Always Trust Your Gut

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on May 15, 2010


Yesterday, was quite the interesting day and I am glad I finally have a chance to sit down and write about it.

The sun finally peaked out just before lunch hour yesterday. Actually, it wasn’t just peaking out, it was glorious outside. I was so excited to get out there and go for a run after a week of rain and cold.

Before I left, I had a raw and gluten-free Glo Bar for fuel, since I would not be having my lunch until I returned.


I am finally in love with this bar with 100% of my heart and it feels so good. I will be announcing the release date on Tuesday!

I got my running stuff on, including my favourite Lululemon mesh shape jacket.


However, about 15 minutes into the run, I got really warm. I decided to put my jacket by the woods under a couple of sticks. I would pick it up when I returned. There was this gravel pull-over spot where fishers sometimes stop to go fishing in the creek below, so it was probably about 30 feet away from the road and the jacket wasn’t very visible. I also moved a bigger stick over top of it in case the wind blew hard at some point.


Then I was off for the rest of my run! I was super happy on this run for a few reasons:

  • The sun and warmth
  • My groin was 100% pain free and remained that way after each mile
  • I didn’t feel as winded on this run as the other night



I rocked the hills…


and I was just feeling all around good.



After going out and back for about 25 minutes, I returned to where I dropped off my Lululemon jacket.

It was gone.


There was also a car parked about 15 feet away from where I dropped my jacket and I assumed that it was a fisherman who had parked and gone to the creek.


But I didn’t see anyone fishing.

I looked around for 10-15 more seconds and I did not see the jacket anywhere. Then, I noticed that someone was sitting in the car.

I decided to ask the person in the car if they had seen my jacket, but I kept back at least 6 feet from the car. There was a man in the car and I instantly regretted approaching the car at all. Instantly my guard went up, like hairs going up on a dogs back. I asked if he had seen a yellow jacket, and he said no, but there was just something very in strange about his response. He did not seem genuine, or at least, that was what my instincts were telling me. I said thanks anyways and I started to distance myself from the car about 20 feet or so, and then the man got out of the car, through the passenger side door which was facing the woods. Something about that was very strange to me. The man started looking for the jacket.

My gut was telling me one thing and one thing only- something is not right here. My body was screaming loud and clear, so I listened. I remember watching an Oprah show years and years ago on self-defense, and the man on the show said that women often get into trouble when they don’t listen to their gut feeling. I decided to listen, so I took off running.

Not more than a minute after I left, the man in his car drove by and continued on his way, wherever he was going. I didn’t make eye contact.

Adrenaline was pumping through my veins as I ran home. I was angry. I was upset. I was cursing being a woman and having to go through life feeling vulnerable and scared. I started thinking about all kinds of reasons that man was there in his car and why my jacket went missing. I tried to reassure myself that it was just a coincidence, but I couldn’t deny the feeling I had about the whole thing. The whole way home I watched my back and looked for his car, but did not see it. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being followed.

I got home and the first thing I did was call the local police. Note, I did not call 911- I called the non-emergency number. I didn’t think I was in immediate danger, but I wanted to report what happened because I did feel like it was suspicious and who knows, maybe someone else called in something similar, you never know.

The lady I spoke with said that someone would check the area, and then a couple hours later a policeman ended up coming to our house to speak with me. He said that you should always, always report something that you feel is suspicious and he said I did the right thing. He told me a couple things that made me feel better:

  • He said the area we live in is very, very safe and generally I don’t have anything to worry about (but obviously no one knows for sure)
  • He said since Ontario banned the use of cell phones in vehicles, many people are pulling off to the side of the road to make a call, at what seems to be, very random places. He said they see all kinds of cars pulled over in strange areas since the implementation of this law.


So yes, it could have been something very innocent, or it could have not. I was not going to take the chance and find out. For a split second I hesitated and I actually tried to deny what my gut was telling me. I think women do this A LOT for fear of insulting the other person or making them feel badly. For a split second, I thought, ‘If I run away this man is going to feel badly!’, but I had to ignore that thought. Women are naturally people pleasers. We are always, always thinking about other people first.

Well, I think we need to put an end to that NOW.

No one else is going to look after our safety except us!

Maybe that man did feel bad that I took off or maybe he was embarrassed that I seemed scared of him, but that is not my problem. My focus is keeping myself safe first and foremost.

Morale of the story: Trust your gut, always. If the hairs on your back go up and you feel uncomfortable leave the scene immediately!

A few things I learned from this situation that I wanted to share with you:

  • Never, ever approach a car. Thinking about it in retrospect makes me feel like a fool for what I did. Even though I stayed back a good 6-7 feet from the car, I should have never approached a suspicious vehicle (or any vehicle). Do not make the same mistake as me!
  • Do not abandon layers while on a run. If someone does have bad motives and they see a piece of women’s workout clothing left somewhere, it could be an invitation for trouble. I will never leave a piece of clothing on the road again.
  • Think about safety options to carry with you on your run. Eric and I are going to pick up a couple things today (I will blog about what I get) and I will be doing my long runs with him (on bike) for the next while. My shorter runs will be run in busier neighbourhoods.


Some of the things I already do when going on a run:

  • Let Eric know when I am leaving, when I plan to return, and the route I am taking (ALWAYS!)
  • I carry ID
  • I carry my cell phone


It was a bittersweet run because the run itself was actually the best one I have had in over 6 weeks!


I did just over 8 miles in about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Dwight says 7.58 miles, but that is because I was running with my watch paused for about 1/2 a mile. I felt really strong on this run and it made me feel much more confident about my half marathon on May 30th.

Today’s question: Do you feel like women have a 6th sense when it comes to potentially dangerous situations? Have you ever listened to your gut and got out of a bad situation? Do you carry any safety devices when running?

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{ 126 comments… read them below or add one }

jenny (Green Food Diaries) May 15, 2010 at 8:33 am

wow first comment! goodness angela, what a day you had. i am so so so glad you trusted your instincts and got home safely. wow. that man is beyond creepy! gives me the heebie jeebies just picturing the situation, maybe it’s because you described it so well.

it’s true about what people say about women being people pleasers… even though i am an incredibly selfish young adult compared to some women, i find myself saying yes quite a bit…


Amy May 15, 2010 at 8:35 am

Glad you’re still safe, be careful


Sara May 15, 2010 at 8:38 am

I was on the edge of my seat the whole time I was reading this! So glad you are ok, Angela!!!


Jin May 15, 2010 at 8:38 am

Thank goodness you are safe!!! I never had anything like that happen to me. Yeah,you should trust your guts! Thanks for sharing this with us-I will definitely be morebcareful from now on!stay safe Angela!


Nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope May 15, 2010 at 8:39 am

That is so odd that you mention the show with Oprah and trusting your gut instincts because just a few weeks ago, i left my house before the sun rose and before i got to my car, i saw a man or someone ducking behind a car a few rows next to mine, like crouching/hiding. IMMEDIATELY, i thought of THAT SAME SHOW and i hauled ass back to my apartment. i looked through my window and realized it was just the guy upstairs putting stuff into his truck to go fishing, so i felt kind of dumb, but then i realize how good it is that i am aware and trust myself when something doesn’t feel right. it could have easily been someone hiding, ready steal my car or kidnap me!! it’s not like i live in safetown, usa.
i’m glad you’re ok! sad about the jacket:(


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

I have also had things like that happen to me too that turned out to be innocent, but we never know, and why take that chance?

It’s funny that you remember the Oprah show too. It doesn’t surprise me though, that was one of the most memorable things I have ever seen on TV that has stuck with me to this day.


nicole of Raspberry Stethoscope May 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

I wrote it about here: but i didn’t mention that the first thing I thought of was OPRAH because i thought it sounded funny, lmao!!


Nancy May 15, 2010 at 10:31 am

I too, remember that Oprah show, and since moving to a different – bigger province now that I have a car I am completely aware of people near me, or near my car. When I see someone strange walking by my car as soon as I jump in, I lock the doors :/

I had goosebumps reading your blog entry Angela, you described it so vividly. I’m so glad you’re alright!!


Hilary May 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

i remember that oprah show too! and she talked about how if you are kidnapped, never let yourself be taken to a second location.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 2:12 pm

Yup there was some crazy statistic about it too…about the women who let the man take them to the second location and only a minute amount end up living to tell the story. Your chances of survival drop significantly if you let them take you somewhere.


Laura Georgina May 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

Oh Angela, I’m so sorry that happened to you. You did the right thing, though, and it’s better to be careful the next few weeks until you feel settled down.

Something similar happened to me a couple of weeks ago on my regular morning run–a really creepy guy on a bike kept riding around me, slowing down and gawping. Then he’d ride ahead, get off the bike, and expose himself to me. I never ran home faster than that day. The thing is, I was scared afterwards but I was mostly angry at having to deal with such nonsense, just because I’m a woman. I reported it and such, but I’m running elsewhere from now on, where there are more people around.

Definitely will be thinking of getting something to carry, so I can’t wait for that post…


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

That is horrible!!! That would freak me out. I am so glad you reported it.


Heather (Heather's Dish) May 15, 2010 at 8:40 am

angela, i am SO GLAD that you’re safe. I’ve seriously been worried and thinking about it since yesterday when i saw your tweets about it! i’m super cautious all the time…i always have been, but my best friend went through something horrible, and since then i’ve been even more wary. it sucks, but i’d rather be safe than sorry. be careful out there sweetie! :)


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty May 15, 2010 at 8:41 am

Glad you are ok. :( Sorry that happened to you too.

I found a really cool bear spray that has a little handle thing on it, so I just put it on my hand when i’m walking/running – or I just put it in my pocket…

glad you are safe and sound though, that guy sounds like a creaper.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 8:42 am

I was thinking about bear spray because mace is illegal here…


Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty May 15, 2010 at 8:47 am

Yah, the level of bear spray you can get here they said is good for humans, so so for animals… There was another option (I can’t remember what it was) but it was super expensive, that said it would even stop a cougar or hungry bear in it’s tracks – the bottle was huge, and not something I could imagine carrying around.

The hunting/fishing store was super helpful though and there was lots of info online. (even pink ones on ebay;)


Meredith May 15, 2010 at 9:56 am

I have “Bear” (pepper) spray intended for bears that I take on my mountain hikes. To buy it you have to sign a waiver saying you will not use it on people. In Canada, if you were to use it on a person you could be fined $500,000 or jailed for 3 years. I think that mace and pepper spray are technically legal in Canada, but you have to say that its intended for use against animals only.

Posting stories like this on the internet is a GREAT idea. There are “hollaback” websites for different cities where women are encouraged to post stories and cellphone pictures of their harassers (“if you can’t slap ’em, snap ’em!”). It can act as a deterrent.


Lisa C. May 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

Amazing post , Angela. I’ve run into this sort of issue before… I finishing a run, a few houses down from mine, and it seemed like a car was going really slowly, almost following me. Then they stopped to ask directions and I shouted them out and just kept going. I deliberately passed my house because I had a really strange gut feeling.

I do not run that often anymore, but I used to carry pepper spray.


Shannon, Tropical Eats May 15, 2010 at 8:43 am

oh goodness this story was so scary to read! my mom always makes sure i have my RoadID and cellphone before I leave the house to go for a run. You never know what kind of creepers are out there! I’m so glad you’re ok


Melissa May 15, 2010 at 8:45 am

It may have seemed innocent in retrospect but too many women have been attacked not to have concern. You definitely did the right thing and what a great reminder about the fact that we put so much effort into fueling and challenging our bodies for health and that also includes keeping it safe from others harm.


Lauren @ Eater not a runner May 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

this definitely freaked me out a little! I don’t carry anything with me when I run, but I try to be very conscious of my surroundings. ALWAYS trust your gut!!


Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker May 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

Oh, sorry you had this awful experience, Angela! I had running when it’s warmer out. In my experience, it means I have to shed all the layers of clothing I wear in the colder months — where i can kind of pass for a guy, right? haha.

I have been followed on several occasions — once for half a mile while I was on a long run pretty far away from my house. People yell out of their cars all kinds of awful things. Anyway, I agree. There’s a 6th sense for sure. Your tips are very, very good. I would definitely say if anyone out there runs into an experience they consider uncomfortable . . . they should just try to ignore whoever it is as much as possible. I even once stopped by someone’s house where there was a family outside sitting around . . . anyway, I stopped and told them the situation and asked to use their phone to call my husband — and the guy drove away, thankfully.

But, ugh! Anyway, great run!!!


Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker May 15, 2010 at 8:51 am

Hahah ps: that’s “I HATE running when it’s warmer out” — I just got back from an 8-miler myself and I’m still not computer-ready yet :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

That is a good idea about stopping. If the car would have followed me, I would have gone to someone’s house. Luckily there were people outside, so I didn’t feel completely alone.


Angie May 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

Amen, Angela!

Such important points…I’m normally a trusting, welcoming person, but I’ve really gotten to be more and more cautious. Such a good reminder for us all!

Glad you’re safe -thanks for sharing!


Lisa May 15, 2010 at 8:51 am

I’m so glad you are ok!!!! I work in law enforcement and I see the worst of the worst. At first I thought I was jaded and bitter but in reality, my gut has just become even more fine-tuned. My gut is ALWAYS right. Just like yours. Listen to it. Carry pepper spray or mace. Don’t run in the woods with headphones.

As a woman–and a runner, if you are attacked your BEST defense is to RUN AWAY. Don’t engage, don’t stay in the scene. Even if you’ve been trained in self-defense, RUN. Run as fast as you can and call for help.

Glad your story has a happy ending. Many do not.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

Great advice, thank you!

Needless to say I DID have a negative split on this run! All that adrenaline pumping through me.


