I run with Mace. Every solo run, at least, I run with a small runner-specific can of pepper spray.
Thankfully, I’ve never had to use it.
That isn’t to say that I’ve not be chased countless times by dogs, attacked and physically scratched or bitten twice, and had to evade freaky-looking vehicles trailing me more than once over the course of the many years I’ve been logging serious miles running by myself. So now, I run with Mace.
Hold on, I admit that for track workouts I run with it, my phone, a water bottle and some fuel to the track, and then take them off and leave them in an inconspicuous pile. You don’t expect me to do: 13x1300s (avg 6:09pace) with 30 seconds rest for a total of 15 miles circling the track, for instance, while lugging Mace, a phone, a water bottle and Honey Stinger gels. No. Me neither. Plus, I figure any psycho-rabid dog would not bother me on the track.
This week, however, I did realize that my pile of necessities was not so inconspicuous. Toward the end of said 15-mile track workout, a class of, Oh maybe, 75+ hormonal high-schoolers came out to the track for early-bird gym class. And here’s me running like crazy when I realize that, crap, they’re not going to the baseball field as I’ve seen them do in the past, they’re going to walk straight past my phone, my PEPPER SPRAY and whatever other junk I’ve managed to haul from my house to the track. It’s just sitting there for any of them to pocket. Or worse… to have some fun with.
I about wreaked some serious havoc in gym glass.
Can you imagine a can of Mace + an ornery teenager?!
I even heard one girl say, “don’t mess with her stuff!” as I was sprinting what felt like double my prescribed pace to get clear around the track to my things. Sheesh, close one! Thanks, girl!
All that to say, keep your Mace on you.
Or put it in a truly inconspicuous spot when running on the track if you’re running to and from the track or doing some extra miles around from the track.
This is just a public service announcement, not an ad for Mace. Even though Mace is what I found, and it works for me. You can either strap it around your hand and run with your finger very near the red trigger. OR if you’re trigger happy, like me, you can hook it on your shorts. It took me probably one week to get used to it, and now it’s just no big deal. Barely noticeable.
I think I reach for my pepper spray before I even put on my shoes. And what’s even funnier, if I’m doing an easy run sometimes and I need a little jolt, I… just kidding! But I sometimes just practice spraying it because you can never be too prepared.
Stay safe and run fast!