Safety 1st, 2nd & 3rd….Plus Giveaways

Just call me the “fact finder”.  I think that’s an actual paid position for some publications but as a blog writer, the fact-finding job comes down to me, myself & I. 

The fact-finding mission for today was to determine the validity of a message circling our local Facebook running club pages regarding the attack of a woman on the LaPorte Road access trail in Mokena.  Status of the attack = TRUE.  The woman had an incident where a man , whom she had previously seen riding a bike in dark sunglasses & a hoodie, approached her on foot/running and attempted to push/pull/drag her to the ground.  She screamed and shoved him and he ran off.  She was uninjured.  The man was in his late teens/early 20s and has not been found.

The Will County Forest Preserve Police have jurisdiction over most of our trails, including this one.  I have been assured that they have increased patrols and police presence on the trail and they are visible and alert.  In response to the initial emergency call, they had 10-15 officers canvasing the trail the day of the attack; however, never managed to find the attacker.  I was also assured by Mokena PD that although the trail is not their jurisdiction that they are more than willing to back up the Forest Preserve Police for assistance at any time.

If you have an emergency on the trail, please call 911 or the Will County Dispatch so they can dispatch the Forest Preserve Police.  The Will Co Dispatch #:  815.727.6191, program that number in your cell now (pretty please?).  If you have information regarding a situation on the trail that is non emergency, please call:  815.727.8700.

Although I hate to be redundant, I will once again address safety.  If you need additional info or a full-fledged refresher, go to my original posts on safety:  Tips on Running Safety HERE and Tips on Running in the Dark HERE.

Please be vigilant while running and make eye contact with everyone you encounter.  Only use one ear bud with music so that you can hear what is going on around you/possibly coming up behind you.  Run with a friend or a group, if possible. 

Local Group Runs

If it’s not possible to run with a friend or group, then decide how you plan to best protect yourself if necessary.  Think about what you would do if somebody approaches you and tries to knock you down for an assault.  This is not supposed to scare you but help you THINK about what action you plan to take.  For me, I have limited knowledge in self-defense and I have made the choice to carry pepper spray but above all, I am always “watching and listening” to what is going on around me.  For pepper spray, I have chosen the Wrist Saver from PersonalSavers.com.

I know that pepper spray is not for everyone, I’m not saying its the right choice for you but I feel confident in my ability to use it correctly and be able to flee from an attacker with its aid.  Look HERE for the proper ways to use/spray pepper spray so that you will know how to use it, and not lose it to your attacker.

PersonalSavers.com has generously donated a PINK Wrist Saver and a PINK Personal Saver for me to giveaway.  The Wrist Saver attaches to your wrist via velcro (see the pic of mine above), bike handle, or stroller handle for easy access & use.  It also has reflective accents, an id card and a small light.

The Personal Saver has both a key ring and a clip to attach to your waistband, hydration or Spi-Belt. 

If you would like to order from PersonalSavers.com now, use the discount code:  TTF for a $1.50 off your purchase and a free Personal Savers microfiber towel.

Another way that a person (YOU) might be proactive about safety is to take a personal safety/self-defense course.  Dennis Wright Martial Arts of Midlothian has generously offered two slots in his next Self-Defense Seminar to giveaway.  The class is on May 19, 2012 from 12pm to 2:30pm.  If you want to be entered in the giveaway for this seminar, please be local or willing to travel.  🙂  Mr. Wright offers classes in a variety of genres from boxing, martial arts to self-defense.  He also frequently offers self-defense and/or runner safety seminars to area locals for a low price. 

If you know of other locations which offer these type of short seminars, please feel free to share with us!  I would love to start a list of places to call for self-defense training. Let’s work together and be knowledgeable about our options for safety and self-defense!

That was long, I know.  As a reward for getting this far, all you need to do to be entered in the giveaway for the Personal Saver & Wrist Saver (2 items to be given to 2 separate individuals) is make a comment below.  Bonus entry, go “like” Personal Savers on Facebook HERE.  If you want to be entered for the Dennis Wright Marital Arts Self Defense Seminar (2 slots for May 19th at Noon) please do so indicate an interest since this is a “local” perk.  One comment per person, I’ll sort it out.  Giveaway goes from now until Wednesday, April 25th at 9am.

Comment Example:  I would like to be entered in the personal saver giveaway, I “liked” them on Facebook, and I would also love to be entered in the giveaway for the self-defense seminar.

Happy “Safe” Running & Good Luck on the Giveaways,                                                  Amanda – TooTallFritz

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10 Degrees….

Ten degrees……the coldest it’s been so far in Illinois for the start of winter 2011-2012.  Wow, it was hard to get my ass out of bed  “up and out” this morn.  The thing that propelled me forward was actually the fact that I had the time, the kids and hubby were out of the house, and I really WANTED to go for a run…… regardless of the temps.  I would have gone had it been below zero.  Yes, I am  a freak weirdo like that.  It was also an added bonus to have a little accountability.  Although my running partners were quickly dropping like flies with the falling temps, there was still several who made an appearance.  Me, Suzanne, Kate, & Maggie – Run For Pi(e)

Today we were joining up with the Yankee Runners as they came south, out of  the Palos Hills, to run Old Plank for a change.  When I hit my usual parking area, which is quite desolate at this time of year, I was pleasantly surprised to see it was filled people…..not just people but RUNNERS!  I bet there were 25+ people out there for a run today!  AWESOME.  But I still was slightly tentative about leaving the warmth of my car.Wow, 10 degrees.  I can do it.  I have this new face mask….it will keep me warm!

There wasn’t any a lot of chatter or introductions, basically we just jumped out of our cars and took off running before we got frost-bitten.  However, I did see Judy F., Frogger, Mark C., Scott B., Cindy T. and a few other people I recognized from Running For Kicks functions or the Park Forest Running & Pancake Club.  Once we were moving, the photos blurred as the lens on my camera phone fogged.  But I still tried!

It was really beautiful out.  We had a dusting of snow, the sun was just coming up and did I mention it was 10 degrees?  The wind was low, we had a headwind going out but coming back in a full sweat I realized I was overdressed like always but it was just a beautiful day.  And as always, I was super glad I went out and got in a few miles with my friends.  On a random side note, I want to thank all of you who continue to come out and meet me to run.  It is sooooo much more fun trying to hang on to Suzanne & Kate’s coat-tails running in a group verses going solo.  Thank YOU!

“Run”way Fashion:  Reebok Compression base layer, long bra top, Athleta long sleeve lined with fleecy flannel which has thumb holes and fold overs for hands (they don’t make it anymore!), then I had a light running jacket on which is a generic off brand I’ve had for years.  On the bottom I had CW-X compression tights plus Athleta Run About Pants in TALL.  I was very bundled without too much bulk, everything fit close so that air didn’t get in to allow the sweat to freeze.  I also wore an ear band, hat, gloves and the new Seirus Innovation face mask (picked it up at Dick’s Sporting Goods last night but couldn’t seem to find it online to link it up here).  So I was really quite toasty after we got running!  You CAN run outside in the winter if you want dress appropriately.

10.03 miles – 1:34, a few stops for photos, a stop for fluids at the 4 mile mark, and a few road crossings but mostly kept it moving.  On days when its this cold, please keep moving so your sweat doesn’t freeze.  That would be bad for your skin.

Happy WINTER Running!                                                                                           Amanda – TooTallFritz