Friday, August 12, 2016

In The News


Running is on my mind a lot.  It’s one of my favorite things to do.  Safety is also on my mind a lot.  I am a woman, I am not afforded any other way of living.  My husband does not have to double check his surroundings when he’s out somewhere at night.  He doesn’t have to think about what he’s wearing before he leaves the house, or even question whether or not to leave the house and head somewhere alone.  However, that is my world.  Our world, as women.

I often carry pepper spray on my runs though I recognize that I have never been trained on how to use it and it could very well be used against me, or blow back in my face if the wind is not in my favor.  I took a self defense class in college that was pretty intense, but that was over ten years ago now.

These women were all out in broad daylight.  Let me say that again.  Each of the 3 women who were murdered recently were out running in broad daylight.  They were not out in the dark, they were not in particularly remote areas.  And each of them was brutally murdered.  More than likely also sexually assaulted in some way.

What now, ladies?  I refuse to stop running but I would be lying if I said this wasn’t making me think twice.  I am aware of my own safety and I take precautions.  I tell my husband where I am going and how long I will be gone.  I wear a Road ID with my pertinent emergency contact information on it.  I generally run with only one earbud and it’s one that allows for ambient noise to be heard.  I was pleased to see Strava’s new feature with the Beacon feature so that someone can know where I am in real time.  But that’s only for premium subscribers – yet another reason to maintain my premium membership.  I try to look everyone I pass in the eye and acknowledge that I see them with a “hello” or “good morning”.  My neighborhood is safe.  It’s also boring to run in.  I am blessed to live right by a wonderful multi-use trail and it’s my favorite place to run.  I haven’t run on it in a week, and I am nervous a little bit about my long run tomorrow.  I don’t always see a lot of people on my runs.  I have never felt unsafe, and have never run in to anyone who made me feel threatened.  But maybe these three women never had either..

It’s scary. And sad.  How many of us are taking more of our runs to the treadmill to avoid “taking a risk”?  How many of us are ANGRY that we have to think that way?  I am furious.  And somewhat powerless.  It has got me thinking about taking another self defense class.  And more than likely I will not run with any headphones going forward.  A running buddy is not realistic for me.  Neither is a large dog.  I want to feel safe in my own skin.  I want to be safe in my surroundings.  In this world right now though, I know that as a woman, I am not.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


This week, we went on our big trip for the summer.  We left Monday for NC where my parents have retired.  It was the first time we’d been down there with the kiddo.  So, first airplane ride with him, first time at the ocean etc.  We had to leave here at about 7:00 Monday morning, which meant I was up at 5 to get my run in for the day.  I knew there was no way I would want to run after we’d traveled and settled ourselves at my parents.
I queued up some Madam Secretary and was off!  The plan called for 1 hour with my HR under 140 and a pickup at the end of each mile.  I am notorious for forgetting the pickups.  I think I did 2 instead of 3. 

An hour later I’d finished 3.87 miles and was drenched in sweat.  I took a quick shower and we hit the road.  The trip down went so smoothly, we could not have asked for better!
It was great to see my folks, and wonderful to put my toes in the sand and swim in the ocean.  The water was easily 70 degrees, if not warmer and the waves were just big enough to keep it interesting.  

I brought all my running gear with me with the plan to get up early each morning and run before the NC heat and humidity destroyed my will.
Tuesday morning went as planned – an easy 30 minute BER run with my HR under 130.  I did loops around my parents’ development and while it was not the most exciting, I was not feeling super adventurous and did not want to tempt fate going somewhere I wasn’t familiar with.  I took a picture of that humongous pinecone with my foot for scale.  The picture on the right is from an undeveloped section of road in their neighborhood.

The next morning was 45 minutes at 140 with 4-6 accelerators at the end.  This time I ventured out and down the road to a nearby golf community.  It was 90% humidity and 80 degrees by 7am.  It was ridiculous how sweaty I was.  My shoulders were sweating!  I slogged through it knowing we were headed to the beach.  We hit the beach where I spent quite a bit of time in the water with my hubby while the kidlet played in the sand with Grammy and Grampy.  They were so happy to have him there, we all had a great time.

Thursday was a rest day, and I spent the afternoon in the hammock!  The kiddo joined me so it was not quite the relaxation time I had in mind but it was fun nonetheless.  The only run I missed was my Friday 1 hour run with my HR at 140.  We had to be up by 5:30 to get to the airport and return the rental car, and get through security and all for our flight.  By the time we finally got home I was so exhausted there was no way I was running.  So I didn’t and I just made peace with that.

Today’s run was 17 miles, or 240 minutes at 140.  It was a tough one, after a week of sleeping in a strange bed and going all day.  I managed 12 miles in 3 hours and called it a day.  I am proud of myself for getting 4 out of my 5 runs in while on vacation.  The Southern head and humidity is NO joke.  My LR this morning was hot and a bit humid but nowhere near as bad as it was down at my parents.  I don’t know how runners south of the Mason-Dixon line do it!