Two Years at LUNGevity and Back From Hiatus

Last week marked 2 years for me with LUNGevity Foundation and while Anna and I joke that we have the weirdest job ever (example below: missed call from Potty Queen), I could not have asked for a better job or more amazing co-workers and volunteers to work with! Every day I get to come into work, do what I love with people I genuinely like, oh yeah, and fight lung cancer. So after a month and a half hiatus from blogging, now feels like a good time to come back.

A little recap of the last couple years:

2 years part 22 years part 1
July and August were crazy busy months for me, I said good bye to this guy:


I attended a a shower, wedding and a bachelorette party in Denver for two of my best friends:


Kristin wedding


Celebrated 3 family birthdays and sent my FAVORITE brother off to college (I am SO proud of him) as a freshman at University of Illinois in Champaign and of course balled my eyes out when I had to say goodbye. Also, check out those guys hugging, cute right?

Buck and Dad

Me and buck

I’ve volunteered for a few Fleet Feet packet pick ups and races and if you’ve never been on the other side of a race cheering, it is an awesome feeling and I totally recommend it. Here I am with fellow #RunChi member (and best marathon motivator ever) Samantha Kellgren, rocking our safety vests.

Volunteering with Sam

Also, it’s officially event season at LUNGevity which means we are BUSY BUSY here. . in a good way! Check out all of the Fall Breathe Deep Events we have going on across the country! And of course, I’ve been running like crazy training for the marathon in October and the Women’s Half Marathon this weekend on Labor Day. Thankfully I have a roomie that is training too and we can have romantic 5am runs along the lake.

Run with Meghan

This past weekend I pounded out 18 miles in preparation for the Chicago Marathon and Meghan joined me for the first 10 so it wasn’t the worst ever. Don’t let the instagram filter fool you though, I am DRIPPING in sweat and we had to wring our clothes out before coming inside.

18 Miles

And this wouldn’t be a Heather post if it didn’t include food so here’s a picture of one of the breakfasts I had in Denver a couple weeks ago:


Oh, and a pancake flight. .  yep. .  same meal. .


September is coming right around the corner which means the beginning of fall events, a couple 20 mile runs and a lot of enjoying the last bits of summer with friends. And, I turn 27 which I thought would be kind of scary but really, it turns out my life is prettay prettay great so I feel good about it.

Stay tuned for a recap on the Women’s Half Marathon this weekend, and obviously the carbo loading that will be done the night before at this place, spoiler alert: it’s awesome.

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Busy Week

Wednesday morning I woke up earlier than I had planned to and did a little workout in the gym. Yes I posted this photo yesterday but it’s cool enough to post again.

Tuesday view

My plan was to squeeze in my 6 mile run during lunch but when I got in, Anna asked if I wanted to head over to the Taste later so naturally that was my first choice (priorities people). So thankfully for my co-workers (and their noses), I pushed my run back to after work. Around lunch time we hit the Taste and got Chicago style hot dogs (obviously), toasted ravioli, pierogi’s, pad thai, turtle cheesecake and watermelon Italian ice. It’s a shock that we didn’t go into a coma at our desks (so much for the bridesmaid dress diet).

Wednesday Taste of Chicago Tickets

Wednesday Taste of Chicago Food
After work I stepped out of my comfort zone and into a networking group (alone) with some others managing endurance events for non-profits in the area. Then I ordered Lou Malnati’s (photos below) for my roommate and I, snuck in a ‘quick’ 6 mile run, inhaled my dinner and then met up with Steve at the movie in the park. The movie last night was at Lincoln Park near the Chicago History Museum and was. . .hold your gasp. . .my first time seeing Ferris Bueller’s Day Off! The movie was great and so was the wine and company!

Wednesday Lou's pizzaPepperoni and pineapple deep dish

Lous saladDon’t let this ‘salad’ fool you. . there’s definitely bacon in it

Today is my Friday so I have a busy day at work and then tonight I am heading over to the 8K Bastille Day race with my roommate Meghan, Samantha, and a few other girls before heading for a post race dinner at Noodles in the Pot. Tomorrow, I will be starting my day off with a 12 mile long run (yay) and then kicking off the festivities for my friend Kristin’s wedding!

