nowhere to run

maybe writing about this will make me feel better. maybe not. maybe i’m setting myself up for a lot of nasty comments. but i gotta at least try…

after a incredibly crappy week which looks to be the first of many for the next few months…i felt i needed to enjoy the beautiful weather today with a nice, leisurely 8 1/2 mile recovery run (my plan was to do the full 6 and then a bridle path loop.) i couldn’t wake up in time for the Flyers group run, and honestly, I just felt like going at my own pace and not having to worry about keeping up with a group.

so i started off in the west 80s as i normally do when i run solo…clockwise direction, as i like saying hi to those familiar faces i see running the other way. 🙂 nice and easy, felt good for the first coupla miles. even the first harlem hill uphill didn’t feel so bad.

then after the harlem hill downhill, the run went downhill.

i’m approaching lasker rink, which is at the beginning of another steep uphill. and i see a man on a bike shouting at the runners. and for whatever reason, he seems to target me to follow and shout at. i don’t feel like speeding up, as the point of this run was not to be doing hill sprints. “what are you doing? why are you slowing down? i’m only in second gear here! pick it up!” i tried to crank my iPod as loud as it would go, but it just did not drown out the shouting (of course, it didn’t help that the headphones in one of my ears was out.) i tried ignoring him, but the deadzone approach didn’t work and he wouldn’t get off my back. i was feeling very, very uncomfortable.

finally, i just stopped in my tracks. i just couldn’t deal anymore. “please leave me alone,” i begged. i was so near tears at that point. the guy eventually took off and left…guess he found someone else to harass. i looked the other way, praying i’d see one of my teammates running by…anyone who could possibly keep me company for a mile or 2. i didn’t care if i’d have to run 7-minute miles, just so i didn’t have to feel so alone and trapped, in what was supposed to be my home away from home.

i didn’t see any familiar faces after a few minutes, so hoping that guy was long-gone, i continued up the hill…but he was there, thankfully he didn’t follow me then…but the damage was done. my run was officially ruined. my planned leisurely 8 1/2 mile recovery run turned into “just finish the goddamn 6-mile loop as fast as you can without it actually being a tempo run and go home.”

and yes, i know what everyone is going to say. people are going to be rude. people are going to make inappropriate comments at times. it comes with the territory, and i just have to suck it up and deal with it. fine, i will.

but it doesn’t mean i have to like it.


11 thoughts on “nowhere to run

  1. that sounds pretty annoying. i have a feeling it never happens to guys…

  2. That guy was way way offbase; you should have reported him to the police. As far as I’m concerned there’s only two times it’s ok to shout encouragement at a runner, and neither of them are from the saddle of a bicycle!Danny, your ani-gif still weirds me out.

  3. no, i’m not going to say it. i’m going to say that guy was an asshole and i really liked how you dealt with him–instead of yelling back and arguing, you just asked him to please leave you alone–that was PERFECT! and i hope he feels GUILTY for days, thought those types probably never do. Mostly, I’m just really sorry this happened to ruin your run. Plus, I’m sure it freaked you out.We should NEVER have to get used to this kind of crap.

  4. Eeek, what a dick. Remember, you can always just reverse direction. But I’m sorry to hear it and you shouldn’t feel you have to apologize for being upset that some asshole was mean to you. Hope you’re feeling better today…

  5. Argh, what a w*nker. This makes me really angry. Running on my own on the lonely raods here means I never have to deal with that sort of problem.

  6. Flygirl I totally feel your pain! I hope the next run is relaxing and fun the way it should be.

  7. thanks for the comments everyone-i’m feeling a little better today.just to clarify-when i said it “comes with the territory,” i didn’t really mean it as much as being a runner…but more being in a big city like NYC. Even though sometimes in Central Park, you can forget you’re in a big city, the reality is that it’s still an urban evironment…as much as there is a good share of friendly, familiar faces, there is still a share of shady characters and we got to be on the alert. but yeah, doesn’t make it right…danny-yeah, i didn’t want to play the gender or “feminist” card, but i have a feeling you may be right. i have a male teammate who gets humorous comments when running (you know who you are 😉 ) but nothing to this extent…brooklyn-i completely agree with your logic-are the 2 times you are referring to speedwork and races? at any rate, yeah…let someone be when they’re on a training run…you don’t know if they’re doing a tempo run or a recovery run or what not. tailgating is rude :)jeanne-thanks for the encouragement. being that he didn’t bother me again, i guess it did work.derek-yeah, hindsight says i could have just reversed, but then whats to say i wouldnt have been followed that way either. (now thinking about it, i think i have seen this guy on his bike in the northern hills before…either i’ve tuned him out in the past, or he’s never followed me, but whatever, yesterday it just struck a nerve.)thomas-you just used one of my favorite words 🙂 (seriously, me and one of my friends have had several good laughs over the word “w*nker.”)snowflake-thanks, i hope so too 🙂

  8. That really sucks, and you had every right to feel trapped, frustrated and even scared. We know NY is full of crazies but that doesn’t make it any easier when they direct their craziness at us.And for the record, there is a big difference between getting unwanted attention for being a girl, and getting this kind of harrassment. Of course neither one is ok. But that explains why you reacted the way you did, and didn’t just shrug it off as another annoying catcall.Hope your next run is a lot better!

  9. When I go to work tomorrow, I’m going to ban that fucker from ever entering the park again.

  10. if only i had my cameraphone with me :)thanks, everyone. today was a better day 🙂

  11. bloody hell, just read your post and that fucker is a sad piece of sh*t. No one deserves this type of harrassment. then again, next time you see this fucker, just knock him off of his bike. 🙂

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