I'm tired. I can't remember the last time I had a full night's sleep. Last night it was the dog waking up to puke (nice, huh?). The night before it was cat's scrapping outside - we have a cat, but there are a few wild cats that try to invade his space once in a while, or it could have been a raccoon too. I've been having a hard time falling asleep, and once I do something keeps waking me up. I'm designating Saturday morning as sleep in morning. Which probably means I'll stay in bed until 8 ... maybe.
I'm also stiff. I haven't been giving enough attention to stretching lately, plus I've been doing alot. Which means every day I'm a little tighter. When the dog woke up last night you should have seen it. My husband and I both tried to shoot out of bed but he's been doing lots of physical work this week and his back locked up. Normally he gets up for that kind of stuff but when he couldn't I had to jump into gear. My calves are so tight I had to run to the door on my tip toes. We're quite the circus.
Been another active week. Tuesday was swimming again. Amazing what a workout that is for the muscles that aren't used to it. I still don't love it, but I appreciate it. I also ran Tuesday night and Wednesday night. Just easy runs. Wed should have been speed work, but I didn't have it in me and it was choice A) easy run; choice B) no run. I figured A was the better choice and was glad I did it.
How can you protect yourself out there?
In the last few months there have been some unsolved and similar attacks on women in neighboring towns, one which resulted in death. There was also a similar attack in my town. There isn't a certainty yet that they are linked, but the suspicion is growing. A few of the attacks have happened while women were out walking, in mostly well lit areas, not super late, good neighborhoods - the types of places most of us have probably walked/run alone lots of times, places you would deem as generally safe.
I rarely ever run alone, which is probably your best protection. On the odd occassion that I do run alone I often do all of the following:
- bring along my dog
- carry a cell phone
- stick to well lit routes
- try to stay in areas where there are other runners/walkers/traffic/stores
- never wear headphones alone (well I don't wear them anyway, but that's not the point)
- stay aware
Of course I also always carry ID on me in case something were to happen, at least I could be indentified. And usually at least one other person knows where I will be.
I was told yesterday that maybe I shouldn't run alone - ever. Hmmmm.......
To me that's a bit extreme. I don't believe in living in fear of "what if?". I will not jail myself. I believe you should take precautions and be sensible. I must admit, it scares me a bit when I hear of people going out running by themselves in the middle of the night, or very early before anyone is really out on the streets. For me, that is too risky.
I think staying aware is also a critical point. One of the women attacked said she heard footsteps approaching and then was attacked. If I hear someone approaching, or see someone (or hear anything) that makes me feel even slightly uncomfortable I will change locations, or look the person in the eye, maybe pull out my cellphone. Trust your intuition - better to be wrong than hurt or dead. If it doesn't feel right, try to change the situation.
This is also one of the reasons why I personally don't think headphones are a wise idea. Countless times me, or my husband, have scared other people out on a trail. They don't hear you approaching and next thing you are beside them and they are gasping, or shrieking, because you caught them off guard and scared them.
Any other suggestions for those who run/walk alone?