Learning to Run in the Dark

Sunday night. 5 p.m. Football on tv. To-do list done. Except one last item.

Go for a run.

Any problems? Not really. Except that sunset was at 5:02 p.m. Not a lot of time to get out there before dark.

You all know that I often run in the dark. I’m out there early in the morning before the sun comes up. But I learned something interesting. It’s different running in the evening.

In the morning, I start in the dark and the day brightens around me while I’m out. In the evening, I start in the twilight and the day darkens around me while I’m out. And it feels very different.

Yes, I wore my neon yellow jacket and carried my knuckle lights. Safety first, after all.

glow in the dark
See? It practically glows.

But there was one lesson I learned last night…

Don’t try a new route if you can’t really see where you’re going. I set off heading west on 10th. Fine. My plan was to do a simple out and back. Over to 10th and then west for 30 minutes. Then turn around and head home.

Good plan, right?

Except that 10th dwindled down from a paved street to a muddy gravel road to a path along the railroad tracks. Then it ended altogether.

Fine. I turned right and headed over to 12th. No big deal.

Then 12th ended at a T intersection.

I turned right again and took the path along Murphy. The problem? Murphy runs diagonally and it always screws me up. I ended up at Joplin’s version of the Bermuda triangle where Murphy meets 15th. Twice.

All’s well that ends well. Of course you know that I made it home. But I’m not saying how long I stood and debated my options. Right on 15th? Left on 15th? Which would take me home and which would give me an unintentional extension?

A little extra exercise would be fine, but really, it was almost time for Bob’s Burgers and I really wanted to be home in time for THAT.



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