As the car pulled away the darkness pooled around my feet like the tide coming in before the storm.  The envelope of darkness surrounded me.  THUMP THUMP THUMP.  My heart raced as the last light from the car’s taillights rounded the corner and was swallowed up by the darkness.  THUMP THUMP THUMP.  I was there, alone in the darkness, and I could feel the anxiety building in my chest….wait, let me back up.

After missing my first scheduled run I decided there was no way I was going to let another runless day pass me by.  Work got in my way again, so I just couldn’t get the run in during lunch.  Tonight was going to be our swim day so I knew I didn’t want to miss that either.  My wife and I ended up driving together for the swim.

I decided to bring my running gear.  I had mapped out the spot on the way home that was 3 miles away.  I figured my wife could drop me off after swim and I would just run home.  No problem.  So after our swim, I showered, got in my running clothes, and got ready to run.  We drove to the three mile point, and I got out of the car.  It was night time and the car thermometer said it was 37F.  I got out of the car in a nice residential area, and my wife wished me luck.  This was more or less the point of no return.  She was headed home to relieve the babysitter.  Without a sitter I was going to be on my own to get home, one way or the other.

I started running, and my wife pulled away.  As she pulled off the light from the car gave way to complete darkness.  I couldn’t see the moon in the sky, and there were no street lights.  As she turned the corner up ahead my heart sunk.  I was anxious and afraid.  It didn’t make sense to me to feel that way, but I did none the less.  It was so dark that I couldn’t see the street.  There was no sidewalk so I ran in the middle of the street in order to avoid gutters and potholes.

The night was still and calm.  Once I settled my nerves I looked into the sky and stared at the stars.  The night was perfect for running.  Cold but clear.  I ran looking for landmarks.  I have driven along this road for years, so I searched out, anticipating the landmarks.  Every once in a while I would hear a car approaching and I would move over to the side of the road to enjoy the little moments of light that the headlights would provide me.  Once in a while I would come across a street light which provided me with an oasis from the deserted blackness of the night.

As I reached the half way point I realized that I hadn’t been taxing myself too badly.  I was keeping a 10 minute/mile pace.  I actually felt good.  The rest of the run was pretty normal.  I made it home wih a pace of 10:17.  I’m not winning any races, but this was also only my second run at this distance.

A couple of notes.

  • I caught myself slowing down from time to time as my mind wandered.  I would pick up the pace at that point but I think I will have to work on keeping the pace up even when I lose focus.
  • I also noticed that it was hard for me to go any faster, I just didn’t feel coordinated enough to pick up the cadence, I think it will take some practice.
  • I also noticed that I seem to be landing mid foot naturally. This should help with my Pose Running which I hope to begin soon.
  • Lastly, when I got home I did a good stretch, I started to feel my hamstring tighten up and decided that I should try an ice bath.  I didn’t have ice, but since my tap water must run through a glacier on the way to my house it was plenty cold on its own.  OMG the water was sooo cold.  I left my shirt on, and after a few minutes I went numb enough to not feel the cold.  When I got out my legs felt fresh and light.  I think this is the way to go after long runs (ok 5K is long for me, so what?)

Weather Wear

Temp: 38 Degrees

Wind: low

Gear: Layer 8 pants, Layer 8 Shirt

Note: I felt good, however my butt was a little cold.  I think it was because I was wearing cotton underwear which held onto the sweat.  I have some underwear made of technical fabric to try next time.