Tuesday, 10 June 2008

What's worse - heat or humidity?

Swim (yesterday):  1900m
Run (today):  7.5km @ 42min (Ottawa River around Parliament)

The question that identifies this post doesn't matter to me right now - we've got both here and it sucks.  Since late last week, Ontario's been buried by high heat, high sun and loads of humidity in the air.  We've already had air quality advisories and heat advisories, and we've been consistently above 30C for days.  Add in the humidity and our daily highs are right around 40C.

It certainly hasn't been a gradual thing either.  We went from pleasant 20C right up to +30C in less than a day.  Doesn't do much for an easy heat acclimation, and judging by today, I've got a bit to go still.

After Sunday's long and hot bike ride, the pool was to be a pleasant change of temperature.  But even before I got into the water I could easily notice how poor the air quality in the pool area.  That pool tends to be bad with this anyways, with high levels of chloramines to start with, but then add the near-100% humidity and it was nearly unbearable.  The first few meters in the water were unsettling because my chest felt strangely tight and heavy, which I later realized was due to the polluted air in the facility.  I had to slow my pace down considerably to ensure that I didn't fall short of breathe for the whole night.

Today's run had a similar tight-chest feeling at the start, but without the chloramines.  The humidity was 85%, it had just rained, and the temperature was over 30C again.  Both Peter and I started to feel the weight of the run very early on, and we decided to skip the tempo training and just run easy to get used to the heat.  It was a good thing, 'cause we were both feeling like our shoes were made of lead the whole time.

The humidity is supposed to break tomorrow, and I hope it does.  Then it can stay away until all my races are done this year.  :)

And speaking of races, my first tri of the year is on Saturday -- the olympic distance of The Ottawa Riverkeeper.  I'm looking forward to it, and hope that the water's warm enough to try this without a wetsuit.  But even if the water is cold, the rest of the race will be warm and humid.  Currently, the forecast is for a humidex of 39C, 100% humidity and rain.  Ick.

I guess I'll get in the heat a bit more before then.  :P

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