Thursday, May 04, 2006

Common Sense Is Not So Common

This morning's run was a mixed bag. Since I intend to race a 5K this Sunday, I wanted to get in a (hypothetical) marathon paced effort today to continue working on my strength without killing myself 3 days before the race.

I dragged myself out of bed around 5:15 am, did the pre-run routine (change, drink water, read paper, check web, bathroom breaks, etc) and got out the door at 6 am.

Warmed up with 1.5 miles and I definitely wasn't feeling it this morning. Then ran about 5.95 miles over a route that could be considered flattish for my area with no big hills. There are a couple of long gradual inclines and shorter downhills with elevation dropping, rising, dropping, rising and dropping within a 120 foot range (i.e. 484 ft to 574 ft over 2.1 miles and then 574 ft to 454 ft over .65 miles).

Wanted to run in the steady 6:40-6:50 per mile range and did, but it wasn't as smooth as I would have liked. Dragged myself home with a 1.85 mile cooldown and was not loving the final .75 miles uphill. I definitely need to take it easier over the next two days.

So onto the real subject of my post. In my review of the Bones in Motion cell phone personal activity monitoring service, I advised that solo runners, especially women, need to exercise some common sense when venturing out in less traveled locations due to remoteness and/or time of day (early morning/late at night). It sucks but that's reality.

On my run yesterday morning I passed a young girl running by herself going the other way. It was around 6:15 am and luckily it was getting light out. The girl couldn't have been much older than my 10 year-old son and might have even been younger.

She was listening to an iPod and seemed to be heading towards a paved foot path that goes into a community park. Not remote but there are sections that are not always visible from the road on one side and there are brush, trails and hillside on the other. In the dark this section even creeps me out.

I'm a firm believer that kids need to exercise, but I'm not a fan of kids doing a lot of roadwork at an early age, but that's a topic for a later post. What got me wondering was "where the hell were her parents?"

During the day I'll let my son go to his friend's house by himself, but I wouldn't want him wandering around the streets and parks at 6 in the morning. There are less people out and about and anything can happen.

Wwhat were her parents thinking? As Voltaire once said, "Common sense is not so common." In this case, he is so right....

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