Last night, I just wanted to walk. It was the end of a successful beginning to the week (nothing too convoluted about the time in that phrase, eh?), and I wanted to get my new Hoka’s a little more broken in… and it was lovely outside. Mid-60s… in November? In Da Lou? Well, you get the picture. And, I had the next to last Patriot’s Day racing medals in hand, and needed to earn it.
Unfortunately, I hadn’t really thought about the time change very hard. There’s a lesson in this, yet to come.
I got into my running clothes, and hit the Greenway around 4:30pm. I saw that the sun was low, just sitting atop the ridge west of us, but I figured I had plenty of time. I was really wrong.
Now, part of that was my own doing. Since I was headed west to start, I had sunglasses on. I didn’t bring my regular glasses on the trail, and so after the the little golden orb did a big fat plop! below the ridgeline, things got really dark. Quickly. Without my sunglasses, things weren’t so dark, but without any glasses, I was like a drunken monkey out there on the trail.
I made a quick decision to turn around at Highway 109 — usually my quarter-distance point — and try to finish the 5km nearer to the lights of the shopping center that starts my path on the trail.
In short order, I was back where the Jeep was parked, and discovered I was only about 2.8km into the walk. I needed clicks, and I needed them quick as darkness had truly fallen. Palpably. Noticeably. I think I could even hear it. 🙂
Now, bear in mind I passed the Jeep. I coulda stopped and gotten my regular glasses… but that never crossed my mind. So like a blind man, I toddled up the other end of the Greenway to the footbridge, every now and then, taking my sunglasses off so I could see the distance on my Garmin.
Oddly enough, I had a bad case of monkey butt going on — chafing of a kind I hadn’t had since switching to wicking underwear for my running. And it was starting to be evident that I might not make 5km before the dark and my backside conspired against achieving my distance.
I got back to where the Jeep was parked. My backside had stopped barking, and I saw that I was sitting a little over 4.5km. It seemed like a waste not to finish the distance out, so I set out to circle the storefronts to get my mileage.
Note that I was passing the Jeep a SECOND time, and didn’t get out of my sunglasses.
A full lap around the buildings, and I found myself back at the Jeep again, and with about 4.85km on my Garmin. I headed back up the trail for a quick little walk to finish out the distance.
Again, you should note that I was back at the Jeep for the THIRD time, and didn’t think to doff my sunglasses.
I crawled up the trail the short distance I needed, and got back to the Jeep in the dark of sunset coming almost an hour earlier… and still wearing my sunglasses. Triumphantly, I changed into my regular glasses and pointed the Jeep toward home.
So, lessons? Sure, there were lessons.
First, if I’m gonna go running after work this time of year, I need to make sure I get to the Greenway right at 4pm to give myself a fighting chance of finishing while I can still see.
Second, for after work runs right now, I should carry my regular glasses with me so I can change before I become that crazy old man in sunglasses after dark who can’t walk a straight line.
And lastly, when presented with an opportunity to change gear by passing my parking space… DO IT! 🙂