Three is the Magic Number

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Last night, we ended up making Christmas sugar cookies instead of Dough Balls.  Since this recipe has over 2,000 positive reviews, I figured I couldn’t go wrong – and I was right.  The cookies were chewy and dense, just the way I like sugar cookies!


I am definitely adding this to my holiday arsenal of recipes!


This morning, everyone else slept in so I snuck out with the sunrise and went for a run.  I did 3.0 miles, and it felt pretty good! Recently, I’ve been feeling in a bit of a running slump since the marathon, and I realized why.  Not only has my weekly running time dropped from 6 hours a week to about 2 (which is kind of sad to me because running is one of my favorite things to do!), but I haven’t been running long distances at all.  This morning, it finally clicked – I think runs only start to feel pleasurable (for me) after 2.0 miles.


Mile 1, I feel cold and snot is running all over my face.  Mile 2, my legs are feeling stiff and my muscles are right.  By Mile 3, everything is warmed up, and I start to have fun!  … And then I stop running.  :)  Haha!  I really need to get back over 3.0 miles so I can get back into the zone.  Just waiting for my knees to cooperate again!


I tested out these Nike running tights, which I bought yesterday and are on Black Friday weekend sale for $30.

IMG_6130 IMG_6131

They were super comfy and warm! I would recommend buying a size smaller than you think you’ll need.


Breakfast featured a very special topping. 🙂


Christmas cookie and Grilled Banana Sandwich!  I crumbled about 1/2 a cookie on top of my melty banana.  It was so good.


Um, I should put cookies on top of more breakfasts.  Truth.


Off to enjoy the Holiday weekend!


What’s your magic number for mileage?  Are you still looking for your magic number?



  • Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun November 27, 2010, 9:37 am

    Those sugar cookies look amazing. I love when they are chewy and dense too. Can’t stand crunchy sugar cookies!

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 4:12 pm

      Crunchy sugar cookies blow.

  • Nicole - yuppie yogini November 27, 2010, 9:43 am

    I like the new pants. Makes your legs look uber long! Back when I could run a long distance, my magic number was between 7-9 miles, roughly 60-80 minutes. It’s more about time spent than distance for me.

  • Corey @ the Runners Cookie November 27, 2010, 9:47 am

    Sugar Cookies put me in the holiday mood 🙂
    My magic number is probably 6-7 miles – I warm up fully after about 3 and then enjoy 3 or 4 more miles no problem. Once I get into the double digits I’m going to feel more fatigued afterward.

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers November 27, 2010, 9:48 am

    When I was training for my last half marathon, my magic number was 8…every time I set out for a run longer than that, I’d always stop around 8 (oops) 😉

  • Cathy K November 27, 2010, 9:51 am

    the sugar cookies are so cute! isn’t baking for the holidays just the best!
    for me, i need thirty minutes to get in the zone…so i fully understand how you feel!
    enjoy your weekend, caitlin!

  • Kris November 27, 2010, 9:58 am

    Cute running tights! I saw the Nike stuff was on a great sale at Kohls, along w/ the Fila. I had been lusting after two Fila workout tops, and bought a pair of running tights too, and they all ran big.

  • Kristy @ November 27, 2010, 10:01 am

    I love anything over 4 miles, because it usually takes me about 4 miles to get into a groove. 🙂 mmmmm…cookies look delish!

  • Balanced Healthy Life November 27, 2010, 10:03 am

    My magic number is around 2.5-3. That’s when I really start feeling good during the run! Like you said, my body seems warmed up and ready to keep going when I hit that number. I usually don’t do any fewer than 5 miles when I run.

  • Betsy November 27, 2010, 10:05 am

    Those cookies look great. This post reminds me that I need a cookie cutter!!

    3-5 is my favorite. 3 is quick and painless, for the most part, and 5 is just hard enough to remind me how far I’ve come.

  • grocery goddess jen November 27, 2010, 10:06 am

    Mmmm, sugar cookies! I always loved making those at Christmastime. I have no magic mileage! I really have stopped running for the past few months, and done more strength training and interval training, and I’m happy with that.

  • Camille November 27, 2010, 10:10 am

    For me, I love to just go as far as I can. Until I got injured, 6 miles was a nice, easy run 🙂

  • Sarah November 27, 2010, 10:14 am

    I think 4-6 is my happy range. Anything more and I need to be really intentional about fueling and hydrating. Anything less and I’m still warming up.

  • Aby November 27, 2010, 10:22 am

    I find that the longer I run, the better I start to feel until I get to about 10-12, then I start to flag a little. I can run through that slump but don’t tend to regain the same easy feeling I had before the slump though, it’s more that I just reach a new equilibrium, if that makes sense. Prior to the slump, miles 5-8 are usually my best. This is all for long or medium-long runs though. For any kind of speedwork whether its a tempo run, fartleks or intervals, it really varies from run to run.

