It started out harmless enough. I couldn’t run in the morning, so I was going to run after work. Dreamboat, who originally said he was going to be working late, was at home as I ran in, changed clothes and took off. As I was walking to the front of my complex, I noticed a dark car driving around the complex. I didn’t think anything of it the first time I saw it. But then it drove by again. Then a third time.
Curious, I leaned over to try and get a better look at the car from the safety of the sidewalk once I got done crossing the street and said creepy dark car slowed down to look back at me, then sped off with a growl of his overworked engine. oooookay…..
I continued my walk to the front of the complex, and was messing with my phone to turn on my Runmeter while it was attached to my arm only to see the guy drive by behind me once again. He took off down the opposite side of the complex, and I saw him fly by me once I started to run along the sidewalk of the street my condo complex was on.
Odd. And creepy.
I didn’t see him again as I ran two miles out and then 1.75 miles back, but during that last quarter mile of my 4 mile run, I saw the car pull out of my condo complex and take off down the road. He blew by me again, only this time I was facing the car. It rumbled loudly; he was obviously speeding faster than the posted 40 miles per hour limit. Once I finished my 4 miles, I pulled my phone out of my arm band and kept it in my hand, texting my husband as I walked back to my home all the while keeping an eye out for the possible sighting of creepy car dude once again.
He never showed.
I went in and told Dreamboat about it, and he wasn’t as concerned as I was. He kept telling me to make sure I am aware of my surroundings, and be aware of what and who was around me. Which was obvious in my opinion. I’m not a weakling: I had taken numerous RunSafer classes, I’m always aware of what’s happening around me because my routes are on busy traffic roads, and I always run with my phone.
And I have alternative routes: I can run at my parents house which is a neighborhood I know well, I can run downtown and shower at a friends house before coming to work, or I can wallow and run on the treadmill. I could also just ACTUALLY go run in the morning. Sure it’s dark in the morning, but it takes a special kind of fool to wake up at 5:30am to go running, and since there are kids waiting for school buses at all of the apartment complexes that I pass on my route, there are always parents around. It’s a safer bet.
But this whole situation has me thinking about the things I do when I go run: I always wear my RoadID now that I have one. I always run with my phone as my gps tracker/music player so I can call for help if necessary. I always text Dreamboat when I run: How far I’m going, my estimated time frame, and when I finish. I have my Runmeter post on Facebook and Twitter that I am running at that moment and I have a consistent group of friends who comment on the posts so I know they know where I am as well.
Still – Thanks to this guy in his creepy dark 2 door car with blue headlights that was scoping out my condo complex? I’m not comfortable running around my area, even with all of those safety precautions, so I’m already working on making changes to my regular routine in order to protect myself.
And you should too. What kind of safety precautions do you use to make sure you are safe when you are out running?