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Top 10 Blogs from November

What did you miss last month? A lot. Pay attention next time. Or, just check back at the beginning of each month for a round-up of the top 10 blogs from the previous month, like this one.

Number 10 (a tie!):

Stuff You Should Click On: Week of November 12

Attack of the Mama Grizzly


Number 9: Andy Irons Autopsy Inconclusive


Number 8: The Gear Junkie: World's Warmest Winter Coat

[Editor's note: We didn't say Most Stylish.]

  CoatNumber 7: Surfer Alana Blanchard Makes 2011 Tour


Number 6: The Gear Junkie: Columbia Sportswear 2011

Columbia Number 5: Jared [The Subway Guy] Fogle's Marathon Training


Number 4: Christopher McDougall's Top 4 Running Tips


Number 3: The Gear Junkie: The Top 10 Gear Picks of 2010


Number 2: Remembering Andy Irons


Number 1: 10 Things You Should Know About 127 Hours


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Recipe: Healthy Apple Pie

Photo courtesy of whitneyinchicago on flickr.

My dad is a wannabe pie-a-holic. He's also a Type 1 diabetic. So in an effort to prepare an holiday pie that he can indulge in, I've been baking a "sugar-free" apple pie for the past nine years.

And you know what? It's pretty darn tasty. In fact, it's an easy way to get your "apple-a-day" fix.

So if you're looking for a healthier way to nosh on this holiday favorite, look no further than this quick recipe. With this recipe, there's no guilt in munching while preparing.
--Erin Beresini

(FYI - I'm pretty sure I got the recipe from in the early 2000s, when websites were ugly and fake sugar that measures like real sugar was a novel concept.)

"Sugar Free" Apple Pie (Apples have their own natural sugars, so it's not entirely devoid of sugar.)

8 cups baking apples (like Granny Smith) sliced, cored, peeled
1 cup fake baking sugar (like Equal or Splenda granulated sweetener)
3 tablespoons cornstartch
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
2 pre-made pie pastries (If you have a crust recipe you like, you could make this from scratch. I just use Pillsbury refrigerated crusts.)

What to do with them:
Preheat the oven to 425. Mix everything but the apples (and pie crusts) together. Put the apples in a large bowl. (I like a big salad bowl.) Toss the apples with the fake sugar mix. Put a pie pastry in a nine-inch pan. Put the apples in it. Cut out Christmas trees, candy canes or whatever you want from another pie pastry. Slap that on top. Put the whole shebang in the oven for around 40-50 minutes or until the apples are tender. Take it out. Let it cool. Eat. If you really want some extra sugar, squirt some whipped cream on top or pair a slice with vanilla fro-yo.

If you cut the pie into 8 pieces, estimates each slice has 253 calories, 42g carbs and 10g fat. If you don't eat the top crust, you'll save on calories.


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Stuff You Should Click On: Week of December 3

A wolf in stilettos was crossing Iceland on his way to Vegas, got stopped at a traffic light and injured his Achilles, while Dolly the Sheep was speedflying in France. Sounds like a job for Leslie Nielson. Or something like that.  Here's the stuff you should click on this week.

One Way to Spend Your Holiday Break:

New Traffic Lights?
LEDs Make Clever Interactive Traffic Light Design Possible (Treehugger)

Synchronized Swimming. In Vegas?
Synchronized Swimming as a Show (New York Times)

Across Iceland (with a little Hendrix)

The Case For:
Exercise Often Enough for Achilles Injury Recovery (Reuters)

The Case Against:
Extreme Long-Distance Running Can Damage the Body (Reuters)

Dolly Déjà vu: A Glitch in the Matrix?
Dolly the Sheep: Alive and Well (NewScientist)

Really? Really.
Hiking High Heel Hybrids (Trend Hunter)

Hungry Like the Wolf:
U.S. Wants to Lift Protections for Wolf and Grizzly (Reuters)

Shirley, He Will Be Missed:
Leslie Nielsen, 84, Romantic Hero Turned Comic, Dies (New York Times)


--Michael Webster

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Racing Triathlons Blind: A Lesson in Dodging Blobs

Professional triathlete Aaron Scheidies was born with a hereditary condition has left the 28-year old with only 10 percent of his vision. In 2007, he became the only disabled athlete to break two hours in an international distance triathlon (1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run), breaking a world record. In 2010, he broke that record, finishing Ohio's Sylvania Triathlon in 1:57:21. Below, Scheidies shares what it's like to race blind.

It's race morning and all of the triathletes are strolling into the transition area with their tricked out bikes. All heads turn and commotion stirs when an unusual bike rolls by them. As my guide directs the bike toward our designated area, whispers begin. Some athletes are so curious and confused that they come up and start asking questions. Over my ten years in the sport of triathlon I have heard it all:
“Can you explain this, I am a little confused.” 
“There is a tandem division?”
“We should do a team like them next time.”
“So, who sits on the front of the bike?”

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An Ironman Swim in Quintana Roo's Superfull Wetsuit


Nothing new on race day. That is the cardinal rule of triathlon. Don't scarf down a breakfast burrito race morning when you've been training on oatmeal. Don't wear compression socks if you've never put them on before. And don't swim in a wetsuit you haven't taken for a considerable test swim.

I've been racing tris for six years, so I should have known better than to make race day at Ironman Arizona my first swim in a new wetsuit. I didn't have the chance to swim in open water while training and was afraid the lifeguards at the local rec center would tackle me if I tried to jump in their pool dressed like a human tire. 

DSCN0659 But I was making an educated guess. In 2006, I bought my first triathlon wetsuit: a Quintana Roo Superfull. It was the morning of a race in Ventura, Calif., and a guy from a local tri shop told me I would either freeze or sink or both without one. So he brought me the QR Superfull and made me pay later (I believe about $375). I wore that suit every weekend for ocean swims and through almost five seasons of racing before I ripped it down the side putting it on last September. The suit's coloring--a big silver V down the front--made me look like a whale, but I didn't care; the suit made me swim like one, too. I had to try out the new version. 

For peace of mind, I pulled on the 2010 QR Superfull the day before the race, then jumped into a 55-degree private pool. I took two strokes before I deemed myself ready for Ironman--I hate cold water. 

My first impression: Damn, this suit is hot! As in,"Erin, you look smokin' hot!" I posed for a photo (see above). In the 2010 suit, the whale design is replaced by a sexy, technical-looking blue and silver motif. I thought I looked like an intimidating triathlete who knows what she's doing. The QR passed my first test of women-specific tri products: must look hot. But how would it perform? 

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