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#RUNCHI Fun Run, New Shoes and Watermelon

Monday I planned on meeting up with the #runchi cheer team (including Samantha) and my roommate Meghan for a fun run at Fleet Feet after work. Pretty much right after I got on the train though I realized I forgot to bring my running shoes with me. So instead of going back home, I decided that it was fate intervening and telling me I should buy a new pair (because nothing makes a crappy day better than new running shoes). After work I headed straight to Fleet Feet and hopped on the treadmill so they could watch me ‘pronate’. Then the guy came out with a few selections and had me try them on. I opted for the latest version of the Brooks Adrenaline and while I wasn’t the craziest about the color at first, they’re starting to grow on me. He also suggested that I go up half a size to leave more room for my toes for long runs and he was right (although that means I now wear a size 10 shoe. . .woof). I think one of the ways you know you’re a ‘real runner’ (or maybe just an adult) is when you choose the right type of shoe for you instead of deciding based on color. There were about 20 other pairs that I liked better and were way cooler than the ones I got but these fit me like a glove!

Monday new shoes

Once I laced up I met with the #runchi cheer team girls and Meghan and we hit the road. Since it was a rest day, Sam and I just did an easy 3 miles and caught up on the latest gossip and Meghan chimed in here and there (she has an injury so is getting back in the game). The nice thing about running groups is that you meet new people and it’s easy to just jump in whenever you have time. We all have something in common so I can go for a couple weeks and then if I have to miss a few runs, I can hop back into the group and pick right back up where I left off. We ended back at the store and took some very sweaty photos.

Monday fun run with Meghan

Monday fun run with Samantha

Yesterday after work I went straight to packet pick-up for the Bastille 8K that Samantha, Meghan and a few other girls are doing together and grabbed mine and Meghan’s swag. Then I went on a quick 3 mile run sans phone and music to clear my head before getting some errands done.

Tuesday Bastille shirt pickup

This morning I woke up earlier than I had planned so I did a ‘weight’ workout in the gym. I use ‘ ‘ around the word weight because I don’t think I’ve ever lifted a dumbbell heavier than 5 pounds before. The view was great though so no complaints here.

Tuesday view

My plan was to squeeze in my 6 miles during lunch because Deanne and I are going to a charity orientation after work but the opportunity to go to the Taste arose so obviously I choose food over running. My run will have to wait until tonight!

P.S. I’m only $300 away from my fundraising goal AND cut watermelon is buy one get one free at Jewel today so basically I won the lottery this morning and I may or may not have already eaten one of these. . .  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday watermelon

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July 4th Weekend

This weekend started off with a little events welcome lunch!  Anna, Beverly and I headed over to Vapiano for lunch on Thursday to chat about Beverly’s first week here, discuss the ins and outs of events and to carbo load for the weekend!

Thursday lunch with Bev

Then after work I met up with my roommates to kick off the holiday weekend with drinks! Also my sister stopped by with her pup Max and all the girls drooled over him (okay he did most of the drooling).

Thursday drinks

Friday morning started off with my 11 mile long run. Typically my long runs are saved for Saturdays but since it was a holiday weekend, I thought I’d get it done and out of the way!

Friday 11 mile run
Overall the long run went great! The heat felt nice, the paths weren’t packed yet and there wasn’t really a time that I felt like it was tough (okay the next day soreness maybe). The only downside was running past the grilling near Castaways because people were out ready to celebrate with BBQ first thing in the morning! Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing I like more than a good hot dog but after running 7 miles at the time, the smell of the grill made my stomach turn.

After I was done, I met up with my roommate Meghan at Great American Bagel (where I end all of my long runs). I had a whole wheat bagel with veggie cream cheese and a whole slew of liquids including water, OJ and a coffee IV. We ate up, went back to the apartment and then spent part of the day at the beach with Katie.

Friday beach
After the beach I schlepped home, showered, changed and made these and then cut up strawberries for a fruit dip that was wildly popular!

Friday cupcakes

The 4th of July party at Jacobs had an amazing view and pretty good company (kidding). The apartment was on Lincoln Park West and you could see most of the city and then into the suburbs. We played Cards Against Humanity, snacked, grilled and waited for the fireworks.

