Lies: The Test of a Runner (Recipe: Oreo Cookie Bark)

Marty Jerome sums up the pain that runners suffer extremely well.  I know that I could not come up with better words than these to describe what I have gone through the past few months.  The rest of this post is in his words:

“Running teaches a vast vocabulary of pain, often rudely prematurely ending a race or workout, or sidelining us for weeks, even months.  The many ways it strikes, the many ways we feel it, forces us into a cruel negotiation about when it’s time to stop.  We usually know when it’s lying to us–the side stitch from a breakfast bagel, which will quickly subside; the familiar twinge in our knee from a pronating foot, which will quiet itself by mile two; the ache in our feet that need only stretch out and adapt to the surface.

We would deny pain all credibility except that it occasionally tells the truth–urgent truth.  Any piercing or unfamiliar throbbing should immediately shut down the show.  It doesn’t mean you can’t resume your workout, but you have to reorder your priorities.  You have to investigate the problem.  Like the idiot smoke detector in the kitchen, pain tells you only that something is terribly wrong.  It rarely identifies the source.

Worse, it practices the lie of omission.  Almost all runners share the experience of inexplicably crippling pain hours after–or even days after–an otherwise normal workout.  Why didn’t pain speak up before the damage ensued?  Isn’t that its job?

Pain forces you into a philosophical quandary.  Races and workouts in which you push yourself to the limit typically end from fatigue, not from actual injury.  Your brain curtails exertion even while your muscles still have some reserve.  It’s a protective device, and it can be overridden.  It also hurts.  Only you can distinguish between fatigue and actual injury, and it often leads to a conversation with the devil.  The extent to which you can tempt this demon is uniquely yours.

Does training increase your ability to run on reserves, to override fatigue? Plenty of evidence suggests that it does.  But you can be blindsided by your own physiology.  Ambition, race dates, running buddies, and eternal optimism can deceive you into believing you can push further than you can.  All runners learn to tune out a certain amount of pain simply by living with it.  It becomes easy to ignore the nagging liar.

Besides, we’re drawn to its opposite: the euphoria that comes from a victory or satisfying workout.  This can be equally deceptive.  The test of a runner is to find the truth between these.”

On that note, dessert anyone?

Oreo Cookie Bark

Oreo Cookie Bark


  • 16 oz good quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped and divided in half
  • 14 Oreo Cookies, crushed and divided in half
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar


  1. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Crush 7 Oreo cookies, set aside.
  3. Chop 7 oz chocolate and melt in microwave or over a double boiler.
  4. When chocolate is melted stir in crushed Oreos. Spread evenly in a thin layer on your prepared pan.
  5. Place in freezer to set, approx 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile to make filling cream together shortening and butter until smooth in mixer, about 1 minute. Turn mixer to low and slowly add in powdered sugar. When all sugar is added, turn mixer up to medium-high and beat for 1 more minute.
  7. Remove chocolate from freezer and spread the filling on top of the chocolate. Place back in freezer for another 15 minutes.
  8. Repeat steps 2-5 with remaining chocolate and Oreo cookies, freezing for another 10-15 minutes until top layer of chocolate is set.
  9. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  10. Cut into pieces.

Courtesy of Cookies and Cups

This entry was posted in Recipes, Stretch & Strengthen. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Lies: The Test of a Runner (Recipe: Oreo Cookie Bark)

  1. Becca says:

    Love the quote! I strained my IT band a few weeks before my 1st half and it was so demoralizing. I was finishing up a 10-miler and feeling great when all of a sudden my left knee seized up with pain. Not fun at all. Hope the brownies made you feel better!

  2. Pingback: Wrightsville Beach Marathon – My Fastest Marathon Since November 2011 (Recipe: Oreo Truffles) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

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