In talking with my friends who run for fun or are in training for races, I realized so few people take proper precautions to ensure safety while running. Here, I’ve compiled 10 of my favorite ways to ensure safety while running.

running safety tips via

1. Change up your routine

Is it just me, or do you always wonder about suspicious-looking people when you run past them? I’ve thought a few times to myself, “Do I look abductable because I’m tired and out of breath, or do I look like a badass who could kick an assailant’s butt if he/she tries to mess with me?”

Although it’s morbid to think about the idea of someone abducting you from a run, it’s happened. I’m a serious creature of habit (why do you think I so seldom post my meals?), so it takes some effort to change things up.

It’s really important from a safety standpoint to change up where you will be/when you’ll be there. Learn your neighborhood and plan out several different go-to routes. I have 3 or 4 I like to switch between for my morning runs.

2. Wear bright or reflective clothing

No-brainer. If you’re running anytime in the early morning or evening and it’s remotely dark out, choose a brightly-colored running shirt and shorts/shoes that have reflectors on them. I always stock up on bright colors when I need new running gear so I have a ton to choose from, even on laundry day.

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People who aren’t looking out for runners have trouble seeing you at dawn/dusk.

3. Keep your headphones low… or don’t use them at all.

Headphones actually are a safety-hazard. But, as an extremely musically-driven person, I need it on any run longer than a mile (a.k.a., all of them).

Keep in mind you’ll be safer if you’re aware of your surroundings and avoid cranking your headphones to the highest volume.

Or, you can be like me and be that jerk who doesn’t spare my neighbors from my beloved running playlist. I lost my earbuds a while ago (hey, Bryan, you still have those guys?), so I’ve gotten used to running without them and having one less thing to get tangled around my fingers.

With my music just playing from my phone, I can hear my surroundings and still enjoy the motivation of my playlist.

Again. Sorry to everyone in The Fan who hears Freeze weekday mornings around 6 or 7 a.m. 😉

For anyone who isn’t well-acquainted with this T-Pain/C. Breezy gem, just watch this and try to not dance:

4. Carry pepper spray

This may seem extreme, but I’ve been in a situation in which I would have really benefited from having mace or pepper spray. During a run last November, I was running with Chloe and was attacked by a bull terrier. Chloe was thankfully fine, but I ended up with a hematoma (a serious bruise present on my hip for almost 3 months), drugs, and crutches from Patient First, and had I had something to fend off the dog, the situation may have been prevented.

My dad got me a keychain pepper spray, so I’ve got it easily accessible.

Yep. I’m that girl.

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Super cute, I know.

I know it’s hard to juggle while running, but if you live in an area that may require it, I’d recommend finding a way to carry it.

5. Use a RoadID

I have a RoadID, but I never wear it anymore. Sadly, it’s outdated with the incorrect address since my move to Richmond. I really liked having it in case something were to happen to me during a run, and if you have any health issues you’re worried about, it may be useful for you.

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6. Know your route

There is nothing worse than embarking on a new route and feeling like you’re not exactly sure where to go. Do your research before you run, and make sure you know and understand the nuances of your path so you can get home safely.

7. Run with your phone

I always, always run with my phone. If something were to go awry, if I were to get injured or lost, having my phone to “phone a friend” would be a (maybe literal) lifesaver.

8. Plan accordingly for the weather

Check the weather before you head out the door. If it’s about to downpour in 20 minutes and you’re going on a 5 mile run, you’re going to want to plan accordingly (plastic baggie for electronics, hat for rain shield, etc.).

If it’s crazy hot out, carry water with you. I love my Nathan water bottle I used for the Marine Corps Marathon (I have the QuickDraw).


Last night, our Pure Barre studio teamed up with Fleet Feet Short Pump for a fun run. It poured.

Thankfully, it felt awesome in the heat.

9. Have a general awareness of your surroundings

I adore the endorphin zone out while exercising. But while running outside, it’s really important to stay aware of what’s happening around you. Crazy drivers and cyclists, people not looking where they are going, animals, etc. can all be avoided if you’re aware of their incoming. Keep your head up and on a swivel.

10. Let someone know before you go

Always give someone a heads up you’re going for a run. If Kylie is home, I’ll tell her to call 911 if I’m not back in 45 minutes. If I’m currently texting with a friend, I’ll let them know. That way, if I end up twisting my ankle in a ditch somewhere and my phone is dead (God, this all sounds awful), someone knows to come looking for me.

