May 13, 2008

Can Pepper Spray Save My Life?

I run VERY early in the morning, before the sun comes up. I have never really been afraid of running in the dark, even though I have had my fair share of "shady" (haha, pun) experiences. Let me retell the first time I was afraid while running. It was back in the fall and I was on an easy run on my regular 7 mile loop. I ran past the hospital and a bunch of police cars were blocking the road. One of them motioned me over and said that a convict had escaped and I needed to "watch out for a man in an orange jumpsuit." Alrighy then, I ran on. Well, I started having this paranoid feeling as I finished my run. Every house I ran by, I thought I heard the bushes moving. SCARY! Before I knew it, I was sprinting it back to the car. How's that for a tempo run? After that my dad purchased me some pepper spray on a wrist strap. Move forward to this morning's experience.

Since then I have misplaced the pepper spray. I thought it was in my car, but it's not. It is gone. So today I was running in easy pace when out of nowhere appeared a man on a bike in CAMO, riding on the sidewalk. This scared the absolute CRAP out of me. I leaped onto the road and picked up the pace a bit. I had this fear of him following me, so I kept looking back to see if he had turned around. He had not. This was the first pedestrian/cyclist I had seen during an early morning run EVER. Less than a 1/4 of a mile later I saw ANOTHER man. What in the world is going on? Why are all these crazy men out? I picked up the pace even more until I was going much faster than my normal tempo pace. Keep in mind I am supposed to be in recovery phase. I ran about 1/2 a mile more in this pace until I was sure I was not being followed. This incident made me wonder- Would pepper spray protect me if I had it? Could these people hurt me? I will probably never know, but I am looking for some new pepper spray ASAP.


  1. When aimed just right, pepper spray sure doesn't feel good! I try to carry it whenever I'm running in the early morning hours alone, or running on rural country roads (for dogs).

    Those guys would've freaked me out, too!

  2. I have heard that pepper spray doesn't always work on dogs. Running in the early morning, I am more concerned about animals then people, however being I am a male most men probably would leave me alone.

  3. Anonymous5/16/2008

    Man, I'd have been high-tailing it too. That type of thing freaks me out.

    When I was living in the city, I always carried pepper spray with me. Currently, I live in the country, so I just have to worry about loose dogs who have crappy socialization skills (some are sweet though). I now ALWAYS carry citronella spray after having been bitten twice by dogs.

    Citronella would probably work for humans too if sprayed directly in the face and not cause such a stinging effect. But then again, if someone is after you, you don't really care if it harms them or not.