I had a scary encounter this morning on my run… maybe it wouldn’t have been scary if I knew the strangers’ intentions. On the second loop of my run, I headed through the old downtown section. It is well lit and only a block from the police station, so it is odd that this happened there. A car was coming up the street and then pulled up next to me. It was an old clunker with two people, a man probably my age driving and someone else in the passenger seat. The man suddenly opened his door and was saying something to me. I couldn’t hear because I was listening to music. He looked like he was being a smartass and I was scared that he might jump out, so I ignored them and quickly turned down an alleyway. He quickly turned down it behind me. At the end of the alley is the police station, but I figured the door would be locked and cops would be out like they were when I tried to report the two people having sex in the middle of the road one morning last yr. So I quickly turned and ran through a yard two doors down from the station. The car couldn’t follow me so they had to come out by the police station. I kept turning around to see if the car or someone on foot was following me but I didn’t see them. Nonetheless, I continued to run through yards and finally stopped by a garage to turn off my ipod and Runkeeper. I walked through yards and into the cul-de-sac behind my house. Then I walked to our road, looked for the car, and made a mad dash for our front door. As soon as I got inside, I locked the door and pulled down shades. Then I finished my run on the treadmill, where I have a feeling I will be running a lot more from now on.
Obviously I don’t know what this guy was saying to me but I knew I hadn’t dropped anything and I knew I didn’t know him. If he needed directions why would he creep up on a women in the dark? It was about 6 a.m. but the two gas stations in town were clearly open and on the main road in and out of town.
In the wake of recent events involving runners and meth heads and other horrible incidents, I think I did the smart thing. I don’t know why I didn’t take out my earbuds first, but it was a gut reaction. It wasn’t a racist thing, I am white, he was white. I was probably being a bit judgmental on the crappy car though. I know I did what my mother would have wanted me to do, because that is exactly what we did when a car full of guys pulled up beside us on a busy Chicago street and started to get out of the car. We ran like hell back to our hotel.
I am not sure what I am going to do tomorrow. If I run outside, I will probably run without music for a while. I will also avoid that street because the laundromat is on it and is open 24 hours. Maybe weirdos hang out there all night? I want to feel safe in this town and I’m probably overreacting but it’s crummy to live in a world of fear.