Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wrapping Up Running Safety Month

Disclaimer: I received a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Air and a multicolor assortment pack of Brilliant Reflective Strips to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Over on Twitter, Facebook and the BibRave.com site, the BibRave team has been celebrating BibRave Safety Month during the month of February. This is because winter running can present a whole slew of challenges unique to the season for outdoor runners like me. 

More than likely, especially if you have a day job, your runs will be in the dark due to reduced hours daylight. Another big challenge, and one I struggle with the most, is finding the motivation to get out the door when the weather is less than perfect. Cold is not my friend. Throw in rain or heaven forbid, snow and just NOPE, not a happy girl. There's a reason I live in the South. 

So how do I say motivated and safe in the winter? I get by with a little help from my friends. AfterShokz and Brilliant Reflective to be specific. Each provide me with necessary tools to help me to Be Prepared, Be Aware, Be Seen and Be Open.

Be Prepared

For me, being prepared is both a motivational tool and a safety aspect. The less barriers to me getting out the door, the better. So being prepared mean having your clothes picked out in advance, having your gear all together including any water bottles filled and nutrition stored, making sure your clothes/gear are reflective for dark runs, and having your Aftershokz charged and ready to go. Trust me, I can be super creative with coming up excuses when I don't really want to go out. Having everything ready ahead of time and knowing that what I have ready is safe takes away most of my arguments against myself. 
Having everything laid out beforehand can help motivate you out the door

Be Aware

Being aware of what is going on around you is just basic common sense. As runners we can encounter a number of potentially dangerous situations including distracted drivers (and bikers) loose animals, other people who might want to do us harm and even nature itself in the form of falling tree limbs or loose running surfaces. When you are out there, it is important to have all of your senses fully engaged to keep yourself safe. On a recent run, on a fairly deserted stretch of road, I came up on another runner who was blasting music with her ears fully covered and I scared the absolute heck out of her when I passed her. She had no idea I was there until I was running past her and she jumped about a foot in the air and let out a little yelp. I felt terrible, but there is no way I should have been able to come up on her like that without her noticing if she had been playing it safe and paying attention to her surroundings. That's why I love my Aftershokz. I can hear my music and I can hear my surroundings thanks to bone conduction technology. 
See, they don't cover you ears!

Be Seen

If you are going to be running in the dark you absolutely must have reflective gear to help you be seen. Period. End of story. Even if you tell yourself, I only run on sidewalks, you eventually have to cross a road here or there. My preference for reflective gear is Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips because I am able to add them to my existing clothes/gear instead of having to purchase specialty reflective clothing, which can be expensive, or wearing vests or belts that can add bulk to already bulky winter running outfits. Simply iron on or stick on to your items and you are good to go knowing that you can be seen. 
Now my Hot Chocolate half zip can be seen on dark runs

Be Open

Being open during a run refers to being receptive to all the information that is available to you out there. I stands to reason, if your ears are covered by headphones or blocked by ear buds, you can't hear what is happening around you, even if your music is down low. The importance of being open really hit me this weekend. I was running though a neighborhood when all the sudden I heard a click clacking behind me. It wasn't that loud of a noise, but thanks to wearing my Aftershokz instead of ear buds like I used to, I was able to hear it. I turned and a large dog was running full speed up behind me. I was able to turn and shout NO! before it reached me stopping it in its tracks and giving me the time to get away. Even if it were just running up to me to be friendly (which it probably was, but you never know) it could have knocked me over in its enthusiasm or startled me enough that I fell over on my own upon seeing it come up suddenly. By having my ears and my senses open, I was able to avoid a potentially dangerous situation. 
Perfect for those dark winter runs

What about you? How do you stay safe and motivated during the dark and chilly winter months? 

For more information about Aftershokz Trekz Air, visit my previous blog post here: https://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2017/11/be-open-with-trekz-air.html

For more  informationa bout Brilliant Reflective Strips, visit my previous blog post here:

And be sure to follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you don't already! 

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