Thursday, 21 January 2016

Running In The Dark

This evening's run was a toughie, and not the most pleasant run I have ever had. It was one of those times that I just did not want to leave the house, and even as I was lacing my running shoes my mind was trying to find a way out of running.

"Maybe I could run tomorrow. Maybe I should take another rest day. I think it's too cold. I need to do other things. The house needs tidied. My headphones aren't charged. It's too dark. It's too late. I'm really tired. I will hit rush hour traffic. There's a beer in the fridge...."

But somewhere in the middle of all these excuses was a little voice telling me it's less than nine weeks until the Larne Half Marathon. And I'm unfit. And I need to lose weight. And I need to rack up some miles. And I will regret not going out. And it will be fine when I get out the door and start running.

And so I laced up my shoes, layered up and drove to the secluded, quiet towpath, away from all the rush hour traffic. I was out the door. I was doing this.

Time for a run Tubs.

By the time I got to my starting part in was beginning to get pretty dark. The light just seemed to disappear in a matter of minutes, although the rain had stopped which was a bit of a bonus. I started a slow run with the aim of running four miles.

The towpath beginning to get dark. 

I'd tried to go for a run here a few weeks ago with my cousin but we had to turn back because of the floods making it impassable. There were a few parts tonight where I was running with water on either side of me. It felt quite strange, like something out of a movie. Just this one narrow running path surrounded by water.

I was running with water on either side of me at this point... Pretty cool. 

At the 2 mile mark I turned around and headed back to the car. I was immediately hit by strong winds which I hadn't noticed on the way out. Running instantly became harder, and I also noticed just how dark it had got. There was no one around, and as I didn't have headphones I kept hearing trees creaking in the wind. It was beginning to become quite eerie.

Even though I'm a grown man, my imagination started getting a little paranoid. What was that up ahead? If sea monsters exist, do flooded river monsters exist? How many people have actually been killed by ghosts? And possibly more likely, are there rats around here?

I ran through a wooded area and past an old locksmiths house that was built in the 18th century. If I was going to get attacked by ghosts, they'd probably be lurking around here somewhere. Funnily enough it was at this point that my Garmin beeped to let me know I was running ahead of pace. To be honest, I wasn't for slowing down.

I got through the trees and was onto the final straight when I noticed this bright shining light behind me. It was a bright, bright light. And it was gaining on me very gradually. I picked up the pace, while looking over my shoulder ever few paces. I couldn't make out what it was. It got brighter and brighter, and closer and closer. With no sound.

By the time the man on his bicycle (with a very strong torch) passed me I was at a frantic sprint. Which thankfully brought me to the end of my four mile run. Unharmed by flooded river monsters, bright lights or 18th century locksmith ghosts.

The Blair Witch Project pose. 

So after getting my breath back, and my heartbeat started to make it's way down to normal, I sat in the car for a while reflecting on the run. No I didn't want to do it, but it was four miles added to my half marathon training. It was calories burned, which hopefully means some weight will be coming off soon. I even managed a sprint finish..

And as much as I hated parts of the run, overall I actually enjoyed it.

James

Do you get freaked out on dark runs? Have you ever seen a flooded river monster?



7 comments:

  1. I would have been so terrified on that run! Good for you for getting out there to run - be safe! :)

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    1. I think I'll take the dog with me next time to keep me safe.... He should scare off any ghosts or monsters..

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  2. haha spooky looking run! But it looks like a fun adventure!! Way to go! Have a great night!!!

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  3. I think one of my fastest miles ever was in a park after the sun went down, it can be a great motivator but I realized I was also still afraid of the dark as an adult. Ha!

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    1. Yeah, I don't know if I'll ever not be secretly afraid of the dark.. They should have world record attempts in dark parks...:)

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  4. You are soooooooooooooo much braver than me, I would've been scared to death!! Well done on another awesome run.

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    1. I think I'll be going for earlier runs from now on lol. Although it does help with speed training ;)

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