Thursday, September 25, 2008

Stranger Danger

I love running at night. It's always so quiet, peaceful, with the moon shining down and the stillness of the darness. But, I shall not be running at night for quite a while, at least not in deserted parks after my run last night.

Husband and I both had things going on all day and finally decided to go out for our run around 9:30pm. We are at different paces (as I have mentioned before, husband runs at a completely unfair speedy pace he doesn't deserve) so we thought Sugarhouse Park was a pretty safe bet. It's a big loop, so we could run at our own paces, but still run together.

We drove to the park, parked on one side, and started off. I was keeping up with him for almost two laps, then I started getting a side ache and stopped for a minute. When I picked back up, I started noticing dark figures in the grass, people who for reasons I don't wish to know, like lurking in the blackness, a handful of drivers sitting in their cars with the windows rolled down, smoking cigarettes and staring. My mind immediately went to a story my station did recently on Cruising in local parks, including Sugarhouse. If you don't know what that is, ignorance is bliss.

Just as I ran through a narrow part of the path, lined with cars, the street lights went black, leaving me completely vulerable surrounded by creepy strangers and I started to panic. I heard a voice in my head say run-- fast! It's not safe for you here! I searched frantically, and couldn't see husband. I started to sprint. I sprinted up that massive hill, down the other side, and all the way to the car and still couldn't see husband anywhere. I waited by the car for several minutes, debating my next move. I still had one more mile to go, but didn't dare go back to the complete darkness. I started to sprint again, back the other direction, thinking surely I would run into him soon. My heart was pounding, and not from running so hard. I ran back up another huge hill, and finally found him. I grabbed him, with tears streaming down my face. I was worried something had happened to him because it was taking him so long!

So, lesson learned. No more running in dark in deserted areas.


Levi, Christine, and Gideon said...

THANK YOU for this post! I teach self defense (and I used to be on the Rape Crisis Team), and I am FOREVER telling women NOT to run at night. They always say, "Okay," with that "Yeah right" look in their eyes and it makes me crazy!

My Mom told me once (when I used to run at night) that it doesn't make sense to "risk your life for your health"... smart woman.
Maybe you can post this on Marathon Mommies as well.

Again, THANK YOU! And I am SO glad you are okay!

Okay, I'll try to climb down from my soap box...

Levi, Christine, and Gideon said...

Jen- You are welcome! R.A.D. is an excellent course and is taught by a number of police departments in the valley- I think you would love it... it's very empowering.

HeatherAnn said...

Hey Jen!!! I'm still checking in on ya.. I'm glad your doing good! Its scary running at night, I'd run early in the morning and it made me too uncomfortable, especially cuz I was running on that jordan river parkway! I think its worth being safe, then risking our life! So thanks for the reminder!

cropstar said...

YIKES! Glad you're safe and glad you had a husband there with you to sprint to! Thanks for the great reminder.

and ps- thanks for keeping up the blog!