School has started, blogging has slowed down, but training continues. My schedule on school days allows for running to happen a) at about 4:30am, b) after school at about 4pm or c) after kiddos go to bed at about 9pm. You’ll notice that two out of those three choices result in me running in the dark and the third results in me running in full sun with a high likelihood of being passed by the boy’s soccer team that is practicing at the nearby high school. I pick running in the dark. I love the feeling of getting my workout done in the wee hours of the morning, but that love requires sacrificing some feelings of safety, community and peace of mind.
Two of my runs this week fell in the early morning or late night. I tried to run with a small flashlight during the early morning run, using it to check for gaps in the sidewalk or tree roots that I could easily trip on. The light bobbing up and down as I run makes me feel like I’m trapped in the Blair Witch Project, waiting for something unseen to pop out in to the beam of my light and murder me. During my run last night I opted out of using the light and hit some stretches of sidewalk that did not fall under the happy glare of a street lamp. During these stretches I feel disoriented and a little worried that a pothole or child’s toy left out in the yard will be the death of me.
Are there advantages to running in the dark? Yes! I’ve had the pleasure of seeing full moons, a coyote, deer, rabbits, skunk (!). I feel fast, a strange side effect of the inability to see any points of reference along the way. A false sense of speed is enough to lure me out the door every time.