Suburban Running Problems

I think Norther California has finally accepted the fact that it’s fall. Even though it’s almost winter.
  
With the cold(ish) temps and foggy, rainy days also come the early darkness. This whole it’s-5:30-and-completely-nighttime-outside thing is really putting a cramp on my attempts at running. Hashtag “convenient excuses.” But lately I’ve had a lot of motivation and maybe an opportunity to lace up when I get home from work, but it’s now so dark I don’t feel safe. Our neighborhood planner wasn’t exactly a big fan of sidewalks it seems, so I have to run on the shoulder on many of my routes. I also like to run on the nearby trails, but that seems like the perfect recipe for a twisted ankle.

I was complaining brainstorming with Hulk about this the other day, and he suggested for the trails I get some legit, waterproof hiking shoes. That way I could go hike rain or shine and not worry about getting too wet. I love hiking in the rain, so that was a no-brainer, and some (hopefully) super sweet Merrill trail shoes are being delivered by the merry Amazon elf today.

My next hurdle besides the proper gear is lighting. I’ve ran with my iPhone flashlight on, and it’s annoying and lame. Hulk suggested I carry a real flashlight, and that seems slightly less lame. I have considered one of those geek-tastic headlamps for ultra running in the middle of the night which seems to fix my problem but I’ll feel like an idiot wearing one. Unless I’m running a 50k over a mountain at 11:00 pm I feel not “legit” enough to rock one of those. Silly, I know. 

Finally, safety. I have a white windbreaker I’ve been wearing for visibility. I might want to get some reflective stuff for it, too. I’m down with the blink light thing; coming from former bike commuting I could not put enough red blink lights on my person to feel confident I was visible to traffic. But even with all the reflection and blinky lights, I’m still betting that the driver of the car coming right at me will actually SEE me. I’m thinking I need to find some safe sidewalks to drive to for runs instead of heading out directly from my house and crossing my fingers as I trot down the shoulder of the dark road.

Ahh, suburban running problems. I’ll have to mull this all over for a bit. But I’ll take this any day over hassling through downtown SF crowds and the occasional crazy person aggressively screaming to themselves and possibly urinating on various street corners.

Are you cool with night running/walking? I’m comfortable in group runs, but solo is tough.

Blinky lights while running – yay or nay?

Go make it a great day!

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One thought on “Suburban Running Problems

  1. I couple of weeks ago I realized one of the parks near our house has some night lighting, so I’ve been doing my night time dog walks there. There’s a great 1.3 mi loop + bathrooms + doggie waste bags. I’m scared of getting run down in my neighborhood in the daylight, in the dark… forget it! I vote for a head lamp and a reflective vest!

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