Entries in Anecdotes (1)


Rick versus the SUV

Sounds like an episode of "Chuck", doesn't it? Well, I survived my first experience of 'runner vs vehicle' this morning! Kinda scary when I think about it now. It also really pisses me off. (If I weren't the forgiving type, I think I'd be calling the police. But alas, it didn't occur to me at the time)

So it is around 7AM. The sun was out. It's 21 degrees and a bit windy. I am feeling comfy, happy and looking forward to being outside for some 'me time' on my Thursday morning 'easy run' for 40 minutes or so before heading to work. I was almost at the first mile of a 3.5 mile run, when I approached an intersection on Miller Rd, a road near my home that I run frequently (on the sidewalk) because it has a solid 3-mile incline I like to train on.

Just to lay out the scene, this is a T-intersection, with the traffic heading onto Miller has a stop sign so that they pay attention to the traffic on Miller before they make their left or right turn. There is no stop sign for those on Miller Rd (or its sidewalks). So as I come up to the corner, there is this blue SUV (and another car behind it) coming to a stop on the side street. There are several cars coming up Miller so the two vehicles need to wait until it is safe to make their turns.

So here I am in my black running pants and BRIGHT GREEN, reflective running pullover (did I mention the SUN was out?). I slow down, looking at both the SUV and the traffic, and determine that he isn't moving forward and doesn't have an opening in the traffic to merge. I usually run behind cars at a crosswalk to avoid any problems. But since there was a car behind the SUV, I decided that going in front of the SUV was better than the potential of being squished between two vehicles.

Wrong!! As I ran in front of the SUV, inside the crosswalk, he starts to pull out!!! He hits me on my left hip! So I spin around to put my hands on the hood of the car while running backwards to keep from being run over. There was no where else to go (in fact, I considered jumping onto the hood before he picked up more speed)! I think this lasted for like 2-3 seconds before he hit the brakes, but it felt like forever. I was literally on Miller Rd by the time he stopped. I saw one car pass/swerve behind me on the road before the others stopped. Thank the Lord he stopped!

I ran around to the driver's side and the guy rolled down his window, apologizing and asking if I was okay. At the moment, I was just happy to be standing there. He was shaken up because clearly he was NOT PAYING ATTENTION and trying to bolt into traffic when it was not safe to do so!

I was more incredulous than mad at the time. I didn't even think to yell at him. I was basically unharmed so I just told him I was fine. He asked me like three times if I was okay. I said yes each time, and then turned around to continue on my run. I know that sounds crazy. The hip felt ok (it was a tad sore), but it wasn't affecting my run or my form so I just kept moving. Maybe it was shock or something because it never occurred to me to get his name or to get the license plate number. In fact, the most important thing at the moment it happened was to get out from "in front of" the license plate! I was just happy to be able to walk away from the incident, finish my run, and get ready for work.

That guy will have a story to tell at his office today I guess. I hope he will take this incident to heart and pay attention to EVERYTHING around him on the road, and not just how to make his next turn!

Looking back on it, I should have run behind the car, but with another car behind the SUV, I thought I didn't want to run between two vehicles. This is the first time I 'read' the conditions incorrectly. I know this was not my fault, but at the same time, what could I have done differently? The only thing I could have done was just stop and wait for both cars to leave the intersection before continuing.

The funny thing was when I got home, the first thing I checked was my run stats! I finished the 3.5 miles at a 10:00 pace and without any further excitement. After I showered, I took time to test out the hip and left leg to see if anything hurt or didn't feel right. WIth the exception of the impact spot, everything felt fine, no pain or restricted movement.

Tonight I will spend some time in the Jacuzzi at LifeTime and then ice it down before bedtime. We will have to see how it feels when I wake up tomorrow. I just hope the hip feels fine for my 11- Mile LR on Saturday.

So, in the battle between Rick and the SUV, I have to say that I won that one. But I would have much preferred to have avoided the whole thing!