I should’ve known it wasn’t going to go well when I got to the start late and most of the other runners were already gone.
I thought about scrapping the whole idea. I mean, I am nearly 7 months pregnant and this was a new course I’d never run before, part of which was supposed to be trail through the woods. Maybe this was a bad idea. But I could still see a few back of the packers I could follow and it was after all, being chip timed so I figured what the heck and crossed that first timing mat alone.
The narrow paved street I started on almost immediately began weaving upwards and I quickly lost site of the those back of the packers I had planned to follow. Despite all the twisting and turning of the particularly curvy road, a high brick wall on either side made it impossible to see anyone else in the race. But still, there was really only one direction to go, so I just kept moving.
Eventually, the narrow road turned to a well worn soft packed dirt trail that led through the woods. It was nice, quiet, and peaceful, a big change from my noisy otherwise hectic kid filled life. I liked it. That path wound it’s way to the side of a large building on the campus of some university who’s name I somehow managed to miss.
It seemed odd to me that this half course would include running through a building, particularly since the door I ran through led into the stairwell. I seriously did not remember reading that anywhere in the course description and was starting to think perhaps I had run off course. I mean, where were those aid stations and gosh darn mile markers for crying out loud?!
But then again, there really hadn’t been any place to make a wrong turn so I had to be in the right place. The only decision I needed to make was to go up or down the stairs. Since I could hear quick footsteps coming from not to far below me, I figured that had to be the right way to go and I set off to catch the unseen runner ahead, below.
I have no idea how many flights of stairs I ran down, but it was A LOT. And every once in awhile I’d catch a glimpse of that runner just ahead of me, an elbow, a shoe, but it wasn’t until I hit the bottom floor and found myself in the basement that I actually saw him.
He was skinny, super skinny. Not much more than skin and bones and he was wearing a singlet that was ridiculously too large for him. It was flowing behind him almost like a cape and he was some sort of superhero or something.
I could tell he was running fast, but for some reason he wasn’t getting that far ahead of me, yet I also wasn’t running fast enough to catch up. He was light on his feet and although his running had made plenty of noise in the stairwell, for some reason now as he ran down the cement hallways of the basement, he wasn’t making any noise at all. He’s the butterfly runner I thought to myself, floating like a butterfly through the race with his billowing singlet wings.
I knew at that point that this was all crazy, that I was entirely lost and that chasing some weird running guy through the basement of this university building had nothing to do with the race that I entered and was just a crazy thing to do. In fact, it was not only crazy, but sort of getting creepy. Still, I just had to keep running and for some reason I figured butterfly runner would eventually lead me out of this massive building.
Fortunately, he did just that and then he was gone. I have no idea where he went and I frankly, didn’t care. I was just glad I didn’t have to climb any stairs to get out of that place. I was already pretty winded and being so pregnant that’s not the condition my OBGYN has given me permission to run under. So I stopped. I still wasn’t particularly panicked that I had no idea where I was, but I was starting to get concerned.
Until I saw them, not more than a few feet away, a couple of bibbed runners. I was thrilled to have somehow found my way back to the half course. And they weren’t just any bibbed runners, one was my mom. The other? Well, the other was Walter Matthau…
My mom and Mr. Matthau, kindly led me back to the point where I had gotten off course so that I could finish the race. Interestingly enough, that point happened to be Walter’s house, which actually was far smaller than you’d ever imagine a celebrity’s house to be and full of much more clutter.
We were all pretty far behind the rest of the running field, so we went in to take a little break at which point I learned that Mr. Matthau is a huge conspiracy theorist and fairly certain that government agents are out to get him. As he went downstairs for a moment to provide my mom and I with proof, there was a knock at the door which happened to ironically be from a government agent out to get him.
Fortunately, Mr. Matthau had foresaw as much and came up from the basement wielding some sort of hi tech black market silent sort of weapon that no one has ever seen before and used it to knock the agent unconscious before he ever knew what hit him. And then…
My alarm clock went off.
Weird pregnancy running dreams. Gotta love ‘em! I suppose that’s what I get for researching half marathons that I can run about this time next year too close to bed time. Now, as for Walter Matthau (God rest his soul) and how he worked his way into my dream. No clue.
P.S. Have you seen my Scape sunscreen giveaway yet? Cool little sun protection care package + some really funny entries. Check it out here.