Uh, what did that guy just say?!?
I was just starting out on a long run when some creepy guy driving a late 90’s pickup decided to yell out to me. (Why are they always driving beat up trucks?) This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten a catcall, but no one has ever commented on my socks before. My initial thought: “Yeah, my socks rock!” My next: “YUCK!”
I spent the next few minutes trying to shake off that icky someone’s-watching-me feeling, and was relieved when I could turn onto a pedestrian path headed in a different direction.
Every female runner I know has a story like this—making it extremely important to be prepared for unwanted taunts and to know what to do if the harassment escalates.
Run steady and ignore, ignore, ignore More often than not this creep just wants to get a rise out of you. When he doesn’t, he’ll likely move on. If he stays with you…
Go where he can’t Run up to someone’s front door, into a store, or to a place with other people. If you’re not close to anything like that…
Do a 180—and pick up the pace It’s hard for a vehicle to completely turn around in the middle of the street. This move will buy you time to figure out how to get somewhere safe.
Have your cell phone ready Just seeing you whip it out could be enough to make him stop. Try to take photos of the driver, the car, and the license plate if you can. And call the cops!
Buddy up in sketchy areas If your route sends you through a neighborhood where you’ve been harassed before, consider finding a new course. At the very least, run with a friend—there’s power in numbers.
It’s sad that we need to be ready for these types of scenarios. But it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Now, back to my awesome socks… I’m a big fan of compression socks (I’ve written about them before), and this particular pair is really cool. They’re Zuza Performance Compression Socks from Lunatik Athletiks—and I love them. Not only are they super stylin’, they hug my calves in a way that promotes circulation and improves muscle recovery. My legs felt great after 9 miles and I plan to wear them on all of my long runs going forward. (And, hopefully the attention I get in them next time will be more positive!)
Have you ever been heckled while running? What did you do to diffuse the situation?
Disclaimer: Lunatik Athletiks sent me a pair of Zuza Performance Compression Socks free of charge. I was not paid to review Lunatik Athletiks or Zuza Performance Compression Socks, and I did not promise to include the brand or the product in a post. All opinions are mine and unbiased.