Saturday, September 24, 2011

Saturday Long Run, The Non-Epic Triumph of Humanity over Humidity

Since the dawn of time, man has struggled to overcome uncomfortable humidity...

I had been dreading today's long run for several days.

17 miles was what Hal Higdon had assigned for the weekend, and as I said last week, I'm definitely getting outside my comfort zone (Getting? Come on. Ok, I'm well outside my comfort zone). On a cool crisp day like last weekend, no problem; I felt like I could I have run forever last Saturday.

But this weekend brought a return of somewhat summer-like conditions. An overcast 65F, which I admit isn't bad compared to July, but with 97% humidity. Warm and humid is the bane of my existence -- at least my running existence.

So I worried. I made contingency plans. I accepted defeat. But I still had a choice.

I could bow to humidity once again, or I could stab it in its warm, wet, sticky, gross

I could keep complaining and writing whiny blog posts, or I could shut the hell up and run 17 miles, humidity be damned.

And as long as "shut the hell up" allows for the pathetic whimpering noises that I was making for the last two miles, that's exactly what I did.

It took me 2 hours and 59 minutes (a 10:31/mile pace for those keeping score at home) to finish, but it was not a victory without cost. I'll be reminded by my aching calves and quads, as I limp around Lincoln Financial Field tomorrow, that running is stupid and the guy that (according to legend) invented the marathon died while inventing the marathon. But costly or not, I consider it a victory nonetheless. .

It may have been 97% humidity out there, but anything short of 100% just wasn't going to be enough today.

I've gloated enough. More than enough. I'm sure my IT Bands will go all IT Band Syndrome on me as my karma balances out next week. I'm sure it will somehow be even more humid, if that's even possible, on my 18-miler next week. I'm sure my Shuffle will get stuck on "Britney Spears Mode".

But for now, I'm thrilled. After being so nervous about this run over the past few days, I felt like I had won a race when Garmin said "17.00" as I turned back into the high school.

In the endless struggle of man vs. humidity, man wins.


  1. I didn't know you even HAD Britany Spears on your shuffle! The things you learn about your husband on a blog...

  2. Leave Britney ALONE! Sniffle! Just leave her alone.
    Ok enough of that. Good job Brian. The humidity is a beast, but you bested it. Good luck on your training and marathon. I hope for lower humidity for you for the rest of your training.
    See you in Virginia Beach in about six months!


  3. @Chris. I don't. But every Apple product has a Brittany Spears Mode that auto-uploads her catalog and repeats it non-stop until you throw the device into the sea.

    @Ralph -- same for you and good luck on the ultra! That cold windy day in VA Beach sounds really good right now!

  4. I had thought the humidity would have almost disappeared now - oh naive me. Surely October will bring relief?

  5. The weather for this weekend looks great!