Friday friends

We had all planned on looking towards the lake front for the firework show but the view towards the suburbs was amazing! You could see the shows from all of the surrounding suburbs going off at once and in the words of a child nearby “there are thousands of them and they are BEAUTIFUL”. Some photos of the view (oh and Steve):

Friday view

Friday  view 2

Friday  view 3

Friday steve and i 2

Saturday my cousins, aunts and I surprised my grandma for her birthday and we hit the spa:

Saturday spa
Isn’t she so cute:

grandma spa

Then we all went to see the movie Jersey Boys (so good) and here you can see where I get my appetite from:

Saturday grandma food

And then we finished off the afternoon with lunch and dessert:

Saturday happy birthday Grandma

Sunday morning Steve and I went to The Gold Coast and Streeterville Historical fun run hosted by Fleet Feet. If you’ve never been it is definitely something worth checking out. In terms of a workout, you really don’t run more than a few blocks at a time, but Chuck the guide is awesome and the tour overall was great! Here is a map of all the locations we hit:

Map from history run

Here we are at the beginning of the tour huddling up around Chuck:

Old town history run 1

And then Steve and I in front of the Newberry Library:

Old town history fun run Steve and I
So it’s Monday now and it’s a 4 day (but super busy) week for me so I’m starting it off right with some delicious oatmeal with banana:

Monday oatmeal breakfast

P.S. Thank you to my dad who donated to my page this weekend bringing me closer to my goal of $2000! Only 3 months and $300 to go until Marathon time!

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Cold July Runs And Weekend Kick Off

Chicago is awesome, it is 80 degrees one day and the next it’s windy, rainy and 55. Yesterday Deanne and I decided we’d turn our commute into a 6 mile run home and save some time so we posed for a photo naturally

Wednesday run home 1
and then we hit the streets by 5:10. The first half mile running home from work kind of stinks because you have to weave in and out of people but since we are so close to the lake front, after that it’s all a breeze (in this case literally). The wind was strong and pretty chilly and while it didn’t rain on our run home, it was misting enough to get you wet. The commute was tough but we chatted and complained a little (okay I complained) and we made it through! We took a selfy to send to Rejane at Wellington and then we split up to go the last mile to mile and a half home.

Wednesday run home 2When I got home I took the world’s fastest shower (you should be seeing my photo in Guinness soon. . the book not the beer) and then headed out to Old Town for dinner and stand up. I won’t waste my time talking about the burger that I ate because it wasn’t that great BUT I did make a serious cup of fro-yo that was awesome. It was cookie and cream froyo with strawberries, raspberries, brownies, nutella and if the cup was big enough I would have also added cheesecake and cookie dough bits (among other things).

Wednesday froyo

So this weekend I will be doing a lot of running (Sunday’s Fleet Feet historical run) and celebrating America. Stay tuned!


P.S. I’m only $400 away from my goal now thanks to the wonderful Beth Ida!

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Running Around

The last couple of weeks have been pretty packed and it seems like it just keeps getting busier! A few months ago when I was at home I asked my dad when life gets less crazy and he just laughed and said ‘good one’ so I guess this is it! Thankfully my schedule is packed with things and people I love (mostly) so I can’t complain!

Monday was cross train day which is supposed to mean 45 minutes to an hour of any aerobic exercise other than running. According to that definition, I failed this week. I thought when marathon training started that I had lucked out with intramurals being the same day as my cross training but I don’t think it’s going to cut it anymore. After work, Deanne and I headed over to the Bank of America Marathon Charity Reception at Park Grill in Millenium Park where we ate, learned about other charity endurance programs and found a potential suitor (or so my grandma would call it). While at the reception we both decided that we want to make an effort to attend more networking events like this one (and working on our people skills). It’s a great way to learn more about other charities fundraising and endurance programs and what we can bring back to LUNGevity’s.

name tag

We had a great conversation over wine and apps about a charity that has been part of the Bank of America Marathon since 2001 and has grown over the years from 30 to over 200 runners!

So after we did this

BOA Charity Reception wine
and this

BOA Charity Reception food
I went straight to dodgeball (indoors) and of course got caught in the monsoon on the way there. After a couple glasses of wine dodgeball gets a little more fun (or maybe just I do) but unfortunately wasn’t exactly the 45-60 minutes of cardio that I was supposed to get. . whoops. I am considering breaking out the old roller blades next week to fulfill the requirement so anyone on the streets of Chicago (or lake front) should definitely watch themselves.

Tuesday I woke up early to get my 3 miles in and my phone was almost dead. So I left it to charge and did my run without music or my Nike App. If it’s not recorded by technology in some way, does that mean the run didn’t happen?

