Whole-Wheat, Whole-Grain Morning Monster Cookies and an Invitation!

Last year if you would have told me that I'd write two blog posts on running, I would have laughed (and laughed, and laughed some more).

What I always said when people talked about running was that "running hurts me."  It was the truth, and also, remedied with a more substantial sports bra. *ahem*

You might have seen a post back in the spring about my first 5K.  Since then, I've kept up with the running...albeit a slight foot injury had me on the sidelines for a few weeks and this Houston humidity is surely trying to kill me.

What has kept me going is a group of girls called the Red Faced Runners.  Yep.  Here we are in our Wonder Woman socks...
{That's me, top left...can't you tell?}

LISTEN UP....we want you to run WITH US!!!  
{More in a minute...}

We're all at different levels of running, but the common denominator, besides our red faces, is that we cheer each other on.  These girls are my heart when I feel like I don't want to get out there, or I want to quit and walk home. 

We also have a fearless leader, Cindy of Once Upon a Loaf.  Cindy is a real-live RUNNING COACH...and she's over at Dara's blog, giving some invaluable advice for starting a running program and training for a 5K.

First though, Cindy was nice enough to share a few quick points here:

1. Believe in the run.
2. Believe in the rest.
3. Respect must rule all.
4. Your body is your temple.
5. Your kitchen is your place of worship.
6. Equip yourself.
7. You run.  You don't jog.
8. Get after it.
9. Spread the love.
10. Have the time of your life!

We're inviting you, challenging you (would love for you) to run WITH us the weekend of September 8th.

Pick a race in your area and let's run together!!!  (Click here to search a list of races.)
Plus....you can eat all of the cookies you want after the race.  (I'm not sure that's in Cindy's training plan, but it's part of mine.)

OK...let me share with you part of my running routine.  I like to run early.  Why?

A. It's cooler outside.
B. It takes me approximately 4.5 hours to dry my hair, so early gets me out of the house by noon.

Before heading out, I like to grab a quick breakfast.  I don't want to cook anything, so most mornings, I grab a Kind Bar (thank you, Teresa), but having a breakfast cookie like this already made and ready to go is even better.

I call these "Morning" Monster Cookies because they're chock-full of oats, whole-wheat flour (KA White Whole Wheat), peanut butter, and dried cherries replace the typical M&Ms.  OK...there are chocolate and butterscotch chips, too.  Sugar = energy, right?  Right.

Morning Monster Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
3 eggs
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon light corn syrup
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 & 1/2 cups chunky peanut butter
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup white whole wheat flour, King Arthur brand (all-purpose is fine)
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup dried cherries

Melt the butter over low heat and set aside.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugars, vanilla, corn syrup, baking soda and salt.  Whisk in the melted butter.
Add the peanut butter, oats, and flour; stir until combined.  Stir in the chips and cherries until evenly distributed.  (This will give your arm a workout.)

Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.

Drop the dough by 1/4-cupfuls onto the parchment-lined sheets.  Flatten slightly with your fingers.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for 1-2 minutes, then cool completely on a cooling rack.

{Based on a recipe for classic Monster Cookies from The King Arthur Cookie Companion.}

Click on over to Cookin' Canuck for more detailed tips from Cindy.  Be sure to visit the rest of the Red Faced Runners, too!

Kristen, Dine & Dish 
Robyn, Add a Pinch
Dara, Cookin' Canuck 

So, will you join us?  
{psst...join the fun on twitter using the #RFR5k hashtag.}
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