Running Safety

Hi, I’m 26 going on 76, apparently.

But…I realized a few things today about running safety.

I’m still in the big N-J, and I went for what was supposed to be a 4.5-mile run. I’d spent the day engaging in retail therapy hell returning/procuring. (P.S. I got a kid’s [yes, I can fit into a kid’s size! Even if it’s XL…] North Face fleece for $49. Oh hell yeah.) By the time my mom and I had returned from the seventh circle of hell Woodbury Commons, it was starting to get dark. Naturally, my mom being a mom advised me not to run. As her daughter, albeit her adult daughter, it is still my duty to be stubborn (and I needed to run), so I went anyway.

I synced my iPod, set up my Garmin watch and hit the road. I’d been out for all of five minutes when it went from dusk to nighttime. The first thought that went through my head was “I wonder if it’s safe.” As a big-city girl, my line of safe/not safe is if I’m going to get raped/murdered/killed or not. I decided that wasn’t much of an issue in my sleepy little town and kept running. (In the back of my head I was thinking “but it’s always those sleepy little towns…”)

I kept running and then wondered how clearly the oncoming cars could see me. (Very limited sidewalks in my hometown.) I was wearing a pink sweatshirt, so I decided they could probably see me okay. That and my Casper-white skin.

It started getting super-dark, and I just wasn’t thinking it was a good idea to be out (also limited streetlights in this here town), so I turned towards home. I could barely see my own feet or the ground below them. I started freaking out that I’d trip on something, fall and break my leg and not be able to run my half-marathon. I pumped up my run (nothing like a little adrenaline to get you home) and headed toward my parents’. I was at 2.95 miles when I was passing their house and was going to run to the end of the street and back for an even 4 miles. Then I saw a family of deer cross the road and decided I didn’t feel like dealing with wildlife to finish my run. I came back into the house and synced up my Garmin with the Garmin Connect and blogged about it. One of my Twitter followers warned me to be careful of posting running routes, and I agreed. I hadn’t realized the Garmin had uploaded the route, too; I thought it had only uploaded the mileage/time stats.

Fast forward to about 11:30 tonight. My awesome, super-sweet dad, who is totally in love with my dog, goes to take Bailey out. He comes back in all of two minutes later. He said that the garage door closed out of nowhere behind him. My mom and I had been standing in the kitchen talking, so it wasn’t either of us. We all freaked out and searched the house. [Overactive imagination? Maybe. But you can never be too careful.] Most likely, my accidentally posting my running route had nothing to do with the weird garage door incident, but let’s just say I learned a few things about running safety tonight. Running when it’s really dark? Probably not a good idea. [This may be obvious to everyone but me?] And posting your running routes, especially in non-urban areas? Probably not the best idea.

Any other running safety tips?

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