Vocabulary, reinforcement lessons, and stranger danger

This week’s training schedule got a little catiwompus. <—Is that the correct spelling? Is there a correct spelling? I’m googling it right now…indeed there is a correct spelling and that one is incorrect.

cat·a·wam·pus

<a onmousedown="spk(this,{lk:'nx1fkx’,en:’wotdau’,io:’0′,b:’wotd’,tp:’lrl’,m:’wotdau’})” href=”#”> /ˌkætəˈwɒmpəs/ Show Spelled [kat-uh-wom-puhs] Show IPA Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S.

adjective

1.

askew; awry.
2.

positioned diagonally; cater-cornered.
Before this post gets to catawampus, let’s get back to the training plan. Execution of a plan is not always perfect to say the least but getting it done is what matters in the end. Mostly. I think.
Wednesday was a meet up with some co-workers at the park for a run. I loved this. They aren’t training for anything and don’t run quite often, but we got a solid 2.5 miles of actual running done. All together we completed almost 4 miles. We are still in the “get to know each other” phase and have lots to talk about. Aren’t girlfriends the best?!
Thursday ended up being an off day. In lieu of the evening run/workout I went to hear Griffin’s orchestra concert. They are amazing. Only 3 weeks of practice and they sounedd B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. Well worth missing a workout!
No run on Friday either, but I did get a good 3 miles in this morning. Which I intend to be a prelude to a long run tomorrow morning. Tomorrow’s goal is 8.
This morning something happened that has never happened before. I was approached by a stranger. On many occasions a fellow runner will wave, nod, say hi, ask how far your running or what your training for, but this was no fellow runner. He was a stranger on our turf!
I first passed him talking to an elderly gentlemen who was walking his dog. The gentlemen appeared to be giving him directions. As I ran past I noticed he was dirty, had a hole in his Bikini’s T-shirt and was dressed like someone who worked as a bar back or in a kitchen at a restaurant. Sadly, I made some judgements about this guy and immediately was fearful of him. But then, I remembered something I was reading just about 90 minutes before. James 1:9-11, Deuteronomy 15:11, Proverbs 17:5, Proverbs 19:17. You can go read the passage yourself, but I’ll sum it up for you here.
Love the poor people!
Guess what? Kelly Clarkson and I were rockin’ it out no more than 30 yards down the path,  when all of a sudden to my right this  stranger was running along side of me trying to get my attention. The funniest part is that my original “get out of a dangerous situation” strategy was that I would definitely be able to outrun that guy if he came after me and before I knew it, he was about 4 inches from me.
No harm came. He was lost and looking for a nearby street.  Unfortunately I could not help him locate the street, but helped him get his bearings and comforted him as he complained about having a fight with his girlfriend. I’m not sure how much good that did, but I’d like to think that if I was in his shoes that even the gesture of someone genuinely trying to help would be received well. Hope you found your way home, buddy!
Other than loving the poor, this story has one more point. How do you plan for dangerous encounters (God forbid) on a run? As mentioned above, I strategize how best to get out of dangers way.  In the past I have attended some self-defense seminars and classes and keep those tools and techniques top of mind. Other than that, I run where people are or with someone and I wear my roadID.   What’s in your toolbelt for self-protection?
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