Night time can take on many different identities for me, depending on the day of the week. Usually, it takes on a sort of frantic quality as I desperately try to:
1) Relax and recharge from another crazy day at work
2) Prepare myself for the next day – make breakfast and lunch, lay out clothes, etc.
3) Get in my self improvement activities, like exercising and reading.
Throw in any “adult” activities that need to be done (grocery shopping, paying bills), and most days I’m looking at a pretty full night schedule.
Since I started running in mid-November, I’ve basically had to do my running in the dark once I get home from work. At first I was really nervous. I always brought along pepper spray, and sometimes even a pocket knife. I also called my fiance and told him that if I didn’t call or text him that I was back by a certain time, he needed to call me and check in.
It was a little exhausting, honestly.
After I got more comfortable with my route, I became less and less fearful. I started looking forward to running at night, and now I actually prefer it to running during the day.
Mostly, I love the solitude.
I’m surrounded by darkness, which makes all the hustle and bustle seem so far away. Even though I run next to a pretty busy road, I still feel a little separated. It gives me a little room to think, and I can finally separate myself from that incessant dialogue of what needs to be done and what I didn’t get done.
The other thing that’s fantastic about running at night is that I get to see the stars.
Whenever I visit my fiance’s family, I try to get outside at least once to take in the full view of stars from their driveway. Since they live about 30 minutes from the nearest town, the light pollution is minimal and it feels like you can see every tiny pinprick of light in the sky.
One thing I always noticed was that in the winter, Orion sits right above their house. I don’t get to see his family as often as I like, but when I run my path always takes me straight towards Orion. So in a way I can pretend like I’m running towards my second home.
Since spring is on its way, I’m going to lose these little pieces of peace I get by running in the dark, at least for a while. The sun is slowly encouraging on my private time on the road. But maybe every once in a while I’ll pop out a little later than normal to recapture a bit of that solitude, as I run (slowly) beneath the stars.