On Wednesday night I ran a short winter night race over the trails of a park near my house. Trail running in the winter at night is a joyful combination of the usual dexterity and concentration games trails require with the added layers of bone-deep cold and the fact that at some point, I always find myself high-stepping over an unknown surface and just hoping for the best.
Friends and family tend wonder why anyone would ever do something like this. The honest answer is, I’m not sure. But, running has become part of my identity. Once you think of yourself as a “runner” (and if you do on a regular basis, you are) you may begin to seek out new ways to develop or feed that identity. Just like readers crave new books or artists want to experiment with new mediums, eventually a runner may need to experiment with new ways of running. Or not.
Anyway, I wasn’t alone out there. There were 600 other people running in front of and behind me. So at least I had company.
A word about gear, if you are considering night runs, especially in the winter. You will need lots of it. Trail shoes, spikes or some other kind of extra traction, layers of sweat-wicking clothing, a headlamp, reflective gear…it adds up. I would recommend escalating slowly over the course of the season, adding gear as you go, so you don’t suddenly have to drop a mortgage payment at your local running shop.
Miles: 12 on treadmill, 11 on trails or road
Weight: down one pound!