I know I’ve used the headline “Running in the Dark” before, which is too bad, because it’s what I did this morning, and I thought I’d write a blog post about it.
I haven’t been getting any overtime at work lately, which means I get up at a perfectly human 5 a.m. instead of 3:30. This morning, however (Thursday), my husband Steven pulled a 6 a.m. shift, which meant he wanted to get up at four. I’ve been trying to run either Tuesday or Thursday (I do Curves Monday, Wednesday and Friday) (yes, yes, I KNOW I ought to run Tuesday, Thursday and at least a couple of Curves days; what kind of miracles of dedication do you want from me?). It was supposed to be hot on Thursday, plus we had a Mohawk Valley adventure planned.
Still, I can’t say it was a no-brainer to go running in the morning, because I actually expended quite a bit of thought on my plan. I would sneak out of bed at 3:30, leaving Steven and Tabby (our dog) (I add for the benefit of newcomers, if any) to sleep on. When I returned from running to take Tabby on my cool-down walk, that would be Steven’s 4 a.m. wake up call. Perfect!
The first thing I realized on stepping out the door was that it was cold. However, I was sure this was a relative feeling. Once I got going, I’d be fine. After all, earlier in the spring I opt for shorts and short sleeves as soon as it hits 40. This was probably somewhere in the 50s.
As I started down the sidewalk, I realized something else. 3:30 a.m. is still, for all intents and purposes, the middle of the night. What was I doing running in the middle of the night? It’s scary to run in the middle of the night! I told myself there was nothing to be afraid of, and I’m pretty sure I was right. I would stick to well-lighted streets with plenty of respectable-looking houses.
I started looking around for lights on, just to feel less lonely. After all, some people have to get up at ungodly hours (like those lucky punks at my job that are getting overtime). There was a light. Probably only somebody’s bathroom light left on all night, I thought, discouraged.
Then I remembered something I read years ago in The Autobiography of Malcolm X. It was when he was making a disreputable living breaking into houses. He said if you’re going to leave one light on all night to discourage burglars, make it the bathroom light. After all, at any point in the night somebody might possibly be up to visit the bathroom. I wondered how a burglar would know which room was the bathroom. Then I figured he had probably cased the joint.
Thinking about hypothetical burglars kept me occupied for a couple of blocks. I continued to look for lights. There was a television. That could be up early or insomnia. I almost never get out of bed when I have insomnia, although I sometimes turn on the light and read a book. A flashlight is better, because it’s not too much light. Light wakes you up, and that doesn’t really help insomnia.
I tried not to think about how early it was. I felt a little sad when I realized the sun was not going to come up while I ran. I heard a bird. That made me feel a little better.
I ended up being really happy I ran. For one thing, I felt certain I could get a a blog post out of looking for lights and that reference to Malcolm X.