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It was everything I hoped it would be...and more

NCAthlete

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If you didn’t read my last bitchy post, good for you. I can tell you that I was whining about the fact that I hadn’t ran in almost a week, and blah blah blah.

I wasn’t expecting much out of my run last night. I hadn’t felt good all day, had been stressed about a job interview that I had that day, and was thinking it was going to be a very uncomfortable run. I wasn’t sure how far I was going to run and was just going to see how I felt and go from there.

I got home from work, changed, and headed out at about 5pm. It was getting cold quick so I put on wintry clothes so I wouldn’t get cold. Immediately, I could tell that it was going to be a great run. I can’t remember the last time (or if ever) that I started running and didn’t feel any twinges, soreness, or discomfort somewhere on my body. Nothing. No phantom leg pain either.

I was sailing along the greenway, no headlamp, feeling like I was running in someone else’s body. It has been ages since I’ve felt like that. I almost started to tear up at one point because I’d been longing for that feeling again.

My run would be an out-and-back so I just had to determine when I was going to turn around. When I hit the 4 mile point, going further than that would be the farthest I’ve ever run out on that trail. I’ve biked on it many times but never run that far.

It also starts to get really sketchy from there – some of those characters I’ve blogged about in the recent past. I was equipped with mace so I just went for it. At this point on the trail, I have to cross a street and that’s where the Bear Creek Trail connects to the Platte River trails. You can go for miles and miles. I could easily do an A-B ultra out there. Once I began on the Platte trail, it got REALLY dark. That part of the trail is asphalt instead of concrete so it makes it even darker. I ran by a movie theater, golf course, shops, warehouses, brewery, and over many bridges.

I never run with music so I hear everything. Every little noise. Every little movement. I think my mind starts to play tricks on me so I was running very cautiously, probably why I ran faster than I expected to. I literally had the safety off on the mace and had my thumb rested on it, ready to go if needed. I did hear lots of weird animals sounds and I’m not sure what some of them were. EEK!

I ate a citrus Cliff Shot Blok (those things are AMAZING) around mile 7 and only had my tiny hand-held water bottle. It was plenty enough for that distance. I definitely slowed down going back, because it is a gradual uphill. I was feeling the aches and pains at that point too but I didn’t care.

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Mile 10 was the only walk break I took!

With about 2 miles to go, I could see the light of a biker coming up behind me. Then I suddenly heard, GEEZE! WEAR A LIGHT!” as he almost ran me over. I was a smart-ass and replied with, “No thanks.”  The light he had on his bike was very dim and was pointed directly in front of him, so it was a wonder if it was even useful to him. I get the reasoning for wearing a light, safety and all, but I choose not to. I can see better without one and am much more aware of my surroundings. Plus, I feel that I wouldn’t be spotted as easily by creepers who may be looking for trouble. My running. My choice.

One last thing to note was that I had left my really long hair the way I wore it to work, a  fish bone braid. This did NOT turn out well. I had kept it tucked into the vest I was wearing so I wasn’t easily identified as a girl out running alone in the dark (I think WAY too much about this stuff). My hair is really fine and started to bunch up. It was a huge, matted rat’s nest by the time I got home. William and I got a nice laugh out of it when I got home. Also, I was FREEZING when I finished and had barely sweated at all. You know it’s cold out if you’re still freezing after 13 miles. I didn’t get warm until I showered.

Besides getting a nice blood blister in the usual spot they pop up, I feel great today and very accomplished! It’s great to get some redemption in just a two hour time period.

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The bad/lazy days sure do make the incredible ones feel like an out-of-body experience!

Thanks for reading,

Chris

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I used to do all my night runs without lights. Only ran into a kid on a bike once, so my record was pretty good, although I have turned more than one ankle stepping on rocks, etc. Lately I've shifted to wanting something, but I can't stand the thought of a light wrapped around my head. I have seen recently some that either clip to the waistband or wrap around the waist - those might be OK.

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A small flashlight can be handy, even if you just put in a pocket for most of the run. I run before dawn and don't usually use a light either. I'll wear a headlamp if I plan to go through this one park that has black asphalt trail and a lot of trees that block any moon or other light. My bike headlight is bright enough that I think I'd see a runner and/or the runner would see my light even if I'm coming from behind.

Nice that you had a good run and didn't freeze or get run over by a cyclist.

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That sounds like a GREAT run!! I'm a fellow no lighter...except for trails or when I know I'm running somewhere that I need to be able to see where I set my feet. I walk the dogs in the morning, before dawn. If they've taken care of their business before we go walk, then I don't even carry a light. That's most of the time. There's this one lady who also walks her dog at the same time. She and her dog both wear lights. A couple weeks ago, I was wearing dark clothing and she came up behind me (she and her dog like to run this stretch of sidewalk as its downhill) not noticing the 3 of us (that's a 65 lbs. dog, 120 lbs. dog, and 200+ lbs man). It was clear and I was looking up at the beautiful starry morning. She was all snippy like, "Why aren't you wearing a light? Aren't you REQUIRED to wear a light?" I responded with, "Turn yours off and look up. You can't see that with a headlamp on."

