run, rest, eat, bitch, buy things, cross-train, blog, repeat.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Danger in the Dark

Doesn't the title of this post sound like the title of an R.L. Stine novel? Do y'all remember him?
I read the hell out of some R.L. Stine when I was a pre-teen. That was before the days of the Goosebumps series, when he was putting out horror novel after horror novel with amazingly cheesy and awesome titles. Funny-I don't even like scary movies or books anymore. I guess I was a braver child than I am an adult.

So anyway, don't be alarmed by the title of the post and think that I was chased down by an axe murderer or haunted by the ghost of my great aunt, Myrtle. I'm just being mellow dramatic. (You're so surprised...I know.)

What it looks like when I run...Photo courtesy of Amy

The danger in the dark that I refer to is actually just that-the dark-and the fear of things that can happen when you run in the dark. Like getting hit by a car, tripping on something hidden in a huge pile of leaves, or tripping over the curb while trying to dodge those fallen branches and leaves. And let me tell you...our neighborhood has tons of trees and that makes for tons of leaves covering the sidewalk and street. Like I could probably jump anywhere and land softly and safely into the leaves. I'm not talking a pile that someone has raked up, I'm talking about any random place in the neighborhood. There is also the possibility of twisting my ankle by landing in a leaf-covered grate on the street. The dangers are endless, especially if you are clumsy like me.

It's dark during morning and evening runs, both, so the only daylight running I get is on the weekend. I run on the road, as opposed to the sidewalk, because it's better on my achy knees. And I try to be really cautious and watch for cars and stuff that has gathered up against the curb, but sometimes stuff happens, you know? I've yet to get hit by a car (knock on wood), but I do stumble quite a bit. To make the matters worse, because it's fall and all the leaves have fallen, I sometimes avoid them all together and run on the visible ground, which pretty much puts me in the middle of the road. In the dark. Yeeeeaaaah...that's not too safe.

I usually wear this jacket:

Which, as you can see, reflects light pretty well on the front, but I'm not sure it's enough. So my question to you is: Do you have a jacket that does a great job of alerting drivers of a runner up ahead?

What's the alternative? A neon jacket or flashing lights? Please! I have to maintain my cool factor. I have an image to uphold, you know.

My other issue (which has to do with Fall and not darkness) is these:
I don't know what they're really called...I've always called them gumballs. And these gumballs get stuck in my shoes. I guess nothing can really be done about this problem...I just felt like venting. So there. (I'd also like to take this time to bitch and vent about my camera that sucks and can't focus.)

In closing, please recommend a jacket for me to wear in the dark before something tragic happens and the ghost of April starts haunting YOU.


ECrunnergirl said...

Nancy Drew series was the one that gave us the creeps when I was a kid....oh leave the lights on!

I don't mind running in the dark but it does present its challenges..pot holes and yep, those dreaded leaf mysterious.

I use a's not the coolest but its highly reflective AND it has a blinking light on the front...not too flashy but enough to make a driver look twice. I actually had some guy complement me once on how "bright" I was on the road....and I don't think he was referring to my smarts :->

I dont know of too many jackets that are as reflective as the vest...maybe someone else out there has a good suggestion. Anyway, I bought my vest at

Good luck!!

Anonymous said...

I have a little blinky light I clip on the back of my shorts for any car that comes behind me. I run in the middle of the street too, but slightly on the side facing traffic. Because it's dark, I can usually see an oncoming car quite a while before it gets to me b/c of its headlights, so there's plenty of time to move slowly to the side w/o stepping on leaves. I can actually usually see a car coming behind me too b/c of the headlights.

johnking said...

Ahhhh I have fond memory of whizzing bright green gumballs at my friends during wars. Those things could sting, but after they get brown they are just useless. Running now during the week is horrible because unless you get off of work early, chances are a majority of your run will be in dawn or dusk. I just run nude, best way not to get hit.

Joe said...

this is totally off-topic, but someone sent this to me today and i thought of you two (esp amy):

RunnerMom said...

The military guys around her run in those lovely orange reflective vests. Safe, but not much of a fashion statement.

Amanda said...

I just found your blog, and yes I do remember R.L. Stine. I loved him,when we would have book fairs at school I would stock up on the scary R.L. Stine books..thanks for bringing it back:)