Night Sweat

18 Sep

Today was a busy day in the Everton home. We registered our car, went grocery shopping, went to Costco, went to Home Depot, and made a visit to the bank to (finally) change my last name. And then the maintenance guy for our apartment complex came to (unsuccessfully) fix our garbage disposal. Needless to say, there wasn’t a ton of time for preggercising… When things finally settled down, it was dark outside. Oh, but before it got dark, we met our curious new neighbor!

Squirrelly

I’m really hoping he comes back to visit another time.

So I knew I needed to get out and do my C210K workout, but I’ve run enough miles and heard enough stories to know that it wouldn’t be smart to head out after dark. Michael and I just moved into our new apartment, and I’m not very familiar with the area (and frankly, I’m not convinced it’s the safest place in the world), so it would have been a really bad idea for me to hit the streets.

Michael and I met and got married in Provo, Utah, which a lot of people might assume is a really safe area (and it honestly is pretty safe. After all, a lot of Mormons generally means lots of safety), but I read several news stories about girls getting dragged off the street or running path while out running alone at night. In Provo! Absolutely terrifying.

Provo

I miss this place 😦

One night while I was out running with my sister, Jill, in preparation for the Ogden Marathon (um, yeah. Have I mentioned that we ran that thing? Because we totally did), we passed a serious creeper. We were coming up on him pretty fast and I saw him hiding in some bushes before Jill did, so I pushed her off of the sidewalk and into the well-lit road before we passed him. That was the most terrifying moment I’ve ever experienced while out running. Luckily we were together and I had pepper spray, but it was still scary.

What was even scarier was reading the newspaper the next day and finding out that another girl who wasn’t so lucky got attacked and raped just a few feet away from where we saw this guy. Who knows, maybe it wasn’t the same man, but I will always remember that moment when I saw him hiding in the bushes.

I don’t mean to scare anyone or discourage you from running (or from ever leaving your home, for that matter), but I think there are just too many girls out there who are not aware of just how dangerous it can be to go running or walking alone at night. If you absolutely must go out at night, here are some tips that should help keep you safe.

1. Bring Along a Big, Strong Man

This is my go-to guy…

Michael

He’s so handsome 🙂

If I were out on the prowl, looking for some weak runner to prey upon, I would stay away from any girl who was accompanied by a guy. But maybe that’s just me… in the mind of an attacker… So whether you believe in chivalry or not, a muscly man will go a long way in warding off predators.

Or Just Bring a Friend

Animals travel in packs, herds, flocks, gaggles, or whatever, because there is safety in numbers. No single attacker is going to go after a girl who is running with a friend because the friend will be able to fight him off and scream for help. If you don’t have a man handy (or willing to go running with you), a girlfriend will work really well. I remember feeling so relieved that I was with my sister because the chances of him attacking two girls was pretty low.

Invest in Pepper Spray

I bought this stuff awhile ago and have been glad I’ve had it ever since. I just strap it on my hand and I’m ready to go. I’ve never had the chance to use it yet and I hope I never do.

Pepper Spray

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Don’t wait before something happens to buy this stuff. Seriously.

Stay in Well-Lit and Highly-Trafficked Areas

If you are jogging or walking in an area that is well lit and has a lot of people driving by, the chances of somebody attacking you are really low. These kinds of guys are cowards, and they want to make sure they don’t get caught. The fewer the eyes, the better for them. This naturally means that the more eyes, the better for you. Always stay in a well-lit area when you’re out at night.

Tell Someone Where You’re Going

If you head out at night, always tell someone where you’re going. If you need further explanation, read this book.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

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I’ve never read it, but I hear this whole situation could have been avoided by telling someone where he was going in advance.

Leave Your iPod at Home

I love my iPod just as much as the next person, but if I am out running at night, I never wear it. If you are out at night, you want to be able to hear everything around you, and your iPod will tune you out completely. Leaving it at home will also help to keep you safe from traffic.

Combine As Many of These as You Can!

If you can, go running with a muscly man and one of your girlfriends, bring pepper spray, stay in a well-lit, highly-traveled area, tell someone where you are going, and don’t bring your iPod. Ha! See if you can get all of them together. Might be fun, right? At the very least it will keep you safe when you’re out at night.

In the meantime, happy sweating! Sweet potato recipe experiment coming tomorrow 🙂

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