Jil @ Peace, Love & Munchies May 15, 2010 at 8:52 am

SO glad you are safe. That is scary and the situation just has too many creep=factors to think that it could have been innocent. Specifically because your jacket was missing. I’m glad you are safe and that you called the police about it – who knows, your actions could have saved someone else who didn’t know to listen to their gut.


Therese May 15, 2010 at 8:52 am

Holy moly woman! So glad you did the right thing in this situation and that you are alright!

I always run my shorter (early morning) runs just around the neighbourhood and they never last more than an hour. I save my more scenic runs for my long runs during the days on the weekends. I also always bring my health card with me and a whistle I got for free from New Balance.

I remember finding a cool running path not far from my house but knew immediately not to go on it at any other time than during the day when others were on the path as I just had a feeling it wouldn’t be a place I should go alone near dawn, dusk or at night.

When I lived in Japan I had a drunken business man follow me home. I think it was innocent enough (i.e., he was just drunk and curious at the foreign redhead) but I didn’t take it lightly at all. I immediately told my supervisor about it and was given rides home for two weeks after than and then when I did start walking home again I made sure to stay on the side of the street where there were the least amount of bars and never strayed off the main, more well-lit, road.

I’ve NEVER told my mother about it though!!!


Tonyne @ Unlikely Success Story May 15, 2010 at 8:55 am

Oh my goodness! That is scary. :/ I used to run without ID, cell phone, anything, not I always carry my ID and phone.


Emmanuelle May 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

Wow what a scary situation! You were so right to trust your instincts, you never know what might have happened, and you surely don’t want to find out! The important thing is, you got back home safely. Compared to being alive and kicking, the loss of a piece of clothing is no big deal.

We women should definitely trust our gut much more often. I usually trust myself to know what’s good for me but just like Jenny above, I find myself saying yes too much to my own taste…


Danielle (Coffee Run) May 15, 2010 at 8:56 am

I’m really glad nothing happened…I was nervous reading this story!
I always go with my gut. I’ve been watching the same tv shows as you & I’ve learned that it’s better to possibly hurt someone’s feelings (or look crazy) than risk it. I’ve ran away a few times (men at night alone in random places) and yeah, I probably looked crazy but I don’t regret it!


Diana May 15, 2010 at 8:59 am

I am so paranoid! I’m always trying to watch my surroundings and look for trouble. Good for you for listening to your gut and sharing the message with your readers – it’s so important to stay safe!

One time, I was going to a workout class and the parking was really bad. I found a spot but it was far away from the building and I thought twice about parking there and decided to circle around and wait for someone to leave before I parked. I ended up getting a closer spot and thank goodness! While we were in class, someone broke into the car that was parked where I almost parked!!! After that experience, I posted some safety tips here: – but mine are more like general parking lot tips.

Oh, and another time, I was at the mall (where you would think you’d be safe with tons of people around) and I thought I noticed someone following me as I was walking down the hall. I quickly swung into a clothing store and walked halfway in and then turned around to see if the guy came in. He was lurking around the front of the store for several minutes. It was realllly creepy! Luckily my hubby was with me or I would have had security walk me to my car. If I had read this post first, I would have actually called security anyways. I should have now that I think about it…it was very suspicious!

Thank you for the tips! :)


Ange May 15, 2010 at 9:00 am

Wow Ange!! Thanks for these great reminders. I often forget to take precautions when I head out for a run, but things can get scary really fast and in the little bit of time it takes to grab ID etc, makes all the difference.
I think what you said about women feeling the need to coddle other people’s feelings is especially true….even in times when we feel we are being compromised. Thanks for writing this!


Mel May 15, 2010 at 9:07 am

Thank you for writing this.

I got myself in a similar situation two years ago- the voice in my head kept telling me that the man was making me uncomfortable, that I should leave… but I ignored it because I didn’t want to seem rude or hurt his feelings. I kicked myself afterward for being stupid and thought I was the one responsible, that I should’ve known better.

Every woman will find herself in this situation, unfortunately. Thank you again for sharing.


Lynne May 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

So glad you’re ok, Angela. Thank you for sharing this – it’s such an important thing for women to think about. I am really impressed that you reported it. I think a lot of people would have doubted themselves and (in typical female fashion) not wanted to bother anyone about it. I go walking in a forest near my home, and even though I go with my dog, I don’t always carry my cell phone or tell anyone where I’m going – I shall definitely be doing those things in the future.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 9:27 am

I actually did have that thought’ oh im wasting the police officers time’ in my head. Thankfully he was SO nice about it and reminded me that I did the right thing. I am trying not to second guess myself anymore!


Rachel @ Suburban Yogini May 15, 2010 at 9:14 am

So glad you are OK Angela.

The one thing that struck me about this story was, despite the creep in the car, how law abiding you Canadians are, pulling over to make a call. They banned using mobile phones in cars in the UK a couple of years ago, but everyone seems to do it anyway (I don’t have a car so I’m clear).

Thanks for the tips. I think running definitely makes you more vulnerable that biking. I’ll stick to my wheels :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

HAHA- well, trust me, many people around here still talk on the cell while driving (Eric sees it daily during his commute), but yes many people do thankfully pull over now. :)


Marina May 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

Thank God nothing happened to you!
Once, I ran in a park that has lots of dark parts, and I entered one of that parts, darky, with hills. There was a man running, that didn’t look like a real runner, stopping often, like he was waiting for me. I passed him by, but my panic started to kick in, so I turned and went back to the road with more people. I’m just to scared to take chances like that, although my karate and tae kwon do lessons. I always take my cell phone, because I have asthma, so cell phone and medicine are a must.


katie May 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

WOW girl you are awesome. you did the right thing and you were CAREFUL and women have GOT to do better at this!! I am so glad you did that, theres no telling what could have happened, so you have to always be on the safe side. hugs your way from the south!!!!!


Meredith (Pursuing Balance) May 15, 2010 at 9:17 am

Oh my gosh! I am so glad you are safe! You were right to trust your gut.
I have pepper spray attached to my key chain. I definitely take it with me when I’m going on walks without my boyfriend . . . recently, when we go at 7 we keep running into a strange, scary man pulling a cooler behind him who just stares at me (my bf is usually a bit behind me . .. I walk fast!). At first I was like you — worried that maybe I should smile at him so I wouldn’t feel rude (people pleaser!), second-guessing myself (maybe he’s not scary?) — but Dan said “I don’t like how that guy is looking at you like that . . . I don’t think you should take walks alone down this street anymore.”
Also, the pepper spray makes me feel safer when I’m going to my car in a parking garage. There are so many big SUVs, it is difficult to see who may be standing behind them. My classes often let out after dark, and the garage at school could be kind of creepy at that time! Have my keys out with my pepper spray attached makes me feel better.


Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter May 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

Ohmigoodness I am SO sorry that happened to you! You definitely did the right thing in the end though. I’m glad you are safe.

