As many of you already know, several weeks back I had a scare with hypothermia and had it not been for the fact that my DH was home sick that day, I don't like to think about how differently that day might have turned out. As it was, he was able to get me warmed back up and today I am fine, but it has caused some changes in the way I conduct my workouts every day.
The thing I wanted to focus on today is the fact that no matter if you prefer to run alone or if you just happen to work out alone most days due to the fact that no one is on the same schedule or running pace as you doesn't really matter. What does matter is that you find yourself a running/workout buddy. Now, I'm not saying you have to give up your solitary endeavor. I know for many people, running or working out is the means by which they release the stressors of the day and get some quality alone time inside their heads. This is okay, in fact, it may even be necessary.
What I'm advocating is a running buddy of a different sort. In fact, your buddy could be your 90 year old wheelchair bound Aunt Gertrude. This isn't about someone who can go out and match you mile for mile. No, this is about making sure there is someone that has some idea of your whereabouts while you are working out and could contact help on your behalf if you don't show up at a specified time.
Since my hypothermia scare for me, this means contacting my DH (via email) as I'm heading off to do my run and letting him know an approximate time that he should expect to hear of my safe return. I then email him upon my return. I do this even on days when I stay in the house to workout on the treadmill or do cross-training. I've now learned that just because I'm in the house doesn't mean I'm necessarily out of danger. (My hypothermia scare didn't hit me immediately... I had made it all the way to the bathroom in the house and had started to strip out of my workout clothes before the full force of it hit me.) If he doesn't hear from me in that amount of time, he calls my cell phone (which I always carry with me now) to see if I'm able to answer it. I know my sis-in-law and my brother have a similar system set up via text message.
It doesn't matter how your buddy system works... who knows... You might even actually want or be able to find a real live buddy to run with you, the main point is to have a system worked out with someone who can be a reliable way to save you from yourself (hypothermia, for instance, can impair your judgment) if it ever becomes necessary.
Monday's (Long) Run