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Night time Park Running - Am I looking for trouble

 
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Rh



Joined: 26 Jul 2005
Posts: 1218

PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:37 pm    Post subject: Night time Park Running - Am I looking for trouble Reply with quote

I did first run last night at the park where I start to run this summer.
I stop on the way home from work to run and then swim at ND at 8pm.

It wasn't late about 5:30 but it was getting dark out. There was few
people out walk their dogs, walking or running.

I don't know if I am looking for trouble.
Riverwalk park - good area - I don't think they had trouble there.
has lighting along the cement pathway.
Runs close to some roads except a couple of areas.
Police station at one corner and some business.
I do admit last night I did pick up my pace.
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Rita



Joined: 14 Jul 2005
Posts: 4469
Location: Alexandria, VA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:40 am    Post subject: Re: Night time Park Running - Am I looking for trouble Reply with quote

Rh wrote:
has lighting along the cement pathway.
...I do admit last night I did pick up my pace.


hope you're not running on the cement

go with your gut... I'd see if there is someone who wants to run with you (or a dog)
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Trent



Joined: 03 May 2006
Posts: 5743
Location: Deep Wells, TN

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be vigilant, carry a phone and make sure somebody knows you are out there and when you should return.

I was running on an unlit greenway last week after dark. I came up on a young woman running alone. I let her know I was coming up on her, "on your left". No response. As I passed her, I noticed she was wearing headphones and had NO situational awareness. She, of course, screamed in terror and surprise as I passed her when she suddenly became aware of some dude in the dark right next to her. Not too bright if you ask me.
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T-Mu



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
Posts: 1194

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 1:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trent wrote:
I was running on an unlit greenway last week after dark. I came up on a young woman running alone. I let her know I was coming up on her, "on your left". No response. As I passed her, I noticed she was wearing headphones and had NO situational awareness. She, of course, screamed in terror and surprise as I passed her when she suddenly became aware of some dude in the dark right next to her. Not too bright if you ask me.


I was looking at reflective running jackets the other day and was SHOCKED by how many of them proudly featured iPod pockets and headphone holes. For wearing to run at night.

I don't run at night, but I'm kind of a chicken about these things.
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1L



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
Posts: 8262
Location: Bay Village, OH

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We had a quickie self defence lecture after one of our half marathon training sessions, and the teacher's advice was to wear lots of reflective clothing and lights. His rationale being that if you are very noticeable, then a predator will leave you alone since you will be calling lots of attention to yourself just by what your are wearing. He also strongly advised against wearing headphones if you were running, walking, walking the dog, etc. at night alone.
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stihl going



Joined: 14 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats a double edged sword. I don't run after dark for safety reasons. Not that I worry about getting mugged but drivers who don't pay attention. Also around here this time of year is the question of good footing.
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tom



Joined: 25 Apr 2006
Posts: 2332
Location: Northwest Indiana

PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought a 9 LED light that attaches to a baseball hat for $4.99 at Menards and wore it for the first time this morning. I was amazed at how much more room I was given by oncoming traffic and how much more comfortable I was today. $5 well spent.
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Tom L



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is your primary concern the risk of being physical assaulted, being more likely to be hit by a car or getting hurt because you can't see something on the ground? Or all of the above?
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
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Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I might be overly paranoid, but I would never run at night on the very safe path that I use for daylight runs. There are too many places for someone who is up to no good to hide. Better safe than sorry. I think if you are asking the question, Rhonda, you have a gut feeling that it's not a great idea. Just my two cents. If it's cement anyway, just go run on a well-lit sidewalk.
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dallas



Joined: 24 Jun 2006
Posts: 262
Location: Mt. Juliet (Nashville), TN

PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were a woman I would never run alone without mace and/or an alarm.
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Trent



Joined: 03 May 2006
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Location: Deep Wells, TN

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dallas, if you were a woman, erm, oh never mind.
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BarbM



Joined: 28 Jan 2009
Posts: 152
Location: Chicago

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with Scuba. I run in the AM and its pitch dark the entire time. I'm just a mile from the lakefront path, but wouldn't consider going there before daybreak. I stay on the busiest streets...well lit bus routes with Starbucks & El stations. I figure The Bad Guys would have too many witnesses to try any funny stuff. Stay safe!
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Doctor F



Joined: 24 Jun 2005
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Location: The Empire State

PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scuba wrote:
II think if you are asking the question, Rhonda, you have a gut feeling that it's not a great idea.


What Scuba said.
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7



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were counseling my daughter or wife on this subject, I'd recommend what CC said. No go. Too much potential risk.
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dcarson



Joined: 13 Jul 2005
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have run in the morning and at night (dark either time). I stay off of our running paths and on the sidewalks/roads where there are lights and traffic. I always run with my dog. He is pretty observant. One time, my life was in danger by a scarecrow in someone's yard, but Spanky saved me Smile .
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Judy Denver



Joined: 03 Jan 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In principle, I agree with Scuba.

