Monday: 5.5 miles (easy)Tuesday: Pilates
Yesterday morning I waited until about 6am to get out the door and head out for a run. I continued to look outside, hoping it would get just a teeny bit lighter out. It never did. So when I realized I couldn't wait any longer (or I would be late for work), I decided to throw on my reflective vest and go. It was by far the scariest run.
I didn't realize that this 5.5 mile route didn't have ANY sort of outdoor lights....I mean NONE. I knew there would be one quick stretch that didn't have any but literally, it wasn't until the last mile that I had some street light. Big planning mistake on my part. Luckily, the new update on my iphone has a flashlight so I used that the entire time. It helped a little but I still wished that I had come better prepared.
I ran into a few encounters where cars couldn't see me, I had to be extra cautious the entire run. That's the thing about being a runner, you cannot trust that anyone can see you. Cars do not pay attention. I have been in the crosswalk (during the day) and cars have come within inches of my body. People are preoccupied with other things, they aren't looking for runners/walkers. When you're trying to stay committed to training program that requires a morning/evening workout, what is the best way to stay safe in the dark?
- My #1 rule and I will state it again...don't rely on the fact that cars will notice you because they just wont.
- Run against traffic so you can see cars coming.
- If you cannot find a sidewalk or shoulder, jump into the grass or any safe (off the road) area you can as cars come zooming toward you. Stopping your run for a second is better than having a car end your life forever (I'm just sayin'...)
- Wear safety gear. You may feel silly but it could really save your life and allow you to have a smoother run.
- If you listen to music while running or walking, either leave one ear bud in, turn the music down (so you can hear cars coming and going) or exercise without music in the morning!
- Think smart! Have your phone on you for emergencies, watch for cars and other wild animals that linger in the darkness. Exercise in areas that are populated! I like to think, if something happened to me and I tried to scream for help, could others hear me? If not, then don't run that route, especially in the dark!
I did a quick search on a local running company's website, RoadRunner Sports. I found two items that I think are the most necessary for running in darkness.
- Head Lamp--There are a few different models but this was the most inexpensive of the three. The website gives a great breakdown of its abilities and light strength (if you live somewhere without sidewalks or outdoor lamps of any sort, you may want to invest in something with a stronger light strength so you can see much more ahead of you). This head lamp was $25.00 and the other models go up to about $50.00. I found it pretty affordable and if you will use it enough, it's a great investment for your fitness. Find it here!
2. Reflective Vest--This product is a great way for cars to see your presence. This vest was $25.00--seems reasonable enough for me. Find it here!