A few notable things that I've been meaning to jot down and share:
1. After reading that a couple from Michigan City, Indiana named their newborn boy, "Wrigley," a while ago, I think it's safe to say they are the most devoted Cubs fans out there. It gets better-their last name is Fields. That's right, my friends... Wrigley Fields. The couple mentioned that he would have the option of going by his middle name of Alexander when he gets older.
2. Continuing with baby names but shifting to the other side of the world, a more than 3,500 Chinese babies have been named Aoyun, which means "Olympics" in Mandarin. It seems that this unique name is not solely being used to honor the Games themselves, but also with hopes of injecting some Olympian spirit into Chinese youth.
3. Lastly, University of Missouri's football team was named #1 in the nation in this week's BCS poll. West Virginia received the #2 slot. If both teams win their remaining game they will meet in the national title contest.
It didn't take long before Mike Freeman published an editorial in which he said, "I want to see this game because it would be the least anticipated and most undesirable title game in modern college football history," and would be, "dreadful to watch."
I've heard this sentiment echoed by several sports writers and commentators. However, Mizzou and UWV both have highly explosive offenses. They are playing great football. Does the lack of interest come from neither program having a long-standing tradition of bowl game appearances? Is it a location issue? Would this national championship match-up be equivalent to a World Series without the Yankees or Red Sox?
Hey everyone, Trish and Toby here. This month we've created a guide to our best seasonal articles to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle throughout the holidays. No matter what your active passion may be, we've got you covered.
With holiday feasts right around the corner and weather that can diminish our motivation to train, it is not uncommon to pack on a few extra pounds this time of year. Active Expert Charles Stuart Platkins article, The Diet Detective: Fall Into Healthy Eating Habits, offers valuable tips for maintaining fitness without a compromise in performance at winter races and ensures a return to peak form in the spring.
Have you ever heard the saying, athletes are made in the off season? Now's the time to target your weaknesses and build proper technique and habits to lead into a successful racing season. Check out Boost Your Endurance in 7 Simple Steps and get the most from your off-season training.
Basketball season is upon us and its time for fundamental workouts with and without the basketball. Mississippi State basketball coach, Sharon Fanning, shares a 45-minute Workout that will developing confidence, coordination, strength, timing, and stamina on the hardwood.
Indoor Climbing Gyms Offer Year-round Fun Fitness and a nice break from the treadmill and stationary bike routine. Dont let the winter elements take you off belayutilize indoor climbing gyms to build stamina and confidence in a controlled environment. When the weather warms enough to head outdoors, youll be in peak condition.
Activities of Interest:
Check out Sacramento Winter Softball Camp by Olympic gold medalists Tairia Flowers and Natasha Watleyto hone your softball skills at the plate and in the field. Focus will be on increasing offensive power, slapping techniques, defensive fundamentals and pitching development. This camp will also feature practice-structure tips and drills along with valuable college recruiting advice from the pros.
Take advantage of The Classic Y-100, one of the last century rides of the year on November 25 in Ormond Beach, Florida. Crank out 100 in this inaugural ride that promises a beautiful route leading north along the Intracoastal waterway through parks and along the Atlantic coast. This event features a great safe route for beginners as well as 65- and 35-mile routes.
Folks in Southern California have already begun to register for the 2008 Carlsbad Marathon and Half Marathon on January 20. This was Tobys first half marathon back in 2006 and he recommends it for runners of all abilities because of the fast course and beautiful ocean view.
See your training bear fruit at the oldest Ironman-distance triathlon held in the continental United States. Check out one of five 2008 Vineman events: Ironman 70.3, full Vineman, sprint tri at sundown, women's half or Aquabike during this weekend-long triathlon celebration.
I returned yesterday from a five day trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks which took me through Montana and Wyoming.
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. Preserved within Yellowstone are Old Faithful and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs. There seemed to be steam being emitted, water exploding from the ground, even boiling mud around every corner we turned during our first two days exploring the western portion of the park. Approximately one-half of the world's hydrothermal features can be found in Yellowstone. The only other areas where similar features can be found is Greenland and New Zealand!
Even more abundant than the hydrothermal features was the wildlife. I expected to see bison, elk, deer, etc. but I was not prepared for the volume of which we encountered. It was a show stopperliterallyas we had to stop the car on several occasions to let them slowly cross the road.
Day One: Flew from Chicago, Illinois to Billings, Montana. Then drove to Yellowstone.
Day Two: Hiked around several geyser basins and hot springs on our way to see Old Faithful. Old Faithful erupts more frequently than any of the other big geysers in teh park. Its average interval between eruptions is about 76 minutes, varying from 45 to 110 minutes.
Day Three: North to Mammoth Hot Springs. Hiked to the Lower and Upper Falls and around the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone--perhaps the most picturesque area of the Yellowstone region. The canyon is approximately 10,000 years old, 20 miles long and 1,000 feet deep,
Day Four: Saw the sunrise over my favorite area in the park, Lake Yellowstone. We then headed south to check out Grand Teton National Park. The Tetons are pretty impressive. On our way out of the park at the end of the day we hiked to Morning Glory. At one time a road brought visitors to the brink of Morning Glory. However, over the years they threw coins, bottles and trash in the pool, reducing its flow and causing the red and orange bacteria to creep in from its edge, replacing the blue bacteria that thrive in the hotter water at the center of the pool.
Day Five: Up early to drive through Yellowstone country back to Billings, Montana to fly home.
Yellowstone by the numbers: Saw hundreds of bison and elk (and a few curious and friendly mountain goats). Crossed the Continental Divide twelve times. Came across five waterfalls. Watched Old Faithful erupt twice. Encountered one coyote. I captured a good portion of our adventures on film.
