I finally ran my longest marathon training run last Sunday. I finished a great 20-mile run and other than being just a bit sore, my whole body felt really good. After my near-disastrous 17 mile run a couple weeks back, this made me feel so much happier and better about my upcoming marathon.
With winter quickly approaching, daylight shrinks and the darkness grows. This means lots of miles spent in the dark. I always want to be a safe runner, so I don headlamp, reflective gear and am very aware of everything around me at all times.
Last night I ran up to the Presidio and took one of my favorite paths Lover’s Lane. It was especially dark and cold. Not a soul was around for most of my route through the Presidio until I got down to the structures near the Presidio YMCA where an SUV driver nearly hit me while I was crossing in the crosswalk.
The stark, wispy cold of the path was a little spooky but it was mostly fun. To the right were the warming, comfy homes that once housed Army officers, now belonging to wealthier folks of San Francisco, while to the right were shadows of eucalyptus trees and dense shrubs. I always run a little slower during these very dark runs, mostly trying to be careful not to trip over cracks or misplaced branches or piles of leaves.
For the first couple of miles through the park, I didn’t see another runner. It was really cold; the mist made me shiver, I was pleased I wore a long sleeved shirt, but thought I’d better wear a cap next time out at night. I didn’t run see another runner until I hit the flats near Chrissey Field.
It truly is a solitary run, even when only at 6:30 at night, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. It beats dodging the throngs of slow walkers and cyclists who block the way during the weekend afternoons.