Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Scared of the dark = faster runs

Hi! I know you all ate just dying to hear about my race on Sunday and I'm equally dying to tell you about it, but I'm waiting on race pictures to come out so you can see more of my pretty face in the post. :) I'm hoping to have it published tomorrow.

In the mean time, let's talk about this season change. Fall came quick! All of a sudden it's dark at 7:30 and I'm caught running in it. Not a fan. I don't mind running in the dark as long as I'm prepared: bright clothes, a light, something I can use as a weapon just in case.

But tonight I was caught in the dark about 2 miles away from my house on a new trail (new to me) near railroad tracks. I'm sure this is painting a really safe picture in your head. I'm not gonna lie, I was a tad creeped out. So I booked it. I ran as fast as my "I just raced on Sunday legs" would go and made it home in good time, safely.

I noticed though, that the darkness brings out the best of my running form. I can't see what the ground is doing, so I'm quick to pick up my foot and place it under me instead of extending my stride more as i usually do. Wish I would run this way all the time!

Now that I realize how early the darkness is I won't be caught without the necessary dark running gear. Well, I could donut again if I want to get in a good tempo run.... Just kidding!

How are you dealing with the dark? Do you like to run in the dark? If so, what is your fave dark running gear?


  1. Ack! You need a headlamp and/or reflective vest and/or buddy! Be cdareful, stay in well lit & well traveled areas.

  2. Sooooo, how fast did you go those last two miles?

    I have this LED headlamp that is really light but SUPER bright.

    I find running in the dark is more of a mind over matter motivational thing than physical thing. Dark = sleep.

  3. I run in the early am dark - I run down well lit, well traveled streets (no bike trails!). I wear light colors and have a light clipped on my Road ID so that I can be seen. I also don't listen to music so that I can hear the world around me. It will be too cold soon enough - run outdoors while you can! :)

  4. Haha, I do the same thing when I run in the dark. I often run before dawn and even though we live in a pretty safe area, I still feel spooky about the dark. I fly on those runs! I like to think I become a "running ninja" in the dark, since I often (stupidly) wear all dark clothes.
    I have the flashing firefly light from Road ID, and that's been a good way for people to see me.

  5. I don't like running in the dark either. I feel like the bad guys are sleeping in the early morning hours, but still, my imagination goes crazy. Looking forward to reading about your race!

  6. I'm finding that Magnolia TOTALLY requires a headlamp. There are some racoons cruising around in the dark mornings... big as bears! *shudder* and some streets have no streetlights. I know that railroad trail you speak of, I'm not a fan of it in the dark. Owen and I biked it around 11pm last Saturday, scary!

  7. I had a very similar experience running trails in the park after work a few years ago. I couldn't believe how quickly it got dark... the mile or so I had to run to get back to the street seemed soooooooo long! I'm more careful about looking at sunset times and planning routes now.

    In the winter when there's limited daylight it's pretty common for me to run in the dark - either before work or after work. I try to wear light/bright colors or reflective clothing, and I've also taken to carrying a blinky bike light in my hand too. Those runs are on the streets/sidewalks only... no more dark-in-the-park runs :)