There’s been a lot of talk about running alone, specifically, on running alone while female. It’s been in my brain for quite some time so I felt the need to write about it to let it out.
If you’ve been reading HFM for quite some time, you may know that I had a really scary creeper experience about 3 years ago. It was in November when it was super dark in the early morning. I never even gave a thought to the darkness prior to that day. I was always cautious and alert but never hesitated to head out for a run by myself. I looked forward to the early morning quiet.
But that morning, a guy followed me in his car and made me freaked out about running alone in the dark. Especially since I remembered seeing his car three days prior on a different route.
How long had he been following me?
And would he do it again?
Since that day, I’ve been very fortunate to have running buddies who enjoy running in the early morning as much as I do. I haven’t needed to go out solo as much as I used to. For the longest time, if I didn’t have anyone to run with in the morning, I’d run on the treadmill or fit it in in the daylight hours.
At some point, I’m not sure when, I started running in the dark again.My anxiety about the dark lessened but I still don’t feel totally comfortable.
My first mile is always faster than I intend because my adrenaline is thumping. I’m always on alert. I take notice of ever car, person or thing that I encounter. I carry mace with me. But lately, I’m not too sure I feel comfortable running in the dark or the light. It seems like there are more and more reports of women being attacked or killed no matter what time of day it is. I angers me so much that I can’t have the freedom of running anywhere without feeling like I’m prey for some sick predator.
I think a large majority of women have their own scary story of running alone. It’s not an isolated incident that only happens in big cities. It happens everywhere.
Part of me wonders if my worry is exaggerated by the media coverage of these events. Are there more incidents of women being attacked or is it just reported on the news more so it seems that way?
The news of Mollie Tibbetts recently made me even more sad and angry. She went out for a run, something we all do every single day. It was something that she enjoyed. Something that she looked forward to.
When I heard the news, I was thankful that I was meeting a friend the next morning for a predawn run for some comfort and security. We talked about what we encounter daily as female runners. How it’s not right that we live with this fear over our heads every time we head out the door. We talked about how crazy it was that some people were practically blaming Mollie for going out for a run alone. Like she did something wrong! We also talked about how we aren’t going to let fear stop us from doing what we love.
I wish I had a solution for all of this. What I wish for even more, is that I didn’t even need to write a blog post about this. My wish is that all women could run, hell, just walk out of their house without having to fear what will happen.
What I do know is that I’m still going to run. I’m still going to run alone. I’m not going to let fear win.
If you need a refresher on safety tips for running alone, HERE’S a post I wrote a couple of years ago.
Stay safe friends.