Runner Safety (Road ID App Review)

Safety while running should not be an afterthought.

In this age of distracted drivers, busier roadways, and just plain crazy people, it is super important to put your safety as a runner on the front burner (not an afterthought). When I first started running, I rarely carried my phone. Most of the time I just had my key – and water if it was a longer run. Three years later you won’t find me on a run without my pepper spray or my phone.

As a result of events I’ve learned about, I now carry pepper spray and my phone with me on every run. Is it a pain to always have something in my hand? Do I hate wearing my fanny pack iFitness belt for every run? Sure. Do I feel safer though because of it? Of course I do.

Then I found out about the Road ID App. Since my husband travels a lot and I run while everyone’s asleep, this sounded like a good tool for me to have. I run with a Garmin so I never map out my route ahead of time. The app lets me alert someone when I’m starting a run, they can see my route, and I can even set up an alert if I’m stationary for more than five minutes. The best part about the app: it’s free! That’s great news for this frugal runner!

The first couple of times I used the app for a short neighborhood run to test it out. I set my husband up as the contact. He was able to fill me in on how it worked from his end. The first time I took it on a long run (fully charge your phone to do this), his immediate response was “Wow, you ran way a long way out!” He was obviously impressed (and stroked my ego just a bit).

To sum up my opinion of this app, I definitely think it’s worth adding to your phone. It’s free, so what can you lose? I also believe that it’s important to carry a phone with you, although my family hasn’t realized I will finish my runs faster if they stop texting me.

In other news, I ran my second (and probably last) 5k of the year on Labor Day. I was a misty run, but I was able to finish my race before the downpour started. I set a new PR with a time of 23:23 and a first place age group win. I’m hoping some of this speed translates into a positive marathon later this year.

Labor of Love 5k: 23:23 (1st 35-39)

Labor of Love 5k: 23:23 (1st 35-39)

Have a great week and safe running!



Be Alert

I had no trouble coming up with a subject for this week’s post. As always, my life gives me plenty of writing material. While I don’t want to start off on a low note, I do think this is a topic that needs to be addressed.

For more than two years I have gone to a fairly busy city park to run. I usually park in the same parking lot which is across the street from an elementary schools. Police typically patrol the area due to the school zone, and I do my weekday runs after I drop my children off at school.

Last week I returned from a seven mile run – where I ran 1 1/2 mile loops around the park – to find my passenger side window busted in. My running backpack and my purse were gone. It was 9 a.m. Talk about messing up my post-run recovery.

Now, I don’t say this as a “Woe is me.” I can’t account for my stupidity. I am writing this for one reason:

Be Alert!

I had become complacent. My windows are tinted, and I always move my bags to the back of the car where they can’t be seen, but for some reason, this time I left them in the seat. I clearly made sure my purse was covered by the backpack. It wasn’t enough.

Even if you are not a runner, make sure you always keep your stuff stashed out of sight. The officer told me the thief was probably in and out in under a minute.

Consider this a safety reminder for the week. Stay safe out there!