Paul took Rob and William swimming yesterday, so I didn’t have my running partners. I went out on my own, and learned this: children make excellent shields. When I run with the children, I don’t worry that the neighbors are looking at me, because I am certain they are instead trying to figure out what we’re running away from
so slowly. When I run with the children, people are too busy trying not to hit us with their cars to notice if my rear is, or is not, jogging more than I am. When I run with the children, I look like I’m participating reluctantly in some sort of Family Fitness Fun!! program, not like I think I am Getting Ripped. When I run with the children, the sound of questions (“What’s the difference between a cul de sac and a dead end?” “How many more seconds?” “Are you GLAD or NOT GLAD that we’re doing this?”) drowns out the sound of gasping and swearing.
Running still felt easier without them, though, perhaps because my heart rate was not already elevated from seeing a child jog aimlessly toward the center yellow line or carom off a mailbox. I’d planned to repeat week one, but as an experiment tried a week two session. Week one’s sixty seconds of jogging was a nearly insurmountable eternity of jogging, but ninety seconds turned out to be just as nearly insurmountable–and then there’s 2 minutes of
breathing walking instead of 90 seconds, and that’s worth the additional suffering.
May I suggest my favorite post-run snack? Try half a batch of these babies and feel the suffering ease.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup butter (1 stick plus a scant 3 tablespoons), softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
approx. 1 and 1/4 cups mint chocolate chips*
*OR: use regular chocolate chips and add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (make sure it’s peppermint, not mint) to the batter when adding the vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar; add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add baking soda and salt and mix well. Add cocoa powder and flour very carefully or you will have cocoa powder on more surfaces than you thought possible; cocoa powder is not bound by the laws of physics and I have found it coating the underside of the base of the mixer. Add mint chocolate chips. You can put in a full bag (which is about 1 and 2/3 cups), but I thought it was better with fewer (I know–I’m as surprised as anyone). Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-9 minutes; err on the side of underbaking, because they’ll set up more after they come out of the oven.
The first time I baked them, they almost didn’t change shape from the dough balls they started out as. The second time, I mixed them a little more thoroughly and made the dough balls a little smaller, and they flattened out like cookies. Both times they tasted excellent.
If you make this recipe, you will want to kiss me or curse me, but your mouth will be too crammed to do either one. These are like mint-chocolate-chip brownie cookies. Last night Paul went to bed early because he wanted to stop eating the cookies and couldn’t think of any other way.