The fear of the female runner

/ 8 comments
With a heartbeat of 175, caused by a mixture of effort and fear, I galloped along that 'cute little trail' I couldn't resist.

But it kept winding further and further away from the nearest road. My mind already began thinking up the headlines: 'Female runner found murdered on cute little trail' and experts shaking their heads saying: 'Curiosity killed this female runner dead.'

Just when I thought I really should just turn around, the path suddenly became wider and I found myself once again in the world of the living. What sweet relief! Especially since I absolutely hate 'turning back'. Turning back is like the t-shirt: 'Been there, done that!'

Mom Self versus my Runner Self

As a mom I like my life quiet and uneventful. I get enough adrenline rushes when the kids are fighting about who is looking at who 'funny', muddy footsteps on clean kitchen floors, and empty milk cartons ín the fridge. But as a runner, I like to be adventurous. I like exploring 'strange and new worlds'. And when I see a dirt path, I'm drawn to it.

But as a woman you are vulnerable, and you shouldn't take unnecessary risks. Which is a real bummer if you ask me.

Do you run along desolate dirt tracks?
And do you prefer familiar routes, or do you like to try out new ones?

8 comments:

  1. I struggle with this too. A few years ago a woman was attacked within eyesight of my house. My H was quick to point out that it probably means it will never happen again and so I'm safe to run alone in our neighborhood. I rarely ever do.

    As for "I am a Marathoner"... if you like adventure...this is best undertaken with that in mind. It's an adventure, it takes courage and there will be points when you think "I can't go on". The key to the marathon journey is to have enough mental stamina to say, "I CAN DO ANYTHING I put my mind to". (a little 'eminem' doesn't hurt either). You'll know if/when you're ready to say it. No rush. Once you do it, it's hard to go back.

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  2. I know where you're coming from. There's a trail out the back which cuts through to the next town. Even walking the dog I get a bit twitchy since there was a cyclist once that kept peddaling back and forth every 5 minutes of so as if he was sussing me out, very freaky. I tend to stick to areas with high footfall with other runners and dog walkers.

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  3. I love to try new routes and trails. I don't run on trails often right now though, since I'm either running with a jogging stroller or trying to fit in a run quickly so I can get back home to take over baby duty.

    I try to plan out my routes and tell my husband where I'm going, and I take my phone with me. It's harder for me to get motivated to get out the door than it is to keep going or to go further once I've started running. So I'm bad with changing or adding to my route once I'm out there. I usually track runs with MapMyRun app, which has an option to post to facebook periodically during your run. I haven't turned it on, but it would probably be a good idea if I'm changing my route mid run so that someone could find me if the need arose.

    A few weeks ago, I was running on a street that skirted the outside of a small village. There were 2 guys in an SUV driving up and down a stretch of the road who were freaking me out. They did call out at one point that they were checking the new breaks on the vehicle, which explained the repeated braking/accelerating, but I turned off that road anyway. Ever since Sherry Arnold disappeared while running, I'm a little extra nervous. I always run alone, since my husband doesn't run often and my schedule doesn't really let me plan out runs to far in advance.

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    Replies
    1. I always let my husband know where I'm going, so he knows where to look for me if I don't turn up… But it's an unpleasant feeling that makes me do this.

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  4. The female runner fear gets to me a lot. There are many paths along beaches and through wooded areas that I would love to explore but get nervous to. Even with my usual route I get nervous thinking, if someone wanted to they could set their watch by my Saturday morning run. It is a bummer though since it is so fun and exciting to explore a new place running!

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    1. I think trying out new routes is fun and exciting too! And I often find myself looking longingly at a small dirt path, but forbidding myself to take it.

      Sometimes I find myself thinking: 'Would I allow my girls to be here?' and usually just the thought makes me shiver. I'm obviously much less careful with myself, than with my daughters...

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  5. I run all sorts of different routes around my county, but it's urban and on a grid, so that's easy to do. I never run the (paved) trails unless I'm with friends. There aren't any dirt paths near me LOL.

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  6. I think about this ALL THE TIME. Its the reason I've stopped running with music. So far, the only trails I've run are those that have potential for traffic, or are not too far from the road. I would love to run "deep into the woods" or "high into the mountains" by myself, but as you say, the fear of the female runner is a very real thing.

    I always run with my iphone, and on trails, I run with the LIFE360 app in the background. This app allows your friends/family to know where you are at all times (with varying degrees of accuracy). Your location is only visible to those you choose to be visible to (so don't go friending complete strangers on this app), so my husband can check the app on his phone and know where I am running.

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