Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Running At Night...BE CAREFUL!

After more than a month of being sick and feeling discomfort when exercising, I think I’m finally starting to get back in full swing of training. I am very fortunate to be part of Team In Training this season as a mentor where I can train along with the team while helping some of our members come up with fundraising ideas. Eager to get back on track and be able to run with the team, I’ve been making up for lost time in the gym and on the pavement.

For the last couple weeks I’ve been running consistently logging anywhere between 3 and 6 miles per run. Not much right now but we’re only in our 6th week of training, two times a week with the team and the rest on my own. As my runs get longer, I am experiencing new courses throughout my city and learning which points are safe and which to steer clear from. Since I do a majority of my running after work when it is dark, I stay away from areas that aren’t well lit for obvious reasons. A, you never know who or what is lurking in a bush and B, I’m very clumsy and if I can’t see ahead, I’m bound to trip and fall…done that too many times. It’s always a good idea to run with a small flashlight for the dark areas but if you can, best to just avoid completely.

One of the biggest dangers of nighttime running that I’ve experienced more and more is the people on the road. I cannot believe how much drivers don’t pay attention pedestrians! Within the last two days alone, I can recall about four incidents where the driver has not seen me and will do what us out here call the “California rolling stop”—not stopping at a red light and rolling into the right hand turn. MAKE SURE YOU MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE DRIVER BEFORE YOU CROSS THE STREET EVEN IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY! DON’T ASSUME THAT THEY SEE YOU!

One woman last night did the infamous rolling stop even though she did not have the right of way and did not bother to look in both directions before proceeding. As I looked at her, I realized she was on her cell phone. This got me so incredibly angry I actually flailed my arms in the air and yelled “HELLO!!!!!!” For one, it is annoying to see that people are so careless and clueless when they drive but more importantly it is dangerous and DEADLY! To all my runners out there, please be careful even when you’re the one behind the wheel. Because of these experiences, I am currently on the hunt for reflective or LED gear for my nighttime runs. Stay tuned to see what I find this weekend!


  1. I know what you mean about drivers not paying attention. I am so cautious when I am running outside for that very reason.

  2. Occasionally I run in downtown Riverside, during the day, and people are moronic there too. It is amazing how many people will do the rolling stops and just completely fail to look around. The last time I went running there I did the same as you, threw up my arms at some ignoramus who just blew through a turn when he should have looked around. If I was pushing a stroller at that moment... well, let's just be glad I wasn't.

    I did a race once in the middle of the night and wore a headlamp and a vest with reflective strips on it. They worked well. I only run in the mornings so I can't really offer much more help than that, although I know they sell both the vests and headlamps at running stores.


  3. Thank you both for taking the time to read. Yes, it is crazy out there but I got some great reflective gear this weekend which I'll post soon! It's a shame people are so mindless but I guess it just means we get to sport really bright colors and get away with it. Happy running!