Tuesday, August 7, 2012

still-sound 92. Nightrun

I've started running at night.

It started last week when I was unable to swim after work.  The pool closed early because the water was cloudy.  This is what the man in the ticket window told me when he finally looked up from the computer which received his undivided attention for an inappropriately long period of time.  The water is often cloudy when I swim there.  I wondered just how cloudy it was this time.  I also wondered why the man in the window didn't write that the pool had closed early on the chalkboard sign outside the entrance.  After all, that's why the chalkboard sign is there.

The experience at the pool frustrated me far more than it should have.  When I returned home I put on my yellow sneakers and embarked on a run through Elysian Park.  I had never gone running in the park this late, in the dark.  Much of the path is sheltered by tree cover and for long stretches was only barely lit by moonlight.  I wondered if there would be any scary people lurking around the trail.  Thankfully there weren't, although I was prepared to sprint away if necessary.

I enjoyed the night run and decided to make it into a habit.  On my second run I encountered a skunk towards the end of the course.  It was crossing the road - its stinky body moving along quite elegantly in a rippling motion.

My third run was surprisingly populated, mostly by people walking dogs in the dark.  At one point a fellow runner passed me yet seemed to keep the same pace as me.  He ran roughly twenty feet ahead of me for about a mile then momentarily slowed down, at which point I passed him and kept twenty feet ahead of him for another mile.  We had become unwitting running mates, separated by twenty feet.  When we reached a series of hills he sprang into action and ascended quickly.  The back of his heather gray, standard-issue tee-shirt said PU.

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