This morning I awoke around 6 a.m. and made myself a pancake breakfast, figuring I’d give myself an hour and a half to work and digest and let the sun come up before heading out on a run with Sadie.
Unfortunately rain changed my plans, so a lunchtime workout is on the books for today.
As you probably noticed if you’ve been reading this blog for a while, I prefer to workout almost immediately after I awake. When it comes to running outside with Sadie, however, I often wait until later in the day or at least until the sun comes up because I’m not comfortable running around our neighborhood in the dark.
(Classic feeble Sadie face! She cracks me up.)
I had no problem running before sunrise in Orlando because I ran in well-lit areas that were populated with lots of other runners and cars. I cannot remember feeling uneasy during a run in Orlando even one time, but in Ocala it’s different.
Our neighborhood is insanely dark. Street lights are sparse and when the moon is only a sliver you can barely see your hand in front of your face. (Bonus: The stars at night in Ocala are gorgeous.) As creepy as the pitch black night is, the darkness isn’t my main deterrent. It’s the wildlife!
Bear sightings seem to be more and more prevalent (our neighbors saw one in our yard twice last week!) and Ryan and I saw a coyote earlier this week right outside of our neighborhood on our way to the gym in the morning. I’m sure the animals would ignore me if our paths crossed on a run, but since I probably wouldn’t even see them until we were within a few feet of each other due to the intense darkness, I’d rather not deal with a black bear run-in at 5:30 a.m.
It feels kind of crazy to not run before dawn because I’m scared of bears, but when you live close to the Ocala National Forrest, it’s something you think about! (Someone once saw a panther before dawn in our neighborhood.) It’s a scary world out there, I’m tellin’ ya!
Question of the Morning
- Do you ever run outside before the sun comes up? Do you take any extra safety precautions?
When I ran by myself before dawn in Orlando, I kept my iPod volume on low, ran with a small runner’s mace that my father-in-law bought for me, wore bright clothing and brought Sadie the Ferocious Beast with me. Perhaps now I should run with my handy-dandy bear bell?