Oh, and avoid Mariokart-placed bananas at all costs.

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And if you’re not a runner and have no interest in this post, you can join the club with my niece, Sloane.

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What are your running safety go-tos? Any crazy stories from an outdoor run?


Moisturizing and exfoliating.

It’s just as important to me in the summertime as it is in the winter. The sun dries out our skin. Flip flop feet exposed to the elements are not cute. Thankfully, Lather is pretty darn helpful, and Elements Beauty Shop has a zillion products to choose from to help quench the thirst of dry skin.


First off, I mentioned how crazy sore I was all last week (while traveling a business trip, no less) from the plank off. I took my tub of Lather Muscle Ease Gel with me, and it was like a portable muscle rub in a tub (ha, I’m loving that unintentional rhyme). The smell is less offensive than your typical name brand muscle relieving cream, and it really does the trick. I applied it to my back, my legs, my abs… essentially, if I could have jumped into the tub, I would have.


Also. Do you guys ever notice your skin looking dry midday even if you lathered (“ha” again) up right after getting out of the shower? I’ve been noticing that if I wear open toed shoes, the dust from the ground will make me look like I need another pedicure state. What the heck?

However. Lather’s Lavendar & Eucalyptus Foot Crème is my savior. I use it directly after using the Eucalyptus Foaming Foot Scrub with Pumice in the shower, and my feet and legs look like I just got out of the pedicure chair.

I’m all for anything that lengthens the shape of my pedicure. And it’s a big deal that I’m telling you guys about it, because I’m not the biggest fan of talking about feet.

While we’re on the subject of skin, I’ve been noticing mine getting more and more sensitive these days. I actually called my mom and asked her if she has ever noticed skin getting more sensitive with age (yep, I sure do call my mom for things such as this). For the most part, I’d describe my skin sensitivity as pretty normal, but lately, I’ve noticed my legs freaking out every time I shave (not the norm). I’m itchy, I get little red bumps… it’s not pretty, even if I have just switched out my razor. And last time I got a massage, I had hives everywhere from the oils. I just want to tell my skin to chill the eff out.

So, I’m being a little more careful about what I apply to my skin these days for fear of itching all day. I tried Lather’s Mangosteen & Green Tea Body Moisturizer (linked here is the hand lotion version), and I was so excited I had no adverse effects. My skin was nice and moisturized all day, and it smelled pretty darn fantastic.


I have mentioned before that I used to solely rely on drug stores for my beauty regimen because I didn’t want to break the bank for my skin.

Guess what? I’ve now got nice products my skin is thanking me for because Elements has a loyalty program for dedicated shoppers. Once you create an account at, each purchase you make will earn you points. For every $1, you’ll receive 1 point, and 10 points = $1 off of your purchase. You can also earn points by sharing on Facebook and reviewing on the site. Reviews are worth 25 points, and shares to Facebook are worth 10. And don’t forget, Life of bLyss readers can get 10% off their first purchase at with discount code “lifeofblyss”. If you spend $100 with this code, you’ll automatically win something exciting… (see below).

And if you’re looking for more product recs from Elements, check out this post from a few weeks ago. I’ve got lots of go-tos at Elements, including Peter Thomas Roth, COOLA, and REN.


Speaking of Peter Thomas Roth, who wants in on some freebies?! Elements is giving away the following to a lucky LOB reader:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Leave a comment to enter to win!

What kind of summer skin issues do you experience? Have you tried any Lather products? How about a BeautyBlender?

If you’re experiencing more sensitive skin lately and found a fix, I want to hear about it.

This is a sponsored post. The company who sponsored it compensated me something of value to write it. All opinions and recommendations are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” Links included in this post are not affiliate links.


I almost entitled this post “How Holding a Plank for 20 Minutes Will Totally Change Your Outlook on Every Obstacle You Approach.”


That’s really wordy. However, it’s completely true.

For work, I took the health insurance producer exam on Friday. As I was freaking out over how little time I had to study, one of my friends said, “You held a plank for the amount of time you can run a 5K. You can pretty much do anything.

Although that might be a stretch, it did make the exam feel pretty doable. And I passed!

The Plank Off (a fundraiser between rival Pure Barre studios to benefit Massey Cancer) was last Friday, July 10. Our studio prevailed, raising over $5,000 for the Cancer Center.

