5 Degrees and Orange Chocolate Muffins

by Joanne on January 15, 2011

It was still dark.  I pulled on my silky “johns”, compression pants (hard to do- trust me=TIGHT!), Injinji padded toe socks, winter socks over the Injinji’s, sports bra, long shirt and (FINALLY) went downstairs.  The temperature read 2 degrees.  Ted mentioned something about it being off a few degrees so I made myself feel better by accepting that I would run in 5 degrees weather.

Head sock, chapstick, mid weight running coat with vest, and thick mittens.  A reflective vest.  I was ready to go.  No Shane this morning.  I had a long run scheduled and it was too cold for road running on his paws.  I set out past the college and it was quiet.  The roads were clear with no wind.  I thought how comfortable I was even thought the temps were in the single digits.  This wouldn’t be so bad.

As I ran around Utica College and passed a bright street lamp, I glanced at the Garmin.  4.91 miles.  Are You Kidding!  It felt like I had run at least 7 by that point.  It was going to be one of those days when it seems like I would run forever and get no where. As I continued running and it got pretty tough and tiring, I needed to think of things that would keep me running, not walking.

  • There’s no wind.  Enjoy the quiet of the morning.
  • You don’t have to go fast, this is the long EASY run. Just do it.
  • The roads are clear, the traffic is light, you’re not cold,  it’s a perfect morning for a run.
  • What else would you be doing at this time? Sleeping?! You accomplish nothing with too much sleep. Better off running.

What are some things you think of to keep you running?

I headed down Genesee Street after doing a little loop around a quaint neighborhood coming off of Higby Road.  A big white SUV approached and it slowed down.  Shoot!  What does this person want? It was Ted.  He put the window down and said:   “Are you ok?”  “It’s cold out there. My hands started freezing while walking the dog”. I said “I’m ok. I’m warm.  Where are you going?” He said  (and this is SO sweet)  “I was looking for you!”.

I finally got home after 13 miles but my mind was unsettled because I had been feeding it with 14 miles.  I took off all the cold weather gear and went downstairs on the treadmill for                             O N E   M O R E   M I L E!   Done!

Weekly total:  53.8


The rich chocolate taste is not only satisfying as a dessert, but sneak one in the morning just because you deserve it.


Makes 24 standard muffins


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal – quick cooking
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBS non fat dry milk powder
  • 1 TBS instant Espresso powder granules
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 TBS grated orange peel
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup plain, non-fat Greek style yogurt
  • 2 TBS heavy cream
  • 2 TBS honey
  • 6 TBS unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 F.  Spray muffin tins with non stick baking spray.

In a large bowl, mix the flours with all other dry ingredients ending with the salt.

In a separate bowl, mix the wet: eggs, orange peel, sour cream, yogurt, heavy cream, honey, and butter. Now stir the wet into the dry ingredients JUST until combined.  Add the chocolate chips.

Fill muffin tins with batter, about 2/3’s way up and bake for 18 minutes.


The best way to eat these is while they are still warm.



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  • At 2011.01.15 10:18, the dawn said:

    wow. that’s a lot of layers! i’ve always made a deal with myself that i will run outside until it gets in the single digits. after that its the treadmill for me. so i’m crazy proud of you for getting out there and getting those miles in.

    amazing weekly mileage woman!!!

    i’m actually going to go hit up some outlets this weekend to see if i can get a good base layer shirt and either a fleece layer or some kind of vest…you might have inspired me to face those colder days…

    • […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Applecrumbles, Applecrumbles. Applecrumbles said: New blog post: http://tinyurl.com/5sap6z4 – 5 Degrees and Orange Chocolate Muffins […]

      • At 2011.01.15 11:18, Lori said:

        Damn Joanne – you are an iron woman! I am a total wuss with running below freezing LOL! That is so sweet that Ted went looking for you 😀

        I bargain with myself when exercising at times when it really seems like a slog. Things like “Just do 1/2 mile more and if you want to stop you can”. I usually end up breaking it down so much that I will keep going 1/2 mile at a time.

        • At 2011.01.15 11:21, Rachel said:

          You are hard core! Running in the cold with all that gear on and coming home to do one more mile?! I wish I had that kind of dedication.
          I mostly zone out to keep myself running. I also brainstorm about what I’m going to cook that day – that really helps distract me from how far I have to go.
          Chocolate and orange are a perfect match for a muffin! These look like a great post-run snack.

          • At 2011.01.15 12:32, Heather said:

            Nice job on the run!! And Ted is SO SWEET. You’ve got yourself a keeper, Joanne. 🙂
            Have a great weekend!

            • At 2011.01.15 14:59, Lisa said:

              That’s a great run in cold weather. What keeps me going is running with others. By myself, it’s a much bigger struggle

              • At 2011.01.15 15:50, Tayler said:

                WOW! You rocked it this morning! 2 or 5 degrees… theres no difference! That takes a lot of will power! Your muffins look AMAZING! I am now thinking about going to make some! :o)

                • At 2011.01.15 16:26, Joanne said:

                  Lucky you! happy shopping. Buying new running stuff is a great motivator.
                  I told myself I would not run if it was in the single digits this year. But I got so paranoid about not running outside enough, I had to do it no matter what. Glad I did. No wind, just cold. I can deal with that.

                  • At 2011.01.15 16:27, Joanne said:

                    Good method, Lori.

                    • At 2011.01.15 16:27, Joanne said:

                      That’s funny. When I run is about the only time I don’t have food on my mind. Weird. I LOVE those carrot quinoa muffins.

                      • At 2011.01.15 16:28, Joanne said:

                        Awe… I think so. Thanks Heather.

                        • At 2011.01.15 16:29, Joanne said:

                          I like running with others but I’m competitive so if they are faster than me (and usually are) I work hard to keep up. Since I’ve had hamstring and hip issues, I can’t take the risk so I slog along alone or with the pup.

                          • At 2011.01.15 16:30, Joanne said:

                            Thanks Tayler. Not sure I want to run in single digits again, but at least today I got it done.

                            • At 2011.01.15 23:07, Amber from Girl with the Red Hair said:

                              You are SO DEDICATED for running that kind of mileage in that weather! Wow! Last week I ran 6 miles in -10 C (10 F) and I was SO COLD. I had an extremely hot shower afterwards and still couldn’t shake the shivers, it was weird! My body warmed up WHILE I was running but my legs were still super cold to touch after.

                              Also, those muffins look insanely delicious!!!

                              • At 2011.01.15 23:26, Jill said:

                                Um, I just gained 5 lbs looking at those chocolate muffins!! OMG, those looked amazing.

                                2 degrees or 5 degrees, I’m inside on my cozy basement treadmill watching some sappy chick-flick. I’m kinda weenie like that! And gaaaad, I hate it when you think you’ve run for eternity and it’s like half a mile. Nice job, Chica!

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