Well, I have an interesting story for you. But first, I will give you a brief synopsis on the development of sickness. Yesterday I wrote about how I was experiencing a cough and was a bit iffy about going out on a run but felt like I really needed to. Well the cough couldn't keep me in. I kept telling myself that perhaps I was overexaggerating my symptoms and I should be able to make it at least through my 5 miler. Well I made it through (with an interesting story to tell) and also now have a serious much worse cough going on. I thought I was going to cough up a lung this morning. So, word to wise--if your intuition says you shouldn't run--don't!
Now on with my interesting story.
I headed out from my apartment onto a 5 mile mile route that has a "turn around" in front of a private school in Hopkins. Just before I reach this private school, there is a small neighborhood with some fences that divide it from a rather busy road. For ordinary people, this area of the city probably doesn't scare them. But it typically puts me on high alert because I always seem to come across teenagers with baggy pants yelling wise remarks to me as I pass through this area. This time there were no teeenagers. A man in his late 50s emerged from one of the roads going into the neighborhood and followed behind me as I ran. I was slightly on alert just because of the way he suddenly appeared but wasn't too concerned. I had also seen an Edina cop car parked on the sidewalk with no cops in it. I thought it was kind of peculiar that a car from Edina would be here but figured maybe he was visiting someone.
Next thing I knew, I heard a "Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang!!" I nearly jumped out of my own skin and stopped in my tracks. I was standing directly in front of a wooden fence so I couldn't see what the loud noise had been but I was terrified. On the other side of the fence I could see gunsmoke rising and heard officers shouting. I slowly continued walking until I reached the end of the fence (not a very long fence). Police in full camouflage and helmets with large guns started running towards the end of the fence chasing a guy. They were shouting, "Get down, get down". They took the guy down on the edge of the fence just as I passed. I was terrified at this point. I continued to walk just because I didn't want the cops to think I was running away from them (although I was in running clothes...so I'm not sure why I was so afraid). I got past the fence and away from the noise and my heart was pounding so hard. I kept thinking, those cops were shooting towards the fence! I was on the other side of the fence...I could have been shot. This was probably the worst timing to have my turn around. I walked a very short distance over to the school and then realized I needed to turn around. My chest had already been bugging me because of the cold and there was no way I was going to prolong my run but I really didn't want to go back past the gun shots. I told myself that they had caught the guy. I witnessed it. I will be safe. Just walk past and get back to your run. So I turned around.
As I was walking back past the fence, I saw crowds of officers in camouflage all walking into the street that goes into the neighborhood. By the time I reached that latter end of the fence, many of them had hopped on a humvee looking vehicle and were all hanging off of it. I was standing at the end of the sidewalk, needing to cross the road that goes into the neighborhood to continue on my journey. They had large guns and were all decked out in camo. They looked at me like they wanted to say something but none of them did. I couldn't even see the driver because the windshield was tinted really dark so I didn't know if he was going to let me cross the street or not. I just waited for him to go with all of his men hanging off. Then I started to cross the street and looked down through the neighborhood. There sat a sign that I had missed because it wasn't on my path. It read, "Police Officer Training." There was no crazy fugitive on the run and whatever they were shooting was probably blanks. But I had been terrified. Perhaps a simple sign on the sidewalk that read "Police Officer Training on other side of fence" would have been nice. I completely respect the difficult job these guys have to do and it is easy to miss every single angle that someone could be affected by the things you do. At least it did put some excitement in my run.
Here I found an article with the police forces that were training (obviously not the training that took place yesterday--but I believe this is what they were doing). http://www.minnpost.com/stories/2008/07/16/2556/how_and_why_to_invite_a_swat_team_into_your_home