Back in December, a woman was attacked and raped on my running trail. I was visiting my parents in Cincinnati that weekend, but when I came back, my co-workers told me about it. I was absolutely shocked as the trail winds thru neighborhoods and main roads. I always knew it was a possibility.... but it just seemed so unlikely.
At first I felt awful for the poor woman who was raped, but she was so brave and strong and worked with the police to find the asshole who did it, and he's in jail now. It was a completely isolated incident, and there have been no other reports of problems on the trail... thank goodness!
Then, as it sunk in, I got really mad! I've always known as a woman, it's a possibility. I do take some precautions, but I can't give up my ipod, and I don't always have a running buddy. It's so unfair that I have to worry about my safety when I'm trying to be healthy and do the right thing! Sometimes it seems like the universe works against those who are trying to be healthy (like the price of organics!!! ugh, don't get me started...)
So anyway, then it got snowy and I couldn't run if I wanted to... so it was a non-issue. It warmed up a few times, enough for me to go run... but rather than go to the trail, I ran in the neighborhood with Pumpkin. She can be a pain on me and will just sit and stop, so I hate to take her to the out and back trail, I like the neighborhood loop so if I have to carry her home, it's not as far... which I have had to do many time in the past. Yes, she's only 20 lbs., but carrying 20 lbs. after a 2 mile run for another mile... not fun! But, she can be vicious and will attack strange people if I let her, so I do feel safe with her around. She sweet for her mommy, but she's a spitz mix, and spitz's are known for their temper!
So now Spring is around the corner... and I'm faced with a dilemma. I don't want to let fear get the best of me, and I really do miss running. I've been having the worst runs on the treadmill because I get so bored... I'm starting to doubt my ability - and that makes me mad! I was able to run a 10k in November. 6 miles! I ran the whole thing! That was absolutely the proudest moment in my life, running across the finish line, beating my 70 minute goal! And now, I'm hoping I can make it 3 or 4 miles... with a possible 10k in 1.5 months.
So I might be a little scared to go back at first, but rather than avoid the busy times (Saturday and Sunday from 10am-12pm), I think I am going to go then so there will be many people around. I will still wear my ipod, but my mom's going to get me some pepper spray. I don't really want to run with it, but I want to run. I want to make a t-shirt that says, "Back off a-holes, I'll pepper spray your face".... but I don't run in t-shirts...
It just really sucks that someone can take something away from you, the feeling of safety, and freedom, which is what I felt when I ran my 4.6 mile trail...