Most of my runs are pretty boring. I go out for a few miles. I listen to podcasts. I watch out for distracted drivers, dog walkers, cyclists, walkers, or cracks in the sidewalk.
Today’s long run wasn’t boring. First, I saw a rat blocking my path 2.5 miles in. I stopped 15 yards away. I hate rodents. I usually scream, but this time I just stopped and paused my watch. I looked at the rat again hoping it was just a squirrel. It wasn’t. For a minute, I watched to see if it’d go back into the bushes. It didn’t move. Then, I considered crossing the street, but jaywalking in the dark on Pico Blvd isn’t a good idea. The crosswalk was a few yards past the rat. I briefly considered making a ruckus to scare it, but nixed that idea. I ran up the hill past the rat fast as if doing hill repeats and looked away from the rat.
The middle miles around the park were uneventful except for when I almost tripped on a root and later when a nice man gave me a thumbs up and said “good job!” as I ran by.
Unfortunately, everyone in my neighborhood wasn’t so nice and encouraging. As I was approaching the last mile of my out-and-back, I got egged.
I was running on a familiar street in my neighborhood when I saw a car approach. I moved closer to the curb as I always do when I’m on a street with cars. The car slowed down for a speed bump. As they neared, a passenger threw an egg at me. I didn’t see it, and if they said anything, I didn’t hear it. The egg smacked me hard on my left thigh and broke. It stung and I instinctively reached down to inspect what had just happened. I felt the sticky yolk and realized I’d just been egged. I thought I heard laughing and called out “assholes!” as they drove away.
I wanted some sort of revenge or justice, but there was nothing I could do. I didn’t see the eggers. I can’t even tell you what kind of car they drove aside from a red coupe or sedan.
Instead, I continued home and sped up a little. I wondered if the eggers were out egging people or homes. It was dark, but seemed early for such mischief. I thought about the waste of a perfectly good egg, or more. A moment later, I saw the lights of another car approaching and worried that the eggers turned around and were coming back for round two. I moved on to the sidewalk. Fortunately, it wasn’t them and I made it home without further incident
As I wrote above, most of my runs are uneventful. I’m grateful that my usual routes are in a pretty safe area. I know other urban runners deal with icy sidewalks, harassment, aggressive dogs, careless drivers and worse. In perspective, a rat and an egg that left a welt (maybe a bruise) isn’t going to keep me from running in my neighborhood.
I have races to train for.