Tag Archive: health

Safety First

On a day earlier this week, my husband arrived home from work which meant it was time for a run. I told him that I was only aiming for a three mile run. As it turned out…

I lied.

As I have done many times in the past I started out on a run only intending to get in three miles or so but if my legs and lungs felt good I kept going. So that three mile run turned into a seven mile run. Quite a big difference in terms of not only distance but time. I don’t carry a phone on my run. I don’t run with a partner or dog. On this particular night since I thought I’d be back before nightfall I wasn’t even wearing anything particularly reflective or bright. I run mostly along rural roads and facing traffic. Almost every one of the handful of cars I saw that night gave me more than enough of a safety cushion when driving past, after which I give the “courtesy nod” or the “courtesy wave”. The “I recognize that you are not an ass-hat and you don’t want me to fear for my safety” nod/wave of appreciation. If there’s enough of a shoulder I run in the grass off of the road because you never know when someone is going to veer a bit because they’re looking at their phone or radio. If there is a sidewalk, I use it. So not to worry. I’m not a completely naive runner who likes to throw caution to the wind.

On this particular run it was completely dark by mile 5. I had been gone for about 50 minutes and honestly expected to see my husband roll around the corner in his vehicle with our son strapped in his car seat for a “let’s go find mommy” joyride at any moment. At mile 6.2 is when it happened. A truck slowed and I knew. My husband had given in to his worry and hunted me down for fear I was in a ditch somewhere and he needed to contemplate how to continue working as a single parent. I think he was overreacting a bit but it’s nice to know he cares.

I apologized and told him I was fine and that I wanted to finish up the last mile or so and I’d see him back at home. Our son was happily along for the ride probably wondering where the final destination would be. I’m sure he was super bummed when they arrived right back where they had started a minute ago. Being in running mode, I immediately cursed myself for not stopping my watch when I stopped to converse with my worry wort husband and knew my pace numbers would be all messed up.

Upon reaching home and acknowledging that I was no longer a lonely spinster bachelorette, but a wife and mother who had responsibilities and a family that needed me, I made a deal with my husband. On my long running days I would bring my phone on an arm band and I would purchase hi-vis yellow gear or wear his military glow belt (because nothing says special like wearing one of these…) if I ran close to sunset or thereafter.

I see what you did there, Army. Touche.

Because, really, runners should do their best to be safe on the roads or trails.

  • Invest in RoadID, or a similar identification tag to alert someone of your identity, emergency contact, and pertinent medical information.
  • Run against traffic; bike with traffic.
  • Lift your knees higher when running on uneven terrain like trails or broken pathways due to roots. This will avoid trips and spills that can lead to rolled ankles, sprains, and breaks.
  • Wear reflective clothing in the evening and early morning.
  • Make sure that if you run with earphones on that they are sensitive to ambient noise, or don’t wear them at all and just let your phone’s speaker be a mini stereo.
  • Make sure you’re adequately hydrated. Nothing messes up a run/ride like lack of water flowing through your system.
  • Buy some runner’s mace and avoid known unsavory neighborhoods. Heck, take some self-defense classes while you’re at it. Probably a good way to burn some extra calories.
  • If you have the opportunity, run with a buddy or your pet. But if your pet is a short legged basset hound please let him just bask his floppy ears in the sun rather than make him accompany you on a 5 mile trek and because his intimidation factor is probably a -2 anyway.
  • ALWAYS make sure someone knows what neighborhood/trail you are running.
  • BE VIGILANT. I don’t mind zoning out on a run because it makes the miles go by faster but that’s not necessarily great for my safety. Make sure you’re looking around if something catches your attention. I always make note of where law enforcement officers live along my routes

Does anyone else have any tips to remain safe while going for a run? Or better yet do you have a story of a close call but you were grateful that you had a safety item that helped you?


Officially sick

I have the flu.

My son has graciously shared his germs with me so that I may too have body aches, fever, chills, and a headache. Thank goodness that I don’t have any gastrointestinal issues. That’s misery on a whole different level.

I think I’m most frustrated because this happened after a rest day. Hindsight being what it is, I wish I had gone for a run, but now I have to wait out this stupid virus. Stupid virus, indeed. I imagine that sometime over the weekend I’ll feel better. The bad news is that my husband’s USMC unit is holding Family Day this weekend. I need to get a new dependent ID and hopefully meet some new friends. But if I’m not feeling better by tonight I will not be accompanying him since I don’t want everyone hating me if I pass this on to anyone. The best part is that I don’t get the opportunity to be sick by myself. There are no sick days when you’re a parent.

Anyhoo, now I need to develop a plan for when I am back into running shape. I think I’m going to have some 30- 45 minute runs after I feel better, essentially just skipping my LSD. I’m not happy about it but I shouldn’t go for a 7 mile run after not running for so long and having been sick. It’s just not smart.

I think it’s time for some more medicine to keep the fever down before I start hallucinating. I hope everyone else is in good health and is listening to their bodies. We are not invincible, people. Wash your hands and drink your fluids.

Logging in the miles

I am definitely a person who prefers written communication… take this blog for example… or the fact that I LOVE making lists… so it should come to no surprise that I have found that keeping a log of my workouts, nutrition, and even sleep and mood very beneficial to my training. I recently (like four days ago… yeah, that recently) began using MapMyRun.

Map my Run Dashboard

Map my Run Dashboard

It really gives me a great overall look of how my day looks with an “exercise filter” on. I think it also helps to be more accountable for your exercises and what goes into your body when you have to log it in and see it staring back at you. It gives me an opportunity to be competitive with myself or even competitive with friends since it allows you to connect to social media and posts the details of your run. It stinks seeing days where you haven’t logged a workout or you went slightly overboard on your caloric intake because it was someone’s birthday at the office. This definitely contributes to my daily motivation.

Any other people who use a log to help keep track of what they do? What other ways do you keep yourself accountable?

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