View Full Version : How many of you run in the dark?
10-11-2001, 06:34 AM
Just curious to see if there were any runners out there who routinely exercised in either dark morning or nighttime hours. I've been thinking about switching my runs to the early morning, around 5:00 a.m., which would probably be ideal for me since I'm such a irrepressible morning person. But it's pitch black outside! I can't tell whether I'd feel uncomfortable, i.e. unsafe. Right now, I run along a bike path that runs adjacent to 2 major roads, and a river. So I'm not really offroad, and am in an urban area (Harvard Square/Cambridge/Boston locale). I suppose I should just go outside one morning, and see if there are other people out there running too. There's certainly some traffic that early, which I guess is comforting.
10-11-2001, 07:17 AM
Me, me, me! :D
I run at 6:00 a.m., and while it's not pitch black, it's usually pretty dark.
Oddly enough, I wouldn't run at night in the dark, because I just don't feel as safe. I do live in a really good part of town, though, and I run in neighborhoods, so I don't ever feel at risk.
10-11-2001, 07:17 AM
I used to run early (5:30am-6:00 am) through the Harvard Square/Porter Square area of Cambridge. I never had any problems - but after awhile I started getting spooked about the dark corners and stopped doing it. I think I'd be REALLY careful about running along the Charles river path-there have been a few incidents there-I don't think it would be particularly safe at 5 am. Recently, I've been running to the gym at about 5:40 am along a very busy street (for that time in the morning). Although I haven't had any problems-I have been a bit scared and have started taking the bus. I'd be careful-and know me route well-so if anything would happen I could easily get somewhere safe.
10-11-2001, 01:12 PM
I run at night after work (between 6 and 9 pm depending on how late I work) and it is frequently dark (especially in fall, winter, early spring). I prefer to run in daylight just because I think I feel more energetic when it is light out but I feel totally safe running the dark. I live in a real small, safe town where I've lived basically my whole life. I have been running/walking in the dark for years and never had a problem.
10-11-2001, 01:49 PM
I run in the morning, too, usually leaving the house between 6:00 and 6:20. This morning it was pitch black, and I must admit I'm a little jumpy. I usually see the same walkers/runners each morning, though, and that's a little comforting. Also, it only lasts about half the run, then the sun starts to come up, and I love experiencing so "up close and personal" the beginning of the day. I do feel bad for all of the kids I see out waiting for the school bus at that crazy hour! I don't remember getting up for school that early!
I'll be glad when daylight savings comes at the end of the month; hopefully it won't be so dark.
10-11-2001, 03:14 PM
I run/walk in the evenings just as darkness is falling - I feel less conspicous (SP?) this way...I know, I know, but I can't help it. Aside from making me feel invisible, I like to watch the changes in the sky and it helps me go faster trying to beat the darkness!!!
I started modifying my route as it got darker and now stay on residential streets close to home, no more main streets. I don't know why that makes me feel better but it does. I started delaying my starting time from 6 am and am now at 6:30, but it isn't getting light until about 6:45 or 6:50 now. If I delay my start any later, I'll be in trouble at work!
I did buy a pair of gloves and am considering a vest made of this cool material called 'illumiNITE' - they are black with a faint grey pattern that turns bright white when headlights are shone at them (and of course, they are wicking). I got them at Runner's World, a running store in Canada and recently in St. Paul, I think. They are logo'd Running Room, but the 'illumiNITE' tag is inside with a phone number 1-800-IREFLECT, if anyone is interested. I am very new to this high tech stuff (and quite impressionable) so maybe this is hold hat to some of you.
10-12-2001, 05:52 PM
Very interesting thread...
DD (age 16) is a new runner, and she likes to go out in the morning before school. It's still dark. We live in a nice neighborhood in a small, quiet town... and I always felt it was totally safe... but DH has expressed some worry about her being out alone before it gets light.
I always poo-poo'ed his fears, but just two nights ago several cars and homes in our area (one right across the street!) were burglarized!!! This is something so NEW and so FOREIGN to me... and it has really shaken me up!
