Death Race……122 days left, Night Running

30 03 2010

I set out this morning at 5:15 AM for a run.  It was a nice morning, about 1 C.  I was out at a fast pace and was excited to get some running in the dark time in as i dont have enough experiance. 

I decide to run up river on the trail which is very dark.  Its that kind of early morning grey/black darkness, with absence of both moon and sun.  It is especially dark along the river where the dark seems to hang on to the edge of the water like some sort of twilight zone mist.  I like this darkness.  It feels calm and serene.  It seems to have a texture, not a thick velvety texture like the black darkness in NS last week, but more of a hazzydarkness just before light!

  I can really concentrate on my breathing and foot falls.  Its like a totally new experiance to listen to my breathing.  My watch strap broke as soon as i started so i put it in my pocket and gauge my pace by the sound of my breathing.   im a very close to what i thought when i check later.

Of course although my sister gave me a headlamp only last Saturday i cant find it at 5:00 AM, and it shows that i shouldnt break my own rule in that i always lay out my running stuff the night before.  Im tripping and stumbling over roots and stumps periodically.  I may have done that even with a light though! lol  this is definately a good practice run.

Im moving along pretty good.  I go through my normal “systems diagnostics”  Ankles? OK, Knees? OK, Hips? OK, Back? OK? Calves and Shins? OK, Feet?….a little issue in that right big toe…….focus on my gait and continue.  Have to watch that toe……

Lots of rustling noises in the bushes, which dont bother me much as i grew up in the woods and can usually identify noises with thier makers.  I dont really worry about wild animals much but i am diligent about coyotes now a days as they have been getting constantly more aggressive and they are getting bigger in size. 

 I still think i could take a coyote or two. 

 In my run in Northern Alberta for the North Face Canadian Death race in late July, i will need to think about Grizzley Bears and Cougars.  Doubting i can take a grizzley bear…………and i can gurantee you i cant out run one especially after running for a dozen hours or so.  An adult grizzley can hit speeds of 40Km per hour for a few hundred meters and then “jog” along at about 18km per hour.  Im lucky to hit 20 km an hour for 100 meters and then  at 15 km per hour for about 500 meters.  The math doesnt work.  Unless i run with someone slower than me and then i just need to make sure i can run faster then them and they end up being bear supper not me.

Im actually always a bit more concerned about Human animals here in the city than the wild ones in the woods, but being human i still can find the darkness a bit un-nerving.

So like anything else in my life ,if i find it uncomfortable then i do it.  You cant get comfortable with stuff by avoiding it.

I do the 5.8 km turn around in a decent time and on the way back dart off on a couple of the short steep side trails up gravelly paths to get used to the hills and get the heart rate even more elevated.  I arrive home just as its getting light,  feeling good and looking forward to my next run in the dark, but running with my head lamp which i find exactly where i left it last time!

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