Sunday, October 22, 2006
Ran/walked the 3 mile course along the Roanoke River today. Several days ago a woman's body was found in the river adjoining this popular trail and the murder appears to be a homicide. My friends and I have agreed that we will continue to use this course as before but I do feel the need to review the safety precautions I take whenever I run. I never run outside at night no matter where I am and I don't use headphones when I run alone (I seldom use headphones when running with others either.) I speak to people as I approach them and I watch for people that speed up as I pass them or appear to slow down as I approach. I also have a loud whistle I try to remember to wear - will be more diligent about that now. I also vary the locations and times of my runs so there is no predictability in case someone is watching. Perhaps this sounds over cautious, but I don't think so. In my younger, naive days I was twice approached by men exposing themselves as I walked through parking lots - once at a local mall and once at the hospital. Years ago, I read Gavin de Becker's "The Gift of Fear" - I remember the observations and advice in this book clearly and shape my personal safety strategies accordingly. I strongly recommend this book to all.