yesterday i psyched myself up all day to go run in lapham after work. i had my husband change the batteries in my son's headlamp so that i'd be able to use it and i planned to run the black route because i know it well and figured that i didn't really need to be able to see all that well.
i got to lapham around 4:45pm and it was cloudy so it was already getting dark. i start at the bottom in evergreen grove and take the trail from there. i turned the headlamp on from the get go and started running. i learned pretty quickly that no matter how well one knows the terrain it is totally different in the dark.
i was considerably slower (likely a combination of loss of speed and the pitch black trail) and needed to really watch my step a lot closer. within the headlamp beam it feels totally enclosed. i felt so alone but in a glorious and beautiful way. i saw one small black body of movement once (i think it was a raccoon) but other than that absolutely no wildlife. usually i see quite a few deer. at one point i was running ahead of 2 other runners who had turned onto the route i was on but when i took a hill they veered off to the left to run the flat and ended up in front of me for a little while. this was just before reaching homestead hollow. i followed the path i always take and headed towards the hill back into the woods.
since i'm coming off of injury i'm trying to really be mindful of how my body is feeling at all times during runs. i turned off where the fork for the black route goes right and continued running. i was only a minute down that route when i thought better of it and decided to double back to go on the easier and flatter meadow route because my foot was starting to ache for some reason.
once i got on that trail i had no idea where i was or where i would end up because i rarely run it. i figured i'd just keep plugging along because it would have to spit me out somewhere and hopefully it would be somewhere familiar. it is amazing how isolating the dark + a headlamp makes the world seem. i reiterate... not in a bad way. just as if i was the only person in the world. it was quite beautiful actually. i spent this "lost" time thinking about how i really hoped it wasn't adding a lot of mileage to my distance because i really just wanted to be done.
as it turns out it spit me out back into the meadow and right next to the trail. running in the meadow is beautiful in its own right because of how wide it is the light of the moon was really helpful. i even turned my lamp off for a bit and could see better without it. i could see the world!
i got back on the trail and was heading backwards which threw me off in the dark and i just kept hoping i was going the direction i thought i was going. turns out i was!
i got back to homestead hollow and decided to play it safe by running down the paved road back to evergreen grove (and the car) but first... bathroom break!
running down the road had me FLYING! it was really beautiful and turns out that my headlamp seemingly works much better on road than on trail... maybe i need a different one? who knows... i could see well enough that i'm not really going to worry about it right now.
all in all the run was great! i missed running the trails and while it was beautiful... i think i prefer running them in daylight. this doesn't mean i won't be running them regularly at night... it gets dark so early now.