In winter I get up at night
And dress by yellow candle-light.
In summer quite the other way,
I have to go to bed by day.

A Child’s Garden of Verses, Robert Louis Stevenson

Stevenson lived before daylight savings though.

I used to like daylight savings time — my father would let me run barefoot after the change. My computer friends, who tend to arise “at the crack of noon”, are all in favor of it.

I’ve come to hate it. At least in March. In May it’s ok, I guess.

By the beginning of March the winter darkness is dissipating, and when I do my morning run at 6 or so it is light again. And then comes daylight savings time and bang! it’s pitch black again at 6.

I suppose it could be worse. During World War II the Germans decided that France should be in CET rather than GMT. This means that France (and Spain) is always at least one hour off from solar time, and is two hours off in the summer. England also had “Double Summer Time” during the war, but they came to their senses afterward.

But it’s  pitch black now when I start my runs. I worry about being seen if I run on the roads, I worry about my footing if I run on trails.

It is pitch black as I start my run a little before 6. The stars are shining. No cars are on the road today. By 6:15 there is a faint light toward the east. When runners pass me I can’t see their faces. By 6:30 the eastern sky is blue and low lying clouds are black, but the western sky is still black. I no longer worry about my footing. By 6:45 there’s a tinge of yellow to the east, and I have no problem seeing people. By 7:00 it is reasonably light out. I see the sun for the first time at 7:25.

When I did a track work-out I couldn’t see my watch until just before 7. The watch does have a light, but when I’m running hard, pressing the button is difficult and focusing on a dim, jiggling set of numbers seems beyond my eye’s abilities (I have no problems when running slowly, but when I’m running at 10K pace or faster I just can’t focus. Maybe I need better glasses. Or better eyes).

Why do we have DST? I thought the theory was that it saved energy, but there seem to be as many studies saying it doesn’t as there are saying it does.

It certainly messes up my life in March.

I look forward to May…


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