Culture

The Bright Side of Running in the Dark

Winter running often means lack of light. But there are some great aspects of dark running.

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*Courtesy of Run Crave Conquer

Not long ago, I was griping about the dark days of running. Whether you go in the morning (um, what’s your secret?) or at night, like me, the short winter days mean you’ll be sweating it out sans sun for a few months. Now, as the sunset edges later day by day, I’ve found peace in the dusky evening sky. Just yesterday I was appreciating it with this guy, who overlooks Lake Michigan a bit north of my neighborhood. What else have I come to enjoy about running in the dark? Well let me tell you…

1. The sidewalks are my kingdom.

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The dark and the cold temperatures discourage many other runners, who may stick to the treadmill or couch come wintertime. I love the free reign I have, and when I do pass another runner, I feel an even greater sense of solidarity than usual.

2. Those bright workout clothes have a purpose.

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Most of my running wear is bright pink or yellow or green. When I wear it all together in sunnier months, I look like a pack of highlighters that exploded. I’m OK with that, but it’s nice to have a justification for my glowing attire. Don’t hurt me, cars!

3. It helps me focus.

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The quiet sidewalks and the narrowed scope of vision eliminate a lot of the distractions that come with daytime running. For instance, I’m not stopping to pet dogs or take photos of funny graffiti.

4. I feel kinda like a ninja.

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But seriously. When running in tights and sleek jackets through the pitch blackness, how could I not?

5. It’s just plain peaceful.

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Every season of running has its upsides, and none match the stillness and quiet beauty of a cool (but not frigid) winter’s evening jaunt. Come summer, I might even miss the not-so-sweaty conditions.

YOUR TURN: What do you like about running in the dark?