Neither mud, nor slush, nor gloom of night…

What do you get when you combine the following:

1) Weeks of freezing weather and heavy snow.

2) A few days of spring-like weather, with temps in the high 30s and low 40s.

Well, let’s just say if this continues much longer, I’m going to have to change the name of this blog to “Hit the Slush.”

I went on a five-mile run on the towpath at lunchtime, and my shoes and running pants are splattered with mud.

Not that I mind. Trail running is a year-round adventure, and you take whatever Mother Nature dishes out.

Even when she’s dishing enough mud to choke a horse.

I’m used to muddy shoes during rainy season — you know, April and May, or thereabouts. But mud in January is a little early on the calendar.

My shoes won’t be dry for days.

*****************************************************************

I had my heart set on running in the dark on Saturday. 

I was all set to run the Moonlight Trail Run 15K, but as I said in my last post, the organizers postponed it due to muddy conditions.

That took the wind out of my sails. I had never run trails in the dark before, and was eager to give it a whirl.

I also wanted to test out a new toy: a runner’s headlamp, which I got as a gift in December.

That’s right: Trail Boy has a Toy.

But the party was called off.  What to do? Only one thing. Go running.

In the dark.

And so I did.

But I decided, for perhaps the first time in my my life, to use a little caution.

I decided NOT to run on a trail, all alone, on my first nighttime run. I just didn’t want to risk tripping over a root in the gloom of night. With my luck, I would break a leg and be forced to curl up in the dark and wait hours for someone to rescue me. 

So I opted to stick to pavement — quiet roads, with nice, even footing, to minimize the risk of falling.

On Saturday evening, I went out for a six-mile run on back roads in my neighborhoods.

As I walked down the driveway, I put on my headlamp and snapped on the beam. I started running.

At first, I felt a bit goofy, like a coal miner, clomping down the road with a bright light shining from my head.

I pulled the lamp down, lower on my forehead, so the beam would shine on the road. At that point, I felt like an old-fashioned doctor, with a head reflector.

But after a few minutes, I got used to it. The lamp cast a wide beam and plenty of illumination on the road in front of me. The few cars that passed my way saw my light and gave me wide berth.

I didn’t see any other runners out, with or without a headlamp. I owned the road.

I got back to my house in about 50 minutes and switched off the light, declaring success.

I can’t wait to take this baby out for a real spin. On the trails.

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One Response to “Neither mud, nor slush, nor gloom of night…”

  1. love the headlamp!

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