How Monday night's dream began and ended I don't recall.
What details are vivid include a dark evening in a major metropolis. Perhaps it was New York City. Soft glow from hundreds of streetlights and light being cast out from the windows of street-level storefronts warmed what darkness nightfall had already brought.
Shoppers took their time walking from store to store, bundled underneath winter coats, hats and gloves. It was Christmastime.
A picture-perfect, peaceful night suddenly went chaotic.
Loud, crashing booms shaking the ground every two seconds warned of an inescapable evil approaching. A glance towards the city's skyline revealed a pale green, robotic monster towering over the tallest buildings headed their way.
Cries of terror could be heard from the people as they began fleeing for their lives, easily abandoning the gifts they carried and quickly clutching their children's hands.
I was among them. I joined them in their screams and allowed my feet to carry me as far away from this threat as possible.
What became clear to me as I was running was that this monster was only after me. It didn't care if it stepped on innocent people while pursuing me, but it was out to destroy me.
I was scared to death.
The dream ended.
It wasn't until later on that day that I realized what this dream was about.
A few days ago, I made the decision to do an Ironman in 2011. It's been my plan to do it in 2011 since I began tris, but changes in my schedule have held-up my completion of the half iron distance I wanted to do in 2010 which, in my mind, would delay my Ironman.
After my lowest training volume year, mostly because work consumes most of my attention, I realized that the biggest motivator I needed was an extreme challenge again, the way embarking on my first sprint triathlon was extreme to me those two-and-a-half years ago.
I needed to chase Iron (as a fellow blogger titles her blog).
My husband and I discussed this. It would be crazy. It would be $575 dollars. It would be the hardest thing I would ever do. It would be crazy.
He was on board.
Ever since then, I have been frightened, and, as Aragorn says to Frodo in the movie The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring as the Nazgul were chasing him, probably "not nearly frightened enough."
This dream, I suppose, was my subconscious embracing that extra fear to process it.
The monster was the Ironman, probably taking such a large shape because of the Ironman machine from the comics and movies, and probably because of the largeness of the goal.
The peaceful city is how my life is right now, comfortable but busy and it is the Christmas season after all...and then I go and ask for something like an Ironman race to wreak havoc on my tidy existence; almost a little like how Dan Akroyd's character in Ghostbusters summoned the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
Since this decision, I have thought a lot about the phrase chasing Iron; how I'm now officially chasing that Ironman goal. The fright of failing and/or injury on race day has become very real.
But here's to hoping that I needn't be as frightened as Frodo really should have been. Afterall, it was just an imaginary monster chasing me in my dream. The Nazgul chasing down a Hobbit for the Ring of Power really happened.