I have always assumed that if I were, I would just take off cross country.
Before the incident this was my default plan as well, especially since I do a ton of trail running. In the moment, it felt totally wrong. For one thing, there was a ditch along one side of the road - the one place I am trying not to be. The other side of the road had a lot of brush and I felt like if I wasn't successful in evading him it would give the creeper cover. Straight up the non-existent yellow line (rural road) was the safest place to be. Just imagine me running straight up the middle, hands waving over head, screaming "rape, fire, murder, pervert" repeatedly at the top of my lungs while quickly emptying my hydration pack (was on a long run), tossing up into the air in all directions all of my jelly beans, gu, tissues, keys, etc so as to leave a trail. That was me. Then he drives off and I'm like. Ok. Guess I better pick up all my stuff from the middle of the road.
That said, I do almost all of my runs solo, and usually out where there isn't the safety net of crowds, cars, etc. It absolutely freaks me out, but I refuse to live in a bubble. My husband isn't happy that I run solo in the woods and for a long time he used to accompany me, even though running is not his preferred sport (he's a cyclist). He's finally at least stopped making me feel bad for running solo by not saying anything, but I know that every time I tell him I'm headed out for a run he silently wishes I wouldn't. He tries tracking me on find my iphone, but a lot of times I'm out of cell range. Sometimes if it is a really long run in a very remote area I'll take the Delorme InReach (there are bears and mountain lions and rattle snakes out there too, but I'm more scared of bad people) and he'll track me on that. It is a point of stress in our 20+ year marriage. But, he knows I would be an even bigger bitch if I felt caged and unable to go forth and run freely.
It is a constant struggle. Every time I park at a trailhead I inventory the other cars there and count off groups as I pass them to get a sense of how many other people might be out there. I'm on constant alert while out there, listening and watching for people more than I do for wildlife. Except for rattlers. I'm always on the watch for rattlers.
San Luis Obispo, CA
Born a swimmer, borrowed a bike, laced up some runners, and the rest just fell into place for a solid MOP life.