When I go running, Scott always tells me to have a good run and be safe. It's not just something he says out of habit. He says it with meaning. Every. Time.
Remember Sherry Arnold, the school teacher who was abducted while running and later found dead? Or Meg Cross Menzies who was killed by a drunk driver while running? And locally we've all read stories of runners being attacked while running.
After Arnold disappeared, I remember being extra careful to run where there was plenty of traffic, and I always made sure my husband knew exactly where I would be running. Then after Menzies was killed I was super paranoid and extra cautious when running around traffic. I would try to meet the eyes of drivers passing to make sure they saw me, and I spent more time on the paved trail by my house to avoid being near vehicles.
But as time goes by I start to let my guard down. I'm less aware of my surroundings, and I let myself get distracted by my thoughts and my music more. Sometimes that is okay.
If I'm on the trail during a busy time of day when cyclists and runners pass me regularly, I can justify letting myself get lost in my run. But when I'm on the street, running with cars just a few feet away or when I'm on the trail and I don't see anyone else for 10 minutes or more at a time, I need to be careful. We all need to be careful.
Please let this be your reminder to be careful out there. I don't want any of us to be the next reminder to be more careful.
Do you listen to music when you run?
Where is your favorite place to run?