It’s Tuesday and that means it is time to join the blog link up hosted by Patty from My No Guilt Life and April from Run the Great Wide Somewhere. This week’s topic is running safety. Be you a runner, parent with a stroller or maybe out for a causal walk check out these blogs for valuable information.
Safety while on the run.
It’s vitally important no matter what type of terrain you run. I live in a strange area – it is considered suburban, I suppose – though I live a tenth of a mile from a main street which features entrances to two interstate highways.
- Say Hello: this might seem like a strange safety tip, but hear me out. Some days I run with a stroller and the tiny Khaleesi. If that tiny human isn’t my scheduled running buddy that day, we still typically share a nice walk. We drive over to one of a few local parks and I’ve made sure we are ‘known’ by the folks who frequent. For example all three parks we have a spot to procure refreshments: a food truck, a coffee shop and a hot dog cart. I make sure to buy some water or tea from time to time and will always acknowledge the person manning their battle station. Sometimes it’s a called out ‘good morning’ or maybe just a wave. The point is we know each other now. It’s good to have people looking out for you even if it’s just in a quiet, casual way. I also make it a point to wave, smile and say ‘hi’ to people we see time after time: especially fellow runners. And we seriously mix it up. We don’t walk or run on any type of schedule; no consistent time, space or place. It just feels safer than being predictable.
- While I’m on the topic of friendly let me just say – you’re not obligated to talk to anyone. Is someone seems creepy or gets your hackles up…keep walking. Do not be afraid to whip out your cell phone and be ready to call for help or haul yourself to the nearest place with another person. Yell, scream and be very loud in speaking with the 911 operator if need be.
- If a place doesn’t feel safe – it’s not. Trust your intuition and hightail it to safer ground.
- This one is from a law enforcement officer in my family. Don’t pull your ponytail out the back of a baseball cap. Ditto for a long ponytail. That gives a predator an easy way to grab you. I pull my hair back low at the nape of my neck and wrap it in a loose bun. I put it back up as soon as I get to the car.
- Don’t publish your route or exclaim over your ‘route’ on social media sites: Let’s face it – nothing is restricted to your ‘friends’ or really kept ‘private’ after you hit publish. This is especially important if you run solo.
- Be aware of the animal activity in your area. As odd as this might sound from a suburbanite we have tons of deer, raccoon, coyote and possum roaming around. My encounters are limited with raccoon and possum since I am out during daylight hours only. The deer frighten me the most because they are no longer afraid of people and won’t budge. Plus, I’m really not sure at what point they might feel their young are endangered and become defensive. Twice as frightening I’ve witnessed three car accidents caused by deer rushing into the road. All three were nasty.
- A few common notions that bear repeating – especially if it keeps someone safe:
- Keep one ear bud out so you can hear what’s going on around you.
- If you’re out after dark wear something reflective or with a blinking light.
- Have your cell phone, id and a couple of dollars on you. As I’ve said, I’m a suburbanite and it’s nice to be able to swing into CVS and buy a bottle of water in this humid weather.
- Tell someone your route and when you expect to be back.
- The car / truck / suv will win. Don’t assume the driver is going to stop because you’re in the cross walk; be defensive and alert.