Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Scales

So, now that Christmas is over, how would you rate yours?  I hope it was the fun, frantic, joyous, exhausting time it was for me.

Looking back on the day, I realize it’s really a month of days that build and build and build toward the “unveiling.” Along the way, the pressure to make everything perfect and fair to all the people I love also rises.

I’m still exhausted.. but happy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Not Yet

On this one year anniversary, I am chosing to republish the first article I wrote after the Sandy Hook tragedy.  It doesn't seem right to submit a running or nutriton article today.  So here is what I wrote one year ago.  

I can’t write about running.

And I can’t write about nutrition.

Not today anyway.  Not yet.  

Monday, December 2, 2013

Cleanse Talk at the Hudson Public Library December 5 at 7pm

Join us!

Run Defensively

Moments before, I had been happily driving along with my friend to be inducted into a national honor society ceremony at our college.  She sat on the passenger side putting on her last touches of makeup. 

I was driving, and I watched a man coming toward me with his left blinker on.  I looked in disbelief, he was so close to me, there was no way he could make the turn.

That was my last thought.  I have the right of way. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Jar of Seashells

It came in the mail: A simple jar of shells that was collected by a friend, a very dear friend.

With the jar of shells came a simple note. In it, my dear friend said she had collected the shells at beaches all across the eastern seaboard. She was sending them as tangible illustrations of God’s goodness.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Ankles can be a Pain in the Glute!

There are common physical complaints that come with running. If you are a runner, you can say them with me: ankles, knees, glutes and hips. The more you run, the more likely you’ll get the joy of more than one giving you a pain in the glute :-)

This week, let’s start closest to the ground on our ankles. I know when I run a lot, the first few steps every morning are tough. For me, this is compounded by the legacy of an old Lyme Disease infection when I was a kid.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Go ahead and fail

Maybe that sounds a bit like a threat, or sarcastic…  But I promise it is not. 

I am the queen of failure.  Meaning, I have tried and not succeeded at more than I really would like to think about – or admit.

But the big question we all face is not whether or how often we fail, but how often we get up and try again.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lesson for a Lifetime

It was an odd time for a “Hi, how ya doing?” phone call. 

Thanks to caller ID, I knew who was calling and I didn’t want to pick up the phone. 

Just four weeks earlier a friend had a stroke. Since then, I kept it quiet and prayed for a good outcome.  I prayed for supernatural healing. 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Autumn Runs

I really never tire of the fall foliage.  Here in Massachusetts, the leaves are just starting to change. And they are spectacular.  Really. 

As I ran this morning, I wished I had had my camera with me.  The entire route was beautiful.

Friday, September 13, 2013

What will you do with the Surprise?

Was that a beach day?

School has started up again, binders and backpacks, lunchboxes and rigid schedules are here.  Beach days are gone, traffic is back to bumper to bumper.

But what just happened?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Almost Registration Time!

There are many different ways to slice the calendar.  Sometimes, when work is involved, we think in ‘fiscal years’.  When speaking of children, we think in ‘school years’, the academic calendar and ‘summer calendars.’ If we are still counting years and birthdays, we might talk in our own special birthdate and our ‘year’ revolves around that.  And of course, there is the calendar year. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

And then There is Sand

Summer is a time to get out and about. For me, this summer has taken me all over, from Hudson to Connecticut to New York to Hershey Penn.

And during the thousands of miles I put on our van (and during the one accident – totally not my fault) my sneaks have been along for the ride.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Reality check in the form of a Hill

When we runners get together and talk running, the talk always – eventually - turns to training.

At one of those conversations recently a friend asked me: “Do you do hills when you run?”

I made what I’m sure was an indignant face. “Sure.  Of course I do hills,” I replied. What I did not say was: “Of course I do hills.  How can you run 12 miles and not run up a hill or two?”

Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Bronze Fonz

I am just back from an amazing trip I took for my amazing 10-year old son. 

Cue the flash back machine.

Joshua was awarded a grant to travel to Wisconsin, and spend a week learning mural art under a super talented artist. While he was there, he got to learn all kinds of cool things, like how to work on plaster, how to gold leaf and how to paint on a huge scale. The centerpiece of the week was his work on a beautiful mural for St. Peter’s Church in Omaha

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Here's One for the Stumblers

What’s with all this talk on running form?  Is it really critical to running?  Maybe.  Here’s my take on it with 40 years of running experience.

I think form is important – to a point.  And that point is if you want to be an elite runner, then maybe you should focus on form. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Flex This!

Summer is here!!  Woo hoo! 

For me, summer has always been a break in routines. Sometimes it was just a day trip to the beaches at Watch Hill and sometimes it was a longer road trip.

