Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Running Safety

I've been running for almost 4 years, and in that time, I have never had any issues with any creepers on my training runs. I've been fortunate to be training with my fiancé, who is a black belt in aikido and is most of the time running behind me, or next to me.
 
Last week, as I was getting ready for my early run the next morning, that I would be doing alone around my neighborhood. Roger told me the story of Karina Vetrano, who was found dead  in Queens. He suggested that I took the knife he gave me, and reviewed with me again, what points to go for if somebody attacked me. I hate carrying the knife, but the story scared me and I attached it to my shorts.

Then last Sunday, he was telling me again of two other runners who we killed while out for a run.

What hunts me about this killings is that they happened in broad daylight!

Karina Vetrano was out running around 5:00 pm.

Vanessa Marcotte was out running around 1:15 pm.

Alexandra Brueger was out running at 2:30 pm.


Horrific losses for their families. I am thinking of them and sending healing thoughts to the grieving families.

Is it awful that the first thing I thought was "Wow This women are totally kick ass, running at those times of the day in the middle of the summer!!"

I hate running with the knife, it scares me that I will slice my finger off or/and that an attacker will use it to hurt me. I have a pepper spray somewhere, but haven't dug it out in a while.

I am willing to admit that I was not afraid of something happening to me, because I know my town to be safe, but I want to ask other, more experience runners, more kick ass ladies, more awesome people... what do you do to stay safe on a run?

Here are some things that I am already doing

* Running with a partner
* Running with a group
* Carry my phone and
* Sharing my location with my family through my phone
* I have taken basic self defense lessons (Roger always says to go for the eyes, the stomach and testicles, whichever I can reach first).
* Run in places that are not secluded
* Not that this is an indication of safety anymore, but I try to run in daylight.

14 comments:

  1. Wow, I never thought Of carrying a knife. I carry pepper spray when I am on the trail or at the park in the woods cus both are pretty secluded but never carry it in town cus I figure there are more people around (but that doesn't always mean something can't happen). You now have me thinking that perhaps I should carry a pocket knife in my belt just in case! Please be safe out there!

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  2. I did a lot of my marathon training in the local forest preserves around here, which are pretty isolated. I heard from a lot of my friends about my solo runs there. I know the risks. I think it sucks that there are predators out there. Why can't they just leave us alone?

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    1. I agree Wendy! Creepers need to stay away! Stay safe out there!

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  3. I run in dark mornings or the trails here are very isolated where i run. It is scary, I do have my phone and I often have pepper spray. Pepper spray will hopefully buy you time to get away!
    I feel that if a predator is lurking he has the advantage of shock or surprise on his side. I try to stay aware of who is around me, but I still find that sometimes I kind of zone out on my runs.
    I do carry a gun (legally, I have a permit) any time I hike in my pack and I leave it in the car when i go the trails. It makes me feel better - I know it is there. I could make a dash for my car anyways...
    I can not carry it when I run even though it very light and small it is still too much to run with, so usually I just have pepper spray with me.

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    1. Oh wow! that is interesting! I do need to look into a pepper spray for sure.

      Stay Safe!

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  4. I had the same thoughts as you did hearing about the runners. As the sun rise is getting later, I'm now starting to have to go out in the dark. I hate to be scared running alone in my neighborhood. I see all the same people in the morning and chat with some of them. I say if I'm scared running in my neighborhood then maybe I should think about moving. I don't carry pepper spray or a knife cause I don't think I could get anything out of my belt fast enough in a panic to be effective. I really don't know what the best answer is to stay safe.

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    1. I am with you Heather! I think I would not get a knife out of my running belt quick enough. Stay safe out there!

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  5. It's terrifying to hear that these women were attacked in broad daylight. I've never thought of carrying a knife since I'd be scared I'd hurt myself with it instead. Good call on pepper spray, I used to have some but don't know where it is anymore. I used to always run with music but have since stopped doing so since I've heard it makes you more vulnerable, too. I've also taken a couple of self-defense classes, which were great. It's so awful how careful we all have to be!

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    1. It is awful Emily! Really scary that we have to think this way!

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  6. I used to run with pepper spray, but I'll be honest and say I'm not as careful as I "should" be. The truth is that the vast majority of female athletes will okay when running. The people who will attack us and do us harm, statistically, are people we know and love. I feel terrible for these women's families, but I never actually change my running habits when I hear about things like this. While I do run with a buddy usually now, and most often without headphones, I don't do it with the purpose of being safer.

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    1. You make a very interesting point Ali! Thanks!

      Stay safe !

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  7. I will piggy back on what Ali said and while those are clearly tragedies, those are HUGE anomalies.

    I do get scared to run trail alone, even though the statistics say it's actually a very safe thing to do. If I am running trail alone, someone knows where I am and I have my phone. Or Paul is nearby walking or playing disc golf.

    As for my neighborhood running, I don't really take any precautions because I already feel very safe, even in the dark. Sometimes I have my phone, sometimes not. I wear headphones but since I listen to podcasts, it is easy to hear what is going on around me.

    I never took a self defense class but Oprah always says if someone tries to rape you, grab their balls, pull, squeeze, then twist.

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    1. Roger tends to worry more about my running alone than I do. I just know that the areas I run are safe... but I do ask that if I ever get murdered in a trail, to have somebody do a race in my honor and a bench.

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