Thursday, January 08, 2009

Running solo

In the past I've posted about the joys I experience while running or riding alone however I neglected to mention the fears that I also experience. For safety reasons, I rarely ever truly run alone, especially at night. However, on occasion, it can't be helped especially if I need to get a workout in. On those rare occasions, I break out the runner's belt so that I can carry a cellphone and also a can of mace with a hand strap so that I can spray an attacker within a split second. I also either refrain from using my iPod or I turn it down way low so that I can hear anyone approach from behind me.

The Barton Creek trails see very few runners and even if you were to run into trouble, what could you do and where could you get help? At Town Lake, there are call boxes but they are few and far between. I feel okay during daylight when there are people everywhere as well as cars driving by. However, most often Seth and I run after sunset when we can finally make it to the trails. Even though we're out there together, I'm more often than not running by myself for minutes at a time as Seth runs faster than I do and often has to double back to check on me. With the number of drifters and homeless people out and about Austin, I can't help but be more than a little paranoid while running. Even with all the safety precautions, I'm excessively hyper vigilant at times which makes for a not so enjoyable experience. I mean, isn't running/hiking/riding supposed to relieve stress versus creating it?
Luckily, Seth is trained in Aikido so he can protect himself and also me should the situation arise. But still, there's not much one can do if they're not trained in a martial art, armed with a weapon, or like me especially vulnerable to those who are bigger and stronger.

I so envy all those runners who run alone daily - but still I wonder, are they like me in that they are a little scared too? For all you solo runners out there, what do you to allay your concerns while
running alone?