[11:38] Stuck in a "Checking for Updates" mode
this has nothing to do with time. the more dates you have installed the longer WU hangs at checking for superseded updates.
Microsoft already provided an update for Win7/8.1 to fix this:
Installing and searching for updates is slow and high CPU usage occurs in Windows 7
Installing and searching for updates is slow and high CPU usage occurs in Windows 8.1
MS also had plans to release a cumulative update rollup for Win7 to workaround the issue, but it looks like this won't happen.