Blayre and I held our plank for almost 21 minutes before time was called and we were told to drop.


Let me tell you, the entire thing was a complete out of body experience. The conditions were not ideal (we were dripping with sweat, crammed onto a band stage with tons of equipment in the way, making it hard to spread out and have the space I wanted to between my feet). But we did it.

And now I’m here to tell you, whether you are planking for 90 seconds, 5 minutes, or 21 minutes: planking is all mental.

To a certain degree, this doesn’t take a special skill or strength. It takes a mind over matter approach.


Yoinking this picstitch from our Pure Barre Richmond – Short Pump Facebook page

Prior to the plank off, I didn’t hold a plank for 8 minutes. I was bored, I was over-exercised, and I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to get past 10 minutes in the main event.

So, I’ll tell you how I did it.

1. I had my driving force present.

That day was my sister‘s 16th wedding anniversary. I hadn’t spoken to her much that day, other than telling her that I was wearing my special breast cancer Emi Jay hair tie (thanks, Leigh!) to think of her when I felt like dropping.

When we were setting up for the plankoff with about 10 minutes to go, I had a tap on the shoulder telling me I had a surprise visitor.


When I turned around, my sister was standing there with her family.

I can’t tell you the overwhelming emotion I had to see her, my brother-in-law, and my nieces there. My nervous energy combined with knowing I was doing this with her in mind with her there to see it made me start sobbing like a lunatic.


My sister was texting me during the plank off (obviously I couldn’t reply, but I could see my phone), and it was a great distraction. Among my favorite texts were “I love you,” “Gosh, you’re strong,” “We don’t DQ for form?” and “This is harder than chemo.”

It was so awesome.

2. The overwhelming support from the crowd was such a motivator.


Every time I started to feel like I wanted to give up, I’d look around me. I had my Pure Barre family there, cheering the loudest of anyone in the entire place. I had so many wonderful, supportive friends there, keeping time and telling me I could go “just one more minute.”


Having Blayre beside me was also huge. Looking at her, seeing how tired she was, but knowing she would keep going with me made me want to try even harder. I refused to leave her up there alone.


Christa, one of our rock star client plankers, was irreplaceable, yelling at me Whiplash-style while toweling off my face. The intensity was outrageous.

3. I refused to picture anything other than a positive outcome.

When Blayre and I were pacing nervously all day prior to the plank off, I told her we were not dropping until the other team did. All I would picture is us crying and hugging at the end, which is exactly what happened. Convincing yourself the best outcome will occur no matter what will help incense you to keep going.


So. Much. Sweat.


4. Music is key.
Listening to music is a huge help in planking for time. I recommend zoning out, getting lost in the song, and telling yourself “just one more chorus.” Then, once that chorus is over, you’ll realize you can do another. And another.

5. I carbed up the night before and ate smart the day of.
I had someone special make me a glorious pasta dinner the night before the plank off (luck me!). The day of, instead of the salad I’ll normally pack for lunch, I had a whole wheat turkey sandwich from Jimmy John’s. It was perfect for a good base on a nervous stomach.


5. I had a competitive spirit.

Although this was a friendly competition for a good cause, the other team is another Pure Barre studio in a competitive market. I wanted to get the title for our Pure Barre studio, and I couldn’t stand the idea of letting our team down. The pressure I put on myself was serious, but I think it kept me up way past the length of time I expected.

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I mean, could YOU let down this team? They made posters and everything…

6. I didn’t look at the time.

Not knowing the time is so helpful when you’re planking for time. Even when I was practicing, if I watched the clock, it went by so much slower, and I fixated on how long I had been up for, rather than how long I could stay up for.

7. Muscle contractions kept me feeling strong.

When your muscles start to tire and your body shakes (mine was shaking from 7 minutes in), shifting your weight back and forth really helps. Contracting your glutes, then your quads, adding a pressback with your heels, and putting more weight in one arm, then the other, really takes the pressure off and keeps you feeling strong.

Obviously, when you’re been in plank position for 20 minutes, perfect form and a totally flat back is hard to achieve, but our team held outrageously strong.

When they called time, we had two teachers still up, while the other studio had one. I wish it didn’t get called, but I’ll take the technical win. :)

Honestly, for me, the real win was having my sister and all my amazing friends (family) there in support of us raising over $5,000 for cancer. The day was incredible.

To beat cancer, I’d plank for hours.


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