I don't know if I'm overreacting or not... but I just don't want DD out there alone in the dark anymore! :confused:
10-15-2001, 04:52 AM
I would highly suggest pepper spray for you other night/early am runners. Let's face it--it's not a safe world. I was on ebay last night and someone was advertising runner's pepper spray for $3.99.
That said--I will soon be having to run in the dark as well--dh has been leaving so early for work I can't go in the am and he doesn't get home until dark so unless I plan on being a slug--I'll be getting a reflective vest and running at night too!
10-15-2001, 08:20 AM
Pepper spray, or if you have a dog, take him with! Highly unlikely anyone will bother you if you're with a dog..... and your dog will LOVE you for the chance to be out.
10-15-2001, 12:55 PM
Excellent suggestion, Grace! In fact, we had even briefly discussed getting a dog for this very reason! BUT... we really don't feel like we want to take on the responsibilties of pethood :) at this time.
SOOOOOOO... we got a TREADMILL instead!!! Really! DD loves it, and so do I. She can run on the treadmill when it's dark out, and run outdoors when her schedule allows.
BTW, I think the pepper spray is a good idea. I might look into that, too.
I absolutely HATE how fearful I am becoming. :(
10-15-2001, 02:12 PM
I run in the mornings - about 5:30. It's definitely dark this time of year and we haven't even ended daylight savings. Just moved to a new neighborhood and there are no sidewalks. I'm not scared of being attacked, but of cars. I do have a reflective vest, but I think I'll look at what else there is for runners. I also need to make something for my golden to wear.
I, personally, am not concerned about running by myself in the mornings in my neighborhood. Most days I do have my dog with me, but sometimes I don't. Perhaps if I were running at night, I'd feel differently. I just don't think that generally speaking, runners are targets for being attacked. It's known that we don't carry money or valuables. Stranger crimes are actually incredibly rare (some cities have their crime stats posted online). I keep my eyes and ears open, but its really only cars that I worry about. That's not to say I never worry about my personal safety. I take public transit to/from work and walk to the station. Where I used to live I'd walk on an isolated bike path for a stretch - I was glad to move before it got dark before I leave work so I wouldn't have to re-route myself. But then I'm carrying my satchel, it's the end of a day when people are awake, etc.
10-15-2001, 05:27 PM
I'll have to look in to pepper spray. If not for safety, for the sake of not "lying" to my mother, who would FREAK if she knew I ran alone, in the dark, without pepper spray or the equivalent. However, I'll definitely have to see the contraptions first, since with my luck (and aptitude for disasters), I'll spray myself and be a really easy target.
Quite true about dogs. I used to run all the time in the dark when I was in school and lived at home with my parents and "the dogs". Nobody messes with a girl and 2 great danes!:D
10-16-2001, 05:00 AM
I believe the most (attacker-hiding-rapist/assault) attacks occur between 2 AM and 7 AM. At least that's what they reported on the news during a rash of attacks in Providence last fall.
It's easy to believe that boogie man's are out only during the night and that "day" is safe, but frankly dark is dark to a sick mind. That said--having grown up in the boondocks of NH where attacks like these are EXTREMELY rare I know how easy it is to believe that rare = never. Unfortunately a rapist is more concerned about opportunity and what better one than a lone woman who has the same schedule every day and no one else is around. While I think that a runner attacked for her valuables at 6 AM is unlikely at best---a rapist or other sicko is a whole other matter.
I am not saying these things to be negative or to make people afraid needlessly or even to sound like I believe these people are hiding under every rock---just that while routine to us breeds comfort and an illusion of safety, it represents a target to someone else. Don't be afraid--be aware and vigilant!
10-18-2001, 11:31 AM
Definitely wear clothes that will let you be seen by motorists. I think the IllumiNite clothing is expensive. I got one of those vests with reflective tape on it. At first I felt like a big dork wearing it. But, whenever I'm driving and see runners or bikers without any lights or reflectors, it makes me furious. It's just so dangerous.
Another good thing to carry is a whistle. You can slip it into a pocket, and it's very light, but very, very loud and effective in scaring off anyone who's trying to mess with you.
The dog is also great (it's the only way DH will let me run in the dark :-) But...be sure your dog also has reflective wear so cars can see him. The make leashes with reflective tape. our dog also wears a blinky-light that are made for bikers.
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