Any chance you can run in your lunch break? Even for 20 minutes would help.
Can you get up earlier to try morning running (although its still pretty dark in the mornings too I guess)
Drive to somewhere a bit lighter, near main roads, and run there.
Run at weekends when its light.
Don't be put off by speed at clubs. Lots have slower groups who run between 9-10 mm, not sure what speed your at. It may be a chance to help you speed up too. I prefer running on my own, but go to a club for the reasons you said. I just act a bit anti social and don't really chat to others
I was technically last in my 1st ever race. A 3.5 mile trail run.
I say technically, as even though I came home in a pretty respectable 35 mins (at least 5 mins behind the previous runner(it was a major club run)) there were 3 people behind me. A guy in a fat suit and his 2 minders . The field consisted of 49 runners, 5 or which weren't in a club so I was up against the odds having only started running 2 months prior to the race.
Needless to say, I picked myself up and continued to run despte the embarassment but make sure I read all the details of races properly now. Including previuos entrant numbers & result times!