I'm the type of person that tends to think the best of people. With the exception of large groups of construction workers who don't speak english and dudes in the park that carry a big stick and have a penchant for chatting up the ladies, I feel safe running in the early morning darkness. I don't carry mace or a cell phone when I run... just my house key and my ipod. The majority of my running route is fairly well-lit and well-traveled by other female runners. But, the beginning of my route is pretty dark and lonely. For the first 1.5 miles of my route, I run in pretty much complete darkness and rarely see more than 2-3 cars pass by.
Yesterday, I was checking out the message board for my local running club and read a post that a woman wrote explaining how she had been approached and coralled by a car around 5:30 am. The person in the car asked her to get in the car and luckily she was able to run away and was safe. The street that she was running on.. intersects with the streets that I run. At first... I shrugged the post off... thinking... ohhhh I'm sure she's just exaggerating. She probably just got a little spooked. Some girls are like that. And I didn't think anything more of it...
Until... this morning as I prepared for my run. It just seemed darker than normal. My imagination started to get the best of me and I contemplated waiting till 6:30 when the sun came up and getting to work a little late. But, in case you haven't noticed (and if you know me in real life, you definitely know this) I let VERY few things come between me and my morning runs... not boys, not lack of sleep, not cold nor heat... (basically only rain... I hate wet running shoes) And, dammit, I'm not going to let fear keep me from it either.
So, I headed out for my run. Everything went fine, as expected... But I was little nervous initially... okay, well nervous isn't the right word... I was actually scared. I mean, at one point.. (running through my usual creepy construction man area) I got totally freaked out because I saw a shadow coming up behind me... running fast... but ummm.. yeah... so, it turns out it was my own shadow.
I'm happy that I didn't let the incident to the other girl get to me. But, I'm definitely glad that I read about it, because it's super important to be cautious and mindful of your surroundings when you are anywhere alone... and sometimes I definitely need to be reminded of that. As much as I like to think I'm a total bad-ass and could kick anyone's ass that tried to mess with me... I'm totally not and I totally can't.
So... just a reminder y'all.... be careful out there... as someone once told me of running in the dark... "there are creeps out there for far less noble reasons than you..."