After a bit of a break, I thought it was time to bring back my Thursday running posts.
With the change to standard time, the sun starts to set before I even leave work for the day, so I have to choose between running outside in the dark, and running on a treadmill.
Last week was beautiful in Calgary (it was above 0C – I can’t turn down a run if it’s warm out!) so I went outside to run on Tuesday and Thursday and it was awesome. I run in a safe area, along commuter pathways and am probably passed by 25-30 cyclists and a dozen or so runners on a run, so I felt quite safe.
That said, I’m always safety conscious, so before talking about how to dress for the chillier weather (that’s coming next week!), I wanted to address safety when running in the dark.
My two biggest concerns are 1) being seen and 2) being able to see, so I make sure to wear clothing with reflectivity and I also take a running light with me.
This is what I wore on Thursday. Yes, I wear my light around my waist. It slips and bounces when it’s on my head and I can’t stand it, so I wear it around my body. Yes, it looks dorky, but when given the choice between being safe and looking dorky, I’ll pick dorky.
I received this light as part of my entry in the Energizer Night Race and it lights up in red (for when you don’t want to blind people) and white (for when you want to see the pathway).
This is actually a colour photo with flash of the backs of the shoes – the white areas are all reflective, so I know if someone is coming up behind me, they’ll be able to see my shoes 🙂
They also have reflectivity on the front of the shoes. When I looked down, I was able to see my lamp glinting off the reflectivity at the front of the shoes.
Even with my reflective shoes and my headlamp, I feel like I’m lacking some visibility on my body.
While all of the cyclists I’ve come across have lights on their bikes, very few runners I saw were wearing and reflective year and even fewer had a head lamp. While parts of my pathway have street lamps, and there aren’t any cars to contend with, I think it’s important to err on the side of being visible and cautious. The pathway isn’t always level and I can be a bit of a klutz, so I want to make sure I don’t trip over a branch (or my feet!) when running.
On Sunday I attended #runchat on Twitter and someone (I can’t remember who) said the following: if you don’t look like a Christmas tree when running in the dark, you’re doing it wrong. I couldn’t agree more! (If it was you, leave me a comment so I can link back to you!).
Tell me: do you run in the dark? What do you wear to make sure you’re visible? Do you look like a Christmas tree?
Note: for anyone super concerned about my safety, I also picked up pepper spray over the weekend to carry with me as well.