Nighttime runs

This has been a really good week.

I ran more than I intended. Does that sound strange? On Monday, I ran a couple miles on the treadmill. On Tuesday, the humidity had gone down a bit and I ran 3.6 miles outdoors. Wednesday was a full day, and I didn’t expect to run at all – I went to a museum with a friend – but at the end of the day, I felt so good and the weather was so nice that I went for an evening/nighttime run (3.6 miles). I enjoyed it so much that I did another nighttime run on Thursday (also 3.6 miles).

Wednesday’s run was my first (official) nighttime run. I’ve been caught outside at twilight once or twice, but this was the first time I intentionally planned to run after dark. It was AWESOME. It was new, novel, and full of surprises:

  • I ran with no headphones. I wanted to be able to hear what I couldn’t see. I was able to hear the cars, but I didn’t expect to also listen to the cicadas. Ver cool!
  • I was also surprised to smell some unusual plants that I don’t get to smell during the day. Does honeysuckle bloom at night? It was neat, whatever it was!
  • Speaking of scents… Several people had brought their trash cans to the end of their driveways so the trash could be picked up in the morning. That also had an aroma, though decidedly less pleasant…
  • Got a laugh from this:

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Utility work!

  • I ran with a red blinker clipped to the front of my tank top, and a small flashlight on a carabiner. At the beginning of the run, when it was still twilight, I left the flashlight clipped to my tank top and turned off; when it became dark, I carried it (turned on) in my hand.
  • I ran in “city darkness,” not true darkness. I had streetlights along most of my route. Truthfully, I had no trouble seeing and I didn’t really feel like I needed the flashlight for myself. It was mostly useful for making myself visible to drivers.
  • I didn’t really like carrying it, though. My hand was sweaty, so I was a little concerned that the moisture would damage the flashlight. More significantly, though, carrying the flashlight messed with my pace/gait. It was less natural to swing my arms, and it was just hard on my body. I’m definitely going to look into replacing it with more blinkers and/or a headlamp.
  • I need to try to leave more time between dinner and my run, especially when I eat a starchy meal. Bricks in the stomach are not fun!
  • My pace was solid, even tending toward negative splits. Of course, it decreased overall as I deprived my body of a rest day, but it was consistent and I’m happy with that.
  • I was WORN OUT after those evening runs… Which workedout nicely, since I fell into bed soon afterward!
  • When did my hair get so long? Sweaty hair + sweaty body was just irritating.
  • I got a lot of insect bites this week. At first I thought they were all from Monday’s pool party, but then I realized, I probably gained a few from my evening runs!

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This is what I look like when I feel amazing. Special thanks to the streetlamp that gave me a bit more light.

By Friday, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have run even if I’d wanted to run. My legs were exhausted, and I was insanely sore! I babysat for a friend on both Friday and Saturday, which was a perfect cross training activity. 🙂 Chasing after three little girls kept me moving constantly! By Saturday night/Sunday morning, I had found some new sore muscles. Totally worthwhile – I had so much fun, and I would do it again in a heartbeat!

I’m so excited to see where these evening runs take me. This week, I am feeling STRONG!