The weirdest thing that happened to me was I was walking to my job at a busy stadium. I was on the other side of the street in broad daylight with tons of people around. I looked at this guy sitting strangely in one of the parked cars on the side of the road when he busted out of his car. Screamed “HEY YOU!” at me and started to run after me. I obviously started to run into the crowds, but NO ONE did anything. Thank goodness he magically stopped chasing me, but it was weird how no one thought a super grungy guy chasing a little girl in her work uniform was strange.


christina cadden May 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

Sorry your jacket was gone but I am glad you listened to your gut. I run in a wooded area as well and carry mace and my cell phone with me. I also let my hubby know where I am going and how long I should be gone in case anything happens to me. It sucks we have to keep our guard up but you never know anymore.


Sarah May 15, 2010 at 9:28 am

Something similar happened to me a couple days ago, on school campus no less. I was eating by myself in the cafeteria, and all of a sudden I looked up and there was this random man standing very close to my table just looking at me. He looked like he wanted to say/ask something, but he didn’t. There was another guy standing nearby who looked very uncomfortable and unsure, and he beckoned to his friend and they walked away. But I kept looking up to see where they were going, and they just walked around the cafeteria observing and watching everyone. It was very strange.
When I was done eating, I got up and went to the bathroom on my way out. I didn’t see the men. But when I came out of the bathroom, they were standing RIGHT THERE. It was creepy. Luckily, they didn’t follow me home, but I kept looking over my shoulder and I was wearing my running shoes so I felt like I could reasonably escape….

Thanks for your story. I probably should have called public safety but I didn’t.


Ann May 15, 2010 at 9:35 am

I just wanted to chime in here after reading this sentence of yours: “I was cursing being a woman and having to go through life feeling vulnerable and scared.”

I think you are right, and that you should take proper precautions, and listen to your gut, and not enter risky situations, and all that stuff. But I also have to say that I honestly believe 95% of people, men and women, are generally good folks. That’s not an injuction to blindly trust everybody, but I also think it’s sad to feel that you have to go through life feeling vulnerable and scared because you’re a woman. Five years ago, when I was 20, I spent four weeks hitchhiking through Ireland. By myself. I carried pepper spray and a knife in my bag, and was always prepared to turn down a ride if I felt the least bit uneasy about it. As it happened, I never had to turn down a ride, and I had an absolutely incredible time and met a lot of wonderful and interesting people, and saw a lot of cool places and things that I wouldn’t have otherwise done. Yes, bad things could have happened to me, but nothing did, and I met a number of other gals who were doing the same thing and also having a blast.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: caution is good (and clearly a lot of ladies here have some creepy stories to tell), but trusting in people can sometimes be a good thing and lead to happy and rich life experiences, too.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 2:25 pm

I too agree that most people are good at heart. I still would not take the chance in this day and age…just my personal opinion!


Ariana May 15, 2010 at 9:36 am

Oh my god, I was really nervous while reading your story! You absolutely did the right thing – and I don’t think that the man would feel bad because you run away from him. Men should know that women that are alone in the forest could be frightened – so if he was “good” he would think that you did absolutely the right thing!
That’s the reason why I am never running with music and I am always scared to run in the forest – I mostly just run around my houses thousend times ;-)
Take care sweety!


Red May 15, 2010 at 9:38 am

It is good that you share things like this because it will help other people to think about it. Recently a girl was killed in Griffith Park in Los Angeles which is right up the road from me. It kind of makes you rethink where and when you run (like early morning runs in the dark at 0430). I don’t run with headphones because I like to be able to hear if someone is coming up from behind me. Even when I’m walking down the sidewalk and I walk past some people I think about what I’d do if they attacked me or something. Hahaha. Perhaps I’m paranoid, but I used to be a police officer and I learned a lot so I think that contributes to it. Definitely listen to your gut, I’ve ignored it way too many times.


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 2:23 pm

I do that too! I think its good to be proactive :)


Carla May 15, 2010 at 9:49 am

Thanks for posting this! I recently moved to NJ from Philly and don’t have any running buddies like I used to. I really want to run in the early morning before work, and even though we live in a safe neighborhood I am kind of wary. It doesn’t help that most of my friends/family are nervous about it. My cell phone is so big and bulky I never want to carry it, but perhaps I should think twice. I definitely plan to invest in a Road ID for emergencies as well. I do run with an IPOD but I keep it on very low so I can still hear everything around me. Wow, I really wish we didn’t have to worry about these things!


Anne May 15, 2010 at 9:49 am

So glad you listened to your instincts! You hit it on the nose with women wanting to please and not wanting to offend people. Screw that! I’m dating myself here, but there was an episode on the show Designing Women when Mary Joe was freaked out at this guy who approached her in the a parking garage and she was by herself at night, and she flipped out on him only to find out later that he was a potential client. She felt stupid, but he told her not to worry because he had a wife and daughter and he should had known better than to approach a woman like that. My point is that if the guy is truly a good guy with good intentions, he’s not going to be offended by something like that :) by the way, thank you for you blog. I rarely comment, but I enjoy reading your daily updates and find inspiration on your message of self acceptance :) xo


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Exactly, I couldnt agree more!


Retta @ RunRettaRun May 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

I’m so glad you listened to your gut! I do think women have a 6th sense when it comes to danger. I’m sorry you lost your jacket but safety is more important!


kellyO May 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

So glad you are safe! I have learned to follow my gut. I’d rather be safe than worry about offending someone. Good work! One suggestion…when you get your spray, go into your yard and try it. It is important to know HOW to use whatever it is we have for protection. Become familiar with how it feels, sprays, the distance the spray travels, etc. Have a good weekend…


Angela (Oh She Glows) May 15, 2010 at 2:21 pm

That is a great tip, thank you


Krista May 15, 2010 at 10:02 am

Ange, I am SO glad you are safe. You must’ve been so scared. You absolutely did the right thing. (((HUGS)))


Tina May 15, 2010 at 10:03 am

Oh my goodness! That is so scary. I am glad you decided to listen to your gut. You’re right that it could have been nothing, but it is ALWAYS better to put our safety first. And what you mentioned does all sound very suspicious. I think my alarm bells would have gone up too. Glad the run itself was good though and I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Jolene ( May 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

I always listen to my gut, and I do think that women have a 6th sense about danger … I have experienced many times before.


Aspiring Minimalist May 15, 2010 at 10:07 am

I’m so glad you’re OK! That’s so crazy.

I was just inspired by your post to write one of my own experience.

Be safe!


Sara May 15, 2010 at 10:10 am

Angela thank you for writing about your day. I am so thankful that you are safe….Reading this post will remind me to listen to my gut. Thanks again!


Cynthia (It All Changes) May 15, 2010 at 10:13 am

I’m glad you trusted your instincts.

I want to be able to run in my neighborhood. But both times I tried I felt like I was being followed and not comfortable at all. So I tend to run on the running path instead.


[email protected]:// May 15, 2010 at 10:15 am

I’m so glad you are okay. Thank you for sharing your story. This is something I always worry about when I’m running.

