Team LUNGevity and Other Cool Stuff

A run down (pun intended) of the last couple weeks:

I don’t normally love concerts but we went to a 312 event and the beer was great and Mayer Hawthorne was awesome. Also there were food trucks which in my book makes any night better. Please excuse my wisdom less, chipmunk face.

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Friday one of our Team LUNGevity members Dawn made my day and sent me the nicest note.

Note from Dawn

And this super cool medal!

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Over the weekend the weather got a lot nicer and we sat outside for brunch.

Brunch

And we celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a ton of green sustenance and calcium.

Food

And since Laura is new to Chicago we did some touristy things.

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And posed like tourists too.

Roomies

Here is how cool you look when you wear sunglasses indoors.

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And then later in the night, against my better judgment, Laura convinced me to wear a glow stick.

Glow sticks

This week started off with a heat wave (well a Chicago heat wave) so instead of running I drank beer outside and it was a pretty great way to spend the evening. And then Tuesday night we made dinner (read: popcorn, m&m’s and beer) and filled out our brackets. If I win, it was all me. If not, I may have had help.

Brackets

Wednesday my work emails decided to disappear which was fun but not really. Thankfully they came back and my folders no longer look like this.

Emails

Yay, it’s official!

Marathon

And since I spend most of my days encouraging (they might have another word for it) my coordinators to personalize their fundraising pages and use our guides I finally updated my Team LUNGevity page and with our new website, even I could figure it out. Not that I’m competitive or anything but I decided to up my fundraising goal from last year.

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And I think I’m off to a pretty good start. THANK YOU to everyone who has donated!

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Deanne and I are starting to brainstorm for some of our fundraisers and if you know us, you know that our team would do just about anything to end lung cancer. We look like big dorks basically all of the time.

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I am super excited to head to Baton Rouge this weekend for our brand new event and to see my amazing coordinators including this face.

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And I decided to run the Shamrock Shuffle again this year which means that my post 17 mile ‘rest day’ will now be a 5 mile run ending over the Roosevelt overpass, woof. But at least it ends with beer and good company.

Mental Health Break

The past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy. My roommate Laura peer pressured me into doing the Polar Plunge and like a bunch of goons we jumped into Lake Michigan to raise money for Special Olympics Chicago. No, we didn’t see Vince Vaughn or Gaga (everyone’s first question) but yes we did raise money and freeze our butts off. Big thanks to everyone who donated and for Deanne and John who came out and cheered!

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Then last Monday I got my wisdom teeth pulled which was NOT fun and ended with me crying to my dad on the phone with a swollen mouth full of cotton waiting for the pharmacist to fill my prescription. Thankfully he’s the greatest and he calmed me down and then the Vicodin was ready and it was smooth sailing from there.

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Of course when I was leaving I ran into a guy I went to grade school with (not so cute then, SUPER cute now) and while he may have just missed me spitting blood into the snow, he definitely caught the drool and cotton balls spilling out of my mouth so either he’s crazy or I’m really great (jurys still out) because he asked me out. . like on a date (clearly for another night). Then I came home to the best roomie ever who got my favorite ice cream and we watched Bach Women Tell All so things turned around pretty quickly I’d say.

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The rest of the week FLEW by as we got ready for our Grassroots Leadership Summit in DC. Friday we left for the airport and Anna and I were, as usual, wearing the name thing.

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We spent Friday night mingling and learning a little more about LUNGevity and our support services and then bright and early Saturday morning this guy and I tried to run outside in the freezing cold weather. But we got to a patch of ice and then decided to turn around and hit the hotel gym where we met Anna for a little Team LUNGevity pow wow.

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Saturday was filled with brainstorming and food and then we went bowling and it was awesome. Just to clarify, the experience was awesome, my bowling skills are not.

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Every year GLS is such an amazing (and exhausting) experience. We get to see our volunteers in person instead of just hounding them by phone or email and really get to know them better. It’s incredible how much love and determination goes into the weekend and how motivated everyone is when they leave. And while I think at least once every single day about how lucky I am to work here, I think the weekend just reminded me a little more of how much I appreciate everyone on our team! I couldn’t ask for a better group of co-workers, friends and volunteers!

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We left DC and ended up getting on an early flight home! Since I have the world’s worst traveling track record I’m going to take this as a good sign for the 2015 event season!

Monday I ran a zillion miles and then we watched the Bach finale and drank wine while we ate brownies and popcorn for dinner.

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Tuesday the Bank of America Chicago Marathon lottery opened and I officially joined Team LUNGevity for the 3rd year! Oh and I’m managing the team again so you should join too, it’s going to be an awesome year!

