With the schedule my husband and I both have generally my runs are taking place early morning. There are many safety precautions you want to keep in mind....two kinds of safety 1-you being visible, 2-you feeling safe and prepared in your environment.
My dark early morning runs consist of me in brightly reflective clothing, a light up reflective vest, and a headlamp. I want to be sure that I can see where I am going and that others can see me. I do not always turn on my vest because I don't want to draw too much attention to myself but the headlamp definitely makes me look like a train coming your way! I take caution at intersections and wait to make eye contact with the driver, and I always make sure to say thank you. Don't want to give a bad name for runners.
As far as feeling safe in your environment, running with a buddy is always a good move but I don't have that luxury. Making sure you are in neighborhoods where you feel safe are crucial and well lit if a morning or late night run is happening. I run with a small can of mace to have just in case. Some people don't suggest that as it can then be used against you. I feel like I'd rather have something then nothing.
So why am I posting all this safety stuff that seems out of left field?!?! This morning I went out for my run in my reflective vest with brightly colored clothing and left my house in a light fog literally and figuratively. I was a mile out of my neighborhood and wanted to do a quick add on which was a turn that I run .5 mile up and back off my loop...about .4 of that mile is a quite road with no residential areas near by until that last .1. So I was .5 up and doing my turn around and saw a car heading out of the residential area and would be passing me going now in the same direction. I took note of the car and kept on running...I was now out of the residential area and noticed the car was now coming back up the street. I chalked it up to the driver forgot something at home. With that my other mind kicked in. The car if it turns around will be behind me and I am running in other lane against traffic and in the non residential area....I should turn around and head back into residential area. If this car is passing me three times in under a minute I don't feel comfortable with that.
In that moment that I turned the car was in fact heading back out of the residential area and had slowed down to a near stop and had it's window down. I was already sprinting back towards the residential area and did not make any eye contact with the driver. I could not give you a description of the driver as it was still dark and foggy but I knew it was the same car each time it passed me. Was anything going to happen...I don't know...why did they roll down their window...no clue...and was not going to wait to figure that out! As I passed them they quickly drove down the street away from me and towards the traffic light. I had now turned back around and was heading the same way...wanting to get to a busier part of town!
I generally stay in my neighborhood for shorter runs but longer runs I always want to head out so I am not doing multiple loops. But sometimes that doesn't always guarantee a non issue. A few years back I was running in the neighborhood a car passed me and did a quick u turn back to where I was, I was just .5 miles from my house. In that moment I pretended I was at my house and quickly walked towards a house pretending to grab my key and in a moment the car was gone.
I live in a fairly safe neighborhood. I do not always wonder who is going to jump out at me or run me off the road. I don't run with any music, I tell my husband my route, I say hello to everyone I pass, I am a defensive runner, and I run with a buddy when I can, I try to be smart about my surroundings. I always trust my gut. The rest of my run I looked at every car that passed me and was nervous it was that same car from mile two. I always was reflecting on how I saw my husband before my run this morning, not a typical thing, and I gave him a kiss goodbye today. I played that in my head for the rest of the run. Why today did I get to see him and say have a good day?!?!
Don't be a worry wart with every run you go out to complete but just remember to be safe and always always trust your gut!
Embrace the suck...choose you...stay away from the creepers!