On Sunday I got to scratch another thing off of my life to-do list as I completed my first century ride. I pedaled on my bike all day; one hundred miles from Evanston, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin and back.
I was in the saddle by around 9:30am on a chilly morning and on my way north. The first 20 miles flew by and I was at the first rest stop before I knew it. I refilled on Gatorade, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a banana that was provided for the riders while I chatted with a few fellow riders.
I kept up a good pace and found a riding buddy who was riding about the same speed to take us to the half way point and another rest stop. By this point in the day it had warmed up nicely into the 70s and was perfectly sunny. I took my time at the rest stops and at this one in particular I chatted for a few minutes on my phone before turning around and heading back towards Chicago.
The North Shore Century route took riders right by an outdoor velodrome and I couldn't pass it up, so I wished my riding buddy a good rest of the ride, rolled in and gave it a spin. Those banks seem a lot steeper when you are riding around in there.
The next stretch of the ride was by far the highlight of the whole day. We passed through the little, quiet lakeside town of Kenosha, Wisconsin and stuck within sight of Lake Michigan for approximately the next 25 miles. I pulled over every now and then to snap several photos, all of which look a lot like this one:
At the next rest stopabout 73 miles into the rideI learned that my riding buddy from earlier had SAG-ed in and didn't complete the century. I hope he wasn't injured, but if I had to guess why he called it quits I think it was because his original intention was to do the metric century (100 km or 62 miles) and he made a decision at the last minute when the metric century and the full century courses split to go for the 100 miles. He probably figured if it got tough after 62 miles he could quit and still feel like he completed his ride. Not me. I did the exact opposite four years ago--intentioned to complete the full 100 miles and ended up deciding mid-ride that it would be best to go for the 62-mile route. This time around I was going to finish it all.
The last 25 miles were pretty tough. My toes had started to go numb and my lower back was aching. I started looking at my watch and the map more often, continuously calculating my estimated time of finishing. I encountered a freight train that was moving extremely slow and blocking my way. When I was able to continue riding, it was difficult to get my body moving again. A veggie omelet with cheese from the Deluxe Diner dominated my thoughts as I slowly but steadily knocked off the miles of the last leg of the century ride.
I signed up for a long day on the bike and that is definitely what I got!
A little while ago I signed up for the North Shore Century to take place September 16.
I did this ride the fall of my sophomore year in college with intentions of completing the 100 mile route. Not too long into the rideon a mountain bike, coming off 3.5 months of near complete inactivity due to a serious shoulder surgery and incurring a flat tireI decided I'd shoot for the metric century instead (100k / 62 miles). I finished after a long, slow day in the saddle.
The ride takes place just north of Chicago's city limits in Evanston, IL. Starting and ending in a park on Lake Michigan just off of Northwestern University's campus, it winds its way north towards the Wisconsin border and back through beautiful suburbs and countryside. I'm looking to complete the 100-mile ride this time around and finish strong. Gotta make the "Last Ride of Summer" a good one!
On Sunday I participated in the Chicago Accenture Triathlon--which, as I was waiting for my wave to start, the race director announced is officially the largest tri in the world. According to the Chicago Tribune it was "certified last year by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest on Earth, and drew an estimated 8,500 amateur and pro participants to the lakefront for the competition." I elected to go for the Sprint distance of .75km swim, 22km bike, 5km run (.47 mile swim, 13.64 mile bike, 3.1 mile run).
What a way to get my first taste of the sport! The spectators were awesome, it was a gorgeous day and I now can understand why everyone says it's such an addicting sport. I've never done anything like it in my athletic career.
The eventful day started at 3:45am. I ate breakfast and did one last gear check. My mom came up from St. Louis to check out what this event was all about and cheer me on, so we loaded up my bike onto her bike rack and left my apartment by 4:30am. We allowed time to pick up my good friend, Mary Beth, on our way downtown and arrived at the transition area with enough time to have our stuff set up and be out by the 5:45am cut-off time. Then there was about 30 minutes to hang out and prepare myself to jump in the 68-degree water of Lake Michigan. My wave went off at 6:28am. The waves go off every 4 minutes, so being one of the last ones to jump in near the back, the horn sounded after being in the water for a few short seconds. And just like that, I was off! In addition to being happy that this race was finally happening and I was a part of it, I had a small crew of superfans who made me smile along the swim.
I actually turned in a better swim time than I was anticipating. My bike split was right around what I calculated for myself. The bike leg of this race marks off the two inside lanes of Lake Shore Drive in each direction and provides a beautiful view and unique way to cruise up and down the city. My run time was slow and steady, which I was also expecting. My overall time put me at a middle-of-the pack 36 out of 60 for my class rank. But crossing the finish line had me smiling from ear to ear and immediately deciding I would do this event again next year.
4 days away! The race is slowly taking over my thoughts as I am getting anxiously excited. Soon this will be me:
I've read many articles and posts, a book and watched several of Dave Scott's videos. I've read over the Chicago Accenture Triathlon's website a couple times. And I've been training with a couple friends (but probably not as much as I should have).
I'm ready to get out there and see what it's like. I've watched and cheered on friends in the Chicago Tri for a few years and it seemed like such an exciting and intriguing event, I decided I'd like to give it a shot. If it's anything like what I've heard and read, I'll be addicted...
I played my first slow-pitch softball game ever -- and my first softball game since graduating college a year ago -- over Memorial Day. I would like to say for the record that just because one has played fast-pitch softball their entire life does not mean they will be a successful slow-pitch softball player.
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