I am training for a half marathon. It means I must do more than just casual walking that I normally do. I have a treadmill, but only use it as a necessary evil. I prefer to walk outside. I am careful when I walking, know that bad things can happen to good people. Last year a Montana woman was nabbed when she was out running. She was going much faster than I will ever be able to move. It happened in a small town with an oil boom. It doesn’t stop me from being out there trying to get ready for my race. It means that I am conscious of the choices I make and try to make choices that lower my risk.
One of my risk reducing activities is walking with my little Cairn Terrier. He is not much to look at as far as a protector goes. He does not strike fear in people the way a Rottweiler, German Shepard or other full-sized dog may. In spite of that he is my guardian when I walk. He keeps watch and lets me know what is going on long before I notice. He was a rescue dog and is not everyone’s friend. He is unsure of men, folks with boots and folks who sneak up on him. He has terrier energy and is glad to walk miles with me.
He is a perfect companion for me as I train. My dog and my favorite ankle biter.
Once again this year I plan to walk a half marathon or two. The first one is early in the season and it is time to get serious about my training schedule. One of the hardest parts of getting ready is training smart. Not only do you need to find the right training schedule to prepare you for race day. On the other side of training smart involves safety. I always think of a woman who was nabbed when running in Northeastern Montana. There is nothing you can do to prevent a nut who wants to nab a woman, but there are lots of things you can do to put yourself at the least amount of risk. Some of the things I do to help my odds:
Don’t walk before the sun is fully up.
Wear your reflective safety vest
If you must wear headphones, don’t wear them blasting.
Walking with a dog, even an ankle biter will can alert you to things you might miss before they are upon you.
Let someone know when you leave and should be back.
Don’t walk the same time and place every time.
Don’t let fear be your excuse not to get out there, but be smart.