This week started out on a rough note but has progressively gotten better. Let’s see where to begin.
I debated on whether to share this or not on here. I figured since I’ve written several times on running safety, that it’s important to share.
Sunday morning around 10:30 am I headed out for my normal Sunday run. Just like most times on Sunday, I had to give myself an extra push to get out the door. I didn’t do anything different. I ran a normal out and back course that I had run many times before.
I hit mile 6 and was on the road heading back to my house. The first time the car passed me, I didn’t think anything of it. The roads I run on during the day are pretty well traveled so I figured it was another car passing. I did notice however, that the car turned around further up the road and on its way back towards me pulled over on the side of the road.
Of all the roads that I ran on that day, this was the least populated. I always pay attention when cars turn back around and the fact that they were parked on the side up ahead also set off a red flag. I immediately took my headphones out of my ears and moved further over on the side to distance myself.
As I passed, I made sure to make eye contact with the individual who ended up being male. I tried to remember basic features and kept on running. About 2 minutes later, the car passed me again and then looped back around. At that point I thought, maybe I was over reacting and they were just lost.
About 2-3 minutes later the car passed me a 3rd time. I started to get a bit nervous because he was basically making loops. As he passed me I decided to make sure to try to catch his license plate number, but as he went by I realized the car didn’t have any tags. That set off another red flag.
I tried to calm myself down and continued down the road knowing I was only about half a mile from home. I hadn’t seen him in a little bit so I figured he went on his way. Then as I turned the corner nearing my house my heart sunk. He was parked about 0.1 miles from my house. He was just sitting on the side of the road like before. I immediately picked my pace and got into the house quickly. Just as I sat down to take my shoes off I noticed he had left.
I realize that this may have been nothing, but as a female runner and with someone passing me that many times and being that close to my home it made me incredibly nervous. I spent the majority of the rest of the afternoon in my house; doors locked and alarm system on.
I realized thinking back on it I did make one big mistake. I ran into my house. I feel the better alternative would have been run to a neighbor’s house or just to have kept running past the house not to give away where I lived. However, I was so set on getting home I wasn’t thinking straight.
I did end up running 8 miles. However, it was quicker than I wanted since I sped up the last 2 miles quite a bit.
Needless to say Monday morning when my alarm went off to go outside and run at 4:00 AM I was extremely anxious. My husband was on the treadmill since it was raining doing his workout, and I never could talk myself into going out in the dark alone, so I stayed in bed.
I had planned to come home and get a small 5 mile run done on the treadmill, but when I got home Monday afteroon our power was off. Even though it came back on within the hour, I took that as a sign to just take an impromptu day off. They don’t happen often, and I’ll be honest and say it was hard for me, but it was the best decision.
I don’t want to live in fear; I don’t want to have to second guess my normal routine. Thankfully Tuesday morning I had a treadmill workout planned and this morning I got up and was able to run part with my husband outside. Knowing he was out in the same area as me really helped.
I guess my reason for sharing this story is, always be aware of your surroundings. Take note of those around you. Never zone out to the point that you don’t realize what is going on. This may have been nothing, I may have been overreacting but I do know that it made me feel very anxious.
Go with your gut. If you feel like something is off, then react. You may be wrong, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
I am currently looking into buying some pepper spray. I’ve never felt the need before, but after that I just feel it would give me some peace of mind especially in the early hours of the morning. So to the other ladies out there who have commented before that you run with pepper spray, what kind do you find is easiest to carry while running?
Hoping for a much better ending to the week!
Have you ever had a running safety scare?
Do you run with pepper spray?