Friday Free-for-All – Look Twice, Save a Life!

Look Twice Save a Life - Runner

On Wednesday as I was out running I noticed a few lawn signs for the motorcycle safety campaign ‘Look Twice, Save a Life’. And since I had just done my ‘Slow the F Down’ post I was thinking how it would be great for drivers to be careful of all the runners out and about.

Here are some other thoughts this week:

Running – the weather has been hot and humid, but I am not complaining … it just awesome to toss on my shirt and shorts and GO! As a result I have been pushing it … I had done more than 70 miles last week, which caused me to look back: in May I’d done 29 of 31 days and over 250 miles, and was up to 14 out of 15 days in June with about 125 miles … and so I took off this Monday and will also be off all weekend and really try to get some rest.

Abs Challenge – I have been loving this challenge, but it has been a killer! Each day after my run I do my ab work and plank, and have happily gotten my planks well over 2 minutes, but they are TOUGH!

Rug burns on the elbows have improved by using towels, and my strength is definitely improved – carrying the air conditioners around wasn’t a big deal! The one thing – while my abs tighten, my skin does not … it is a reminder I will always carry with me.

Food – it is funny (and great) to feel like you are in touch with your body. As I have pushed the miles, my body has been very clear about wanting more, and so I have give it more. I have been happy that what it wants more of are fruits and healthy smoothies and veggies … but still, it is a great thing.

Also, I noticed just how many of my meals I cool are either Paleo or Vegan without even planning it that way – one night it was grilled Portobello with roasted vegetables and corn on the cob, the next grilled chicken with grilled veggies … it is amazing how these habits can enter into our lives so thoroughly that we don’t know they are there.

Why I care so much about ALL of this ‘Social Justice’ stuff

I have been asked a number of times why I have such a strong stance on ‘social justice’ issues, and I think I can sum it up pretty easily:
– Getting picked on for being fat in elementary school definitely had an impact. I am not a violent person, but all of my fights were in elementary school, and all come back to being made fun of for being fat. THAT has impacted my ‘view of the underdog’ throughout my life.
– I was best friends with the only ‘person of color’ in our baseball league … and I really had no idea about what that was like for him until seeing racism in action – what I got for being fat he got MUCH worse for something that was beyond his control.
– I had a few gay friends in high school, some who were ‘out’ and others who didn’t come out until later. Those who did took loads of abuse from so many people, which really bothered me (see above). Yet I didn’t know the extent of their abuse for many years …
– Going to RPI in the early 80s was a mostly-male world, and what women were there were typically stereotyped by the outside world in a certain way. In Troy there was an all-woman’s college (Russell Sage) … and THOSE women were stereotyped in an entirely different way (the ‘joke’ was that the most popular degree program was the ‘MRS’ degree). I knew women from both schools to be smart, funny and all-around great people. Heck, I even married one.

As a result I have always felt strongly about one thing: we are all people, and deserve to be treated fairly and equally. It seems so simple and obvious, yet it remains elusive as it seems that some will find the most irrational and unlikely reasons to pile hate on others. That said, I have seen progress in my life … and hope I continue to see more, and that I am right that so much of what we see are ‘last gasps of desperation’ from racists and misogynists and homophobes.

Did anyone get the reference?

I love how Cori and Laura have the ability to suggest songs into my head. I tend to drop a number of ‘lines’ and references into posts, some more obscure than others. In the ‘Slow the F Down’ post part of the title was ‘hey you there’.

That cracked me up as I included it … but realized that it was unlikely anyone would get it. So I have to explain it anyway – in the computer game Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast, most of the game is excellent, but the Stormtroopers have little variety in what they said ‘stop Rebel scum’, ‘don’t let him get away’, and my fave – ‘hey you there’ … uttered hundreds of times through the 25 hour game! haha … well, I cracked myself up anyway 🙂

Speaking Of Video Games

Have you ever noticed that every main character in a video-game is a 30-something grizzled white dude? Well, if not … you haven’t played many games! I noted recently how a dozen years or so ago I was roundly thrashed in one particular game forum for noting the positive female image one game had presented. Um … yeah. And it hasn’t improved.

At the latest game conference (E3) publisher Ubisoft – whose games fit perfectly into the “Ubisoft: Straighter. Whiter. Duder.” description Shamus Young used to describe them.

