Running Barefoot and $5 Movies (Recipe: Pumpkin Blondies)

Barefoot running or minimalist shoe running has become a craze (or at least it was).  But is it a good idea?

Barefoot running can help many runners strengthen their feet and lower legs, improve running efficiency, and promote good form. Research confirms that if done properly, it can be very beneficial for the majority of runners.  Harvard professor Dan Lieberman has shown that running barefoot causes less impact in the lower legs. Changing your foot strike from heel to mid-foot reduces the impact shock at the knee, and can prevent common knee injuries in running.  In addition, you will naturally increase your cadence, and a higher cadence (closer to 180 steps per minute) not only reduces impact, but it is also much more efficient.

However, there are some cautions against barefoot running. Just like other training tools such as tempo runs, strength exercises and long runs, barefoot running is a method to help you strategically accomplish a particular training goal. You wouldn’t complete a long run or lift weights every day, so you shouldn’t run barefoot every day either.

Now onto movies.  Okay.  So if you know me, then you know how much I ADORE going to the movies.  I just love it.  I’m going to tell you a secret.  In graduate school, I used to plan out two movies I wanted to see (or three) at back-to-back times (this required some effort, you know), and then pay for one ticket for all the movies.  I know, I know.  I have gotten lambasted about this before, but I have NOT done this since I started earning real money (as compared to the fake money I earned in graduate school).  And come on–one extra person sitting in an extra seat for a couple of hours?  And I never chose the new releases.  I swear.  And it was the perfect way to spend a lazy or rainy Saturday (or Tuesday if you didn’t have classes and were procrastinating).

I am also a person who has no qualms about going to the movies by myself.  I have never been embarrassed or self-conscious about this.  If I want to go, I’ll go.  Another secret–I often stop at Cold Stone and get ice-cream to go and sneak it into the theater in my purse.  (And once when I was in undergrad, Andrea, Rachel and I snuck in Greek food–I don’t know how we got by with that one!  You could smell us from a mile away!)  I have also convinced a past boyfriend that sneaking in ice-cream a superb idea and he readily went along with me as long as I put the ice-cream in my purse.  (I would do the sneaking while he did the paying!)  So, if you ever want to butter me up:  take me for pizza (preferably BBQ chicken pizza), get Cold Stone to go and sneak it into a movie theater.

ANYWAY, that was a tangent.  But basically, I rarely go to the movies anymore.  I have gone 3 times since living in Madison.  That’s all!  I know–it’s horrible.  So, the purpose of this was to say that I am sooo excited for the month of October because Marcus Point Cinema is showing all their movies for $5 Mondays-Thursdays!!  AND you get a free popcorn!!  What a deal!  So last night Jess and I went to our first one of the month:  Lee Daniels’ The Butler.  And it was AWESOME.  It is based on a true story, and I thought they did a phenomenal job with the movie!  I highly recommend it!  (Especially if you can go for $5!!)  Take advantage Madisonians!!


And today we had GOTR!  And this is how one of my conversations with my girls went down.

One of my girls said, “You mean you don’t have amazing kids like us to go home to?”
My response: “You all are my amazing kids!”
One of my girls: “I guess it’s up to us then to teach you how to do a cartwheel.” (After seeing my abysmal attempt at doing a cartwheel earlier during practice.)

Can I just say that I love love love these girls!?!?  They are awesome!!

Fun Fact: Did you know that in the last two years major chains of self-serve frozen yogurt have opened about 630 stores??  Crazy, right??

Quote of the Day from todaywasmeaningful:

“today was meaningful because i realized that life is like a sport.  the whole point of practicing is to continuously work to get better, to improve.  isn’t that what life should be like too?  i may not have enjoyed competing against others, but i do like competing against myself.  in fact, everyday, i try to better than i was yesterday. but it takes more than wanting to be better, it takes acting.  it takes motivation. and it takes daily effort. and the only way to do so is through practice.”

So, in honor of the first day of October, I made Pumpkin Blondies.  I love this recipe, but I also love almost all pumpkin-flavored desserts. You guys don’t even know how many pumpkin desserts I have up my sleeve!  (And apple ones, too!!)  Hopefully, I can get to them all!  But this one is definitely a winner!

Pumpkin Blondies

Pumpkin Blondies


– 2½ cups all-purpose flour
– 2½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
– ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
– ½ teaspoon ground allspice
– ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– ½ teaspoon salt
– 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
– 1 cup dark brown sugar
– ½ cup granulated sugar
– 1 egg
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
– 1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and grease, with enough to hang over the sides; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and both sugars until completely smooth and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk to incorporate, making sure the egg has been completely mixed in. Add the pumpkin and again whisk to fully incorporate. Add the flour mixture to the batter and, using a rubber spatula, fold the mixture until combined and no pockets of flour remain. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.

4. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, then use the foil handles to lift the bars out of the pan and cut into squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

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

1 Response to Running Barefoot and $5 Movies (Recipe: Pumpkin Blondies)

  1. Becca says:

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who doesn’t mind going to movies alone! I actually prefer it. And I trained for and ran both of my halfs exclusively in Vibrams and never had a problem! Though I do agree that for most people a mix of barefoot and regular sneakers is probably best.

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