I certainly wasn't expecting this when I got up yesterday.
The snow hasn't melted much, so today's run certainly was an interesting one. I spent most of the time dodging snow. And speaking of running... (which seems to be the only thing I ever talk about anymore)
At my school, we get email about crimes that happen in the area. It's lovely getting an email about how someone was sexually assaulted a block from your apartment. Makes you more paranoid, which might be a good thing, but still. One email that I got recently gave me quite a fright though. A girl was running on one of the paths nearby when a grown man grabbed her. ...Yeah, that puts a girl's mind at ease.
The incident did make me think about running safety though, and what I do to be safe. Here are my little things, and some things you might do too.
Be aware of your surroundings
This may seem like an obvious one, but a lot of the time people aren't observant. Always look before crossing the street, see where you're going... all of those things. Sometimes it's a problem when you have music because you can't hear things. If you know you're going to be somewhere where you need to hear your surroundings better (like next to a road with no sidewalk), maybe go without.
Take a phone with you, or tell someone where you're going
Having a phone with you when you run can be an extremely useful thing. I like running with my phone not only because it keeps track of my distance but because I can use it if I need it. I used it a couple of times during my summer long runs when I'd end somewhere farther away than I'd like to walk from. Don't want to carry a phone? Don't have a phone? Tell someone where you're going then. Give an estimated time (give yourself some leeway) and head out. If you're not back by about a half hour later than your given time or so, then they might have something to worry about.
Run in well lit/well known areas
Alright, this isn't always possible with things like trail runs. Plus, during the summer when it's blazing during the day it's nicer to run in the evening. However, it's a good idea to go where people can see you for runs. Perhaps go on a trail that a lot of people go on? Then other people will see stuff going on, and they can help. If you pass out in the middle of no where you're not going to get a lot of help. The girl who got grabbed was running when it was darker, and that area can get sketchy at night.
Run with buddies
This isn't necessary, but sometimes it can be nice running with other people. There's strength in numbers. Plus it changes things up from time to time.
Sound ridiculous? Hear me out. When I was in cross country, our coach always told us to never look tired. If we looked tired, our opponents would see that and try to kick our asses. Why? Because they know they could. However, if you look strong no one want to mess with you. Now I don't know how well that works in the real world, but think about it: Two girls are running. One looks strong, ready to continue for another few miles. The other looks like they're going to pass out. Which one would a potential attacker go for? The one that looks like she can fight back? Yeah right. Then again, I don't know how a potential attacker's mind works. They might go for me anyways. Still, I always feel a little better when I look strong.
So, those are a few things that work for me. Not sure if they're the greatest tips, but... eh. Welp, I have a final to do, things to not be lazy about. I'll have plenty of time for that soon enough.
What do you do to stay safe when you're running?