Running In The Dark
Despite having had most of the week off work, when I had the freedom to run at any time of the day I wanted to, I seem to have ended up doing all of my runs in the evening. This is a bit strange for me as I usually prefer to run first thing in the morning, but for some reason I just didn’t feel like it until it started to get dark outside.
Thinking about it though, this isn’t such a bad thing. Being in the habit of only running on Saturday and Sunday mornings was making it hard for me to find the motivation to run in the evening when it’s cold, dark and usually either rainy, windy or both; but now that I’m getting into the swing of it, it’s not so bad and I’m starting to feel like I’m ready to up my running to three times a week again.
This evening’s run also helped in that respect. I didn’t run on Saturday so I wanted to make sure I got 5K in at some point today. I’ve been struggling with running without walk breaks since I started training again, but have managed it a couple of times in the last few weeks so I wanted to build up consistency by getting a few continuous 5Ks in.
At this stage, pace doesn’t really matter, so I set off nice and slowly, running by feel and only looking at my watch occasionally to check on the distance I had covered. I was feeling pretty relaxed and the weather was pretty good too – a bit warmer than I had thought it would be, but with a nice cold breeze to keep things comfortable.
The way I had planned my route, I would run East along the promenade for just over a kilometre and then turn back, run past my starting point until I had reached about 3.6 and then turn around again and run back to where I had started to complete my 5K. I like to run like that, rather than just out and back, because it means I have to do the maths in my head while I’m running to figure out when to turn around, which gives my brain something to focus on.
However, when I reached 3.6K, my pace had picked up a bit and I didn’t want to slow and turn back round. So I decided to just keep going and turn back at the Lagoon, which is at the end of the promenade. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to run all the way back to the starting point but I didn’t really mind either way. All I knew was that I was feeling good and I didn’t really mind as long as I got the 5K done.
At about 4.5K though, I started to feel a sharp pain in my right shoulder. I couldn’t really understand it as I was still feeling quite relaxed, but I gave my arms a bit of a shake to try to loosen it up and tried to find something else to focus on. This seemed to do the trick and before I knew it I was back where I started, having completed just over 6K without stopping for a walk break.
I’m not sure if it’s the cooler temperatures or the fact that I’ve been taking it easy and eating well throughout the day, but running in the evening this week seems to have given me a much needed confidence boost for these continuous runs. So, starting from next week, I plan to get at least one mid-week evening run in so that I can start working on my speed. After all, I’ve got a very important Santa Dash to run in a couple of weeks and I don’t want to mess that one up!
How are you getting on with your evening runs? Do you find you run better in the evening or first thing in the morning? Please share your thoughts in the comments.