Usually, the best compliment a runner can aspire to from the non-running world is either a comment of “Wow, that sounds fast,” “Wow, you ran far,” or “I wish my butt looked like that in running tights.” Although all nice compliments, it’s hardly the only aim runners have. We have dreams too, you know. Big dreams. Like, dream even we know probably will never come true, but they are super fun to fantasize about while running. (And yes, I do see the irony here.)
For anyone whose ever run a marathon, there is that moment when you dare to dream what it would feel like to surprise everyone and quality for the most prestigious marathon in the country—the Boston Marathon. Even non-runners know about that one. Whether you actually went or not, how awesome would it feel just to say you’d qualified? It would be like having a little secret in your pocket no matter where you went or what you were doing – even walking around the grocery store, you could make eye contact with a complete stranger and think confidently to yourself, “I wonder if that guy can tell I’m Boston fast.”
As in, completing a 100-mile race in one go. Although we’re clearly dreaming here, there are a few audacious souls on this plant who have done this. Whether you ever have any true intention of doing it, it sure as hell is fun to dream about. You think knowing your Boston Fast would feel good? Having a 100-miler in your pocket is like having the last beer on earth five minutes before it was going to blow up.
Winning a race
It would need to be more than a race to the mailbox against your 5-year-old – but not necessarily much bigger. Even winning a local 5k with fewer than 100 runners would feel good. Great, actually. Show me a runner who hasn’t dared to daydream about this, and I’ll show you a liar.
Sounds silly, eh? Yeah, in this century and country it probably is – but that’s what makes it such a fun dream. What if you somehow found yourself in a situation where all modes of transportation were unavailable, and someone really needed help; specifically, they needed help from far away, so someone has to run there to get it. Low and behold, all your hard work at becoming a more efficient runner would finally pay off! You could save someone just by running! This might actually sounds a bit familiar, as it’s a shorthand version of the story of the first marathon (26.2 miles).
Looking like you belong in all that gear
Although most of us have shared a laugh about gear junkies, most of us secretly want to be one. We want to look like we know what we’re doing while wearing cool running gear, such a hydration pack with pockets brimming with more gear, Orcas-Wireless Earbuds blasting Fugazi’s “Long Distance Runner” song, compression socks, and ankle gaiters. Can’t you just see yourself now, bounding effortlessly down a mountain trail, with hikers stopping to watch you, impressed, amazing, and inspired?
Of course these dreams are simply that – silly, far-fetched, and/or totally in jest for most of us. But….dreaming is fun and it hurts no one – so why stop?