Monday, January 05, 2009

Please be careful out there, everyone.

So...I had a pretty rough Christmas season. Here is a post I wrote on RWOL on 12/22:

I've been debating for a while whether I should post this. I decided to go ahead, to let my experience serve as a reminder.

I was sexually assaulted Saturday afternoon on my long run. Seven miles in, I was running on a stretch of my local rail trail that is fairly isolated and with a wooded area bordering it. A man grabbed me from behind and pinned my arms and head before I could resist. I couldn't move. He used my ear warmer to blindfold me and demanded money. I didn't have any, so he demanded other things and pushed me into the woods. He threatened to kill me with his hand on my throat, squeezing hard enough that I believed him. Finally, he let me go and I got out of there. I never saw his face. I know I did the right thing because I'm alive right now, but I can't help but feel like perhaps I should have died fighting to prevent the persistent feeling of filth that I can't wash off. I feel weak, cowardly.

Don't let this happen to you. I know you all know how to keep yourselves safe, but a reminder never hurts. BE SAFE. Be careful. Try to minimize your risk as much as you can. It would take an extraordinary stroke of bad luck to have something like this happen. Don't give that bad luck too many chances if you can help it.

One thing I can say is that this dirtbag will not scare me away from running. I'm going to stick to the treadmill for a while (had to give my clothes, including gloves, ear warmer, and my only pair of tights, to the police as evidence), but soon I will venture outside with my running group, and eventually alone in well-populated areas. I doubt I will ever be able to bring myself to run that section of trail again though, even with a group. We'll see.

Saturday, I had a bagel and a small ham sandwich and that's it. Yesterday, woke up and ran 13 miles on the treadmill. Couldn't eat beforehand. I think I was fueled solely by rage (the fcuker also stole my last GU!). After that, I felt better and even felt hungry again. This guy didn't completely win.

I apologize for the long, decidedly depressing post. I hope this reminder helps keep you all safe this holiday season and beyond.
So...yeah. Now it's been a couple of weeks and things almost seem back to normal...almost. Today I'm meeting with the prosecutor to discuss the case. I'm still downright jumpy. I was running outside this past Saturday in a Louisville park and heard stomping footsteps behind me--practically jumped a mile before I realized it was a preteen girl just romping around on the path.

Argh. BUT, I am back outside for most runs. I'm still hesitant to run alone at night, even around campus. So now that my winter break from work is over, I need to figure something out, like running loops around a small but particularly "safe" area. But at least I am warm! Through the amazing generosity of both my local and online running friends, I've been able to replace my winter gear. I believe some also donated money to the Middle Way House. So a lot of good is actually coming of this. Also, it sounds like the people I've told about this have been a little more on their guard. A good thing.

I've been running a LOT. The past two weeks have both been over 60 miles. It's been helping.


jen said...

Oh my God, Miranda! I am so glad you are ok! I am so sorry that you went through that and have to deal with all the legal stuff now too. You absolutely did everything right and should be very proud of yourself. I can't even imagine how scary that must have been. Again, I am just glad you are ok now and I wish you the best with everything. Stay strong and don't hesitate to talk to a counsler or something if you need. Keep us updated. (hug)

Billy said...

I read about your story via Runnersworld and I was absolutely furious that some gutless coward would do something like this to another human being. I have a girlfriend (also a runner) and I swear, if some asshole decided to pull this on her...I digress though.

Not your fault obviously. And I hope you recover quickly to regain the life you once knew and cherished before this incident. Not sure why things like this happen to good (I'm assuming) people like yourself, but hopefully a clearer picture will reveal itself in the long run.

I'm incredibly sorry that this happened to you. But you seem like a tough cookie. Stay strong and keep moving forward. Otherwise, he wins. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

OMG Mir, how awful! I am so sorry that this happened to you. But yay you for not letting it cripple you - but you know, I really hope the police catch the scumbag and throw him in jail.

Nitmos said...

Wow, I'm speechless. I like to joke around a lot but this is a reality check...and a good reminder for everyone.

I'm glad you are okay though. At least, better than things could have been.

Best wishes.

DawnB said...

Miranda, I am so sorry to hear this happen to you.I will pray that they catch that scumbag. I'm glad you're ok. God bless and keep you strong,

Joe said...

Mir, so shocked and sorry to hear this. In a "nice town" no less.

Hope they catch the creep. Hope you can bounce back too.

Yes, be careful.

Anonymous said...

I came to your blog from Steve's podcast. I am going to keep you in my thoughts. You are a very brave woman. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that it will perhaps save some other woman from a similar experience.

All the best in your healing process.


Anonymous said...

As another Bloomington resident and runner, I'm so sorry to hear this happened to you but so proud of you for your positive attitude and ability to continue with your love of running. I don't think I could have ever come out as strong as you did. You are an amazing person. Good luck in your 2010 races.