Running safe with Wearsafe
Guest Blog by: Wearsafe Running Ambassador Leslie S.
After 20 years of racing and coaching running teams, learn why Wearsafe Running Ambassador, Leslie swore off running races. She explains how the struggles of being a busy parent, suffering a hip injury, and concerns about training in the dark, sidelined her from racing. Discover how Wearsafe’s wearable safety device, provided her with the confidence and reassurance she needed to get up and running again.
“They” say it’s beneficial to step out of one’s comfort zone; carpe diem, right? Technology is not comfortable at all. It can be confusing, time consuming and plagued with malfunctions. However, this one time there is a great reason to approach technology with a smile, Wearsafe. Honestly, it’s not difficult at all to pair the Tag to your phone or to create a network. In fact it’s EASY!!! Just access the website and you can discover it for yourself. Because it’s such an amazing product that provides an extra level of security, because it is the “blanket” for my run, it is why I write today. Running is a passion; it may be considered a part time job, but that would be a stretch. And what makes it so enjoyable recently is this new product.
When children attend their first sleepover there are many check lists to review: Do you have an extra pair of pjs in case you wet your sleeping bag, do you have your blanket, stuffed animal, and our home phone number in case you need to call in the middle of the night?
“Running is a passion; it may be considered a part time job, but that would be a stretch. And what makes it so enjoyable recently is this new product.”
As runners, we have these very same checklists, albeit with a twist. Ours consist of: do I have my water belt, my water bottle, is my watch charged, am I wearing it, do I have my phone, my headset, run gum, nuun and insert any particulars here; personally it’s “do I have my bank card in case I pass a Starbucks along the way?” (Before novice runners decide to follow this protocol, do NOT try this at home. This is not normal and is most likely not recommended by any type of training program whatsoever.) But now I’d like to add one more item to the list… do I have my Wearsafe Tag?
The weather in New England varies considerably. One day is 60, followed by snow, followed by freezing temperatures that prevent the snow from melting. Therefore, sidewalks are messy, mounds of snow create roadblocks and reduce visibility, roads are slick, even when wearing Treks. So when, on Sunday, I was six miles out and realized I didn’t have my blanket for my overnight — otherwise known as my Wearsafe Tag — I panicked somewhat.
“I was six miles out and realized I didn’t have my blanket for my overnight — otherwise known as my Wearsafe Tag — I panicked somewhat.”
Although Wearsafe isn’t a failsafe, it IS protection during those long treacherous runs; it is MY SECURITY BLANKET. So, given the way my imagination works, I pictured myself in a commercial as road kill, lying on a snow mound ready to tap my non-existent tag to alert my network only to be greeted by a zippered pocket holding a cell phone, mentally thinking out loud for viewers, “darn, it’s too bad I don’t have my Tag”. Bizarre thought to have while another 6 miles looms ahead. Weird commercial and probably would never air since it would scare people. But honestly, it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility… the scenario, not the commercial.
We have to be vigilant on runs: be aware of your surroundings, reduce the volume on your headsets, wear reflective gear and bright clothing, watch for those texting and driving, watch for undulations in terrain etc. Being aware is a part of running. Wearsafe doesn’t eliminate the need to be cautious, but rather it creates the opportunity for a safe outcome after an unfortunate event. It doesn’t mean you should run alone at midnight because you have a Tag — you aren’t Superman. It means you have a way to reach your loved ones should you need it.
“Honestly, early morning runs and late evening runs needed for training were not worth the safety risk. Now, I stand corrected and eat my words. ”
For two years I swore off running races. After 20+ years of racing and coaching running teams the dedication, time and effort became overwhelming; and a nagging hip injury made running more of a chore than a profession or even a hobby. Honestly, early morning runs and late evening runs needed for training were not worth the safety risk.
Now, I stand corrected and eat my words. After using Wearsafe, my love for the sport returned and inspired me to run for pure fun; for the pure love of the sport, for the enjoyment of being surrounded by like-minded people and to promote a fabulous product.
Today I am prepared. The checklist is complete and my “blanket” is in place. The Tag is clipped to my pocket. I’m ready for a late morning 12 miler, so I think. Thanks to Wearsafe for inspiring this run. Can’t wait to write about what happened along the way!
The run was delightful~50 degrees, partly cloudy and quite enjoyable. It mapped out to around 15 miles of melting snow, dodging garbage and recycling bins, but the last three were spent walking and drinking a grande bold, so it’s all worth it!
Along the way I thought of real life experiences of yours truly that should be passed along to others. So one does not become the “boy who cried wolf” do NOT use Wearsafe in the following scenarios:
- Lips are frozen to the water bottle like the character from the Far Side whose tongue stuck to a glacier
- The hunger is so overwhelming that a network notification to order a large pizza is necessary
- Hills are tiring so it would be nice to have a 60 second recording of effort, after all that is a premier feature of the service
Happy SAFE running!
And a useful tip: if you’re testing the Tag to see if it works properly, notify your network AHEAD of time that it’s a test. Otherwise, panic ensues. Endearing to the user, quite annoying to the network.