You may have read my creepy story about Mike in my weekly recap, which continued today. And, as my workday got rolling today, I saw news of a second woman murdered while out running. Reassuring.  Updated: 3 women in 9 days.

Generally, I run by myself. A petite younger female, this time of year in a sports bra and shorts. I’m not going to tell you to pack an entire backpack full of stuff because nobody wants to carry all that (and won’t), and isn’t that part of why we like running anyway? The freedom?

So here are my tips, and the ones I adhere to daily:

  • Be alert. Head on a swivel, as they say. This means no headphones. I’m not even a fan of the one headphone out thing. You’re not going to be paying attention to footsteps, slow-moving cars, whatever. If something moves in a bush, I want to know. It might be a bunny. It might be a man dressed in a bunny suit.
  • Tell someone where you’re going. I text my husband when I’m heading out for a run and include how far and where I’m going. Also Road ID has an app where you can do something similar — eCrumb Tracking, a Stationary Alert, and a custom Lock Screen creator — and it will notify specific contacts as needed.
  • Carry ID. I am a HUGE fan of Road ID. I’ve worn one since I started running. This won’t help someone find your body, but if you’re struck by a car or otherwise injured, this will provide contact info and medical info. Definitely important if you have a medical condition.
  • Choose routes that are well-lit, well-trafficked and that offer options for alternative routes.
  • Run with a group if you can.
  • Take a self-defense class. I took mine at Baptist Health/Milestone Wellness Center — it was a special session taught by Rolando Haddad from Core Combat Sports here in Louisville. I blistered both my hands before it was over.

More than anything, just pay attention. Don’t make yourself an easy target.

What do you do to stay safe — and feel safe — while running?

P.S. I have a friend who is on our local police department and we’re scheduling a meeting this weekend to discuss my Mike situation. I’ll share her advice too!