After the video's I packed a few things so I could take Judah on a long speed while around George Masons's campus. When I go on a long walk or run outside of my house I always bring the following. I just stick these items underneath my Ironman Bob stroller. If its really sunny outside I bring extra sunscreen but I typically put some on Judah before we leave the house
- I always bring mace, you can purchase mace at any running store. If I am in a crowded area then I keep the mace on the bob so I can grab it in case something happens and its out of reach from Judah. If I feel I am in some sort of danger or walk by a person who sets off red flags then I make sure I have the mace in my hand, visible enough so the person knows I am not one to be messed with.
- water bottle for myself and a sippy cup for Judah
- plenty of snacks for both of us.
- tiny amount of cash
- some of Judahs favorite toys, he likes to hold one while we run.
- an emergency diaper, we don't stray to far from home but its always good to have a backup.
When I go out for my long runs or walks I like to choose paths that I think are relatively safe and I prefer to go during the day. If I am just walking really fast I like to go to George Mason University Campus because its close to me, they have great wide sidewalks, students are always out and walking around and they have security always patrolling the place. In the news recently their has been a few local attacks on students walking home after school and some attacks are targeting women running alone. I am extra sensitive when I am out running and like to keep Judah and I as safe as possible. Today when I walked up to the campus this man was walking closely behind me. I found it a little odd but figured he might be late for class. I walked down different paths around the campus and even backtracked a bit and re walked down some streets. At one point I managed to get behind the guy (I realized he was not a student) and my red flags went off because he paused, pretended to throw something out in the trashcan so I could get in front of him. Once I was in front of him I stopped grabbed my mace and stared at him, he saw I was looking directly at him. He stopped, pretended to tie his shoes and walked away from me down a different path. This man was already following me for 2.5 miles. I walked in a different direction (he was still in sight) and flagged down a security truck. They got out and stared down the man who at this point was retracing his steps back towards me, once he saw the two security men standing near me he walked out of the campus.
The reason why I am posting this is because I wanted to encourage everyone on running safely. I am extra cautious when I have Judah with me and I never wear headphones. I make sure that I am aware of people around me and make sure I check behind myself to see if anyone is acting a little strange. Also I carry my mace, take pictures of people (once they walk away) that are a little off and I have the campus security number and the non emergency number programmed into my phone. I also text my husband when I leave and when I come home so he knows where I am at in case something happens.
Once the security guards left I took Judah over to a cute lake on the campus and I let him watch the fountains and wave to students. I wanted to make sure enough time has passed so I could take a different route home to ensure this strange man wasn't following me.
Getting out and walking or running with Judah is allot of fun. When we are on the campus it barely feels like we are working out because we are so distracted by the beauty of the campus and the interesting people walking around us. By the time we safely made it home we walked 3.6 miles and it was lunch time. I always try to have something pre-made so I am not crashing and grabbing junk food when I get back from an extra long workout. Its always good to eat something with in 30 minutes after your work out. Today I made sure I had a cup filled with blueberries, strawberries, greek yogurt and granola chilling in the fridge and some leftover salmon salad from last night.
I know to some people my safety measures for taking Judah out on a run may seem a little extreme but I don't want to take the chance of being targeted by someone for an attack, I also don't want to live in fear and not take advantage of our beautiful weather and local campus. I want Judah to experience the outdoors and have memorable and fun walks with his mama.
I would say my best advice is to be prepared, I always carry mace. To be aware of your surroundings, this is why I don't listen to my iPod while I run with Judah or if I run outside alone I listen to it with the volume turned down so I can hear someone approaching me. Lastly just trust your instincts.
Do you have any safety things you like to do while you are out?