The Run Where I Almost Had a Heart Attack

I went for a run tonight. When I run at night, I always go to the same park because it’s well lit, always populated, and at least half of the loop is parallel to a road that has continuous traffic. Here’s what it looks like during the day.

Hubs was napping when I left the house, so I texted him where I was going because I’ve seen 127 Hours and I like having both my arms. Once I got to the park, I realized I forgot my Garmin and my RoadID. I remembered my iPod but it was completely dead and I didn’t carry my phone with me because I forgot my SPIbelt.  I decided to run anyway since I already drove there and I know one loop around the lake is 1.25 miles. So I decided to run 5 miles and pretend they were all 7 minute miles because my Garmin wasn’t there to tell me differently.

I was feeling pretty good and around mile 2.5, I came upon a group of maybe 5 or 6 people. They were talking loudly but I didn’t think anything of it because Orlando is filled with loud-mouthed groups of friends and family that you want to punch. So I keep running. I hear one guy repeat something over and over but I can’t quite make it out until I’m a few feet away. Then as I’m running by, I look over at the guy talking and he was holding another guy at gunpoint.

I lost my breath. And then I just kept running. Fast. My car was .25 miles in the wrong direction and I didn’t want to run back by them. So I had to run a full mile around the lake to get to my car from the other direction. I have a new strategy if you ever want to PR in a race, because that last mile may have broken some records.

Once I got around the lake, there were six police cars there already and the guy holding the gun was sitting on the curb in handcuffs. A lot of people were gathering around to see what was going on but I had seen enough. I went home.

2.5 good miles and 1 stressful, scary-ass mile done.  (Average pace: 7:00)

Note: Pace may be accurate for last mile.


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37 responses to “The Run Where I Almost Had a Heart Attack

  1. Yikes!! At least the cops were on the scene fast. Ummm… that’s not even a bad area of town!

    So I guess instead of “Run like you stole something” your motto should be “Run like someone wants to shoot you” huh?

  2. Whaaaaat!? No thank you.

    I have a friend who was robbed at gunpoint right outside his house. Well kinda. The guy is so badass that he bashed the robber dude in the head and took the gun. All his neighbors came outside to watch, so now he’s the hero of the block, getting called upon to get cats out of trees and all. I’m pretty sure if there were a gun involved I’d cooperate.

    I think of 127 Hours EVERY SINGLE TIME I head out for a solo run. Because you never know what’s going to happen.

    Tonight as I was running (in the dark…my Knuckle Lights should be here this week! Yay!) I imagined what I would say to anybody that tried to rob/steal/rape and pillage me. I came up with some pretty good stuff, but [un?]fortunately I didn’t get to use any of it.

  3. Whoa! Where were you running because I live in Orlando and I would like to avoid that area. That is a crazy story but I am glad you are safe.

  4. Yowza. That is nuts. I would have freaked the eff out. PR for sure. That is scary! When I started reading this post I was thinking to myself “I need to start driving myself to new parks to run in” Um, nevermind. I’ll stick to my neighbourhood thanks.
    You are so naturally funny, even when talking about almost getting shot. I baha’d out loud a few times during this post (and also at the previous commenter’s neighbour now being called upon to rescue cats from trees).

  5. That is scary!! Glad you’re ok!

  6. OMG PAULA!!! That is scary as hell! I’m glad you’re safe. What a crazy thing to run past. Wtf is wrong with people?

    And I hear you. 127 scared the bajeebus out of me.

    At least you got some unexpected speedwork in???

  7. super scary story… And I just have to ask I was reading the comments and what are knuckle lights??

  8. Holy shit, that is terrifying. These are the stories that make me a running wimp. I hate even running in the morning when it’s too dark, and I live in a good area too.

    I have no idea what I would have done — running fast seems to be a good option though. Wowza.

  9. That is scary. Have to say lady, that’s a reason living in Orlando…I didn’t go jogging by myself…I’m SLOW…and the two times I went by myself, I was super nervous…I’m such a chicken…but things like that…are why I don’t like to go by myself…and around here…SC, can’t say it’s the best neighborhood…not the worst, but something about it makes me not want to go out by myself wondering around. Very glad you are fast and safe!

  10. Holy Moly! If I was there, some peeing the pants might have taken place. That’s scary stuff! I run with pepper spray, but something tells me that pepper spray is not the best defense against a gun.*

  11. Oh my god, I would have been freaking out if I witnessed that! Glad the police were there already and that you got a speedy last mile in 😉

  12. Did you at least offer to tell the police what you saw/heard when you went by?

    The Kidless Kronicles

    • No. I couldn’t remember what he was saying once I got around the lake. And they had the right person in handcuffs (the guy pointing the gun). Honestly, I have no idea what was going on so it wasn’t my place to speculate.

      Connected by DROID on Verizon Wireless

  13. Pam

    That scares the bejeebers out of me!!!!! I have a really similar looking park I like to go to now that it’s dark so early, and I’m always scared something like that will happen. Glad you got the eff out of there safe!

  14. Wow. At first I was thinking you should have gone to help the guy. WHY was I thinking that? Wow.

  15. That’s so scary! I feel like there have been an overabundance of wackos lately in Orlando, and it makes me really sad. Glad you’re safe!!

  16. OMG that’s ridiculous!!! I bet you were running at least 6 min/mile the last mile 😉

    Sean and I were driving a couple weeks ago and the guy in front of us was waving a gun around in the car while driving… needless to say we veered off on a side road and took a different route. Random people with guns = crazy.

  17. Kate

    P, that is SO scari!!! I’m glad you are ok.

  18. How scary! I already get nervous running outside, but for something insane like that going down, I think I’m going to stick to the gym!

  19. EEKS! Is all I can say. : /

  20. michelle

    Holy crap. very glad you’re okay. That is awful!

  21. Wow, thats a good enough reason to take a few days off from running in my book and thank god you didn’t get shot…. shit thats crazy.

    Ps. 127 hours totally made me start leaving notes/tips/breadcrumbs so someone could find my body if lost/trapped/murdered/shot.

  22. Oh my god! Good thing you are a fast runner – if you were going slower, you might have ran up to them right when the gun was going up! I can’t believe that happened in broad daylight – another reason to never run alone at night!

  23. Jason Gaines

    …I guess when you run your next marathon we should station armed men at miles 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25.2?

  24. YOWZA! Glad that you are ok! See….this is why running around my ghetto neighborhood freaks me out… if that happened to you in a ‘safe’ part of town, no telling what can happen in my hood….:-(
    It’s settled. I am investing in pepper spray.

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