Running in the Dark

I tried something new when I ran last night. I used the GPS-powered running app called RunKeeper to track my run. That meant two things: one, I had to bring my phone (which I prefer not to do during any run), and two, I had to turn on its cellular data connection to have GPS. I was worried I’d stack up major phone charges, but lo and behold, after the run, I checked my balance and found out it cost me zero pesos. As in, nada, zilch. Was there a glitch? I had my data connection on for 1.5 hours, and that cost nothing? Well, maybe it’s because I used it just for GPS. I guess that means GPS use costs nothing–which definitely is great news. I’ll probably be running more with RunKeeper or the GPS-enabled version of Nike+.

Ordinarily, I just use my teeny-weeny iPod Nano in my road runs for tracking. It has the Nike+ running system built-in for music lovers who also love to run. The Nano clips on any clothing, and it’s very light. And so it’s very convenient. All I need are earphones to go with it, and already I have my running music (indispensable!) plus all the stats I could ever need: the distance I’ve run, pace, calories expended, and so on. The Nano also gives me regular voice feedback all throughout the run; it lets me know how long I’ve been running and how many more miles or minutes is left for the run. For years now, this has been my preferred run tracking system.

Last night was dark, and so I had to watch out for bumps and trash on the road that could cause me to slip. But the weather was perfect. Other than a very light drizzle at the start of my run, the cool pre-Christmas weather was ideal for a long run. I started out with a target of one-and-a-half hours, just to get past the one-hour runs which I have been logging lately. I also thought if I did more than 10k, I’d be ready for the Pink Run 16k which is just a few days away.

I ended up doing 12.7 km, according to my iPod Nano. (Yes, I also brought it with me, in addition to my phone).

LSD pre-Pink Run

On RunKeeper, my run distance varies a bit, registering 12.46 km. This probably is more accurate because it’s GPS-determined. Another bit of info I got from RunKeeper is this route map.

route Fairview

I don’t usually see other runners on the street at this time of the night. But this time, I did see two of them. We ran different routes so I only had a quick glimpse of them and then they were gone. (Or I was gone, haha.) There were a few bikers, still a lot of cars and trikes (but not nearly as much as you’d see in the daytime), and some strollers with their little children or pet dogs in tow. I’d pass by trike drivers waiting for passengers, and I’ve gotten used to their comments and stares. They’ve probably gotten used to me by now too, so I felt less stared at lately, thank goodness. I’d also often see the night-duty guard at GSCS, the school where two of my girls go to. Sometimes we’d wave at each other. I’d also pass by guards keeping watch at the gates of subdivisions. It makes me feel safer knowing they are close by. Because it’s dark and I’m running solo, and it’s almost Christmas season, there’s always the danger of being mugged. But Fairview is generally a safe place, and I’m thankful I’m able to run here.

Fairivew night run

When I got home, I was tired but happy. The “runner’s high” I always get is definitely one of the reasons why I love this sport so much. Apart from the endorphins, I also love the solitude, the freedom, and the me-time that running affords me. Another bonus–from the tiredness–was that I didn’t have the energy or the appetite to sit down for a full dinner. I just ate mangoes and drank lots of water, and that felt enough. Hmmm. If I wanted to lose some weight (and I do!), I should probably do this more often.

On the downside, I found out that sleeping was difficult. I read somewhere that night workouts may interfere with a good night’s sleep, and this, unfortunately, is oh so true. Oh well, I guess you can’t have everything.

Just the same, I won’t exchange this experience for anything 🙂