Running at night has never been something I like to engage in, despite my love of running. In fact, I think I have only done it once, and that was only to participate in a new experience: a 5K race in Galveston called the Galveston Sand Crab Night Run. It was right along the beach; I couldn’t resist that one because I love the beach so much!
Other than that one exception, night running has always struck me as dangerous on a few levels. A lone female on a dark road or trail would seem tempting for a predator. My vision is getting worse during the day, imagine the consequences at night. The terrain is a little difficult to navigate.
Stuff like that.
I won’t say that I haven’t been tempted at times, particularly during the heat of the Texas summer…times when the temperatures between 7AM and 7PM are pushing 40 degrees over my optimal. But, in those times when I was tempted the most, I continued to choose to not run rather than risk the danger of attack or injury.
That all changed on Saturday night when, out of pure frustration with my lackluster progress on my resolution during the past month and an overflow of pent up anxiety and stress that not even food and wine could resolve, I ran in late dusk.
I was pleasantly surprised at how it affected me.
As the conversion into dusk reduced the contrast of the images around me, I felt a calm come over me. I think it had something to do with a natural reduction in stimuli, or at least the lessening intensity of the stimuli. Because the stimuli were being muted, my brain naturally slowed down, even turned inward of its own accord.
The effect was similar to the lapse of time at night, after I turn out the lights and get into bed. The time in between when my head finally rests on my pillow and when I fall asleep. The lessening of stimuli, both visual and auditory, the focus inward, the flow of thoughts, emotions, sometimes an interchange with God on a level that transcends praying and becomes a full conversation.
Running for me has always been a solitary venture, even when I run a half marathon amid a crowd of thousands. The act of endurance running transports me to a place within myself where I think and know I can carry on, I can surmount that barrier, I can make it to that next road mark. Basically, my “I CAN DO IT AND SURVIVE” place. I think running at night succeeded in delivering me to that place faster and without as much effort on my part.
Will I do it again? Maybe. But, I am fairly set in my ways at this point, so I won’t count on it being a frequent repeat event. But, after having experienced it, I can say that I won’t be quite as reluctant as I have in the past to do it if I feel a need to.
With that said, it’s off for my run. Got some demons been chasing me badly today, so it’s time to hit the road and leave them in my dust.
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