Posts tagged Safety
There aren’t too many things I’m afraid of, but when it comes to things I am afraid of, snakes top the list. It’s not like I’m simply afraid of them. It’s a serious phobia. Once I was working at a animal hospital and my coworker was walking towards me. Not thinking anything of it, he brought his pet ball python out of his jacket (that I had no idea he had with him). Needless to say I ran from one end of the hospital to the other, screaming, shaking, and folding into the fetal position. So when I say I have a phobia. It’s serious.
I have taken some big steps to overcome this fear. At the same hospital we had a boa constrictor come in for an anesthetic procedure. While I didn’t handle or get near the snake while it was awake I worked up the nerve to enter the worm, touch the snake with a glove, and then proceeded to touch it without a glove. I know this may not seem like a big deal to some but to me it was HUGE. Although I have no plans to handle or own a snake in the future, and I still have major issues, I have continued to work on my phobia by exposing myself to snakes more and more.
I’ve heard warnings over the past month or so and there’s no getting around it, It’s rattlesnake season out here in Arizona. Eeek! So what’s a girl to do? Stop hiking and/or trail running? I don’t think so. Especially after I’ve seemed to have my mojo back.
Reports are mixed. Some people say I’ll probably never see one, saying I’ll have to search them out if I really want to see one (uh, no). While others say that it’s not necessarily if I’ll see one, but when I’ll see one. Either way, I don’t have plans to stop hiking/running so I figured it best to educate myself on snakes and such.
You’ll notice, I have absolutely no photos of snakes on this blog post. Yeah, that’s because in my research darn near every article had photos of snakes. While this helps me face my phobia of seeing snakes it wasn’t doing much for my blood pressure. So for those that are coming here to learn a little something, you have absolutely no fear of seeing real snakes. I promise.
I guess this is also when I should say I am not a doctor and am not offering any medical advice. I think it’s probably obvious considering I don’t know what the heck I’m doing half the time on trail. I educate myself and prepare but the element of surprise is all part of the adventure. (Let’s just hope that surprise isn’t a snake, right?) I just thought if I was already doing the research, I might as well share it here.
My main takeaways and facts I never knew:
Don’t put your hands or feet anywhere your eyes have yet to visualize.
Don’t rely on the sound of a rattle for warning. At birth, rattlesnakes have the first segment of a rattle, which is called a “prebutton.”The prebutton is lost the first time the snake sheds its skin and is replaced by a button. Each shedding episode that follows adds another segment to the rattle. Only when there is more than one segment can the rattle produce sound.
Rattlesnakes can swim and wet rattlers don’t rattle.
Snakes are most active when temperatures are within their optimal basking range. This appears to be about 75 degrees F with cool ground and the sun shining. They are mostly likely to be seen when the air temperature is between 70° and 90°F, regardless of the time of day.
We’re afraid of being bitten, but snakes bite to defend themselves. If frightened, they will first try to escape or hide.
If you do walk into the range of a rattlesnake, calmly back off as quickly and quietly as you can. (Hard for me, because I’m going to want to RUN!)
A rattlesnake’s strike distance can be up to one third to one half of its overall length.
If you’re bitten:
Remain calm so as not to increase circulation and thus the spread of the venom. And in the case of runners, don’t continue to run either.
Do not elevate. Keep the bite below the level of the heart.
Wash affected area.
Remove any potential constrictions such as jewelry or clothing because swelling will occur.
Don’t tourniquet a bitten limb.
Get to a hospital ASAP.
Anyone else remember when they used to say, “You need to suck out the venom when you’re bitten by a rattlesnake.” ?? Yeah, don’t do that. That alone was worth me doing my research because that’s probably the first thing I would’ve done if I’d have gotten bit. Definitely glad I’ve done my research.
I may or may not have had my 1st rattlesnake warning this morning. While running I heard a rattling sound come out of nowhere from my right side. I must admit I didn’t follow the rule of walking away slowly but only picked up speed, running like a bat out of hell, not looking back. =/ Yikes! Fingers crossed I’ll never have to deal with those last steps…
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Don’t let safety hold you back from going out for a run. These are a few things I’ve added to my routine and gear to stay safe while out pounding the pavement.
Have an ID – With so many styles and brands providing ways to carry ID there is no reason you should not carry some sort of ID with you at all times while running. Previously a fan of RoadID, I was recently introduced to the 1BandID. With 1BandID there’s no way I’ll forget it since it slips right on to my Garmin band with no issues. And with several colors to choose from it will easily be seen and you can make your own fashion statement. For a more in depth look at the 1BandID check out my review here. No matter what style you choose, carry some form of ID.
