Anatomy characters. As I passed the cast of Grey’s and made my way through the run, I was somehow convinced I could make up for lost time. I crossed the finish line with a “winning” time, but because I missed the last lap in the water slides, I was disqualified.

And then I woke up.

It seems I’m looking forward to triathlon season.

—Note: I was in Grand Central Station over the weekend, and I’m watching a ton of Grey’s Anatomy reruns on Netflix, hence the cameos in my nightmare. I also have failed to pump up my tires before a race and have forgotten to bring my goggles to the beach before a swim start. It all makes sense. Sort of.—

{image: Me and Maggie after her first 5K.}


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