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One foot at a time, farther, faster

Thursday evening, I sidled up to two runners midpack in our Fit-Tastic walk-to-run program. (I was in the program last fall, I’m a mentor this year, sharing what insights a year of running has instilled in me.) Both women were pushing it, neither were struggling. “Like the hills?” I asked. We were trudging up an incline behind Raleigh’s Cameron Village shopping area. “We’re running longer,” the one got out between…

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Salli’s Senior Workout: 23 years and counting

Salli Benedict thought she was over-the-hill in 1987. “I had just turned 40 and I thought, ‘I’m so old.’” Not a sentiment Benedict would tolerate today from her workout class, most of whom are twice that age. It was the same year Benedict, now 62, turned 40 that she took a “wellness retirement training” course through the Body Recall and started teaching an exercise class for seniors. Initially, the class…

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Weekend plans? A river of runs

It’s Labor Day weekend, and thus you are obligated to play. Some thoughts on the subject … . Coast Earl permitting, there’s good reason to head to Wilmington this weekend: the March of Dimes 5K Run for Healthier Babies. I mean, who wouldn’t run 3.1 miles for a healthy, happy baby? Or walk a mile? Or sleep walk? Sleep walk? Do tell. Apparently that’s the category for folks who like…

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The peak of peer pressure

I’m going to Colorado next week to play. I wasn’t planning to play hard: some nice day hikes, a road ride or two. At least that was the plan until I started hearing about my friends’ recent epic adventures in the Centennial State. My cycling compagno Alan Nechemias went to Colorado two weeks ago and did the 27-mile ride from Idaho Springs, elevation 7,600 feet, to the top of Mt….

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Perception on the Haw

We’d been on the water less than an hour when Marcy had a small epiphany regarding a work problem she’d been wrestling with. “I guess that’s why the boat’s called a ‘Perception,’” she said after sharing her breakthrough. Other good names for recreational kayaks: Insight. Enlightenment. Not-A-Thought-in-My-Brain. Personally, I paddle the NATIMB because that’s what happens to me when I slip into a long stretch of peaceful flatwater. A paddle…

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For the young and not-so, workouts are much the same

Wednesday morning, I did a one hour workout with a group of women, most of whom were in their 80s. Wednesday evening, I did a half-marathon training run with a group mostly in their 20s. Despite being at opposite ends of the demographic scale, the similarities between the two groups were more striking than the differences. Challenging coaches. Salli Benedict has been leading Salli’s Senior Workout for Chapel Hill Parks…

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Weekend plans? Paddle, swim, hike

No plans yet for the weekend? Perhaps we can help. Coast By “coast” this week, we mean the coastal plain, of which Fayetteville, home to Saturday’s Lake Rim Paddling Festival, is firmly a part. There’ll be canoe and kayak racing for more accomplished paddlers, and rentals for newcomers to the pursuit. The festivities begin at 9 a.m. Lake Rim Park is at 2214 Tar Kiln Dr. in Fayetteville. More info,…

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Smart living, healthy aging

From the research world comes more incentive to stay active — or become so — as you age. From the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University comes “preliminary evidence” that keeping your brain sharp can help you physically. Einstein researchers took a group of 20 “frail” seniors (age 70 or older who walk less than a meter per second) and divided them into two groups. Ten went about…

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Raleigh greenway’s march to 100 miles: A progress report

I had just said hello to Vic Lebsock when the inevitable happened: A woman walked up and wanted to know the status of a greenway planned through her neighborhood, a greenway years from construction, she knew, but she just had to know the latest. Lebsock excused himself and dutifully walked the woman over to an aerial map of her Lake Johnson neighborhood for “the latest.” Such is the life of…

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One happy, fun, nice guy

“Man, isn’t this embarrassing?” the mountain biker said as he pushed his bike up the steep hill to where I was already leaning over my bike, sucking air. I thought he was referring to being with me this far into the race. “I lost my water bottle,” I said, making conversation by way of commiseration. I gulped some air to continue, but before I could he reached into his second…

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