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 4:14 pm

      haha, you said fartlek.

  • Amanda (Eating Up) November 27, 2010, 10:25 am

    Thank you for that sugar cookie recipe! They’re my favorite Christmas cookie, and I am always looking for the best recipe.

  • Laine @ Beets, Butter & Mountaintops November 27, 2010, 10:30 am

    I went biking this morning. It’s 37 degrees. The first mile my head was freezing. Then my legs were getting warmed up and I felt like a slug. At mile 2.5 I was like “I could turn back now and have done 5 which isn’t bad.” But I kept going so I could get to the ocean. I ended up doing 8.5 with a few hills, and by mile 3 I was happy as could be.

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 4:15 pm

      ohmigod i cannot believe you biked in 37 degree weather. that sounds torturous. what do you wear?

      • Laine @ Beets, Butter & Mountaintops November 27, 2010, 6:44 pm

        I had on wool socks and sneakers, with my lululemon yoga pants tucked into my socks 80’s style. (I need some non-flare legs) Then a lululemon tank, smartwool long sleeve shirt, another ll long sleeve shirt and a vest, then a fleece neck warmer. I had on a band to cover my ears and wind proof gloves.

        I was perfectly warm and not too hot after I started biking, and was able to take the gloves off after a while.

        The key was extra layers on my core so the blood could go out to my fingers and toes.

        Oh yeah, and I had a flannel cloth in my pocket for the nose-blowing.

        It was heavenly!

  • Nadine November 27, 2010, 10:42 am

    I think 6 is my happy place. I always go out too fast, so mile one is a sprint. Mile 2 I start to settle in and then mile 3 I’ve finally started to pace myself. In order to feel like I’ve gotten a ‘good’ run, I like to do 2-3 more. I feel like I’ve run ‘long’ when I do anything OVER 6.

  • Natalia - a side of simple November 27, 2010, 11:03 am

    I think I need that breakfast right now. Or maybe I’ll just have it for lunch and dinner… that sounds like a great way to spend my Saturday 🙂

  • Kristen November 27, 2010, 11:05 am

    Need to try those! I’ve made these too: They’re easy to ship!

  • Georgie @ Georgie Goes Healthy November 27, 2010, 11:09 am

    3 is definitely my magic number as well. No matter how out of shape I am or how long it has been since I went running – I can always run 3 miles. If I go more than 3 miles I know I am starting to get into better shape (or recover from an injury)!

  • Maddie (Healthy Maddie) November 27, 2010, 11:14 am

    4-6 is my magic number. Any run in that range is enjoyable! Mmm cookies on breakfast. I will need to try that!

  • Jenne November 27, 2010, 11:18 am

    I’m still looking for my magic number…the longest I’ve gone is 3.5 miles and it felt great, but I don’t want to increase my distaces too fast. I have a 10k race in the spring, so I have a while to work on it. But now the snow has fallen, and the trails are sooooo icy!!!

  • Jacquelyn November 27, 2010, 11:27 am

    I feel the same way – after 3 miles I’m in the zone and loving it. Actually, until this post I thought I was the only one! My favourite runs are 6-10 miles. The longest I’ve ever done is 12 miles though, and I do plan on increasing distances.

  • Julie November 27, 2010, 11:33 am

    “Pleasurable run” distance varies for me, but I think 3-4 is ideal. I did my first real post-marathon run on Thursday (5+ mi) and thought it was a bit much for my re-debut. =/

  • Chelsea @ Strawberry Sweat November 27, 2010, 11:34 am

    I think I am still looking for my magic number. It seems whenever I start running more than 8+ miles for long runs, I get injured. But I miss my long runs!

  • Amber K November 27, 2010, 11:35 am

    I haven’t been able to run one mile, so I’m not sure! lol

  • Lauren November 27, 2010, 11:36 am

    Off topic, but I just wanted to thank you for all your vegetarian recipies for holiday cooking! I’ve been eating that amazing green bean casserole every day since Thanksgiving… Its delicious! Believe it or not my meat eater fiance admitted it was his favorite dish! Success! Thanks again 🙂

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 4:16 pm

      I am so glad you liked it!

  • Ashley November 27, 2010, 11:58 am

    Haha, I love the cookie topping! I actually had a slice of pumpkin cheesecake for breakfast yesterday (the shame) – yep, true story! Pumpkin is healthy, right? ; )
    No really though, I’ve had enough indulgence…I need to get back on the straight and narrow for awhile before all of the impending Christmas yummies come out!!! : )

    • Caitlin November 27, 2010, 3:49 pm

      Haha I know what you mean about being *over* the holiday eating after just one day. It wrecks havoc on my digestion.

