Dark Adaptation

Last weekend’s time change put away the dawn that I had been admiring on my morning runs. By way of compensation, it abruptly hoisted the almost full moon above the western horizon.
On Tuesday I did a couple of long tempo intervals, of which more later. On finishing the first one, I found myself on an unlit section of trail, wondering where the water fountain was. I was sure I had seen one around here, and peered carefully at very post or trash bin that I passed. The flashlight had been left at home, because of the moonlight. Resigned to being thirsty, I turned around and started to jog back to the start point for my next tempo. I could now see much better with the moon behind me, and there was a glint off to the side of the trail. Thirst problem solved!
Now about those tempos, They were of 20 minutes duration, with 10 minute break between. They were slower than I would like, which often seems to happen during these mid-week sessions. I have been wondering about this. Perhaps I’m low on energy midweek? Slow in the cold? The most likely culprit, of course, is that I don’t know how fast I’m going in the dark. The Garmin has a backlight, but it’s hard to trigger it at speed, so I don’t bother.
I need to fix this. Shining a flashlight at the Garmin destroys my night vision. If I’m going to hold something in my hand, why not just unstrap the Garmin and hold it so that I can operate the buttons one-handed?

So this morning I experimented, and discovered that I have to leave the face clear of obstructions or it loses signal.

garmin_gripHere’s the grip I ended up with, with three fingers tucked through the strap. Yeah, it’s a 201. One of these days I’ll get a flashier one. I can operate the buttons with my thumb, and the face is oriented for easy reading. For non-speedwork, It gill go on my wrist in the usual way.

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5 Responses to “Dark Adaptation”


  1. 1 Flo March 13, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    I am in awe of anyone who runs in the dark. It seems like it’d be so spooky on an unlit trail. Do you ever do your workouts in the afternoon or are they always in the morning, because I think it’d be hard to be zoomy so early and especially in the dark.

  2. 2 jime2 March 13, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    I have a job with mostly regular hours, and I’m usually wiped out in the evenings, so the mornings are my running time. I sometimes wonder if it subconsciously slows me down a bit. Most of my stellar runs are in daylight. You’d be surprised at the number of other people I see out doing the same thing, some with lights, some without. It’s familiar enough to be non-spooky, but I dont like fog too much. The only time I got seriously creeped out was when I was on an unfrequented bay trail, and saw a figure standing off to the side looking at the water. As I passed I saw he was naked. Illegal camper? Homeless guy? Axe murderer? I didn’t run that trail again for a while!

  3. 3 Flo March 14, 2009 at 3:08 am

    OMG, a naked guy??? Definitely counts as creepy. As for morning vs afternoon, I’ve read (and think it applies to me) that it’s easier to run faster later in the day because your muscles are warmed up. So it’s probably not subconscious slowing down at all, just your body still waking up.

    Hey, you put that other guy’s website again as your web address when you commented. I fixed it, but maybe delete it from the autofill thing in your browser if you see it come up again.

    • 4 jime2 March 14, 2009 at 6:48 am

      Thanks for correcting my URL, Flo. The errant pre-fill was not on my usual computer. Hopefully It won’t happen any more.


  1. 1 Mental « Running Slightly Late Trackback on March 18, 2009 at 11:15 am

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Race PRs

5K20:43 (LMJS 6/28/09
10K43:44
12K54:36 (Across Bay 3/21/10)
15K1:09:51 (LMJS 19/27/09)
Half1:31:28 (Kaiser 2012
Marathon 3;13:14 (CIM '11)

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