I HAVE love/hate relationships with so many things. That's normal, I think.

Even the most well matched lovers feel a little hate from time to time. Some of these I'll stoke a little because the hate has a bit of pleasure in it.

With others I'll do my best to put a positive spin on it.

I'm not sure which camp running falls into. I love it when I've done it and I hate it when I'm doing it and this push-pull has been going on for a decade now.

Around Christmas time I finally joined a running club. Or, I was joined to a running club by a dear friend who thought it would be good for me and who was right.

It turns out running with a group of people who really, genuinely want you to do well is transformative.

For the umpteenth time I started Couch25k – and this time I have not only finished it, I have not only kept running several 5ks a week, I have signed up for 10k training and I do not know myself.

The problem with this new found love of running is that it emerges at a time when my schedule is full to overflowing. I work long hours and quite often I'm not finished until the wee hours so, sometimes, the wee hours are when I go out running.

Now, the caveat here is that I know I'm an oddity, and I am not recommending night running. However, I was surprised at the recent stooshie around a new Samsung advert that depicted a woman going out at 2am for a run.

The idea, the company said, was to show a woman making her own time and her own rules. There was largely scorn from women who said that there was no way they could go running in the middle of the night.

It would not be safe, nor pleasant.

I find it pleasant. The day time is full of other people, it is dotted with hecklers and folk who stare. If you are an inelegant, sweaty runner like I am, the cover of darkness is a useful thing.

The streets are so peaceful. In pre-covid times I would finish work in the office after midnight and cycle home. It was the same glorious, free feeling. Gliding down the dab middle of Buchanan Street when it is utterly empty, under twinkling lights and street lamps, is magical.

Samsung advert caused offence

Samsung advert caused offence

So I didn’t immediately balk at the advert because it depicts my reality. I know that’s far from the reality of many of my friends, or of the vast majority of women who I know. Those who will walk home alone at night or who would exercise after dark exist but are a vanishingly small number.

But here's a secret: there are other woman abroad. The other night I kept running past the same woman as our routes overlapped. At first we just looked at each other but after 30 minutes of this we developed a smiling understanding.

My main worry when I go out at night is that I’m well aware that if something terrible should happen to me, the focus would be on why on earth I was out at 2am – instead of why on earth men’s actions mean the streets aren’t safe for women to be out running at 2am.

We tell females from little girls to women how to adapt their behaviour to make themselves safer in public – but we don’t tell little boys and men how to adapt their behaviours to accommodate women and make them safer.

I'm very well aware of the terrible things that happen to women but these things happen in the afternoon and the morning, or in the early evening.

Even restricting our movements to so-called “safe” times of day is no guard against horrible things happening.

I have been attacked, I have been subjected to flashers and I’ve been harassed and heckled, but it was never in the empty streets in the middle of the night – it was in a nightclub, it was in train carriages, it was on busy streets.

I love the quiet of night time and I love the stars. I love to clear my head to make space between my work day and sleep.

I hate that I'm expected to let the actions of some men curtail my movements. These are my streets, this is my neighbourhood and this is my city and I want to move around it as though it is mine – so I do.