Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Run Off the Road

I've been pretty good about working out on my lunch hour, but today it didn't happen. I tried to run on the treadmill while Casey was at swim class, but Marcie saw me and she wasn't going to leave me in the "wellness" room. So after only five minutes, I stopped. Later after we got home and got the kids settled in eating dinner, I decided to go for a run through the neighborhood.

Now, when I run at night, I wear running shoes with reflectors, I wear a light colored shirt, and sometimes I wear my visor with reflectors or my lightweight running jacket with reflectors (tonight I wore the jacket). Then, I wear a reflector vest so that I'm easily visible.

Also, when I run, I don't run on sidewalks if I can help it. I run on the side of the road, just outside the gutter on the asphalt. I run facing traffic (not with it). And if I see a car headed toward me and there's a parked car in the road, I jump back on to the sidewalk so I don't freak out the driver.

The reason I run in the street is because it's a softer surface and better for my knees. Also, the up and down of the sidewalk with the driveways make it an uneven surface, more likely I'll lose my footing and also not so great for my knees. The reason I run facing/toward traffic is because I want to make sure drivers see me, and even if they don't I certainly see them, so I can get out of dodge if I have to.

I'm pretty careful and pretty respectful. I don't stay in the street on corners where I know cars take the corner tightly. I run in well-lit places. I run through the neighborhood and never on the main thoroughfare because it's better lit and feels safer. If I were to get injured, at least I could crawl to a nearby house or something. And even though I could run on the dirt track at the park at the end of the street, which is lit and closed to cars, there are a lot of bushes and it just doesn't feel self for a girl alone at night.

But tonight some asshole decided it'd be funny to run me off the run. Or to try to. And I don't know that it was a guy. I just have a hard time calling a woman an asshole-- seems like a term more appropriate for a man.

So I was running on a flat part of the neighborhood (there's only one flat section in my neighborhood, and it's less than half a mile stretch). There were two cars heading in my direction. I was just past a streetlight. There were no parked cars on the road. And as this Honda CRV passed me, it veered directly into me, and the driver leaned on the horn.

I was more startled by the horn than the swerve, and I turned to try to catch a glimpse of the license plate, but it wasn't in a lit frame, so I missed it. Plus, I knew there was another car headed my way.

It happened too quickly for me to get all the way up on the sidewalk. And to be honest, if I had made that leap, I would have landed literally into a set of mailboxes. I muttered a couple of choice words that I won't put in writing here. But they sure wouldn't make my mom proud, and I kept on running. I ran through the scenarios-- what if the car came back for me? Where would I go? Would I be confrontational? Would I run like hell in the opposite direction of the car? Should I try to find where the car went so I could report it?

In the end, I just ran. And ran. And felt super paranoid for the remaining 20 minutes of the run. I never saw the CRV again. And I didn't change the way I ran. So if the asshole was trying to "teach me a lesson," all I learned was to pay closer attention to license plate numbers when running in the dark. I mean, really. Was it supposed to be funny? Was I supposed to scream? Was he trying to teach me a lesson? There's no city ordinance against running in the street. Runners and pedestrians in generally don't have to follow the typical road rules followed by cyclists and drivers.

If I'd gotten the license plate number, I really do think I'd file a report. Who wants an asshole like that speeding through their neighborhood? There are much better ways to express yourself than attempting to scare the heck out of someone. Someone trying to keep stress down and weight off, no less. Someone trying to lead a healthy life.

Come to think of it, isn't there a tort I could sue for? I just had a flash back to Bar Review-- and studying assault. In criminal law it has two meanings: attempted battery or intentionally causing anxiety or fear. In tort it's just the latter. . . Hmm. Well, nothing I can do about it now, except keeping my eyes open for the white- CRV-driving asshole in my neighborhood. Yeah. Good times.

1 comment:

:::delinda::: said...

What a friggin' jerk. Seriously, what was his point? To discourage you from running in the road? What if for some god awful reason, his steering malfunctioned and he pinned you against a car??!! People like that make me so mad. I hope karma comes back and bites him right in the ass.