Crickets and Fireflies and Pepper Spray, Oh My!


What has crickets, fireworks and pepper spray?  A night run!

Two weeks ago my uncle gave me a handheld pepper spray called The Jogger

(mine’s cooler though ’cause it’s pink!) 

It’s great because you don’t actually have to grasp it – the tube straps onto your hand so you can keep your grip nice and loose.  My mom says my uncle worries about me running alone and I thought was really sweet and thoughtful for him to pick this up for me – though I wasn’t really sure when I would actually use it.  Tonight was it.

When I got home from work today I had a horrible stomach ache (side note: I’ve gotten these terrible bouts of stomach pains since high school.  I always chocked it up to IBS but I’m beginning to wonder if maybe it’s a mild gluten allergy.  I looked up the symptoms and was surprised to see that I had several including hypothyroidism, Reynaud Syndrome, syncope and psoriasis – crazy!).  Anyway, back to the stomach ache… it passed within a few hours, but by that time it was after 8pm and the sun was setting.  But then I remembered my new pepper spray and realized that all was not lost!

My workout for today was written as 5 miles including a warm up and cool down with 3 miles at a 9:17 pace.  Before I set off I changed into a white shirt with plenty of reflective writing on it, left my tunes at home (no distractions in the dark!) and grabbed my new weapon.  The first half mile I took it pretty slow – close to an 11 mim/mile and then kicked it up a notch for the second half.  At mile 2 I changed gears again, hoping that my past two weeks on the treadmill hadn’t spoiled me and ruined my ability to hit a pace on my own.  When I looked down at my watch I was stoked to see 9:04 – I barely felt like I was exerting myself.  I thought briefly about slowing down to hit the 9:17 pace my plan called for but I was curious to see what I could really do so I decided to go for it. 

As I ran I saw:

  • A black cat get hit by a car … and then get up and run away.  One life down, eight to go!
  • Fireworks!  I had forgotten it was Independence Day weekend. 🙂
  • A karaoke bar with the doors open and some really bad singers.
  • Fireflies!

When I hit my halfway point I checked my pace again and couldn’t believe it – 8:17!  A full minute faster than I intended when I set out.  Most of mile 4 was uphill and my lungs were burning as I crested the top, but I pushed myself on, not wanting to quit.  Mile 5 was my cool down – funny how much faster a “cool down” is when you’ve been burning rubber for the past 4 miles. 

My overall miles times:

10:01  <— warm up
8:58     <—  cool down

Totals:  5 miles – 44:22 – 8:52 avg 

Whaaaa?!?!  That’s crazy talk!  Who is this girl?  To be completely honest I took a brief untimed breather at the top of the hill at about 3.5 miles in, but STILL. 

I wish I knew what it was about this run that made it so outstanding, but it was one of those times when there were just too many variables to consider:

  • First night run ever!
  • First run outside in 6 days and only my second run outdoors in the past 12 days.
  • The heat wave finally broke!
  • Random stomach ache – though I doubt this actually helped any!
  • I made Caitlin’s Veggie Eggplant Pizza for dinner. Yum!  (Usually I eat dinner after my workout)

The world may never know…yes, I know, I’m totally obsessed with this commercial.


12 Responses to Crickets and Fireflies and Pepper Spray, Oh My!

  1. shelby says:

    I am a huge fan of night runs! I always feel so fast and light – and it’s a great way to cap of the day.

    Congrats on an awesome pace! You’ll be breaking that 8:00 barrier soon, I am sure!

  2. Hotwalkers says:

    Wow how sweet of your uncle to think of your safety. Congratulation on your determination to stay on track even though you were not feeling well. I found a safety weapon to jog with called Mace Hotwalkers they are weights with pepper spray inside for the times when I need to know I am safe jogging or walking. I just bought them for my sister. Only 20 bucks and I feel safer
    Have a great day Donna

  3. James says:

    Wow, that’s a good time! Congrats on your first night run. I like to run just as the sun goes down and the night sounds begin. It’s a great way to unwind while running. Keep up the good work!

  4. BostonRunner says:

    Congrats on a great/speedy run! The heat break felt so good – I don’t think it’s going to last long though looking at this weeekends forecast!

  5. Katie A. says:

    Nice run!!!
    I’ve been having some tummy trouble, too. A few years back I had a gluten allergy and completely took it out of my diet – it was soo hard! And rice bread, rice pasta, all those subsitutes were not tasty! But afte a solid year I reintegrated the gluten back in slowly and had been good evern since. Now, about a month ago, it all came back. I’m back to gluten free and it’s hard. It’s hard to be a runner who doesn’t do gluten – gluten is in everything and in the good carbs! Give it a shot. Check out for some advice on what to look for in labels. You will be surprised to see it’s in everything!
    Have a great long weekend!

  6. The Linz says:

    You rocked your night run! I am so glad it went so well for you. And love that you carried your pepperspray. I think it’s great to be aware of what’s going on around you.

  7. Jen says:

    I’m glad you got the spray!! I feel much better when I’m running with my pepper spray 🙂 Isn’t that old commercial the best!? I am obsessed with owls so it makes me happy 🙂

  8. Bert says:

    Nice run! Smart of you to leave the tunes behind at night. Before you start investigating gluten as the possible culprit for the ‘crise de foie’ as the French would call it, try going completely vegan for just 3 weeks. I’d bet you a dollar you’d feel better, lose a bit of weight (not that you need to or even want to…), improve your skin tone and overcome any stomach issues. Congrats with your improved running!

  9. I should totally get something like that. I bet it would make my mom (and, me!) feel way better about me running at night!

  10. lindsay says:

    i’m glad you didn’t actually have to USE it, just take it along with you. i have mace too, although haven’t actually had to spray it yet! hopefully we never will have to.

  11. I wouldn’t ignore the stomach pains that you get, especially if you’ve experienced it since high school. You can easily be tested for celiac disease and gluten intolerance through Entero Lab… Just a thought… it’s worth knowing because long-term damage can be severe if undiagnosed. Hope this info helps!

    • Thanks! I really never seriously considered getting tested for anything. It’s so intermittant and a hefty dose of fiber seems to alliviate symtoms if I take it early enough. TMI? lol… I’ll look into it though. 🙂

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