Monday, November 30, 2009

Walk of Shame??

Saturday morning, at about 5:45 am, I set out for a 9 mile run.  It was the coldest morning of the season, but for some reason that just invigorates me more.  It definitely keeps me moving!  I had decided the night before to run a different route.  I had done this route with my sister during a few of our long runs this summer, but I'd never run it alone (well, I always have my trusty dingo-dog with me).  I tend to run along fairly busy streets, just to keep the other dog-walkers out of our way.  Of course, at 6:00am with temperatures in the 20's, I didn't have to worry about that.  The route was pretty well lit with overhead street lights and the coldness and quiteness gave me a sense of peace.  I was really enjoying my run.  Until I noticed a man walking out of a neighborhood, screaming into his cell phone.  I had my iPod playing and I could still hear him over the music.  He was across the street (a 4-lane road) from me.  I quickly looked him over....fairly young, jeans, plaid button-down shirt, blonde hair.  No coat, no gloves, no hat.  Defnitely not prepared for a stroll in the cold.  The dingo barely gave him a second glance, which is unusual for him.  Usually he's Cap-i-tain Cautious, barking at anything that moves.  So I kept running, faster and faster.  Splits for the 2 miles that I was on that road were under 9 minute miles.  I was scared.  I immediately think the worst in scenarios like this.  Rapist or serial killer usually top my list.  I never turned around to see where the guy went or if he was even following me.  I didn't want to know.  I just wanted to keep running until I felt more secure (a lighted shopping center, gas station, etc).  Unfortunately this stretch of road was 1) the darkest part of my whole route and 2) home to a large, vacant, factory/plant.  I prayed the entire time for God to keep me safe.  I rejoiced when cars would drive by.  I was just hoping there was a guardian angel in one of those cars, who would keep this guy from hurting me.  My mind was racing in the quiet darkness.   I began thinking about what I would do if a car (now or sometime else) drove by and tried to abduct me.  What would I do?  I don't carry anything valuable on me when running (besides my iPod and watch).  I'd have nothing to "barter" with, you know.  It was a pretty sobering thought.  I'd essentially be defenseless.  So back to the present situation and I realized I should probably change my intended route.  I was suppose to do a couple mile lap repeats around a city park/lake.  Parts of the lake path are not well-lit and border upon the aforementioned vacant factory.  I didn't think that sounded too safe, so I started to consider an alternate route.  Upon turning into the park, I come across another man (dressed more appropriately for the weather in a hooded sweatshirt, but still odd to see walking at 6:30 in the pitch black morning).  I was afraid I was over-reacting to the first guy, but after seeing the second creepy guy, I knew I had to change my route.  I sped up faster and faster and went on my way.  About 7:00am the sun started peeking out and I immediately felt safer.  My mind was still buzzing about the preceding events, until I found a scenario that I could accept.  My conclusion....the first guy had probably just snuck out of some chick's house after a one-night stand.  The good old Walk of Shame.  That's got to be it, right?!  I can't really accept what could have happened or any other scenario for that matter.  It would keep me from running, indefinitely! 

So in light of Saturday's events, I've decided to take a couple of safety measures.  1) I'll always leave my route up on the computer (oddly enough, I had done that on Saturday) for hubby.  2)  I need to find a way to take my cell phone with matter what.  Guess I'll be wearing my SPI belt all the time.  3)  I need to get some pepper spray to carry.  Now that I'll be wearing my SPI belt, I'll have a place to put it.  I've made excuses for way too long about safety precautions.  Saturday's adventure was a wake up call....even if it was just some poor guy's Walk of Shame.


Marlene said...

I would definitely have been creeped out.

Be safe!

lindsay said...

i would have been creeped too by both guys!

i used to leave my route up all the time on my computer - well, mostly just for the longer runs (more than an hour). it's easy to do and hopefully will never come in handy!

stay safe girl!

Morgan said...

Been there done that! I'm glad you made it home safely.

ALWAYS leave your run route up or printed out so someone knows where you are. I always let someone know how long I'll be too, if I'm running solo so they are expecting me.

Another good idea is to make sure they know what you're wearing. I jot it on the run route or text it if I'm feeling weary.

Pepper Spray & Cell Phone are a must. I keep my pepper spray in my wrist rocker so it's within reach and the cell either in my spibelt or just in my hand.


RunnerGirl said...

I hate coming across creepers during my runs, be careful!

Any chance you're running the Jingle Bell 5k in Dayton this weekend????

Teamarcia said...

I just found your blog! A wake up call for sure--be safe out there.
Hey I ran the Columbus Marathon too! Congrats!

trifitmom said...

oh my that is scary and YES if you are running alone i think you MUST have cell and pepper spray. i get scared if i see something fishy in broad daylight while walking. be careful, just found your blog.