I have to say, night running can be beautiful.
When I started it was around 3:45 or 3:50, not sure, but there was plenty of light and very little traffic. I was able to run in the middle of the road for almost all of the 11 miles. I made sure I noted all the dogs and tried to remember how the road looked and which side of the road was the best to run on as I knew I was going to do the reverse on the 2nd lap in the dark. Even though I was stiff I still felt pretty good and was able to concentrate on form and keeping a nice steady pace. When I got to the beginning of N. Rimrock Dr road that goes along the edge that overlooks Spokane there was fog forming and I was getting cold, but I didn’t want to stop to put on my jacket. It was pretty cool watching the fog slowly work its way into Spokane.
When I started my 2nd lap I decided to do the dirt road 1st before ALL the light was gone, although after changing my shirt, empting my shoes of rocks, putting everything back on and making sure I had everything, it was already pretty dark. By the time I got to the middle of the Palisades Park trail it was all dark and Spokane looked even better in the fog and all those lights. I really wished I could have stopped and got out my camera and taken a few pictures, but you know how it is, I just wanted to keep going.
When I got the end and turned onto N. Houston it was pitch black and VERY foggy. This is where I’d 1st seen the fog on my 1st lap. As I turned onto it I felt like I was in the twilight zone the fog was soooo thick! Even my glasses where getting fogged up and I basically had to let them slide down my nose and look over the tops of them as they were useless!
I turned down W. Mission and decided I needed to take a gel, I think it was around 15 miles, I turned off my light and wow…very spooky..but kind of cool too. The moon was poking in and out of the clouds so I was able to see a little as I struggled to find my gels buried underneath my reflective vest, then my wind breaker, and finally the pockets to my vest. Jeepers what a chore!
I started off and it wasn’t too long and my flashlight turned off……uh oh….this isn’t good. I slapped it a couple of times and nothing happened. I twisted the lens making sure it was on the low setting…nothing. Hmmm, this REALLY isn’t good! I’m on a VERY dark DIRT road with pot holes filled with cold water, there are dogs barking on either side of me as I pass by the farms and houses…AND MY LIGHT IS DEAD!!
Well I just started running…slowly… and feeling my way along. Occasionally the moon would peak out among the clouds and I would get a tiny vague glimpse of where the mud puddles were. I found out that the lighter color tracks were a good place to run and the dark areas were places I should avoid as it was usually loose sand, gravel and sometimes some good size rocks.
I could hear dogs barking on both sides of me, but most times they were far enough away from the edge of the road I didn’t worry too much about them….but I did worry. I kept thinking, “Tonight’s the night that there’s a hole in the fence.”
I knew further down the road past the Old Trail Rd, was a house that didn’t fence in their dog….or was it dogs? It’s just before the area where there is always a large hawk that normally sits in a tree and flies off just before I get there.
I tried to be very quiet. I thought perhaps if didn’t breath too loud and kept the padding of my feet to a minimum I might be able to sneak by undetected. I was probably 50 yards away, on the far side of the road when the barking started. Great. I picked up my pace (well, as much as I could after 18 or so miles) and just tried to get past the house as quick as I could. I kept looking back, but all I could see was black. Oh..did I mention the dog was also black? But the sound slowly receded and when I got to the corner of N. Flint Rd I stopped and tried to get my breath back.
As I was stopped and stooped over, a car slowly pulled up and asked if I was okay…I told them I was and what had happened, and they said you really should have a flashlight you know…..gosh.
I knew I had two more places that there were going to be dogs: Both were on W Greenwood Rd and one had them behind fences and the other didn’t. And the ones that didn’t had BIG dogs! I think they might have radio collars on but sometimes the Great Dane would come right out onto the road, and sometimes it didn’t. There were also 3 other dogs but they always stayed inside the perimeter of their yard so I wasn’t too concerned about them. But that Great Dane always spooked me.
Once again I stayed to the far side of the road, tried to plod quietly and I made it by. Obviously they had the dogs inside for the night. Whew!
It’s at this point in the run where you also hit the highest part and for a brief moment I was above the fog and had a clear few of the sky…it was beautiful! Again I wished I could have stopped and snapped a couple of pictures but instead I kept moving.
The last place with dogs always had them behind a fence so I was moving along with a little more confidence, plus the sky had cleared a bit and the moon was giving me more light.
As I turned onto S. Russell Rd, I knew I was going to make it and I started to pickup my pace. As the saying goes…”I could smell the hay”.
All in all it was a good run but I would have preferred running with Steve-o or in the light of day, or perhaps maybe even with a flashlight with a fresh battery!!!!
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