|Infinite darkness. Sometimes the moon isn't even there to keep me company.|
On a well lit city street, a flashlight might not be necessary, except that the lighting probably isn't as good as you think. There are gaps in coverage and the ever annoying on/off power saving. It's easy to get a false sense of security because you can see down the street, but chances are the ground beneath your feet is fuzzy. The dark areas, shadows, and optical illusions from the bright, but well separated, street lights are just waiting to trip you up.
|Headlamp and weather-proof|
I've twisted my ankles many times this way, luckily none have been serious. Cars, however, can kill. Obviously a headlamp and flashlight help on-coming cars see you, especially if you flash the light in their direction. Cars coming from behind, although on the far side, still need to see you. If you drive, you know how hard it can be to see the lines on the road when it's dark and raining. Sometimes it seems the headlights on the car aren't working. So it becomes important to indicate you are there somehow.
The combination of a reflective vest and weather proof red flasher are a good idea. I even where a white shirt under the vest, as well as a reflective hat (which helps with the rain too). Any extra reflective striping on clothes is a nice bonus.
|The reflective strips alone are pretty effective.|
Otherwise, of course, you have to follow normal rain condition rules, especially if it's chilly out. As I said, I try to avoid the situation all together. Sometimes though, I have to do it. When I do, I don't cut corners and do everything I can to be safe. It's no guarantee obviously, but it's not worth getting sidelined while my ankle heals, or worse, playing chicken with a car who doesn't know I'm there.
Related tips and resources:
- About.com: Other tips for running in the dark
- RunnersWorld.com: Wondering what to wear?
- NYDailyNews.com: Tips for running in the rain
Feel free to leave a question or comment about this post!