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This is not a fitness blog, but I just got hit by a car - if you can't be witty, then at least be bombastic [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
kyle cassidy

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This is not a fitness blog, but I just got hit by a car [Apr. 17th, 2014|05:05 am]
kyle cassidy
[mood |soresore]
[music |Aerosmith: Dream on]

A car plowed into me last night while it was making an illegal turn onto Belmont Avenue.

I'm mostly not hurt it seems.

So ... a few weeks ago that article came out saying that people who ran ultra-long distances actually had sometimes fairly crappy heart health -- like there's a point at which your body starts being damaged by all the running. And with this the Internet as a whole sighed a big breath of "See! running is bad for you! I'm going back to eat Tastykakes and watch House of Cards!" which isn't really what the article said, but I got curious while reading that and thinking about Jim Fixx who was a pioneer of running of my parents generation who dropped dead while out for a jog one day and the whole pre-internet world sighed loudly in the supermarket and said "See! Running is bad for you! I'm going back home to eat a pie and watch The Cosby Show!" so I looked on the Internet for athletes who'd died while doing athlete things and it seems the overwhelming majority of people like runners and cyclists who've died lately while running or cycling (Zinaida Stahurskaya, Jason MacIntyre, Scott Peoples, Amy Gillett, Lauri Aus, etc) were hit by cars. Your chances of running too much and blowing your heart up are small, but your chances of getting hit by a car increase every time you leave your house -- and runners & cyclists do it a lot.

This route was through Belmont park so we could check out the cherry trees in
bloom. It was pretty spectacular. Clickenzee to Embiggen!

I was running along with the West Philly Runners, trying to keep up with the second-fastest group and at mile 4 I'd fallen behind about 100 yards, but I was still doing around eight-minute miles, which I was pretty happy with and while crossing the Avenue of the Republics, which is a small street that opens up onto the very large Belmont ave, I saw, out of the corner of my eye a car that wasn't stopping for the light. I looked over just before it hit me and saw that the driver was looking left, towards oncoming traffic on Belmont to see if she could keep going to turn right or if there was traffic and she'd have to stop. I guess there wasn't traffic on the left and she wasn't expecting that anything could be coming from her right and by that time it was too late for all of us -- she sped up to make the right hand turn and hit me with the right fender of her car (it was a giant black Cadillac) and I went up on the hood -- as soon as she heard the noise she slammed on the brakes and I went off the hood and landed face down on the ground. I remember laying there thinking first that I wasn't in a hurry to get up and then thinking "wow, I really should have heard a car door by now...." I don't know how long it was, probably just a few seconds -- I felt like nothing was broken, so I rolled over and sat up and saw two people staring out the window of the car at me like I was a penguin they weren't expecting on the side of the road. I wiggled my fingers and does and they all worked and I didn't see blood anywhere, so I waved and said "I'm OK" and they drove off. Which I later thought was also weird. If I ran a red light and hit someone, I'd want to at least check and see if they had a concussion.

You can see my speed go from pretty good to zero on ye olde gps.
It's also interesting to get an insight into how the GPS averages time
Instead of flat to zero and staying there, it's averaging my previous
speed in there for at least a minute.
You may clickenzee to Embiggen!

One of the things that I like about the West Philly Runners is that it's a group of all kinds of people who run all sorts of distances at all sorts of paces, and also, that the group runs through all sorts of places in West Philly -- since I joined a year ago, there isn't, I don't think a street within two miles that we haven't run down. Plus there are these destination routes like this one, to see beautiful things I wouldn't know about otherwise.

While I was limping to my feet another group of West Philly Runners came past and I headed back with them a little more slowly. I felt mostly fine by the time we got back, there was a circular bruise on my thumb probably where I landed on a pebble.

This morning I'm pretty stiff in both legs and there's a little ouch on the leg that collided with the car, but I never hit my head and, luckily, I mostly t-boned the car rather than getting scooped up in it's giant grill and bent in half the wrong way. So, an 8 minute mile is 7.5 mph, so imagine running 7.5mph into the fender of a car, that's basically what happened. If I'd been running 7:50's I would have been right in front of it and then who knows, I could have ended up underneath it getting dragged until I sluiced out the back.

So, like Dr. Pangloss says, It's the best of all possible worlds -- and if not, it's certainly not the worst outcome.

