I'm wide awake. I've been awake for 20 hours straight. Yes. Do the math. I have been awake since 2am this morning. I'm not even sleepy. I honestly had the urge to run this evening after work... alone...through the neighborhoods surrounding my apartment complex. Thank God I didn't.
I like to think I did enough research about this place before I signed my name on that stupid lease, but clearly I did not. In case you haven't figured it out, I don't exactly live in the safest, most friendly area of Shelbyville. Granted there are worse areas, but there are MOST defiantly safer (err...as safe as Shelbyville can get) areas.
My fear began several months ago when I noticed every morning when I ran this gentleman was always standing beside his mailbox. He would always wave to me and tell me good morning. At first I saw this as "oh what a friendly little guy"! Friendly slowly became creepy... I started changing up my route. I wouldn't run past his house every morning, or I would run a little later or a little earlier than normal. He was always out there by his mailbox. It almost felt like he was waiting for me or something. I would joke with the guy I was dating at the time and say "if you don't hear from me one day, please check the bushes surrounding my apartment complex. That fella will probably hide me there." In a way I was joking but deep down it really bothered me... so I quit running in my neighborhood for a while. It was getting colder, so I felt my break from running the streets of Shelbyville was justified.
In the dead of winter, I found myself MISSING running. I missed the sore legs. I missed the feeling of being in the zone and accomplishing goals. I was pissed at myself and even more pissed at the fact I am pretty much forced to live in this apartment complex since the "nicer" complexes are income based. According to their formulas and figures... I make too much money to live in the nicer part of town. Does this make sense to anyone??
Moving forward.. a few weeks ago I got up the courage to run in the mornings. At 5am it isn't quite daylight yet, so I made sure I wore my spiffy, not so sexy reflective runners' vest so the small handful of cars on the road that early could see me. Morning #1 went great. I squeeze 1.5 miles out in 19 degree weather. Morning #2 did not go so well. Some sorry individual felt it necessary to throw his large Sonic cup out the passenger side window of his Dodge Ram pickup. Did I mention he threw it at ME? I was furious. I was so pissed. I ran home and swore I would write the nastiest letter to the newspaper.
I never wrote that letter by the way...
Mornings #3-6ish I never made it out of the parking lot. I would wake up before the sun, get dressed, stretch, go outside, and a feeling of fear and uneasiness would come over me within 2 minutes. I didn't feel safe.