Hi! I'm getting back into running, after not having run consistently since my late teens (I'm in my mid 20's now). My car situation is temporarily problematic right now (borrowing a family member's car for work) and so I'm forced to run near where I live, and it's a rather rural area. Right now, I'm switching back and forth between the nearby high school track and running blocks around the tiny settlement here (a dying community). I'm already getting tired of counting laps at the track (4 laps just for a mile, so trying to run 6 miles, mean counting down from 24...), and two of the laps I'm doing around the community = 1 mile, so I'm having to run that lap 10 times to make 5 miles. Meanwhile, the two old men who ride their bikes slowly around those same blocks stare at me when I run by, and it's embarrassing! Also embarrassing is passing the same houses 10 times! I feel like everyone must think I'm crazy, I mean, "who goes out and runs laps like that?" Ha ha. I'm tempted to just start running on one of the country/rural highways around here, but I'm a little nervous about that. Do any of you women run on rural/country roads where there aren't many houses? If so, what do you do to feel extra safe? I've thought about just carrying a cell phone, and getting a can of mace..
It is difficult to run the same short route. I would say scope out the rural areas that you are considering (so, drive the country roads you are thinking about and travel them at some different times to observe the surroundings). Also, ask others about their impressions of the area. In general, you may be taking a greater risk in passing the same houses over and over again. It is usually a good idea to vary your route (time and location wise) because predictable patterns can be safety concerns depending on other variables. It also sounds like the routine that you have currently is troublesome for various reasons, so do carry a cell phone and let someone know your rural route, expected return time and so on.
(As always, dogs or other animals may present a greater challenge than people), so take care in noting those possibilities).
Hope this helps and wishing you all the best.
you must be training for more than a 5k to be running that much. Im just doing the 5k, so its not as far, so, the laps and stuff arent as boring. I feel weird running in the neighborhoods here, but in reality, no one cares, I'm sure. I tend to go at night because I feel more comfortable, but it is less safe, I guess. I have a med. to large dog, so i don't worry. In the country? you should get a dog, or take the neighbors with you maybe. Other than that, sometimes I carry a small knife, and think about what i'd do with it, should a problem arise while im running- that keeps my mind off the run too.lol. I dont think it'd hurt to get some mace or one of those really loud siren things you push the button on, its like a panic button, i knew a girl that ran with one.. good luck!
I live in a somewhat rural area as well. There are some small neighborhoods nearby that are good for short runs, but my long runs mean I end up either running on busy two lane highways or on rural farm area roads. For me the problem is that the farm roads are hilly and curvy, and have no shoulders, so when cars pass by I have to either jump in or over the ditch beside the road. There is a surprising amount of traffic on those rural roads. What I have done is scout out the roads before I run them to see which ones have good visibility so that I can both see and be seen and which are really narrow so that there's nowhere to go to avoid traffic. (It is also helpful because mapmyrun and googlemaps have a lot of errors in my area. Farm driveways are shown as through roads.) I don't worry much about being attacked as a female (towns worry me more), just cars and dogs. Most people ignore me or just wave in passing. I suggest that if you are concerned, you carry mace. I do carry a cellphone when I run, but that's more because I worry about getting injured 5 miles from home and having to walk back when it's really cold.
Thanks for the tips -- yeah, I'm going to drive down the road I want to run down, hopefully tomorrow, and scope it out. Hopefully I'll feel safe w/ carrying a cell phone. I might just have to stop using my headphones, or at least leave one ear bud out.
My grandfather told me the other day that he was going to get me some mace for my runs. I think I've kept off the roads this long for fear of what he'd say if he found out. I moved in with he and my grandmother over Christmas to get back on my feet financially, and I think I let my family have too much say in my life, and let their opinions keep me from thinking creatively! My grandfather told me the other day that he'd rather if I didn't run after dark, and he's the type of man you say "yes sir" to. Ha ha, he must have been referencing a couple times when I stayed out until dusk.
I hate to really break it down for them, and tell them how many miles I'm planning on running, because then they'll just worry about how tired I'm getting, or whatever! So I'll tell you guys! I want to either run a marathon this Fall or this coming January, and I'd like to get a head start on training; hopefully race some shorter distances before then. It's been a long standing dream of mine.. I started running when I was a teenager (I'm 24 now), but after that, college and life got in the way. I ran one cross country 5k in Nov. of 2009, but that was the last time I ran a race. I'm saving for a vehicle right now, and once I get one, I plan on running more in town about 30 min. from here, where there is a very active runner's club. Meanwhile, I guess I just have to suffer-it-out. 20 laps on the neighborhood high school track this evening! ;-)
So anyway, I'd like to run around 40 miles a week eventually. Right now, I've just got to around 23, which is a start! :-)
Thanks for all the replies, you guys! :-)
If you're concerned about the safety of the area, you might want to also check with your local police or sheriff's department and find out if there have been any incidents or a history of incidents there. If they give it a clean report, you probably don't need to worry much. Carrying a cell phone is always a reasonable idea in an isolated area, but make sure that you have signal or the phone will be useless.
My opinion on mace (I grew up in New York City, where personal safety is often an issue) is that if you really need to carry it, you probably shouldn't be running there. If you do wish to carry mace, make sure you know how to use it properly so that it will not be used against you in the event of an incident.
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There's nothing embarassing about making sure you're safe. I know a pro who recently moved to a big city and didn't feel safe running at night so she did laps around her apparment complex and she was training for a marathon! I know you're in a rural area, but if there is a running store nearby you might check and see if they have any running groups you could join or if they know anyone in your area that might want a running buddy. There are also quite a few websites online that help you find running partners. I can't remember the one I used but here's one http://www.findrunningpartners.com/signin/signin.php. Another girlfriend also found a running buddy through a similar site and we both had good experiences. Good luck!
Thanks for the encouragement! Right now, I don't have my own car (drive a family member's to work) and until I've saved enough to get my own, I'm stuck running close to home. There is a very active running group about 30 min. from here, and once I have my own car (by August, hopefully) I plan on joining, and even running closer to that area, so hopefully my current dilemma is only temporary.
Thanks for the story about your pro friend; that was encouraging! :-)
Bohemian: I live in the country, and train in the country. The one route I run I pass about 2-3 houses per mile, and 3 farms, and 2 abandoned historical shacks (little creepy) and have never had any issues...well I almost got sprayed by a skunk but that was the only 'threat' I have encountered.
The other route I take is 1.5 miles out and back, there are 4 houses, and a marsh, and farm fields. It is beautiful and peaceful. I have been attacked by thousands of mosquitos, but never had issues with any of the people or passing cars for that matter.
I'm sure you will be fine, however if it makes you feel more secure run with a dog, or pepper spray
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