Monday, July 26, 2010

Excuse me, are you a bad man??

After only about five hours of interrupted sleep, I went out for a trail run yesterday morning as soon as I woke up.  I hadn't put in many miles at all over the week and I knew if I waited, it wouldn't get done.  The hiker's parking lot was "packed"!  (It's a relative term...usually there are only one or two cars, yesterday morning there were like 10 or 12.)  Like I said before, I can let my mind get a little carried away with the "what if there's a bad man in the woods" scenarios, but it doesn't usually stop me from running solo...on the trail or off. 

That all changed this morning!

Even though I ended up doing 3.5 on the trail yesterday and my right shin/calf was not too happy with me this morning, not to mention it felt like it was already 102 degrees (at 5am), I went over to Turtle's house to run a mile or two.  We started out complaining to each other about the stifling heat/humidity and headed out, knowing that once we got started we'd be fine.

Our neighborhood has a little parking lot right at the front of the subdivision.  It was either intended for parking for the non-existent club house and/or pool, or was just built because we have a non-enforced "no cars parked on the street" rule.  If you have company staying with you for an extended period of time, theoretically they would park there.  It's not ever used for anything and we have tried to get it demolished, but you'd be surprised how much it costs to have a parking lot torn out.  Anyway...I told her we were going to go into that lot to do some dynamic stretches and drills.

As I was scoping the lot seeing where we needed to start...I noticed her stopping short.  And...then...I heard a male voice saying something from the car that I had not even seen that was parked about 20 feet from me!  (I found out later he asked if we live in the neighborhood.)  Turtle said, "yeah, what's going on?"  He proceeded to tell us that he had broken down on the mountain (it's a good mile from our neighborhood) and he had gotten the car that far but was now waiting on his wife to come get him.  We just kind of looked at each other and then at him and said "Okay" as we turned around and headed back to her house....

The story didn't add up for several reasons
  • we are not the closest road from the mountain-he had to pass by two roads and two turn-around areas he could have pulled over at.
  • his car was backed into the parking space-that's not something you would do if your car had broken down
  • if his car broke down, how did he get it there?
We took off and sprinted back to her house and then she drove me to my house.  I felt we might be over-reacting just a little bit, but come was FIVE O'CLOCK in the morning.  It was dark.  We were two women running alone-well, with each other, but alone as in not in a group and without a man, or a big scary dog, or mace, or even a phone!  No one is supposed to even be in that parking lot.

To make matters worse, I came home and read a story about this woman who started running after being raped (as recovery).  Note to self-always carry my phone, even in the neighborhood, even when running with Turtle.

I'm sure it was completely fine...what would you have done?  Kept running, chatted him up a bit asking, "So, where do you work? What do you do?  Have car trouble much?", said, "Excuse me for asking, but are you a bad man?  Because if you are, I need to scream to wake up my neighbors who may or may not come out here to investigate what's going on."?

Well, the run was scrapped, but I went to the Extreme Abs class...let me just say, I am getting stronger but I still can't do the whole class.  I don't feel bad about that because (other than the instructor) there are only two people in there who can (out of 15-20).

Thanks for stopping in, come again soon!


  1. Running away sounds like a good plan! That is creepy. Especially since he seemed to have no purpose for speaking to you.
    I had a man in car talk to me when I was running alone on a country road. He was only asking directions. But as soon as he slowed his car, I mentally figured the best escape route: through the soybean field because he couldn't follow me w/ his car in there, and I might just get away since it would take him time to pull over and get out of the car. But he opened w/ "how do you get to...?" And never made a move to get out of the car, so the escape route went unused.

    I always carry my cell!! Mostly so if I fell down or got injured I wouldn't have to limp home.

  2. I would have done the exact same thing and would have had the same intuition that this could be a dangerous guy!

    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. I'm loving the book by Beth Moore and am learning so much about myself. It's scary to put your real yourself out there but when I get comments like yours and Lisa's, then I know it all worth it.

    You and your dedication to exercise are an inspiration to me. I'm a walker and some aerobics. Thanks!

    Lee Ann

  3. I would have done the same! I carry a small can of pepper spray on trail runs.
    On Sat. I had a bike wreck - two scrapes and a bruised bulging muscle - very sore on Sun.! Oh well...keep up the good work and be careful!

  4. hmmm...well I hate to tell u this, but I have thought for some time, while reading your posts, that you haven't been as cautious as u should. When it comes to trail running, you have to take special precautions, above and beyond the road runner. I do enjoy reading your posts and keep coming back, but cringe when I hear the running scenario. You asked me to 'tell it like it is' so I hope this doesn't upset you. We don't want to discover that you aren't around to post and inspire....

  5. Jane, really hate to hear about the wreck. Scrapes are okay, but "bulging muscle" sounds bad!

    Wendy, I am so NOT upset with you telling it like it is. I appreciate it more than you know!! Unfortunately, I've always been a school of hard knocks kind of learner....but one of these days I'll have to learn from the mistakes of others. Your candor helps me in that regard. But, please help me out with some specific safe-running tips (well, other than maybe run with a partner). :D

    If you're looking for a new runner's blog-check out Debbie's Running North (well, maybe that's Running South now??). If you're looking for a spiritual shot in the arm check out Debbie at Exceeding Abundantly or LeeAnn at Encouragement Is Contagious.


Don't hold back, tell it like it is....