At mile 22 of any marathon. Everyone, across the board, is angry.
You're angry at yourself, your spouse, your coaches, your best friend...anyone who told you that this was a good idea. (Really, the only reason you keep trudging yourself towards that finish line is because you want to smack them and you want to smack them NOW. In fact...they should be the ones running. Away from you.)
You're angry at that person on the side of the road who keeps telling you you're almost there. Seriously? Four miles is not almost. Especially not when every step feels like a mile and every minute feels like a lifetime and you've been on your feet for FOUR HOURS. (You might smack that person on the side of the road. And really? No one would blame you for it.)
You're angry at anyone who is faster than you because they are probably sitting in an ice bath right now at this very moment. (You would give anything for an ice bath right now. That's how desperate things have gotten.)
You're angry at anyone who is slower than you because maybe their legs hurt less? I don't know. There's no good reason to be mad at these people...but you just are. You would turn around and smack them too but...that would mean more running. No judgment. I understand. I've been there.
Yup. Mile 22 is a rough mile. Especially when you're running on your own.
There's only so much time you can spend alone with your own thoughts before you want to smack yourself, too.
Mile 22. Is that upper limit.
But what if you're running with someone else? Someone else who will talk you through it when you hit your wall. Someone else who will tell you ridiculous stories about their super adorable kids.
Someone else who will discuss pumpkin cookies and pumpkin pie and all of the ice cream you are going to eat when this damn thing is over...
So...maybe mile 22 won't be so bad after all.
At the least...maybe my friend Michelle, who I'll (hopefully, so long as my MRI today comes back stress fracture free!) be running my marathon with in a little under two weeks from now, will have some more recipes as delicious as these pumpkin cookies up her sleeve for us to gossip about when things get rough.
Um, yeah. You can totally gossip about cookies. At least...at mile 22 you can.
These pumpkin cookies have the texture of pumpkin cake, but in cookie form. And like all good spiced fall baked goods, they taste better the day AFTER you make them. And by better...I mean my roommate who can barely finish a single cookie (she's weird) ate four of them last night. In a row. Do it.
Pumpkin Cookies with a Brown Sugar Glaze
Makes about 30, adapted from my friend Michelle
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts (or whatever nut you have on hand!)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp milk
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup confectioner's sugar
- Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, cream butter and combine with sugar on high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add egg, pumpkin, and vanilla. Beat well.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Sift together. Combine flour mixture with the butter/sugar/pumpkin mixture until just combined. Stir in hazelnuts.
- Drop batter in heaping tbsps onto a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake 10-15 minutes (mine took 12 minutes) or until just starting to get a bit brown around the edges. Basically, I felt the tops of them and when I thought they'd be done cooking in another minute, I took them out because they continue cooking after you remove them from the oven.
- Cool on a wire rack. While cookies are cooling, make the frosting - in a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, milk, and butter over low heat, stirring, until the butter is melted and the brown sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract and confectioner's sugar, whisking until no lumps are present. Ice cookies with the frosting.