I have however managed to stay on track with all of my long runs. Yesterday was no exception. Unfortunately my long run partner is up north celebrating her new marriage so I had to set out and do 16 miles all by myself. As luck would have it, it was very humid yesterday as well.
I left the house around 6pm and knew that I wouldn't be back until after dark so for the first time since last winter, I packed my pepper spray. I also packed two Honey Stinger waffles, Endurolytes, and cash to buy cold water from a gas station around mile 10.
I started off doing a loop around the area I live in. It went easily and surprisingly I was breathing just fine. I did start slow though and kept my pace pretty slow the entire run. Had I worn a heart monitor I doubt my heart rate would have went over 170 at any time other than hills. Once I went around the city and ventured more out into the country. There is a great trail out there that I love running because you get a really nice cool breeze that feels amazing.
|Cool fog going over the trail.|
Everything was going according to plan and I felt good. At 10 miles I went to the gas station and bought cold water and off I went to finish up the run. At this point it was dark out and I was sort of in the middle of no where. I missed my running partner and the security I feel running with her. Then just like that I notice a man walking on the trail ahead of me. He was in his 20's and sort of walking slowly. Not like he was out for a good walk on the trail. I grabbed my pepper spray and as much as I didn't want to, I slowed to his slow pace. I didn't want to pass him. I didn't want him at my back. I walked quietly and just stayed behind him, hoping he wouldn't see me. Just as he was going to cross the street, he turned around randomly and I actually thought he was going to turn around and come back the way I was. Thankfully he didn't though and he crossed the street and kept going on the path. This made me make the decision to abort the trail and find another way home. It was too dark on the trail and I just didn't feel safe. It all worked out but that slow walking really ruined my mojo. I never felt like I had it after that.
The last few miles were rough. My legs were sore and I just wanted to be in the security of my home again. Finally I made it home with a new PR on distance.
Today I am still sore so I'm hoping to get out for a bike ride so loosen up my legs a bit. The weather is nice so it should be a good ride.
Do you run by yourself at night or early morning when the sun isn't out?
Do you carry pepper spray?