Bottom line – video game development is a ‘dude bro’ culture, which is sad because ‘nerds’ were supposed to go against the ‘dude-bro’ culture. Shamus has a great take on it here:

I want to stress that I’m not coming at this from a social justice angle. This is about business and creativity. If Straight White Dudegames are really where the safe money is at (and I’m extremely skeptical on this point) then I’m really not going to demand a corporation like Ubisoft to deliberately make less money in order to make things more “fair”. I know some people do. That’s fine. This social justice stuff gets touchy, and in the end we’re all just trying to make the hobby the best it can be.

But like I said in the column, this is a hard thing to test and Ubisoft hasn’t even tried. (Read the article before nitpicking this.) And no matter which way the money goes, Ubisoft is still creatively impotent. Like, even if you can prove that games won’t sell unless the protagonist is a straight white dude, there’s still no excuse for Adrian Pearce, who has less personality than Gordon Freeman’s crowbar and less depth than the Adventure rectangle.

Further to the ‘Sexism in Gaming’ problem, NPR notes how one developer chose to compare a software service execution framework … to his girlfriend. With predictably sexist results.

And finally on the Ubisoft & E3 sexism front, GI.biz notes that it always seems to be inclusivity – different genders, races, nationalities – that always gets cut. It nicely rounds out the points that Shamus was making.

As I have noted, I am definitely a gaming fan, but although I was playing shooters from the very start (had Doom on a laptop right after it came out as we drove up to Maine for the weekend), I have never been a fan of the console macho-game culture. Right now I am playing ‘Might & Magic X: Legacy’, a continuation of the classic role-playing saga I had started playing nearly three decades ago.

Why the Amazon Fire Phone Will Fail

Did you hear that Amazon was launching a phone? Guess what? You probably won’t buy it – I won’t buy it, and nor will most people. I am predicting its sales will be rounding error compared to the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy phones … and not even hold up against the HTC phones and Microsoft’s anemic Windows Phone platform. Why?

I love this quote:

Amazon has spent years developing a phone that addresses zero needs and relies on features that no one wants.

There are definitely some cool things:
– Firefly recognition technology – see a book or piece of art or running shoes you want … point your phone at them and your Fire phone will help you buy them … from Amazon.
– Unlimited Free Photo Storage – this just stepped things up major-bigtime! Add to this a nice looking 13MP low-light capable camera, and you have a real winner
– 3D tracking with four low-power cameras. Advanced face tracking
– Tight Amazon integration.

But … then there is all of this:
– Mediocre specs – getting the Samsung Galaxy S4 from last year is a better phone
– Pricing – now THIS was actually surprising, but for a ‘mid-range’ phone you are paying ‘flagship’ prices – $650 for the base phone without contract.
– AT&T exclusive – by doing this they essentially throw away more than TWO-THIRDS of possible customers. I am sure that they are doing this because AT&T seems to be the place to launch for favorable terms (like the iPhone, Nokia’s Windows Phones, HTC’s ‘Facebook Phone’, etc). But … if that is the reason, why not attack with price?

The worst thing is that I should be part of the target audience for the phone, and I had made my decision before the product announcement live-stream was over.

Why should they want me? I have been on Amazon since … forever – I have order info going back more than 17 years. I am a long-time Prime member, have an extensive Kindle library, own Kindle, had every Kindle Fire up to the new Kindle Fire HDX, have loads of apps and games, am part of their digital video game system, have the new Fire TV with game controller, and we spend more money there than just about anywhere … basically I am pretty well committed to the Amazon ecosystem.

But I also live in a Verizon-only area, and with an all-iPhone house Amazon would have to give me a good reason to switch – and a load of stuff that does nothing for me but helps them sell more stuff is NOT it!

What about you?

Resiliance

I reblogged this yesterday, but I really think it is a great and important message. Here is the original.

The Passing of Another Legend Leads to a Reflection on Life

This past week has seen the passing of a number of celebrities and artists, and as often happens the majority are not widely known people who will be featured on news and entertainment shows, but journeymen artists such as jazz musicians Aaron Sachs and Jimmy Scott.

The two that crossed my news streams the most were baseball legend Tony Gwynn and jazz piano legend Horace Silver. There are articles everywhere about the two, but I love this take from Tony Gwynn’s batboy, and this retrospective on Horace Silver by Marc Myers.

When death impacts us directly it can be devastating – we get consumed by grief and sadness and despair. Yet what most of us want to leave behind is a legacy that makes people smile … for people to say ‘do you remember that time when … ‘ and have warm and happy thoughts.

I have been thinking about this because over the last couple of weeks there have been all sorts of other life-reflecting things: at work I know of people who have died or had cancer diagnosis or been hospitalized; same with friends outside of work – two friends from our past are dealing with cancer … and the sad reality is you know there is no guarantee. I know I am at that age when people start dying ‘young’, but from afflictions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes that typically impact older people.

Kind of a heavy topic, I know … and I guess my take-away is to say that you should spend your life creating the moments that people will remember rather than the money they can spend when you are gone.

Here is a great classic song from Horace Silver to take us out …

Take Care Tuesday – The Other Side of the Finish Line, My ‘9 Loves’

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Image source

Last week I posted about non-running members, and while the comments here were all very positive … that is because we are all runners. It is the very nature of our somewhat insular community that we would share some common thoughts – and this would naturally include running, healthy pursuits and more. However, ourside of the blog … I got feedback. Feedback from a variety of sources, that was uniform – and uniformly different from the comments.

Feedback is good – it is a reminder that our perspective is incomplete. Running is inherently a personal endeavour, a selfish solo sport. That doesn’t make us selfish for running, because the health benefits make us better in so many ways – it just means that like pretty much any exercise, the focus is on us. Which means we aren’t necessarily objective about the greater impact of our activities – and so we need to listen when we are told “you have no idea what it is like to be waiting on the other side of the finish line.”

So let’s take a look at some other thoughts:

Thoughts from the Other Side of the Barrier

1. It is NEVER ‘Just a Run’ – sure you can get hurt stepping into the shower, but running presents unique challenges. All this winter I ran in some incredibly dangerous conditions – sub-zero temperatures with strong winds, days school was cancelled, unplowed roads and so on. In summer, there is heat exhaustion and dehydration to content with as well! Sometimes we say we’re going for 5-6 miles and end up doing 9-10 (that isn’t just me, right?) and our family wonders where we are. Things a runner might call ‘a challenge’, their supporters think of as ‘scary’ or ‘stupid’.

The longer the distance, the greater the chance of things happening, the greater the worry.

2. The Fear of the Medical Tent – this past year at the Wineglass Marathon was brutal. Not only were the temperatures over 80F and humid, it had already cooled down in our area so no one was ready for it! As a result I passed two people loading into ambulances, had a police officer ask about another collapsed runner, saw more people vomiting than usual, people really hating it, and so on.

But while I saw that from the road, all my wife and kids saw was the people in awful shape finishing before me, including one who collapsed and had to be carried off less than 100 yards before the finish – and an overflowing medical tent. The uncertainty is incredibly hard for those waiting for loved ones.

3. By The Side of the Road, Somewhere – pretty much every week this year there has been something on Facebook about a runner or biker who was hit or side-swiped or otherwise run off the road. And despite having ‘Find my phone’ and so on, it can be nerve-wracking when our loved ones head out the door, and don’t really know exactly when they’ll be home, and so on.

4. Running a Marathon? 3-4 Hours Means 2 – 3 Days! – last summer when I did the PA Grand Canyon, getting the packet was the day before, and the hours were about noon to 6, meaning that with the 1+ hour drive it ripped apart THAT day, then the race day is pretty much entirely consumed. And if you are traveling further then you might end up with two nights in a hotel.

And suddenly we see how a nice little morning run and cheap shoes twice a year can transform into something that takes up entire weekends and costs thousands of dollars per year between race fees, lodging, transportation, supplies, equipment and so on.

5. Fear of Injury – runners worry about injuries, but so do their loved ones for a few reasons: the obvious concern about any injury, knowing how much the inability to run will impact the person’s life, and the ‘stupid factor’.

There are some of my friends here who will laugh at that – but I can cite more than a couple of people who have ended up re-injured or hurt their recovery by being over-zealous, and at least one I am pretty sure did it but never fessed up.

6. More Than Just You – again, the risk you take, the chance of injury, and so on … they don’t happen in a vacuum. If you are hurt or hit by a car or suffer a heart attack, you are unable to be there for loved ones, your job, your kids, and so on. And while you can certainly get an injury doing anything, doing an endurance sport where you push your body like a marathon adds to the risk, and it is always worth considering the risk/reward in the context of all the others impacted by your life.

The bottom line? While running is a solo activity, it is very much a ‘team sport’. I am very lucky to have an amazing team to support me and call me out on all of the stupid crap I do … and I really try to listen to the feedback. As runners, that is what we need to do – be thankful for the love in our lives, appreciative of the support, and reflective of all the worry and concern these people have for us. And we should listen.

