It’s time to head out for a run at dusk!
I haven’t been for a run at dusk for awhile. However he other night after a full day with the kids including a fun birthday party costume party for one of Organic Runner Girl’s friends we got home and the temperature was hovering around 40 degrees with a pretty sunset just starting and I knew that I just had to get outside and off the treadmill for my pace run.
I did the kid hand off with my husband and quickly went upstairs to change my clothes to get ready for my run. Running in the evening is one of my favorite times to run because it can be especially meditative. As the sky darkens your other senses become more aware and you are able to soak in all of the sounds and sweet countryside smells carried on the breeze. My planned workout for my Boston Marathon training (from coach Denise Goode, The Sustainable Athlete) was a 15 minute warm-up, and then 35 minutes at 8:30-8:45 pace with a ten minute cool down and some striders.
I made sure to make myself extra visible for my run because I knew the sun was rapidly setting behind the mountains and I would soon be running in the dark. Also, as the temperature dropped I was faced with puddles along the sides of the road that were rapidly freezing and becoming black ice so I made sure to bring a headlamp to ensure safe footing. The last thing I need during my Boston Marathon training is a sprained ankle!
I started off with a gradual warm-up and was being pushed along by a nice tailwind. After 15 minutes I easily settled into my pace, put away my watch and focused on my form. I worked on stride length, relaxed breathing and on using my core and upper body to maximize my power. When I go running at night I feel totally in tune with my body and am better able to “listen” to what I need. I remembered reading recently that the best runners just know their pace by feel and don’t always need to be focusing on their watch. This reminded me of rowing when I used to be the Stroke in the boat which required keeping a steady cadence for all of the rowers behind me to follow. I like this idea of feeling your running and that is something that night running enables me to do. As I ran I soaked in the changing colors of the sky and enjoying the reflections in the puddles and the stars slowly appearing in the sky. My run was just as I had hoped . . . fast, strong, and endorphin producing but also quiet and gentle, and focused.
Do you enjoy night running or running at dusk?
If you have never tried running at dusk or running at night, what are you waiting for? Grab a friend and go give it a try! I promise you will enjoy it especially if the moon and stars are out!