Around 1PM yesterday I took an hour lunch break to work outside on Cosi’s patio! The weather was perfect and I actually got a lot of work done. . . oh yeah and I ate this (I couldn’t even wait to take a bite before a photo):


After work I had about a billion (give or take) errands to run so I skipped the movie in the park and instead took this cutie with me:


Tonight I’m going to a comedy show and Deanne and I decided that waking up early and running 6 miles before work is for suckers (today at least) so we’re going to run home from work. For anyone who is wondering why I look like a slob today (I know, not much different than other days), it’s because I am multi-tasking marathon training, commuting and hanging out with Deanne.

Also, I JUST hit $1500 on my fundraising page so THANK YOU to everyone who listened to my last plea and helped me get there! Only $500 to go until I get to $2000!

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Grad Party, Pie and Mixed Up Runs

This weekend I switched some of my runs up partially because I was busy and partially because I was sore and lazy on Friday. Technically I was supposed to do 3 miles Friday, 6 miles Saturday and then rest Sunday. Instead I took Friday off, did 3 Saturday and 6 Sunday.

Saturday morning started early and after getting some work done and running my 3 (boring) miles, my brother picked me up to take me home for his grad party.

Buck Graduation Party

The party involved a lot of eating (naturally), drinking and bag playing and towards the end of the night we had a nice little visit from the local ice cream man. You are probably not surprised that my family has him on speed dial so my uncle gave Nick a call and a few minutes later he pulled up on the lawn.

Graduation Party Ice Cream Truck

Sunday morning I woke up kind of wishing I did not put off my 6 miles. By the time I got out there it was HOT and the Pride Parade had already started. In an attempt to avoid the crowds, I went South on Lincoln and kind of just kept running without paying attention to where I was going. I kept the pace slower (around 10:15 to 10:30) because of the heat and since it wasn’t one of my typical routes, I didn’t know when I would hit a water fountain. After running for about 2.5 – 3 miles I found myself at the entrance of the Lincoln Park zoo and decided to just run through. By this time it was about 85 degrees and it took everything in me not to dive in with this guy:

Lincoln Park Zoo long run

After I did a little tour around the zoo I headed back home down Lincoln. Since it was so nice out (okay, not nice for a long run) I thought about going to the beach. I showered, changed into my swimsuit and then as I walked toward the lake I hit a metal gate and roughly one billion half naked, drunk, rainbow people and turned back around. As I walked back a friend of mine called to see if I wanted to come lay out later on her rooftop deck. . .duh. So I went to Starbucks and hung out for about an hour and read my book club book (so good) before heading over there. Just a little tip for my single friends. . . apparently reading is super cool because the only times I’ve been hit on recently have been 1. at the library and 2. at Starbucks reading.

Sunday relaxing book club

Later on, my roommate came home and we went to our favorite sushi place, Tanuki. I would have taken photos except we inhaled the rolls as soon as they hit the table. When we got back though, I tried my hand at making homemade pies. For anyone who has asked me what the occasion was, you may have noticed that I have defriended you and you should take note that there is no occasion necessary to eat pie.

banana pieBanana Cream

Apple pieApple

I followed my grandma’s recipe and made an apple pie and banana cream. Both were awesome, as we taste tested them immediately and the apple was exceptionally good straight out of the oven with vanilla ice cream. I do want to point out that at the bottom of the email where my grandma sent the recipe, she said this (what a weirdo):

Grandma pie email
We may or may not have spent the rest of Sunday night eating pie and then drinking beer with the neighbors as they finished packing to move out.

This week is pretty busy starting with a Bank of America Charity Marathon Reception after work at Millenium Park and Dodgeball intramurals tonight . . .stay tuned for updates!

P.S. I am only $70 away from passing my fundraising from last year!

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New Running Buddy!

New Running Buddy!

It’s official! This guy is my new running buddy! My sister adopted Max which means I get a pup to hang out and run with and zero responsibility!


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Team LUNGevity Bootcamp Fundraiser

Heads up: My arms are so sore that it’s taken me a few hours to actually complete this blog post. . . .

