What the Heck is a Michigan, Anyway?Posted: October 17, 2012
I woke up this morning to frosty windows and a chill that you only understand if you are in the North Country on an Autumn day. I loved it. There is something very peaceful about it. Soul-calming, if you will.
I also woke up to some aches and pains, and feeling completely plugged up. Ew. I know it’s only Wednesday, but it’s been a rough week. Work-wise, things have been busy. Life-wise, I’m still sick…it’s difficult. I’ve been “trying not to get sick” for a few weeks now, but it’s getting the best of me. It’s affecting my sleep, my work and–even worse!–my running.
I got to the restaurant last night and my boss sent me home when he found out I was still sick. Thank you, so much! I stopped to pick up some medicine and then headed home. After being home for about an hour, I was lamenting that I haven’t gotten in “one last long run” before the Army Ten-Miler.
Before I go on, I need to educate you about some of the finest cuisine in my area..at least according to most who live here. When I first moved to the Plattsburgh area, people kept talking about this thing called a Michigan. It’s basically a hot dog that has been topped with a spicy meat sauce (kind of like a sloppy joe or a chili dog–minus the beans). I’ve also heard them called Texas Hots in other parts of the country. People have fierce debates about who has the best sauce, whether you eat them buried (with onions) or just topped with mustard. I personally don’t understand the appeal. I mean, I’ll eat one every now and then, but it’s not anything speical…That being said, Michigans and poutine are a hallmark of the North Country.
Now that you have been properly educated as to what the heck a Michigan is, I can continue my story. It will make sense later.
I’d been feeling pretty down on myself for not having run as much as I should. After being home for 30 minutes or so, I started to pace. I finally decided that I wouldn’t be able to go on unless I tried to run. So I changed into my running gear–including my bright yellow reflective vest and trusty head lamp (it was getting dark out)–and headed out the door.
I set out to do an 8 mile route, but it was one that could easily be cut short at various points. I wanted to keep my options open as I knew that I was not feeling well and wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to handle.
I was pleasantly surprised. I knew after 4 miles that I would be doing the entire 8 and this made me incredibly happy. I was in the zone and nothing could stop me. There is a point on this route where I turn off of a back road onto a main road. It passes a school and all of its playing fields and track.
At this point, my head lamp was on because it was now completely dark, but I felt safe knowing that I had on my reflective vest and said head lamp. Cars could see me. Even though there is a wide shoulder on this particular loop, I always move over when cars come, just out of common courtesy and to play it extra safe.
A car was coming toward me. I thought to myself that it was going a little fast and driving really close to the shoulder. I moved over a little more…As it passed me, the car got extremely close to me and then I felt a pain in my leg. It felt like someone had punched me as hard as they could.
I’d been hit! At first I thought the mirror had clipped me, but I realized it was too low. I wasn’t sure what to do, but whatever had hit me, it hurt! I looked down and using my headlamp, inspected my leg. There was some sort of food stuck to it. A thick, kind of chunky substance…a meat sauce of sorts.
At the time, I was so bewildered that I didn’t think to try to get a plate number or try to find what I had been hit with. I just stood there staring down in utter disbelief at the giant spot on my leg.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” I shouted. At this point I was either going to burst into tears or start laughing. I think it was a combination of the two. This was the icing on the cake that had been an already rough and stressful few days.
I groaned and, not wanting to touch the mystery substance, found some leaves to wipe off the excess chunks. I was now past the point of bewilderment and was just…mad. Not only had some jerk thrown something at me, but now I was wasting time and ruining my run because I had to stop and a.) make sure I wasn’t hurt and b.) wipe off some mystery substance.
Upon closer inspection, I realized what I had been hit with.
That’s right, a Michigan. Or at least the sauce. As I said before, I didn’t stop and look for what hit me, I just wiped off as much as I could and kept going. I was still a few miles from home…I could have made my run a mile shorter by going straight instead of turning onto a side road, but I had set out to do 8 miles and I was going to do it, dammit!
My leg was sore where I was hit but I finished my run and actually felt really good. I later discovered that a black and blue mark had formed where I had been hit.
So I have to ask, who throws a hot dog?! Seriously.
I didn’t see the attacker but I am assuming it was a group of hooligan kids. I could be wrong. I’ll never know.
If it hadn’t happened to me, I probably wouldn’t believe it…And I admit, after sleeping on it, I do find it sort of amusing. Stuff like this actually happens? Not just in movies???
But all joking aside, this could have been very dangerous. Throwing something from a (fast) moving vehicle at a pedestrian? What were they thinking?! What if they had gotten my knee instead of my thigh?! And had they been paying less attention, they could have actually hit me with their car. And then what would they have done?! Driven away? I shudder to think.
So, although I see the comedic value in being hit with a Michigan and the fact that it left a big bruise, I am very thankful that I wasn’t actually hit by a car…or injured. Thank you, Lord for taking care of me!
Have you ever been hit by something on a run? Or had something equally strange happen? Tell me about it!