The 7:20 mile
This morning I had my all-time, best ever, blow-the-doors-off-my-previous-record, run time. Over the winter I’ve worked my way back up to the 185 range, about ten pounds heavier then I’d like to weigh. Lots of fast carbs: fudge, cookies, candy, cookies, fudge, cookies–you see the pattern. And desirable running weather has been especially hard to come by this particularly precocious winter. Considering that last fall I had my mile time down to 8 minutes, running a mile in over nine during these bleak months has bordered on depressing. But this week , with the passing of an exceptional stretch of snow for these here parts, I had another running breakthrough.
This happened last year too. I suddenly went from averaging around 9 minutes per mile to 8:20. A delightfully shocking accomplishment. (I think I mentioned it.) I credited it to the addition of squats, lunges, and the Fun album Some Nights to my running routine. But what new method could have allowed me to suddenly average 7:20 after an 8:15 first mile and a 9:15 pace just last week. There is only one possible factor . . .
This new burst of speed I must attribute to my ultimate oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I had avoided making them for a while because there was just too much good stuff around and I really really love this recipe. They have a presence that beckons to me, a spirit that calls out to me, like no other snack I know. But fortunately I gave in and cranked out a batch–for the kids. I did it for the kids. They like em too.
And whaddayaknow! ZOOM!
I’m so glad I did.
Here’s the recipe:
Cream 2 sticks of softened butter with 1-1/2 cups of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white sugar. Beat in 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Stir in 1-1/2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/3 teaspoon salt. Then 3 cups of quick oats and a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. I’ve started makeing them bigger, about 60 from a batch, baked at 375 for 6 minutes or so–repeatedly testing the batter during the baking process then comparing it to the taste of the fresh baked cookies toward the end (This part is essential to the personal and professional development of the baker.)