As I have adjusted to the move and started training for the Tough Mudder Half, I would say one of the things that I have been more hesitant to do is get back into running. Before I moved in with my boyfriend, I lived with my aunt. They have two hound dogs that I would take on walks/slash runs when I wanted to train. I felt comfortable being on a trail by myself because I was never really by myself, not only that but I felt pretty confident that if anyone had the slightest desire to harm me, this huge coonhound walking next to me would make them think twice. Having moved with my boyfriend and having a puppy, I assumed two things: 1) That me and my boyfriend would decide to make running a couples thing. 2) That I could teach the puppy to run. These are two really big assumptions. First, my boyfriend may like the outdoors and the idea of recreation, but his idea of exercising is going once a week to play volleyball. Second, the puppy is just six months old, he does have a lot of energy and enjoys running around, but he also gets bored quickly and doesn’t want to run as a task. It will take me a while to condition him to running as an activity.
What do I do in the mean time? Well, I still don’t feel comfortable running by myself. Because a couple of us are training, I have a friend that I can go running every once in a while, but there are still days that I have to do it by myself. It takes a lot of motivation for me to get up and decide to run alone. I either do it straight away once I wake up or wait till the end of the day when I have accomplished a few task. I have designated a perimeter where I feel safe enough to run by myself and push myself to do it. I don’t always succeed. There are days when I’m too tired from work and just want to lay down or days when I don’t feel like running alone.
I think it’s sad that as a woman, these are things that I think about. The whole idea of safety. Granted I live in a rural area, where black bears do use the same trails as I do, so there is the possibility that I also have to think about my safety in those terms, but as an environmental scientist I know that black bears have poor eyesight and are pretty skittish creatures. I would be pretty stoke to see a black bear from afar, I would not be pretty stoke to see a serial killer or a rapist or a misogynist no matter how afar they were. That is our reality, this is what we think about when we go out into the world by ourselves.