But it always was a break in the routine of school, homework and everything else. Even as an adult, summer means change and a bit more flexibility. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013


It’s true. I’m a runner. I am not a basketball player. I am not a soccer player. I don’t enjoy trying to hit a ball being hurled at me super fast. Not my thing.

And maybe running is not your thing.

So, why would you even read this article? It’s almost always about running. Right?

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Heat is on

And so it begins.

I spent the last weekend suffering through a weekend of rain, cold and mud in the Berkshires for a baseball tournament. Temperatures hovered in the low 40s and there was a stiff cold wind.

Some kind of welcome to summer.

But now, the heat is on. It’s 90 degrees out and humid and I love it.

I wait all year for this blink of an eye we call summer in New England.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Pace Yourself

There are lots of lessons we can learn from nature. One of them is that Spring is a time of growth and renewal.

And for us humans and specifically those of us humans who run, this is also time to grow. Namely, it’s time to grow your mileage.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Running World

There is a purple pickup truck I see nearly every time I run.  I’ve seen it so many times that I know the license plate and know that it says “Plum Crazy” on the back tailgate.  And I know the truck’s “home.” And I spot it around town  -- and even in other towns.  One of the things I love about running is that it gives you a unique connection to the world around you.
I get to know who is having work done on their house or their yard. I know who gets a new mailbox or swing set. And I know when there is a new business in town.  Unlike someone who exercises in the gym, running lets me see and feel the seasons change. I have no choice but to adapt my training to the calendar and the weather.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Revitalize your Running

There is something to be said for the well worn path.

How many of us have been running the same routes at the same pace for years? I know I have.

Are you feeling bored with your running routine?  Lacking the energy to stay motivated?  Caught in the doldrums?

Springtime is a time of rebirth – of revitalizing and new growth.  There’s an excitement in the air.  Something is blooming….

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Genetically Modified

I get that modifying food for a growing nation, population and world has some powerful logical reasons. They say crops will better withstand droughts, or floods, or bugs, or pesticides.

In turn, this will result in more food – and fewer hungry people - with the result of more profitable crops.

And, they argue, farmers have been doing this for centuries when they cross-breed strong plants, or selectively plant seeds from strong plants in their fields.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Recovery: Healing after Our Long Run

After the long run – be it the marathon, the half marathon, or whatever your own personal longest distance, take a moment (or two, or a week, or a month) to recover. 

Ugh.  That was to be the start of my next article, my recovery from the marathon article…….  But now, that title and its meaning, have taken on a whole different spin.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

After the Marathon

The last time I sat down to write, I was thinking about how absolutely awesome the Boston Marathon is.

At the time, my plan for today was to replay some of the excitement from this year’s race, talk about my friends who were in the crowd, who ran the race – to celebrate the joyous event it is.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Boston and Counting

Christmas may be the highlight of the year for a child, but THIS is the apex time of year for the runner.

We are days away from the Boston Marathon. So it seems like a great time to reflect, not only on my Boston experience, but THE Boston experience.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Who Doesn't Love the Bathrobe??

There are a group of haters that I think it’s time we finally confront.
They have been allowed to spread their negativity for too many years and I, for one, am ready to stand up to them.
It’s the anti-bathrobists.
You’ve probably heard them calling bathrobes jackets made out of a towel or calling those of us who wear them escapees from the loony bin.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Herbs: The Spice of Life

When I was in 7th grade, we had to do a science project.  Our project has to be on something in the plant world, biology plant-life, if you will.  I found it extremely uninteresting, but I wanted an A.  For the record, I still will do whatever I need to get an A.

I also wanted it to be important – according to my 7th grade brain.  And I knew that the process of photosynthesis was important BUT not that interesting.  However, herbs were very interesting.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Keeping your toes footloose and fancy-free!

You might feel I am on a foot fettish right now.  My last article (Another Milestone) had to do with my feet as well.  But this time, it’s not about the crossroads of life, but practical advise on keeping your feet in running condition. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Another Milestone

Another milestone. And it has to do with my feet.

My feet have aged, gotten bunions and generally are not the pretty girly feet I wish they were. They are very definitely runner’s feet – hard, calloused, really short (broken or torn) nails; in short, not a model’s feet. Yes, I know, that was probably too much information. You are grossed out now.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When injury comes

Injuries happen when you run. Not often for some, and quite regularly for others. Whether you are a regular injury-prone runner or one of those fairly free-of-injury runners, it happens sometimes.

