September 17, 2020

Cookies Fall Challenges! (Official "Rules" and Sign-Up Sheet)

Thanks so much for the feedback regarding what sort of challenge to do for fall. Ultimately, I've decided to do a few challenges at the same time! (And thank you for your patience while I work this out--I had no idea it was going to take me so long to put this post together.)

I have loved hosting the "Cookies Summer Run/Walk Challenge" each year, and I've gotten requests every year to make a fall challenge. I've always planned to do so, but never took the time to put it together. So, even though it's in the eleventh hour, I am going to post a few options for a fall challenge!

Many of you were interested in 75 Hard, but thought it was a little too difficult... so I made a few changes that I think are do-able for pretty much anybody (note: I said "do-able", not "easy"). 

For those of you that prefer the traditional checklist of runs/walks, I am posting a checklist (similar to the summer checklist) of runs or walks to accomplish this fall. For this challenge, you simply keep track of the runs/walks that you complete--there is no competition or anything, unless you create one with friends.

For those of you that enjoy a friendly competition, I'll also have a mileage challenge. You can run or walk as many miles as possible to reach the top of a leaderboard. Steps taken throughout the day don't count--the miles must be done in a minimum of 20-minute increments.

You can do one, two, or all three of the challenges--it's up to you.

First up: The "Cookies Fall Hard" challenge. Yes, I realize the name is kind of dumb, and Jerry and I laughed about it, but it is what it is! Haha. I will list a set of rules below, which are very similar to the 75 Hard challenge, and they must be followed without exception. No excuses, no exceptions, no "cheat days", etc. It's *supposed* to be hard!

[*Someone in the comments mentioned that it is hazardous in Oregon to go outside right now because of the wild fires. It hadn't occurred to me when I wrote this! I was just assuming to enjoy the fall weather. Obviously, risking your health is NOT something I'd recommend for the sake of the challenge.

Also, some of the items on the checklist may not pertain to you (for location, culture, etc.) so just skip over those ones, or come up with something fun on your own! And then share it with me for next time :)

Please use your judgement when it comes to what is safe/healthy--and get the okay from your doctor while you're at it!*]


Here are the rules:

  1. Follow a diet of your choice--write out your "rules" prior to starting the challenge. You cannot change them midway through, so make sure you choose rules that are challenging but not so hard that you will quit. They may NOT include "cheat days". These rules must be followed without exceptions or cheat days for the entire duration of the challenge.
  2. Exercise 60 minutes a day, with a minimum of 30 minutes outside (*see note above). You can split the workout into two workouts maximum or just do it all in one go. They can be very tough workouts or very easy--your choice--and you can decide these on a day to day basis. You cannot add up steps throughout the day to count them as a workout--the workout needs to be deliberate and done in one or two goes each day.
  3. Drink 1 gallon (4 quarts) of water a day. You can add a squeeze of lemon or lime, but coffee, tea, flavored waters, etc, don't count. I use this Nalgene bottle (Amazon affiliate link) to keep track--I drink four of them a day. 
  4. Read 10 pages of a book (any book you'd like) every day.
  5. Write in a journal once a day--even if it is just one sentence. I LOVE my "Some Lines a Day" journal! (affiliate link)
  6. Take a progress photo once a day--a mirror selfie, or ask someone else to take one for you. Preferably a full-length photo. You don't have to share these with anyone; they are just for you.

Those are the six rules. They have a little more flexibility than the original 75 Hard is by Andy Frisella (you can find the original here--it looks like a huge sales pitch, but it's a long explanation of it), but I wanted them to remain "hard". If it was easy, it wouldn't be a challenge! The whole point is to build self-discipline.

(If you'd like to print out the rules, I've made a printer-friendly version here, including a checklist for each of the items)

On that note, however, this is just a challenge--you can obviously change the rules however you'd like to fit YOUR lifestyle. I'm not going to be policing anyone! I just feel that the "rules" are do-able for pretty much anyone--some harder than others.

For this challenge, I would highly recommend the phone app called Habit Share. It's totally free, and you can keep track of your habits there. Best of all, you can add people as "friends" who will be able to see your habits as well!

So if you add me, I'll be able to see if you're keeping up with the challenge or not--and you'll be able to check in on me as well. It's great for accountability. If you'd like, you can share your own account with other people in the Facebook group so that they can add you as well.

You can search for me with the email katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. Or here is my QR code:

I haven't been keeping up with it lately, but I plan to start it over with when the challenge officially starts. But feel free to add me and I'll add you as well. It's great for accountability! (I'm not affiliated with the app in any way)

You do NOT need to sign up for this challenge, since it's not a competition. But the accountability from the app and Facebook group is great!

