Saturday, March 5, 2011

Abs/Core and Pumpkin Muffins

Well, I have discovered through forced experimentation (read: no time in my schedule to go to the dang gym) that three days off from running is frustratingly long.  I'm getting that antsy, distracted feeling.  Maybe you're thinking
"Three days? BIG DEAL."
But, I am a creature of habit, and I really don't like more than one day of rest between runs.  It's not like I'm doing any long runs right now, so I like to stay consistent with my 5-miler's.  So, this morning, knowing that today was probably going to be another day without a run, I decided to try some ab/core work right here in my own living room (turns out you don't actually have to leave the house to get in a workout--I have a hard time with this concept).  Last week I saw a link to an ab/core workout on one of Chris K's (The Manly Runner) posts that I wanted to try.  I'm not usually good about strength training/cross-training, but I'm starting to realize that it could really help improve my running and help to keep me injury-free.

Good, and good.

Chris mentioned that the word he'd use to describe the workout would probably be "ouch".  Yeah, I concur.  And, I haven't even had time to get sore yet.  Here's the link to the workout:  It's 30 minutes long, with all the excercises done twice.  I did NOT make it through the second round.  I *sort of* made it through the first.  Have I ever mentioned that I can't actually do a real sit-up?  Yup.  Obviously, I'm a person who could benefit from some core strengthening.

My friend, Kila, at Lil Surfer Girls is also focusing on abs/core right now, with her 'Whittle Your Middle' challenge.  She's prepping to train for the San Diego Rock-n-Roll Half, and I'm willing to bet the ab/core strengthening she's doing ahead of starting her official training schedule for the race will prove to be incredibly beneficial.  Check out the ab/core excercises Kila's been doing!

On the way home from my daughter's acting class today I heard this song in the car and decided it would be a good ab/core workout song.  You know, something you could grit your teeth to while your abs tremble. 
(Plus, it's my favorite Wheezer song.)

Then I heard this song and I just think it's fun.  It made me think of all the cool running shoes I keep seeing.  Yes, this is how my brain works.  I hear a song and think "how does this apply to my life?"  Weird.

This afternoon I made Pumpkin Muffins.  I used to make these all the time, but it's been a while.  My kids LOVE them, and it's a great way to get some good stuff in them. 

Here come's the muffin photo montage...

Dry ingredients, meet wet ingredients.  I think you two are really going to hit it off.

See, I knew you'd like each other!

The Ice Cream Scoop: It's not just for ice cream anymore.

Smart Balance never had it so good.

Pumpkin Muffins

1/2 cup flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons apple sauce

Heat oven to 375.  Combine all dry ingredients, flour through flaxseed meal, in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients, eggs through apple sauce.  Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Spray a muffin pan with non-stick spray.  Using an ice cream scoop, fill each muffin cup 2/3 full.  Bake for approximately 22 minutes.

*You can also stir in shredded carrot or chopped apple to the batter before baking.

Now I have this leftover pumpkin.  Maybe I'll make pumpkin smoothies or pumpkin pancakes with it. 

Are you a pumpkin fan?  Do you have a favorite pumpkin recipe?

Do you do ab/core strengthening exercises?  What's your favorite one?


  1. Love the Weezer!! I think all of Weezer's songs are great to work out to...but maybe that's just because I'm obsessed. :)

    While I LIKE pumpkin...Ryan LOVES pumpkin. In fact..for his birthday last month I got him a pumpkin pie while everyone else ate coconut cupcakes!

    I'm a BIG fan of core work and definitely plan on incorporating it more into my training plan for Dam 2 Dam. Speaking of Dam 2're not that far away! You should come do it!!!

  2. I LOVE pumpkin muffins!! I used a similar recipe that uses honey - its SO YUMMY, here's the link to my post By the way, I'm saving that link to the ab video. I want to do abs, but its SO hard finding the motivation to do so! :)

  3. Great, now I'm salivating on my keyboard. Those muffins look good!

  4. I love pumpkin! I mean I REALLY love pumpkin. I will have to give that recipe a try-perhaps RIGHT now:)

    I used to have a lot of problems with my lower back when I first started trying to run a few years ago. Ended up in PT in which I was told my back was sore because of my weak core. I do a lot of ab core work now. Back pain gone-imagine that! Not sure that I have a favorite...I'm going to check out your link now!

  5. I absolutely love pumpkin bread or muffins...but HATE pumpkin pie...I think it's the texture. I've got a recipe I want to make maybe this week out of my new vegan cookbook. It doesn't have any oil or eggs so we'll see how good it ends up being. I bet yours were delicious!!