Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Adaptation: Come on body, get with the program

Adaptation is an interesting thing.  Give a species a few million years and all sorts of fun things can happen. Think of an elephant. At some point in history, being able to scratch your butt with your nose provided some sort of benefit...and don’t even get me started on being able to flap your ears to be able to cool yourself off. I keep trying to “adapt” too, but I think that removing a few ribs Ozzy Osborne style might be easier (if you “got” that joke, we can be friends).

The humidity in Phoenix the last few weeks has been out of control. To be clear, I can hear you snickering “Ohhhh, what has it been, Adam? 20%?”  Most of last week and the week before my runs were ~85F and 80%+ humidity. The dew point would regularly reach 70+.  After each run, I’d take my shorts off on the patio and wring them out.  Mostly because I’m gross and wanted to see how much ass-sweat was in them, but partly to provide some sort of satisfaction to getting in the run.

Typical. Sauna sausage party. GANGNAM STYLE
I do realize that this is how it always is in Florida, but I’m used to 20% humidity!  I just flat out haven’t adapted to the humidity. I struggled.  I would have adapted to a certain extent after a while, but THANKFULLY the humidity died down for a bit and I logged 18 great miles in two runs over the last 12 hours. Of course, now I’m limping around all stiff and sore, but I’m sure I’ll adapt to that soon enough.

Adaption takes time, but it can be done.  People regularly train in oxygen deprivation tents or saunas to try to gain an edge.  Most studies have shown that “most” of the adaptation kicks in after 2-3 weeks.  So, as you’re slogging through the doldrums of summer remember: keep trying and your ears and nose will get HUGE! Slog it out and you WILL start to see benefits.  Or, at least you’ll eventually get used to the misery. Either way, you'll be faster than an elephant when it finally does cool down.

Is it winter yet so I can complain about the cold?  Just kidding, it never gets cold here.


LifeisaRun said...

Uh oh!! We didn't "get" the joke! Guess we aren't friends?! When you can flap your ears to cool off remember to take pictures!

Amanda RunToTheFinish said...

truly it just sucks and there isn't much adaption. I would like to say that after 4 years here it's gotten easier, but really it's just mentally some days I tackle it with more gusto than others :)

Jeff Irvin said...

What is up man - long time, no chat!

I thought it was Marilyn Manson who had the ribs removed so he could perform a "special" show on stage? But I am too lazy to google so will accept Ozzy (-:

That heat and humidity is about 9mos of my life in Houston. It never gets easier but I am a machine when I hit cooler climates come fall and winter.

Hang in there man!

Jamoosh said...

80% humidity? That's low!

Nobody; not Ozzy nor Marilyn Manson, or even Cher for that matter have had their ribs removed.

Kate Geisen said...

Humidity sucks. The only thing that makes heat/humidity runs bearable is the knowledge of how much better running in the cold is. I'm not jealous of your lack of winter (though to be honest I probably will be during winter); I feel sorry for you. :)

Sue's Ramblings said...

I've lived in the equator all my life and I still complain about the heat and humidity! Moral of story (at least for me!): I can't adapt to humidity! I tolerate it coz I've basically no choice. Anyway, enough of whine-fest. Had a great weekend running in Cameron Highlands (1,628m above sea level) - altitude running, thin air etc. Just posted the recap.

HalfCrazed Runner said...

Humidity is the worst! Can't wait 'till fall in Jersey!

Jen said...

I hate running in humidity - horrible. I usually take to the treadmill when it gets too bad which is only slightly less dreadful than humidity.

Jeff McCloud said...

Two things:

1. Here in Pennsylvania the other week, temps were just under 100 degrees and 85 percent to 95 percent humidity. I swear my running clothes weighed 5 pounds with all the sweat after my workouts.

2. I was in Phoenix 14 years ago for a conference in December. It was a beautiful 65 degrees, but the staff behind the counter at the hotel was running a space heater because it was "cold."

Grace Arinze said...

Love running