Happy Friday everyone! Today we are talking about two things, my first week of training for the half marathon I’m doing next month, and these super delicious No Bake Chocolate Cookies!
Let’s start with the running and then we’ll eat cookies. Training for this half marathon is slightly different than any of the others that I have trained for in the past. The reason being the course I will be running is completely downhill. The race starts at an elevation of 7,410 feet and over the course of 13.1 miles (yes the .1 is important, if you’ve run a half you’ll understand) drops down to 5,759 feet. That’s a elevation loss of 1,651 feet….um yeah, so that’s pretty significant considering the races I’ve done in the past haven’t had a drop of more that a 300-400 feet. You might be thinking to yourself, a race that’s all downhill, piece of cake…not necessarily. You see, when you run long distances your legs are putting up with a lot of pounding, force, and pressure being put on them. If you don’t get a little variation of uphill and downhill mixed in the legs start to become more angry with you than usual. I mean they are upset with you anyways about 10 miles into the race, but if you run all flat, all uphill, or in my case all downhill they will be a little more than upset. So, to help remedy this foreseen anger and pain I am predicting they will throw at me, I am training opposite of how I normally would. Instead of working hard on uphills I am using them more as a recovery and putting more effort and speed into downhills. Luckily, being in Colorado I am surrounded by hills and mountains so getting some nice long downhills into my runs hasn’t been a problem. I am definitely starting to feel some of the pains that come with increasing my speed and running more hills. My quads will have days where they don’t want to climb the stairs in our house after a run, my hips will be tight and I’ll look like an 80 year old woman walking, and my feet…oh my feet. I’ve talked briefly before about the hideousness of runner’s feet, don’t look, you’ll regret it. Well, mine are no exception and with the downhill training they are getting worse. One word, toenails. I’ve lost one, which is no surprise, it’s the one I always lose. Now however, the one next to it is completely black and rather painful. At this point I’m actually looking forward to it falling off. Anywho, I think I’ve grossed you out enough and explained downhill running enough, so let’s move on to something more fun, cookies!!!
No Bake Chocolate Cookies were always a favorite of mine growing up, especially in the summer. I think I loved them so much on those hot Arizona days because you store them in the freezer. They never completely freeze rock hard to the point where you’ll break a tooth, instead they just stay firm and give you a nice cold, sweet, chocolatey, peanut buttery bite. The problem with the original recipe for the cookies is that it uses a LOT of butter. Well I don’t know about you, but when it comes to cookies I don’t just eat one and call it good. Nope, I’m more of a 3-4 cookie kind of gal. To make these childhood favorites of mine a little healthier I simply replaced the butter with coconut oil, used a little less peanut butter, maple syrup instead of white sugar, and yep, you guessed it, a little Greek yogurt!
So now that we have all these healthier substitutions they are practically health food, right? I’ll just keep telling myself that as I shove another one in my mouth. Whenever I try to make a dessert healthier I always go to my husband for his approval, he’ll straight up tell me if it’s blog worthy or a bust. This one got a thumbs up! I honestly couldn’t taste much difference between the ones I ate as a kid and these ones. So whether you are training for your next race and want these yummy cookies as a reward or you are just a cookie addict trying to find a way to eat more cookies with less guilt, I highly recommend giving these healthier No Bake Chocolate Cookies a try!