Sunday, January 26, 2014

I'm over winter, and running safety

By nature I think I'm more of cold weather girl - I would choose the mountains over the beach ANY day (maybe it's because I don't tan??)  Anyway, I'm almost never the person saying I CAN'T WAIT FOR SUMMMMMERRRRRR.  But yesterday, I became that person.  I'm really over this ridiculous cold.  Yesterday it snowed again.  When it snowed on Tuesday I was content to cuddle up in my house and weather the storm.  Yesterday I just wanted to get OUT.  I wanted to see my friends, I was sick of being holed up my house.  Not fun.  I did make it out, more on that later.

Before the storm I went on a run in a secluded park near my house.  The park has a path that follows a creek that goes for miles - probably about 10 from start to finish, one way.  The park is pretty popular, so I always see some people on the trail, but like I said it's a little secluded, and it goes through some pretty bad neighborhoods (although you wouldn't be able to tell, because you're in the woods).  So, whenever I run there I have my guard up.  Yesterday I decided I'd post about what I do for running safety in secluded areas.

1. Run at the right time of day.  I only run in the park on weekends, in the mid-morning - the most popular time (I'd say) for people to be out and about.  I love early morning runs when the sun is coming up, and I also like the occasional evening run, but I wouldn't run in this park at those times.

2. Carry your protection.  I always carry my phone and mace with me in this park.  I know the mace may seem like overkill, but my dad was adamant about it - and I'm not taking my chances.  It's actually pretty cute - it's pink :)  I carry it right in my hand.  I don't care if people see me holding it - if anything, I want them to see it.  I've never had to use it before, and it's important to remember that mace can be used against you, too.  I'm not an expert on the stuff - but I know that much.  It's not to be messed around with.  

I almost never carry my phone on runs.  I don't use it for music, and it's too bulky to bring with me.  I also don't like to have people be able to reach me - runs are MY TIME!  But when I'm somewhere secluded (or on an extra long run) I make sure to bring my phone.  I usually wrap it up in a plastic bag and put it on airplane mode.

3. Bring identification.  I have a Road ID on my shoe, giving my name, birthdate, and emergency contact information.  I love it because it's always on my shoes,  so I don't have to worry about losing it or forgetting to bring it.   You can also carry your license with you, or some people write their information on a piece of paper and stick it in a pocket.  

Those are main things I do to be safe in a secluded area - I also pay attention to the volume of my music, making sure I am still aware of my surroundings.  There are plenty of other precautions you can take when running alone - see Shut Up + Run's list here.  

The above tips don't include safety tips for being SEEN, i.e. running at night, along busy roads, etc.  See an article on night running safety here

1. What are your go-to safety tips for running?

2. Best part of your Saturday?

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