Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Running in a Humidor

Running in Southwest Florida from May until October comes with a lot of humidity.  You get used to it, sort of, and you plan your hard, longer runs carefully.  But the older I get, the tougher it is to just deal with the dew points that rarely dip below 70.

Take today for an example.  Thunderstorms rumbled through our neighborhood around 3 p.m. the sun went away and the rain swept away some of the humidity.  I was itching to get out the door to take advantage of the cloudy conditions at 4:30 but decided to wait for the Czarina's arrival from work.

We headed out by 6 p.m. with clouds still lingering in the area but the sun was doing its best to break through the overcast skies.  It was about 85 degrees with a dew point in the mid 70's.  Leaving the house and heading out to the trail it felt great and I felt great.

Three miles into the run I was running full of energy clipping along at 8:30 pace, the Czarina was even running faster than usual about a minute behind me.  But a half mile later I could really begin to feel the humidity and by mile four I was beginning to feel the air closing in on me.  I had really wanted to run strong for that last mile on the trail before heading into our neighborhood but I decided to take my foot off the accelerator about three-quarters of a mile from home backing off the pace. 

I arrived home a sopping wet mess.  I sat on the chair in my bedroom in a pool of sweat trying to recover from what should have been a relatively easy run.  I got out of my soaked clothes, showered, and realized the Czarina hadn't made it home yet so I went off, water in hand, to look for her in my SUV.  She was walking it in when I found her at the end of the block, more than happy to take the water from my hand.  She had taken a bathroom break at the Preserves, a park that sits at the two mile mark on the trail.  The Czarina was happy that she had made it the five miles but we both wonder as we get older how much of the hot weather running we can take.

A five mile run at 7 p.m. in Fort Myers is nothing like a 7 p.m. run in Sacramento at this time of the year.  The air temperature will certainly be hotter in Sacramento but with the low humidity the runs are much easier.  The only difference is I would find myself desperate for a drink after a run in Sacramento whereas in Fort Myers I don't feel as dry.  The Czarina and I can't wait for November!


  1. "But then I realize, heat and humidity I can take, cold and humidity I can't. That's the problem with Sacramento."

    You just can't win on either coast, can you?

  2. I'll take what I'm going through right now over the miserable winter I just experienced!