January 30, 2013
Running in the dark
This evening past I went out running and as usual dilly-dallied midway through, stopping for Bodo's soups at the Corner and all, such that my return home (3.5 miles, roughly) was completely in the dark.
I don't know how many times I've told myself to wear a lighted cap when I leave after 4:30 p.m. but it doesn't matter, I never do.
Same holds true for a reflective jacket.
Anyway, it was such a beautiful day here in Podunkville — high of 73°, clear and sunny — that even at 5:30 p.m. or so it was still in the 60s so I was perfectly comfortable in T-shirt and shorts.
Just for a change, seeing as I wasn't cold and sweaty and tired and hungry and miserable — the usual default setting for the loop back home — I decided to try running sans iPod shuffle blasting music at 10/10 volume into my fantastic RHA MA-350 earphones [top], which form such a tight (and comfortable) seal NO ambient sound can be heard.
What a revelation.
Not the ability to actually hear what was going on around me and my foot strikes, though that was different; no, what amazed and delighted me was how much better my vision was without the deafening music occupying whatever neuronal processing is required to make all that volume happen.
I felt far more sure footed and safe on the cracked and uneven sidewalks that are pretty much par for the course around here, and realized that my awareness of traffic was way better.
From now on I'm gonna try not to listen to music when running after dark: I think this practice is far more likely to extend my healthy lifespan than Kurzweil's Singularity and its consequences.
But I could be wrong and end up flattened by a truck tomorrow, having heard every approaching groan and rumble before I slipped and fell under its oncoming tires.
You just never know.
January 30, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink
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I am often reminded of "The Continuing Crisis" column in The American Spectator back in the 1970s. One of the winter news bits went like this:
"Meanwhile in New Jersey: During the past year, 19 citizens were killed on the highways while jogging for their health."
I removed the tape/radio from my recent motorcycle (I rode it for 16 years). Too distracting.
I'm even more scared on my bicycle and won't brave the dark, let alone play music. But those winkly little tail lights and some headlights I've seen are impressive for conspicuity.
On exercise machines I play iPhone music so I can count.
For walking, treadmill, elliptical, inside bike, house painting, lawn mowing, leaf raking--books, books, books! On iPhone. From Audible.com. Some day I'll do podcasts....
Posted by: PT | Jan 31, 2013 2:40:31 PM
It depends on the location - indoor/track/stadium running which is deadly dull and safe from vehicles, it's music or you wind up tearing your hair out from boredom. In the real world, and particularly at night in poorly lit areas I just don't like not being able to hear vehicles or other sorts of hazards. Skiing and other pursuits have never really yielded to soundtracks for some reason, though I put a SoundShell speaker set (wonderful, by the way) on my distance bike and will give that a shot next spring - again, long, boring roads but we'll see if traffic paranoia wins the day.
Posted by: Scott | Jan 30, 2013 5:53:46 PM
I abandoned listening to anything but ambient while walking (not a runner) outside. I've found it much more pleasant to listen to the wind, birds, traffic, my breathing, footfalls, etc. than any track. I do listen to music while working at the computer, or NPR talk while on my indoor exercise bike.
Posted by: Matt Penning | Jan 30, 2013 11:41:40 AM
We like to refer to it as a "slow jog" rather than a "run" on 4k grocery day where yesterday evening I put on an old Millet rucksack, running shorts, running shirt (fluorescent orange), Smart Wool running socks, my Puma Trailfox running shoes (with retro-reflector accents!), put on a ball cap (to avoid "Einstein Hair Syndrome" and set off to the local Korean Grocery (H-Mart) 2 Km away and 500 Km lower. It was all of 43f with a misty, light drizzle.
Do you know what kind of looks I get in that store? I'm perfectly warm and the locals are bundled up as though the weather were -20f! When I reached the checkout with my Organic Blueberries, Raspberries, Romaine lettuce, a box of grape tomatoes, some Shanghai bok choy, and a bottle of BV Chardonnay the young man at the checkout asked if I wasn't cold (he was dressed from head to toe in multiple layers, with a watch cap, windshell top and pants, and a bandanna wrapped around his neck) and I held out my hand for him to touch - he was ice cold and I was (as always) way too warm.
The jog back up the hill to home was uneventful, but I also carry the Petzl Nao headlight in the pouch on the top flap of the rucksack just in case it becomes too dark for comfort (the Nao has a special program just for running ( http://www.rei.com/product/838486/petzl-nao-headlamp ).
Hint, Joe, it isn't the truck that will get you - it is the dead silent Toyota Prius or the Tesla.
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jan 30, 2013 11:01:39 AM
do you have life insurance? - just in case - grey cat wants to know
Posted by: sherlock | Jan 30, 2013 2:34:32 AM
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