A couple weeks ago I admitted it: I’m afraid of running in the dark.
Yup, that means for all of my past marathons the bulk of my weekday training was on the dreadmill (gasp!), but I’m vowing not to do so for Boston.
Thanks to all of your fabulous gear recommendations and some trusty Googling, I marched my scared ass down to the store and grabbed all the reflective and protective gear I would need to convince myself that running in the dark can be done safely and smartly. Here’s the gear that I picked-up: light-weight reflective vest, running mace, blinking red light for back (they always say white light in front, red light in back), and a headlamp with various light functions (blinking, steady, etc.).
Last night I vowed that today would be the day that I conquered my fear. I would wake up full of courage, strap on that reflective vest and embrace the cool temperatures of running in the dark. But what actually happened is slightly different.
4:30 a.m.: Alarm gets the snooze button.
4:45: Damn it, I have to get up and do this.
4:45 – 5:15: Lollygagging around the apartment. Somehow I convinced myself that it was the right time to floss my teeth, pluck my eyebrows, snap photos for the blog and other non-essential tasks. I call this delaying the inevitable.
5:15: Crap. I’ve wasted so much time this is going to have to be cut to a short run. Finally out the door.
Yes, I wasted 45 minutes on absolutely nothing. But before you knew it I was outside and feeling fantastic! I kept to busy, well-lit streets as many people in California are already up and on their way to work at this time. I was surprised to see so many other people out running and walking their dogs (ok, maybe like five people…but still). The air was ridiculously fresh and the rain made it a perfect morning run! What the hell was I so afraid of? The light-weight vest was fantastic! I literally didn’t even realize I was wearing it and it didn’t bounce at all! The same goes for the mace and headlamp (although I did have a big red mark on my forehead after the run – maybe need to loosen up that strap a bit). The blinking red light fell off of my iFitness belt (which is what I strapped it on to) twice and stopped blinking. Kind of frustrating, but I guess that’s what I get for six bucks.
I think the fact that I was well-prepared put my mind at ease and these simple tips may help other women run in the dark too:
- Wear the right gear: reflective vest, blinking light, headlamp, warm running clothes
- Keep yourself protected: mace
- Be aware of your surroundings: don’t listen to music
- Be smart and bring your cell phone with you
Add bonus of running in the dark: getting to see the city’s Christmas tree lit up in all its glory!
Happy (and safe) running!