10 Day You Challenge

Day Two: Nine Loves

1. Lisa – I have been with Lisa for more years than I have been without her, and I cannot imagine a day where I am not connected to her. I get a little ‘eye-folly’ when everyone is a ‘soul mate’ … but all I know is I am very happy, have a great life, and feel incredibly fortunate.

2. Danny – Danny is a reflection of me in very many ways, but he also has elements of Lisa and is very much his own individual. I keep signing up for NaNoWriMo to write a novel, but the reality is Danny can jot off something for a creative writing assignment in 30 minutes that is better than anything I have ever written. He has great artistic vision, is funny and talented in many ways, and has a big heart. Oh, and I have to mention that in his room now he has CDs from both Miles Davis and Pat Metheny.

3. Chris – As Danny reflects me, so does Chris reflect Lisa. But he also brings in much of my musical passion and a sense of style and flair all his own. He is gifted musically and as a chef, but also in so many other ways. His photographic vision stuns me as someone who is a total hack, and his open heart and love for the downtrodden always inspire me.

4. Our pets – we have two dogs, two cats and two fish. We take in pets are parts of the family, not ‘things’ – they are our babies, and didn’t stop being so when we had kids. Our dogs are Norfolk Terriers, scrappy little beasts who are so full of joy; we have one cat who is 13 with cancer we got as a kitten, and who continues to terrorize the neighborhood … the other was dumped on us ‘to watch for a few weeks’ – three years ago. She was abused and neglected and is slowly adapting to love and togetherness.

5. Running – Yeah, no surprise here.

6. My job – I am very fortunate that I have had three really great jobs of the five (really four and one 3-month contract) I’ve had since starting my professional career. One got me started, the second allowed me to flourish, and at Corning I am growing and developing and experiencing the breadth of stuff the company does – and making a difference.

7. Music (making & listening) – I have a deep and intense of love of music. Listening to something I love has a profound impact … but nothing compares to the feeling of making my own music. For several years I have put my music on the back burner, noodling with guitar and keyboard – but this past month resurrecting my studio has been completely amazing. Listening to stuff I had been working on before energizes and transports me, and starting to do new stuff makes time evaporate!

8. Food – I might have a ‘complicated’ relationship with eating, but I love food. And really in the last year I cannot name any time I have had ‘food regrets’ like I have always had throughout my life. Yet I have baked cakes, eaten scones and gobs of ice cream, many glasses of wine and so on. I had called this approach ‘intentional eating’, and it has been the best thing I have ever done for my eating – I eat what I want and ‘own it’, but what I want is almost exclusively ‘good fuel’.

9. Technology – not just stuff like computer devices … just technology. Old telephones intrigued me as a kid, then programming, games, circuit boards, lasers, computer devices of all types. I used to joke that I interfaced better with machines than with people, not really true, but it was always a natural connection for me.

Bonus. My Blog Friends! – I am fortunate to have ‘internet friends’ I have known for almost 20 years now who I have never met in person but connect with at least annually. I also remain in occasional contact with a few folks from sites I’ve written for through the years, but mostly not.

Yet over the last few years things have changed: I have become genuine friends with the editors at Gear Diary – there is an annual ‘GearFest’ at one of the co-owner’s lake house which is a blast, and one of the editors and her wife were amazingly supportive taking me in and cooking me dinner one night while I was with my brother after his heart attack. Now I have made some excellent connections through blogging – people I consider genuine friends who I would love to actually meet someday, but regardless I am made better by knowing them. Thanks to all of you.

So what do YOU love?

Six Things Saturday – Running Reminders for Summer Weather

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Over the past couple of weeks I have run in weather that has ranged from 30F up to over 80F, from dry to very humid conditions, from sunny to cloudy to rainy, and I was reminded of the differences we need to make as the heat rolls in. Some folks in the southwest have been seeing temps in the 90s for a while, and as I was chatting with Laura about my guest post she noted that her weather (North Dakota) had jumped from ‘arctic tundra’ to ‘tropical’.

I was planning one of these ‘adjusting to summer running’ posts, but this past week two other posts specifically inspired me – Brianna from IRunHeTris guest posting on ‘beating the heat’ at Southern Running, and one on chafing from RunBlogger. Check those posts out, and let’s get to the summer tips!

