I did it. I just finished 18 miles on a beautiful, cold, Sunday morning. But the cold was perfect for running. I love running in cold weather. Best news - my foot didn't really bother me. I only noticed pain a couple of times and mainly the last 1 1/2 miles. I noticed it a couple of other times throughout the run but only when I thought about it. I'm sure it will hurt later today but I'll ice it and I think it will be fine. God answered prayers and gave me a great run. It took me about 2 hours and 38 min. which is a little over 8:30 per mile so I'm happy with that. It feels good to be able to do a long run after 2 weeks off.
Quick story from this morning. I always am a little wary of running in the dark. I love it b/c there is nobody on the streets. I maybe pass 4 cars when I run early on Sunday mornings and it's so nice to have the road to myself. But being so dark and being that there are some crazies out there, I always gets a little paranoid if a car drives really slow passed me or especially if there is a stopped car. So on about mile 12 or 13 this morning I got that paranoid feeling when I could see headlights up ahead and flashers on. And of course this was a section with NO street lights so it was pitch dark except for the car. As I approached, I looked around to see if I could figure out why this car was stopped but didn't notice anything.
I then began to think about my standard defense methods. Oh believe me, I've thought many times what I would do if someone or something did attack me. I think everyone had to consider options like that. I mean I've seen coyotes, foxes, deer, snakes, etc. and isn't it possible that one of these creatures (like a rabies infested rabbit) could go psycho on me and attack? I'm not joking - it wasn't 2 weeks ago that a squirrel jumped out of the woods and ran through my legs while I was running. No lie - I jumped 6 feet in the air. It scared the living willies out of me. And what are the odds that some crazy person would attack a runner? I mean what's the point? What would they gain? A free ipod I guess but I figure people have better things to do at 5:00AM. But on the other hand, like I said, I know there are some crazies out there and so I have to be ready. So, here are my standard defenses mentioned above. If someone (or something) attacks I can:
1. Throw my water bottle at them. It's small but full of water, it could pack a real punch.
2. Take off my shoe and beat them with it. Maybe not quite the punch the water bottle would pack.
3. Wrap my headphones cord around their neck and pull. Might be hard to maneuver this, but I could try.
4. Quickly put the headphones in their ears and play some annoying music, except all my music rocks.
5. Any other suggestions?
Ok, back to the story. As I got close to the car, I pushed pause on my ipod. If someone is about to attack me, I want to hear them coming so I can quickly ask, "Why Me?". I didn't hear anything or anybody. I passed the car slowly and decided to look. I'm not sure if you're supposed to look. Sometimes people can get offended by just you looking at them so it was a gamble but I had to take it. There was nobody inside the car!!! What in the world? Why is there an empty car with it's lights and flashers on? Now I was really confused. That's when I saw it.
I had taken only 3 steps past the car when I looked ahead of me and saw the shadow of a figure in the road. My heartbeat doubled. Remember - no street lights. All I could see was a black figure. In the middle of the road!!! Middle. Not side. I was running in the middle b/c of the car on the side. I was in line with the figure. Water bottle ready. Headphone cord is the backup.
I approached the figure slowly. Do I say something? Do I immediately go into attack mode? Do I turn around and run the other direction screaming? I decided to face my fear and just approach him, her, it. As I got right to it, she spoke. It was a female and apparently from another country because she had an accent. She said, "I've just hit a deer and I'm picking up the pieces of my car." Wow. I wasn't expecting that. I had never planned that scenario in my defense planning. So my first question was probably a stupid one. I said, "Where's the deer?" Nevermind this poor woman who is trying to find her side mirror. What about the deer? I guess my first thought was that I didn't want to trip over a half-dead deer in the road. She told me it was in a ditch. I never saw it. Maybe it didn't die. Who knows? I then came to my senses and asked "Are you okay?". She said she was fine. I then kept running. I felt bad at first. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to stop but what help could I possibly be. I guess I could've looked around for car parts but to be honest, her car looked fine. I certainly didn't notice anything as I approached it. I thought about turning around but I didn't want to scare her. It was then that a police car passed me and turned on it's lights. Apparently she had called. So I definitely kept running. Hope she was fine. And the deer? Well, hope it was fine but who knows?
So that's my "quick" story. Sorry it wasn't quick. Always an adventure which is another reason I love running. You never know who or what you'll "run into".
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