Sunday, December 11, 2011

Loving after dark running

I've been running with a group for, I think, 4 years now.  We meet at the running store at 6:30 pm and go for a run.  As the seasons change so does the weather and the daylight.  Until recently running group was about the only time I ran in the dark other than a couple of night races each year. 
Since I've been in college full time I've been spending many hours studying at the public library in chelsea.  In the fall shortly before the time change I got the idea to go running around town after leaving the library since I'd have a very short window of light.  At that time it was still light out when the library closed at 5 but I knew that it would be fading fast and if I made the drive home and changed it would get too dark.  I got the idea to change in the car after leaving the library, thanks to the miracle of tinted windows, and run around the residential streets of town.  It worked out very well and I ran 4.6 miles and had a great time!  When I uploaded my run from Garmy to Garmin connect I looked at the map and saw some possibilities for other routes.  It was still light when I finished but was beginning to fade.  I thought that the streets I ran on would be perfectly safe to run on after dark.  Most of the route was residential streets within the city, most had sidewalks.  I crossed the main street twice. 
Since then I've run quite a few times after dark and it's been fun.  I have a couple of neon yellow shirts, a head lamp, a couple of flashing thingys - one clips on and one goes on my wrist.  I bought a new shirt a couple weeks ago at the annual sale at the running store but so far it hasn't been cold enough to wear it.  It is made by Illuminite, which is a brand of reflective running gear.  It has a pattern on the outside half running the length of the sleeves (visible from front and back) and across the back, more than the little dots that most shirts have.  The pattern is barely visible in the light but when in the dark and lights hit it, it is very reflective.  I'm really excited to wear it!  I'm not sure what temperature range it will work best for as the tags and the website do not offer information on that.  I am guessing that it will be good for 20s and colder.  I will also be able to wear layers under it as it gets colder.   My winter tights have zippers at the bottoms of the legs and the zipper is outlined in reflective trim so I am all set for night running!!  I will still use my flashing thingys because I can't be too safe and because they are cool and fun!!  

Runner Nerd
safe night runner

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