My heart is heavy today. Yesterday on my run, I saw one of the most horrific things I could witness. I'm an animal lover through and through. I want to bring home every stray I see. I always have to change the channel when the Humane Society commercials come on because it just breaks my heart. And yesterday what I saw has left me with a scared image in my mind I just can't get away from. I was out doing a warm up few miles before heading to the track to do some speedwork. I could see in the distance two small animals on the median of the road running back and forth. The road is busy, three lanes in each direction with speed limit of 40 that is hardly ever obeyed. As I got closer and closer I could see it was two small dogs. I picked up my speed to try to get to them to call them to me and get them to safety. With about a 100 yards to go, I saw a truck come around the corner and I put my hands up to signal the driver to stop. But it was too late. One of the dogs decided to make a dash for it and he was hit.
His little body went flying like a rag doll. I screamed bloody murder by the horrific sight I had just seen. My scream was so loud that it got a man out of his garage to see if I was alright. The driver didn't stop right away. I jumped into the street to wave him to stop, when he finally did, he didn't get out of his car right away. I think he was shocked at what had just happened also. I could see his little life-less body thrown against the median curb. My only thought was I hope he died instantly and wasn't laying there in pain. I didn't have the strength to go up to him. I tried to get the other dog to come towards me with the man who had come from his garage. The dog ran back to his home to the open garage. There were men working on his house in the backyard but only contract workers who didn't have access to the house. I called my mom right away to get her to call animal control. I couldn't catch his buddy who had now parked himself in the garage.
I gathered myself after I got of the phone with my mom and couldn't believe what had happened in the midst of just a few minutes. I was dazed. I felt so awful. The kind man who had come said he would also call and really, there wasn't anymore I could do. I had planned on the speedwork but somehow my mind wasn't into that anymore so I just started running. I realized at one point I had hit 5 miles and decided to turn around. 10 miles was not on the books but that run was so necessary. On my way back past the accident I ran on the other side, I couldn't bare to see his little body butted up against the curb. I kept seeing that image of the accident over and over in my head, it was just awful. When I got home, I didn't fee like I had ran 10 miles, especially after the fact that I had just run 12 the day before - not ideal.
I have seen some crazy things when running. Just a few months ago I witnessed a man get hit by a car on his bike. Thankfully there were many who stopped to help and I think he ended up okay. I have seen many things thrown from people's cars, random things from cheeseburger wrappers to cans of beer. Just crazy. And of course, I'm always subjected to the cat calls and screams. I have even once been told by some men at a bus stop to, "put your shirt back on!"
On the roads we are subject to so many things that we don't always witness when we are just drivers. Not only are we putting our lives in our hands when we run the roads, we are also subjecting ourselves to whole other experiences. You think when you leave your house your going out to do something good for yourself, that your going out to clear you head and your heart. When situations like yesterday happen, I wonder why I even leave the treadmill.
I hate to be so down, but I am really sad and upset still from yesterday. Thankfully it didn't haunt my dreams but as soon as I woke up I remembered it all over again. So my question to all of you is, what sad, crazy, scary or weird thing have you experienced while running? Have you seen something as horrific as me? Have you been witness to a crime or accident? Do you get the cat calls and whistles, or better yet, told to put your shirt on? With all of this, it reminds me that I need to be a more aware driver. I know that driver did nothing wrong, and I'm sure his day was even worse than mine. I can't imagine hitting a dog. But we are driving potential death traps and sometimes people just don't pay attention or give it the respect it deserves. I am always so aware of bikers and runners when I drive, I even swerve to miss squirrels.
So my 10 mile run left me a little drained last night after my adrenaline had finally left. I know it didn't help that the day before was a long run, but I think my body had finally let itself relax. I think I might stick to the treadmill for today, I just don't think I'm ready to hit the road.
What crazy, weird or sad thing have you witness on your runs?