Attack of the Christmas Cookies: and other things that are sabotaging my running goals

I am officially in a sugar coma!  This past Monday, my book club decided to do a Christmas cookie exchange on top of our typical book discussion.  I left the party with 6 dozen cookies of all varieties: peanut butter kisses, iced gingers, chocolate peanut butter no-bakes, chocolate chip, cranberry-white chocolate chip. Needless to say, I was surrounded by temptation of the most delicious kind!  Every time I walked into the kitchen, these little morsels of delight were staring at me from their plates and calling my name.  I think I heard them say, “Oh come on, what’s one more?”  I’ve been on a cookie binge for the last week and, despite my efforts to run, I can feel my body screaming at me to cut back on the freakin’ sugar!

The Infamous Chocolate Peanut Butter No Bakes

Luckily, this doesn’t happen often and I don’t plan on making any kind of sweets for a long time after our current stash is depleted.  Still, I need to work on eating better.  I feel like stress from school is becoming my excuse for not doing a lot of things.  In all seriousness, I’m sure my body is crashing knowing that I am days away from being finished with finals and this semester.  But, I can’t allow those things to get in the way of my goals.  Every day on campus, I see a handful of runners still going despite finals, despite the holidays and despite the cold.  They’ve been able to manage their time and fit in their runs.  I need to adopt that kind of focus, determination and attitude if I’m going to accomplish this half marathon.

I honestly don’t feel like I’m making nearly as much progress as I thought I would have by this point in the game.  Duh. My sugar overload combined with laziness this week probably hasn’t helped much.  But even before, my body has been struggling with the whole treadmill running concept.  All summer I ran outside, either on trails or on the sidewalk paths by the river.  I enjoyed being in nature and looking at my surroundings as I huffed and puffed and trotted along.  The treadmill has quickly become dull to me.  I am easily distracted by other runners, who discourage me with their ability to run faster and longer than I can at the moment.  Luckily, I have found something that is making it a little  more bearable: Podcasts!


A podcast called MotionTraxx is currently my favorite one to listen to while doing any amount of running on the hamster wheel.  Their episodes provide energetic, trance-like music that keeps you running at a specific pace.  I downloaded three so far.  One is a solid hour of music set at a 150 beats per minute pace.  The other two are treadmill-interval workouts at levels 1 and 2.  Both give you cues on when to increase the speed or incline, which keeps you from having to time yourself.  The music is wonderful because they keep the variety going and it is easy to lose yourself in the rhythm.  I totally forget about peeking to see how much longer I have to go.

I’ve downloaded some other podcasts like: This American Life and RunRun Live, but I find it more difficult to pay attention to them on the treadmill.  They’ve been great while cross training on the elliptical and I do like those programs, so I recommend them if you’re looking for something to listen to, other than music.

This has been quite the hodgepodge of a post!  I did find one last thing that I feel I need to print and duck tape to my mirror, so I have to see it every morning.  I think it would put an end to all excuses pretty fast.

I think this was directed at me.

Have any of you been struggling to keep your running goals lately?  What have you found that gets you back on track? 



3 responses to “Attack of the Christmas Cookies: and other things that are sabotaging my running goals

  1. Oh how I hear you on the feeding/running challenges! My mom and in-laws routinely send us home with lion-sized portions of various delish carbs and it’s so hard to say no. I gained 3 pounds since Thanksgiving (which I keep hoping is just stress-related water weight) and because I’ve been so swamped all month, I haven’t been able to burn off the weight and get back to my running/yoga/pilates routine. A tip for the cookie conundrum: freeze the majority of them and eat one as a daily treat, after a workout, crushed into a Greek yogurt. And just think – in a couple of weeks the holidays are over and it’s back to the grind of healthful eating!

    Also – I’m a huge fan of bpm-controlled running playlists but I usually make them myself (I try to compile them for interval runs). Thanks for the info re: those podcasts, I’m definitely going to check them out! If you’re looking for more running motivation/playlist ideas, I recommend GirlTalk (his mixes are a little wild but very fast-paced and fun, as he samples lots of hip-hop mixed with pop and oldies) and Manu Chao (they’re a “world music” type band from Spain that sound kind of like Sublime mixed with vacationing in the Caribbean).

    Good luck with finals, don’t be too hard on yourself for not having time to run right now – we’ve all been there, and school should always come first!

    • I love the cookie and Greek yogurt idea! I’m going to have to try that for a much healthier dessert option! And I’ve never heard of GirlTalk or Manu Chao, but I love anything upbeat to listen to when I’m running. Those sound awesome! I hope you had a nice Christmas! Now we can both relax since the holiday stress has come and gone and get back into the swing of things! Oh and Happy New Year!

  2. 2. Say No to Food Pushers. This time of year people bring their most decadent dishes to share at holiday meals. And if you don’t eat these homemade goodies, some people feel hurt or get upset. Or if you take a taste rather than a full portion, they assume you don’t like it, so you eat more to make them feel better. If you encounter these food pushers, politely say “no thank you.” Some food pushers won’t accept this and will try to coerce you into eating a pile of their 500 calorie cheesy potatoes. But stay strong and keep saying no. After all, it’s you that will have to spend hours on the treadmill working off those potatoes, not them.

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