Easy Runs. (Recipe: Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Bread)

The act of running comes naturally to most, unlike sports that require more complicated skill sets, like skiing, surfing or aiming a ball at a hoop.

As we grow older, the easy, fluid running motion that we possess as children becomes more foreign if it isn’t practiced. The longer we are out of the habit of running, the more difficult it can be to pick it back up again. It’s easy for beginners to watch more experienced runners effortlessly glide by on a running trail and wonder if running will ever feel that way for them. Rest assured, beginners: running gets easier.

It’s important to understand the difference between easy running and hard running. Running hard never feels “easier.” Over time, we are simply able to run faster and faster at the same level of discomfort. A race, when done correctly, shouldn’t ever feel easy, but your ability to handle racing at a faster pace should improve.

Once your body has adjusted to running, your easy days should be run at a pace that’s slow enough for you to have a conversation with a friend without gasping for breath. If you run alone, an easy way to tell if you are running too hard it to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. If you are unable to get through more than a few words without being short of breath, you are running too fast on your easy days.

Ideally, you should finish your easy run feeling like you could have run at least another mile or two if you had to. If you finish your easy run feeling like you couldn’t have run another step, you are probably running too hard. When your body starts to fatigue as a result of running too hard, you begin to compromise your running form and injuries can result.

An easy day should not cause soreness or stiffness the following morning. Quite the opposite is true; an easy day is designed for easy movement that circulates oxygen-rich blood through the muscles and flushes out the lactic acid that causes soreness and stiffness.

So go on an easy run and see how much energy it adds to your day!

I can’t quite remember if I told you or not, but A and I went to Sara’s wedding reception two weekends ago.  Sara is the reason A and I are together.  He and I wouldn’t have met if it hadn’t been for Sara, so we owe her a lot.  A lot a lot.  As in we may have bought her two weddings gifts in addition to her shower gift as part of a thank you.

There were 5 of us girls in high school that hung out.  ALL.  THE.  TIME.  To this day, Sara and I can’t remember exactly when we became real friends.  Like the kind of friends you share secrets and fears with.  But some time between freshman and sophomore year of high school we became super close.  And we have remained super close ever since.  Hence, her being the reason A and I are together.

So, all 5 of us girls reunited for the first time in years.  It has been at least 3 years.  Maybe 4?  I had seen everyone individually, but the 5 of us hadn’t been together in forever.  Needless to say, Sara’s wedding reception was a blast!

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Quote of the Day:

“We came in as individuals.  And we’ll walk out together.” -Joe Bradley

Again.  Another pumpkin recipe.  It received rave reviews at work.  I’m just not a huge pumpkin and chocolate fan.

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Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Bread


– 1/3 cup vegetable oil

– 1 1/4 cups brown sugar

– 2 large eggs

– 3/4 cup pumpkin puree

– 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

– 2 cups all purpose flour

– 1 tsp baking soda

– 1/4 tsp salt

– 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

– 3/4 cup buttermilk, divided

– 3 tbsp cocoa powder

– 3 oz finely chopped dark chocolate (approx 1/2 cup)


– Preheat oven to 350F. Line and grease a 9×5-inch baking pan.

– In a large bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract.

– In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and pumpkin pie spice. Stir half of the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture, followed by 1/2 cup buttermilk. Stir in remaining half of dry ingredients, mixing just until no streaks of flour remain.

– In a small bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and 1/4 cup buttermilk until well combined.

– Add in 1 cup of pumpkin batter and the finely chopped chocolate and fold together until completely combined.

– Add pumpkin batter and chocolate batter into the prepared pan, dolloping both batters around to spread out the colors. Run a butter knife through the batters to gently swirl them together.

– Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

– Allow bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Courtesy of Baking Bites

This entry was posted in Individual Workouts, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Easy Runs. (Recipe: Chocolate Swirled Pumpkin Bread)

  1. Pingback: Obesity in the Military (Recipe: Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake) | Oven Lovin' Runnin'

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