      I had pumpkin pie on my oatmeal last year. It was good.

  • anonymous November 27, 2010, 12:12 pm

    Cookies on breakfast? Genius! 😀

  • Theodora November 27, 2010, 12:22 pm

    It’s definitely somewhere above three–I agree, it definitely takes me at least two miles to get into a groove.

  • Mary @ Bites and Bliss November 27, 2010, 12:39 pm

    I noticed the same thing with me this morning, actually!! The first 2 miles dragged by but after that, I just kept going! It’s incredible. I guess that’s “runners high”?

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 27, 2010, 1:06 pm

    3 miles is kind of my make-it-or-break-it distance. By that point I either know I want to finish my run pronto, or keep on going for another 1 or 2.

  • Lauren November 27, 2010, 1:20 pm

    I am the same way, the first mile of running is always awful. I can’t really warm up or hit my groove until mile 2-3. I miss long runs too but I’ll have to wait until the spring, it’s just too cold here to be running for more than a few miles. That is when sickness begins.

    Happy Saturday!!

  • sarah November 27, 2010, 1:40 pm

    I also search All Recipes for recipes with hundreds of positive reviews!! It worksn 😛

  • Katie November 27, 2010, 1:45 pm

    I always had to do more than three to get that runner’s high/relief from anxiety/good workout feeling.

  • Sonja November 27, 2010, 2:16 pm

    So true! I made this exact comment to my husband after running a 5K a few weekends ago. The day after the race, I ran a nice, slow 8 miles, and I realized that I am much much more of a distance runner. I only feel truly ‘warmed up’ after 2-3 miles, which is right when a 5K is over!

  • Amber from Girl with the Red Hair November 27, 2010, 2:33 pm

    This post came at the perfect time, I was just thinking I NEEDED new running tights. Now, let’s see if they’ll ship to Canada…

    When I was marathon training, my magic number was 10-12 miles. Perfect length run to make me feel like I worked hard but wouldn’t put me out of commission for the whole day. Now that marathon training is over my magic number is more like 4-6 miles. I agree, 3 miles really isn’t enough because you don’t get in the zone for the first 2ish miles anyways!

  • Krista (kristastes) November 27, 2010, 2:53 pm

    I hear you on the first 2 miles! I am always stiff/sore/bla then once I get warmed up I’m MUCH happier. I think my magic number is 8…although that number keeps growing. I have those tights in capri form and they’re SO comfortable but you’re right about sizing down.

  • Emma (Sweet Tooth Runner) November 27, 2010, 2:55 pm

    I don’t know what my magic number is! It seems to change depending on my mood/weather etc! Sometimes I love a longer run and other times I’m just not feeling it!

  • Robin November 27, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Once I get beyond the first mile, I am good. On my long runs,I feel strongest around mile eight, then lose steam at mule ten. I still need to work on fueling during my runs!

  • Clare @ Fitting It All In November 27, 2010, 3:55 pm

    TOTALLY agree. Running kinda sucks and seems daunting at the beginning, so it’s actually better to plan longer distances to get in your stride! I’d say 3 is probably about right.

  • KJ November 27, 2010, 5:23 pm

    I feel best from 10-15kms (6-9miles?). I start to feel alive at 10K. I actually had my lactate thresholds tested and it takes my muscles 40+ minutes to warm up, made a lot more sense why it takes me so long before I hit my groove.

    I’m pretty sure I should spend the afternoon baking cookies after reading your post. Yum!

  • Courtney (greeneyedrunner) November 27, 2010, 5:30 pm

    My magic number is definitely over 3! I had the same problem coming back from injury: it just wasn’t FUN like it used to be. It took me a while to realize that the pain didn’t have time to numb out before my run ended! I think my magic number is six: I love quick six-milers and I especially love building on them! Doing shorter runs reminded me why I love being a distance runner, and even doing half marathons make me long for fulls! Those sugar cookies look DIVINE, I may try to make them gluten-free because sugar cookies make me weak…

  • chelsey @ clean eating chelsey November 27, 2010, 8:35 pm

    I agree with the 3 mile thing – Although some days I only have time for 3 miles, especially during the work week. I always feel really tight up until mile 3!

  • Heidi - apples under my bed November 27, 2010, 8:46 pm

    I’m still looking for my magic number, I guess. But in terms of time, I find that after 10 or 15 mins running I am totally in love with it and in my stride! love the cookies.
    Heidi xo

  • Bria November 28, 2010, 7:52 am

    My magic number, when it is cold outside/winter, is 3 kilometers/~2 miles.

    Cute tights! And congrats on your second book deal. 🙂

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