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Dusk Run

Thursday, December 06, 2012

After thinking things through yesterday, I coped pretty well with an odd work day today. I was up before the alarm, and got a longer pre-work walk than I usually do on work at home days. Grabbed lunch in a hurry at 11:30 to make the mandatory webinar from noon to 1. There were audio problems, so after stringing us along to 12:30, the Powers That Be admitted it wouldn't come off and would have to be rescheduled.

The good news is that I got a short walk in before 1. The bad news is that there will be a reprise date for this webinar, which will no doubt be conveniently scheduled to take my lunch time instead of normal work time. It was a beautiful day for a walk, withe the temperature at 39F (4C) and sunshine. It was great running weather, but the time wasn't there for stretching afterward.

So, plan B. Run after work. Now that we're deep into Daylight Wasting Time, it gets dark early. And the temperature drops a bit from the high at noon; it was 35F (2C) and dusk when I hit the road.

The nice thing about being in my second year of running is, I don't have to think very hard about how to handle the changing weather. I just open my closet and pull out a solution that I found a year ago. In this case, it was a heavier weight, white compression shirt to go over a lighter short sleeved compression shirt instead of a quarter zip jacket. White, for visibility in the dusk. But by the time I got dressed for running, it was apparent that it would be full dark before I finished.

So, open the closet and pull out the reflective harness, headlight, and tail light. Batteries are still good. Check. This was actually my first evening run with the visibility gear for darkness; last year I was running in the pre-dawn dark and seeing it get lighter as I went. Today I ran in the dusk and saw it get darker.

Early evening can be expected to have more traffic than early morning. And this is Christmas shopping season, which means there will be drivers who don't know where they are going. In recognition of the season, I kept the run to the residential neighborhood, where there shouldn't be the shopping traffic. I only have to worry about commuters coming home, some of whom may be tired and not paying much attention.

I'm pretty sure the lights helped a couple of drivers see me. Twice I ran into the gutter as cars came around curves on the residential streets. I would have been okay on the side of the road, but better safe than sorry. Until today, I didn't realize how much I relied on looking at the drivers' faces to see whether they were aware of me.

The traffic was more than in the morning, but really not unliveable. It was interesting to see the beam from my headlight become more useful in seeing where I'm going, as opposed to the way it fades out as dark turns to dawn. When I got to the end of my run, I left the lights on for my walking cooldown. I remember last year, I was turning them off so as not to annoy drivers with the blinking tail light after it was light out.

The last surprise was that I went inside to stretch. Normally, I prefer to stretch outside unless it's too cold or too wet. This evening it wasn't too cold or too wet; just too dark. I could have stretched in my driveway anyway, seeing my watch (to time the stretches) by my headlight. But I found I preferred to come in where I have more light. That's odd. The dark didn't bother me running, and it's never bothered me walking; but I wanted light for stretching. That's kind of odd, but there's no harm in stretching inside.

RunKeeper reported 4.29 miles in 31:31, for an average pace of 7:21 per mile. That average was actually a pretty steady pace, as I was trying to run a sustainable pace and not hurry. Good enough for a 4 or 5 mile run, but I'll need to learn to run slower if I want to stretch the distance. Running about a half hour fits the bill for today. The bad foot isn't 100%, but isn't complaining much about abuse. I'll see how it feels Saturday, then decide what I'm doing in the way of running then.

If it turns out that I'm up early on Saturday and the foot is feeling good, maybe I'll go for a dawn run. Just have to see how I feel and what the weather is like.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PLMITCH 12/7/2012 9:10AM

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MEXGAL1 12/7/2012 9:06AM

    Glad you got your run in today....keep on keeping on!

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RG_DFW 12/7/2012 8:31AM

    Sounds like you're doing pretty good...

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PMRUNNER 12/7/2012 5:40AM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I ran at dusk and in the cold last night too. I think I should look at lights if I want to continue to do it. My vest is safety yellow with reflective bits, but not quite enough.

Nice pace too! I ended up at a 7:40 for just over 6 miles.

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HEALTHIERKEN 12/7/2012 1:03AM

    "Until today, I didn't realize how much I relied on looking at the drivers' faces to see whether they were aware of me. "

Interesting point, and one I would never have thought of as I always run in the daylight and absolutely take it for granted that I can make eye contact with drivers coming toward me.

Glad to know you're back to running but still managing the sore foot carefully.
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_LINDA 12/6/2012 10:12PM

    Sounds fantastic! Great time! So glad the foot held up! I wondered about those headlamps, how much light they really throw. I would have thought the beam too narrow and it would blind you to the edges of your vision.
I almost missed the first day of sunshine in 8 days. But I did get out in the -13F (-25 C) temps for a 50 min breath of fresh air and made it back before something froze in the wind :P
I time my stretches the old fashioned way, slow count to 30 for each hold. I am such a dinosaur.. Nice to know you always make sure to make time for them.
Hope your weekend is a good one!

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RUN4FOOD 12/6/2012 10:04PM

    Glad you got your run in today. Hope your foot feels good enough for a run on Saturday.
We're still warm, 59 in the morning, but expected to be 33 on Tuesday morning. It doesn't get much colder than that here.

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ARUSHING2 12/6/2012 9:00PM

  Great blog.
Sounds like you adjust to changes each day like you adjust to the weather and outdoor conditions! That's great.
Take care.

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