Me vs. pickup: So glad it didn’t happen

My dog woke me up at 5 a.m. to go to the bathroom, which seems terrible but the silver lining was that my alarm was going to go off 40 minutes later (yes, 40 minutes is 40 minutes, but still) for my morning run. As I was already up before the moon even decided to say goodnight, it was easy to get out the door at 5:45 (when there is just enough light that cars will see me, but early enough that most drivers aren’t yet on their morning commute.)

I took my other dog with me for this run; I haven’t been taking them lately but now that they are inside dogs they need to exercise! I tried a new loop – most of which I had run before but not ever all at once. I ended up walking a lot of it for various reasons (trying to make sure I don’t injure it anything ahead of my 10K on Saturday, plus Kishin looked tired so I didn’t want to push it.) By the time I was on the last 2 miles (it was a 6.85 mile loop), there were streams of cars out. I can’t win. I can’t go early enough to avoid traffic and not be running in darkness. I don’t want to run circles around my neighborhood just because there are no sidewalks. The middle of the day seems to work fine but it’s just too darn hot during the summer months.

At one point Kishin and I were walking on Marvin School Road, and a pickup pulled out of a neighborhood. He was driving recklessly fast in order to cut off the car driving down Marvin School. It was obvious he didn’t see me or the big black dog. I panicked and yanked Kishin’s leash toward the grass, but before I could get both of us safely off the road, he was already barreling down on us. I never saw his face (or hers, I suppose; I imagine it was a him in the F-150 – F250 – whatever it was with writing on the side), but he must’ve seen us at the last minute because he swerved wildly in order to avoid hitting us.

Truthfully I was more worried about Kishin then myself. I have this fear of us getting into an accident and the ambulance comes and takes me away – but who would take time to get him to the emergency vet? Luckily, we turned out just fine and the greatest physical impact was a pounding heart and shaky hands. It angers me, though. I’m angry at Union County for not seeing the need for sidewalks and bike lanes out here in the suburbs. I’m angry at drivers who don’t understand the need to share the road. I’m angry at myself for not playing it safe and running in circles in my neighborhood (come on, folks, that’s boring!)

I posted my experience on Facebook and Twitter and Justin responded with: “More people should run, walk or cycle, if only to see the road from another perspective. Drivers rarely think there’s anyone other than other cars out there.” It’s so true, too. Ever since I started running these roads I have become more cautious as a driver. I told Justin: “I see the road so differently now that I’ve run it. I take curves more slowly in areas I know a lot of cyclists frequent. I swerve really wide to avoid runners or cyclists – no reason to give anyone a heart attack! And I go especially slow around people with dogs – animals are so unpredictable.”

I hate having to run on the side of the road, where the roadkill finds its final resting place and the county doesn’t mow nearly enough. I hate that I run unbalanced with my dog because I have to pull him to the left or else he’ll run right where the traffic should be. Sidewalks would make everything easier.

To add insult to injury, my computer gave me some sort of Java error when I tried to upload my run from my Garmin Forerunner 405 to the web site. Somehow the run didn’t upload, but it did erase it off of my watch. I was really curious to see the map of this new route, too. What a day.

In happy running news, however, I have my first 10K of the year on Saturday in River Hills (anyone who is familiar with River Hills is saying “Is she crazy?” right about now. It’s not named Hills for no reason …) Kevin and I are both running, and Jeff and Jenn and my nieces and my uncle and my 93-year-old grandmother are coming out to watch. It’s my grandmother’s first race! I joked that I was going to try to beat Kevin but I have a feeling those days are over. Unless I trip him at the finish line. If I can catch him.

Update: Kevin said his Garmin did the same thing yesterday, and he sent me this fix:

Manual Upload for Vista users:

1. Confirm that you have installed the Garmin ANT Agent™.
2. Go to the Upload page.
3. Select Manual Upload button.
4. Click the Browse button.
5. Go to C:usersusernameApplication DataLocal LowRoamingGARMINDevices, click the numbered folder, then click History folder.
6. Select the appropriate file to upload (each file is named by the date of the activity).
7. Click Upload activities from file button.

And it worked! Here it is in case you want to see …