Tag Archives: Night running

Thoughts on night-running gear

Lots of things to say, but if been struggling to find the time to catch up on blogging. I have been wasting my time living life instead of writing about it!

It’s been cold and dark and cold and cold while I’ve been doing my runs lately, so it struck me just how much gear I need to actually carry to get through a run.

A typical night run sees me carrying at least the following stuff with me

  • A tiny tadpole-shape bike light that I hold in the palm of my hand, the loop around one finger to keep it handy. One click turns on a super-bright LED and another click sets it flashing. I use this to illuminate dark spots on the path or to flash when I feel there is dangerous traffic around / unlit spots on the road and I want to be seen.
  • A flashing LED armband that I bought recently to help prevent me being run over…so far so good. I have 2 – I bought them both at Kathmandu for around $40 (50% off sale!) These are lightweight and seem quite durable. They have a steady light or a flash – I use both, but haven’t really found it makes much difference to the frequency of my ‘not getting run over’. I somehow doubt I would have paid $40 for one if it hadn’t been on sale, but I guess you can’t put a price on being alive at the end of a run.
  • Running gloves – thick, with textured fingers for operating the iPod and a zipper for valuables. These are life savers! I doubt maybe of my early morning runs would be possible without something on the hands.
  • A fleecy hoodie. Sometimes I wonder if wearing a hoodie at night scares people. I wonder if they see I am a woman on a run, or think I am a hoodlum with a gun and a bag of drugs. Obviously been watching too much The Wire.
  • Polar heart rate monitor. I did the fitness test lately and it told me I am ‘elite’. Love it when a machine pays you a compliment.
  • A handheld drink bottle. Not that I often let myself sip from it while running, but just in case. But public water-fountains are usually dodgy – even in the daylight when you can make an informed choice about whether you’re going to get the bubonic plague from bending over next to one.
  • Tissues. I hate admitting this one. Its just … in … case I need to stop at a public rest room.
  • iPod with Nike+ and tunes… My sister gave me a CD she won – Ministry of Sound RUnning Trax. As she told me, “It starts out fine, and then suddenly you are a roid-head in the middle of a rave”. The music is so empty, high-energy and a hellava lotta fun. There is the song that repeats “I’m sexy and I know it” ad nauseum, offering proof of sexiness such such as “no shirt no shoes I still get service”. It’s silly and fun.
  • A healthy fear of people walking big dogs in the dark. Dogs can be a random element even in the daylight, but at night there is no way to gauge how friendly or aggressive they are going to be – best to give them a wide berth. Also handy is fear of cars. And cyclists. And drunk-walkers and men in general. And remote spaces. I was making a habit of running through a secluded parkland at one point until it struck me that I was just making myself a target. I stick to the paths, the (mostly) lighted, suburban streets and run to and from the spots where other people likely to be found.

I love night running. I’m about to go out again tonight. Last time I went out (was it Monday?) I went a new route and popped over to an adjacent suburb that I’ve never run to before. This one is on a slight hill. The turn-around point offered a glittering view of lights in the valley below. Roads and houses and the train line all lit up under a cloudy horizon. Not many people bother to get out and just glimpse that view. Even fewer see it in the adrenaline-flush of physical exertion. That view – just for me and the old man limping out of the RSL club on his way home after 2 beers. I managed to overtake him… just.