May 14, 2010

Novelty


(Definitely don’t do this if you live anywhere remotely sketchy)
I’m writing this, filled with the familiar feeling of post-run tranquility, at 11 pm. How am I in such a mind set if I abhor treadmills as though they are manifestations of Satan himself? I went for a run at night.
            Let me first say that I’m fairly androgynous looking and that I live in a small, super safe town, and that I live in the well-lit down-town area conveniently close to both private residences and the police station.
            Let me also say that the thrill of running down the yellow line illuminated by the comforting glow of streetlights is infinitely better than running on a sidewalk in daylight.
            Lately I’ve gotten more that a bit bored with running, with no events to train for, no one to train with, and no one to listen to my endless ranting obsessions regarding running. I needed something novel, something to spice things up, and as I was going back to my dorm I noticed a man running on the sidewalk at almost 10 at night. My first reaction was one of envy- what cajones! Then I realized that I could do that too, thanks to the aforementioned factors. I was filled with anticipation- I had never run at night before.
            Five minutes in to my normal, daytime route, I realized that there was more to running at night than needing to eat a ton of carrots. My normal route follows a road along a canyon, and I routinely see deer during the day and the odd coyote at night. Obviously the deer aren’t a serious health risk, but coyotes, on the other hand, definitely don’t care how androgynous I look and are far more inclined to notice my ineptitudes with regards to avoiding getting eaten. I turned away from the unlit canyon route and towards the main street running through downtown.
            I enjoyed the solitude, the silence, and the darkness. It seemed as though my environment was facilitating the almost meditative mindset that one enters while running, rather than distracting me from it.
            The experience was also totally novel, and a perfect fusion of two activities that I enjoy greatly- running, and wandering around at night. I was a bit more aware of cars; more specifically, if they showed any signs of slowing down or stopping after passing me, but things went smoothly.
            I did have a mild scare though- a minute or so before my turn-around time, a truck blaring music driving towards me turned in to a street directly behind me. People were hanging around outside the apartments talking and such, and after I turned around a miniature flotilla of cars (including the truck) pulled out of the street and again began driving towards me. I know my hometown well though, and was able to run down a footpath and in to another residential area, insuring that my would-be pursuers would have to make their intentions very clear before successfully attempting to snatch me.

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