Saturday, October 22, 2016

Keeping Safe In The Wee Hours

I am careful heading out into the dark streets, morning after morning. The dangers are different than those I faced running at night on dark country roads, twenty years ago in Western Massachusetts. There my main fear was getting hit by a car, since I was running on the shoulder of the road (no sidewalks). I still protect against that with shoe lights, and all my running gear has some kind of reflective surface as well, but most of the streets I run on are well lit, even at night, and I make sure to cross at crosswalks. So here it's mostly about protecting myself against other people.

I do all the usual sensible stuff. I don't wear headphones. I don't run in parks when it's dark. I stay where it's well lit, I run on streets that have some traffic passing by and preferably a bus route as well. I avoid areas with too many vacant buildings. I carry my phone. In case of an "in case", I wear an ID wristband.

And I say close attention to my "Spidey-sense". If a stretch doesn't feel right - even if it's a stretch I'm familiar with and run at other times - I don't go there. It's amazing how different a section of street can feel at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday, rather than on a weekday, when it's already starting to wake up with people by that time. The weekend streets have a very different feel until the sun is closer to rising.

Daylight savings is in a couple of weeks and for once I'm looking forward to it. It's already dark now when we pick up the kids so what does it matter if it's dark an hour earlier - but it will make a difference to me in the morning.


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