If their is a car pulled over I always cross to the other side of the road. For fear they might pull me into the car. I always tell my husband when I’m leaving and when I’ll be back. I always run faster if someone is around and I give a look of authority and control. I live in a slightly remote neighborhood outside city limits like you. So I always worry about wooded area’s and pick up my pace in those area’s and stay very alert and aware.


Heather Dawn May 15, 2010 at 10:19 am

I am so glad you trusted your instincts and are safe!
This is one of the reasons I opt to run on the treadmill if I run before work. It is still pretty dark outside when I workout and I am too nervous, even with lit roads! Who knows what could happen.
This post is a great reminder to always listen to your gut feeling no matter what.


Michelle May 15, 2010 at 10:21 am

I`m so glad to hear that your safe, but sad about your jacket :(
I tend to be under-suspicious of situations, like, it`ll never happen to me. I know I need to be more careful! Congrats on the great run!


Ameena May 15, 2010 at 10:25 am

As someone who was held up at gunpoint I say always trust your gut too!! I knew better than to enter a parking lot alone, late at night but I did it anyway. I’m glad I was only scared and my things were stolen because it could have been so much worse.

Glad you are safe!


Emily May 15, 2010 at 10:26 am

Wow, Angela. I’m so glad that you listened to your gut and took care of yourself first and foremost. I had goosebumps while reading your story. One time, I went to the mall alone around Christmas time and for whatever reason, the minute I pulled into the parking lot I felt like something was “off.” I am not usually afraid of being alone and so it was a new thing for me. I was looking for groups of people to walk in with/behind and noticed that there was a man weaving in and out of the cars kind of haphazardly. I decided to wait, lock the doors and just sit there for a while. I was fishing my cell phone out of my bag when I looked up and the man was at the passenger side window of my car. He was naked under his coat. It was probably the scariest thing ever. Luckily, I had my phone and called the police right away – he took off. They never found him but he had done it to three other girls that day. I’m so thankful that I stayed in my car! It really is amazing what our intuition is capable of.


brittany May 15, 2010 at 10:27 am

Wow! This story gave me goosebumps. I’m glad you are ok and I think you definitely reacted the right way. It makes me think twice about running alone outside because you never know


Camille May 15, 2010 at 10:29 am

Oh gosh, that is so scary!
Forget about your jacket, the important thing is that you’re okay!


Aoife - Adventures in Veg May 15, 2010 at 10:30 am

Gosh that sounds really scary! I’m glad you’re OK and that he didn’t hurt you – thank god you trusted your instincts!
I definitely think you’re right that us women often feel bad if we ignore/run off on/etc a stranger, but really if our instincts tell us it’s bad, it’s better to run than to get hurt.
Good on you for reporting it!


Kristin (Cook, Bake, Nibble) May 15, 2010 at 10:36 am

Wow, what a scary situation! Props to you for getting out of there and calling the police. I’m certain many women would have just left and brushed it off, but if the person was suspicious at all, the police should have been notified, you’re so smart!

I am SO bad at forgetting my ID at home, and I almost never bring my cell. But I should! Even though I run in a pretty populated area, I really should think about safety more.

Glad you’re ok, sorry your jacket is not! :(


Tami May 15, 2010 at 10:45 am

does your id have a contact number and name? I got my roadID and I feel so much safer with it. A cell phone does no one any good if you can’t talk.

I always call the police with things like this. bummer about your jacket but I am glad you OK. I lost a shirt on a trail run over a month ago and I went back to run the same trails last week and I found my shirt! Some animal had dragged it away and scratched at it in a few places but I can still wear it. you never know, it might show up. put your name in your running gear so maybe someone will return it.


steff (steffsays) May 15, 2010 at 10:47 am

wow! what a harrowing experience! i’m so glad you’re safe & yes, always listen to your gut!


Sarah May 15, 2010 at 10:51 am

Hiya! First up, I haven’t been reading blogs much the past few weeks because life just got crazy busy, so I’ve only just seen your new blog design. I think it’s absolutely GORGEOUS!! It’s so professional, and clean looking, but still fun. Congrats!
Secondly, I totally agree with you about following your gut. It’s something I tend to do anyway, but I’d never have thought of calling the local police. Thank you for that one!


Katheryn May 15, 2010 at 10:54 am

I always carry pepper spray with me when I run. I’ve never had to use it, but I still always bring it. I always tell my husband the route I’ll be running too, and never listen to my podcasts too loud so that I can hear the sounds around me.


lizzie May 15, 2010 at 10:56 am

This was a scary story!! So glad that you’re OK. But at the same time it was a wonderful story – a reminder of how we all need to be aware of where we are and what we’re doing (part of the reason I don’t run with headphones – though that has more to do with traffic – and don’t use them on the subway). I tend to let my mind wander when running, especially longer runs so thanks for the reminder. Ironically someone told me about some self defence classes for women being run by one of the local PD’s so I will look into that.

A couple of months ago on a really (really) cold day I was walking home from work with my hood on and as I turned onto my street I could hear heavy footsteps behind me, definitely very close and not letting up. It was dusk and while we do live in a very busy neighbourhood, our street can be somewhat quiet. I took a quick glance sideways and all I could see was a guy (bigger than me) wearing a dark coat with his hood up. Didn’t need to see anymore – I just really picked up the pace, looked straight ahead and didn’t stop still I was safely behind my locked apartment door. Come to find out later it was a neighbour from nextdoor that we hadn’t met yet!! He saw me a couple of days later, introduced himself, and apologized for scaring me, so in the end it was really nothing but the reaction I had was something I hadn’t felt in ages and I was glad that I didn’t ignore it.

Thanks for sharing your experience!! I think other people have recommended a RoadID – I have one and always feel better for it. It doesn’t matter where you live, you’re right – we need to be aware!


Beth S. May 15, 2010 at 11:08 am

I hate it when people slow down to ask me directions. It scares me every time! You did the right thing. It’s always better to be safe!


Mel May 15, 2010 at 11:22 am

I agree that you shouldn’t have talked to the man, but when you realized something was wrong you did what you needed to and I hope you’re really proud of yourself! Even if he was a nice guy, your intention was not to hurt his feelings or be mean, it was to be safe. Your safety tips are good ones. I shudder to think what could have happened. Even though you lost your jacket you are a very lucky girl. Thank goodness for having the courage to follow your gut. *Hugs* Maybe you could do another post on running safety soon.


Joanne May 15, 2010 at 11:23 am

Your post really struck a chord with me. Earlier on today I went for a run on a track that runs alongside a field and through some woodland. There are a few houses nearby but as I was running I started to wonder whether anybody would hear me if I was attacked and had to scream for help. I considered turning back and running along the road instead, but I much prefer to run somewhere that cars aren’t whizzing past all the time. My reaction was exactly the same as yours, I immediately felt angry and upset that as a woman I have to feel scared and uncertain just when I’m going out for a run and minding my own business! Grrr!

I agree 100% that you should listen to your instincts in these situations and not worry about offending the other person. Sometimes you pick up a bad signal from somebody and it’s best to listen to your gut.

I’m considering getting some sort of alarm to carry with me when I go running, so I’d love to know what safety products you decide to buy in the end.

