Today, I want to talk about flexibility and safety.
Since I’ve begun this running journey, I’m finding I have become very… how shall we say… particular about my outings.
My shoes have to be laced a certain way. My ponytail has to be just-so. I have to travel in a certain direction, and my socks have to be perfectly positioned. I don’t know if it’s superstition or eccentricity or what, but I find myself hung up by some seemingly little things like a sliding ponytail or bunched sock. I like to keep things interesting, though, so I will throw myself a curve ball from time to time, just to keep things interesting. I don’t like being locked into inflexibility.
Today, I decided to try a brand new route. It’s one I speed walk with my friends when we don’t want to go so far. It’s a loop of about two miles, very shaded, curving through some beautiful farm properties. The view includes horses, cows, peacocks, and beautiful foliage. If you’re lucky, you get to hear the tigers roaring and wolves howling from within the confines of the private preserve on the one side. Oh, and did I mention the grazing zebras? No? Very cool.
As I set out, I kind of started rethinking my decision. I tend to stick to busy roads and neighborhoods for safety’s sake. This route would be a little more remote and not quite as well traveled. I do have pepper spray that I carry at night, but I didn’t think I would need it during the daylight hours (note to self: start carrying during the day as well). I determined that I would remove my ear bud (I only run with one in) once I hit the loop, in order to ensure that I would be more alert and vigilant to anything going on around me, and continued on my way.
I was most of the way up the road that opens into the loop when a rather large dog poked his head out of a driveway. He wasn’t leashed. There was a wall impeding my vision, so I couldn’t tell if there was anyone around who would be able to call him back should he decide I looked tasty. I’m not necessarily afraid of dogs, but I didn’t feel comfortable risking it if no one was around should I need help. I doubled back and decided to continue my run through another neighborhood.
This one is situated on a little bit of an incline, so I got an extra good workout to make up for the loss of peacock sightings. My focus was a little off from the sudden change of plan, but I pushed through it and the results made me very proud.
Today’s training session had me run a steady 30 minutes. In that time, I managed to log 3.08 miles at a pace of 9:44. And man, can I feel it in my legs and thighs. At the same time, it was a huge confidence booster for my 5K coming in (OMG)12 days(!). I think I’m going to do ok.
Do you find that you have some interesting quirks when it comes to your running routine?
How do you manage personal safety on your route?