I was reading a blog post yesterday about a woman being harassed on a run which reminded me of my scariest run ever....(Adult content...beware).
During my first incarnation of trying to be a runner, in my twenties - I went back home to Eugene from a break from college in 1998 or so to visit my parents (I took a sabbatical from college after my first year and went back at the ripe old age of 21as a non-traditional student). I went for a run during the middle of the day- can't remember the day of the week. I know I had my Walkman since this was pre-iPod days. I was near the end of my run and running down a residential road that connects two busier streets (Barger and Royal). I noticed a white car pass by me and it only stood out because I thought, hey - that looks like Mark's car (a friend of an ex). I continue along on my run which is now going by some new home construction. There is a port-a-potty set out pretty close to the sidewalk Now, I am looking ahead at my feet/path kind of a runner and this explains why I didn't notice this until WAY later than I should have... I see the white car had pulled over to the side of the road. In quick succession my thoughts are "hey, that's weird" "I wonder where the driver is" "oh my there he is in the potty" "why is he standing in the doorway?"
"Oh F$%#, he is holding his wang and is masturbating and looking right at me!!!"
I immediately cross the street and pick up my pace. He gets back in his car and drives down the road.
I keep my eyes on his car wondering what he is going to do next.
"Oh hell," is what I think as I see him make a U-turn and come back towards me. My mind is spinning wondering what is going to happen and beginning to form strategies for various scenarios. I had the Walkman in my hand ready to beat him over the head if he tried anything. Wondering if I had enough energy to fight off an attack.
I am now running in the grass, as far over away from the road as I can (there is a hedge separating the mobile home community and the sidewalk) and am running as fast as my body will let me. The adrenaline is coursing through my body and I think I might puke.
He passes by slowly in his car and I just keep running. I am now on the street where my parents live and don't see him. My heart is in my throat and race into my parents home and was in total shock over what just happened.
After a few minutes I begin to wonder what I should do. I ended up calling non-emergency and reported the incident and described the vehicle thinking that what if this guy does this a lot in the area, or what if he escalates his creeper ways. I've read that rapists begin with public exposure stuff and escalate from there. But that was the end of that and I never heard anything more from my parents about creeper activity in the area so I don't know what became of him.
This is hands down the strangest, scariest thing that has ever happened to me on a run.
It happened in the middle of the day, in suburban neighborhood. As women, we always need to be aware of our surroundings and take extra precautions. It's annoying - but true. Creepers can be anywhere. Anytime.
I did a track work out at Duniway Track this morning.. There are a lot of homeless that frequent this area. I would probably be nervous there if I went very early in the morning. Thankfully, at 8:30 am there are a lot of runners and walkers there. This is a Speed/Strength week so I did an over-under workout: the plan called for 2 mile warm up, (1000m (2.5 laps) @ 5:48 1 min rest 400m @ 2:08) 5 min rest between sets x 3 sets, 2 mile cool down.
Set 1 - 5:08/1:59
Set 2 - 5:14/2:00
Set 3 - 5:21/2:09
This was a HARD work out. But very fun too. I was a little fast because I didn't figure out what pace 5:48 translated to. Tomorrow is a rest day and then Friday just an easy 3 mile walk and then Saturday will be a 11 mile long run with my girl friends!
5 weeks until Runaway Pumpkin Half Marathon!! And as always I have a few layers of goals....
1. anything better than 2:17
2. Beat 2:15
3. the stretch goal: 2:08
Still need a costume...maybe I should just make a orange tutu? I don't want anything that will mess with my running though....Ideas?