Stride Safe

Summer has gone and past, and overnight the weather in California has turned brisk and cold. While others see this as an excuse to exercise at a gym, or for some not workout at all, I still remain faithful to my beloved outdoor running routine. It's goodbye to shorts and tank tops, hello to long sleeves paired with gloves and ear warmers.

Clothing however is not the only thing I need
to worry about when running weekdays before and after work. Yes, being a chick is a true blessing really, but cautions also come with the territory. I recently purchased my very first can of pepper spray. Conveniently it is called The Jogger and you can wear it on your arm. I run most of my evenings at a local park and though I know the area like the back of my hand, there are a few dark patches that I am just a bit leery of. I do live in what would be considered the city, but still there is quite a lot of wildlife that populates the community. So not only do I run with pepper spray for evil civilians that I hope to never encounter, I also carry a special spray that is used against aggressive dogs and other like species.

While I do pride myself for my chic sense of style, I don't mind looking like a geek with my oh so fabulous headlamp that straps easily to my hat. I use a Petzl Emergency and Signal Headlamp. Not only does the Petzl E&S Headlamp have a multi-directional red lighting with a visibility of 1000 meters, but also includes a whistle which
could come in handy if I am ever attacked.

To ensure complete safety, I also run with reflective gear. I will admit that I do need additional gear, but I purchased some very inexpensive reflective bands for my wrist and ankles. When I do run alone, I make sure I text a friend before and after my run, and let them know where I am running, and for how long.

I don't do much street running, but recently two of my teammates were hit by a car. They weren't injured badly thank goodness, but I now fear for other runners out there. Please take precautions when crossing the street and try to use the sidewalk when possible. If there is no sidewalk then run in the bike lane the opposite of the traffic. Remember, just because you make eye contact with the driver does not mean they see you.

These are but a few safety tips I practice so that I can run happily ever after! What are yours?

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