I got up at 6 am this morning, and before I was out the door at 6:15, I checked the weather. I do this mainly out of habit, not because it really changes by much (especially this time of year). What I usually look at is not so much the temperature (which was 80 degrees), but the relative humidity and the dew point. These are, I think, more accurate indicators of what conditions I'm facing out there for a run.
If you want to read more about the difference between relative humidity and dew point, go here. It explains both terms well, and may give you a better idea of your own humidity conditions as you run outside during these "dog days of summer."
Anyway, if you read the above link, you will have learned that relative humidity changes over the course of the day as the temperature changes, so a more accurate measure of the air's humidity is the dew point. By way of comparison, want to know what those numbers were here this morning? The humidity was 81% and the dew point was 71 degrees F. Again, if you read the link above, you will note the chart at the bottom of the page which categorizes the "feel" for dew point, and you'll note that a dew point of 71 is labeled "very humid, quite uncomfortable."
Personally, I would label the amount of humidity in the air this morning as "fucking unbearable," but hey, I'm no meteorologist. Granted, the temp at 6:15 am is better than it is now at 3 pm (if you'd like a glance at our current temps, go here), but one thing basically remains a constant despite the rising temperature this afternoon: You got it, the dew point, which as we all just learned, is the truest measure of the air's water content.
So, what does this mean for running, and particularly my run this morning? Well, as per the general running: High humidity is tougher to run in because we are sweating, but the sweat is not evaporating, thus we are not getting cooler; therefore, dehydration is more likely a problem. But this failure to cool also affects our HR, blood pressure, and even muscle coordination. In other words? It fucking sucks ass to run in high humidity.
Needless to say, my 3 miler this morning sucked ass in the above-described way. I slogged through it, but I felt miserable, tired, and thirsty afterward. And even though I know that this summer heat and humidity will eventually dissipate (yeah, in like, November!), for now, it affects every run. And it's frustrating because I think about how I can run a 3 miler in, like, 27 minutes in cooler weather, but this morning, it took me about 32 minutes. Plus, it's frustrating because I keep thinking that after 4 years of living in FL that I would be acclimated to this shiz, but each summer I prove a wimp in the face of such conditions.
And I know, I know, everyone is gonna comment with "at least you don't have to run in snow and freezing temps in the winter"; true, but right now? I would greet snow and freezing temps with a big bear hug.