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12.13.2012

YOU BETTER RUN RUN RUN FOR YOUR LIFE


I run because I love the outdoors.  I run because it's great exercise.  I run because there was a time in my life that I couldn't.  I run because it's solitude time .  I run because it is something that brings me back to center. I run because I like to let my thoughts freely reverberate around in my head.  I run as a connection to God.  I run in an attempt to outrun certain things in my life.  
 
 
Pre-run happy face.
It soon turned to anger.
I am not fast. My fastest time is a 7:30 pace.  My usual pace is 8:15.  I don't run with an Ipod or any variation of it.  I do not run with others.  My favorite times of the day to run are early in the morning as the light just starts or in the evening when it begins to fade away.  My best running temperature range is 40 to 60 degrees.  I do not like to run where there is traffic and mobs of people.  I don't need the latest Garmin watch, gidgets and gadgets.  I run to be free and unencumbered.

Sometimes though running causes me some anger issues.  Like tonight.

Though I am bigger than a mouse, I am smaller than a car.  Therefore, sometimes people just don't see me when they drive.  I've almost been hit a few times over the years by careless inattentive drivers even though I run against traffic in very minimal traffic areas.

Coming up to a 4 way stop usually dictates that cars will yield their turn to let the runner run through the intersection without having to stop.  It's just a pedestrian sort of acquiescence thing drivers do.  Not tonight!  I mean if I wanted to stop then I wouldn't be out RUNNING!  

Two cars and my not-in-a-car self entered the 4 stop way intersection at about the same time.  Assuming that; 1) cars see you, and 2) they are going to understand humanity's principle of kindness and the concept of running means you might be taking your own life in your hands.  I started to run through but the car to my left was disregarding my presence and sped up causing me to stop with one foot already in the intersection.  I threw up both hands and yelled as he zoomed right on by ignoring my presence, voice and gestures. 

He could have cared less and no doubt would have plowed into me had I not stopped.
He threw my pace and rhythm off.  And, caused a surge of anger to boil up and out of me!  Dumb ass drivers stoke my pipe!  So much for this run centering me tonight.

Two miles later I am about 30 feet from a driveway.  The homeowner was standing in the driveway watching someone get in a car and back out of his drive.  That homeowner made eye contact with me but did not, in cautiousness, warn the driver of the car that someone is on the street running.  He backed out without looking as I stopped less than 5 feet from his car to avoid being struck.  

I lost it.  There was no calmness in me.  There was no tolerance left for drivers who don't look.  It was NOT dark out yet.  I was wearing black running pants and a bright pink Nike long sleeved shirt.  How you could miss me, I do not know.  I yelled very loudly at both the man standing in the driveway and the car that had just backed out narrowly missing me"LOOK BEFORE YOU BACK OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" 
 
I felt my anger crescendo at having to stop yet again during my run.  To be interrupted in something that fluidness is part of breaks part of its intended purpose.  I am tired of being not seen by some and not cared about by others that I share the road with.

My scariest near miss happened this summer.  On the last mile of my run I was running a stretch where my street had no stop signs but the cross streets did.  As I approached an intersection, I watched an elderly woman in her car come to the stop.  I continued to run.  As I got directly in front of her car she let off the brakes and accelerated from the stop sign.  By the time she saw me, her car hit my thigh and I had both hands on the hood of her car.  It was broad daylight and I was right in front of her.

I was rattled to say the least.  Angry though I just couldn't muster in its entirety when I saw the horror on her face.  I feared she would die right at that moment from the shock of not seeing me until she touched me with her car.  She looked at me with fright, terror even.  If I could read her mind I think she was having a conversation with herself, "Should I stop driving?  If I can't see people right in front of me maybe it's time to put away the keys."  She didn't need my wrath, though I was disappointed again in drivers inability to see runners.

Then once in awhile you will have someone who notices TOO much.  "Hey lady, nice ass!" the trucker driver yelled.  "It's 46 years old!" I replied never breaking my stride.  I think I'd rather have sexual comments hurled at me than worry if someone at an intersection or driveway is going to see me or hit me.  I would rather the occasional smart ass man yell something than a driver's lack of skill cause me to have to stop because they aren't paying attention.

Tonight's run wasn't restive or restorative.  It was a rage fest!

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