Reflections Meteorological

My usual routine is to run in the late afternoon on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week. Since last week was exceptionally busy, I ended up running Thursday afternoon and then again, for the first time, Saturday morning. A morning run was a bit of shock to my body, but it afforded some reflections about the weather.

It made me wonder just exactly what ‘humidity’ means. I know what a dry day feels like and how it differs from a humid day. But all our measures of those conditions are relative. Summer conditions for my normal afternoon run are generally 90-95 degrees and 50-60% humidity. Most mornings here are 70-80 degrees and 90-100% humidity. But my guess is that the actual moisture content is roughly the same. Both conditions feel ‘humid’ and my run Saturday morning felt little different than the afternoon.

All which made me wonder whether there is an objective measurement of humidity, or if the ordinarily ‘relative humidity’ measure is really the best. I suppose a quick trip to somewhere on Wikipedia would probably tell me all that I need to know. But as far as I can tell, 95% humidity on a Saturday morning is every bit as ‘experientially’ humid as 55% on a Monday afternoon.

Those reflections aside, a couple of observations remain. I’m running about 5 K each time out, and enjoying the first 3 K. The rest is a chore. I’ve heard some runners speak of those experiences where some chemical kicks in giving them the assurance that they can run forever. For now he (or she) and I remain absolute strangers.

8 thoughts on “Reflections Meteorological

  1. Ahh, the runners’ high. I once had that, and it felt magnificent. It’ll probably kick in around mile 4. You know… just outside of where you are now.

  2. My personal experience (not as a runner, but doing vigorous aerobic exercise/elliptical machine) is that it kicks in between 20-30 min into a workout. It has more to do with sustained elevated heart-rate than mileage. I actually experienced it a lot when I was going to the gym regularly and pushing my heart rate up into the aerobic zone for at least 20-30 min. That meant that I didn’t feel it for the first 20 min or so, hit “the zone” for 20-40 min and then cooled down for 10 min. The final result is lots of endorphins and feeling a little tired, but like you can conquer the world.

    Not sure if that is encouragement or not 😉

  3. Btw, if you don’t run with a heart rate monitor, you may want to start. It is invaluable for targeting your workout to the most effective and fruitful pace.

      1. mine is very basic and doesn’t sync with anything, but I found it for about $30 on Amazon… You could always just enter the info manually 😉

  4. Kevin

    Dewpoint is the measure of humidity in the air. Technically, it is the temperature at which dew (or frost) will form. E.G. Dewpoints in the 70s are more humid than dewpoints in the 60s.
    Relative humidity just measures the dewpoint against the actual temperature, so it will be lower during the heat of the day (75 dewpoint against 95 temperature), but often gets to 100% at night, causing dew.
    Dewpoint is the more useful number, but of course, the one you will rarely hear in a weather report.

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