Monday, August 27, 2012

Can I really do it?

This past week was hard on me.   Between Mike starting school, him working his regular full time job and me working my two jobs, I found it incredibly hard to get my scheduled runs in.    I need to figure all of this out because right now is not the time to be skipping runs.   I managed a whole 4 miles during the week.   I had planned the long midweek run but then I forgot Mike had to start school and had no way to get it done.   If it counts for anything, I did dance and Lish's wedding on Friday and so that has to count for something, right?  

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? 


5 comments:

  1. Yes, you can do it! :-)

    I have never worn pepper spray on a run (or anytime), and I generally run alone. When in Mpls, I never felt unsafe, but running alone in Vegas after dark seems a little scary. For now, I'm sticking to running during the day - despite the heat.

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  2. first...you GOT this training! you are doing the best you can and that is what counts! i have been so scared running in the dark lately being in a new place and having no idea whether its safe or not. i really need to invest in some pepper spray for some peace of mind! thus far i have stuck to busy well lit areas which arent the most ideal running areas but def are the safest! im glad you were safe! and accomplished an awesome PDR!

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  3. Great job on getting through the run!! I will agree that mileage was a rough one on my body as well. I only have 3 runs longer than that left on the schedule though so we need to just keep on trucking.

    Would have done the same thing with the creepy guy walking :)

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  4. I run in the morning and now that it is not getting light as early, it is causing me to keep pushing back my start time, and with a set start time for work, means a progressively shorter outing. I used to meet someone for my run last summer and this was never an issue, running with a partner made the pre-dawn less of a concern. I've been debating what I do. It is now to the point where I finish my run with street lights still on. Soon, there will be no light before I have to be home to get ready for work.

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  5. I go running around 5-5:30 in the morning, so now I am again running in the dark. I run in my neighborhood and with my German Shepherd mix, so I usually feel pretty safe. I always think you should trust your instincts. If that guy was giving you a funky feeling you did the best thing by changing your route.
    Great work on getting your run in and the new distance!

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