See and be seen

It’s winter. Technically it’s not, but let’s be real here: I don’t see daylight during the week, my ice scraper is already riding shotgun til spring, and it’s snowed twice (if you count today). It’s winter.

I could complain about the next four months forever, but running through them is a necessary evil. Sure, you can do some treadmill running, but running solely on the deadmill will leave your lungs burning and your ankles sore after an outdoor race. And I’m not even going to talk about that recycled stank-air you take in at the gym. ((shudder)) I know New Jersey’s air quality isn’t exactly stellar, but ew.

Anyway, running outdoors in the icy cold and darkness is tough, so make it easier on yourself (and the drivers & bikers with whom you share the road) and run safely. The trick is to see and be seen.

To see:

  • Run against traffic: This is a rule that applies to runners all year long, but it’s especially important when rush hours are pitch black. How many times have you seen some dumbass irresponsible commuter driving around without their headlights at dusk? Know what’s heading your way well before a driver knows what’s heading theirs.
  • Don’t wear an iPod: Like running against traffic, iPod-less running is smart year-round for safety (and Zen-ness). Leave the iPod at home to be fully aware of everything around you, especially in the winter months when you may have a hat or headband already covering your ears. Plus, in the event of snow, who doesn’t like the sound of their shoes crunching?
  • Throw on a cap: It might seem counter-intuitive to wear a hat with a brim in the dark, but it saves your night vision when lights from an oncoming car would normally blind you. Tilt your head down slightly, and run on!

To be seen:

  • Clip on a blinking light: This simple, weightless addition will catch a driver’s eye well before they even come within a block of you. Not to mention, if you run with others wearing blinking lights, you can have a mini-rave… safely on the sidewalk, of course.
  • Wear a reflective vest: A reflective vest is the most obvious and commonly-worn night running gear. It rests on top of your winter layers and you appear almost radioactively-bright to cars coming in both directions. Who wouldn’t steer away from that?!

RVRR is GLOWING with safety!

But in case all fails (heaven forbid), spend the money now and get a Road ID. You’ve got a lot of miles ahead of you, this season and in the rest of your life. Never take your safety for granted!

Sigh.

Now I’m all down about winter.

Quick!! Think of good things about the gloomiest, frostiest months of the year!

Ok, that’s all I’ve got. You?

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6 thoughts on “See and be seen

  1. Nice! And verrry important.
    Headlamps are good too, and if you’re lucky you can find one that has a strobe affect that will be huge hit at the sidewalk rave with all the other blinks lights…
    Layer up and crunch on!

  2. I have a flexible enough schedule that I still run during daylight in winter, but I find dodging ice patches on the roads makes running a death sport. I’m always worried about wiping out and twisting something. Thoughts? Suggestions?

  3. Here in post-Sandy and post-11″-snowstorm NJ (what a bizarre couple weeks that was!But we were overall lucky, for sure), running in the dark is potentially treacherous these days due to all the mounds of tree debris piled up on sidewalks, curbs, and sprawled out haphazard into the streets. I went out for a brief neighborhood run after dark last week and had to watch as best I could for random branches strewn about, and the lighting around here is not so great. The town assures us that all debris will be removed by summer…

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