We are all running more of our runs in the dark. Whether you tend to run in the morning or the evening, this is the time of year when anyone who lives very far north is running a lot in the dark.
Last night Lori and I ran what will be our last really long midweek MLR (medium long run). We started nice and early (5:00 pm), but ran 16 km (10 miles), so we were out there a while and it was dark for a lot of the run. We chose a route that had a fair amount of street lights but still had large sections of pathway that were completely unlit. The route we ran is a major commuter route for the cyclists of Calgary and was very busy. The vast majority of cyclists do have some sort of light on their bikes and a lot of runners did as well but we did see some stealthy bikes and quite a few ninja runners dressed in black. At one point when we were running along in one of the dark sections we heard a crash and an expletive from a cyclist behind us. He and a runner had collided!! Everyone was ok from what we could see, but it looked as if the cyclist had come upon the unlit runner, had failed to ring a bell or announce his presence and had tried to pass her when she made an unannounced move in the dark and bang, crash!!
It was a good reminder for Lori and I that we need to be on the defense. There is no point in arguing fault here, we need to be responsible for our own safety and visibility. Last night Lori and I both had headlamps, she had hers strapped around her abdomen and I had mine in my hand. She also had a red LED band around her arm. We both have running jackets with reflective strips on them.
What about you? How do you adjust your running in the dark winter months? Do you avoid running in the dark, take your chances, wear a light of some sort?