Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Annual Night Running Post

Now that it's dark early, it's time for my annual post on night running. As most of you are aware, except for my Saturday long runs, I run in the evening. Luckily, most of my runs are on trails (paved), so I don't have to deal with automobile traffic. But there is a heavy mix of runners, walkers, cyclists, and even equestrians on many of the trails that I run. I've already been a statistic (remember my cycling acident?), and since I have no desire to repeat that episode, I gear up to be seen. Just as important to me is seeing where I'm putting my feet. I don't want to step in a pothole or trip over a crack in the asphalt (a tribute to my lack of athletic ability). Also, remember that equestrians use the trails. And folks walking their dogs.

So, here is how I geek up for a run. First, I will always try to wear a light colored (white) shirt. When it gets colder, I will actually wear a flourescent yellow long sleeve number. Pretty sexy. Then, over whatever I wear comes my reflective vest. Any cyclist with a light should be able to see this. And B.o.B. - you think your shoes smell? You should catch a whiff of this bad boy after a couple or three days of running:

That's not the end of it though. My biggest fear is getting mowed over by a cyclist who is either (a) sans light (yes - I see it all the time), (b) not paying attention, or (c) both. So, I also have this cutesy red blinking light that I clip on:

That pretty much takes care of the "being seen" part. Now for the "seeing" part. I am atually pretty amazed by the number of runners I see with a weak azz led headlamp or no light at all. Seriously folks - how are those going to help you see? Me? I solved the problem with a trip to (yes Meg) REI, where I picked up this headlamp:

It has a couple of lighiting options - 4 LED bulbs that put out a diffuse light (good enough for running at dusk or by a full moon), or a 3 watt halogen bulb that puts out a 100 meter beam bright enough to wak up the roosters. I've had this guy for over a year now and still have not had to replace batteries (3 AA). It *is* a little bulky, but it fits nicely over my running cap (which I wear just to wick perspiration), and provides all the light I'll ever need. I just need to be careful that I don't blind oncoming cyclists.
Here it is in LED mode:

And then, when I need the light of day, I can put it in halogen mode (note the placement of the cutesy blinker):

So there you go. All geeked out for the Vampire Club and read to put in some miles.
Speaking of miles, last night was track night with Cal Coast. After cutting my workouts short the last two sessions, I was determined to finish. The workout on tap was 4 X 800. Much nicer than the 1200s that we had been running the past couple of weeks. I finished all four and actually aired out my first interval:

Interval 1: 3:30 (Yes - really. Pulled out the stops)
Interval 2: 4:15 (Paid for interval 1)
Interval 3: 4:11 (Still sucking wind from interval 1)
Interval 4: 4:20 (Who the hell cares at this point?!?!)

Bottom line is I was pretty satisfied with my workout last night. I ended up in VO2Max range (HR > 90% of max) for about 8 minutes. And, after adding warm ups and cool downs I put in a total of 5 miles.

Tonight I'll get geeked up for 5 miles somewhere. Sigh. Probably after dark....


  1. Wow. With all that "bling" (Blink? Glow? Shine?) I might be able to see you from here! Awesome gear! Run safe!

  2. Nice! I have a blinking blue light that's cute & fun. :) But I need to get myself a reflective vest!

  3. Your certainly well prepared. Just watch what you step in.

  4. This post reminds me that I have to get a reflective vest... and a track work out!

  5. I had to wear all that crap for my night leg of the Wild West Relay. I felt like a fool and bogged down like no other. :( It would be extremely helpful and safe though...

  6. I have a reflective vest too. Works like a charm. It can be a little crazy out there in the dark. You never know what you are going to run upon.

  7. Wow! you are way more geared up than I am. I need to get with the program! :)

  8. Yes, you were right, that is ONE BIG headlamp...HUGE! Can you use it to do construction work at night too??!
    Way to stay safe!

  9. haha geeked out! So funny glenn- you made me laugh! I worry that my headlamp isnt bright enough. I can see ahead of me pretty well and its an LED and when i shine it in my eyes i get blinded so i think im ok...??

  10. I definitely have the long O sound when I talk like the crazy Minnesoooootans. Especially when I say South dakooooota for some reason. :p My next race is the Dallas White Rock 1/2 Dec. 13th....although I seem to have done something to my foot so I might be taking the next week-2 weeks off.

  11. so i have always thought headlights were super dorky... but i think i might break down and get one this year. it's way more important to be seen than to look cool (when no one can see you) :)