My only time to run right now is after Aaron gets home from work and on the weekends. During the summer and fall I would go out almost every weeknight at about 6:30 and stay out for an hour. Now, I head out around 6:15 and am out for about a half hour. I don't mind running in the dark, as my neighborhood has always been safe, very well-lit, and fairly busy. Lots of traffic, both foot and vehicle, so I've never felt alone or unsafe.
On Tuesday night, I was followed by a man in a large, dark SUV.
He followed me for about 20 minutes, making it very obvious what he was doing, until I made my way home. I noticed him about a 1/2 mile from my house and his behavior was definitely strange and after making a few quick turns and the SUV whipping around to quickly change direction, I had proven he was indeed following ME and I got home as quickly as I could. The whole time I had my phone in his hand, ready to call 911 if I felt he was going to do something other than freaking me out.
He parked the vehicle in front of my neighbor's house, waiting for me to once again run past him, but I turned up my driveway and yelled for Aaron to come get his plate. The guy saw Aaron, took off with tires squealing, and Aaron went after him in our truck. Got the plate # and a description of both the vehicle (the whole time the guy was following me, I was attempting to pretend I didn't notice him, so I didn't get any info), and the guy inside. Police were called, report filed.
The kicker? The vehicle the guy was in had a stick figure family on the back window. He's a dad. Creep.
I'm totally freaked out that he knows where I live and other than that, just angry that my only time to run is now not a safe time. Until spring, when it stays lighter later, I'll be sticking to weekend runs... it stinks, but at least I ended up safe and sound at home.
PLEASE be vigilant while running or walking outside, whether at night or not. I wear headphones, but when it's dark I keep one out of my ear and my music or audiobook turned very low. I wear bright colors, I take the same route every single time and let Aaron know where I'll be. I have my phone on me. I stay away from the quieter neighborhoods and darker streets. Be safe. Some people are just crazy.