Running Alone at Night

2015
02.25

ARGH, traffic.  WHY? WHY must it take 30 minutes to travel 1 mile??

I have been sitting all day.  I feel like shit.

I want to go for a run.  I want to move.

Too bad I won’t be home in time for that.

Stupid Daylight Saving time.

There might be a little light left… no.

That is dumb; it is definitely going to be dark by the time I get home.

 

Yep, it’s dark.

Maybe there’s a hash.

Damn, it starts in 7 minutes and is 20+ minutes away.  I don’t want to drink anyway.

Go to the Y, I guess.

Ooookay. (Eyeore voice)

I really just want to go for a run.

Maybe… nope.  No.  It’s a rule.  No running alone after dark.

Just go to the Y, it’s fine.

GAH, that requires driving.  I *DO NOT* want to get back in the car.

Just stay here and do a work out video.

 

But I want the air, the wind, the speed, the movement.

Damnit.

My guy friends would not be agonizing about this.  They would just go for a fucking run.

I am pissed off that this is an issue.

 

It’s only 6:30.

Just go running.  Neighborhood is relatively safe.  Fuck the culture that tells you you can’t go running after dark.

I can stick to the lighted, populated areas.

Ugh, that means dodging people on Busy Blvd; I hate running on Busy Blvd.

Okay, go running.  Seriously, you can do it.  It’s worth it.

Anyway, nothing is going to happen to you; perceived danger and actual danger are different (and the same) and different.

Of course if something bad does happen, it will be your fault for going running alone at night while being female.

You’ll be back by 7.  7ish.

Mom would not approve.

You could still go to the Y or do a video.

Whatever, I’m going running.  Fuck that noise that says I can’t.

 

Okay, prep.

Stay alert, stick to populated, well-lit areas.

I won’t run my hardest, so I won’t get too tired.

I’ll run the last leg, when I’m most tired, on Busy Blvd.

Yuck, I hate running on Busy Blvd.

Focus.

Lights, I need lights.

Headlamp.  Also something facing backwards.

Wait, will lights draw more attention to me than I want?  It’ll make it obvious I’m a girl.

Maybe it’s safest to run under the radar, hope no one sees me.

You’re not a ninja.  People will see you, lights or not.  But they will assume I’m a guy unless the lights give me away.

That’s dumb, plus you don’t want to be hit by a car, duh.  You have to wear lights.

I could put my hair up in a hat.

You’ll still look like a girl.  And why would you wear a hat at night?

Forget it.  Focus.  You can do this.

Okay, two headlamps — both around my waist, one facing each way.

Headphones and music? Better not to so you can be aware of everything, but easier to run with music.  Compromise — one earbud in, one out.

Plan the route exactly: X to Y, to Z, no, skip Z, too dark and there’s that one sketchy house.  to A, then Busy Blvd, then home.  No improv route-making tonight.

Get going, it’s only getting later and darker.

Fuck the patriarchy!  Go running.  You’re strong and brave and smart.  You’ll be fine.

 

Ahhhhhh.  This is good.

Pay attention.

Is that a person up there?

Two guys walking towards me.  Seem fine.  Stay alert though, just in case.

Ahhhhh.  Breath, blood moving, I feel better already.

Dark section, maybe run a little faster through here.

Another runner up ahead, female? Male.  He’s turning right and crossing the street.  I’m going straight.

Someone walking their dog (small one) across the street.

Body is loosening up, feels so good.

Big dog and male owner up ahead.

Take out the one earbud for a moment while you run up to them and past.

Or cross the street?  Yeah, just cross the street.

Busy Blvd, dodge, dodge, oh cool, this street does have some good dirt and grass byways so I don’t have to run all on concrete.

This is great.

Almost home.

 

I did it!  I’m badass!  I do what I want! (Cartman voice)

I went running alone at night!

Now the seal is broken.  Next time I’m home late, I can go running anyway.

I still won’t tell mom though.  (haha, except for in this blog post.)

But I’ll never go after… 8, and I’ll always stay in a familiar, well-lit areas, of course.

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