The other night I had a dream about triathlon. It was an anxiety-saturated, confusing mess of brain processing.
I was in the middle of doing Ironman Boston (a race which, I’m pretty sure, doesn’t exist). I think I had just gotten out of the swim, but I’m not sure. I was on top of a hill, and looking for the transition area. I guess it was T1 because I didn’t have a bike with me.
There were a few cones or flags or something , but then the route sort of devolved into an indistinct urban landscape, and I had no idea where to go. There were people everywhere, but strangely no other athletes. I was befuddled and rapidly becoming frustrated.
I made my way down the hill and then across an asphalt playground. I went inside a building, which seemed to be a school of some kind. I went through a series of rooms, trying to find any kind of information or help.
Eventually I managed to find the race director, of all people. He was in a small, cramped office and seemed more like a school administrator than an Ironman race organizer.
I made my frustrations known and he showed me on a map where I had to go – a long, meandering route, miles through the city, along railroad tracks and alleyways, just to reach the transition area.
There was nothing to do but move forward. I found the railroad line eventually, but realized I didn’t know which direction to follow them.
Luckily, I saw another athlete for the first time that day. It was a relay participant (apparently there was a relay in this Ironman, lol) and he was waiting for his team member to arrive to tag him. He was crouched down, legs coiled, ready to take off at a sprint…even though there was no other athlete in sight. Citizens walked down the street, side-stepping around him.
By the direction he was pointed, I deduced which way I had to go. And I was off again.