P.S. This is my first comment, but I’ve been reading your blog for a long time and I love it. Thanks for being such an inspiration! :)


Tamara Lea May 15, 2010 at 11:26 am

Wow, that is scary. Sounds like you did everything right. I live in the east bay (suburbs of SF), which you would think would be 100% safe. Its not. At least a few times a year there are various crimes against people jogging or walking on trails. I have a hyperactive 6th sense, so I usually carry pepper spray. I recently lost mine, so I need to replace it.

The advice in this post is good – thank you for sharing it.


Kris May 15, 2010 at 11:33 am

Thanks Angela for sharing your story and reminding us to be safe in our surroundings. I also would suggest that it is not a good idea to label workout gear or personal items with your name, as suggested by one well-intentioned commenter. It makes it easier for someone to track you down, but also exposes you to risk if that person doesn’t have good intentions.


Amber K May 15, 2010 at 11:37 am

I could totally see myself being worried about offending the other person. I always feel bad for my husband because some kids are afraid of him. He is just a big guy (6’8”, 290 lbs) and little kid’s eyes get bigger and bigger as they travel up the height of him. It makes him feel awful!

But even with that experience I hope that I would be able to trust my instincts and say “well thanks anyway” while RUNNING away.


[email protected] May 15, 2010 at 11:44 am

oh wow! what a scary and akward and weird set of events! actually i held my breath reading this because it was really terrifying at parts. some people give off the extreme creepy vibe and u know when something is up!!! i mean its series of events like this that can blur by so fast and anything could have happened! im just happy youre okay, im only sorry you had to deal with this! talk about sucking the energy out huh! <3


Sue May 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

Whenever I read your posts about your wonderful runs and bikes, in the back of my mind is always a thought about the danger of a woman by herself along a roadway or, worse, a path in the woods, and I now wish I had commented about that sooner.
Get whatever equipment you need to make you feel safe from strangers and dogs. Pepper spray is a good choice for me and I carry it whenever I’m out walking, even if I’m with my friend or husband.
It’s sad that women have to always be on the defensive, but we do and thank God everything turned out OK for you yesterday.


Amanda May 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I’m so glad you are ok! That was creepy Ange! I listen to my gut too and I don’t go out alone. I’m quite small and my boyfriend insists on running with me whenever I go outside.


Melleah May 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm

You did the right thing by running away and reporting the creepy guy! I took a self defense class when I was in college, and the point the instructor constantly made was the biggest part of self defense was avoiding dangerous situations and ALWAYS trusting your instincts. My husband accepted a job about 800 miles away back in January so I’ve been in charge of taking our dog on 6 a.m. walks the last few months (fortunately I’ll be moving to be with him this month), but I bought a can of pepper spray to carry on our walks. We live in a very safe neighborhood, but you never know.


Jessica @ The Process of Healing May 15, 2010 at 12:29 pm

Oh wow… that is SO creepy!!! I’m so so so glad you are OK! When I saw your tweet about this, I had no idea it was something like THIS! Your guy rarely steers you wrong, in my opinion. This is why I always ran just in my neighborhood because I’m so afraid of what might happen if I ran in more secluded areas.. it’s awful that we have to be so afraid!


Dori May 15, 2010 at 12:31 pm

That is really scary. I am so glad you trusted your instinct, that is so important and I am just so happy you did that.

I generally tie my jacket around my wasit, it doesn’t bother me too much.


Sebrina May 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm

Wow I am so sorry you were scared. I know that feeling!!! Glad you are ok1


Sara May 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Wow, Angela, I’m so sorry this happened to you! But even more, I’m glad you’re OK. But you’re right, you never know! I always run in my neighborhood, which is very well populated and busy enough (there are even two hospitals within a mile and a half or so of each other), and I always carry my cell phone due to my asthma (never know when that emergency could happen). I don’t carry ID, though, and I really should. I can’t really think of a time that I’ve felt scared that someone was following me, but again, you never know. Thanks for sharing your story.


Katie @ Ordinary Girl, Extraordinary Journey May 15, 2010 at 12:49 pm

You are right; women are naturally people pleasers and I can definitely see how that could get you (or me or anyone) in trouble.

Thanks for sharing this. We need to be educated and protect ourselves.


Kayla May 15, 2010 at 12:51 pm

wow! what did Eric and your parents say?? eek that is so creepy. I’m sure he took your beloved jacket to lure you to him! (unless he was a decent guy, but it sounds too suspicious) I have a trail I run at and I am always nervous to go by myself, which I always do. However, I make sure to go around 5-6 p.m. when it’s busiest and there’s all kinds of dogs, people, kids around.

Random question, not to freak you out, but do you ever feel vulnerable by putting so much info. out on the internet? I mean some weirdo who lives near your area could come across your site and recognize where you run everyday from your pictures… Just curious if this ever cross your mind?


sarah May 15, 2010 at 12:58 pm

What you said about feeling guilty about being cautious around someone and being a people-pleaser is so true. But it’s so much more important to be safe.

The only place I go run is either in my neighborhood or around the perimeter of a busy park, surrounded by busy streets. I want to get some pepper spray to carry with me just in case.

I think even if the “6th sense” is about something that turns out to be nothing, it’s better to be safe than sorry!


Andrea May 15, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I am SO proud of you for trusting your gut and running away! That is really hard for many women to do and the fact that you did could have quite literally saved your life. You did the right thing and I am so glad that you’re safe.


Nicole P May 15, 2010 at 1:57 pm

I just wanted to say good for you for running away. I think the human body is a very smart thing and if your body started giving you alarm signals and really for no reason whatsoever then you should run. I think we may not always know when we are in danger but maybe somehow our bodies do or maybe it is divine intervention. I myself am a very black and white type of person (I want to know facts to support what people are saying and all) however on the issue of women’s intuition I am a 100% believer in it and that you should never ever ignore it. I don’t know what it is but anytime I have had a gut feeling or feeling of women’s intuition I have never ended up wrong by following it. However, every single time I have ever gone against it something has happened to make me regret it. Sorry to hear about your jacket- thank goodness you’re okay and not hurt.


Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear May 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Oh my, what a day you’ve had. Great to hear you’re safe! I always believe and trust my gut instinct, sometimes it seems silly but I don’t want to take any chances!


Triathlonbabe May 15, 2010 at 3:25 pm

I am so glad you are okay! Lululemon can be replaced, not your life. Whenever I layer and get warm, I usually just wrap my jacket or long sleeve tech shirt around my waist. I carry pepper spray anytime I run in areas I’m not completely familiar with, when it’s dark, or on any long runs. It doesn’t matter where you run though, there could always be a potential for danger.

