Category Archives: Running

10 Safety Tips for Running in the Dark

Stay safe while running in the dark with this guide on what to wear and how to be prepared.

It’s that time of year again where it’s super dark in the morning and getting darker earlier and earlier in the evening. Hello sunset at 4:18 p.m.! I know a lot of people retreat indoors for their workouts once the daylight hours are shorter.

For years, I felt comfortable running in the dark by myself. But then last year I had a creeper incident that happened on one of my early morning runs. A man in a car followed me on my run, circling around parking lots to meet up with me or to cut me off at intersections. It didn’t take me long to realize something wasn’t right. I pulled out my phone, ready to snap a pic or to call for help and hightailed it to the police department which was nearby. This is all while the guy continued to follow me. I never thought that I’d have a scary situation like that in my small town. I was running my “safe route” in town after all. The whole situation messed with my confidence. Since then, I’ve never felt the same. In fact, I’ve only done a handful of solo runs in the dark since then.

Going for a run after the sun has gone down or before it comes up is sometimes the only time to squeeze in the miles. In the summer it’s the perfect time to beat the heat. Or if you’re a working parent or professional whose only free time for exercise is in the wee hours of the morning or after work. With November being National Running Safety Month, it’s the perfect time to brush up on your safety.


Use these tips to be the safest runner you can be when running in the dark.

Let someone know where you are going
Before you take off on your run, let someone know where you are going and what time you plan on returning. I try to leave a note for Ron telling him what route I’m planning to run and how long it should take me.

Wear reflective, bright clothing.
This could be reflective stripping on your shirt, shorts, shoes, etc. I’m always amazed when I see people wearing all black. I love my dark workout gear but I save it for the daylight hours.

Light up the night
Lighted vests and/or headlamps will not only help you see the road better (even if there are streetlights) but drivers will be able to spot you better. There’s a ton of different models available. I love my Black Diamond headlamp. It’s lightweight, is super bright and has a blinking red light on the back.

Carry identification, cell phone and a personal alarm
I always take my phone and RoadID with me. I also started carrying a Sabre Personal Alarm that I received at Rise.Run.Retreat. Funny story – Whenever I meet with new running friends for the first time, Ron likes to use Track My iPhone to make sure I don’t get  kidnapped by some crazy stalker. At least that’s what he tells me. Maybe he’s just checking up on me to see if I’m really running. What else would I be doing at zero dark thirty?

Listen up
You won’t believe how many people I see running with headphones in the dark. Even if you have one earpiece in, it’s still dangerous. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. I recently came upon a young girl running one morning who was wearing headphones. She didn’t even look around as I came up behind her. In fact, her music was so loud, I could hear it. Girl, what are you thinking?!?! Your best bet is to leave the music at home.

Everything you need to stay safe while running in the dark.

Power in numbers
If possible meet up with a friend. There’s safety in numbers. And if you think you run too early, you might be surprised to know how many others are in the same boat as you. I’ve posted in a couple of our local running club Facebook pages looking for a running buddy and have had great success in finding crazy awesome runners who want to run at zero dark thirty.

Switch up your route
Change your running route and time you run every so often. It’s comfortable to you, but that also means that someone may learn your routine as well.

Look both ways before you cross the street
Don’t assume cars see you. Crosswalks, especially those regulated by stop signs are the worst for runners. Drivers will pull out in front of the stop sign looking for cars, but often look right beyond runners. Always make eye contact with the driver before you step off the curb.

Run in populated areas
Stick with well lit areas. If there are other runners around there is good chance the area is safe and appropriate for runners.

Run like a defensive driver
Assume every driver is talking on the phone while drinking steaming hot coffee and tuning the radio. This can be said about running at any time on the roads.

Have you ever been in a scary situation while running in the dark?

What are your safety tips?

What Not to Do When Returning to Running After an Injury

Follow these What NOT to Do When Returning To Running After an Injury rules so you can get back to running for good! |

By now, I’m sure you have all seen I’m back to running. OMG – it feels absolutely marvelous!

But I’m really not back to running.

Or at least not back to running like I had been before my injury.

My current state of running is oh so very different. But of course, it’s going to be. I mean – HELLO! – I couldn’t run a step 2 months ago without wincing in pain.

About a week and a half ago, I was discharged from physical therapy. I had been run/walking for approximately 3 weeks with no return of pain. At my last appointment my PT had me do a series of tests to check out my strength and flexibility. For the most part, my strength and flexibility has doubled since starting Iontophoresis. Yay! The biggest part that I need to work on is confidence in my foot. Jumping on my left foot makes me hesitant. I’m afraid it’s going to give out and crumble underneath me.

What NOT to do when returning to running after an injury.

When I had my first taste of running again after 6 months off, I got hungry. Really hungry.  And greedy. In my head I was looking at running all the miles and all the races.

Maybe I’ll be able to run a 5k at Halloween? Maybe I’ll do a Turkey Trot? Maybe I’ll be able to do a half marathon in early December? What marathon should I run in the Spring?

My crazy runner brain took over! I wanted it all.

Whoa Nelly! Just stop right there!

I need to STOP looking forward. I need to stay in the mile that I’m in. If it works in a race situation, it will work in returning to running after an injury, right?

The last thing I need to do is to re-injure myself, or worse yet, get a new injury, so I’m *trying* to following what not to do when returning to running after an injury.

Don’t go too fast, too long or too quickly. Instead, my mantra will be – Go slow, go short. Increase gradually. Patience will hopefully be my BFF. Don’t forget about cross training – it will only make you stronger.

