Now that the time change has come and gone, a lot more of my runs have to be done in the dark.
Normally I am a morning runner, mostly because I like to have it done with before I start my day, but also because I am not comfortable running alone in the dark. I like running in the dark, but before this training cycle I’d only ever run with the Running Room at night so I was always surrounded by lots of people. Not so much right now.
Instead of just NOT running (which would be easiest, but also the laziest option), I have assembled my “Defeat The Dark” running ensemble:
- I have started taking Scout with me. Since I am going fairly slowly still I can take her for up to an hour and she barely gets winded. And while she isn’t exactly a tough cookie, she at least looks tough (maybe?) and will bark if she’s worried. Or at bags of leaves. Or spook at shadows. On second thought maybe taking her isn’t such a good idea.
I swear she just ran 6km with me. She doesn’t even look tired!
- Wearing my headlamp. Shawn got it for me last Christmas and I finally have a use for it (other than bringing horses in in the dark). I can see in front of me better and I’m more noticeable to drivers and other pedestrians.
- Reflective clothing. My Running Room jacket has reflective stripes on the body as well as the sleeves. I really need to find reflective bands I can wear on my arms and ankles so I’m even more visible.
- I’m NOT listening to music in the dark. I almost never, ever run without music, but I’m now making an exception. This way I can be more aware of what’s going on around me (and determine if Scout did hear something or if the bag of leaves is just that scary). I still run with my phone just in case.
I’m also sticking to well light areas that I know well, and of course telling someone (ie Shawn) when I’m leaving, where I’m going and when I should be back.
So far this is working out ok, and I’m a little less leery of running at night, although I would still rather run in the morning!
Any other ideas or suggestions for running in the dark? What do you do to keep yourself safe?