Truth! Confessions of a Runner

Happy Friday!!  Who isn’t psyched for the weekend?  I’m looking forward to some down time for sure!  So last night my normal 45 minute commute home took twice as long.  It threw off my plan to take a Bosu class at my gym.  I could have walked to the gym  and done a workout or I could have taken the night off and hung out at home or I could have gone for a run.  I really just wanted to put on some comfy clothes and relax but felt like I really needed to go for a run.

Here’s the truth.  I’ve been avoiding running during the week lately.  I have no problem running on the weekends in the sunshine and daylight, I just am not loving the darkness.  Truth is it scares me.  I have visions of someone jumping out from behind a tree or attacking me or the sound of footsteps pounding behind me and freaking me out.  I just don’t really like it.

So I’ve been telling myself it’s ok that I don’t run during the week and that the gym is enough of a workout.  But the reality is I’m lying to myself.  With the Boston Marathon in April I’m going to have to run in the dark.  And this week Team in Training started their training plan.  And while I’m not starting yet because the idea of a 22 week training plan makes me want to scream I do need to be running regularly.  I’ll start my plan in January for a total of 16 weeks just like I did for Chicago.

This week I faced my fears and really got fundraising for Team in Training.  I created a fundraising plan, teamed up with a couple other girls doing Team in Training to plan a fundraising party and have been planning a fundraiser for this blog.  I’ve been calling companies asking for raffle donations and I’ve been emailing friends, families and co-workers asking for donations as well.  It’s a lot of work but it’s slowly paying off.  Every now and then I get an email from someone reminding me why I am running.  Like my co-worker who told me I am one of the most interesting and dynamic people he has met since joining the company and commends my efforts to run a marathon and raise money for such a great cause and would be happy to support me.  Or the donations I’ve received from friends and family to support me.  It’s a challenge but it’s so worth it.

Since I’m feeling better about fundraising I figured today was probably as good as any to get out and run in the dark.  I dressed in layers because it was pretty cold out, laced up my shoes and hit the pavement.

Lots of Layers!

My original plan was to run the first mile in the park and then run the next two through the city streets because it’s well-lit. Once I get into the park I realized it wasn’t so bad.  It was well-lit and there were quite a few other runners out there!   And the best part?  It was nice and quiet.    I ended up doing my whole 3 mile loop!!  It wasn’t my fastest 3.5 miles ever but that wasn’t the point!

Garmin Results

I did promise myself a training present at about mile 1.5 and will be getting a bright neon colored vest so that cars and bikers can see me.  Plus it makes me feel safer.

Brooks Essential Run Vest

So I faced my fear and ran in the dark.  It wasn’t so bad.  I’ll be honest, I don’t think it’s the dark that really scared me.  I think it is really training for the Boston Marathon in the dark, and the cold and the snow that scares me.  And having to fundraise $4000 by January 31st.  Running this marathon for Team in Training is certainly a personal challenge.  I love seeing myself grow and pushing myself to new levels.  This is just one more experience of that and it’s so worth it!

There’s my truth for you all.  I’ve been nervous and scared about fundraising.  And I’ve been freaking out about training for a marathon in the dark and in the New England winter.  It’s so much easier to train in the summer when it’s light out in the morning and bright until after 7pm.  I guess it wouldn’t really be the Boston Marathon if it was easy.

What are your tips for running in the dark?  Have you ran the Boston Marathon before?  Do you have advice for training though the winter? What are you up to this weekend?


5 thoughts on “Truth! Confessions of a Runner

  1. Running in Mommyland says:

    I was looking at that vest too. Now that it’s darker in the morning, I feel like I need it. I get jumpy running in the dark Not my favorite thing…


  2. My perfectly imbalanced life says:

    Running in the dark used to scare me so much; I had an experience of walking in the dark one night in a local park and a huge HUGE dog (I’m talking up to my belly button when on all-fours) came sprinting towards me, barking and growling. I remember thanking the man in the sky for my life and simultaneously hating him for killing me at this moment.
    Obviously I didn’t die, though.
    It took me a while, but I just got used to running in the dark; it’s unsettling sometimes because I run in a park and people with really vicious dogs are usually walked off the lead when nobody else is around … and dogs always like sprinting up towards me and trying to make friends and/or eat me. I just remind myself that I’M the one running, and if something comes near me; well dammit, lets hope I’ll be fit enough by then to outrun them! Good luck with your marathon!


  3. Amara Poolswasdi says:

    I try to avoid running in the dark in the evenings. For me, it’s easier to run in the dark in the morning since I know the sun will be rising during my run, whereas at night there’s no light guaranteed.

    I remember when I had to do my 20-miler for my marathon training program…the only time I could fit it in was in the evening, so I ended up just doing the miles on a treadmill at the gym. It was difficult but I think the alternative is worse.

    Sometimes when I have to go, I’ll wear some RoadID reflective wrist bands, bright colors, and reflective armbands. I should probably get some things that actually flicker and light up.


  4. Courtney says:

    great job for going out and running! I am too whimpy to do dark runs also but I love in the country so I just cant handle it, too many trees for scary people to jump out of 🙂 I plan to start running in the morning since it is light out so early. you will do awesome on your fundraiser!


  5. niki b says:

    You’ll rock the fundraising! Its amazing how scary & hard it is but also how it all seems to fall in place. I am in the same boat for running in the dark. Maybe not so much the dark – but the cold. And now that my schedule is more full, running in the mornings. My winter running will be on a treadmill (ugh) with long weekend runs outside. Its the only way for me to stay motivated & warm! Good luck!!


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