Once. Then twice. And then it was three times.
Three times in less than a half-mile when Miles, Denali and I slowed or stopped on our run this morning. It was a minor annoyance as I struggled to hit my stride after previewing BODYPUMP 83 last night but I had known it was coming. "It" being school year traffic.
Running this summer - if you take away the record heat and oppressive heat - was bliss and not just because Mark was around. The break in school meant a break in traffic in our neighborhood where we have two schools within a quarter-mile. Often times, we could run the mile to the park/trail without stopping once (unless Denali needed to, ahem, well, you know).
With school in session for some of the private schools and Fort Wayne starting Monday, stops like this morning will become much more frequent. Thankfully, I only hit the traffic on the out or the back but it's enough to pause, take notice and make a few changes in our running routine.
1. Color run. This morning, I ran in my favorite offensively bright Nike outfit (as seen in a run from our Colorado trip). Wearing easy-to-spot colors helps drivers see me blocks away and brings attention that I'm not running alone. As the days get shorter and mornings darker, I will start to clip on my Supernova lights from Road ID for added safety.
2. Mindfulness. It would be nice to think that people are paying attention to what they are doing when they are driving but the truth is that they aren't. Mark saw a driver blow through a four-way stop on a run last week, and it's an intersection where I rarely do more than pause when I run through. I will definitely be paying more attention to traffic as I'm sure a car full of kids can be distracting as well as rerouting runs when possible so that we can cross at traffic signals.
3. The rules of the road. I run in the street whenever I have the stroller and while I 99 times out of 100 follow the guidelines, I do sometimes - gasp - run on the right side. As traffic picks up, I will be in the park path when possible or the left side of the road, opposite traffic. It not only allows oncoming traffic to see you but it allows you to see what traffic is doing and react appropriately. I can't tell you how many times I seriously questioned whether a car was going to make room for me.
For more rules of the road, check out this page on the Road Runners Club of America site.
How do you stay safe?