Aug 31, 2014

Daily thoughts - Ran for my life tonight!

I ran 7 miles and an unplanned additional 1.22 miles tonight.This is not about my run today. I have a separate blog where I post photos of my running route view and the details of my workout.This is rather about how I had to sprint for 1.22 miles because I failed to get out of the right exit. This is about how scared I was during that short period of time that could have changed my life.

I left the apartment around 6PM tonight to run my planned distance of 7 miles. I usually take the route by the river side park. 
The path going to riverside park (From 160 something street)
Summer is almost over and the sun set has moved around 7oclock something. It was also overcast and a bit dark today.I ran the first four miles by the river and moved to the the riverside residential area. on my 5th mile around street 74 I descended the steps from the park, and went back to the riverside area by Pier 1. 
Bird near Pier 1
When I reached my 6th mile I thought of running back towards 96 street and then get off from the park to an exit tunnel leading to Broadway. When my phone signaled that I reached my 7th mile, I walked to cool myself down and took a few photos of the path and the ducks by the river. It was starting to get dark and I was seeing less and less people on the running path. I saw a couple who took an exit somewhere by 90 something street, and a family with a baby carriage. A few minutes later I wished I had joined them. Because when I was about to get to the 100th street i just saw a few bikers and runners. 

When the sun disappeared I realized there was no way I can get through another exit from the riverside running/cycling path until I reached 125th street. At this time I was already exhausted from my run and also for walking another mile or so. I was starting to get worried and scared that if I walked all the way to 125th, it would take me forever. While I was contemplating on whether to run or not, I couldnt stop thinking again of what happened to that poor girl in the Philippines named Anria Galang Espiritu. This morning I watched a reenactment of the grisly crime that everyone is talking about right now in the Philippines (I might write a separate article about her tragic death). I was just sharing with my husband about the numerous times I came home late when I was younger. I was telling him how lucky I am for making it home in one piece. I added that my Dad scolded me on those occasions and in retrospect I totally understand why he had to. It is very dangerous to come home late in the Philippines, or probably anywhere else in the world nowadays. 
Sometimes it doesnt even have to be late at night. I read about this girl named Chelsea King who was murdered while she was out running in a park by herself. Then there's the Central Park Jogger who was left for dead but lived to tell her harrowing tale.

It is more often than not that during the times we put ourselves in compromising situations that bad things happen. I am not saying that it is a woman's fault why she is raped or murdered. I have read countless stories where girls, women even babies, were raped and murdered in their own homes. You dont have to wear anything provocative to make a criminal want to hurt you. there are just people evil out there and you have to make an extra effort to really be careful. 

And thats exactly what I was thinking while I was walking in the dark. How stupid I was to not have taken the exit at 72nd street instead and finished my last mile there. I did see a few people riding their bikes every 2 minutes. And although there were cars going by the highway I couldnt really take any comfort in that. If a pervert or criminal was there hiding behind the bushes and really intent to hurt me, they could just grab me or push me to the river and none of those cars would stop to see what's going on. If a car stopped, there would be a pile up on the highway. im sure the drivers are too focused watching the road than glancing on the side to see if some runner was being attacked.

I told myself, I will never do this again. I wanted to cry because I haven't felt this terrified in a long time. Then I saw a young man run past me. He was really fast but I tried my best to catch up to him. In a few minutes he was like 100 meters away from me but I didn't stop running. I tried to reassure myself as long as I can still see him, Ill be ok, but I remembered he had his headphones on, shit. During this time I also saw a couple of joggers and cyclists going the other direction. I just kept telling myself, I could see the billboard of fairways supermarket from where I was. It's not too far now. I had to get out of that running path soon and get to 125th street. 

After running for what felt like eternity (but was actually just 11.30 mins at a pace of 9:27 mph and 1.22 miles later), I reached my destination at 125th street by West Harlem River Park. I was very very exhausted but happy and oh so relieved. 

I love running and seeing wonderful things while I run. No one is telling me to stop running but I just need to be aware that if I want to keep doing it, I have to take care of myself and avoid situations that could endanger my life.I felt that I was a big idiot today for risking my life out there to be adventurous. I have heard of crazy things happen to people here while they were just minding their own business. I just cannot be that careless again. 

I learned my lesson and Im glad it was not the hard way. Although I thought I almost busted my hamstring running as fast as I could in the unlit part of the path, while also dodging tree branches to my destination, I cannot really complain. I am still very fortunate to have come out unscathed from potentially injuring myself for running in the dark..or running into someone evil.

Lots of ducks
Running path from 100th street

Ducks by the river
man listening to bob marley music (filter used) and smoking weed lol
Almost at my destination
West Harlem River by 125th street. 

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