Thursday, September 20, 2007

RUNNING IN THE DARK...


has always been my favorite time. Morning dark more than evening dark. In the early morning, when it is so dark you can hardly see yet, the air is still, the trafffic is light to minimal, the silence surrounds you, people aren't out and about yet. I haven't run through my neighborhood in the early morning dark for a long time, back before the skunk incident more than a year ago (no, I didn't get sprayed, but it was a close call). That, and a few other things beyond my control, and I pretty much have been doing my early morning running either downtown near work, on a treadmill, or on the track. But the weather has been so great, I can't help myself and just had to get out there this morning again. That fulfills my 3 times a week I have been trying to be consistent with. I wanted to run when it was really dark, not just dark-getting-to-light, like it is when I run from the gym. That meant running from home. I decided to take a chance and went early enough to be able to run mostly in the streets to avoid tripping and falling, as I am prone to do.



It would be great then if I had a pair of these so I could see better. They really don't look like running shoes, but they certainly look like they light up the dark pretty well!

I had to retrain my senses again, ears and eyes, to get accustomed to the deep darkness. There are a lot of mature trees in my neighborhood, so they block out a lot of the street lighting (when it actually works) and any moonlight there might be, also casting strange shadows. My ears soon picked up the sound of sprinklers: some sprinkling, some spraying, so again it was better staying in the street; the early morning train, blowing its whistle as it went through different parts of town: you can hear it for miles when other sounds are absent; the occasional scurrying or rustling in bushes, of some noctural creature frightened by my footsteps. I really can't rely on my eyes, since they play so many tricks on me, so I try not to imagine there might be a big, mean raccoon staring at me from the shadows, a deer caught off guard, or a skunk waddling to safety. Ever since they put a new trails system in through the woods, I see woodland creatures where I least expect them.
Another sense that gets teased is the nose: there are two bakeries within a few miles of my house, and the smells in the morning get the stomach rumbling! Cinnamon rolls, or fresh baked bread. Mmm. Almost too good to stand.


I also noticed how humid it was. The temperature was still in the 50s, but the humidity was up in the 80s, making it difficult to breathe for the first 10 minutes or so. Suzanne claims there is about a 20 minute window when the humidity lifts, and I can say I noticed it today. I found myself huffing and puffing the first mile or so, walked a minute to get the heart rate down, and then it became easier. I felt like I did not want to stop after that.


So I kept running and running until the sky started to get light and then knew it was time to head home. My run in the dark was over for the day.

6 comments:

SWTrigal said...

MMMMMM..Cinnamon rolls! Picture makes me hungry!

Flo said...

I love getting out in the early, early morning. It's my favorite time to be on the road. I stopped doing it when my drug dealing neighbors were there, but now that they are gone I should get back to it. Glad you had a nice run. Bakery smells in the morning are evil :)

Alyssa said...

I love running in the dark too, but please be careful I had a friend pass away because he was running at night and a car didn't see him. Always make sure you have reflective gear on. Most of New Balances gear has reflective logos or stripes
http://www.newbalancetampa.com/shop/product_detail.asp?model=WRS6107

Lisa - Slow & Steady said...

lovely description of your run!

can't say that I'm fond of running in the dark myself, but i probably need to get over it!! i just ordered a reflective sleeveless jacket that would make me feel safer (i hope it fits)

See Zanne Run said...

yeah - i swear there's a magical moment of temperature change right before the sun comes up - it lasts for about 20 minutes ... i've heard on those cold winter runs, it will get a bit warmer. i have grown to love the pre-dawn pitch black runs as well - although there are times that i get a bit freaked out ... thinking hannibal lechter is dirving around in his van or something ... but for the most part, it is dreamy. i wear reflective bracelets, reflective shoelaces and clip one of those blinky lights to the back of my shirt ... i wish i thought those bakery smells were lovely, but mostly they make me want to puke. dairy hates me. i can smell the lactose from miles away!

jahowie said...

I had the same problem with my first mile yesterday. My run finished in the dark, and it was so peaceful. Traffic thins out and the sun wasn't glaring in my eyes. Nice job on the run.