on wednesday i was so excited about running an excellent speed workout, giving my all my final 800 meters and running 7 seconds faster than my fastest so far. who know thursday's workout could hardly compare?
cara and i met and ran over the 59th street bridge (aka the queensboro bridge) into manhattan. i am trying to run over the 59th st bridge as much as possible to practice for the marathon (ugh, mile 15 or 16, ow). we ran down york and then 1st, until the stupid cops yelled at us over by the UN and made us run across a street and climb across cement barricades. we ran down along the east river park, both of us a bit tired but feeling well.
we began running across the williamsburg bridge when i heard jingling. no one else was nearby us on the pedestrian walkway and when i turned to the road below us (maybe 5 or 10 feet below us), i saw a guy walking/running through the cars, keys jangling around his neck, while a cop jogged alongside him. "hmmm, maybe he had an accident." i didn't think much of it...
until i noticed a man standing, pointing his gun. a gun. this is new york still, but still, OMG, a gun! and i'm running in my cute little running outfit several feet away. his back was to me but he was pointing a gun.
i grabbed cara's arm. "run. run! quick!"
"what?" she hadn't seen anything.
i began sprinting in the opposite direction, towards where we had just run from. "a man. with a gun. a gun."
"oh my god!"
cara began sprinting and when we heard something clatter, we feared for the worst and RAN. we run every day but this day, i was convinced we were running for our lives.
the cars were all completely stopped, the cops having blocked traffic completely. cabbies and confused commuters asked us, "what is it?"
"a gun. a guy with a gun!" it was hard not to be hysterical. sure, you see people with guns in movies, but the last place--a place i've been running since i was 19--i expected to see a gun was here, at 7am, during the crush of rush hour. maybe when cara and i explored bedstuy and bushwick, neighborhoods known for seedier histories, but the bridge, where many biked and ran and walked over every day, for work and pleasure?
"what are we going to do?"
i was not running across the bridge if someone had a gun--no, i think i don't feel like getting shot on my run. not on my plans for today (or any day, to be honest). we could hitchhike to the other side of the bridge, run home from there. the traffic was flowing unimpeded in that direction.
"my phone! shit! my phone!" cara realized her phone had fallen in the sprint--that was the clatter, not gunshots as we had thought. we realized it wasn't as far where the guy with the gun was so we began walking rather cautiously over the bridge until we saw it.
and then we saw, walking in traffic, in handcuffs, was the guy, with many cops surrounding him.
we ran home, silence alternating with discussions of what we had just seen. i've lived in new york my whole life save two years, and have never seen this before. no more gossip about dating or complaints about work; right now, i'm just happy to be alive and running.