Night Run in Palm Springs, CA

In mid-October, {Diwali} and the children and I went to Palm Springs, California, with her parents and brother and his family.  Stayed in a very nice condo-resort for a week, bridging the Thanksgiving weekend.

Now, all year I had been looking forward to running on this trip.  Not just for the warmth – I’d gotten a lot of that over the summer.  This trip gave me the chance to run in desert conditions; warm and very, very dry.

This run was Sunday October 13th, 2013.  Naturally, when traveling with children and especially when on holiday with the in-laws, there are delicate few windows of opportunity in which to duck out and get some distance run.  There is that cautious decorum to which one must adhere so as to not create a stir amongst those in-laws who might feel put-out to have to not-do what they feel like doing at any given time, such that I might impose and do what I’d really like to do for a change.  And by “…for a change” I mean “for an hour after the children are asleep, having acceded to everyone else’s interests all day.”

I have not been somewhere tropical in what is normally chilly autumn for me.  It was already strange enough to be in a swimming pool and suntanning in mid-October (at 25°C ), but to go run at night in the waning heat of Palm Springs after dark was an experience.

The run is off-program.  It is fair to say I am done with the Learn To Run entirely.  Working forward from the premise of distance-based intervals, I chose to do six rounds of 500m running, 100m walking.  This would give me 3km of running distance; down from what I did eight days before, and the first running I’d done since the Color Me Rad.

Palm Springs run #1

Palm Springs run #1

Our resort is the four white rectangles in the very bottom left; what is shown in red above is only the running intervals.  While {Diwali}’s parents were overly concerned for my safety (not for health-safety, but for the not-getting-killed kind) I was entirely confident that the worst I might encounter would be some sort of errant desert critter, like a rattlesnake.  Consequently, I gave every and any storm-drain opening a wide berth :

Pennywise ?  You in there ?

Pennywise ? You in there ?

Both because I suspected there could be some sand viper lurking within, but also because, at night, these storm drain openings radiate heat like a furnace vent.  To a distance of four linear feet away.  It was warm enough already, even an hour after sundown.

In fact, the heat from these drain openings was the only indication they were there.  Aside from uplighting on palm trees or local flora, suburban Palm Springs is not all-about the streetlights.  At all.  I was getting a read for the road terrain off the light of the Moon, as there wasn’t going to be a lot of city light leading me on.  It is probably one of the darkest runs I’ve ever done.

Still, I played it safe.  Ran against traffic (when there was any; gods-bless a city with a majority elderly population) and stayed to main routes, and uncomplicated ones at that.  Felt good to get out again after the success of the CMR the weekend before.  And after all the traveling we did to get to Palm Springs (flew Bellingham to Vegas, drove a rental to Palm Springs) it was nice to shake off the tension of the journey.




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