The number one question I get asked is how I feel safe running so early in the morning in the dark. When I walk out of the door on even the longest days of the year I know my first hour of running will be in the pitch dark. In the winter I have a hard time running outside in the dark because the roads in Michigan are not pleasant and sometimes very icy so I usually use the treadmill but 90% of my spring, summer, and fall runs are outside.
There is something different about running early on a summer morning. It’s dark, but the birds are chirping, the sprinklers are on, and it doesn’t feel as creepy to be outside.
With all that being said, it is still scary running by yourself at 4 am. I would have to admit that every morning when I stand at my mailbox and look up the hill to go out of my neighborhood I wonder what is waiting for me on the other side. Another downside to running in the dark and so early is that your mind is just not fully awake yet. It usually takes me a couple miles to wake up and you have to be very aware of cracks in the road, animals around you, and cars that may not see you.
So what do I do to ease my fears?
- I run in a lighted area if I can. I take a route that is not the easiest but it goes over a freeway that has lights lining it and also through my town that for the most part is brighter than if I was just running in my neighborhood.
- I use a head lamp to see in front of me. It also helps cars see me although they are probably annoyed with my light coming towards them.
- I wear as much reflective gear as I can. (Including on my clothes, hats, and a light on my flipbelt)
- I wear a tag by Wear Safe that can be pressed if you are in danger and it will alert ALL of the people I have put in my network. At that point they will get my GPS location, hear live audio, and have the option to call 911 right from that screen. I have never felt SO safe when I run. It’s small and discreet so someone approaching you wouldn’t notice you pushing the tag like they would if you had to get your phone out of your pocket.
- I wear Road ID. If I passed out and something happened at 4 am I would like to think that someone could call my emergency contacts to let them know I am hurt.
- I carry pepper spray. It is very small and I’ve never had to use it but it makes me feel safe to know I have it just in case.
Running in the 4 am hour is not for everyone but for me it’s my time to fit it in. I do have to take extra precautions but most of these are things you can use in the daylight too. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times when you are running and especially if you are running alone.
If you want to check out some of the products I use click on the below links:
WearSafe Tag – Discount code “Jessbug1122” for 15% off
Note: I was not paid to promote this on my blog or review the products. I am an ambassador for RoadID & WearSafe and truly love both products!
What’s your favorite time to run?