Last night I headed out around 4:45 for a quick five miler. I was going at a decent pace, just keeping it easy and really enjoying the beautiful evening. I didn't even take my iPod! I started down the road and headed over an over pass and decided to turn back after about a mile and a half since it was starting to get dark. I had my new headlamp with me, but the area I was heading towards where I normally do my five mile loop is not very populated at the moment. I didn't think it was safe to head down there when it was starting to get so dark so quickly.
On my way back I was hitting every.single.stoplight. Really, I didn't mind that much last night. I was taking it easy and enjoying my run. I was stopped at a light that was also the entrance to a pretty busy freeway. I pushed the button and waited and when the light turned for me to go I took off. All of a sudden right next to me, a woman making a right hand turn onto the freeway came this close to my legs with her mini-van bumper! I screamed! I started yelling at her! I was so mad and freaked out all at the same time I just kept screaming at her. At first she looked sorry and waved me to go, and then I was so stunned there, I just looked at her and was like, "what the hell were you thinking?" It wasn't even dark out and I was wearing my reflectors and a white shirt. She couldn't miss me. Then she turned angry at me and yelled out her window at me, "get the hell out of the way you crazy!" I was still standing there shocked so I screamed back something nasty, I can't remember now, and smacked her car! She honked and sped off onto the freeway. Mind you, this probably all happened within less than a minute, but time felt like it had stood still forever! A couple of other people in passing cars gave me a dirty look! I HAD THE RIGHT OF WAY! The little man in the signal was white and said for me to go! But some how I was no longer the victim of nearly being hit, I was the bad guy for crossing the street! Okay, maybe hitting the top of her car with my fist was a little too New York city for the situation, but I was mad! I had almost been hit by a car and somehow I wasn't allowed to react?!
I just started running again, back over the overpass and thought I would do my loop and head home. I started running though, and my legs were moving! I looked down at one point and my Garmin said a 6:30/mile pace! It did not feel like I was running that fast! She had really got my blood flowing. I could feel the heat from her engine on my legs just a few minutes before and my legs now wanted to move. I started shaking. I got to the next light and had to stop again for the light. If I went to the right, I would be home in half a mile. If I went straight, I would finish my five miles with just over two to go and then head home. I was freaked standing on the corner. So I decided to keep running. I turned on my headlamp as I crossed the street and went straight. I was running for about a half a mile when I realized I was just too shaken. I couldn't slow down my pace and I was upset. I called my hubbs right away and told him to come pick me up. I gave him a brief description of what happened and he was there in less then three minutes.
I have never had such a close call with a car on my run before. Usually people in my area are very cautious and curteous with runners and bikers as there are a lot of us on the roads at any given time. But she blatantly didn't pay attention to the person on the sidewalk. Her destination was more important to her than being a safe driver. Needless to say, when Ari and I got home I was still shaken and just wanted to shower and go to bed. He made me a nice dinner though, and I was in bed by 8 watching the Yankees kick the Phillies butt. Not a nice way to end a day (watching the Philles get a smackdown and almost getting hit by a car).
I am still thinking about all the "what if's" this morning. I run pretty cautiously. I wear a RoadID just for that reason. I carry my phone with me every.single.run. I wear bright colors and I always wait for lights. But it just goes to show you, most people don't pay attention and we have to be the ones always on the look-out. I am so glad I didn't have my iPod on- which is rare. I almost always have it on. So my friends, however cautious you think you are being, we all need to step it up a notch. I am still a bit shaken, and I think tonight I will be running on the dreadmill.
In other news, I had my first dream last night about the race! Ugh! Actually, it was a funny dream because I wasn't running Fresno, I was running in New York! And I was running through people's apartments and down back alleys and I still didn't BQ! Crazy dream! Oh well. I think that last night's incident didn't help my nerves about running and I was bound to have a running dream no matter what it was about.
I hope you have an awesome Thursday. Please be careful when you're out there peeps. The weekend is almost here and I can taste it!