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Triathlon by the numbers

Today begins a series of four sprint triathlon posts pegged to a story I wrote that will appear tomorrow, March 8, in The News & Observer and Charlotte Observer. (That story will rerun in this space tomorrow with links.). Today: Triathlon by the numbers Wednesday: The growing popularity of sprint triathlons Thursday: Kim Feth’s story: From walking around her living room to finishing her first sprint tri eight months later….

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Spring into stretching

Saturday morning I woke up and immediately realized two things: One, I’d slept really well, since it was more than an hour later than I’m used to waking up on the weekend. And, two, I was intensely sore, all, as Maud Frickert used to say, over my body. Not a flu sore. Rather, an I’ve-done-something-my body’s-not accustomed-to-doing sore. In this case, diving for softballs. Fortunately, I had a cure. In…

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‘Backpacking North Carolina’ — Why you need this book

I’m not comfortable with self-promotion. Usually. I make an exception today because the book I worked on for two years is finally in bookstores, and I figure two years worth of work is worth a little self-indulgence. I cut myself some slack, too, because the book — “Backpacking North Carolina” — is pertinent to our mission here at GetGoingNC.com. I wrote “Backpacking North Carolina” because UNC Press asked me to….

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Pre-spring fever: catch it this weekend

This weekend: Learn how to use a map and compass, learn how to play golf with a disc, learn your strengths as a hiker. Coast Ever wonder what happens when the battery in your GPS dies? You wouldn’t have to, nor would you care, if you were skilled in the art of orienteering. Orienteering: the ancient (pre 2000) art of wayfinding with map and compass. In fact, even if you’ve…

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Hey, Gilbert! What is that?

When I last talked with Gilbert Anderson more than five years ago he had just relocated his eclectic North Road Bicycle Imports from downtown Raleigh to Yanceyville and was just getting unpacked. When we dropped by his downtown Yanceyville shop Saturday he was … still getting unpacked. The reason wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows the affable Anderson: Distract him with his favorite topic — bikes, especially unusual ones — and…

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North Carolina’s pockets of activity

At first read, the news from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sounds none-to-good for the Old North State: “Americans who live in parts of Appalachia and the South are the least likely to be physically active in their leisure time … .” Read on, though, and you discover that Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee are the prime offenders. “In those states, physical inactivity rates are 29.2…

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Take the back door into Middle Prong Wilderness

Wilderness areas shouldn’t be the private domain of only the most intrepid swashbuckling types who have no compunction about pushing through where the trail disappears, about fording waist-deep streams, about scrambling through rhododendron hells ever-so-deserving of the name. They shouldn’t be their private playground and they needn’t be. Provided you know how to get in the back door. At the beginning of the week I made a two-day escape to…

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Hey gals, have a (healthy) heart

When I go to the gym and get my vitals checked, the first two things I look at — before my weight, before my percentage of body fat, before my BMI — are my blood pressure and pulse. I figure if my resting heart rate is low (typically in the low 50s, though I long for the day when I dip into the upper 40s and achieve “athlete” status) and…

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How often is she working out?

Wondering where you fit in the How-often-is everyone-else-working-out? scheme of things? Even if you don’t think of yourself as competitive, the thought probably does cross your mind. Especially if you’ve only recently embarked on an exercise program and it seems like other newcomers you know are losing more weight, keeping up better in Pilates, suddenly shopping the petite section. Are they working out three times a week? Four? Three times…

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Budget would close most state parks two days a week

On Wednesday, North Carolina’s Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced that attendance at its 39 state parks and recreation areas last year was 14.1 million, just short of the all-time record  (The record of 14.2 million visitors was set in 2009.) The next day, Gov. Beverly Perdue announced her proposed budget for 2011-12. Among many other things, it proposed that most state parks close for two days a week…

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