Lowered Fitness Standards for Kids

This turkey’s expression shows exactly how I felt after hearing this story. Mhy / Pixabay

Yesterday, I’m minding my own business, waiting for a friend in our office lobby so we can go to lunch when I see the following from a friend on Facebook:

My Kid’s School (she used the actual name here): Where control of students’ bodies is so important that teachers repeatedly admonish the children for running… DURING THE ALL-SCHOOL TURKEY TROT

Okay, so that seems a bit crazy.  No running during the Turkey Trot?  But isn’t that… a race?  Nope, apparently the kids were supposed to keep it at a brisk walk.   Why?

According to one teacher, it was “because falling PE standards have these kids so out of shape that they’ll fall asleep in class this afternoon if they exert themselves by running this morning.” (My friend’s quote, not the teacher’s exact words.)

Well that’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.  And I wonder if that’s honestly the real reason.  Because from what I understood about recess, for example, teachers loved sending the kids out to run around like crazy and burn off all of their extra energy.  On rainy days where kids had indoor recess, the teachers had to struggle to keep them focused in the afternoons.  (Isn’t this how kids work?  I don’t know – I have cats.  They sleep 22+ hours of the day.)

So I looked up the state’s Physical Education Standards.  And I remembered why I dislike government writing.  But this section was interesting:

Students will be provided an individualized, developmentally appropriate, and personally challenging instructional program that will advance the knowledge, confidence, skills, and motivation needed to engage in a lifelong, healthy, active lifestyle. With the increase in obesity nationwide, the benefits gained from physical activity include: disease prevention, decreased morbidity and premature mortality, and increased mental health and self-esteem. The benefits of physical education can also affect academic learning. Regular aerobic exercise produces an increased number of capillaries servicing the brain which allows for a greater exchange of nutrients and waste products. This optimizes oxygen and glucose delivery to the brain which can help improve brain performance.

From that, it sounds like running is a good thing!  Good for the body, good for general health, and actually helpful in academic learning.  So either we’re getting dumber AND lazier thanks to lowered fitness standards or this isn’t the real reason the school didn’t want the kids running.

But what other reasons could there be?  Not wanting kids to get hurt?  (Not wanting to risk a lawsuit?)  The need to be incredibly PC so that no kid wins or loses?  Or is the teacher right?  That our standards are so low that all the kids have gotten so out of shape that they can’t handle a fun run without needing a nap?

Don’t get me wrong, as a kid, I would not have been running.  Not fast, anyway.  I was not a great athlete in elementary school, but I definitely ran in PE (and was a master at dodgeball mostly because I just avoided getting hit).  But we were encouraged to run.  We were told to run.  I think we had a Presidential Fitness Test or something along those lines.  And these kids are told to NOT run?  No wonder as a nation, we’re getting fatter and lazier.  Not only because kids are encouraged to not run but because adults think this is okay.

I think maybe this school (and probably others) needs to take a second look at how these kids are being educated and where on the list of priorities we’re placing physical health.  No wonder we have a childhood obesity problem.

The Joys and Perils of a Common Name

500px-Hello_my_name_is_sticker.svgI have a relatively common name.  I don’t just mean my first name, I mean my first and last name.  Joys of Irish heritage.  But don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining at all.  It’s kind of nice to know that I’m a little bit harder to hunt down on Google.  Sure, you’ll find me if you search my name, but you’ll find a lot of other people too.  (And some of those people are talented!  I don’t mind being associate with them.)

My email address is just my name.  Which means that I’m constantly getting misdirected emails.  Invites to parties, family photos, birthday wishes, even medical records at one point (that was a fun one to straighten out).  Thanks to these misdirected emails, I’ve gotten in touch with Me’s in Illinois (near my hometown, which is weird), New York, Colorado, and here in DC.  There’s also a Me in Rhode Island, but I can never get off her email lists.  Her kid seems pretty athletic though, from what I can tell.

I’ve also met another Me thanks to running.  Other Megan is pretty nice, which is good, because I don’t need anyone out there ruining our name.  We’re both running Space Coast this weekend and while pulling up my bib number, I discovered THERE IS A THIRD ONE.  That’s right.  In a race with… I don’t know, 7000 runners (based on last year’s finishers, anyway) there are THREE of us with the same name.  Maybe the odds aren’t that slim, but I find it amusing.

Of course, it’s also raised some interesting points.  Space Coast is currently on year three of a five year series.  And as will happen in a situation like that, some people are trying to cheat the system to get the bonus medals.  I will admit, I want all five space shuttle medals because I love the space program.  The bonus medals are just a bonus, but I’d be pushing to do all of these races even without them.  So as people on the internet will do, they’ve started looking at finisher times.  And since there were two Me’s running, that raised suspicions.  Then my times looked even more suspicious.

Why?  Because I had a really crappy race the first year I ran it.  I woke up that morning with a crazy headache and felt like crap.  But I wanted that bling, so I slogged through it.  Finished in 3:39:29.  And I felt pretty good by the end, so I consider it a win.  Last year was significantly better and I ran a 2:56:18, which is on the faster end of my total races.

