Embracing My Inner Vampire | My Week in Running

“By which time my flatmate was bedded and sleeping tight. I think he’s a 70-year-old stuck in a young man’s body.”

November 15, 2021

(This is part of a series for Grampian Runs, detailing four weeks in my life as a runner.)

I’ve always loved running in the dark, whether that be by headtorch on a spooky rural trail or by streetlight on Aberdeen’s unforgiving pavements. Most recently its been the latter and I’ve seemingly taken on the characteristics of a vampiric runner.

Rarely seen by day, I pound the city streets at night. My red cape replaced by a bright red hat. Unlike Dracula however, I ordinarily thrive in the daylight, but as its presence dwindles at this time of year most of my runs will be by streetlight.

This definitely relates to the issues I touched on previously, most notably work-life balance and procrastination. I’ve been guilty of putting of my runs until the eleventh hour, even if only one of my runs this week was after 9pm.

It was Sunday’s run which started at 21:56 and carried me back to the flat around 45 minutes later. By which time my flatmate was bedded and sleeping tight. I think he’s a 70-year-old stuck in a young man’s body.

From a half-glass empty perspective this week’s running stats aren’t terribly impressive. On paper three runs and 30 kilometres is slightly underwhelming, but Strava data doesn’t measure fun.

And this week’s running was fun. Partially, because for once I felt strong and rested everytime I put my shorts on. The runners high also made an appearance on several occasions, helping me dig deep on the climbs under Bridge of Don’s streetlights.

I do however, feel a twinge of guilt when I go out late at night. This is when considering the absence of jeopardy which I associate with running in the city, especially at this time of night. If I was a women would I feel differently?

I considered my naivety of this a few weeks back as I hightailed it down a pitch black Aberdeen Promenade about 9pm with little care in the world. Aside a few glances behind to examine my surroundings, I felt perfectly safe.

With a freedom to try and tackle every running-related issue under the sun, I would like to explore this further. In the coming weeks I’ll be looking to speak to some women about their experiences as runners – both good and bad.

Highlight of the week: Dragging myself out late on Sunday evening for a thrash up some local climbs, resulting in some Strava PBs.

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