☺Have I ever mentioned that I'm scared of the dark? I have been for most of my life. I grew up in eastern Washington, where it's very rural. My parents' farm is in the middle of no where. My closest neighbor growing up was my Grandma, which was 2 miles away. We couldn't see her lights mostly because there were many hills between my house and hers. Needless to say, it was very dark outside at night. Now my parents have a big porch with a sliding door, and lots of outside lights, however, growing up there was no big porch and no sliding door and no lights. There was a "street light" over the bunkhouse, and a light by the barn. Both lights were pretty much invisible from behind the garage, which is where we burned our garbage. Which was one of the chores that we had growing up. I hated garbage week. It meant that after dinner I had to take the garbage behind the garage and light it in the burn barrel back there. Now, the garage was not far from the door of the house, just across a typical front lawn, but it would be dark there. I would always sing "Jesus Loves Me" loudly while I walked over there, and while I lit the fire. (Heaven forbid if I forgot the dryer lint! It would take longer then.) And once it was lit, I would run back to the house. What was I scared of? Whatever my brain could think of was lurking in the dark, mostly coyotes, sometimes monsters.
I was also scared to get gas, that was much farther away, close to the barn, but where the light didn't reach. Oh that was terrifying, especially in the winter when the coyotes are hungry and coming close to the house looking for tasty treats (usually cats). Oh! and getting into my car at my Grandma's house, who rarely had her porch light on, oh I was so scared of the monsters I was positive were hiding under the car. (This is 16+ year old me, not little kid me.)
And going to the bathroom at night! I was lucky, the bathroom was right next to my bedroom, in fact, I'm pretty sure my sister and I shared the "Master bedroom" because it had a door into the bathroom (I once swore at my sister while we were cleaning and knew I was in biiiiggg trouble when I heard the toilet flush because it meant my mom heard me. The only time I "ate" soap.) Anyway, getting out of bed was terrible because, well, monsters, but what was worse was flushing the toilet. Oh I was scared of flushing the toilet. I would open the door to my room before flushing, stand as far back as I could, and flush and run to my bed. What was I scared of? I'm not exactly sure, things coming out of the toilet? Monsters hearing the noise and coming to get me? I don't know. I know that under my blankets in my bed was the safest place on earth. As long as my head was under my blankets I was safe. (This is little me, I moved out of that bedroom in 7th grade.)
Fast forward to now, I'm not as scared of the dark as I once was, but I still don't like it. I run in the dark, and until Tuesday night it has never bothered me. I run on the same streets almost daily, I choose my streets because when it's light out I like to look at houses, and these streets have nice . . . or interesting houses to look at. I also like it because at night, when it's dark, I know where all the cracks are, and when it's cold, or wet, I know where all the puddles like to build up. However, one of those streets has older houses, and the garages are all under the houses with narrow driveways. They all have overgrown bushes, and narrow stairs up to the front doors. And Tuesday suddenly those narrow openings with the overgrown bushes suddenly had me worried.
I run in basically the same time frame, and generally the same days every week, and I already said the same route. It would be so easy for someone to grab me, and suddenly those were the thoughts in my head. I carry pepperspray, but how much will that help if I'm being dragged into one of those narrow openings? And now, those thoughts will end up sticking with me for my evening runs. =/
This last Saturday I ran 11 miles. My longest run since my marathon in October of 2015. I am sad that I no longer have the ability to say "my longest run ever." I have no intention of running any farther than 26.2 miles, and I've already done that. But it is nice to have the ability to be running long distances again.