Ha, I bet you thought I was going to start only posting about coupons and breastfeeding but alas, I surprise you with a post about running!
I have been running, even in this heat and I have been enjoying it so much! I love my BOB jogging stroller like "Whoa" because sometimes I want to get out there when it's just Eva and I at home. I love that I can bring her with me and she holds my water and sunscreen for me. Well, the mesh pockets in her stroller hold them for me, but she's usually got her chubby little fingers all over both of them for most of the run, so its like she is helping.
I went for a run on my own after she went to bed a couple of nights ago. It was already 8:30 and I wanted to get home before dark, so I just did a quick 3 miler and averaged 10:27/miles which I find pretty respectable considering the humidity. I chose to run my quick 3 mile out and back route and right around the 1.5 mile turn around point, I noticed an old van driving by. The only reason I noticed it is because it had obviously had some repairs done as the fender on one side was a different color than the rest of the van. Also, it had no windows in the back part of it and I always think "rape van" when I see a van with no windows.
Anyway, I continued running along and about 7 minutes later, I saw the same van, pulling out from a side street and turning down the street that I was soon going to run on. I run in residential neighborhoods as well as down the main streets of the older part of our small Kansas City suburb. There is usually plenty of cars driving by and houses all along my route, so I am seldom concerned about running alone. And really, there is nothing strange about someone driving down the main road, going into a residential neighborhood, and then coming back out of that neighborhood about 7 minutes later. That's what one would do if they were picking someone up or dropping someone off at home.
Nonetheless, seeing this particular van again raised my hackles and caused me to be extra vigilant to my surroundings as I eventually turned down the street that would lead me back to my house. Of course, it was getting dark as the sun was setting but there was still plenty of daylight left to get me home. I picked up my pace just a little bit anyway and kept my head "on a swivel" making sure that I made eye contact with any pedestrian I encountered and studied each vehicle driving down the street.
I never saw the van again but the experience got me thinking about the things I do to try to keep myself safe when I am out running. I have always made sure that Kyle knows all my routes and approximately how long I expect to be gone. If I am listening to music, I make sure that the volume is low enough that I could hear an oncoming vehicle or a person talking to me and I never listen to music when I have Eva with me. I never run after dark and if it is overcast or getting close to dark, I wear light colored clothing like white shirts and shorts. If I am going on a long run, I sometimes take my cell phone with me in case there is a problem. I always stop at intersections and give every vehicle around the right of way unless they come to a complete stop and wave me to proceed, which only happens about 50% of the time. And of course, I make note of the people and vehicles that pass, paying attention to how often I encounter someone and whether or not the situation feels right.
I have always done these things, but I feel even more pressure to make sure that I keep myself safe now that I have a child. Does anyone else feel that way? Are there any specific things you do to keep yourself safe when you go out on a run? Have you ever had a scary moment or a close call?