Leave the music at home – There aren’t too many people that don’t like to run to music. It keeps you energized and occupied instead of getting bored. I’m not against running with music by any means, but as I stated in a previous post, listening to music can hinder your awareness of your surroundings. If you choose to run outdoors with music I’d HIGHLY recommend avoiding use before sunrise and after sunset. If possible, I’d also recommend using only 1 earbud, allowing your other ear the capacity to hear your surroundings.
Run during daylight hours – I readily admit I love early morning runs. However, if you run in a questionable area try to run during daylight hours when possible.
Light up the night – If you run in the dark make sure to use appropriate lighting such as a headlamp and reflective vest.
Something else I’ve added to the mix is a battery operated glowstick. Not only does it glow but it also has different settings (blinking) if necessary. The tip also becomes a whistle if needed and I could definitely see myself using this as a weapon in self defense.
Run in well traveled areas – Although it’s nice to have quiet runs it’s also important to run in well traveled areas. More people around means less likelihood of dealing with suspicious activity and if you were to get hurt you’re more likely to receive assistance.
Carry communication – I carry my cell phone on most runs, specifically my longer training runs where I’ll be out for more than an hour. It allows me the opportunity to call D if an emergency were to arise. Not to mention, it also allows me to take pictures along my route when I have the urge.
Just in case - Carrying pepper spray won’t prevent an attack from happening, but it’s always a great safeguard. I’ve also had my fair share of run ins with dogs, so no matter the distance or time of my run I always carry pepper spray.
Stay safe, my friends.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
With all of of the craziness of our Arizona Adventure and recent travels I haven’t had a chance to do a Back To Basics post lately. If you can remember back, my last post was about just getting out and moving.
Let’s talk gadgets….
When I first got into running I pounded pavement with no accessory items. No iPod, Garmin, phone, etc. It was just me and the road. It was simple. If I really wanted to know how far I had gone I’d come home and map my run on GMap and was content with that. I then tried a basic pedometer and didn’t have much luck with it. I dunno if it was lack of trying, my irregular run gate, or what, but it wasn’t accurate. As time went on I found myself wanting a GPS. Initially it started as wanting to be more accurate in my distance and then I realized I could also keep track of my pace, calories burned, and could even upgrade to a heart rate monitor. 3 months after I started running I requested and received a Garmin Forerunner 205 for my birthday. I was one happy girl.
There are times when I think I couldn’t live without my Garmin. When it comes to long workouts the information it provides is invaluable. And when my Garmin Forerunner 205 decided to retire itself I promptly replaced it recently with a Garmin 910XT.
When it came to listening to music while running I didn’t even own an MP3 player in the beginning. I always laughed and said I used my mental MP3 player. I would literally sing songs in my head as I ran. I was content with that. Once again, as time went on my training runs became longer and I knew I’d appreciate a little bit of music to keep me going, enter my iPod.
The question is, do you need these items in order to run? Heck no. If you’re just starting out there really is no need for any of these items. And believe it or not there can be a downside to using gadgets.
For instance, D has called the Garmin my “crutch”. He says I’m always referencing it and determining much of my run depending on what my Garmin says. I’m guilty as charged. Instead of listening to my body I started depending on a piece of technology. It’s fantastic to be able to glance down and see my pace or how far I’ve gone, but to constantly “answer” to a gadget made me start to fear and dread my runs. Where’s the fun in that?
The downside to listening to music while running is that you really miss out on the running experience, like hearing your footsteps and your breathing. After your first few runs of just getting out and moving, I actually think it’s VERY important to tune into your body, listening to your footsteps, and the rhythm of your breathing. My mind also tends to shut off when listening to music, which means I don’t embrace the beauty of my surroundings. I know many use certain songs to speed up their runs but I have found that using an iPod oftentimes has the opposite effect on me when my mind shuts off. And when it comes to racing and listening….I don’t do it. I’ve only use my iPod during one local 5K race. Other than that I embrace the race atmosphere and soak it up for all that it’s worth.
Another thing to consider is your safety while using music while running. I never wear earbuds and listen to music while running at dawn or dusk. Although it’s important to always be aware of your surroundings, during these times of the day it’s most important. In addition, when I do listen to music I only use one earbud, leaving the other ear available to pick up sound. I’ll go into more points on safety in a future post.
As you can see I do tend to rely on my gadgets while training, but this doesn’t mean you HAVE to have technology to get out there and bust a move. If you’re not looking to spend the cash on gadgets but want to prepare for your runs, easy to use programs such as GMap and MapMyRun.com are free and easy to use on the Internet. To this day I still use GMap to map out my long runs prior to heading out.
