Why am I afraid of the Dark?

The cold doesn’t bother me. You just put more layers on. People may think I’m crazy, but I run outside until it’s close to zero degrees. I have tights that have a wind layer. I have mittens that are too warm until it is under 20 degrees and even then if it’s a long run I switch to my lighter gloves 6 or so miles in. I have more cold weather running tops than I care to admit. I know how to layer. I have been doing it my whole life. It’s no different than staying warm while out snowboarding all day. The cold, not a problem.

The no daylight. This is a problem. I seemed to have developed a fear of running in the dark. I have no idea where this game from. I have been running in the dark for years. My fear isn’t there when I run with Sara or a group. It is there when I am supposed to run alone. Monday night I was planning on running outside after work. It was 43 degrees so I figured even after the sun went down it wouldn’t be cold. Instead of changing into my running clothes at work and driving to the park I turned left and went to the gym. I HATE the treadmill. Why on earth did I choose running on the treadmill.

And then Tuesday morning I am able to get out of bed at 5:00am, put on my layers, and pound out our 5.5 mile run. I have Sara with me on that loop. I would never ever run that part of the trail in the dark by myself. Maybe it was the years living in a bigger city, maybe it is the years living in the country, who knows? But really, I need to not be afraid of the dark. I can’t run with Sara for every run. I ran by myself last winter. What happened? There was no bad experience that happened between last winter and now. I just became a wuss. I don’t run with headphones outside in general and would never ever do it at night. I started that years ago. I have a headlamp. I have a reflective vest.

Do you run outside in the dark? How do you make yourself feel comfortable? Any advice to help me get over my completely irrational fear? I can’t take a whole winter of running on the treadmill or sitting on my ass.

Help save me from myself.

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3 thoughts on “Why am I afraid of the Dark?

  1. Yep, I run outside in the dark all the time. Alone. With music. Without lights or reflective gear. Ain’t skurred!

    For real though, unless it’s a weekend day, whether I run before or after work the majority of it is guaranteed to be in the dark. It just doesn’t bother me. I run familiar routes on residential streets and just stayed tuned in to my surroundings. Although I do have my earbuds in, my senses are always on alert. I wouldn’t go exploring new areas in the dark or anything, but when it’s either treadmill, not running at all, or running in the dark…I’ll take the dark every time.

    I don’t know if you already do or not, but maybe taking your phone with you would help you feel safer? I don’t run with mine but that’s largely due to the fact I have no efficient way to carry it. And because I do most of my running in neighborhoods where I’m guaranteed to be heard if I were to need to yell for whatever reason…

    1. That used to be me. The route I skipped the other night is one I know very well. I just need to not be a baby and go. The streets are well lit round here.

  2. I’m in the same boat you are. Running in the dark never used to bother me, but I think I’ve heard too many horror stories of bad things happening to me and it spooked me. The truth is that chances are nothing will happen. We live in a pretty runner-friendly city. And if you’re running a familiar route that’s well-lit and you’re wearing the proper gear, you’re doing all of the right things.

    But, when you don’t want to go it alone, I’m always more than happy to run with you when I can!

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