1. Hydration

OK, so everyone knows that you need to hydrate properly all year long, yeah yeah yeah. But for me where it really hits is the summer. My dehydration rate definitely accelerates as a function of temperature. So once it gets above 60F and I am running more than 10 miles, I absolutely need a nice big water bottle. I’m sure many of you are saying ‘wait, only THEN’. Yes, I know – but up to that point I find chugging plenty of water before and after works for me.

Bottom line – you never know what might happen when you are out there, so always do yourself a favor and carry water. When it is really hot, having a water bottle is a safety element just like carrying your phone.

Also – remember that it IS possible to over-do it with hydration (hyponatraemia), where your electrolyte balance gets messed up and you are essentially drowning your cells. That is where a sports drink can help.

2. Sunscreen, Sunglasses & Hats

Because skin cancer is SO not cool! 🙂

UV light is strongest during the summer months, and also between 10AM – 4PM … so if you need to go out running during those hours in particular, make sure to protect yourself.

Get yourself some ‘sport’ sunscreen (waterproof), a running hat (and yes, it DOES feel hot) and some UV filtering sunglasses to protect your eyes. It only takes a minutes to apply the sunscreen, and the benefits are really important in the long run.

3. Rules of the Road

This past weekend I saw a number of runners (8-10, which for my area is a ton) during my long airport loop run. Some of them were doing everything right, others were running on the wrong side of the road, or side by side and forcing cars to work around them, crossing dangerously with earphones on and more.

It all made me cringe.

Add to this the number of bikers, walkers, motorcycles, and more that start making appearance this time of year and being proactive about safety is even more important than ever.

So learn the rules of the road in your area, and practice active safety. Don’t assume that drivers will see you. Glare is always an issue, more people are on vacation, riding with friends, and other distractions during the summer. In our area in the last week we’ve had three accidents due to cars driving into oncoming traffic, which is a reminder of the crazy dangerous things that can happen.

There is no ‘100% safe’, but we can all work to make things as safe as possible while we are on our runs.

4. Sweat = Good

Here’s the thing, sweating is your body’s way of temperature regulation – and if your body loses control of THAT, all sorts of funky things happen, none of which are good.

The recommendation is that if the temperature is above 98.6 with humidity above 80% … do NOT run outside. Because at that point your body is no longer able to efficiently deal with the heat, so adding exercise to the equation gets dangerous.

But aside from pure temperature considerations, if it is warm you should be sweating all the time. If you are no longer sweating, or getting chills, feeling light-headed, or otherwise ‘not right’ – there is a good chance you are over-heating and dehydrated (or perhaps even over-hydrated). Get out of the sun, stop moving, call someone if you can (better to be embarrassed than in serious physical distress) and drink if you need it.

5. Ease Up on the Pace

Michele wrote about ‘slow as a feeling’ last week, and guess what? When it gets hot you SHOULD slow down. Evidently the effort required to sustain the same pace goes up non-linearly at higher temperatures and humidity.

My approach? Switch my Garmin to display just the time of day or heart rate, so I am tracking but not pushing to maintain pace. This is a definite place where ‘effort based running’ is advantageous. Naturally if you are training for a race you know will be really hot then some of your runs should push the pace in the heat – but in general, don’t feel bad easing up on the pace when it is 90 degrees outside!

6. Chafing

Here is the reality: the worst ‘running injury’ I have sustained is bleeding nipples from chafing. TMI? Sorry, not sorry – this IS a running-related blog after all! I’ll spare you the bloody shirt pictures, but trust me that it is no fun.

Well, actually it is discovering just how badly chafed up you are as you hop into the showed that is that great moment of searing pain!

Last fall I discovered that the new band of band-aid (the real rather than generic) I was using lacked the proper adhesive to hold up to the heat and humidity of the Wineglass Marathon, and had to stop for more at an aid station! Crisis averted!

I am lucky to not have severe chafing otherwise, but trust me – Body Glide is your friend for a marathon. #mamaSalt gave a shout-out to Suz for advising her to use it for her first marathon.

Let’s put it this way – unless you are allergic, over-preparing for chafing won’t hurt.

Bonus: Check out this cool Nike running video from 1982!

This is a link from RunBlogger from months ago that has been sitting in one of my drafts. I always find it fun looking back at old commercials I grew up with, and while I wasn’t into running back then so this doesn’t register, it has that great ‘classic era’ feel:

What Summer Running Tips Do YOU Have? Weekend Plans?

