Nearly Killed By a Wayward Leaf On The Road


photo credit: nofrills – Creative Commons

Yesterday’s run started out like any other but definitely didn’t finish that way. Spoiler alert: I almost didn’t make it home, thanks to a very close encounter with a leaf, of all things.

My plan was to run four to 5 miles. I’d run this route a dozen times before and knew what to expect – or so I thought. I set out after work and had to hustle to get the run in and done, before dark. So, I hurriedly left my cul-de-sac and had the iPod on a soothing playlist, nice-and-quiet in my ear.

For the most part, the run was uneventful. Everything was feeling good and I completed  about 3 1/2 miles in good time. That’s when I was nearly killed by a leaf on the road.

This was no ordinary leaf. It was very stealthy, low-profile, very quiet, unassuming and nearly camouflaged as it hugged the black and gray asphalt. It was sort of moving willy-nilly, swerving and dodging in an aimless fashion. It was small enough that it seemed to be flittering in the wind. Truth-be-told I didn’t even notice it, and therein lies the problem.

I first saw the leaf as I ran through a residential intersection known as Church and Elm streets. After our encounter, I later smirked at the irony of the names of those streets. As our paths crossed, it became obvious to me that I would not bode well against it. After all, this was no ordinary leaf.

In fact, by the time we met, this leaf and I, it was traveling straight for me at about 25 mph. Later, we actually confirmed the speed really was 25 mph.  I was spared by the running gods yesterday, when the leaf came to a sudden halt, just inches from hitting and maybe killing me. You see, this was no ordinary leaf. It was a Nissan Leaf. You know the one; the uber-quiet, all-electric little car that sneaks up on you like a thief in the night.

Damn those quiet cars! The thirty-something driver blew through a STOP sign, while distracted by something in her lap (3 guesses!). I was mid-way across the street, iPod on Tom Petty’s Runnin’ Down a Dream, to be exact. She looked up at exactly the same time as I slapped her hood and let the “F” bomb fly. Embarassed, she zipped on by, without as much as a glance. I stopped, stared and couldn’t believe what just happened. It occurred to me at that moment that it might not be such a good idea to be running with an iPod. I have grown accustomed to the noises around me as I run, and was unprepared to have a close encounter with such a quiet car. Whew! Lesson learned. Turn down the iPod!


NISSAN LEAF photo: pecooper98362 – Creative Commons

Runners, what kind of close encounters have you had while you run the mean streets of your town?

Do you run with an iPod?

Leave your thoughts in the COMMENTS box below. I’d love to hear from you. 


6 thoughts on “Nearly Killed By a Wayward Leaf On The Road

  1. Haha! I thought you were going to say you slipped on it, and almost fell into traffic or something. Holy crap you’re lucky!! You’re right though, cars are SO quiet now, running w/ headphones near traffic is just not a wise idea. Glad you’re okay!

  2. I was told by a Nissan salesman that they actually have been trying to make the cars artificially louder for just this purpose… too quiet- nobody hears them coming.

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