After my morning 5 mile run and a busy day at work, I have to admit that I wasn’t pumped for another workout at 6:30pm. I met up with Deni and Deanne before the boot camp and we complained a little bit as we posed for this photo before class:

Once we walked over to the park though and met up with Samantha, her mom and a few other girls doing the class, we perked up. Sam didn’t waste anytime and as soon as everyone got there she started us with a warm-up and then right into cardio. We lined up and all ran in place as the first person in line sprinted to the end of the park and back. We all continued to run in place and switch off sprinting until we went through the line twice. Halfway through she let us know she was timing us and that we’d have to beat our time at the end of the class!

We got through the cardio and moved right into circuits breaking into 3 groups. The first group did lunges with resistance bands (to bicep curl of course) that she demonstrated (below). The second group did an exercise that had us starting in a standing up position and then folding over, walking out to a push up and then walking back up to standing (ew). Then the third group did a bridge type of exercise where you rotated crunching up to touch the opposite hand and foot. We did each station for a minute and then repeated the sequence.


Next up: back to cardio! We got in a line again but this time we all did jumping jacks and rotated down the line doing a ‘burpee wave’ (that sounds way more fun than it was). The first minute of it was easy and then my calves were on fire! We went through the line twice which felt like roughly 2 years.

Then back to circuits! This time the first group did squats while also doing something crazy with our arm resistance bands that I’d like to never duplicate. The second group did push-ups with shoulder taps and the third group did side lunges. Let me tell you something. . . a minute of push ups feels A LOT longer than it sounds. There is no photographic evidence of this circuit which is for the best because I’d assume it would look pretty pathetic. We also did these cardio side things (below) at some point in the workout but my mind must have blocked them out because I don’t remember.


Then she made us do bear crawls and crab walks and as far as I’m concerned her only reason was to make us look like idiots (it worked):

10329013_10152560704452668_1123449250758486965_nAnd again:

And last up we went through the cardio line from the beginning of the class. The time to beat was 3 minutes and 27 seconds and we pounded it out in 3:12!


All in all it was a great workout class. Thank you to Samantha who took the time to come teach us and to everyone who came out, sweated and donated! We plan to have another class in September around my birthday (so I can easily guilt more people into coming) so start preparing mentally and physically now.

Pretty much immediately after I hobbled home I ate this (because why else would anyone workout twice in one day)?

ALSO, courtesy of my sister (Cosi), Tom and Beverly, we had these things at the office this morning. . . No, we don’t just eat here. . .we do work sometimes too!

I am happy to say that this weekend’s long run is only 6 miles and that I have today off from working out. Which is good because the only thing I want to do later is sit on the couch and watch movies, woot!


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Waking Up Is Hard To Do

MOST of the time, I’m a morning person. . . this morning however was not one of those times. When my alarm went off at 5:30 for my 5 mile run it took everything in me to get out of the bed. I’m not sure when this started happening but now when I’m sore from a workout (yes, intramural basketball is a workout) the soreness lasts for days! Every muscle in my body hurts and it took a 10 minute self pep-talk (out loud of course) to get out of bed. If this happens at 26 I’m not sure I want to see what 36 is like. .  ugh. Anyways I did it. . .very reluctantly.

snooze buttons aren't part of the program
Usually by the time I stand up, get dressed and head out the door I feel almost completely awake and ready to run. Today though, I felt like this:

Thursday 5 Miles 1
To distract me from how tired I was I engaged in one of my favorite activities: people watching. Unfortunately at 6am the only people out to watch are other runners (who were passing me) which reminds me of this hilarious photo:

When I run with my roommate Meghan, I always break up longer runs for us in half and then tell her once we get halfway there, we just have to get home. For some reason it seems easier that way and she falls for it every time. It’s a little harder when you’re running alone to trick yourself. I kept going though and when I turned around at the 2.5 mile mark to head back I was actually feeling better and more awake (probably because I knew I was closer to coffee).

At the 4 mile mark I saw a guy doing something that I will never understand: running in place at a stoplight. Everyone knows that stoplights are for resting! Am I the only one that hopes that light turns red as I’m approaching? I gave that guy the stink eye and finished up the rest of my 5 miles. Slowly, but I did it!


Days like this
Some days, like today, I wonder why I signed up to do this marathon thing (again). But then I remember how awesome it is to cross the finish line AND raise money for a great cause. Right now though, I wish this was me:


P.S. I’m so sore that I would consider not even moving to eat today. I’m nervous for what Samantha has in store for us tonight.

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