At about 5:40 on Thursday morning while I was running loops on my little neighborhood half-mile circle, I noticed an unfamiliar car. It was a large dark colored older car and I could smell exhaust fumes. Normally, I only see a white Range Rover and a small silver nondescript SUV leaving my neighborhood during my early morning runs. This particular car was a vehicle that I would have remembered had I seen it before. The car was just ahead of me as I approached the parkway and I had no idea whether the driver had noticed my headlamp as I came running up behind it. When it came to the stop sign to leave our little neighborhood, it just sat there even though there was no traffic on the parkway. Just as I got even to the back of the car, but on this side of the trees in the little median pictured below (the car was just beyond the tree spotlighted by my headlamp), the driver’s door opened causing the light inside the car to come on. I flipped directions quickly causing a sudden pulling sensation in my left glute and sprinted away, back toward my house on the opposite end of our circle.
Looking over my shoulder I didn’t see anyone chasing me, so I slowed to a mid-8 pace until I reached my driveway. Certain that no one was around, I opened my garage and went inside to regroup. After a few minutes, I ventured back outside to run my final mile. As I ran back toward where the car had stopped, I stayed on high alert in case the car was still lingering. I remembered seeing something bright pink laying in the road on an earlier loop and wondered if the driver had seen it as well and stopped to retrieve the item.
As I approached the stop sign, I could see that the car was gone so I continued along my little loop. I quickly found the pink object that had reflected in my headlamp beam earlier and stooped to pick it up as I ran by. Ironically, it was pepper spray.
The whole incident could have been totally innocent. The driver could have been messing with his/her phone or could have spilled coffee and was just trying to clean it up. The car could also belong to one of my neighbors and I’ve never noticed it because it’s usually in their garage and they normally don’t leave the neighborhood at such an early hour. Whatever the case, I remained unscathed other than a hopefully mildly pulled glute while receiving a good reminder to always be vigilant on my early morning solo runs.
I passed on running with my friends on Saturday morning and opted to run alone so I could see how my left glute was feeling. Surprisingly, it felt pretty good even though I was mildly aware of it. I am; however, taking Advil (which I hate doing) for TMJ syndrome resulting from a couple of recent dental visits, so I’m sure that’s helping with the muscle pain. The TMJ syndrome? That’s another story for another day… Jeez!
In case you skipped checking in on my blog this past week, here’s what you missed…
Looking ahead to this coming week, I’m wrapping up a post on afternoon training and have a little Appalachian Trail surprise in the works!
In addition to the runs I mentioned above, here’s a complete run-down of my workouts from this past week (completed mostly in our home gym)…
- Have you experienced any scary moments while out on a run?
- If so, how did you handle it?
- Did you race this weekend?
And that’s a wrap… Have a great week!
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I’m linking up with Holly at HoHo Runs and Wendy from Taking The Long Way Home for their Weekly Wrap. Be sure to check out not only the hosts’ posts, but the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!