I have gone for runs in the rain.
Light rain, but the rain.
I have gone for runs early in the morning.
I have gone for runs at dusk.
What until today I have never really done is gone for a run at dark. I mean dark. Unless you count one summer night where my sister and I ran my neighborhood block for a short mile. I don’t count that one because it was really just around the block. Today was different. I didn’t get out for my run until after 6:00. It was dark, but I really, really, really needed this run. The Christmas cookies all said so. You do what you have to do to get it done.
Now I will readily admit that before running if I saw someone out at night, I would think to myself, “What is wrong with that person?” I realized once I started running that there was nothing wrong with that person. That they just needed to get their run in and obviously this was when they needed to get it in. That being said, I have seen some boneheaded runners at night and I knew early on that I would not be one of them. So even though I never ran at night, I was prepared for I knew that the night would arrive when I would have to go out in the dark if I wanted to get a run in.
The most important thing to do when running in the dark is to check your ego at the door. This is not the time to worry about how cute you look if you are one to worry about those things. This is the time to make sure that not only can you see where you are going as we all know how wonderful the sidewalks and roads can be, but you also have to make sure that others can see you.
1. Headlamp – yes, you look like you are getting ready to go on a mining expedition, but that’s ok as long as you can see and oncoming cars can see your little light bouncing while you run.
2. Reflective Vest – I will say that I bought a bright neon Pink one with pink reflective strips on it. You know pink is my color!
3. Since it wasn’t that cold, I wore a short sleeve shirt with arm sleeves that happen to have reflective strips on them too.
4. I didn’t need my running belt tonight but I wore it again because it had a reflective stripes on it.
5. My running tights which I love also reflective lines on them.
6. Just for good measure, I put on my ankles those yellow reflective bands that most normal people wear on their arms,but I kind of liked them on my ankles and we all know I’m not normal.
Now, I hope you noticed a pattern here with my outfit.
We all know how people drive during the day when your highly visible. Why not make yourself as visible as you can at night too because their driving really doesn’t get better at night?
Now another way to check the ego at the door that must be done (at least for me) is to SLOW DOWN. Yes I knew the road I was taking, but that doesn’t mean I know every bump in it. I also adjusted my routine to run on roads with both wider sidewalks and more visibility. I also knew that I needed to run safely and take it easy out there. Even though I run these roads all the time, it is different at night. Just know that your night runs are not the time to do a speed workout unless you are at the track.
Lastly, I will say that only other runners understand the need to go out at night. When I shared the picture of me from my run, all of my running friends gave positive comments. Then there was the one non running person whose comment was “Goofy.”
Well I wasn’t trying to be Goofy. I was just trying to get a run in and make it home safe. Just remember that that is the most important thing when you are out on a run. Getting home safe.
As they said in one of my favorite shows growing up
Let’s all be Careful out there!
Do you run at night?