The Very Basics of Running Safety in the Dark & Snowy Winter

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I cannot believe that I recently found myself in a position of debating some of the core, basic, common sense safety rules for running in the dark during winter. I mean, all you have to do is go to any running site and there will be a ‘Top 10 Winter Running Tips’ article or more every year, and they pretty much assume that you have SOME basic idea as an adult about basic safety. And yet … there I was befuddled by this other person, someone who other runners look to for advice, wondering whether it was ignorance (he is a trail runner for the most part) or machismo that caused him to take these positions. Megan wrote a while back about ‘letting it go’, that sometimes being right doesn’t make the argument worthwhile. So I did – I stepped away and didn’t participate.

But what I could NOT let go is the possibility that someone would listen to that bad advice and end up hurt. As we start a new year we will have new runners trying to keep resolutions. So here are a few core safety items for all runners:

1. Know Your Route
– Make sure you have a known route that provides you with all you need to stay safe. Snowy and icy days are NOT the times for ‘route discovery’, and ESPECIALLY during an active storm.
– Looping your neighborhood for mileage might seem boring, but if that is the safest choice … stick to it!
– For example, there is a ~100 meter section of the main road near me that has <12" of space between the travel lane and a jagged road edge that drops 12 – 18' at a steep angle. With snow and ice that edge gets further blurred, making it an easy spot to lose footing. In bad conditions I avoid that section.

2. Maximize Your Awareness
– I am a vocal advocate of taking off your earbuds while running outdoors. But ESPECIALLY when it is dark and wintery. You really want to make sure you can hear anything going on around you.
– When it is ‘hat weather’, use ‘tech’ instead of ‘bulk’. Older hats relied on bulk for warmth, whereas new tech materials work to keep your own heat trapped to form a thermal layer. This allows much thinner and lighter layers – and better hearing.
– Avoid hoods, or anything else that obscures your peripheral vision. In snow with sun, sunglasses are more important than during the summer. But make sure yours have an open side-view. Also, if you need a hood to protect against wind, make sure it isn’t blocking your vision.

3. Make Yourself Visible
– Wear bright colors. For example: I got a black thermal base layer for Christmas. Which is great, but it will never go with me as a ‘only layer’ the way my bright yellow one does – because I run in the dark and don’t want to be invisible.
– Reflective EVERYTHING – Brooks has the best stuff, because it ALL has reflective elements. But most gear now has some amount of reflectivity, and in the morning add on a reflective vest, cuffs, and so on.
– Head lamp / Wrist lights / flashers / etc – these make you visible a long way off and give drivers the chance to prepare. We have a young woman who runs with hand-lights, and I estimated the other night driving the boys that I could see her nearly 3/4 mile away. I wear a head lamp all the time. Another bonus – a head-lamp helps you navigate the lousy edges of many roads. And see critters who seek trash cans in the early mornings of spring and fall (e.g. skunks)

4. Run Defensively
– In the battle of Man vs. Car … car ALWAYS wins. So do EVERYTHING to ensure you never enter that battle.
– Run facing traffic – that gives you more warning about what is coming, and with your reflective gear and lights, they can also see you coming.
– Know your ‘escape route’. I mean this in case a car slips, but also in case you find yourself being followed/pursued.
– Remember that no amount of lights / safety gears is a ‘sure thing’, and that your own attention to safety has to be constant and unrelenting – which is also why I am an advocate for maximizing awareness.

As I said, these are just the basics – there are other considerations:
Women: I absolutely HATE that there is an entire set of ‘gender specific’ rules, but while there are cases of men runners getting shot or otherwise killed, in general when you hear about assault, rape, kidnapping or other things happening to runners – it is to women. Dorothy Beal has a couple of great posts here and here to help you.
Hydration / Fuel: you need to work just as hard to stay hydrated in winter, but your body doesn’t scream for it like during the summer. And if you are going to be away from home for a while, be sure to carry some fuel (Gu, energy bar, etc) and water.
Cell Phone: true confession – until recently I ran with my phone ONLY on the weekends or evenings. On my morning runs I would leave it at home. The sad thing is that it is your easiest and most direct safety ‘lifeline’ and should always be with you. Please buy a belt and carry your phone … also a RoadID is a great idea.
Hypothermia: the picture below is my slushy and soaked shoes from a couple of nights ago. We had 3-4″ of slushy snow and the temperatures were just above freezing. My feet were soaked within a quarter mile. And then I ran a total of 7.75 miles. Fortunately at the outdoor temperatures I was not in danger of hypothermia – but my feet were never warm the entire time. Running outside presents some real dangers of hypothermia due to wind and low temperatures. Be aware and dress appropriately.

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