Still hanging in there!


For now at least...

Where do I go from here?

(Yes that is the title of one of the songs from Buffy: The Musical and I know every word. I'm a geek or possibly just a loser.)

I started running a little over a year ago and I could only run for 60 seconds. Barely. 2 days ago I ran 8.2 miles without stopping. Crazy! I used to HATE when someone said something stupid like "I ran 2 easy miles" because I could not imagine a world in which entire miles could be "easy" to run. Tonight I ran 4 easy miles. Seriously, it was easy. And fun! Weird.

Big Hairy Goal #1 was the Bolder Boulder. Yes I was slow. But I did it and ran the whole way.

Now what? I thought I wanted to work on my speed, but that's been pretty much impossible. I'm slow. I can improve my distance, though. The next big milestone would be a 1/2 marathon. That's 13.1 miles. That's a LOT more than 10k. And it's a LOT more than the 8 miles I can currently do. But a year ago, 10k seemed completely impossible so who knows?

I've been doing 3-4 miles 2-3 times a week, and a longer run once a week. When I looked at the Hal Higdon training programs, I'm right about at week 6 in the intermediate half marathon training program. Maybe I can do it?

I'm actually not sure the ouchie disc in my back can handle it. At 8 miles, it was really hurting and it hurt the next day. Today, it was fine and I did the 4 mile run without a problem. But I'm not sure I can keep improving my long runs at the rate of 1 mile a week. I'll just do the best I can and see how it goes.

It's definitely time for an update about the Nike+ Challenge.When the previous challenge ended, I was extremely proud to end up in 8th place. Since then, a few more girls joined, and everyone started running more to train for summer races. I was sick the first week. When I checked my place and I was in 18th!! Since then I've been clawing my way back up to the top 10. Here's how things are looking tonight:
That's me in 10th! But I'm having a battle with Shannie11. She has this magical ability to predict how many kilometers I will run, and she will run 1 more than me. SO FRUSTRATING! And SO MOTIVATING! Ha! 8th place is clearly out of the realm of possibility, but 9th place girl, watch out! (And Shannie11, you might have a crystal ball, but I am very stubborn and won't go down without a fight.)

UPDATE: Please disregard my last post. Apparently, I do run in the rain (just so it's a light rain and not a downpour accompanied by lightning). And I like it.

Excuses, Excuses...

Top 5 reasons why I don't run in the rain:

5. If it's raining, maybe it just isn't meant to be. Who am I to argue with fate?
4. People driving by in their warm, dry cars give you the strangest looks.
3. Cookie is terrified of thunder, and she can't exactly cower under my feet shaking while running (though she tried and I almost crashed).
2. No one wants to see me running in a wet tank top and running shorts. NO ONE. It's just not something you can un-see. This isn't an episode of Baywatch.
1. To say that I am clumsy is a huge understatement. I can hardly manage to sit still without hurting myself. I'm surprised I haven't managed to kill myself in my attempts to run on dry, good weather days. Running in the rain or snow would be begging for disaster.

So no matter how much I love running outside more than on a stupid treadmill, running in the rain, sleet, snow, etc is just not an option for me. If it was just sprinkling lightly that would be wonderful, but usually we get quick torrential downpours rather than light drizzle.

Today we were busy most of the day and it was way too hot to run, then it finally cooled off and rained. I thought the rain had passed, but soon after Cookie and I left home it started raining again (big cold raindrops that were trying to become hail), so we only made it half a mile. :(

I never thought I could be so sad about missing a run. Who am I and where did I put Kirsten?

Proof that it was too hot to run in the middle of the day:

Okay it's possible the thermometer was ever so slightly wrong. ;-)

Good Workout!

Do as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes of the following:

5 push-ups (I gave up on man-style pretty quickly)
5 burpees
5 jumping pull ups

I got through 10 rounds. It's the burpees that will kill you.

