In the spirit of my previous post (has it really been over a month?), I had another interesting experience while running tonight. In fact, I have a couple more running-related posts percolating in my noggin, which I hopefully will put into the blog sooner rather than later.
But I digress.
It had been threatening to rain all evening, from the time that I dragged my disappointed carcass back from the school (nobody told me that there wouldn't be any soccer at ISB this week) all through my evening run, so it was no surprise to me when I felt a few drops of precipitation. I still had about two miles left on my planned route, and there was no way I was going to curtail my exercise because of a little rain.
Those of you who have been to Thailand at this time of year know what I mean by "a little rain." When I say, "a little rain" what I really mean is rain falling from the sky in such voluminous amounts as to make one think about looking up to see where the bucket is that is dumping out that much water, but you don't dare look up because you're afraid that if you do, you'll drown like those turkeys you've heard about. Yeah, it rains that much here. It's insane how much water can come out of the sky in so little time.
So anyway, I figured that even if it did start raining while I was running, it wouldn't be long before I would be so wet that I couldn't get any more wet. It would be physically impossible to any more wet, absent immersing oneself in a body of water. Remembering my Chemistry 103 class at BYU (so nice I took it twice, in 1992 and again in 1994--it helped convince me that I really needed a major that didn't involve hard science or math), I knew the term I was looking for was "saturated." As I kept running I remembered also that certain chemical compounds could actually be super-saturated, and I wondered if a human could get super-saturated while running in the rain. These are the genius thoughts that run through my head while running sometimes. Scary, ain't it.
Being the trained analyst and naturally curious fella that I am, I started thinking about how I would actually go about seeing if a human body could get super-saturated. One big factor is that I am not a chemical compound, but rather a highly complex carbon-based human organism, so I figured that first you'd have to figure out the rate of rainwater absorption for the largest organ of the human body, the skin. Then you'd have to factor in the rate of perspiration and vapor loss from breathing during exercise for a 37-year old white male like myself running in an excessively humid tropical climate like the Bangkok suburbs. I figured the next step would then be to find some mathematical formula that calculates the difference between those two, throw in a few fancy phrases like "tangent" and "multivariable analysis" and do something with one of those huge Texas Instrument graphing calculators, and...
...and then I remembered that I've been in water for some crazy amount of time like two hours (swimming pool, lake, ocean, etc.) and the only thing that happened was that the tips of my fingers and toes got wrinkled. By then I was home, my run was over, so I forgot all about super-saturation of the human body, stretched with minimal mosquito interference, and went in and took a shower.
I will say this about running in the rain, though--the soles of my feet have never been so clean without soap.