Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Running in The Dark

This morning's jog was a little over 8K with very little sun most of the time. I guess I must get used to running in the dark for the next month or so while the weather allows me to run outdoors. It was just a little weird because it felt like I was running at night until the last mile or so.

My Rules for Pre-Dawn / Night Running
Since many of my runs start at the pre-dawn hours, I try to follow a few safety rules I learned over the years:
  • Assume Drivers Can Not See You
    I call this maintaining "a good run defense." Knowing I can not take on a vehicle forces me to stay as close to the curb as possible. On busy streets, I usually run on the sidewalk unless I see kids in my path which is not likely in dark conditions. On less busy streets, I run against the flow of traffic to ensure oncoming vehicles can see me and that I give plenty of room to vehicles approaching from the rear.
  • Wear Light or Reflective Clothing
    I usually wear a bright yellow shirt and headband. I also have reflective shoes to help give off my location on the road.
  • Never Run A Route You Have Not Run Before
    A familiar route is easier to navigate in the dark and helps you maintain a sense of composure during times of uncertainty. When I ran this morning, for example, I thought I saw an animal approaching me out the corner of my eye. When I thought about my location, it dawned on me I was looking at a stump. Bottom line is I could have made a sudden move had I not known the path and kept calm.
  • Find The Sidewalk or Grass When A Vehicle Approaches Head On
    This is especially important when the vehicle slows down because that's a good sign that the driver either can not see you or is having difficulty navigating around you.
  • Obey Traffic Signs/Laws
    J-walking is quite common for me during my commute to/from work during sunlit hours. On the other hand, when I run in the dark I do not want a driver guessing where I am headed. You can never be too safe if you use crosswalks, stop at stop lights, etc.
Hundred Push Up Update
Last night was day two in week 5 of the Hundred Push Up Challenge. I took an extra day off, so my arms/chest were ready for the stress. I did a total of 174 push ups and maxed out at 40. One more day and then I'm at week 6!


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