Welcome to Wednesday Word, a weekly linkup for everyone, not just health and fitness bloggers. Each Wednesday you will have a single word prompt to write about.  Let your imagination run free and share with your readers your interpretation of that word, or simply use it as inspiration for your post. Today’s word is radical…..  I’d love to have you link up, and if you do, please remember to follow my six simple rules.


Radical – very new and different
from what is traditional or ordinary;
very basic and important
~ Merriam-Webster


On Sunday, I wrote about how I love the freedom that running gives me and how my freedom had been interrupted with the news of the recent attack and attempted attack on our favorite running trail.

On Wednesday, a women walking on the W&OD Trail was attacked by two men who came out of a wooded area, but she managed to escape when a biker rode by and startled the attackers. Then on Thursday morning about twelve miles west of where the previous day’s incident occurred, a female off-duty sheriff’s deputy was running on the trail and managed to escape without being touched when she saw her would-be attacker approach her with a box cutter. In both cases the women were alone on the trail, but escaped physically unharmed.


Since the attacks, I’ve thought quite a bit about my recent careless practices when running. I’ve always had two rules – never run on the W&OD Trail alone and never wear earbuds while running. This summer I’ve broken both of those rules on many occasions.

With Ragnar DC just two weeks away, I’ve been running mid-day to stay acclimated to the heat. This has meant running alone instead of meeting my MRTT friends for our usual early morning runs. Since I’ve been running alone, I’ve been listening to music to help make the time go by faster and I’ve continued to run on the W&OD Trail.

My biggest concern had been running upon one of the black bears that have been roaming the neighborhood all summer, and as a result I carried pepper spray – when I remembered it. Fortunately, my runs have been uneventful and not only have I not seen any bears, but I haven’t seen any scary people either.


Knowing that I need to make some radical changes to my running habits, I’ve come up with these six adjustments which can easily apply to anyone:

  1. Switch back from running alone to running with friends
  2. If running with friends isn’t an option, pick routes in highly populated areas 
  3. Don’t run with earbuds and listen for unusual noises
  4. Scan all around, not just forward toward the horizon 
  5. Avoid running during nighttime hours
  6. Carry pepper spray and know how to use it


It’s sad that we can’t just go out and run whenever and wherever we want without a care in the world, but even though running gives us a freedom that many of us rarely experience in any other way, we have to be realistic. Making these few changes can make all the difference in the world and keep us safe.


What radical changes could you make in your running routine to make you feel safer? 


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Deb Runs


Next Wednesday’s Word: Plethora