This seems to be the worst of it so far. This and a bruise on my thumb.
You may clickenzee to Embiggen!

In retrospect -- I wasn't wearing a flashy neon jacket, but it wouldn't have helped, the driver was looking in the other direction. I'm not sure what would have stopped this from happening, on my part, maybe being more aware that a green light doesn't necessarily mean you can go. We'll see how it percolates in my brain over the next few weeks and months.

In the meantime -- have any of you been injured on the road like this? Bicycling, running, walking?

What have you learned?

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[User Picture]From: i
2014-04-17 02:19 pm (UTC)
Sports car related injury?
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[User Picture]From: i
2014-04-17 02:20 pm (UTC)
A friend of mine was hit in a crosswalk in '86, had both of his legs shattered, and retired to Ireland to drink and paint.
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[User Picture]From: p_m_cryan
2014-04-17 02:37 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you're all right.
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From: philrancid
2014-04-17 02:41 pm (UTC)
I hope it doesn't hurt much and that it doesn't frighten you away from something you seem to quite like doing.
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[User Picture]From: oracne
2014-04-17 02:55 pm (UTC)
It drives me nuts when people are turning into the crosswalk WHILE TALKING ON THEIR CELL PHONE.
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[User Picture]From: ladycelia
2014-04-17 02:56 pm (UTC)
I have been on the car side of that equation. In my case, a cyclist (adult) ran a red light on the expressway (3 lanes, each direction, plus double left turn lane), and broadsided me when I started to pull out for a left turn with the light. I was in the inside left turn lane, with a van next to me. Bounced off the hood of my car and into the road. Luckily, he wasn't hurt. Cars behind me started honking for me to get out of the way so that they could make the light and I lit into them for disregarding that I'd just had a bicycle and rider bounce off my car. Luckily he wasn't hurt and we were both able to drive away from it, but it was terrifying.
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[User Picture]From: ed_dirt
2014-04-17 03:00 pm (UTC)
You said "I'm ok" and the people driving a car that just hit a pedestrian then just drove off??

That's actually hit and run.

Did you get their plate #?
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[User Picture]From: girlguitarist
2014-04-17 03:31 pm (UTC)
This is what I was thinking! Hopefully you won't have any injuries that show up later.
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[User Picture]From: beeker121
2014-04-17 03:13 pm (UTC)
Here in the Bay Area this has been a big topic lately because SF is having an epidemic of car vs. pedestrian accidents.
I err on the side of super careful. I always do a visual check at intersections, even if I have the light. If a car and I are both approaching an intersection at the same time I assume they have right of way (whatever the actual rules are) until I've made eye contact with them. This slows me down, but after a few near misses in a month span some time ago, I prefer the peace of mind to pace.
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[User Picture]From: pteppic
2014-04-17 03:23 pm (UTC)
I've not been hit while running ... yet.

But I have been taken out twice whilst on the bike. First one on a country road, car clipped me - then dragged me for around 50 metres. Car shook me off and then drove off as fast as he could. Lost large chunks of skin on my left leg and knee. Got a tatoo from all the crap. Second incident was on an residential estate. Right hand bend, car came in too close and I was trapped between high kerb and car. Skidded around 10 metres on my side, lost the skin on my left hand, arm and leg. Luckily my coach was behind me, scooped me up in his car and took me home. Regrowing skin *hurts*.

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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2014-04-17 04:43 pm (UTC)
I've been hit by cars three times on a bike, got hit once in the back by the side mirror of a pickup truck, once a taxi pulled over to the shoulder in front of me and i crashed into it and once someone backed up over me & my bike while pulling backwards into a parking spot i was standing in -- i jumped off the bike but the front wheel got run over. no serious injuries but enough to make me really, really appreciate the buffered bike lanes we have on some streets now.
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[User Picture]From: skywayman
2014-04-17 03:34 pm (UTC)
I broke my left femur when I was hit by a late 70's Oldsmobile. I learned that it hurt. A lot.

I got whiplash when falling out of a ski boat at 30mph. I learned that it hurt. A lot.

I broke the arch in my foot jumping off a cliff on alpine skis and landing too flat. I learned that it hurt. A lot.

I broke my helmet (and not my head) going over the handlebars on a mountain bike on a steep downhill and landing on rocks. I learned that it hurt. A lot.

