I don't know exactly why, but everything was startling me. In the first quarter mile, a car dropped off some people at a house and my first thought was, "If they chase me, can I run up this hill faster than them?" They of course had no interest in me. As I ran down Greenville Boulevard I kept thinking someone was going to throw something at me. What in the world was going on in my head? I made my way down Charles Boulevard and into a parking lot to run/walk laps. It was a well lit parking lot that belongs to East Carolina University and has lots of cameras. At one point I walked over to the bathrooms simply to get water. As I approached the water fountain I found my mind playing this game where it imagined someone on the other side of the building walking up to me and then chasing me down. I went back to the parking lot to keep walking. As I rounded the corner of Charles Blvd again, someone was walking behind me. I thought, "This is it! I have made up this whole scenario on my head and now it's going to happen." I picked up the pace... Turns out, this person had no interest in me at all.
I did one more lap around the parking lot and then headed back out onto the main road. I figured if my mind was in a dark place, I should probably get back to the car.
If you know my past with running, you know that my relationship with sidewalks is a bit off balance. I hate running on sidewalks because my shoes (I blame them) get tripped by uneven seams in the sidewalk. When I have the option to run in the road, I take the opportunity instead of running on the sidewalk. An advantage to running at 11pm is that the roads are pretty quiet. I looked down the hill and no cars were coming towards me so I stepped out into the road for some even pavement. I also don't run too close to the bushes, because I hear that's where the boogy man hides. I was almost to the bottom of the hill and coming from behind me is a guy on a bike FLYING down the sidewalk. A quick, "Hey, how ya doin'?" from him was enough to take my breath away. After he passed I had to out loud say to myself, "Get it together! You're fine!"
I made it back to the car and tried to stretch out a little bit before getting back in the car. My mind was still in panic mode so I got in the car and headed back home to stretch. I survived making it to the car, I probably shouldn't push my luck!
I still can't figure out why my mind was all over the place. Running is supposed to be a time where my mind can go quiet for a while. Instead it kept playing this "worst case scenario" game. I'm a firm believer that sometimes you have to listen to your gut when it's telling you something isn't right. At the same time, what if our mind makes up this stuff because running is hard sometimes and it comes up with ways to put you back on the couch? "Ain't nobody got time for that!