I’ve been in a couple of odd situations on runs, one being, I was being pursued by a pitbull. My first instinct was to run as fast as I could, but I thought for a split second if I do that, she is going to chase me especially not really knowing if she was agressive or not. So I stopped to a slow walk, she ran up to me and immediately jumped up on me….she was not aggressive at all, she followed me for about a block and then turned around and went the other direction. I called 411 which is a non-emergency number here in our town and reported it. I didn’t stay around to see what happened but hopefully either the dog went back home or the animal control came out to check it out. I felt bad for her because she wasn’t aggressive at all. One other time, I had a man stop me on a bridge I was running on to ask directions, it was probably innocent but I had this weird feeling about it…so I told him I wasn’t really sure and went on.


healthyteacher May 15, 2010 at 3:36 pm

SMART MOVE! I’m the most paranoid person in the world. I feel like I sleep with one eye open, and no matter what anyone says, women (particularly young women) are the primary target for most creeps and psychopaths. So, kuddos to you for running. You never know why someone is stopping their car by the woods, and I’m guessing it’s typically not for a phone call (what kind of reception do you get in the woods?). So keep it up. Thanks for sharing your story.


erika May 15, 2010 at 3:44 pm

I think it’s great you listened to your gut. That feeling was real; I always believe in that feeling even though I’m a people pleaser too. One thing, if you get spray, practice using it. I had spray in my hand, ready to use, on a walk through a rural neighborhood. A group of dogs approached me. One jumped up on me, paws on my chest and growled. Then he backed down and they all went away. I think it was to show their dominance? It was weird. I was shaking. When I got about 2 blocks away I realized it had NEVER occurred to me to use my red pepper spray. And it was in my HAND. I thought it would be instinct to use it, but I love animals, and it wasn’t at all. Anyways, glad you listened to your gut.


Cindy May 15, 2010 at 3:50 pm

You were absolutely right to listen to your gut! I am glad you are okay :)


Alicia May 15, 2010 at 4:01 pm

I sometimes carry a whistle, which is really small and I wear around my neck. It’s extremely loud and small, so it’s perfect for running.
I refuse to be intimidated and I think ones attitude communicates a lot. That said, I only run outside in places where I’m confident that there will be other people around.


Robin May 15, 2010 at 5:31 pm

Wow, what a story!! I’m sorry you lost your favorite jacket :( it was a cute one, too!
I have definitely felt similar while running. I’m now a student in NYC, and in certain areas, if I’m wearing underarmour leggings or sometjhing, I definitely feel creepy eyes following me & staring at my bum. I hate how women have to be worried about such things, and I always try to be careful, but one can never forget stories like ‘the central park jogger.’ I come from a small town, where the only car that ever approached me was a cute old man who rolled down his window and said to me “keep running, it’s the greatest thing you can do for yourself!” (THAT was an inspired run), but here I am always very wary. I feel a lot safer when I’m running in pedestrian areas with lots of other people around biking, running, and blading.

Hope this experience didn’t leave you too shaken up! :/


melissa May 15, 2010 at 5:38 pm

I think trusting your gut is so right on. I often dont and just try to be brave but sometimes when I tell even my boyfriend about my fears going on a trail run solo or hiking a lot solo he does not seem to understand. When I travel and I want to run I ask any sporty lookin’ locals where is a good place and once a runner told me that in the morning where I was in Baltimore I would be foolish to run by myself. It was hard to listen to the advice but I would rather be safe- not totally paranoid and sheltered but safe.
There are some trails around here and about 10 years ago a female runner was assaulted, killed and taped to a tree. They found the guy- he was a perfectly decent looking middle class non scary looking guy and every time I run on those trail part of me is saddened of her memory. As women, we should be able to feel safe while running, walking, hiking or doing whatever we want to do when we want to do it. But it just is not that kind of world yet. We also have to stay safe and my hope is that men will support us with that and not think we are weak or incapable. It is a tough balance. Thanks for being honest and posting about it.


Fae May 15, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Wow, what a scary situation!! I am so glad you listened to your guy and that you are ok!!!Thanks for sharing your story!

It sucks that your favourite jacket is gone! I have wanted that jacket since the first time I saw it on your site, however, Lululemon hardly ever has Shape jackets in any other colour then black and I have never seen their Define jacket in that great yellow colour. :(


Amanda May 15, 2010 at 5:50 pm

Angela, so sorry you felt unsafe during your run and that your jacket was taken, but I think you handled it wonderfully. I am ALWAYS on my guard on my runs. I carry mace with me and try to be hyper-aware of my surroundings. Anything that seems a bit off, I get outta there!! Glad you’re safe! Amanda


Jo May 15, 2010 at 5:51 pm

Don’t ever feel bad about trusting your gut instinct- definitely better to be safe than sorry. My sister was attacked when she was coming back after a night out- in a nice, affluent neighbourhood- but totally dead at night. She only got away by managing to stab his foot with her stilleto heel really, really hard. I just hate to think what might have happened to her otherwise. I find taking precautions with running really, really restricting, but necessary- I don’t run when I’m living in a less than salubrious area of a city, or empty countryside anymore- we’ve had a couple of horrible, horrible murders of women and their children out walking in the countryside by men in the U.K. recently. I’m very glad you’re safe- my heart stopped for a bit when I started reading! Tips I’ve picked up on is- if you are attacked- making noises like you are going to be sick really repulses attackers, and also peeing yourself (I know, I know!). Also, a rape alarm, not wearing anything too distinctive or running only at one time of day/the same route again and again. Randomly, if you have a can of fizzy drink on you- shaking it up and opening it in your attacker’s eyes apparently temporarily blinds then- so the police said to me! Sorry for the looong comment, I’m very glad you’re ok!


Julie @ Peanut Butter Fingers May 15, 2010 at 8:01 pm

hey angela! this story struck a cord w/ me b/c my friend called the police about a suspicious man. a couple months later she was interviewed & he was on the news b/c he was actually a sex offender, who raped a girl he brought back to ANOTHER girl’s apartment while she was away studying abroad. very scary stuff! you’re 100% correct to trust your instincts!


[email protected] Optimistic Journey May 15, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Hi Angela,

As you can see I’m no women, but you did the right thing. That’s the most logical thing anyone could do, but especially women, is pay attention to their gut feeling. I think you did right about reporting suspicious activity to the local authorities. God bless you and have a great weekend!!


Lauren May 15, 2010 at 8:10 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!!! So, so many women feel awkward standing up for themselves- we do not always feel entitled, but WE ARE. Oh yes we are!! This is such a good lesson for us all to remember. We can’t be naive or ignore or gut instinct. Like you said- that feeling we get is ALWAYS right. Period. So, so glad you are ok and you reported it to the police. Stay safe!!!


Ruthiey May 15, 2010 at 8:12 pm

You TOTALLY freaked me out with that story.


Carolyn @ May 15, 2010 at 9:14 pm

I’m so sorry you had to deal with this, but I’m glad you trusted your gut. I once had a guy touch me inappropriately at a Wal-Mart. I told the manager (the guy took off) and then had him walk me to my car when I was done shopping.


