Since college, I’ve always enjoyed a good in-the-dark run. I remember one time being so overwhelmed my first semester at my new college (I transferred after my freshman year to Randolph-Macon) that the only thing I could do to clear my head was to run. During an especially challenging night that combined issues at home and school, I resorted to a 2AM run. Not the smartest even in sleepy Lynchburg, Virginia. However, it did the trick just like always. It’s something about the peace and knowing that no one is watching you. It’s just me and the road. After becoming a mom, I have a new appreciation for an early morning run before the sun has even started its day. Last Tuesday, I had a particularly peaceful, full moon lit run. Here are my top five tips…
Wear reflective clothing – I wasn’t sold on this one even though I knew I should. The Mr. purchased me a reflective vest which I do wear 99% of the time. I don’t like to since I like to be a rebel when I can, but he
threatens me really encourages me to do so.
Carry pepper spray – This is hopefully unnecessary, but it certainly gives you a boost of confidence in case of any dogs/people that are unwelcome on your run. I loosely tie mine on my shorts drawstring. I’m sure there is a better product/method, but I’m cheap. It works. The end.
Don’t listen to music – I break this rule as I really need music to motivate me especially on those cold mornings. I will turn it down lower than I would typically listen to it and take out one earbud. That way I can still hear the music but also my surroundings.
Always change your route, be unpredictable – On morning runs, I just run for the fun of it. I don’t worry about time. Just check my watch to be sure I’m going to be home in time. Safety first. If your unpredictable, then less likely for a Mr. Bad Guy to be lurking in a large bush or something.
Pack Your Bad Words – Once I was running and a guy decided to be funny and rev up his car as it was sitting in his driveway. Well, this certainly startled/scared me, so I rattled off a string of bad words. This made me feel better, and the look on the guy’s face was priceless. It’s nice to surprise people, and sometimes a cuss word carries just the right amount of weight to tell someone you mean business and you-better-not-mess-with-me.
Now, I know running at dark can be dangerous. I don’t make a habit of it. If you can run on a nice well-traveled trail in the afternoon, good for you! I try to make it as safe as possible. Plus, who could miss out on the moon as a running partner?