If you have kids, planning a running schedule is tricky. Many days I run either before the sun comes up or long after it sets. I try to be as careful as I possibly can because I know I have 4 very important people that count on me and if I get hit by a car it would really hurt- ha!
USUALLY I try to run on the sidewalks BUT lately I have become a bit less "rule follower" and a bit more adventurous. My first run on Lorainne road I was scared to death. You are supposed to run against traffic in the bike lane which in theory works so you can see all the cars coming at you. With all the technology and people texting while driving...this is SCARY!!! I run as close to the side as I possibly can, and I have noticed that the women drivers are usually the ones who almost hit me (even when they can move to the other lane!!)
So after practicing this (for Ragnar) I decided to take a nice 9 mile run and practice running on the street, using my flasher things...you know all the things that I should already be doing when running close to dusk.
I headed out onto Lorainne (busy road around 5 p.m.) and as I started running against traffic -my headphones broke and I could only hear every other word. I was only a mile into my run but I kept going. My body knows my pace by now so I was trying to just coast- while cars came flying by. I don't know what is so difficult on a 4 lane road to move over if you see someone running/biking. I think maybe some of the people just want to take some perverse pleasure in scaring me but I did make it down the road without being struck by a car.
At this 3 mile mark I turned into the Lakewood Ranch Country Club for the next what I "thought" was 3 miles (turned out to be 5, just around the loop). I was kinda getting used to hearing the music through what sounded like water and I got A LOT of dirty looks as cars passed by. When I realized that this loop was much further than I thought- oh no! but I had fueled pretty good yesterday and I was feeling really good.
About mile 7, I realized that the sun had gone down and I needed to turn on my flasher things. The funny part about them is that they never flash at the same time so I look a bit like a police car with my blue and red lights flashing. This is also about the time that the sprinklers in Lakewood Ranch decide to turn on- UGH!! At mile 8 I was now done with my loop and time to get back onto Lorainne for the run back home.
It was completely dark now and the streetlights are not very close together. My own shaddow scared me a few times (I have seen too many movies where people jump out of the bushes). Thank goodness there weren't as many cars by this point driving down Lorainne because even with my flashing lights I don't think I am easy to see and the sidewalk really wasn't an option unless I wanted to smell like the sewer and get my beautiful orange Newton's all wet. (Priorities People!!)
I did not follower runner ettiquitte on Greenbrook Blvd as I ran with traffic (it was only a mile!!)
When I was done though I had a renewed sense of confidence in knowing that not only will I be able to run the distances I have to for Ragnar but I will be able to do it with a cool and calm head becuase I can run in the dark :)
Tonight it the Jingle Bell 5K with Ashley :) Stay tuned because I'm sure that post is going to be pretty funny!