Some videos:
Me doing burpees (Ha! Maybe someday)
Crazy dude does 1 mile of burpees
Burpees for overachievers
Burpees for beginniners
Jumping Pull Ups

Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Since the diet is a big old thumbs down at the moment, here's a great chocolate chip cookie recipe. First I'll copy the recipe as stated, then share what changes I made. Seriously, these cookies were GOOD. Sorry I don't have a picture... by the time I thought to take a picture, they were all gone.

Here's the original Nestle Tollhouse recipe:


  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 (12 ounce) package NESTLE® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts


  1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
After reading through a bunch of the comments about this recipe on, I decided to try a few changes.

  • You really need more than 2 1/4 cups of flour or the cookies will be too thin. I used 2 1/2 cups, but I just went with heaping measurements so it was actually more than that.
  • Double the vanilla. When you alter a recipe for high altitude, usually you add more flour and add some water, but I went with extra vanilla instead. I used the amazingly wonderful madagascar vanilla bean paste instead of regular vanilla extract.
  • Instead of 1 teaspoon of baking soda, I used slightly less than 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Usually I cut down on baking powder or baking soda when altering a recipe for high altitude.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt instead of a whole teaspoon was plenty. I did use salted butter though. Actually I used Irish butter, which is divine and can be found at Costco.
  • I left out the walnuts. I was making the cookies for some friends and wasn't sure if they liked nuts in their cookies or not. The recipe is great with or without the nuts.
  • I used milk chocolate chips because I like them better. The cheap generic chocolate chips from King Soopers are super yummy.
  • 9 minutes cooking time was perfect. I did not wait for them to be "golden brown" because I didn't want them to be crunchy.

The "Improved" Recipe:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (heaping cups is fine... there's no need to measure precisely)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, or slightly less
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, or slightly less
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4-1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4-1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (12 ounce) package milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (optional; walnuts work well)


  1. PREHEAT oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. COMBINE flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. (At this point, you might want to taste the dough. Don't eat too much because of the raw eggs, but this cookie dough is GOOD!). Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  3. BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until they're a little brown on the edges. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. I ended up with 38 fairly small cookies.
Oh and one more tip.... when storing the cookies, put a piece of bread in the container with them. It keeps them nice and chewy.


Today's Workout

This is a good one to do at home with minimal equipment. All you need is a hand weight. I used 15 pounds. 15 felt fine but I should probably try 20 since my arms aren't sore (crap I hope Brenna isn't reading this). Really the problem continues to be my abs. They are so weak and it makes other exercises difficult. I really need to work on this issue. My chiropractor thinks it's contributing to my back issues as well. Maybe I'll do a plank challenge in July or something.

Today we did this thing that is called a half viking salute, though google is not bringing me any results for this exercise. I'll attempt to explain it.

Put the weight on the ground. Grab it with your right hand and bring it up over your head with your arm straight up. Leave it up there, and take your right leg and move your leg back into a lunge on your right knee. When you're on your knee, bring the weight down do your shoulder, then back up above your head. Then keep it above your head and stand up (I think this is the hardest part!). Once you are on both feet with the weight still above your head, put it back on the ground. That's 1 rep. Then do it with the other arm and the other leg.

The workout is 10 half viking salutes (alternating which side you use, so 5 on each side), then 50 sit ups. Then 10 half viking salutes and 40 sit ups. Then 10 and 30, then 10 and 20, and finally 10 and 10.

I also squeezed in 5k of running tonight. I was stuffed full of delicious lasagna and Yogurtland, which made it really hard (at first I was so full I had to walk) but it was a beautiful evening. Maybe someday I'll learn my lesson about overeating.

I also started tracking my food and exercise again. I'm using an app called livestrong, but if you don't have an iphone and the app, the website is free. The best thing is they have an amazingly complete selection of items so it's soooo easy to find how many calories are in just about anything. They even had nutritional information for about 20 flavors from Yogurtland! So far I would definitely recommend it. The only thing I would say is that the calories it gives you seems rather high so I'm trying to stay under their recommendations.

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