7.02.2006

Guilt is a powerful motivator

Okay, so it wasn't exactly guilt per se. Earlier today, I had said that I did not feel well, and that I was just going to take today off and just try to get better before tomorrow. So, a couple of hours ago, I am sitting in the easy chair, reading Higdon's Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide, and I decide to go out and get in a few miles.

I need to get those miles in - the long runs won't run themselves, and I won't be able to run them if I don't maintain my base. And, I won't acclimate to the warmer summer weather if I sit around most of the time in an air-conditioned house, or running in the (warm, but climate-controlled nonetheless) YMCA. So, I gear up, and do a quick run.

I managed about 3.7 miles in about 32 minutes (didn't really double-check the route, and only glanced at my watch when I started), with only one significant near-mishap. As I am heading back, with less than a mile to go, I almost get sideswiped by an idiot in a truck. Now, this wasn't a case of him simply failing to see my as I run alongside the road; I always run facing traffic so that I am much more likely to avoid problems. No, this guy decided that the northbound traffic was going to slow (i.e., only 30 m.p.h. in a 25 zone), so he goes around them at about 60 or so - but this cutesy little time-saving maneuver brings him very close to me. See, I figured that since the road is (1) a no-passing zone; and (2) I can see oncoming traffic; then I do not need to continuously watch my back for idiots like this guy, and I can actually run on the side of the road, as opposed to the shoulder or the ditch.

He probably missed me by more than I think, but it seemed awfully close at the time, and knowing that he was completely at fault is little compensation. (And no, headphones weren't a factor here - while I was wearing them, it's not as though I missed a warning; you simply do not expect someone to be speeding down the wrong lane.)

5 Comments:

Blogger runr53 said...

As a veteren of many years of running along side roads at varying times of the day or night I have to give my take on this. The person in the truck was at fault, and so was the runner on the side of the road! As a runner or anyone else for that matter we have absolutely no control over the actions of others but only over our own. We must always be alert to things going on around us. Now, let me ask you this, can you do that with headphones on? An analogy of this would be the person in a car or truck with the radio playing too loud and not hearing the siren at an upcoming intersection, just sayin... Run Good!

4:02 PM  
Blogger Garou said...

Well, considering that I have the volume down to the point where I can easily hear my (non-labored) breathing, and my footstrikes (which are bad only when sprinting or at the end of a very long run), the headphones were not a problem.

Even without them, I might have had an extra split-second of warning - it wasn't a lack of situational awareness; he really was going fast enough that one second he was beyond where I would have heard him without headphones, and the next he was beside me. Light traffic is about 50 dB at 100 feet, and he was moving about 90 feet a second - he was on top of me before I could register that there were two vehicles behind me, not one.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Lana said...

That is so uncalled for. That driver put your life in danger, and that is the bottom line. You have just as much of right to be out there running as he does driving...I think the next time that kind of thing happens to me - I am going to try and get the license plate number and turn them in.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Running Rabbit said...

Geez sorry about that near fatal accident. Was he BLONDE?

7:09 PM  
Blogger jeanne said...

as i told my daughter when she was learning to drive: expect the other drivers to do something stupid. I'm sure the headphones were not the problem, but the problem is we expect drivers to obey the rules. now that's a problem! glad you escaped unscathed.

6:14 PM  

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