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Trail running in the dark

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Last Wednesday evening was the last group trail running in the forest at night for several months. We're moving to paved trails and tracks until daylight returns. But I hope to take hubby out a few late evenings so I can get my forest fix.

I took hubby out for a hike Friday after work. He didn't love it but he isn't familiar with these trails, he didn't have a good headlamp and we have since learned that he had the beginnings of an ear infection that messed with his balance. He was grumpy but supportive because he could feel how much I much I enjoy being out there. I'm so lucky to have his loving support!

I love the challenge of trail running and I love it more in the dark. I love how it changes my focus and heightens my senses. As the sun goes down my focus is limited to a spot about 8-15 feet in front of me. Even while running, my brain seems to memorize the rocks, roots and other obstacles in that moment of light for my body to use for unconscious adjustment as I glide past each trip hazard in the dark. I love the testing my will to trust that my body will miss the unseen hazards.

I enjoy the sound of the owls hooting to each other and the sights of bright white mushrooms popping through the dark earth and bright green moss. I love the smell of the fir and cedar trees and the damp soil. And my senses are further heighted by a slight creepy feeling about the unknowns hiding in the dark. (What was that sound? Are there bears out here?...)

I'm sad to see the daylight to be ending earlier each day but I'll adjust to the pavement and I'll be stronger for longer evenings on the trail next spring.

A couple pics from Wed.

Me while running uphill with my headlamp with just a little light left in the sky above me. (I should have stopped running when I took the picture but it's harder to start again on an uphill than to keep moving.)

I'm approaching girls in my group walking up a challenging hill.

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17 Day Update: I'm doing well, but not perfect. Not perfect is perfect! I'm improving and some behaviors and choices are getting easier... just what I wanted.
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Foot/Ankle Update: I think my last PT is this week. I have not been doing my ankle exercises but I am keeping up with the toe stretching and exercises. My toe still hurts but it is flexible. I think some of the pain is muscle-type pain but I'm not sure. I'll find out. The re-sprained ankle still hurts and is weaker which is part of the reason for not doing the ankle exercises. But even though the ankle is weaker, it is stronger in some ways. I know trail running (not to mention in the dark) with a questionable (but securely wrapped?) ankle isn't the best choice. I just need to stay away from curbs and mindless walking.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Long overdue response...

    First of all, thank you for sharing the sensory images of the trail. *sigh* Beautiful!

    Ferd rocks! How awesome that he's supportive. I've heard so many people on SP talk about how their spouses are negative and totally unsupportive. I can't even imagine what that would be like. In my case, I happen to be my own worst enemy.

    Glad to hear the foot/ankle are doing better. Woohoo! Half Marathon here you come! LOL
    1567 days ago
    Wonderful description of how you perceive the night forest, and how your mind and body adapts! It makes me feel like trying it - unfortunately I don't have a group, and I don't dare to run alone on the hills... but I hope I get the chance some time!
    1590 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I am walking in the dark in the am. It is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

    1594 days ago
    Very cool that you've found something new to love - running in the dark!!

    Hope your ankle heals quickly!
    1602 days ago
    I love that picture of you. I think you should frame it, so cool!

    Trail running in the evening sound really interesting and fun. Your husband is a gem. I hope he is feeling better!
    1602 days ago
    Sounds like an awesome adventure, trails in the day. It gives you something to look forward to in the spring.

    Glad the ankle is healing and the toe is more flexible. And glad your good choices are coming more naturally. Consistency not perfection wins. You are doing great!


    e care of yourself!
    1602 days ago
    Wow~ Sounds like you've found your exercise....and it's fun! Great!

    And congrats on your weight loss. Amazing work and very encouraging to me, as I have about 100 to lose. Best wishes on your journey to better health. emoticon
    1602 days ago
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