I just read a quote from Scott Jurek – distance runner extraordinaire and all around good guy –
“The mental toughness of training through winter is indispensable…”
He wrote an article for competitor.com about his winter training. I have to say that I absolutely agree, although maybe for some different – not so epic sounding reasons! I unfortunately have to spend most of the daylight hours during winter working, behind a desk, in front of a computer screen – not epically charging down snow mobile tracks! The daylight hours seem so short during the winter and combined with icy winds, hurdling snow banks at intersections and cold temperatures winter training can be challenging…or as Kacey, slight less eloquently put it “Winter training is a b*tch!” 😉 I am trying to sneak as much of my training as possible in during my lunch breaks – so that I can see the ice and snow and decrease the likelihood of slip and falls, but at some point I will have to brave some evening runs or take to the “dreadmill”!
Another very real hazard of nighttime running around these parts –regardless of the time of year – are car drivers. They are just not tuned into looking for pedestrians – especially pedestrians who may be mid speed session and charging up the sidewalk towards the intersection!
I recently read another great article about the science of how drivers scan intersections which offered some scientific reasons why drivers may really not see you (as opposed to not looking!) One of their recommendations was any kind of flashy light to attract the brains attention during “scanning”.
I found these nifty light weight supernova lights which have clips on them from Road ID, and I really like them. I clip mine the laces of my non-ID’ed foot and that way it stays moving as long as I am running. It doesn’t really light your way, but also doesn’t destroy your “night vision” either. I have received lots of comments from bystanders, other runners etc. including the guys smoking outside the UAW bar who said “your light is on, babe.” I think they were pretty proud of their wit, but I just replied “isn’t it great!” I figure if they are entertained by it at least they are seeing it and me coming and maybe the car drivers will too!
All in all, I try to take a defensive position when running at night – or during the day for that matter – and assume that the driver hasn’t seen you and is about to turn right into your path but hopefully “this little light of mine” helps a little!