Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Runaway

Fall is the time of year (for me) where my thoughts shift with the cooler weather.  The crunch of leaves on the pavement and the crispness in the air really reminds me of one dominant thing - horror movies.  My favorite movie, well, it's a toss up between the original Halloween or the original Psycho.  I do really enjoy Night of the Living Dead - those are the only types of zombies I can really tolerate on the screen.  I've been known to scare the shit out of myself - I can occasionally be found curled up on the couch with a blanket, watching Halloween alone while the kids snooze upstairs.  This scenario doesn't create the ideal situation for me or the hubbs ("have you checked the children?").  Before I met my Rainbow Runners, my morning runs would be solo...in the dark...with a blinking light that startled me every time its reflection was caught in a neighbor's window.  Most homes would be decorated with fall embellishments; some appeared as if the Halloween store puked on their lawn.  The skeleton dangling from the front yard tree would send my heart through my chest and the ghostly figure positioned in the garage window put a little pep in my step.  It was on those mornings that I hated running, but it absolutely presented the opportunity for speed training.
Yesterday, the Rainbow Runners and I opted for a few mid-run sprints.
We run a handful of regular routes on various days.  Depending on mileage and time, we'll select a route from the swatch.  Monday's route included a road close to a major highway, but tucked away between fields of corn.  Yay (sarcasm), corn taller than I - the perfect place for a creeper to hide.  Our head lamps are shining as brightly as the battery powered beacon can cut through darkness.  Our voices seem to create this bubble of comfort enveloping the crew.  The bubble that is soon popped by the presence of a man on our corn lined road.  Instantly, the lights shining forward begin to move all around as on a dance floor.  "Do we turn around?"  "Should we keep going?"  were some of the knee-jerk questions.  My immediate statement: "Shit, I forgot my mace."
The man appeared older wearing long pants, and a t-shirt/long-sleeved shirt combo.  I found it strange, as did the other ladies, that he did not have a flashlight, nor was he walking a dog.  We approached with caution, our crew hugging the right side of the road.  The twisted in me envisioned a second perp grabbing us from the side of the road we deemed safe.  Thankfully, reality proved this thought as incorrect.  He didn't seem to glance in our direction as we passed with a peppering of hesitated salutations.  Finding this response also odd, I dipped onto the grass, even closer to the tall stalks, with the command, 'Lets go girls!'  Immediately, three of us kicked down the road.  I dropped my arms as my foot turnover increased.  The lollygagging ladies lagged behind while the lead pack pulled away even further.  The road, still pitch black, surrounded by tall stalks felt unwelcoming.  We needed to get out of there.  With the man out of sight, we regrouped at the end of the winding street to alter our route back to the start.
Since this Monday morning encounter we've made a few observations and changes to our approach:

  1. The mace-free women coordinated a purchase of the product.
  2. The mace-forgetful learned a lesson, but hopefully, not one of false security. 
  3. Overall, we need to incorporate more speed work sessions.  
And, I need to somehow purge my memory of all horror movies.