Since I’m no longer training for the Half Rev3 there’s really no need for me to worry about distance, time, or pace, which means I was leaving my Garmin at home prior to our move. Now that I’m trying to establish run routes and seeing my progress as I acclimate to the heat I’m back to wearing my Garmin
In the off season you’ll find me going no go gadget quite often, allowing me to feel a bit more free and energized, which definitely puts the fun back into my run.
Experienced runners: Are you a go go gadget runner or do you prefer going no go gadget? If you like gadgets, what’s the one thing you couldn’t run without?
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
Most everyone has heard about Sherry Arnold’s story. For those that haven’t, Sherry was an avid runner in Sidney, Montana who recently went missing while out on a run. Without going into all of the details here, 2 men have since been obtained and have acknowledged that they not only abducted Sherry but also murdered her. It’s a very sad story.
I think most runners, especially females, have had that fear enter their minds at one point or another as they’ve headed out for a run. No matter what precautions we take we are still vulnerable. However, we can back down and either not run or shut ourselves inside on a dreaded treadmill…or we can fight back. I’d like to choose the latter.
You see, well over a year ago I had several incidences that left me jarred. I continued to have moments on my runs where I felt vulnerable. There were men that would come out of nowhere during my runs and act suspiciously. Whether it was all in my head or actually happening is still up for debate. Either way, I found myself scared and settling for runs on the treadmill. Although I appreciate the option of a treadmill, it’s not my method of choice. Ultimately I overcame my fear and am back outside pounding pavement. I’m still overly cautious, but I’ve taken back my freedom. Now, more than ever, us runners need to claim this freedom.
Fellow runner/blogger Beth of Shut Up and Run, and also Sherry’s SIL, has organized a run in Sherry’s memory on Saturday February 11th. The cool thing, it’s virtual and can be completed anywhere. The point: no matter where you run/walk/bike, no matter how far you go, do it for Sherry. A Facebook page for the virtual run has also been setup.
Many people, including Heather and Kimi, have even taken it a step further to organize local events. Theirs is set to take place near Cleveland, Ohio and are inviting anyone interested to please join in.
So, are there any Northern Ohio runners/walkers who would like to join in? I’m working on adjusting my schedule so I can make it. Either way, you better believe that no matter where I run come this Saturday, it will be to honor Sherry.
Keep Smiling and Be Grateful =)
As you read in a previous post I recently ordered a 1BandID. You haven’t heard of them? Well, they’re new. 1BandID is different than other ID bracelets or dog tags that you wear in addition to your watch, GPS or HR monitor. Unlike those other products, 1BandID is the first and only athlete ID that securely attaches to and displays critical contact and medical information on your watch, GPS or Heart Rate Monitor band.
I first “met” the creator/owner, Joe, on Twitter. I stumbled upon the 1BandID site and I finally realized that Joe was the brains behind the product. After seeing his idea I wanted to get my hand on one of those bad boys. It’s such a great idea. Through a contest on 1BandID’s Facebook page I was named a winner of a free 1BandID. Woot! It arrived this week!
I hate to compare two products, such as the already existing RoadID, which I’ve had for several years. However, I’m going to do so, because it’s what I’ve experienced, what I can compare to, and what most people will want to know (is one better than the other?).
Most people will put the 1BandID on the strap where the holes are for putting on your watch. Anyone with a smaller wrist will have to put the product on the opposite strap (clasp side). As you can see, I removed the little piece of rubber that holds down the excess strap and instead put the 1BandID in its place. The 1BandID will now do the “job” of that little rubber piece I removed.
To be honest my Garmin is already pretty bulky, which I’ve gotten used to. This little piece of fabric/metal made no difference whatsoever. Even with a smaller watch I don’t think I’d give notice to the 1BandID. It’s light and flexible. Here’s a before and after shot of my wrist. As you can see, there’s no big difference.
Drawbacks: I wish I could place it on the strap it was intended for (strap with the holes), so it’d be easier to look down and see my mantra. Alas, this is not the product’s fault. My wrist is just small. And I can easier flip my wrist around and see it just as easy.
My other issue is my Garmin’s not waterproof, so if I go swimming I will still need my RoadID. Once again, that’s not the product’s fault. I hope to upgrade my Garmin in the future to something that’s waterproof, which will void out this issue.
Final thoughts: This is an excellent idea and a fantastic product. I was thrilled with 1BandID’s customer service and speed and would highly recommend this product.
Joe is such a great guy that not only did I get a complimentary 1BandID, but he wants to pass on some savings to you too! When ordering, use the code heidi64284 upon checkout and you’ll receive 10% off. Very cool!