Monday, December 27, 2021

Weekly Round Up: All the Christmas Cookies and the Return of the Five Mile Race

A weekly round up: eats, workouts, watches, and reads.  In this week's edition, I got an amazing Christmas present (I picked it out myself!) and many Christmas cookies were eaten.

My Amazing Christmas Present

I asked my family for the week off from cooking dinner AND I enjoyed it very much.  The highlight of their cooking was this spaghetti dinner.

Cookie Reviews

Last week I shared the recipes that I was planning on making, and this week I'm back with the reviews 

Oreo balls are always a sure fire hit.  I made a double batch right out of the gate.


Fully Loaded M&M Oreo Holiday Bars were a surprise hit.  I was expecting something like an ordinary chocolate chip cookie and I could not have been more wrong.  The texture is very much like a brownie and they are very "melt in your mouth".  Most of these were eaten at our family Christmas dinner so I will need to make another (double) batch to see us through New Year's.

Christmas Tree Shortbread Cookies were...just OK.  I can't find any fault with the taste, but I'm not obsessed with them.  On the decorating front, I incorrectly assumed that we had a tree cookie cutter, so I made the last minute switch to the closest shape we had.  I read the instructions wrong so I failed on the green swirl of the original.


'Tis the season for the 5 mile race!  I previously ran this race in 2019, and will always affectionately think of it the way I overheard another runner describe it in 2019 as the Uphill in All Directions Race.   This race is held in my town a mile away from my house, and loops the town.  Miles 1, 3, and 4 are very distinctly uphill, though nothing as bad as some of the other races that I've run recently.

I didn't beat my 2019 time, but I held my own on the hills and raced a dog for the finish line and won, so I will take it.

Run Streak Thoughts

By the time we next talk, I will have completed the Winter Runner's World Run Streak.  Here's how I'm feeling/what I'm thinking.

The three objections that I've always heard against running streaks is that (1) it could increase the risk of injury, (2) too much laundry, and (3) the time commitment.  Here's what I've found:

(1) I don't have a history of running injuries, but I do value my rest days.  I've found that running one mile on what would normally be a rest day has been very refreshing.  On days when I've felt a little tired or a little achy, the mile run seems to clear everything out.

(2) Running every day does not make LESS laundry, but the difference between running 5 days a week and 7 days a week is negligible.

(3) Likewise, running 7 days a week instead of 5 days does not take LESS time, but it doesn't take much more time.  When I'm planning to run 4-6 miles, I take a fair amount of time to get ready and to make sure that I have everything that I need for the run.  When I'm just going for a mile I literally just throw on running clothes and head out the door.  

TMI for (2) and (3) is that running one mile in the cold does not make me break a sweat so that's cutting down on the laundry/shower situation.

My final thoughts are:

  • Doing a end-of-year running streak is a lovely tribute to this time of year, and I think I would like to repeat it next year.  I think that doing a streak even once is a nice one for the running bucket list.
  • It's just plain fun to call yourself a streaker.
  • Running just one mile feels really good.  I can see adding in the occasional mile to my lunch breaks or in place of my normal rest days after the streak.  Or ooh...I might even just run a mile instead of a normal running workout sometime.
  • BUT over time I've gotten less excited about my normal running workouts and less motivated to strength train.  Lately I've had several days where I've felt like I "have to" run instead of I "get to" run and for that reason I think the streak will be going bye-bye. I may stop on Jan 2nd, or I may continue on for a bit.  I just don't know right now. 

For more streak wisdom, I recommend:




  1. Well done on your 5-miler, Birchie! I've never won against a dog at a finish line, that's amazing!
    And thank you for your thoughts on streaking. I would definitely wear the same running clothes the next day if I don't sweat on a 1-mile run. I never thought about it, but it does make a difference to the laundry situation.
    I would love to see how the Oreo balls looks like on the inside. Do you still have one left to cut open and take a photo of for next week?

    1. Well I should clarify that the dog was only going as fast as its human! Ha ha yes if I can get there in time I should be able to snag an interior oreo ball shot. It basically just looks like chocolate.

  2. Those cookies look amazing!!! Good luck with your run streak.

  3. Well, first of all it's crazy how much I love looking at other people's Christmas cookies. Oreo balls??? I'm looking up that recipe. It has my daughter's name written all over it.
    I'm really thinking of doing the Thanksgiving- New Years or maybe the Memorial Day-July 4 RW streak next year (depending on what else is going on.) Sounds like it would be a really fun thing to do for a limited time period like that. Anyway, congrats on completing yours (almost there) and also the five mile race. You ended the year strong!

    1. I'm totally in to seeing other people's cookie spreads! The oreo balls are crazy easy to make and everyone loves them.

      I recommend the streak, but yes I think the key is a limited time period. I never thought about doing the summer one, but that would be fun as well.

  4. Oreo balls are a HUGE hit with my husband's family, too. I do not care for Oreos myself, so I always make buckeyes for myself and no one in his family eats them, so I get to take all the leftovers home, too.

    I only have three pairs of running tights and three pairs of yoga pants. My sports bra supply is even more limited. I try to do laundry only on Sundays, so I would definitely have to rewear clothing if I were trying to do something every day! No shame from me!

    1. We never eat plain oreos, but once they're in balls or crushed for our favorite ice cream cake it's a different story.

      It's only in the past few years that I've finally built up my workout wardrobe and I've always been a once-a-week laundry person. I used to be quite the pro at rewearing workout clothes;-)

  5. As I’ve said, I’m so glad the streaking went well for you! I think it has to be a trial & error thing for non-streakers to test the waters, so I’m glad you gave it a go! Confession, I often times repeat-wear some of my gear as well because I don’t break much of a sweat in just one mile (in those December temps).

  6. Glad that you enjoyed streaking. I have never done it. Maybe in the summer where it doesn't take so long to get dressed and un-dressed for short runs.

    And in the winter, yes I do re-wear clothing.

    Your cookies look delish... making me hungry now!!

  7. Your post just convinced me to consider giving a running streak a try (maybe for a month or so). Getting out for 1 mile each day (minimum) should be doable.
    Kudos to you!
    These oreo balls look amazing!

    1. Yes to the streak! I ended it on Jan 2 since I couldn't find a reason to keep doing it, but it was so much fun.