Training Widget

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Day 56 - or should I say Night 56

Today was a busy day and I didn't have time to run until after dinner and of course, that meant I was running after dark. How I feel about running after the sun has set really depends on my mood. Nights like tonight where I'm tired and worn down from a long day usually are pretty hard to force myself out the door. Other nights, when I'm feeling great, I can actually really enjoy the solitude.

Some people I know refuse to run after dark, and I understand it just isn't for everyone. Safety is a big concern. Here are some things to consider if you find you need to get a run in and it is already late (of course the same applies if you run really early!)

1. Always take a flashlight. I use a palm size LED flashlight that you can pick up in just about any sports or hunting store. They usually only require a couple AA or AAA batteries, last forever, and are surprisingly bright. Mine even has Red and White LEDs so I can choose either depending on the situation. Typically I only use the light when cars are approaching or if I am really unsure of the footing. I prefer to let my eyes adjust to the darkness for most of the run. It also saves on battery power if you don't run the light the entire time.

2. Wear reflective or bright colored clothing. I have a jacket with reflective tape sown in so that approaching car headlights will see me easier. They also make refective mesh vests that you can wear over your day time running gear.

3. Always let someone know where you are going to run and how long you "should" be gone. I emphasize should, because running after dark is generally slower than running during the day. That way if something happens, like a twisted ankle, you don't have to walk all the way home in the dark if you are late.

4. Run where you know you should have good footing. I typically run routes that I know really well and could almost do with my eyes closed.

Some of the things I like about running at night include:

1. The solitude - when it is dark, the distractions of the surroundings are gone. I find I do some of my best thinking on runs in the dark.

2. I don't notice hills - a weird effect of running without a visual cues is that hills tend to not be as hard. It has to be psychological. Tonight, I was 2/3 of my way back on the run and didn't even realize I had run one of the hills I really don't like.

3. Full-moons - Have you ever noticed how bright the full moon can be? I love moon shadows. I really like the ethereal feel to running under a full moon.

4. Less dogs - I have yet to be chased by a dog after dark. I guess most people have their dogs in or chained after dark.

5. Shooting stars - they are just too cool.

6. It's generally cooler in the summertime.

I guess, once I get out the door, running at night isn't all that bad.

Today's run - 3.8 miles - 30:43
YTD - 211.4 miles - 27:03:40

No comments: