I am now more so of a hyprocrit than before. Why, you ask? Because this experiment has caused me to do yet another thing I swore I would never do (and often called other people stupid for doing). I ran in the dark. From 4:30am-6:00am last Friday morning.
I work at a golf course and last week we had our annual Invitational, a 4 day golf tournament with 192 players. What this means for me (and you) is I have to be at work at 7am. Meaning I have to be done running by 6am so I have time to shower and make myself look pretty.
I skipped my Thursday run and, God forbid, I skip 2 days in a row, so I found myself on the roads at 4:30am. Because not even the gym opens that early. I learned a few things:
#1 - My running route is not well lit. At all. The first mile of my route is along scary street (please see first few posts) and then past a grocery store. This part was ok. The second mile is along a busy street and I (very wrongfully) assumed would have street lights. When I hit mile 3 I chose do a pond/neighborhood loop that is 1.68 miles around (this would also ensure that I could head home at any time). I again (very wrongfully) assumed that people would have yard lights. They do, but they were small and not as helpful as I wanted.
#2 - Running in the dark makes you trip a lot. Mostly at the small undulations in the path. When you can see them it's not a problem, I guess your eyes and brain do all the adjustments for you. Take out the eyes, my brain fails.
#3 - You should not listen to This American Life's "Held Hostage" podcast. Learning about people who are kidnapped in the South American jungle will not help you feel safer and makes you frightened of telephone poles. Needless to say, I listened to less than a minute of it.
Here I am though - alive and well and hoping to never have to do that again. Or if I do, I'll have a dog by then. Who is not only scary, but a good runner.
Back to my new obsession: This American Life podcasts from NPR. LOVE them. For whatever reason my longer, slower runs are better when listening to people tell me a story than when I listen to music. I have learned about the world financial meltdown, two women who were switched at birth, infidelity, how New York's state budget is falling apart, etc. I have also been entertained by tales of partying at Penn State, the happenings at a rest stop on a summer weekend, how to talk to kids, urban legends, etc. I now subscribe to the free weekly podcast, but also buy podcasts from iTunes - only 99 cents per an hour of running! I can't recommend these enough!