Remember the song "Night Swimming" by REM?
Yeah, that's a great song. But not at all what this post is about.
Y'all know that I'm a Morning Runner. I get up at 4:30 am and head out with my cru to bust out the miles long before the sun ever comes up. Mostly that has to do with A. Work and B. The brutal Texas heat.
It has cooled off some and that has allowed me to experiment with Night Running. I must say, I rather enjoy it! Who knew?
Now some of my runs or walks have been out much later than anyone has any business being out. No, don't be like me. You really should not leave the house at 1 am to go running. Can you say, "coping mechanism?" Ahem.
Last Friday I had a particularly bad day and even though I had plans to hit 12 miles in the morning with my girls, I knew that if I didn't go run right that very minute, well, I might just go insane. You know the feeling. So I laced up and headed out. You remember how that turned out, right? Ew.
Despite the wrinkles in both my plan and in my feet, I enjoyed my run. Sometimes it's nice to just get out on your own and just run. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the social aspect of running with friends. I love catching up with my cru; they are an amazing group of supportive women. But there is something about being out on your own in the dark of night. Night is different that the pre-dawn darkness. There is something so final about it. The day is closing, not ahead of you. The moon looms overhead, lighting up the path only slightly. There is no promise of breakfast, of a nap. Only the hours ticking away, wrapping up another day.
Last night it was cooler than it's been all season. 61! (16.6 C) That's downright chilly in Texas! Well, almost anyway. Even though I'd run 10 that morning, I pulled on a short sleeve shirt, laced up my trusty Mizunos and wait, hold up. There's more to nighttime running. I put my headlamp on. Clipped my beast of a blinky red light to the back of my reflective cap and said a little prayer that I wouldn't be run over.
Yeah, it might be just as dark in the morning, but there are way fewer cars at 5 am than there are a 10 pm. Safety!
I feel a bit like Dean Karnazes, heading out into the night with no real plan of mileage. Only a bit like Dean, let's not get carried away. Last weekend, for my mileage unknown, I packed a backpack with dry socks, a dry shirt, my wallet, water, a banana and some peanut butter. I wasn't sure how long I'd be out there. Turns out, my 3 hour run only required the water and the banana. But boy was I prepared!
I like the dim glow of my headlamp. I enjoy processing the day in my mind, reviewing what went well, what went wrong and what I could have done differently. It's an opportunity for a Lessons Learned in my noggin.
And I like it.
Yes, I miss my girls. But right now, while I'm still not sleeping so well, I welcome the chance to run solo at night. I feel as if there is the opportunity to keep running as long as I like with only the chance of sleep to look forward to, not the entire day. No time clock to punch, no meetings to arrive early for, just the quiet of the night, calling my name.
Oh yes, I spotted this last week when Jules and I headed to the petstore. We are crazy girls, let me tell you. I wonder if these dog treats would help my hip to find happiness? :o) I'll leave you with one last pic from our extravaganza...my purple nails! Toronto Jenn recommended the perfect pinky purple, Dim Sum Plum. I love it!