I have a confession. You’d think with all the trail running I’ve done, that I would’ve gone running on the trails in the dark with a headlamp, right?
I haven’t. Well, until last night that is.
To be honest, I’ve been avoiding this day. It actually terrifies me to think about running in the woods, in the dark, relying on batteries and a headlamp to light my way. If you know me, you know that technology and gadgets are not really my friends. I break cameras, phones, PVR’s, basically anything that has batteries or power, I kill.
While I’ve been avoiding this next step into being more hardcore, I kind of signed up for a race where I’m going to need to run in the dark. For probably a couple hours. Ooops.
And I also started leading the 5Peaks Ladies of the Trails runs on Tuesday evenings, and realized last week, that it’s getting dark before we are finishing and we need to have headlamps! Well, what kind of leader would I be having never run with one?? Probably pretty irresponsible…
So, what’s a girl to do?? Time to face some fears…
We started off last night while it was still light out, and it was a calming sensation running through the woods as the sun went down. It was getting chilly, and I was glad to have purchased a thin long sleeve just minutes before at the Salomon Sample Sale **note IF you are a shoe size 7 womens or size 9 mens this sale is worth checking out!!**
Anyways, I’ll admit it, I was super nervous for this run, and kept wondering when I should put my light on. I could still see, but would it help, or make it worse?? The headlamp wasn’t uncomfortable on my head, just different.
We stuck to fairly non-technical trails (a couple loops of Rice Lake), and my brain was scattered the entire time.
Here’s just a few of the thoughts :
- This is crazy!!! I can’t believe I’m doing this.
- Oh no, I can’t see Mariah ahead of me anymore, and James dropped too far back, I’m on MY.OWN.IN.THE.DARK. Holy shit.
- I’m scared. It’s too quiet.
- Didn’t Gemma see an owl here? Eeeeek.
- OMG this is awesome!!!
- Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Who knew it was this much fun!
- Oh whoa, this gets even cooler the darker it gets.
- Pretty moon!
- Wow, this lake is gorgeous.
- Oh wait, we’ve already gone around once?? I’m so confused.
- Add this to the never thought I’d do list
- Add this to the never thought I’d enjoy list!!!
- Whoaaaa the light makes it easier to feel dizzy.
- I’m hungry. Should’ve had dinner first. Next time earlier or later run, this time doesn’t work for me.
- The girls are going to have so much fun doing this! We’re going to have to make a buddy policy though.
- This is INSANE!!!
- Why is no one else out here?? It’s such a nice night…
- Ok, I’m still hungry, feeling faint, time to quit.
- Whoa, that was crazy.
As you can see, I was alllllll over the map. It was a completely new and different experience, and I wasn’t expecting it to be SO different. I was completely out to lunch in knowing where I was, when I normally am super good on the trails, and knowing where I’m at. Towards the end of the run, the headlamp was starting to bug me a little bit, a little tight on the sides of my head, but overall, it was more comfortable, and way less annoying than I ever expected.
Now I can see why people don’t mind and sometimes even love running in the dark. It was a surreal experience, and instead of finding myself lost in my thoughts, I was lost in the moment, in the new sensations.
I’m excited to try more nighttime running, especially with the ladies group. But, I will say, that I definitely need to make sure of my food intake before, because I think with the wavering light, that it’s way easier to feel light headed and dizzy.
Have you done any nighttime trail running??
Any tips for a newbie like me??