Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Be Prepared: You're Not Always As Safe As You Think You Are

Nothing like enjoying nature's beauty during a run.
We runners are a pretty carefree lot at times. We love to just pick up and go for a run, don't we? After all, it's a blast to just hit the pavement and/or trails, push our bodies to the limit and enjoy the joy and freedom of running.

It can be pure bliss.

While running emboldens us and gives us a great sense of freedom and strength, it is important to be prepared in cases of emergencies. You never know what can happen to you during a run. Don't believe me, just ask Dorothy Beal.

In my last post, I mentioned about Dorothy, who is an amazingly strong runner. I don't consider Dorothy strong solely because she's ran 20 or so marathons or that her marathon PR is 3:11:14. While those facts alone clearly classify a person as a strong runner, Dorothy runs oftentimes while pushing a stroller - a TRIPLE stroller with her three children in them with the oldest being 5-years old.

Yesterday was the first day of summer break for her oldest child, which meant it was the first day of triple-stroller running for Dorothy. (See how strong she is? Not only does she run with a triple stroller, but does so during the summer.) Usually an uneventful time - as uneventful pushing a triple stroller can be, Dorothy's run turned down right frightening when she was chased down by a car!

Supposedly, the driver was concerned for the safety of Dorothy's children being pushed in a stroller while she ran. So, logically, chasing her down with his car was the best course of action he could take. (Heavy doses of sarcasm inserted there.)

Reading Dorothy's account of this event got me to really think more about what steps I take and/or need to take to be safe when I'm out running the highways and byways. Though I generally do not like thinking about it, I do worry about something happening to me while running and my family having no idea or clue that something is wrong.

Here is what I do for every run:
  1. Take my cell phone. Just never know if you need to call someone for help (injury) or for an emergency (911).
  2. Wear my 1 Band ID. I love my 1  Band ID because is fits so nicely around the wrist strap of my Garmin watch. On it are my name, date of birth, 2 emergency contact numbers, my blood type and other medical info. 
  3. I don't wear headphones. I used to listen to music when I ran, but I stopped that 8-9 months ago. I found I like running sans music because the music sometimes messed with my pace. I found I actually run quicker without music. More importantly, I can hear my surroundings better. If I do run with headphones now, it's either at the track or on the treadmill to help break up the monotony.
For the most part, my runs are in the early morning. Because of this, I make sure I wear brightly colored shirts or some sort of reflective material. I have reflective wrist straps, a reflective belt and even a safety light. During marathon training, I ran along a very busy road that has a lot of traffic from tractor trailers and coal trucks. The safety light is great in the predawn hours to make me more visible to on-coming traffic. 

There are three great companies I've dealt with in regards to the safety gear - 1 Band ID, Go Sport ID and Road ID

Currently, 1 Band ID only sells identification bands, but their bands are unique because the bands fit comfortably on your GPS watch. Go Sport ID and Road ID also sell identification bands as well as a few other safety gear items. Also, you're not limited to wearing the identification bands on your watch or wrist. All three companies have IDs to go on your shoe as well.

I have purchased from all three companies, and I recommend them all. I'm not here to endorse one company over another. All I'm saying is you need to be prepared for anything when you go out for a run because you never know what might happen.

What steps or precautions do you take when you go out for a run?

Happy running!


  1. I almost always run with my Hubby. When I don't, I rely heavily on my senses. If someone or something makes me feel uneasy, I alter my route/pace/whatever until I feel comfortable again. When I go solo, I try to vary my route and time to ensure that nobody sees me at the same time and place everyday.

    1. That's very wise, Karen. I look forward to the days when my bride and join me for more runs along the highways and byways. But you know, someone ought to keep an eye on the kiddos :)