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New Study: Fittest Reap Few Health Benefits

This morning I woke to find this Wall Street Journal article in my my Twitter feed. The “heart” of the research?

“Running too fast, too far and for too many years may speed one’s progress toward the finish line of life.”

Essentially, the British journal Heart published study is saying that if you ran a lot in life (more than 20 to 25 miles a week) you lose the mortality advantage you once gained from being active.  Dr. Paul Thompson, an elite marathoner and nationally renowned sports cardiologist at Hartford Hospital, said that the people advancing the data may be manipulating it.

He isn’t the only skeptic. The comments are littered with runners noting how long they have been running and how fit they are.

We know that running and over-exercising can cause wear and tear on your body. Exercise is ONE part of your total healthy living. There are a ton of other factors at play.

What are your thoughts on studies like these?

Cookies N Cream Popcorn

I have a ridiculous sweet tooth. And when my sweet tooth is really bad it is followed by a craving for something salty. That’s why I usually have yogurt with some sort of salty topping.

Then I saw this gem of a recipe on Pinterest and thought “perfect.” Mostly because it was something sweet that also excited my cookies n cream loving husband. A few of my friends (more like a lot)  immediately responded to a picture I posted about starting the experiment so I decided to write up a quick recipe post. (This is for you, person who was having trouble with understanding how to crush Oreos.)

Ingredients 

1. Popcorn (we used microwaveable, natural..no butter)

2. Oreos (we were suckered into purchasing Cookies N Cream Oreos, which taste exactly like regular Oreos)

3. Vanilla candies (we went with Hershey’s Cookies N Cream, please see hubby’s favorite sweet)

Making It

1. Pop the popcorn as directed. Try to remove all the unopened kernels.

2. Place the Oreos into a plastic bag (use as many as you want depending on your chocolatey desire) and crush with the back of a spoon.

3. Mix the Oreos and popcorn together in a SUPER LARGE bowl (this keeps the spill over to a minimum).

4. In 30 sec. intervals melt the vanilla candies in the microwave. Stir after each.

5. Once melted pour over the popcorn/Oreo mixture. Stir. (Our large bowl comes with a lid so I shook mine up to spread the wealth.)

6. Place on a cooling rack.

We will be enjoying ours while watching the Walking Dead this evening. Hope you like it!

 

Burning Off Those Thanksgiving Favorites

This afternoon I will be gorging myself on sweet potatoes, green bean casserole and some Kale stuff my mother is making. Plus my sister’s made from scratch apple pie. My mouth is watering right now.

Thanks to FitSugar I now know exactly what I need to do to burn it off. Of course I hate thinking about my food in that way, but I also hate feeling like a lardo. I have a “Timed Exercise” workout scheduled for Friday morning and I will add on a run to that.

For other ideas see below.

2012 Runner’s World Run Streak

Monday Katie posted about the holiday run streak from Runner’s World and it intrigued me. Then I read the post that went along with the challenge and it really spoke to me:

 If you’re a training-plan devotee, you might be in the dead zone—your fall goal race is over, but it’s too early to start a plan for your spring goal.

How did they know? 

Beautifully photo bombed MCM photo

While I ponder my next race (something that pretty much every runner I know seems to be doing right now), I will be running at least a mile every day between Thanksgiving and NYE. I like that it is a mile. A mile you can do no matter what. It can take you as little as 10 minutes to get that done and it so worth it because honestly once you get going are you really only going to run just a mile?

So here’s to getting up super early tomorrow before our flight to Jacksonville!

Halfway Through Physique 57 November Challenge

I am halfway through the Physique 57 November challenge and so far I have seen no changes. Have I done every workout? No. Have I done more than 50 percent of them? Yes.

So I feel like I should see SOME difference. I will take 3/4 of an inch difference. The truth is I know that just doing these exercises while they are full body and have a little bit of cardio it isn’t enough for my body. I need more cardio in combination with weight training.

I do have to say that my abs are getting the best workout they have in years. Simple crunches never really did much, but this bunch leaves my abs sore for days. 

 

I Just Can’t Decide

Of course it only took a day or two after the marathon for me to start thinking about my next race. Problem is I can’t decide what I want my next race to be! I have friends running the RNR USA half, ones wanting to run the new Nike Women’s Half DC and the B&A half.   April is also filled with the GW Parkway and Cherry Blossom 10 Milers.

All of those races are intriguing, but none of those races are getting me excited. Maybe it is because RNR and Nike have similar courses to what I ran during training for the marathon (and for the marathon). Maybe it is because I did GW last year and it just wasn’t that exciting.

I’ve never had this problem. In NYC I ran pretty much every race out there even if it meant doing Harlem Hill every month. I had no problem because I was working toward a goal (qualifying for NYCM).

I’m not much for a time goal. Those just don’t get me excited and I tend to feel more disappointed than anything else.

Is this just a running slump? How can I shake it?

 

Do Flabby Neighbors Motivate You?

When you head into the gym do you find yourself drawn to machines (or spots in class) next to women who are less fit than you? According to a new study, this could be a normal activity.

Personally I like being in the front

Researchers “planted” fit and unfit looking women around a college gym. Then they timed how long it took for the female student to approach a piece of equipment next to them. Women tended to choose machines next to the unfit woman faster, we are talking about one minutes vs. three minutes.

The researchers hypothesized that the reason participants were more reluctant to work out next to a fit peer was more about judging ourselves and how we looked in comparison.

I think I need some video footage to actually believe these results. My own personal experience is that if there is a machine open I am going to use it. I will not use it if there is someone really smelly next to me, but that is about the only reason.

I always go into competition with the person next to me, regardless of their body composition. It is just human nature. What do you think? Do you find yourself preferring to work out next to one type of person?

Falling Back Screws My Workouts

This time of year completely messes with my workout will power. It is absolutely freezing in the morning making me want to stay in my nice comfy warm bed. Then there is the fact that by 4:00 p.m. the sun is setting and all I want to do is hibernate on my couch.

I don’t mind working out in the cold, it just requires a lot more diligence and planning. It shouldn’t come as much of a shocker that I am all about the defined work out plan and for a few months now I have been contemplating taking one of the Physique 57 challenges. So this month I am doing it.  Eight days into it and I am actually sticking with it pretty well. I have had to switch a few days just based on timing (and traveling, running around with my ball and weights isn’t really easy), but mostly I am sticking to it.

Maybe next week I will try to get to an actual class and REALLY experience it rather than doing it with my DVD. The challenge is below.

november2012challenge

 

Don’t Tell Anyone But I Think I’m Going To Do It Again

The soreness has subsided (a bit) and I even went for an itty bitty run this week. Literally, it was maybe 3/4 of a mile. And since I am no longer in pain the little voices in the back of my head are starting to whisper “do it again.”

Ask my parents what I said as we walked up the hill toward home right after the race. My dad who kept saying one won’t be enough smirked as I winced and said “never, I did it, I don’t need to do it again.”

Of course that was before I started thinking about what I did wrong. Why I didn’t hit 4:30. What I could do to shave off those 20 odd minutes. It isn’t that I am completely disappointed in my time, I mean I still finished in under 5 for my first one…I just know I have it in me to do better.

I already hold a spot for next year’s NYCM and I am thinking about using it. I still have a few months to decide (April I believe), but right now the idea is enticing.

How did you shave off time from your first marathon? They get easier right? What are some tips for analyzing and changing your marathon training plan?