Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Practical Guide to Running Free From Danger

Very often, I'm out there running solo. Sometimes I'm plodding through wooded areas, and it occurred to me the other day that it could possibly be dangerous, and perhaps I should share some safety rules with you. These are in no way comprehensive, and please google "running safety tips" if you want more advice. But without further ado, here are a few of Patsy Albrecht's Running Tips For the Slow Of Legs, in no particular order:

Rule Number 1 -- Run with a buddy. This can get quite uncomfortable on the treadmill,  however, so I recommend going outside.
                                         Nothing about this even vaguely resembles me...                                
2.) Take your taser with you. I have a pretty pink one, with which I would not hesitate to fry some bad guy's butt. I also carry pink pepper spray, but since I don't wear my glasses when I am running, I am hesitant to use it because I cannot see what direction the spray comes out. That hole is so darn tiny! But hey, if I think someone's up to no good, I'm taking my chances. If I spray myself, it's going to make it that much harder for him to drag my body. (Note: Check state laws. It is illegal in some states to carry a taser.)
Many people disagree with carrying a weapon. You must do what you feel most comfortable with. Carry a whistle or other alarm device, or take a self-defense course. Kick, scream, and draw attention to yourself if attacked. Do what your instinct tells you to survive. As a woman, I feel vulnerable and prefer to carry something with me. But this is my personal opinion; I cannot tell you what is best for you.
Yep, I'm armed and dangerous. My husband says I'm mainly a danger to myself.

                                          Go ahead, make my day....                                 
3.) Run on the correct side of the road. That's the left side. Facing traffic. So that you can see the @#$%^&*s who are trying to run you over. If there's a sidewalk, that's even better to run on. If there are two or more of you running in the road, go single file. Remember that Stephen King movie, "Christine"? The possessed demon car that went around trying to kill everyone? When you're out running on a road, just picture each car as having that capability.

                                       She's out to get you, so keep on your toes...(pun intended)                                    
4) If you're running at night, make sure you're visible. I wear clothing with reflective strips. I also wear several flashing clip-on lights, carry Knuckle Lights (a fantastic product!) and occasionally wear a headlamp. I also wear reflector strips that velcro around my arms or ankles. In fact, I'm so well lit (with these items, people, really-- get a grip on yourself, I'm not out there running inebriated!) that small planes have dive-bombed me, apparently mistaking me for a runway.

                                          That's me, just running by....                                  
5) Vary your running routes. Recently, a Montana runner was abducted and murdered. This happens more frequently than we know. Police are warning us to switch up our running times and places. Before you go out, be sure to tell someone where you will be running, and about what time you will return. Always carry your cellphone too. There are armbands that hold the phone so your hands stay free. Be aware of your surroundings, and the people or cars that are getting close to you. Always know exactly where you are on your run and have an escape route in your head. Just in case. You can never be too careful.

                                         Never run the same route at the same time every day...                          
6) Carry identification. I wear a Road ID wristband when I go out alone. Some water bottles and belts have spaces for identification. Or tuck your drivers license into a pocket. You can always write your ID on your forehead with a Sharpie, but then people you don't know will give you strange looks and/or yell at you by name.
                                                        In case I have a senior moment...                      
7) Watch the headphones. Well, not literally. It would be a tad difficult to run if you were trying to stare at your headphones the entire time. Just be careful that you don't have your music cranked so loud that you can't hear cars, ambulances, or someone sneaking up behind you. And shhhhhhhh -- you really don't have to sing "Born to Run" at the top of your lungs, do you?



  1. I know this is an old blog but a friend of mine shared this and I wanted to comment. I have a pair of Yurbuds which are earbuds that let ambient sound through. This way you can listen to your tunes and still hear traffic (or predators!). I love them!

  2. I'm always glad to hear from people at any time, Ang! I will check out Yurbuds, I am in the market for some new ones. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you continue to do so!