Safe Running

There is an article in the July edition of Women’s Running entitled “I will Never Run Alone Again”.  The story of the brutal attack of runner Sheri Ball-Garcia and her emotional fight to recover and run again.

The article covers the attack, the healing process and Sheri today.   There is a section of the article about Sheri “Finding a Voice”.

No matter when you train, don’t go alone, and leave the headphones at home, recommends Sheri.  “It’s so easy to join a local running club, or to reach out on Facebook to form your own group.  Try to involve your kids and your spouse in your training, too”.

I think this is good in THEORY but in reality..here’s my situation.  I’m exhausted most of the time I’m awake.  So I have to push myself to get out the door and be grateful whenever that can be.  The ONLY running club anywhere near me is 20+ minutes away, they meet once a week and they run on a trail.  I wheezed the one time I went.  It was awful.  The allergy thing really feels awful.  I wish I could get a handle on it.  I’ve reached out to people to run with me…I have two prospects.  But it’s not like you get a daily running partner.  You get like…maybe once a week partners.  Maybe.  And hopefully you are the same pace (right superfast Reggie?) and hopefully they don’t mind running on the streets with you.  Because that’s the way you roll.  😉

And no.  My kids and my spouse don’t run with me.  We all got a good laugh out of that one.  Really.

So here’s what I took out of that article.  Some people’s common sense is some people’s non reality.  But I can’t just not run.  And I can’t live afraid.  I have to make my own safety.  I have to be my own smart.

  • I run in the evening when there is still light but it’s not super hot. Realistically, my longer runs will sometimes bleed into the dark. It’s dark sometimes at 6pm in the winter months.  I’m going to run anyway.
  • I only run on the busiest streets and there are people everywhere.  I can be seen. 
  • I carry my phone
  • I carry my pepper spray (I do try to remember this, MT helps me)
  • I have Road ID on my shoe.
  • I let someone know where I’m going. What route I’m taking.  It’s either up on my computer or I holler it to Sean on the way out the door.
  • I do wear headphones but only wear one earbud.
  • Be confident and make eye contact.  Know where you are and where you are going.  Don’t get distracted and lost in your book/music.  Pay attention.
  • I mix up my routes.  I run in my neighborhoods. Let’s face it. After 16 years of living here…I can only mix it up so much.
  • I’ve been buying lighter colored clothing and we all know that’s hard for me and my love of the color black.
  • I bought a screaming flourescent green jacket that is glow in the DARK.
  • In all seriousness, a self defense class would be smart.  Preferably one where your son doesn’t attend.  😉
  • Run on the treadmill as much as we can. Indoors is good, too.  Running an interval run?  Do it indoors.  Make it safer.
  • Crosstrain on some of your workout days.   Grab an elliptical or even…go swimming.  I won’t be doing that but there is no rule that says you can’t.  I do not swim. ha.
  • Always trust yourself.  Always.

Woman running

So here I am. I’m not going to say you have to follow all the rules.  Sometimes…you have to break them.  And yes…it sucks. and yes…I don’t like it.  But we can’t be afraid.  We have to take care of ourselves and we have to do what we need to for us.  But we can be smart about it and lower our odds. And watch out for each other.

Run on.  And be safe.  ~Teresa