In the last week or so, 4 different women have been assaulted while out walking/jogging solo in Seattle.
This has got me thinking a lot about safety while running.
I hate the treadmill. So much. I hate it enough that I’d rather risk being raped than run on it. (This is partly because I think the risk of being raped is rather low). I run outside most of the time. I also am typically at work when the sun is out, and therefore must run in the dark. I also live in a terrible neighborhood. As in, my next door neighbor burgled our other neighbor. Yep, it’s ghettofabulous here. I also run alone, as I haven’t yet met anyone who wants to run at 5am in the dark cold rain, stopping to walk every 3 minutes to allow me to recover from my tendinitis.
So let’s review: I am a woman who regularly runs outside alone in the dark in a bad neighborhood.
Some people might call this stupidity.
I certainly don’t want to be stupid, but I also don’t want to be forced out of doing something healthy that I love, out of fear.
Also, for safety reasons, I run with Ada the Dog.
Now, let’s be honest here: Ada the Dog might do well at scaring a potential rapist away, but if someone were to actually attack me, I’m not sure she’d be the greatest defense. I mean, maybe here animalistic protection instincts would kick in and she’d rescue me, but I just imagine that she’d wiggle her tail and lick my attacker.
I also have this idea in my head that rapists are sleeping at 5am. This may or may not be accurate.
Because of all this, I’ve been thinking about getting some pepper spray.
But the fact is, I’ve been thinking about pepper spray for several years now, and have still not actually purchased any. Here are the things standing in my way:
- They don’t appear to sell pepper spray at Target. (And if it’s not at Target, I’m kinda confused about where to get it. Where, exactly does one purchase pepper spray?)
- I’m afraid I’ll spray a non-attacker. I can just imagine that I’ll hear someone behind me while I’m out running, will become convinced that they are an attacker, and will spray them in the face, and then realize that it was just a little granny trying to pass me on her motor scooter.
I think I can work through these concerns, but I’d still like your advice/thoughts.
How do you keep safe when out running? Do you own pepper spray/mace? Where can pepper spray be purchased?