Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Are you afraid of the dark?

As a 90's kid, I would say that I am definitely afraid of the dark because that TV show was seriously scary for a 3rd grader. Now that I am older, I wouldn't so much say that I am afraid of the dark, but running before the sun rises or after it sets has definitely solidified the fact that I am apparently afraid of everything else. Now, I have had some cases for legitimate concern if you have read about my craziest week ever, but it turns out that I may still have some residual fear from that week and other experiences. So what is there to be afraid of during a run in the dark, you ask? Everything. I will spare you a long list, and I will just explain the three most frequent frightening experiences for my runs in the dark.

Obviously SPIDER WEBS: I freaking hate running into spider webs. I am sure nobody enjoys it, but seriously? How can I hit every single one! I swear I hit all of them, but these don't help you when your are running. Fear can give you a pretty good jolt, like the time I almost got a bunny killed or almost got hit by a street sweeper! Those actually made me run faster after they scared the crap out of me, but not a spider web because you have to spend a minute or two standing there looking like a complete nut case trying to get the stupid thing off before you can start running again. You know what I'm talking about!

Privacy Fences: Ok, so maybe the actual privacy fence isn't all that scary, but what's on the other side sure can be! I was so startled by a small dog on the other side of a privacy fence last week that I actually shrieked a little out loud. The woman up the street watching her children play in the yard looked at me like I was crazy, but for some reason, when those little dogs rush up to a privacy fence barking when the sun is setting or has just set, it scares me more than usual. I guess it's just because you can't see them coming, but I have got to work on holding in the shrieks in the future to avoid looking crazy. It is very easy to zone out the world when I am running, but it is times like last week that I am reminded that people can see and hear me when I am running...it is easy to forget sometimes.

My hydration belt: It sounds strange at first, but I have been repeatedly scared by my hydration belt on a run in the dark...you could say that it has even happened more than once in a single run. How? Simple. Once about half of the water is gone, the sloshing of the water can tend to sound faintly like steps underneath the sound of your iPod. Seriously, I cannot tell you how many times my heart has skipped a beat and my feet have picked up pace because I suddenly thought that someone was running up right behind me when it was only my hydration belt.

But seriously, running the dark has it's perks, but there are also things to aware of. Be sure someone knows when you are headed out for a run in the dark, and a rough estimate of when you should be home if you aren't able to tell them where you'll be running. Even if you live alone, it is good to have a friend or family member you can at least text to let them know what's up. Don't forget that reflective gear or clothing is always a good choice in the dark, and make sure to run so that you are facing traffic to see what is coming towards you. Give a little extra time for cars to see you when crossing the road, and make sure not to play music so loudly that you won't hear someone or something coming up behind you. Run smart and stay safe!

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