And that’s why I want to, however briefly, explore not the specific injury or the specific cure, but rather our attitude to and through the injury. I don’t stop running. I’ve run in blizzards, in casts, and in hurricanes. I’ve run with ankle sprains and knots that can bring you to your knees. But recently, I had to stop. Just a brief stop, but a stop nonetheless.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Good Cop, Good Cop

Us walkers, us runners, us bicyclists are watched over, taken care of.
Running through Hudson the past 11 years (and South Boston prior to that, and back in Connecticut even further back), I have had the experience of being yelled at, sworn at, splashed and nearly hit by angry drivers more times than I can count. 
Ask my friend, Matt.  He’ll tell ya. 
But not once, as in NEVER, has it come from a police officer – even when I may have deserved it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Run Your Own Race

Yes, I know, we runners are competitive.  And compulsive.  And obsessive.  And a wee bit crazy. 
But the truth is we are really more competitive with ourselves than with you.
And I think that is what makes us such a special breed and what makes running a special activity.  I want to explore this lesson with you a little deeper because honestly, we could all take in that particular lesson in running and transfer it to life in general. 
I don’t go your pace and you don’t go mine.  Your PR is just that.  YOUR PERSONAL RECORD.  The key word here is personal.  I’m not running your race.  I’m running mine.

Upgrade Your Food

It’s simple.  Sorta.  The idea of upgrading your food is anyway.  Everyone knows it is better to eat a salad with carrots and cukes than it is to eat a pound of chocolate.  Even organic chocolate. 
But sometimes that’s just plain hard to do.  As a health coach, I have been working on finding simpler, more palatable options for folks to upgrade their food.  Simply put, they are not willing to give up the junk.  Not all of it anyway.
With that in mind, I think it’s cool to bring in the concept of upgrading.  We do that with our appliances, with our computers.  Let’s do it with our food as well.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Top 5 Reasons to still get outside in the Winter

It's true, winter is a time for hibernation.  The bears do it.  The birds escape.  And so, it is no wonder we find it difficult to get out there when we peer out the window and see the snow.  With that thought in mind, I thought I would do a list of why you should get out there, regardless of the weather.  Believe me, I think I have mentioned, I am a summer girl.  Winter is not my season.  I need this list and this reminder as much (or more!) than you.

Winter Runniing

I thought it would be a good idea to go over some of the basics of running in the winter.  I simply don't run inside.  For me, yoga is an inside sport.  But running....... that's an outside sport.  Even in 10 degrees.  So, for those braving the winters and all its glory, here is a quick list of basics:
1.  Wear layers.  I know, this seems obvious.  (and all of these tips are, really, but should serve as a timely reminder).  This became apparent the other day, with snow on the ground and wind in my face when I realized it's time for the second thin layer of pants - I usually wear a thin pair of tights under my running pants in the really cold weather.

Blow me a Kiss!

That’s right!  Blow me a kiss! 
That got your attention, didn’t it?  Well, this morning out on my run, I had this huge epiphany.  And I know, once you hear it, you will all go – DUH, Chantel!  But here goes….
I didn’t feel like running this morning, but here I am anyway, out there doing my thing.  And someone in a pickup nearly hits me.  Now,  I’m really irritated, and I continue on my run. 
Next, a woman waves me across because she wants to go and doesn’t want to hit me.  She smiles.  In spite of myself, I smile back.

Mood Shift with a Drum Roll

When I sit down to write this article, I usually let my mind move naturally to food and health, or running and exercise.  How I traverse the world around me through these mediums.  And how I would love to share an observation with you.
But today, as I sat at the kitchen table typing, the radio was playing ever so quietly Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.  Now, I am not a super Pink Floyd fan – but I am also not anti-Pink Floyd.  That being said, I do love this song.  My ears twitched and I stopped my typing when the first few slow notes were strummed on the guitar, before any other instruments or voices joined in.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Here comes the Snow

The first snow!
Snowball fights are awesome.  And as my boys had their first snowball fight of the season tonight, I got thinking of how I now need to transition to running in the snow again.  It’s that time of year.
A few years back, when we had the really heavy snowfall winter, I still ran in the winter, but oh boy! was it hard.  I half contemplated buying gear - running gear - specifically for the snow.  But I tend, as I have shared before, to be someone who runs essentially free of all gadgets.  I don’t partake in the watchband gps or ear buds and music.  It’s not because I am adverse to the gadgets, more like slow to change.  I run like I did at 6 years old.  And pretty much, with the same crazy form.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Blizzards. Love 'em or Hate 'em?

Well, it’s arrived.  The Blizzard for the next generation.  Now our children can have a flavor of ourBlizzard of ’78.  They can see a bit of what we felt ‘lo those many years ago.  I was a child at the time, and I remember feeling like school was shut down FOREVER.  Time plays tricks on us, however, and I have now come to realize that school was probably not shut down forever.  But, at the time, it did feel like it. 
The clock isn’t really ticking according to Big Ben anyway,  but moves faster or slower depending on where WE are.  And I guess that’s the case with me and my recollections of the Blizzard of ’78.