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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Technical Difficulties

On Sunday, I did an afternoon run. I ran 3 miles in about 32 minutes, but unfortunately I have no proof of this, because it was raining when I left. Which meant I couldn’t wear my iPod.

It should have been a wonderful run. There’d been a cloud cover all day, which meant cooler temperatures, and as I was getting ready leave, there was a light, steady drizzle, perfect makeings for a cool run. I was still excited about my PR (personal record) on Thursday of 29:15, and with such great weather conditions, I thought I might be able to break it.

I stretched, and began my run. I had scarcely left my neighbourhood though when the rain stopped, and the sun came out in full force. I could see dark clouds behind me, however, and figured I would get a nice drenching before my run was over.

So, I kept plodding along humming to myself to replace my running music, and composing this blog entry in my head (in case you ever wondered, most of my blog entries are composed either while I’m running, or while walking to places – most of my essays too). The whole time I could see the rainclouds at my back, but I was still in the sun.

…An interruption for a brief lesson on sweat…

Sweat (or perspiration, if we want to be all smart-like), is the body’s way of cooling down. When water undergoes a phase change, it absorbs latent heat. So when the drops of sweat on your skin evaporate, heat is absorbed by the water to allow it to turn into gas. And when that heat is absorbed, your body cools down. My scientifically inaccurate image is to picture that each drop of sweat pulls away a little spot of heat from your body.

…Back to the original post…

Because it had already been raining, the air was super-saturated, or in other words, very, very humid. About as humid as you can get without it actually raining. This means instead of nicely evaporating and cooling me off, my sweat stayed on my body, like an extra layer of insulation. My not-so-nice definitely non-scientific image is of boiling alive in your own perspiration. Which pretty accurately describes how I felt. I could still see the hopeful clouds closing in on me, so I pushed on.

As I ran, I deliberately ran into low hanging branches so the water left on them from the last rain would brush against my face. These occasional splashes of water were like gasps of air to drowning swimmer (yes, I do like to use exaggerated images – why do you ask?). My shoes and socks were wet by this time, from running through puddles, and it was altogether a miserable run.

I finally turned into my neighbourhood, did my cool down, and hauled myself through the front door of my house. My mom, hearing me come in, called out, “Do you need a towel?”

“Why would I?” I asked, “It didn’t rain.”

“Really?” replied my mom. “It poured here.”

Random Thought for the Day: It’s hard to floss your teeth when you have the hiccups.

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