and scared of going off road for the first time
Sunluvva - B is right you know.... it is generally "safe" to run through city streets at night and I am pretty sure it is even "safer" to run through fields and woods! I don't think your fear is irrational - I think we all watch too much telly/scary films and perceive that "bad" things happen in the woods at night!! I run off road at night and the worst thing that has happend to me is catching cows eyes in my headtorch, not realising cows were there and their shiny eyes giving me a fright! Also Polly's comment about sheep coughs is correct - and foxes make some unearthly noises, owls silently floating through the trees can be startling but beautiful once you realise what it is. Once whilst running up a bridle track in North Wales a donkey brayed at me from the other side of the wall - now that was truly scary... though very funny. It was my uncle's donkey Julie - I knew she was in the field but she'd never welcomed me home before!
It would be a shame to miss out on the magic of the woods and fields at night - does your local running club not have any intrepid nighttime off roaders? Or I used to run with cycling club members whilst living on the north coast of Scotland. Their mountain bikers used to cycle in the woods at night and I went with them sometimes. I have some great memories - running along snowy forestry tracks with the northern lights shining above is one of my all time favourite running memories - absolute magic! Snow/moonlight is fantastic - you don't need a headtorch! Give it a go - you won't be disappointed.
I've got an alpkit gamma too. It's not overly heavy and the straps are all adjustable. I have asmaller head and it's still got plently of scope for adjustment.
I have tried running off road in the dark, but I'm one of the clumsy people and do tend to stick to the roads and trails. I also tend to stick to routes I have run in daylight, so that at least I know roughly what to expect!
I'm a fully signed up member of the Alpkit Gamma (and Alpkit in general) fan club too. There seems to be lots of adjustment in it so you should be OK. It's true that there are a few heart-fluttery moments (or sometimes full blown brown trouser events) when the imagination gets going at night. I regularly frighten a very large flock of Jackdaws (or maybe Rooks) on one of my night time runs, and the racket is always unnerving. But it's just a matter of using reason over imagination.
If you can find a halfway house between running by streetlights and full night time off road running in the first instance, it might be a more gentle introduction. I find canal tow paths or rural cycleways nice at night - there's not much in the way of things to trip over, holes to fall down etc. (always assuming I manage to avoid the water).
Getting away from the street lights is great, but make sure you have a way of calling for help if the worst happens ( - I'm thinking of sprained ankles, etc-ie, take your mobile), make sure you're visible if running on lanes, and go in the morning, rather than the evening- as a previous poster said- bad people are all tucked up in bed until the afternoon!
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