I've been enjoying sticking closer to home on my runs, so rather than doing a 10-mile out-and-back, or driving somewhere, I decided to do the circumference of all four neighborhoods (5 miles total) twice. It was GORGEOUS outside--57 degrees when I headed out at 6:45! It was sunny, but because it was so early, the sun was still low and there was a ton of shade.
Based on last week's long run, I knew I could hold a sub-9:00 pace and keep my heart rate in the correct zone, so that was my goal today. I thought it would be awesome to have all sub-9:00 miles! I haven't done that during a long run in several months.
As soon as I started running, I knew I was going to have a great run. I felt light on my feet, my step was springy, and I just felt really damn good! During the first loop of the neighborhoods, I didn't see anyone outside at all. It was actually really nice to run in such great weather, and just let my mind wander. My pace felt great, and I didn't feel like I was struggling at all. My heart rate was in the middle of Zone 2, which was perfect.
At mile five, the mid-point, I was back in front of my house. As I continued down the street, I debated whether I wanted to do the same loop again, or to do a five-mile out-and-back. The change of scenery won me over, so I chose the out-and-back. I ran out a mile, turned into a neighborhood (where I came across a couple of other people out exercising). When I hit mile 7.5, I turned around and headed home for the last 2.5 miles.
I changed the screen on my Garmin to see my average pace overall, and it was 8:39. I was shocked! To date, my fastest double-digit outdoor long run was an 8:44/mi pace (with the exception of my half-marathon PR in April). I wanted to keep the average pace in the 8:30's (just because I could!), so I picked it up a little for the last mile.
I was so excited to have had such an amazing run this morning! I laid in the grass, and just felt really happy in that moment.
Next week, my long run jumps up to 15 miles! That is a huge leap, but I imagine it's all part of the Hansons' method of running on tired legs. I did 13 a few weeks ago, so I'm sure I'll be able to tough it out. I'm certainly not expecting my pace to be what it was today, though ;)
After I showered and ate breakfast, I had to run to the store. Our local bakery, Monica's Baker Boy, is nearby, so I stopped in there to get a long run treat. I planned to get a chocolate chip cookie, but once Jerry and I got inside, I couldn't decide what I wanted. There were lots of different kinds of cookies, brownies, and doughnuts. I was pretty sure I wanted a chocolate chip cookie, but then the woman working there (who was SO very nice) told me that some of the brownies had cookies baked into them. I was pretty much sold at that point!
Jerry picked out a doughnut, and we were going to pay, when the woman said, "Do you like coconut? I want you to try these cookies. They're chocolate cookies with a macaroon baked inside." Oh, man. Before I could decline, she gave each of us one of those. Then, after we'd paid, she gave me a chocolate chip cookie, too, because I had been so undecided! She was so nice I couldn't say no. So I wound up with all this loot:
I weighed them when I got home to calculate the PointsPlus in each item. The brownie was 20 PP, the chocolate chip cookie was 14 PP, and the small chocolate macaroon cookie was 5 PP. I had to decide what I was going to do with all of this. I ended up eating about 1/4 of the brownie, 1/2 the chocolate chip cookie, and the whole chocolate cookie. It ended up being 16 PP total. I had earned 11 on my run, so it wasn't exactly an even swap, but since I only get a treat like this once a week, I just used my regular snack PP to make up the difference.
I don't think I will ever lust after a Mrs. Fields cookie again--these goodies were spectacular! And because they are from a local bakery, they tasted homemade and fresh. Next time, though, I will make sure that I only leave with ONE treat. ;)
Just a reminder, tomorrow is Motivational Monday! If you have a picture of a health/fitness accomplishment from last week that you want to share, you can email it to me (along with a description) at SlimKatie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com with the subject "Motivational Monday". I may use it on tomorrow's post!