Don’t stop physical therapy exercises! I’m pretty diligent about my PT exercises although not all of them as often as I should. With my long list of injuries from the past year, I’ve got a LOT of exercises. Just because I’m feeling good, they still need to be done like it’s my job. I need to remember that they are also preventive exercises!

Don’t compare pre-injury to post-injury. There was a time, not long ago, when I could run a 20 miler and have zero leg fatigue at the end. Now, I run 3 miles total (with a 1/4 mile walk break in between) and my legs are sore for two days. It saddens me to think of how much endurance and strength I’ve lost. I know eventually I’ll return to “old me” workouts and times. In the meantime, I need to only focus on how much I’ve progressed in this “training” cycle. Because injury recovery really is what I’m training for right now.

Don’t ignore injury symptoms. Last week, my left calf was feeling really tight which made my Posterior Tib Tendon feel tight. It made me nervous, so I backed off from running entirely for a few days. I foam rolled, used The Stick and stretched like crazy. Thankfully, everything is feeling back to normal now. I’ve learned that if I feel any of my old injury symptoms AT ALL, I need to address it. It may mean not running or even take going back to the distance/time that I was running two weeks ago. It’s not the END. Most likely, I’m avoiding anything serious by catching it early and avoiding any type of regression.

Bosu Single leg Balance |

The biggest lesson I’ve learned from being injured: Be grateful for every step that you can run. A 1/4 mile of running lifts my soul and brightens my day. It does more for me mentally and physically than any other activity. Nothing compares! Don’t get greedy and want more, more, more. More will come with time.

I look forward to all the runs that I can do. I know what it’s like not to run so I’m holding on to every stride I can take. And if you are wondering what it’s like, you can read all about it HERE.

I remind myself daily that this is temporary. I will be back to “my old self” one day. Hopefully, a much stronger, less injury prone, self.

What other What NOT to do’s am I missing?

The Benefits of Massage for Runners {Giveaway}

Be the best runner you can be with the Benefits of Massage for Runners. |

Disclaimer: I was gifted a free massage in exchange for a review of Massage Envy. All thoughts, as always, are my own.

The lights are dimmed. There’s soft music playing. Aromatherapy candles are lit.

Sounds absolutely wonderful, right?

It’s the perfect setting to relax and rejuvenate. Or it’s the perfect setting to get every single kink worked out of your hard working runner muscles.

Runner’s beat up their bodies. We run fast. We run slow. We run long. We hit the trails. We’re on the track running in an oval repeatedly. We want to run all the races. We want to run all the miles. All the time.

That’s great but our bodies need some assistance in recovering from all that hard work.

Running at any speed or distance, requires repetitive muscular contractions that allows us to run further and faster. That’s what we want, right?!? The flip side is that those beautiful muscles that now have you running faster and further, become shortened and tight, the range of motion in the joints becomes less, and there is decreased circulation to tissues. Hello injury waiting to happen!

Runners need massages.


The most beneficial massage for runners is not the light touch “relaxing” massage. Therapeutic massage – which includes Deep Tissue, Active Release Therapy (ART), and Trigger Point – is going to hurt a little (or a lot depending on how tight you are). I always have to remind myself to BREATHE during those moments. Therapeutic massage involves a deep pressure that’s corrective to soft tissue. The pressure applied from a therapeutic massage helps to soften fascia and makes clenched muscles relax. It also removes adhesion between fascia and muscles which is especially important for runners since we require limber joints and pain free muscles. No runner wants to be sore for their next workout.

Benefits of Massage for Runners

1. Recover faster from delayed onset muscles soreness (DOMS).

2. Improves immune function and reduces inflammation.

3. Increases/restores joint range of motion.

4. Dilates blood vessels which promotes circulation, decreases blood pressure and can increase your performance.

6. Improves connective tissue healing.

7. Decreases cortisol levels to help mentally and physically relax.

When I’m in half marathon or marathon training, I try to schedule a deep tissue massage at least once a month. I’d love to do more but the cost can add up quickly. They aren’t cheap but totally worth the expense if it means running injury free. Of course, the “cheap” version of a massage – foam rolling, The Stick, etc. – are perfect for daily muscle and fascia maintenance at home.

Massage has been a big part of my foot injury recovery. My PT has been doing therapeutic massage on me from day one as well as encouraging me to practice it on myself. My calves are an endless source of knots and are something I need to work on daily. My nightly routine either involves rolling or having Ron torture my calves with The Stick.


Of course, I’ve been getting deep tissue massages too. I recently had the opportunity to try a new to me place – Massage Envy Spa. The spa is great! From the wonderful warm neck pillow I received immediately when I walked in the door to the calming decor, lighting and music, it really was a relaxing experience despite all my knots. I asked my therapist, Blake, to work specifically on my neck, shoulders, calves and feet since that’s where all my tension is usually stored.  I’m not a fan of light massages and he applied just the right about of pressure. After an hour long massage, I walked out of the spa taller and feeling relaxed despite not having a relaxing type of massage.

If you live in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Maine, this giveaway is for you! Sorry to everyone else. :(

Massage Envy Spa wants you to relax and rejuvenate with your own massage.

They kindly offered a FREE one hour massage of your choice at any of their locations in Massachusetts, New Hampshire or Maine – You can search HERE for one near you.

To enter, simply answer this question in the comments below for your chance to win:

How do you relax?

Giveaway is open to residents of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Please only enter if you have a convenient Massage Envy Spa location near your. Giveaway ends Sunday, November 1st.