In practice, I run after dark all the time in the winter; there's just no way I can get my longish weekday runs in during daylight hours given my job. (I typically work 10 hour days, and since most of the people I work with are on the east coast, I would have to run at Melissa-type hours in order to make pre-work runs viable. And I just value my sleep too much for that.)

The only two places I run in the dark are on my normal bike path, which is a little spooky given the shadowy areas where bad people could hide, and at Washington Park, which is equally shadowy but where there are always tons of other people (mostly other runners and dog-walkers) around. I wear reflective clothing, and I carry a headlamp (I wear it if it's cold enough for me to be wearing a hat). (I am continually amazed by the number of people out after dark without reflective clothing or lights.) I usually carry pepper spray with me.

I don't really have to worry about traffic at all. I have just two blocks over to the bike path, and I can run that on sidewalk if I'm worried about traffic. Wash Park is pretty much all pedestrian-only, with a couple of short exceptions (people are allowed to drive in to the rec center, and to park there), so again, no traffic worries.

The bike path is nice smooth concrete. They grind down any buckles that occur in the paving since it is used by tons and tons of cyclists for commuting. Wash Park is all asphalt, and good roads. There is an outer track at Wash Park that is dirt and gravel where I do most of my summer running, but it's not well lit and a bit too uneven for me to consider running on in the dark, so I stay in the inner ring of roads.

As for headphones, I only started running with music in the last year or so, so this will be my first full winter, and I have decisions to make. So far, the only run I've done entirely after dark was Thursday night, and I chose to run with my ipod, since the entire run was at Wash Park. I would not feel as secure on the bike path, and plan to leave the tunes at home if I go out from home after dark. To be honest, in addition to the safety factor, it's just too much to jockey an ipod, a light, and a canister of pepper spray. Only one of those three is really optional.
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Scuba



Joined: 01 Jul 2005
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Location: Arlington, VA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not trying to be an alarmist, but I think combining "shadowy" areas with the distraction of music in the dark is a bad recipe, but that's just me. I might not be able to outrun a creep even if I hear him coming, but if I'm deep into music, my chances are probably zero. Familiarity generally makes us let our guard down, which can mean trouble. Like most of us, I have to do all winter runs in the dark as well, but I'm sticking to the well-lit areas. My footing is truly the least of my worries if I'm running mostly alone, which is generally the case in my neighborhood. I am not an overly cautious or easily scared person, but I try to go by the better safe than sorry rule.

Be careful ladies.
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Tom L



Joined: 25 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 3:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple comments about pepper spray. According to a friend who is knowledgeable about such things, the 2% version may just really irritate an attacker instead of immobilizing him. You should use 10% to make sure it works. I do not know if this is accurate; Wikipedia says otherwise. A complicating factor, however, is that 10% might not be legal where you live.

As with all weapons (or anything else for that matter), you need to practice using pepper spray a great deal or you likely won't use it effectively when you need to do so. Since you likely won't have to use it unless you are in a situation where you are probably scared our of your wits, you will want to practice using it a great deal so that it becomes second nature to use it if you want it to be a truly effective method of defense instead of just a security blanket you take with you to feel safe.
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goober



Joined: 15 Oct 2009
Posts: 182
Location: Columbus OH

PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tom L wrote:
you need to practice using pepper spray a great deal or you likely won't use it effectively


On your next run, randomly spray oncoming runners until you feel like you have perfected the technique. And remember to be upwind.
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1L



Joined: 23 Jun 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scuba wrote:
I am not trying to be an alarmist, but I think combining "shadowy" areas with the distraction of music in the dark is a bad recipe, but that's just me. I might not be able to outrun a creep even if I hear him coming, but if I'm deep into music, my chances are probably zero. Familiarity generally makes us let our guard down, which can mean trouble. Like most of us, I have to do all winter runs in the dark as well, but I'm sticking to the well-lit areas. My footing is truly the least of my worries if I'm running mostly alone, which is generally the case in my neighborhood. I am not an overly cautious or easily scared person, but I try to go by the better safe than sorry rule.

Be careful ladies.


I totally agree with you here, Scuba. I do run in the dark some mornings since the "sun" doesn't rise until just after 7 am, and often I start around 6:30 am. I never wear headphones, and not because I don't like them, but because it is dark. I often carry them to use later in the run if I'm going to be out there a while. I also run in the downtown area of the city I live in where there are usually lots of cars, police, open businesses (Starbucks and DD open at 5:30 am, and they all know me). The Kroger opens at 6 am.

Now that being said, we had a murder here just last week at 9 am outside a daycare. My friend, Jody and I, had just finished our run and were in the parking lot just on the other side of the same row of buildings where the daycare is located. It appears to have been a hit (not random), but it is still kind of freaky. Ive noticed a lot more police out there lately since the incident.
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