Marla May 15, 2010 at 11:19 pm

I have to be honest Angela and tell you I did actually wonder about youyr safety in the past with photos you take while running on pretty empty looking roads.
But I must warn you I get super anxious about that-running alone as a woman I believe is not the smartest thing for us all to do.
But maybe I am paranoid-sorry to spread that your way.
Be safe and very pleased to hear you will run with your hubby,and when by yourself you should always run with cellphone is possible as well as something like bearspray….


Marla May 15, 2010 at 11:22 pm

and I think women should NOT wear ipods etc when running on own-you may not he able to hear someone approaching and it makes you look more vulnerable too and less aware of surroundings in general….


Kim May 16, 2010 at 12:45 am

I hate hearing that you had to deal with that on such a pleasant, exhilarating run! Because those are so few and far between.

I live in Alaska and the only runs I have ever truly enjoyed are trail runs in the mountains, well the foot hills of said mountains. I always, always took my dog with me on the runs when I wasn’t with girlfriends. She growled at every man that came running by. Whenever my dad would voice his concern about me running the trails with the moose I told him I am far more afraid of the 2 legged creatures than I am of the 4 legged ones. My husband bought me a small, key chain size, can of bear mace. Of course I forgot to take it more than I had it with me.

I went on a training run for and Xterra triathlon on the trail and a man completely gave me the weebie jeebies. I was so danged focused on him approaching me that I tripped over a tree root. He came up and stopped, looking at me on the ground, and then took off on the trail jogging away but kept looking back. I got up and promptly ran back the way I came from and needless to say did not finish my training run.

I completely agree with you Angela, we should not have to feel insecure or weak because we are women! It is beyond one of the most frustrating scenarios in my life. I am happy to be married to a strong, former Marine and to have 2 big dogs but really, I shouldn’t have to NEED that to be secure. My husband doesn’t need it. Now I have a beautiful teenage daughter and I worry all the time about what she is going to have to deal with. It is just wrong!

Thank God you are safe!


Tara May 16, 2010 at 1:12 am

Absolutely, as women we have a 6th sense! – it took me awhile to recognize and understand my “woman’s intuition”. Now I never doubt it and act on what I am feeling. Glad you are safe, thanks for sharing an important message! I really connected with your emotion connected with feeling vulnerable – when I have an experience like you did, it makes me think of the lyrics to Gwen Stafani’s No Doubt song “I’m just a girl”:
This world is forcing me
To hold your hand
‘Cause I’m just a girl, little ‘ol me
Don’t let me out of your sight
I’m just a girl, all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights

Oh…I’ve had it up to here!
The moment that I step outside
So many reasons
For me to run and hide
I can’t do the little things I hold so dear
‘Cause it’s all those little things
That I fear

‘Cause I’m just a girl I’d rather not be
‘Cause they won’t let me drive
Late at night I’m just a girl…


Katie @ Katie's Healthy Discovery May 16, 2010 at 10:53 am

Good for you for trusting your gut! I am like you sometimes and get frustrated that being a women you need to be scared sometimes but I think it’s better to be scared then get yourself into trouble.

Thanks so much for sharing your story. I think it’s a great reminder for everyone to be safe :)


Karly (Becoming My Best Self) May 16, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Ok, you should write suspense novels. I was on the edge of my seat reading this post. I am so glad you are alright and made it home safe.

I agree that it is unfair that women have to constantly have their guard up. Unfortunately, that’s the reality and we are forced to arm ourselves with pepper spray and always look over our shoulders.

Two Christmases ago, my mom got my sisters and I each a neon orange Fox 40 whistle. We all kind of laughed about it at the time thinking my mom was just being her protective self. A couple months later I travelled by myself to Philly for work. Since I was going to be alone and walking around a strange city by myself I put the whistle on my wristlet so that I knew it would not be far if I needed to use it.

While in the elevator in the hotel in Philly, a guy noticed my whistle (you can’t really miss it – super bright) and he said “Is the whistle to protect you from creeps like me?” I bee lined it off that elevator so fast! As much as I hope he was joking, it made me realize that at least by having the whistle visible it will hopefully deter anyone from messing with me. Now I keep the whistle on my wristlet all the time. I do a lot of walking by myself downtown on my lunch break and I don’t really care that it’s an eye sore – the whistle helps me feel a bit safer in a world where women are constantly reminded that they are not.

Thanks for sharing your story Angela. It’s a good reminder for us all.


Anne P May 16, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Wow… that is SO scary. I’m so glad you are okay!!



Utah May 16, 2010 at 9:25 pm

So glad you are safe. It bugs me so much that some people ruin it for everyone else, who make it so you can’t enjoy the world and feel safe. Thanks for reminding us of the importance of listening to that sixth sense and to be careful. I wish you a lifetime of safe runs!!!


[email protected] May 16, 2010 at 11:46 pm

Sounds like a sketchy situation, and you were smart to follow your gut and especially to call the police. It IS too bad that women tend to be fearful a lot of the time when we are out by ourselves. I carry my cell phone when I go running bc I have had two bad falls during runs, one where I got a bad cut on my knee, and the other when I banged up my face :-( I also carry benadryl in case I get stung by a bee- I’m allergic.


San May 17, 2010 at 5:16 am

Thanks for the tips. I am so suspcicious of everything by nature though, so sometimes I am like, ‘well, maybe your intuition is just wrong, you’r overreacting.’ but now I think it’s always better to be overreacting, better safe than sorry. good post!


Traci May 17, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Hi Angela –

I’m new to reading your blog and I love it. You have inspired me to become vegan! I’ve always been a healthy eater but I want to make changes that will also benefit the environment. Now I know it will take baby steps but eventually I will get there so I won’t be too hard on myself.

But when I run, I always carry runner’s pepper spray that is strapped on my hand. I live in a very safe city in Los Angeles but I feel you should never let your guard down. Besides pepper spray, I keep the volume on my IPod very low so I hear everything around me and always tell my bf where I’m running and text him when I’m finished. And like you said, always trust your gut!


Sarah Ruth May 17, 2010 at 12:34 pm

I’m glad you’re ok! That is scary!!


: : Christine : : May 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Oh Angela dearie! I’m so glad you are safe ((hug)).

I have often worried about you running because it seems like runners are often targets here in the states. Good girl that you trusted your instincts. I tell my children to never ignore your intuition. Those feelings you had about that man, were there for a reason. Who knows? perhaps he hoped to tell you he found the jacket and lure you closer to the car to get it. *chills* Be Blessed Little One and get thee to a store for some pepper spray ;-) It even works on animals if need be.


yublocka May 31, 2010 at 6:13 am

I’m glad you had a great run, but even gladder you made it home safe. Sucks that we have to worry about this kind of thing sometimes hey!!!


Paige June 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Wow, I just read this post (obviously quite late!) and it definitely gave me the heebie jeebies!

I carry pepper spray with me on my runs, but not ID or a phone…now I wonder if I should be! I’m very new to running–does anyone have tips for HOW one might carry all of these things with you? My shorts have little pockets which would sort of work…Any other ideas or product recommendations?

That said, I’m so glad to hear you trusted your gut on this one, Angela! Creepy.


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