And here is a link to the Facebook group: Cookies Fall Hard 2020


There isn't going to be a sign-up for this checklist, either. This will be just like the Cookies Summer Challenge--you can print out a list of runs/walks to complete throughout the fall season and try to check off as many as possible. I will have a Facebook group just like the Cookies Summer Challenge group, where you can post photos of your runs/walks. This challenge is meant to make running or walking a little more fun this fall!

Here is the printable checklist for the run/walk challenge. I wish I was able to get more creative with this checklist, but I feel like I used up my creativity with the summer one! Most of these are runs/walks with specific dates, but I added a few new ones as well. If you have more ideas for next year, please let me know :) 

Here is the printable calendar for the run/walk challenge (this just helps you plan out your runs/walks more easily).


You will need to sign up for this challenge. This will be a friendly competition to see who can run or walk the most miles this fall! You'll log your miles once a week on a Google form. To compete in this and be included on the leaderboard, you must sign up by September 21 at 11:59 PM ET. 

Each week, you'll have to log the number of miles you completed that week. Once a week, I'll post a leaderboard of the results. (Make sure you have proof of your runs/walks--a photo of your running watch, screenshot of your phone app, etc. I *may* do a few prizes at the end, but don't mark those words just yet!)

I have a Facebook group for this challenge as well, so you can post your photos of your daily mileage there and share whatever you'd like about your runs/walks. 

Below is the sign-up sheet for the Cookies Fall Mileage Challenge. This is the challenge where you will compete with others to run or walk the most mileage. Depending on how many people sign up, I would like to separate the runners and walkers, but I won't be sure yet. Your name on this form will be what is shown on the leaderboard, so make sure it's unique (but also something you don't mind sharing publicly).

By having the three separate fall challenges, it give the option of doing a simple run/walk checklist challenge (nothing to do with diet or otherwise), a mileage challenge (to push yourself to run or walk farther) and/or a challenge to push your self-discipline in areas other than exercise. You can sign up for one, two, or all three. 

If you are interested in any/all of these challenges for Fall 2020, please join the Facebook group(s) and introduce yourself! I will try to post there as often as I can, but I am terrible about being present on social media. If you really need me to see a post, then tag me in it and hopefully I'll see it!

The point of the Facebook groups is for accountability and to motivate each other to continue the challenge. I find that when I check out the Facebook groups for the Summer Challenge, for example, I am excited to go out and do my walk!

I hope I'm not forgetting anything--I may be in over my head with all three groups!--so please let me know if you notice a mistake somewhere or if I am missing anything.

I plan on doing the challenges myself! So I hope to see you all posting in the Facebook groups :)

By the way, all Facebook groups are PRIVATE, so unless someone is in the group, they will not see your posts. They will not show up in your newsfeed.


  1. The "at least 30 minutes outdoors" requirement is the one I think makes it harder/impossible for some people. In Oregon right now, the air is literally rated as hazardous. You aren't supposed to go outside if you can avoid it, and really aren't supposed to do any exercise outdoors that would increase your breathing/heart rate.

    1. You are absolutely right, and that hadn't occurred to me when I wrote this! I have some friends out there and they've told me what the air is like. How scary!

      I definitely don't think anyone should do anything that could harm their health just for the sake of the challenge. (It's hard to write some of these, like on the checklist, because for people in other parts of the world or different cultures there aren't "fall colors" or Halloween celebrations, Thanksgiving, etc. Please just use your judgment when it comes to that. Even on the 75 Hard challenge, he says to obviously not go outside during a lightening storm or something and risk getting killed!

      It really sucks that people affected by the fires can't enjoy the fall weather :(

  2. One quart = 32 ounces, do you mean 2 or 4 quarts of water per day?

    1. Good catch! I don't know why I said 64 oz... probably because that's always been the "go-to" for how much water to drink daily. I meant one gallon (4 quarts). Thanks!

  3. Super excited! Thanks so much for putting all of this together : )

  4. Hey Katie - What about seltzer water like La Croix? I realize it does have flavor but there is no sugar or fake sugars in it. I drink about 1 can a day and wondered if I could count it.

    1. I'd say that's up to you. Personally, I don't count anything but plain old water--but I would think if you're only having one can a day, it's up to you! I wouldn't drink a 12-pack and count it ;) I LOVE La Croix, by the way! I usually have one during my eating window while intermittent fasting :) The passion fruit is my fave!

  5. Just discovered your blog and I am always looking for new bloggers to connect with!


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