From blogger to jogger

Heather Truckenmiller, of the Watsontown area,  noted her ‘Chased by Zombies’ essay included several local references. 

WATSONTOWN — The notion of being chased by zombies proved to be a good incentive to get fit.

It also proved to be an incentive for Heather Truckenmiller, a Watsontown-area blogger, to submit a piece to the publishers of the popular Chicken Soup for the Soul series. Her essay, “Chased by Zombies,” was recently published in “Running for Good, 101 Stories for Runners and Walkers to Get You Going!”

Though not strictly a fan of zombie culture, Truckenmiller said she found an app to use on the device she carries when she runs. It allowed her to combined personal choices of music with instructions of exercises to do as if being chased by the undead.

“Your music plays and they interrupt your music to give you an update on where the zombies are where you had to run and what you had to grab,” Truckenmiller said. “It had extra exercise in it. So it wasn’t just running. It would stop and have you do squats and broke it up and made it less tedious.”

The app allows the user to click the next stage of the storyline with each new run.

“I am a 46-year old woman who runs because she has to, not because she loves it,” she added. “I am never going to beat anybody’s times. What it does is keep me interested.”

As noted in the piece, Truckenmiller realized a couple of years ago that she would not be able to keep up with her two-year-old grandson without getting fitter. The piece refers to getting ready for a community 5K, actually the annual Jess-Vic 5K in Watsontown.

Challenges included low blood iron levels which made almost any exertion a challenge. Truckenmiller said it was complicated by being mistaken for asthma. She also required surgery to repair a torn meniscus.

Truckenmiller and her husband Dan, also as noted in “Chased by Zombies,” met three times per week at the canal path in Watsontown and pretended to be chased. Her message of inspiration is that if she can run, anyone can.   

Staff Writer Matt Farrand can be reached at 570-742-9671 and via email at

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