Monday, August 12, 2013

night running

This weekend was a real demonstration of just how ridiculous I am. I've never claimed to be the smartest runner, but I think I really think managed I took things to the next level of dumb.

Friday night, Mike and I went out to dinner with some of the higher ups from his company. There was lots of delicious food and we even got invited out on one of their boats for wine and cigars afterwards. We declined, though, since I had to be up at the crack of dawn to run the next day. We should have just gone on the boat considering what happened later.

Saturday morning, I woke up 45 minutes before my alarm was supposed to go off and felt awful. I guess the rich food from the restaurant didn't sit well and my stomach spent most of the morning churning. I texted my mom (who was going to bike with me) that I wasn't going to make it and attempted to go back to sleep.

That's where my smart decisions ended.

I wanted to get my run done over the weekend, so I considered running on Sunday morning. I wanted to go to church, though, so that would have meant and insanely early wake-up. Instead, I had the brilliant idea to run at night. I also managed to convince my mom that this was a brilliant idea and that she should come along on her bike.

looks harmless, right?

I headed out a little before 7pm and ran from my house to my parents' to meet my mom. I wore my hydration pack, remembered gels, wore bright reflective gear, and packed a headlamp. My mom had lights on her bike and brought a headlamp as well.

The first 10 miles were great. My legs felt good. I had a decent pace going...and it was still light out. The only downside was that we ran by the water and everyone seemed to be having parties. Nothing like running 17 miles and seeing people at every other house chilling out and drinking margaritas.

A little before 8, it started to get dark. My mom turned the lights on her bike on and we kept trucking along. By mile 10, it was dark, but we were still in an area with sporadic street lights. I turned on my headlamp only to find that the batteries were basically dead. The light was on, but it didn't project enough to actually light where I was going. I traded with my mom, since she had other lights on her bike to help.

Originally, my mom had only planned to come for part of the run with me, but then she realized I'd probably die in the dark by myself and stayed with me.

By mile 13, we were in complete darkness. My town doesn't believe in lighting anything other than main roads, so we had to rely on our lights and the occasional car driving by for us to see where we were going. My mom and I were both surprised that no one yelled out their window at us that we were idiots...because we were idiots.

basically this, but darker
A mile from home, we went down a hill into what basically looked like the abyss and I commented that we were going to die, but I told my mom that I would just shout for the murderers to leave me alone because my mommy was there to protect me.

We finally made it back to the house a little before 10. Both my dad and Mike thought we had died, but neither bothered to call us to see if that was actually the case. My mom and I decided never to do that again.

I finished 17 miles in 2 hours and 44 minutes. Which is a faster pace than last week's 16 miler. While I'm excited about that, I still don't feel very strong on my long runs. It's concerning, but I was more concerned with not being murdered or hit by a car this week to really dwell on it too much.

After the run, I stretched, showered, iced, and had something to eat. Then I immediately went to bed. I wore compression shorts and compression socks to bed, but I still kept waking up because my body was freaking out and felt completely insane. It was not exactly restful.

Moral of the story: long distance night running is not for me.

Do you run at night in the dark?

What's your scariest running experience?


  1. We don't have any public lighting here either, but I'm smart enough to at least have fresh batteries in my head lamp if I go out in the dark, and by dark I mean before the sun comes up. Night running is for chumps.

  2. Im thankful you are ok and want to give you a large noogie for doing that.. no more.. little night runs are one thing.. honor yourself lady.. you may see them on the road, but they may not see you, and we want you around a long time.

  3. Glad you both survived! I do not run at night. I like sleep, I am afraid of night things. Pretty simple :)

  4. I've done short night runs in my neighborhood. I've been running 1-2x per week in the morning in the dark, but I do it with other people, and we wear obnoxiously bright clothing and headlamps that look out of place when we finish and the sun is up. Scariest is probably when I almost got hit one dark afternoon in winter when running in my neighborhood despite reflective clothing and a headlamp and running facing traffic; if they couldnt see me, I'm pretty sure that person shouldn't have been driving anymore.
    Sounds like our Saturday mornings started similarly. I got up at 5:45 to run, had bad headache & felt nauseous, got mostly ready to run then realized I wasn't goinf to feel any better and slept on the couch 6:30-8am.

  5. I don't run at night anymore, but I used to do it fairly frequently during law school. Fortunately, I lived downtown and there were plenty of sidewalks and street lights out. Running on dark roads with no sidewalks is dangerous!! Glad you made it!

  6. This past winter I started running in the evenings sometimes, but I live in an apartment complex with a parking lot that's half a mile around, so I just run loops around that! There are enough street lamps to see where I'm going, and I wear a reflective vest so drivers can see me in their headlights. Kind of boring, but seems relatively safe, since in a parking lot drivers are somewhat expecting people to be out and about, walking to/from cars, etc.

  7. I've never ran in the dark before, but I've biked and it was terrifying. I was convinced I was going to go over my handlebars at any given moment and at one point I ran off of the bike path because I couldn't see that it had turned.

    My old neighborhood was too sketch to run in at dark (morning or night) anyways.

  8. I did my long run in the dark a few weeks ago and even though I was running downtown near where I live, it was creepy as hell. This old guy on a bike tried to hit me up. Probably won't be doing that again, even in a busy downtown area. Freaks be out.

  9. So glad you survived! Not sure why this is so shocking though - in the winter, there's running in the dark or the treadmill. Does no one else experience this?


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