As you know, I am a solo runner. I don’t belong to any running groups although I do have running friends who I run with sometimes. Mostly however, I can be found sorting through my thoughts quietly to myself as I make my way through morning miles alone. I see all the news about the terrible things that happen to many people but especially to runners who run alone. Yeah, I’m one of those most of the time. Recently I booked my trip to see my parents in the land of nothingness, I began to thing about the fact that no one runs where they live. Not only does no one run, their neighbors are less than a stones throw away. I love the quiet and peace there because you can sit on the porch and just enjoy the actual sound of nature instead of cars, horns, kids, and all the air pollution we have here in suburbia. I thought about how excited I was to run in the morning there and then I began to wonder what would happen if Texas Chainsaw Massacre decided to come to the street during my run…. Who would miss me? Who would care? That made me nervous! Here, everyone knows me by my bandana wearing flamboyance, my gate as I run which my kids refer to as the “Brenna-Wobble” and because I’m out running all the time. Chances of someone noticing if I were Brenna-napped or injured are much greater here than they are in the sticks of VA. I’ve run there before both alone and with my son and usually there isn’t anything to worry about but then again there aren’t many women running around in fancy running skirts early in the morning to attract attention either. Not really looking for attention but the thought of it made me reach out to a police officer friend of mine to inquire about Mace. I thought I would need to fill out an application for an FID card to carry Mace but as it turns out, back in 2012 or so, due to domestic violence rights for victims, the need for a license or permission no longer exists in any state. I did check to see what the law was in VA just in case it was illegal. Yeah, that would have been an interesting story to tell my husband. “Well Hunny Bunny, I got arrested for carrying Mace. Can you send bail money! LOL. Well come to find out it’s legal in all 50 states now which is good to know.
I promptly ordered myself and my daughter some right away. Nothing fancy or in a blinged out case or cleverly disguised. Just a simple small palm sized fat can with a sheath and a clip for my waistband. My can and case came in and are a bit bigger than I imagined. They are not delicate or really easy to conceal although they aren’t huge. Probably as big as a knife sheath. Come to find out they do make them lipstick case size but hey, I’m not buying more now. Now, I feel safer when it’s clipped to my waist in the morning. I didn’t feel unsafe before but I don’t stop and lollygag when I’m out there alone either. It’s a heavy clip/case and pulls my waistband on my running pants that are looser in the waist. It doesn’t however, fall off which is all I care about. Now I just need to remember EVERY morning to actually get in the habit of clipping it on to me before heading out. Today, I had it, the other day I was doing the V-8 forehead slap 1/4 mile into my run. Hopefully trouble doesn’t find me on a V-8 day! All in all at the end of the day I’ll feel safer in VA from bears, crazies and weirdo’s with nothing else to do but harass a runner. If you run alone, you should be safe. Carry Mace, have a Road ID with your important #’s and info on it. I have yet to order that but I’m getting there. Have something to protect yourself with so that you won’t have regrets. Better to have it and not need it at all, than not have it and need it desperately. What do you do to stay safe?