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Thursday, April 11, 2019

Oh, yeah, and the crime part

For some reason, in my last post, I forgot to mention that I was also the victim of two athletic-related crimes during this training cycle! Which probably means that they didn't impact me too much, so shouldn't have been included anyway. But they're stories worth telling, so...
(Many thanks, by the way, for the kind thoughts on my last post - I am grateful).

Crime number one occurred on a Monday night, when my schedule requires me to run from downtown at dusk. I chose to run on the Lafitte Greenway, which is a new bike/pedestrian path from Midcity to Downtown. It's lit, so I thought I'd be safe, despite the sketchy neighborhoods it runs through. But actually, I was attacked by a gang of kids and teens. Without getting into too much detail, there were some decoy kids and older teens were hiding in the tall grass and brush in the "Louisiana meadow" area of the green space. Apparently this is a favorite spot for attacks on pedestrians, as it not only offers cover, but is also outside the crime cameras range. I was struck by one of the ten or eleven year olds, hard enough to cause me to actually fall over - more from loss of balance (I was totally surprised!) than from force, although it was quite hard. To the gang's surprise, I leaped to my feet and lunged toward the perpetrator, and they scattered in surprise. I gave chase, a response I can only blame on my body choosing "fight" over "flight", but most of the kids jumped a fence. But after I turned away, they immediately returned, this time preying on a group of kids who had just peddled up, and stealing the youngest one's bike. Now the oldest kid of the group was swinging a baseball bat. But I was still riled up, and I silently ran over and snatched the bike out of the thief's hands! At this moment a car passed on the nearby road, and the gang again scattered for cover. The biking kids and I huddled together and we were surrounded by this gang of about 12 kids and teens. Luckily, another pedestrian soon approached, and I used his phone to call 9-1-1. The gang vanished for good when the police arrived, and they escorted the biking kids (who were so sweet, they had actually biked over because they saw me get punched!) and myself safely to our destinations. Because I chased these kids, I forced them into an area with a crime camera, so NOPD does now have them on film, which might help their enforcement efforts (although another very similar attack happened there just a few weeks ago, so I doubt they've gotten very far). I still have to run on Monday nights from downtown, but now I either go down Rampart to Esplanade or deal with the traffic and go down St. Charles. No more Greenway for me!

Crime number two is less dramatic and more a moving violation than a real crime, ha ha. But just two days after being punched by a kid on the Greenway, a pickup truck frustrated with traffic jerked into the designated, protected bike line and struck me as I biked to work. Luckily only his mirror hit me, but I twenty feet in the air (having the sense to drop the bike before I landed, or that would have hurt a lot!). We were right outside Audubon park, with many pedestrians around, and there was a collective scream as he hit me. Luckily, he was honest, and stopped and gave me insurance info. I was in terrible pain, but it was just bruising and swelling. I couldn't move my arm or neck for a week!
I was a little bruised. 

So yeah. That's how this training cycle has gone. Oh, but I do have a follow up! My doctor scheduled my surgery for May 2nd, so no sooner am I back from Boston and recovered, then I have to have surgery. I am mostly eager to get this done. The women reading here know what it's like to be a female runner and have to deal with a period sometimes, even worse if it is during a race or a workout. Well, imagine that except ten times worse, and almost nonstop for six months. Yeah. At this point if the doctor told me, "Oh sorry, we also had to take off your left leg" I'd be ok with it. The pain (I often throw up from pain), the inconvenience and embarrassment, and the anemia are not something I want to live with any more, and I am lucky to live in an age where an outpatient procedure can solve the problem!


  1. OMG!! I can’t believe you experienced 2 different crimes. Yikes! I am glad you are ok. I hope they catch the hoodlums that harassed you. It’s too bad they cause trouble on a greenway that is meant for bikers and runner, etc. we have the same problem with a greenway that is heavily used by bike commuters. It’s gotten a bit better but I only run on it in a group!

    I’m glad your surgery is scheduled so you can put this behind you!!!

  2. Oh my gosh, those both sound horrible. Being hit by a car while biking is a near-constant worry of mine, and how scary to be attacked like that. I'm sorry both of those things happened. It's just a mark of how much is on your mind that those weren't the first things you thought of to post!

  3. Holy bejeebus, that is INSANE! I'm so sorry both of those things happened and so glad you were (mostly) okay. By the time you see this your race will be over, so I hope it went well for you!

  4. I am just now getting to this blog post. And WOW! That's some crazy stuff, G. I can't believe you were so bold as to chase down the kids. That's super bad-azz of you! And then to be hit by the truck on your bike. This cycle just proves you are one tough cookie and can train through anything and still set a massive PR on a difficult course!