Being a runner in Seattle is somewhat interesting at this time of year, and I'm expecting it to be even more so as the darkness of winter progressively takes over. "But it's darker yet in Sweden!" you might respond. Sure, that's absolutely true. But in Sweden, a modern invention called "street light" generally illuminates the way. Unfortunately, that kind of cutting-edge technology has not quite conquered the parks or streets over here, making a late afternoon run quite perilous as dusk turns to complete darkness around you.
After endeavoring a couple of wobbly evening runs, I decided that buying a headlamp may be a good investment. It seemed to be the way the locals did it, after all. Said and done, I got myself a lamp and tried my first run with it the other day.
Look at me! All happy and excited.
And the lamp was a hit! It illuminated the way so brilliantly that I boldly dashed into the woods on a small dirt path I had used many times in daylight. Tra la la!
What I learned next is that simply being able to see the road ahead apparently isn't enough; in addition, you have to stay focused (i.e. not shining your light back and forth in the surrounding woods because it looks cool and scary) and lift your feet sufficiently high above the ground to actually evade objects that may be in your way. (I hope you're taking notes.) Let's just say that I ended up doing a beautiful belly flop, sliding smoothly (not really) on hands and hips in the muddy gravel a couple of meters before coming to a full stop at the base of a tree. Luckily, my pride got the worst bump, and the rest of me (including my beloved headlamp) was practically unharmed.
Perhaps I should stick to the main roads in the future, although I must admit that it takes some of that intense Blair Witch Project-feeling out of the equation. Who would have known that running with a headlamp could be such an adventure?