One thing that I learned from those events is that I did NOT learn that it hurt until the next day. When it happened, I just got up and said, "Huh, I'm fine and that really should have hurt more than it did." Except for the leg. I couldn't get up.

If there is something I would like you to learn is that your body reacts to shock and trauma with adrenaline which numbs your pain response and heightens your senses. This is to aid in your own survival. However it also reduces your ability to assess your own physical response to the trauma.

If your post-trauma pain had a benefit, it is that you scared the s**t out of the driver who will not make that mistake again. I hope.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2014-04-17 04:45 pm (UTC)
I was pretty aware in the hour or so after that i wasn't acting completely rationally right after the incident.
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[User Picture]From: ehowton
2014-04-17 03:39 pm (UTC)
I am an enormous fan of Dr. Pangloss (the operetta not the novella) and thrilled you are too. It must be so, it must be so.

Glad you survived (mostly) unscathed. My second thought upon sitting up on the pavement peering over the hood at the occupants would have invariably been, "This will make great Livejournal post..."
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2014-04-17 04:46 pm (UTC)
the first thing i did was post to twitter and realize i was sad i didn't take a photo of the people staring out the window of the car at me....
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[User Picture]From: sistersolace
2014-04-17 03:41 pm (UTC)
I got hit by a car while walking when I was 12. What I learned was that if you say "I'm ok!" (even if you're 12 and have just gotten hit by a car so hard you lost consciousness and really just want to go home) then the other person's insurance company will try to use that to mean they don't have to pay your medical bills. But they will end up failing, because you're 12 and you had a concussion.

I can't believe that person just kept going, even if you did say you were ok. :/ I hope you feel better soon!
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[User Picture]From: ceciskittle
2014-04-17 03:43 pm (UTC)
I am glad you are mostly ok. I'd prefer you to be all ok, but mostly ok is better than not ok at all.

When I saw your post yesterday, I thought, you can now say you participate in an EXTREME SPORT.
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[User Picture]From: kylecassidy
2014-04-17 04:47 pm (UTC)
the extreme sport of CAR WRESTLING.
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From: rcmckee
2014-04-17 04:00 pm (UTC)
What I learned on my winter walkabout - specifically from the teenager who ran right over my foot as I walked towards the driveway - ALL drivers, without exception, are incompetent, inattentive, and blind. Most are additionally so stupid it ought to hurt THEM. Some of them also have phones. Also they have multi-ton metal tanks where we have, at best, a thin layer of denim. (Spandex doesn't count.) (My walking boots are steel-caps; I still have all of my toes.)

As a result, I don't ever cross an intersection or get in front of a car until I have specifically made conscious eye contact with the driver and exchanged some form of communication so that I know that they know that I'm there, and they have specifically acknowledged my presence. (Some will look you square in the eye and stay blank because they're not really there, so just making eye contact ain't enough. Most, if they're stopped, will wave you past. Not all. Those who won't look up from the phone tend to freak out as they pull out into traffic and suddenly realize there was a pedestrian in the walkway they just zoomed through...)

Also when you're crossing driveways be even more careful than when crossing intersections. People have a tendency (at least here) to start their acceleration runs about 20 or 30 metres back from the street in order to fit their 20' barge into the 21' space at 30 miles an hour... and that thing about "walk against traffic" doesn't work any more because people making right turns never ever look to their right. Oncoming traffic is from the left, there's nothing on the right that matters. Occasionally the stupid gets fun... guy who came zooming out of the gas station, turned quickly into the curb lane, and locked up the brakes just as he went over the row of cones and the barricade into the freshly poured cement. He wanted to stop, of course, but he'd built up enough momentum that his nice little Porsche was several feet out and up to both axles in wet cement before it quit moving forward...

Always carry a camera for moments like that.
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From: elusis
2014-04-17 04:21 pm (UTC)
"See! running is bad for you! I'm going back to eat Tastykakes and watch House of Cards!" which isn't really what the article said, but I got curious while reading that and thinking about Jim Fixx who was a pioneer of running of my parents generation who dropped dead while out for a jog one day and the whole pre-internet world sighed loudly in the supermarket and said "See! Running is bad for you! I'm going back home to eat a pie and watch The Cosby Show!"

Seriously Kyle? The world is not made up of two exclusive categories: People Who Like Running and People Who Pig Out On Junk Food. Knock it off.
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