I consider myself to be a “safe” runner. If I am alone, I run during the day. If I run with headphones, I usually run with only one ear piece in and I am constantly looking behind me. I try and run in the park. My Road ID never leaves my shoe. I will admit, when I had a roommate I was much better about letting someone know when I left for my run, my route, and when I was to be expected back.
In all honesty, I think because I usually run in a group atmosphere with Team in Training, I don’t worry as much about my safety. Of course I am looking for cars, encouraging them to slow down, running on the proper (run against the traffic-towards the cars-for those who are newbies) side of the road, and wearing reflective gear if we are running at night. When I am with them, I don’t use headphones.
I realized this week that my training will be on my own more often. My season with TNT is over; I know I will still run with some of them but my runs won’t be “organized” large group runs where I feel the most safe.
After reading about SUAR’s cousin Sherry, it really has me thinking a lot about safety. From what I have read, it seems as though Sherry ran the same routes in a small town where everyone seemed to know everyone. The authorities have said they think it may be an abduction (a shoe was found on her route).
I live in a HUGE city. I actually live IN the city-not the burbs-and I run on streets where you can see some “creepy” people that will make you check over your back while running. It just scares me to think that Sherry was on her every day run. Her regular route. Her route where she felt safe. She knew the town. People knew her. And sadly, something has happened to her. This, I hate to say, could happen to any one of us.
I continue to pray for Sherry’s safe return, and for her family, loved ones, and community that all know her. I CANNOT imagine what I would do if that happened to anyone that I know personally.
So maybe what I said at the beginning of the post isn’t enough. Do I really do enough to keep myself safe? I don’t always run with my phone. I don’t carry pepper spray/mace, I don’t always let someone know my route or when I am leaving, and I haven’t taken a self defense class. I’m not saying any of these things would ever be the reason something wouldn’t happen, but it may help in being prepared when running alone. At least to make me feel more safe.