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25 minutes ago, Running Nole Fan said:

That sounds like a GREAT run!! I'm a fellow no lighter...except for trails or when I know I'm running somewhere that I need to be able to see where I set my feet. I walk the dogs in the morning, before dawn. If they've taken care of their business before we go walk, then I don't even carry a light. That's most of the time. There's this one lady who also walks her dog at the same time. She and her dog both wear lights. A couple weeks ago, I was wearing dark clothing and she came up behind me (she and her dog like to run this stretch of sidewalk as its downhill) not noticing the 3 of us (that's a 65 lbs. dog, 120 lbs. dog, and 200+ lbs man). It was clear and I was looking up at the beautiful starry morning. She was all snippy like, "Why aren't you wearing a light? Aren't you REQUIRED to wear a light?" I responded with, "Turn yours off and look up. You can't see that with a headlamp on."

YES!! I love your response! If they can't see a person, how would they see anything else that might be in their way? An animal, a tree, anything!

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I'm the odd one out I guess. I'm always shocked when I see other runners (and bikers) in the early morning without any reflectiveness or a light. And usually they aren't on the sidewalk but on the road. I understand that a headlamp is a bit annoying but what's wrong with a small blinking light that clips on yourself?

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3 hours ago, Dave said:

I used to do all my night runs without lights. Only ran into a kid on a bike once, so my record was pretty good, although I have turned more than one ankle stepping on rocks, etc. Lately I've shifted to wanting something, but I can't stand the thought of a light wrapped around my head. I have seen recently some that either clip to the waistband or wrap around the waist - those might be OK.

I like the vest ones my kids have and I've been thinking of getting one too. Plus they have these blinking lights on their shoes to help people notice them.

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I wouldn't go out where I live without a light but I live very rurally and I wouldn't be able to even run without some sort of light. That being said, if a biker hits you because of no light I sure hope you don't get hurt. 

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All my runs are in the dark and I never wear a headlight. My thought is that headlights are for you to see better, and reflectors are for people to see you. I have lots of reflective stuff and strap a blinky light to my leg. Keep the mace handy!

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Yeah there's a difference between reflective things so others can see you vs. illumination things for you to see. I know I definitely do not want to get hit by anything that's moving faster than me - car, cyclist, whatever. Blinky lights or at least something reflective makes me feel a ton better even if I don't have a light for myself.

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I've carried a little cheap handheld flashlight before and just turned it on when I was running on a road and a car was coming so they could see me. I've also heard some good things about knuckle lights. 

I also wear a reflective vest when it's dark and cooler sometimes. The entire surface of one of my current pairs of shoes is all reflective material as well so there's that. When light shines on them, they look like they're electric shoes.

Edited by MichaelV
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On ‎11‎/‎17‎/‎2017 at 3:08 PM, MichaelV said:

I've carried a little cheap handheld flashlight before and just turned it on when I was running on a road and a car was coming so they could see me. I've also heard some good things about knuckle lights. 

I also wear a reflective vest when it's dark and cooler sometimes. The entire surface of one of my current pairs of shoes is all reflective material as well so there's that. When light shines on them, they look like they're electric shoes.

The other day I was dropping my daughter off at school and a boy had his shoes covered in foil for some reason... for a split second I thought (before I realized it was foil just wrapped around his shoes) "Those are sure reflective, I wonder what shoes those are... " 

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11 hours ago, Riggers said:

The other day I was dropping my daughter off at school and a boy had his shoes covered in foil for some reason... for a split second I thought (before I realized it was foil just wrapped around his shoes) "Those are sure reflective, I wonder what shoes those are... " 

Mine are these. When there's even more direct light on them, they turn completely white/yellow:

https://www.altrarunning.com/cmsstatic/A1643_Impulse_btn5_xl-2-40500.jpg

 

Edited by MichaelV
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Weekdays are all night runs for me. I try to have both reflectives and front & rear flashing lights. I'm running roads: service lanes & bike lanes preferably, footpaths (sidewalks) as last resort. I don't run trails at night so the relectives/lights are so I'm seen not so I can see. I do have headlamps but find them uncomfortable to run in. I did get a flashing vest but the lights stopped working fairly quickly.

I do get NCathlete's point about not wanting to be seen on the trail at night though. Sometimes if I've started my weekend LR late and it's dark as i'm coming back on my trail. I'm kind of glad I'm not lit up as usual for that reason. Those runs are always a fast finish as I start imagining people/things lurking behind every bush I pass by.

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9 hours ago, ChocTop said:

Weekdays are all night runs for me. I try to have both reflectives and front & rear flashing lights. I'm running roads: service lanes & bike lanes preferably, footpaths (sidewalks) as last resort. I don't run trails at night so the relectives/lights are so I'm seen not so I can see. I do have headlamps but find them uncomfortable to run in. I did get a flashing vest but the lights stopped working fairly quickly.

I do get NCathlete's point about not wanting to be seen on the trail at night though. Sometimes if I've started my weekend LR late and it's dark as i'm coming back on my trail. I'm kind of glad I'm not lit up as usual for that reason. Those runs are always a fast finish as I start imagining people/things lurking behind every bush I pass by.

This run was through some REALLY shady areas, and someone attacking me isn't a far fetched thought. I probably won't do a longer run like that again on that trail in the dark. I'll save them for the weekend or something.

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