Be More Careful

Usually, RER is pretty light hearted, but I thought I’d use this post to talk about something very serious…

Police found the body of a girl believed to be Chelsea King yesterday. She is the 17 year old  who went  on a run last week in the San Diego area and never came home.  The suspect believed to be responsible is in custody.

You can read a news story about it here or here.

After her body was found my dad, my Nina and my mom all brought it up to me since I run by myself too. They wanted to know what I do to make sure I am careful and safe when I run or walk solo.

And you know what? Even after watching the news stories about her being missing and police arresting a suspect, I didn’t for one second stop and think, “Wow, I run by myself too. It could have been me.”

But it could have been me or you and I think we all need to be reminded to be more careful every time we run.

The reality is she was not running in a desolate area, but a public trail with other runners. Probably places similar to where you and I run.

I am just trying to urge you to be more cautious. I have some defense mechanisms I take with me on runs and I always stay on marked paths and trails, but being aware of you surroundings is of vital importance too.

Tips for a safer run:

1. Pepper spray – I actually found a good one that has a strap for your hand at my local running shoe store.

2. Run with a partner – this isn’t always an option, but you can run during popular running hours and try to stay near other runners.

3. Make sure someone knows where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Every time.

4. Kick him in the balls – self explanatory.

5. Don’t run in desolate areas or before or after dark.

6. Bring your dog or boyfriend on a bike :)

7. If you run with music – lower it so you can hear someone coming up on you.

Keep running, just be safe about it :)

Question: Do you have any tips on how we can be safer when we’re walking or running outside? Please share in the comments.


I actually ended up really scoring a good dinner at the Salt Lake City airport!

I found a pub that had multiple vegetarian and vegan offerings and was all over it.

Since I was in a rush by the time I found this place I didn’t have time to dilly-dally and take my time looking at the menu. I made a quick choice and ordered a wrap – dressing on the side.IMG_5950

Yum! It was good, but they were a little cheap with the tofu and it was mostly ice berg lettuce in here. Oh well at least it’s a better choice than most other offerings.IMG_5955

I had the option of chips with salsa or carrots and celery for a side. I went with the chips because I had already had a good amount of veggies today. But – I immediately felt guilty about it :( IMG_5952I told Ben I got chips instead of veggies and he said, “Good for you. Sometimes it feels good to take charge of your life and order what you want.”

He’s so cute :) I miss him…IMG_4473

I think I fly for the free Diet Coke – don’t judge. Okay, I fly because I love to travel and visit my family, but I do love me some sody!IMG_5957 Now I better get some email stuff done before my battery wears out. I love having internet on planes, just wish I didn’t have to pay for it (this ish was $10.00 each way! ).

See you tomorrow :)


  1. says

    Ugh, I heard that story too! I run by myself and actually, a couple summers ago, a girl was killed running on the trail I USED to run at the exact same time I would run, around the same point I would run too. That summer I just happened to be in Europe for 5 weeks. It could have SO easily been me that it scared me, my parents too. Now I run in the neighborhood, where lots of vehicle traffic go by and there are a good amount of retirees walking their dog, or riding their bike. I still don’t feel 100% all of the time though. I have pepper spray but I can’t think of a great place to keep it that would make it easily accessible. Plus, I’ve never actually sprayed it and don’t know if I would be able to in a difficult situation. Super scary. I can’t wait for the hubs to get roller blades or a bike to ride with me.

    Well, on that note..(; great post! We definitely need to be more aware.

  2. says

    i’m definitely not careful enough when i go running and i definitely never think it could happen to me. such a bad mind-set! i don’t run with music, which is a plus, but i do tend to zone out a bit during runs, so bad. thanks for sharing your tips!

  3. says

    You are 100% right and I definitely need to be more careful. Something I try to do that’s kind of hard because I love my music is like number 7 – lower the volume so I can hear the sound of my feet hitting the pavement. I figure that way I will be able to hear someone else sneaking up on me.

  4. says

    Honestly, I’m a little terrified of running alone. I do it occasionally but I’m sort of a big scaredy cat, which I guess I’m sort of okay with. When I do run outside alone, I never run with an ipod. I also try to run in the middle of the road since I live in a more rural area now.

  5. says

    Hi there! I just read your blog about runner safety and your about post. I live in Maryland too..and actutally I live downtown and I am ALWAYS nervous to go running around here at night. But it gets so hard to get off of work and not go….or go in the early mornings. What pub did you go to? I am going to Salt Lake next weekend. I am so excited to do some skiing out there..its so amazing out there. I totally feel ya on the soda… they just offered free soda refills on my work if you bring your own cup… diet coke is crack basically.. unbelievable how that stuff can get addicting.

    Cant wait to check out the rest of your page… safe travels :)

  6. says

    Chelsea’s story has made me so much more aware of my safety on runs. I always try to run in large neighborhoods where I can be surrounded by people. Can you post a link to the pepper spray you use?

  7. says

    So, so sad. I don’t run outside–our area just isn’t safe for it, it’s so desolate and there aren’t any shoulders to the roads.

    I do love my RoadID though. It makes me feel a lot better in case of injuries/accidents, especially if I have an asthma attack and can’t talk. It’s so important to carry identification–it wouldn’t have helped Chelsea, but would help LOTS of other people.

  8. says

    So sad :( Good tips though–would love a link to the pepper spray as well. I am going to our local running store this wknd and will see if they have it.

    I run outside, at night, in dark colors, alone, with music. I am doing all the wrong things. I don’t run the same route every time though and I normally go on a busy road with a lot of lights and cars so if I do get hurt, someone is bound to see me, I hope!!

  9. says

    My boyfriend bought my a little red light that flashes that you can clip to your clothes while running. While I don’t think this will protect you from the crazies, it will help protect you from the crazy drivers who don’t notice runners.

    Thanks for reminding us to be more careful when running alone. I am guilty of running a little too close to dusk and coming home in the dark. I never feel unsafe, but that doesn’t really mean I am safe.

  10. Tiffany says

    I actually just moved to the neighborhood next to where her body was found. I was really excited to be living near a trail.

    After I heard about the news of Chelsea’s disappearance last week, I have been so worried and scared. I definitely went through the “that could have been me” phase (am still currently in it) and immediately began to think about what I could do to make sure that my runs are safer. Thanks for addressing the issue. It’s definitely something that we should all consider.

    The scariest part was that she was attacked in BROAD DAYLIGHT! Please be safe everyone!

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