Marathon

Meghan and I got home after work and decided we needed a mental health break (read: tired and delirious). So we ditched our phones and our scheduled run and headed out for wherever the wind took us. Not surpringly we wound up at Scooters after a 3 mile walk eating concretes and laughing about how people functioned before phones and google maps. Our no technology date reminded me of when I was younger I left my flip phone at home during a softball practice and afterwards I wanted to stay out with friends. My dad told me I had to be home by dinner and I commented (probably in a smart ass way) that I didn’t know what time it was. So my dad, obviously, made a (super embarrassing but also functioning) sundial and told me I better have my butt home before the shade hits the stick (he showed me). In the end though a couple hours of no boy, no work and no phone time is exactly what we needed (and wine).

Oh and signing up for a spring marathon kind of sucks when you live in Chicago so I wouldn’t recommend it. BUT last night was beautiful out so I ran my 15 mile long run home from work and caught this view.

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Spring Marathon Training. . .

. . .looks like this in Chicago

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And this is how we feel about it. . .

Meghan and I

 

How I Stay Motivated

Last night on my way home from work I ran into a friend from college and we got to talking about running. Having done several races herself, she was contemplating registering for a marathon. As we chatted about training, shoes and of course eating, I mentioned Bayshore in May and my 5 mile run I had scheduled for later that night. Shocked that I planned on heading out for a run at 8:30 pm in the cold, she asked me how I keep motivated.

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Most days running comes easy to me and let’s be real, I run because I love to eat. It’s also become a way for me to clear my head and I’m a much calmer, happier and more tolerable person after I’ve logged some miles. But having trained for my first two marathons in the sweltering hot Chicago summer, winter training can be seriously rough. Having a schedule to stick to has always worked for me but there are days, like yesterday, that I work late and I’m tired and it’s cold out and the last thing I want to do is put on 7 layers and run.

On days like these I think about my dad. Growing up my dad raised four of us pretty much on his own. He worked two jobs and still managed to help us with homework and cheer us on at every activity we were involved in (even if that activity was just 4 somersaults). When I was a freshman in college my biochemistry professor said something that I will never ever forget. In an attempt to get us to come to class, he calculated how much money we were wasting each time we skipped one of his labs. For those of us who were out of state (sorry dad) it was $120 down the drain. That moment seriously impacted my life and on the days that I thought about blowing off class to sleep in or go out, I thought about how hard my dad worked to get me there. Yes I’m an adult now and I support myself but when things get tough or I feel like taking the lazy way out, especially when it comes to marathon training, I think of that day and all of the work that my dad put in (and all of the sleep he didn’t get) to give me the amazing life I have now. Suddenly 50 minutes of running doesn’t seem that hard.

Dad and I after

Team LUNGevity is another thing that keeps me motivated. Over the past few months we have lost some amazing people including Mark Beban, Lisa Strada, and Chip Kennett and while I love my job, that part of it, for lack of better words, totally sucks. I work with outstanding people everyday including our most recent Team LUNGevity members Brandi and Dawn, who have lost loved ones to lung cancer and it just reminds me how important it is to keep fighting, running and raising money and awareness.

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Countdown to Marathon Training: ONE WEEK!

Saturday morning my running life got a lot easier when Fleet Feet Lakeview opened! I love fun runs and chicks nights during the week but having to schlep home from the South Loop or even Old Town after a long day and running sometimes stinks. As of Saturday morning, there is a Fleet Feet open 5 blocks from my apartment making Monday night runs and Thursday chicks nights way more enticing. Meghan, Deanne and I braved the cold and went out for a 3 mile run and grabbed a couple #runchi shirts while we were at it.

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Thankfully we got a workout in because Saturday afternoon 20 or so of our friends got together for a chili cookoff and while I didn’t come in first place, I’d consider myself a winner for getting to watch football, drink beer and eat chili all day.

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I am officially signed up for the Bayshore Marathon and training starts next week! In the meantime I plan on spending the next week working out ‘for fun’ before stuff gets real again.

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Considering my block looked like this on my walk to the train this morning I think spring marathon training is going to be quite the adventure!

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P.S. Happy 5th birthday to my favorite little yogi and hoodrat: Barksdale!

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Torture

Somehow Samantha is always conning me into trying new workouts (coughrunningTWOmarathons) and this week was no different. She had found a new pilates studio and knowing how much I despise a slow burn, she thought I’d like to join her. Since I hate saying no to a challenge I signed up for 3 classes, thankfully in the description they noted that no dance experience was required because I’d look like a fool:

Exhibit A

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And for good measure (yes, I’m sweating):

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I’ll let you read her recap on the experience, mainly because I was in too much pain to remember what even happened. I will tell you this: I won’t be quitting my day job to become a ballerina anytime soon.

Samantha’s blog post HERE

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Spring Marathon Training In Chicago. . .

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