Pour one out for my headlamp.
The other day I picked it up from the tote where I store my running stuff and it wouldn’t turn on. I figured the batteries were dead, that it had accidentally gotten stored with the power button depressed, but when I changed the batteries it still didn’t work (and there was plenty of corrosion product in the battery compartment, ugh). So as we head into the darkest part of the year, I’m left without illumination. Good thing there was a sale at REI so I could order a new one at a discount! Perhaps we could call that… the light at the end of the tunnel? How many metaphors can I use here?
I suppose I should consider myself lucky this year, that I don’t have a commute to tack on at the end of my workday, so I can head out before the sun sets and get part of my run done in the fading daylight. I went out anyway yesterday, sticking to suburban streets that weren’t too busy and wearing a light-colored jacket and a reflective vest. The streetlights did an ok job, I suppose, although there were a few places that weren’t well-lit (and didn’t have sidewalks!) I’m still not really looking forward to running in the dark.
I’ll get used to it, like I do every year, and before I know it, I’ll have some usable daylight at the end of my workday, but it’s getting tough to imagine getting in more than 4-5 miles in the evenings for the next few months, especially when I factor in the cold on top of the darkness. I feel like I can’t recall if the adjustment period is always rocky, or if this year is worse, or if I’m just in a funky mood right now and it’s going to be fine in a couple days. (The weather is warming slightly for the next week so that’s probably a yes, if an impermanent one.)
Now would probably be a good time to revisit some of the well-lit trails in the area that I’ve set aside in favor of my street-running goals. It might also be a good time to reconsider a lunch run — even if it’s just a few short miles with a second run in the evening. Something to get me outside during daylight, since I’m not going to the office, grabbing lunch, taking a walk with colleagues, or bathing in the glow of OSHA-approved foot-candles of light. And of course I’ll have a brand-new, slightly fancier headlamp to test out once it arrives next week! Overall it seems like the best strategy is to find any small thing that I can do to make running slightly easier while the elements conspire to make running significantly harder. Any and all tried-and-true coping suggestions are welcome!