Tag Archives: dark

Run for a Reason: Car Service

I occasionally like to share an idea to help you find actual real life reasons to run. It’s all very well running around in circles at a track, or doing out and back routes through your neighbourhood, but sometimes it helps to have a purpose for your run.

Today my purpose was to get my (wife’s) car serviced. 

The garage we use is about three miles from my office so it is a comfortable running distance between them. My plans were somewhat screwed when I found that part of the short running route was inaccessible due to floods from the recent rain and snow-melt combo. This meant that I had to resort to taking roads (during rush hour is not ideal) and going an extra mile or so.

Of course, doing this also means that you have to run back to the garage in the evening to get the car. I’ve never really enjoyed evening running and top-and-tailing the day.

Eventually I got back out on the road after waiting for rush hour to pass. This meant it was dark but I had the foresight to bring my blinky lights. The run was hard work on tired legs and after a trying day in the office. 

Running for a reason is good, but hard on a work day.

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Ouch: Watch Out for Sleeping Policemen. 

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I tripped on a sleeping policeman (speed bump) while running through a local school. 

Well, it happened again and this time I didn’t manage to catch myself. 😦

I was running the route in the reverse direction, uphill, in the rain and dark, and I got past the one I tripped on previously. 

Because of that I let my mind wander and take in the scene. Bang. 

Suddenly I’m on the deck. Damned if there wasn’t another one lurking in the shadows, waiting to trip me. 

When I went down I cut my knee, my elbow and my hand. I also scratched my glasses which I was carrying in my hand because of the rain; lucky they didn’t get totalled! I also broken the clasp on my knuckle light, rendering it useless.  

By the end of my run my leg was a blooded mess. Turn away if you are squeamish. 

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It looks impressive but it was only a small cut that bled down my leg as I continued to run. 

For the remainder of the run I was very carefully not to trip on anything else and used my knuckle light far more. I was determined not to stop the run because of it though. 

The cuts have bruises around them and are a little sore but guess we’ll find out how bad they really are after a day or so. Hopefully no real damage. 

So I ordered some new knuckle lights as I don’t want to be without those. 

Life carries on but I’ll think twice before running that stretch of path again… Me and my stupid wandering brain. 😉

Dark is the Night For All

I went out slightly earlier today and hit the streets at 5:15am and it was dark. Properly dark. No predawn light on the horizon. So for half of my run today I was running by torch (flash) light.

It was damp, humid and 70F but I managed to squeeze in the 8.3 miles I had planned. My legs were heavy and so were my shoes. It felt like I was dragging myself along. My pace was 8:23 and I had nothing in the tank for a sprint home either. Mind you, I hadn’t eaten anything and didn’t take water on the run with me so I didn’t really give myself much of a chance.

Job done and now to enjoy a day and a half before I run again. 🙂

Note: the title here is borrowed from a track by a-ha which I am going to have to listen to now.

Trip the Light Fantastic? Early Morning Running

I mainly run pre-dawn on roads so I need to make sure that I can be seen easily by drivers and ensure I don’t trip over deer/sticks, etc.

As I didn’t run today I thought I’d jot down the things I use daily to help me stay safe on my runs.

First item: lurid t-shirt with reflective strips when possible. Normally bright orange, green or yellow. No cool black shirts at this time of day.

Second item: small white LED light. The one I have isn’t very powerful but it is good enough at that time of day to be able to see a few steps ahead. The one I have was a basic bike light so it has a handy Velcro strap that I use to attach it to my hand or to my waist belt. Once it is bright enough to see without the light, then I switch it to flashing mode so that it catches drivers eyes.

Third item: small red LED light. This is an old bike light that has a clip on it. I put it into flash mode and put it on the back of my shorts or my waist belt.

Fourth item: waist/water belt. I’ve run with a water belt for years now. At the moment I don’t tend to carry water as I’m running shorter distances and it isn’t very hot at 5:15 in the morning. When I run > 5 miles or if it is hot then I’ll put a water bottle in the belt. Also, some Clif Shot Blocks if > 8 miles. The belt is a convenient place to attach those lights. I put the light on my right-hand side so that it is shining forward down the road and marks the outside of my personal space; drivers can then get a feel for how wide I am.

Fifth item: Halo headband. Very 80s but I like the plastic sweat gutter they have as it stops my burning acidic sweat from melting my eyes as I run. If you don’t like that look, they do have hats with this tech in them that also work well.

For your general gear (shirts, shoes, etc) make sure they have reflective strips and that they are clean. They won’t reflect if they are covered in dirt.

Updated: the one thing I never leave the house without, whether cycling or running, is my Road ID. It is such a habit that I forgot to mention it initially. Silly me. Fixed now.

I know I look like a mobile 80s disco as I float down the roads around my neighbourhood but at least I reduce my risk of tripping over the uneven pavement and increase the chance that drivers will see me before I bounce over the front of their car.

Stay safe my shiny friends.