My First Two Humid Runs of the Season (Recipe: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars)


Talk about humidity. I kind of sort of forgot about it while training through the winter. I know my body (and my lungs) will get used to it…but HOLY COW.

On Monday, Shawn and I ran a 6-miler.  That six miles felt like 12 or 18 miles. No joke. I couldn’t breathe. It felt like I hadn’t run in ages.  The humidity level was 92%. Shawn left me in the dust because I just couldn’t keep up. It’s a horrible feeling when you can’t seem to get enough air in your lungs. Granted, I wasn’t running that slow (8:26 pace), but it felt like I was running MUCH faster.

Today, Shawn and I ran a 4-miler. Again, 92% humidity. It’s only May, people! Cut us some slack! While my breathing was still extremely labored, today felt better. I attribute some of that to Bob working on opening up my chest, sternum, diaphragm area (which hurt like the dickens if I may say so). This morning Shawn pushed us to run two miles at sub-8 minute mile pace which made my average must faster (8:07 pace overall for the run).  I told her it was good for me to feel like I was about to die! It’s much harder to push yourself to do it. Ha!

I was reading an article on how humidity affects performance. It said that at 60*, running pace is influenced by a 2- to 3-percent increase. So an average 8-minute pace jumps to 8:12 per mile. At 80*, the effect is between 12 to 15 percent, so that mile pace becomes about 9:05! Talk about humidity affecting you!

In humidity levels between 60 to 90 percent, your heart rate can increase up to 10 beats per minute. This means your 8-minute pace might feel like a 6-minute pace because the heart is pumping harder.

Whew. I am hoping we get a break here for a bit. Or maybe I should hope we keep having these humid days so that my body adjusts to it faster.

2 years ago: Flyball = Fantastic; Rally Obedience = Terrible (Recipe: Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting)

Quote of the Day:

“Your body will argue that there is no justifiable reason to continue. Your only recourse is to call on your spirit, which fortunately functions independently of logic.” -Tim Noakes

So, I had two potlucks to go to with A this weekend. For our flyball practice potluck I made these Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars. I’ve had this recipe bookmarked to try since August 2011. I must say I ate quite a few (so they are definitely tasty!), but I also made another Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake for the other potluck that I actually prefer over the bars. HOWEVER, if you want a quick chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake recipe, this one is for you!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars


For the crust:
1½ cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 whole graham crackers)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cookie dough:
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1/3 cup light brown sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the cheesecake filling:
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8×8-inch baking pan, line with parchment paper, and butter the parchment paper; set aside.

2. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.

3. To make the cookie dough, stir together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the flour, then the vanilla and chocolate chips. Refrigerate until firm (about 30 minutes), and then roll teaspoon-sized ball of the dough and place on a plate, and refrigerate plate of cookie dough balls while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

4. Beat together the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the egg and vanilla extract, beating until thoroughly combined.

5. Remove the cookie dough balls from the refrigerator and toss with 1 teaspoon of flour. Drop into the cheesecake filling and mix together. Pour the filling into the cooled crust, coaxing the filling into corners and sides. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the cheesecake filling is set and doesn’t jiggle. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.

6. Using the parchment paper as handles, lift the bars out of the pan and place on a cutting board. Cut into squares.

Courtesy of Brown-Eyed Baker

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