When I started running again as an adult for what now seems ages ago but in reality was really only in 2009 I always ran in the evening with the exception of weekends. It just seemed logical to me. I slept my usual hours, got up at my regular time, went to work, came home, took care of the dog, and then went running. Repeat as needed throughout the week.
Then in 2013 when my mother became ill and for a time had recovered enough to go home I committed myself (Ha! Perhaps if I really committed myself to an insane asylum things would have been so much easier!) to training for another marathon. Not only was it just train for the marathon but this time around I used a more intense training program. Doing these training runs during the evening and caring for my mother just was not going to happen.
What did happen was that I forced myself into becoming a morning runner. But I still only had a limited amount of time before work so that I could make sure that I got enough sleep. I devised a great plan of during those weekday training runs into two-a-day runs. There is always some debate about this but in my case it worked and my long runs were never compromised or turned into two-a-day runs.
I would get up at 4:30 in the morning and head out for a four mile run. When my body finally got accustomed to this new routine I thoroughly enjoyed this morning ritual and wondering why I had been so devoted to running at night. I can still recall that amazing feeling of being out on the roads so early that only a few other die hard runners were out and about. It was great to be out in the stillness of the early morning and only hearing your footfalls and the occasional automatic sprinkler turning on. There were the rare car or two but most often it was just me, the chipmunks scurrying about, and the few deer now and then.
During my lunch break I would head to the gym and run the remaining miles left for that day’s work out. I went through a tremendous amount of running clothes during the week but I was convinced that I was forever a convert to the early morning run.
But, as life would have it, my circumstances changed. My mother passed away and began to lose my desire for running, then when I tried to get back into it I got injured and then my consistency faded and I’m now in the up and down motion of running. When I get into a regular schedule everything works out well but as soon as I miss a few days it usually takes a few weeks to get back onto the road.
With getting back into regular training I have turned back into an evening runner. To put it more precisely, going to the gym right after work and running on the treadmill runner.
The book that helped motivate to re-learn how to run at night.
But lately I have been feeling the urge to start running outdoors during the evening. I’ve got a wonderful and safe route so there was no excuse that could prevent from going out.
So last night was the night, even though I had been home all day and could have gone out at any time during the day but I was lazy during the day. Hey, it happens. There was an NCIS: Los Angeles marathon on tv.
I got dressed around and headed out at 6:00 pm. Where I live its dark and not so crowded out. Ah, the ultimate definition of a bedroom community. Most of my route is well lit so thankfully no need for my head lamp. I met a really nice giant dog who was a giant mush ball and got tempted to stop for an Italian ice (the place by me is pretty famous), and got to look at some really big houses with awesome holiday lights.
I was reminded about how much I used to enjoy this. It was an easy run and everything felt great. Then things got a little tricky.
The last mile of my route is very dark and kind of woodsy with uneven sidewalks where they even exist. But I had come prepared, or so I thought.
I had been wearing my headlamp from the get go along with all of my reflective gear. I must mention that it is always important to run wise and make sure that you can be seen from a good distance by people and cars. (My PSA is complete). Yeah, but you should make sure everything is in working order before you head out.
Sure enough, when I reach up to turn my headlamp on nothing happened. Batteries = dead. Not all was lost because I at least had my cell phone and could use the flashlight on that. Yup, I left my small handheld light at home. Then, my cell phone died. #NightRunningFail.
Thankfully, I only stumbled once but nothing could take away my happiness of being able to go out for a nice relaxing run when most people were getting ready for the evening meals. I felt that I earned mine and started planning my run for the next evening.