SCHERERVILLE | "It's about making time for yourself and sticking to it," Misty Chandos said of the challenges of maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.
Chandos managed to make time for herself and schedule 26 hours out of her day to run a 100-mile ultramarathon.
"It was a trail run ... through mud and water," Chandos said about the race, which was part of a three-day running festival "Run Woodstock" held Sept. 9-11 in Pinckney, Mich. "And no ... we didn't get a chance to rest. It was continuous. We even ate on the run.
"You had to be very careful with your race planning."
The race started and ended at an appropriately named place: Hell Creek Ranch. And Chandos felt like hell afterward.
"It was kind of like how I felt after running my first (26.2-mile) marathon," she said. "My body needed some time to recover."
Chandos is the director of training and event coordinator for Fleet Feet Sports in Schererville. Several years ago, she helped launch the store's "Beginner Runner Program," which trains aspiring runners to complete their first 5K race.
"We generally have a program for every season," said Chandos, who will conduct an informational meeting 2 p.m. today at the store for the winter session starting Nov. 10 and culminating with the Midwinter Cruise 5K in Park Forest in January.
"We've since added two programs for those wanting to train to run a full marathon."
For that, Chandos means 26.2 not 100.0.
This winter, Fleet Feet Sports will offer a "Challenge 7", a health and lifestyle-changing program consisting of a series of seminars and fun runs.
"We call it Challenge 7 because the average American gains seven pounds during the winter," Chandos said. "This is something we're offering to the community, to gives people resources to stay healthy."
The seminars, which run November through January, will have a variety of topics consisting of "The Quitter: Why Changing Your Habits will Change Your Life (Nov. 7)", "Putting First Things First (Nov. 21)", "Nutrition and Holiday Eating (Dec. 5)", "Moving Forward/Managing Pitfalls (Dec. 19)", "Laughter is the Best Medicine (Jan. 2)", "Yoga with Tammy Zack (Jan. 16)" and "OMG! How Do I Do This? A Plan to Live Your Best Life Now (Jan. 30)."
The cost is $25.
"But it's more of a commitment fee," Chandos said. "If you attend a combination of 10 seminars and fun runs, you'll get a $50 store credit and a chance to win free shoes for a year."
Each month during the challenge there will be three fun runs held periodically on Saturday mornings and Wednesday nights.
"This is a first-time thing for us," Chandos said about Challenge 7. "We're not going to make money on this, but it's a great opportunity to get more people dedicated about health and fitness.
"Maybe this will grow some legs."