Happy Wednesday! Today is my work holiday party, woot! I got my boss the best, most fitting gift! I’ll have to share a pic of it here after he opens it!
Today I just want to talk about running safety for a minute because we should all be running as safely as possible! I’m not going to bore you with tips you’ve probably read before, instead I’ll just tell you a story.
During the summer I am lucky enough to get to run during the daylight on weeknights. My normal route is always filled with lots of other runners and it’s, in my opinion, pretty safe.
During the winter I run in the dark a lot, but there are still always lots of people out because I live in the downtown / beach area which is heavily populated. When I run in the dark I don’t listen to music unless I’m around LOTS of other people. I keep my eyes and ears peeled for anything weird. I’m guessing you probably do that too!
Yesterday I was reading Jesica’s post about runner safety in which she mentions the story of a friend of hers who was attacked and groped by a stranger in broad daylight while running on regular neighborhood streets.
I honestly never really thought about being attacked in the daylight in an area where there are other people around. If you’re like me, you probably imagine being attacked in much more sinister conditions.
This got me thinking … while I’ve never been physically attacked I have had an unpleasant encounter and it happened in broad daylight too.
Last summer when I was marathon training I was running along the beach in the late afternoon; plenty of other people were at the beach at that time.
As I was nearing the far end of the beach I ran past what I believe was a homeless person and he yelled out, “hey girl, nice titties!”
The far end of the beach is more secluded than the main area, but it’s still not an area that I would ever think to feel unsafe. However, after that encounter I didn’t run down to that part of the beach again for months. I stuck to the much more populated central area of the beach.
Luckily for me I had noticed the guy in advance and had dropped off the sidewalk and was running a few feet away from him when I passed, but who knows what could have happened if I didn’t. Maybe instead of a verbal encounter he might have tried to grab me. I’ll never know, and I’m glad for that.
My story is nothing compared to what Jesica’s friend endured, but what strikes me is that they both happened during times and in places that we all would generally feel safe.
I guess I’m just writing all of this as a reminder to myself (and you) to not let your guard time. I used to never run with music, and then I switched to listening music but with only one ear bud, and now sometimes I put both ear buds when I’m not at risk of being hit by a car.
I’m thinking about going back to running without music just to make myself more aware of my surroundings.
I’m also going to let Adam teach me basic self defense. He trains in MMA and is very well versed in how to protect yourself. He’s asked me to learn several times in the past and I’ve always shrugged it off, but now I’m ready to learn.
Adam says all it will take is one hour per weekend for a month and I’ll have all the basics down to where I can feel confident if I’m ever in a bad situation. Hopefully that will never happen though.
I urge you to also learn self defense if you don’t already.
Remember that pepper spray and other weapons are only good if you know how to use them, and that they can easily be used against you.
Here are some tips from Road Runners of America for running safety.
Also, on Jesica’s advice I have ordered myself a Sabre Personal Alarm. It’s currently on sale for just $6 (with free shipping if you have Amazon Prime).
The personal alarm comes in red, pink and black. I ended up getting the red one after learning that Sabre will make a donation to RAINN for every red personal alarm sold. RAINN is the Rape, Abuse and Incest Network.
If you’re still looking for a holiday gift to get a runner friend, or yourself, this is it!
Stay safe, my friends!
What safety precautions do you take when running? Do you run with a personal alarm? Ever take a self defense class?