It actually makes the day pass really quickly when I run in the late morning, and I'm starting to feel like I don't have enough time to get everything done. I'm going to try and start running first thing in the morning again, so my day feels longer.
Today, I headed out for a four-miler at around 9:00 this morning. The high today was supposed to be 79, so I really wanted to get out there before it got too hot. I was actually really in the mood to run this morning, and I was considering doing my long run today instead of tomorrow. When I walked out the door, I wasn't sure if I was going to run 4 or 12 miles.
My goal (again) today was to keep my heart rate in Zone 3--70-80% of my maximum, 141-156 beats per minute. I ran at what felt like a very comfortable pace (just in case I decided to do my long run), and I was surprised at how quickly my heart rate went up. My first mile split was 9:07, and I was a little disappointed to see that. I had been doing my long runs at about an 8:45 pace, so 9:07 seemed slow for a short run.
But I really want to give this heart rate training a fair chance, just to experiment. My second mile was 9:06. That was the point where I had to decide whether to keep running or turn around. I realized at that moment that I forgot to put on sunscreen, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky, so I decided to turn around. If I'd remembered the sunscreen, I probably would have done 12 today, because I felt really good.
During the third mile, it was actually pretty hard to keep my heart rate down. My mind would wander, so I'd forget and run faster; then I'd notice my heart rate was approaching Zone 4, so I would slow down again. My pace was going up and down the whole time. It's kind of interesting, because about a week ago, I was surprised how hard it was to get my heart rate up to Zone 4.
I really do think that the heat and sun make a difference in my effort. When it's hot out, or full-sun, my pace is always slower, even if I push just the same as usual. The further I ran, the higher my heart rate went, so I had to slow down to compensate. I'm curious to see what happens tomorrow on my long run.
Anyway, I felt fantastic throughout the whole run, and I'm guessing that's because I kept my heart rate in the right zone. Tomorrow, I'm going to set my Garmin to show only my heart rate zone, and not my pace, so it doesn't mess with my mind. It will be fun to look at the data when I get home. (Yes, I used "fun" and "data" in the same sentence--I love this geeky stuff!)
After my run, I went to the fruit/veggie market for some fresh produce. Jerry and I agreed that during our no-grocery-shopping-in-May challenge, we could still buy fresh fruit, vegetables, and milk (nothing else). We were down to onions and a couple of oranges this morning, so it was time to get some fresh stuff.
I was amazed at how much stuff I got for just $26! A bag of potatoes, 1 stalk of celery, 12 apples, 2 red bell peppers, 1 jalapeno pepper, 1 lb. baby carrots, 1 seedless cucumber, 2 zucchinis, 3 pounds of strawberries, 8 bananas, 5 pounds of grapes, and 1 seedless watermelon. At Kroger, my grapes alone are usually $10-$15.
The grapes were still the most expensive part. If I hadn't gotten those, my total would have only been $18. But I love keeping a big bag of grapes in the freezer for snacking. Now we just have to make sure that none of it goes to waste! ;)
This afternoon, I took a survey for the National Weight Control Registry. I'd been wanting to join ever since I technically qualified, but I've been scared to, because I was afraid that as soon as I submitted the paperwork, I'd gain back all the weight.
If you're not familiar, the NWCR is a long-term study of successful weight loss/maintenance. They study real people that have lost at least 30 pounds and kept it off for at least a year to find out their habits and see what makes them successful.
I always kind of had it in my mind that I would join when I was SURE that I was going to keep the weight off. And last month, I finally filled out the paperwork. I had to submit some basic info and proof of the weight loss (either doctor's records or photos). Today was the first survey I took, and it was interesting. It asked a lot about my eating habits and exercise habits, both now and when I was losing weight. You can read some cool facts about the study findings here.
So, I've made it "official"... which means I'm feeling very confident in keeping the weight off. Even if I wind up 10-15 pounds or so heavier over the years, I don't ever see myself getting back up to 253 pounds again.