Thursday, July 9, 2009

THE 2009 PPTC PICNIC Richard Weaver


Richard Weaver

The PPTC picnic on Saturday June 27th was a wonderful fun-filled success that was possible, in part, by the volunteers who were there early to set up tables and ice the water and soda. So, so a tip of the hat to Anne Perzeszty, Julio Zavala, Pat and Tom Meany, Lila and Michael Rieman and Kathleen Weaver. Doug Olney registered the relay runners, announced the teams and was finish line director, assisted by Julio and Lennie Nemerovsky.

Following the adult relay race, Maggie Deschamps and Michael Ring organized a peewee race for the children. The children ran once around the Oriental Pavilion
and they proudly wore the medals they won.

After the race, everyone enjoyed a sumptuous buffet consisting of three five-foot heroes and delicious foods, salads and desserts provided by the PPTC members.

Then came the talent show! Amy Duquette mesmerized the crowd with her winged tap dancing feet, Gil Torres treated us with his very clever mime and juggling act followed by Charlene Britton-Kohler’s beautiful rendition of a song she had composed about runners. Charlene also brought song books and led a sing-along with children and adults. Not to be outdone by the adults, two young ladies provided additional entertainment, namely Zoe Prawda who juggled and Emma Pesin who played the violin for the enjoyment of all.

There were ten running teams and one speed walking team. The walking team consisted of Tom Meany, Lila Rieman and Al Goldstein, all of whom did really well but they are not quite ready to take on Paul Soskind as being the premier PPTC racewalker.

The winning relay team was comprised of Al Prawda, Frank DeLeo and Gary Wang with an outstanding time of 36 minutes 13 seconds. Coach Tony Watson had the fastest time for a male runner, 10 minutes 29 seconds. Helen Dole set a new course record for females in a time of 10 minutes 58 seconds, breaking the existing record of Regina Cahill (who was there to watch and run the relay). This course record lasted about 20 minutes as Sarah Scott finished in a time of 10 minutes 50 seconds. A fitting end to a most enjoyable picnic.

Wallet Watch: Buying Groceries by Christine Boutross

In these lean financial times it is imperative we learn how to shop wisely for groceries and at the same time save money.

Wallet Watch: Buying Groceries

1. Did you know that you never should shop on an empty stomach? Shop after you've eaten a meal or a protein snack and you will save money.

2. Comparison Shopping: Know the prices of items that you buy on a regular basis at several stores. For instance, if you buy several containers of broth; some markets offer discount prices on a regular basis while others may provide even deeper discounts on limited time sale items.

3. Only buy grocery food items at the grocery store. The big warehouse stores such as Costco, BJ's and Sam's Club offer much better prices on your household items.

4. Be cautious with coupons. Most coupons are for processed food. When shopping for food, most of your groceries should be vegetables, fruits, whole grains, meat, fish, etc, which goes on sale but you rarely would find a manufacturer coupon for. Fill your shopping cart with these whole foods first.

5. Forget about buying food that is already cut up. It's cheaper to buy a food that needs some prep work on your part.

6. Take a look at store brands to see if money can be saved compared to a well known brand. Again, be careful because this applies usually to foods that are processed and your goal is to stay away from processed foods.

7. In season fruits and vegetables are usually cheaper. Shop at your local Farmer's Market for seasonal vegetables and fruits which are locally grown.

8. Never shop without a shopping list! On the weekend you should look over the store circulars to see what fruits, vegetables and meats/fish are on sale. From there, plan your weekly meal menu around the sales. Then create a shopping list for ingredients you need and stick to the list!

9. Buy staples such as rice, beans and pasta in bulk. They can be stored in airtight containers.

10. Don’t linger in the supermarket. Studies have shown that the longer shoppers are in the store, the more they spend! So grab your stuff and run!

11. If at all possible, leave your children at home. Kids always get us to buy foods that we don't want to buy.

12. Buy high quality meat (grass fed) and reduce your meat consumption. Plant foods are less expensive and loading up on them will improve your family’s health.

13. Read labels. If you can't pronounce the ingredients don't purchase the food. (If anyone wants to learn more about reading labels, just email me for information on my "Label Reading 101" class.)

14. Leave the high calorie, low nutrient extras such as soda, chips and cookies in the store.

‘No Pain, No Pain’: The ChiRunning Experience

‘No Pain, No Pain’:

The ChiRunning Experience

By: Amy Duquette

I have been running and racing consistently for the past five years. I’ve also had knee pain that ranged from dull and achy to throbbing, keeping me up through the night for the past five years. I’ve been to physical therapy to treat my condromalasia (the irregular movement of the kneecap as it wears away at the cartilage), ice the knees often, take ice baths after long races and wear knee braces for any distance over a 10K. “Running is killing my knees” has been my thought process, but it is too bad because I certainly love running and have no plans to stop.

For this reason, while looking over the Kripalu (yoga and health center in Lenox, MA) calendar of retreats to pick one for my summer vacation, the caption for ChiRunning grabbed my attention: “An approach to effortless, injury and pain-free running.” I was debating enrolling in Pleasure Boot Camp but I’m glad I picked ChiRunning. While driving up to The Berkshires I told myself that although I was certainly skeptical, just be open and take whatever works for me and leave all the rest. At least the YogaDance at noon and overall retreat vibe (hot tub, wholesome food, messages) would be worth it.

Four days later I completed the workshop. I feel that my running has had a rebirth. I can’t believe how different ChiRunning is from power running, what I and most of us do when we just go out there and run. In power running, we fight against the two forces that are coming at us; gravity and the road. Now I use them both in my favor, extending less energy and not feeling the pounding of the pavement in my tender knees with every step. It’s not running that hurts the body; it’s the WAY we run. It’s also a myth that overtraining causes injury, it’s the WAY we run that does. If power running is about “no pain, no gain”, then ChiRunning is “no pain, no pain.”

ChiRunning’s technique is taken from T’ai Chi, which opens and balances the body allowing energy to run through it and teaches that less is more. In ChiRunning, if you provide the optimal conditions in the body then running will just happen. Now, providing these conditions in your body takes constant concentration and a lot of practice. There is a specific way to carry your entire body, from your toes all the way up to the head. Everything is relaxed, especially your ankles, but in control. Your posture is balanced and you tilt the whole body forward. You land right in the middle of the foot, not on the toes which tenses up all the muscles. There is no knee lift, but you let your feet peel off the road lifting your ankles high behind you. This felt the most different to me. And so much better! I won’t go into the specifics of the posture because they are so detailed, but it is actually the most natural way to run.

I realized that the ChiRunning technique was all worth the concentration when I went on a trail run with the instructors after our third day. The run was 20 minutes uphill and about 10/15 to get back down. Hill work on this steep of an incline used to KILL my knees but after this run, focusing on my Chi form, I had no knee pain. Zero. I almost did not believe it myself.

I love running again, in a new way. I had been loosing motivation with my running, feeling very sluggish and unhappy with my runs. Now I can’t wait to get out there, off the treadmill, and feel the relaxation that comes to me through running with this new form. Not all will respond to it, but if you are interested you can get more information at