In a recent Tweet, I shared with everyone that I was truly excited to have received an incredibly thoughtful Christmas gift from one of my co-workers. But before I opened it, she warned, "I hope it's not too dorky." I was so touched when I saw what it was...a reflective vest for my nighttime runs! She had heard me complain all week about almost getting hit by drivers out on the road. Being 100% honest with her, I said, "Sure I think they're dorky but who cares...safety!"
This weekend, I was blessed again with more gear, this time from my boyfriend who took me to one of my favorite stores. "Are you up for a surprise?" he asked. OF COURSE! So we got ready and headed out. He refused to say where we were going but that it involved some Christmas shopping. As we parked, I knew exactly what store he was taking me to... REI! YAY! We walked in and he asked the store clerk where we could find reflective gear. YAY AGAIN! I was spoiled...an awesome Brooks jacket, a reflective arm band and a reflective holder for my IPhone. I'm such a lucky girl! Thank you sweetheart!
Gear from REI; with flash
Without flash...BTW this jacket is awesome! It rolls into a pouch.
Lightweight, water/wind resistant, and perfect for storing a little body spray for after a race!
Click here to find the jacket although mine is the men's version.
Having shared the photos of both my vest and jacket on FB, some of my non-runner friends teased me. I have to admit pretty funny though. My brother asked if he could borrow my jacket for a rave. LOL! I brushed off the comments and reminded people about safety.
Well yesterday I decided to go with the vest even though it was raining a bit and the jacket would have been the better option; the boyfriend said he wanted to wrap the items he had bought for me at REI to have something for me to open Christmas day. As I put it on, I thought it might be a bit much and draw too much attention. Proving that I could still be safe while remaining fashionable, I wrapped the vest aroung my waist almost like you would place a race bib. I thought it looked great...reflectors in the front and in the back flapping in the wind.
The wrong way to wear the vest:
Less than half a mile into my run, a guy was pulling out of a parking lot and almost did not see me till I shined my flashlight on him. I was annoyed but kept along my run. About another mile later, the same thing happened only this time it was right in the middle of an intersection and the lady did not see me at all. She was making a left hand turn, mind you I had the right of way, little guy flashing WALK and all. Here's a diagram of the situation; the WTF stands for WHAT THE FUDGE, I promise ;)Oh, and I'm not the greatest artist.
I flashed my light on her and stopped till she could see me. Yes, I know VERY dumb move but I was so pissed off! I let her pass and just yelled "HELLO!" She signaled at me to move and drove off clearly not giving a rats behind. I kept running and some car started yelling something in my direction. He looked really mad, like it was my fault. I think he was saying "Get the hell out of the way!" which was maybe his nice way of reminding me how dumb it was to stop mid-run and yell at this woman. I was pretty angry though. I just don't understand the carelessness of drivers!!!
At this point, I told myself, "Julie, this is ridiculous! Wear the damn vest like you're supposed to!" I stopped mid-run and sported my vest like it was a badge of honor. I continued along my run feeling proud...yeah, I'm the girl with the highlighter yellow reflective vest! DO YOU SEE ME NOW?!?!
I got a honk and a wave along the way so maybe it did work! :)