And then a friend told me people were discussing my race times in a Facebook group.  Of course, the accusation was that I hadn’t run it the second year, that I had gotten myself a ringer.  (Which, if I was going to get a ringer, it would be someone way faster than someone running a 2:56 half.)  So I showed up and said “What’s up, yo?”  And pretty quickly, people shut up.  I wasn’t worried about the accusations, because I had photos.  I had a string of race results in Athlinks that showed I was clearly capable of the faster race.  No big deal.

It definitely made for an interesting conversation.  “Yes, I share a name with another runner (or five).  Yes, I had a better race this year.  Yes, we’re both planning to do all five years, so get over it.”

Sometimes I think people on the internet need better hobbies.

Check out the Holiday Giveaway Hop!

Holiday Giveaway Hop 20152

You know I love the holidays.  So this year, I’m participating in the Holiday Giveaway Hop hosted by Runaway Bridal Planner and Tutus and Tennies.  I’ve been slowly collecting a few of my favorite things to giveaway, and what better time than the holiday season.  I’m so thankful for everyone who has been reading and it’s nice to be able to give something back!

What’s a Giveaway Hop?  Well, basically a whole group of bloggers are doing giveaways during November 23rd and December 6th.  Each blogger has his or her giveaway going, so be sure to check out all of the other sites to see what awesome gifts have been put together.  You can follow the hop at the bottom of the page.

So what can you win here?  A gift pack of a few of my favorite things!


  • A pair of Heart and Courage compression socks from Coeur Sports
  • A really great portable meal container (I use mine all the time) that comes with its own fork and knife.  I like to use it to put together a salad for lunch (just keep the dressing on the side, or it gets all over the utensils)
  • A WTF wine glass.  Because who among us hasn’t had that thought while running
  • A package of mocha MealEnders.  I’ve been stocking these up for the holidays.
  • A tube of Nuun.  I’ve been having major leg cramp issues while at the pool lately and until someone said “Hey, have you tried electrolytes?” I couldn’t figure it out. Don’t forget – you sweat in the water too.
  • A pink Sparkly Soul headband.  These are my FAVORITE headbands.  The only ones that don’t move and don’t give me a headache
  • A 13.1 Beecause Charm.  Wear it to celebrate your halfs or motivate you on your way to your first!
  • (not pictured) As many SunRype bars as this Ambassador can shove into the shipping box!

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Christmas Gifts from SwimOutlet.com

Disclosure – This is a sponsored post from SwimOutlet.com but all content and bad jokes are my own.

Hey guys.  Guess what?  CHRISTMAS IS COMING!  Have you finished your shopping?  I haven’t.  Unfortunately, most of the gifts I need to buy are not for swimmers or triathletes.  But that doesn’t mean I didn’t have a great time browsing the holiday gift guide from SwimOutlet.com.  They have a great array of gift suggestions in a number of categories and price ranges.

Need some suggestions?  Well, here are my personal favorites.  First off, for the wacky swimmer or triathlete who spends way too many early mornings at the pool.

Be the most fashionable lady at the pool.

Be the most fashionable lady at the pool.

When I first started swimming for fitness, I bought a black bathing suit.  I did not want to draw attention to myself.  I figured I did enough of that with my splashing and flailing.  Thankfully, I’ve gotten over myself and this winter, will be sporting this fabulous suit at the pool.  I love fun Christmas sweaters and this suit is FABULOUS.  And encompasses my love of snow.  Plus it can be worn well into the new year.  (Of course, if you prefer something Christmas specific, there’s also a suit styled after a Santa suit.)  And who can resist pairing it with a silly swim cap.  We all know that training sucks up our social lives.

(Hey, maybe I can meet a fellow over-scheduled triathlete at the pool thanks to this cute suit.)

Okay, okay.  So you want to go more practical but don’t want to spend a ton of money.


How about some fins or other training accessories and a pair of goggles?  Every swimmer I know has at least three pairs of goggles in their swim bag and still manages to forget them when they go to the pool.  As an aside, I really like Sporti brand swim accessories.  I have a kickboard from them as well and it’s incredibly sturdy and buying it didn’t break the bank.

And though I purchased swim-related items from SwimOutlet, they aren’t just swim focused.  They know that a number of their customers are triathletes, so they have clothing and gear for running and triathlon as well. Check out their holiday gift guide and pick up a few gifts for your friends or maybe something for yourself.

See you at the pool!

Wednesday Workout Recap

Would you look at that?  A workout recap post actually on Wednesday!

Monday – Rest Day.  Choir rehearsals.  Hooray for Christmas music!

Tuesday – Tempo ride.  I was hoping the rest day would help my sore muscles, but alas.  Everything still hurts.

Wednesday – Treadmill speedwork!  I think I’m actually getting faster.  Also, I still find it crazy that my mid-week runs are around 7 miles or more.  It wasn’t that long ago that 7 miles was my long run!

Thursday – The exhaustion caught up to me.  Ended up in bed before 8, missed swim practice.  Thank goodness it’s the triathlon off season?

Friday – High RPM trainer ride.  “High” is a relative term for me right now.  I’m still working to get my cadence up, but my comfortable tempo is getting faster, so I suppose that’s improvement.

Saturday – TEN MILE TREADMILL RUN.  I am a machine.

Sunday – 90 minute trainer ride.  Ahh, the joy of just pedaling.