Safe Running

My niece was with me last night and today during my classes. I have since realized my life is pretty boring for a six year old. And that’s with having gone to the park during one of my breaks.

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She woke up this morning before my alarm, thankfully knew better than to wake me, and was “Ready to start the glorious day of high school. Wait, are you in high school?”

“Nope, Kate. I’m in college.”

And yes she really did say glorious.

20 minutes into my first class she said “When is it time for a rest?”

Basically I am a granny. We still had fun though. We went rock climbing, played racquetball and went to an intramural futsol game.

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She dressed this little doll up on my iPad. She said “Look a swimsuit!” Sweet, modest, little Katie.

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One thing I do have in common with a six year old is that we both eat all day long, mostly a well-balanced diet of goldfish, apples, Easter candy, and pasta.

Anyway-

After many people begging and pleading with me to not run by myself at night, I have come up with some safer compromises that can be used as safer running tips.

I like night because its cooler, more peaceful, and the sun is not in my eyes. My face is really sensitive to sunburn and I’m a big time squinter.

But, especially in Shawnee I do not always feel safe.

1) For starters, a more obvious one- I usually wear a light colored shirt or something reflective.

2) I carry pepper spray on a little wrist band. You know- for rapists, serial killers, robbers, and more likely, big dogs.

3) If I run with music, I leave an ear bud out and lower the volume.

4) At each intersection, when I’m checking for cars, I take stock of my surroundings and look around behind me too. Not just as a paranoia thing, but for feral cats and skunks and weird kids trying to talk to me.

5) I only run in an area I’m familiar with. In Shawnee, I only feel comfortable in like a 2 square mile area. Its not always the most entertaining run, but I do zig zags like I drew in this picture of the beautiful city grid system to get to the mileage or time I want before I turn around. This usually works in neighborhoods best because you more than likely will have tiny blocks to go up in down each way. The example I have is in a square mile area but you can easily get 6 miles in.

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6) This might be the most paranoid tip, but I don’t make my Nike plus account viewable nor do I use the apps that post where I run on my Facebook. My nike plus account is hooked up to my GPS watch and keeps track of my pace and mileage, which are handy, but it can also show you my running habits like where I like to run, how long it takes me, and what time of day I went. So I keep both of those things private.

7) If at all possible, I take someone with me. My roommate rides her bike with me when she can and she has a bike light, giving us extra visibility. And if Zach comes with me, he has a head lamp and I don’t even have to bring my pepper spray. Boys are safe like that 🙂

Like I said, I’ve never had anything serious happen to me, but people walking in the dark sometimes do scare me. I’ve been chased by (and had to kick) a dog. And some places give me the heebie jeebies. So these are just the things I don’t take chances with.

How do you stay safe on a night run?

 

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