Hot and humid running

This morning I met up with a couple other folks and set out on my final long run before Superior Moose Mountain Marathon. We decided to head out early, which meant headlamps were required. I haven’t worn a headlamp on the Elm Creek Mountain Bike trails before, so that made it a bit of a fun adventure.

The downside of the day was the humidity. As we approached the park slightly before 6am, in total darkness, the air temp was 79 degrees and the dew point was 71. When you get dew points in the 70’s it’s beyond uncomfortable and breaks into oppressive territory. As we were driving to the park we saw rain clouds and lightning off in the distance, and for a bit we were hopeful that we’d get a nice soaking. Yet, the air was just too saturated for the rain to fall and the most we got was a brief sprinkle while we were finishing up.

When I plugged in the data when I got home, my run confirmed how much heat can affect the body when you’re running. I knew while i was out there that I was bordering on overheating, but when you get a chance to see your run matched up with your heart rate it becomes even clearer. This morning I ran 8.5 miles with a roughly 12:30 pace. A week ago I ran 14.1 miles, but I was on the exact same course as I was today, I simply didn’t do as much of it today. On that prior run I also managed a roughly 12:30 pace. The big difference came in my heart rate.

A week ago my heart rate was in the mid 150s, which is considered the Tempo zone for my body. The weather was much milder and I felt much better when I got done. Today my heart rate stuck to the low 160s which puts me over into Threshold level. For today’s run, my heart had to work a LOT harder to get blood and cooling through my body to keep me functioning. A week ago, the weather was pleasant enough that my heart could slack off more and settle in at a relaxed pace, despite running a lot farther.

At the end of it all, today’s run was a good workout for my heart and I get benefits from working a crucial muscle more. It just sucks when you’re working so hard for what was a much easier effort just a week prior.

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