Surround Yourself with Good People

Growing up my dad always told us that if our friends make bad decisions, we were responsible too because that’s who we chose to surround ourselves with. I’m pretty sure he just didn’t want us doing drugs or whatever else kids were doing those days (jumping off cliffs?) but as an adult, those words have so much more meaning. Last week was the YNPN Chicago Annual Celebration that I have been working on for months now. As we were cleaning up at the end of a SUPER long night, I ran into a girl that I run with at Fleet Feet and she asked me how I do it all. The honest answer to that is that I don’t. I have no idea how it happened but I am incredibly lucky to be surrounded with such amazing people. . .all of the time. The YNPN Board (not pictured below: Cara who rocked sponsorships) is full of smart and motivated and wonderful people who are always eager to help with anything I need. Huge shout outs to Ana at Whole Foods and Michael Jordan (you read that right) at MCL for all of the guidance. Sorry about the endless calls and emails.

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My family has always had my back whether it’s donating to my fundraising pages, cheering me on, listening to me cry (I cry a lot, sorry guys) and most recently, letting me borrow all of their card tables for this event (not weird at all) and testing out my themed props (someones gotta do it).

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I’ve been super fortunate to work at a place that is always so supportive in and out of the office. From helping me with Celebration’s catering order (hey Diana) to naming 90’s raffle packages and reminding me that there is always a solution to every problem (Deanne).

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And to have friends like Laura that write me notes like this one regularly. If Kid President plans on retiring anytime soon, I think I know someone who can fill in.

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And I am so super grateful for this hunk who takes so many of my crazy ideas and helps me make them happen.

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Thanks for lifting all of this stuff (several times).

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And always cheering me on.

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Sorry for the whole no sleeping ever thing.

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With work about to get busier (hey event season) and marathon training coming up, I am reminded every day how lucky I am to have such wonderful people that have my back and are always cheering me on (no matter how crazy my ideas are).

Since I plan on crushing Oprah’s time in this year’s marathon (training starts next week- ahhh), I will end with some wise words from her.

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Thank You from Lola

Big thank you to everyone who donated to Lola and I (and to those who donated before Lola began her career in running). Here is a photo of her below jumping because she is so excited about raising funds for lung cancer research (and because treats).

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For any young professionals that work in nonprofits, serve on a board or volunteer, please consider joining us for YNPN Chicago’s Annual Celebration that I am planning! To learn more about Celebration check out the page HERE. Honestly though, all that you need to know is that I’ll be sporting a fanny pack! Be there or be square.

Internet, Meet Lola

Meet Lola. She loves shoes, gazing out the windows, snuggling and lucky for me: running.

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I was a little hesitant to give up any of my ‘me time’ because most days my run seems to be the only time I have to myself but last week I had a late start so I took her out for a morning run and we fell in love. Little does she know she just signed herself up for the next 23 weeks of training (she’s a natural) — so stay tuned to see her sporting a Team LUNGevity shirt soon! To donate and support my (and Lola’s) fundraising efforts click HERE. This will be my last year run for a charity so I plan on making it count!

Our Breathe Deep Events have kicked off and it has been super busy over here. Between Toledo and North Shore just passed and we have a ton of events coming up!

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Outside of work, I am running the Chicago Spring Half Marathon on May 21 (my first half in years) and planning a 90’s themed Celebration event for YNPN May 18th. This is basically how I feel all of the time:

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Big shout out to my sister for finishing her first half marathon for Paws! It was in the 90’s AND hilly and I’m pretty impressed.

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60 with a Chance of Running

After training for a spring marathon (never again) in the Chicago winter, I have reverted to the nice, warm, cozy treadmill at the gym. With it being 60 degrees in February though, I realized this morning that I am out of excuses to avoid running outside.

So I laced up and hit the sidewalk in a t-shirt (!!!) and as soon as I reached the end of my block (so like .07 miles into my 3 mile run) I remembered that it was SO MUCH harder than running on a treadmill. I do boot camp twice a week, Shred, run miles and miles of intervals at the gym but a block of running outdoors and I was winded.  Part of me just wanted to just turn around and go back to bed but I reminded myself that I’ve run 5 marathons (one with a broken foot) so I can totally get to the lake and back. So I did. . .and I got to see this view:

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And on my way back to my apartment I decided I would focus less on my 10:45 mile pace and more on just being proud that I got up and ran.

Speaking of proud. . . I have two pretty fantastic sisters. This one will be attending University of Minnesota Twin Cities in the Fall studying engineering (nerd):

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And this one is training for her first half marathon in April (she did her first 7 mile long run last weekend) and will be running the Chicago Marathon in October for Paws. She basically has an arc of animals at her house  (seriously, check out her fundraising page) so it’s only natural that she’d run for them. If you love animals, please consider donating to her page. If you don’t. . . you might want to get that checked out.

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Pretty good genes right?

As for me, I will be running Chicago Marathon again for Team LUNGevity so expect some more blog posts about fundraising, eating, training and my (almost) 30 year old body hating me. AND some exciting post about LUNGevity including our growing endurance program (yay: what my office looks like right now)

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And the always exciting Breathe Deep events coming up!

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So while our office is kind of quiet right now prepping for event season to gear up, it’s about to get super exciting (so busy)!

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Okay Maybe One More. . .

It’s official: I am returning to Team LUNGevity for one last year. I plan to PR in marathon time and fundraising (should be easy right?) and then go back to running just for fun.

Each year that I have run for Team LUNGevity, I have been motivated by my amazing coordinators, volunteers, and co-workers who work hard to kick lung cancer’s butt. This year though is a little closer to my heart. One of my very first volunteer coordinators passed away recently and I plan to run the 2017 marathon in her honor. So here’s to one more year of sweat, early Friday nights and relentless fundraising! To donate: http://lungevity.donordrive.com/participant/heather

Also super cool stuff happening over here! As we head into Lung Cancer Awareness Month (oh hey November) we have events on events on events  (read: so much coffee and excitement)!

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Four Years of Awesome

Event season is coming up and things are about to get real. In anticipation of my 4th year (holy cow right), below are some highlights.

I could have never in a million years imagined how crazy weird and awesome my life would be. In the last four years I’ve had the most amazing co-workers, participants and volunteers, I’ve run 4 marathons raising thousands of dollars and every morning (okay pretty much every morning. . .I’m human) I wake up super excited to go to work.

This totally is not the life I had planned for myself but I’m pretty happy with the way it’s turned out so far.

Shout out to this guy for always supporting me and having my back.

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Cheers to the next 4 years (and so much coffee).

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Public Service Announcement: Super Cool Stuff Happening Over Here

Our Breathe Deep team is getting fired up over here! With a few spring events under our belts already and event season right around the corner, things are starting to get busy (read: so much excitement and even more coffee). A little recap:

In April I traveled to Breathe Deep Pittsburgh where it was 19 degrees as we set up. A little cold can’t stop us though!

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The week after, these goons joined me at Breathe Deep North Shore. The weather was amazing, the event went smoothly AND one of our survivors got engaged! And for those of you who don’t know, their event is SO CLOSE TO ONE MILLION DOLLARS! I’ll leave this here for anyone who would like to help us reach our goal!

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This weekend I’m heading to the fine city of Newark, OH for the 5th annual Breathe Deep Newark and I am so stinkin excited! A little sneak peak of our volunteer kisses!

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May is Lung Cancer Hope Month which is kind of a big deal (see photo below of our 10+ year survivors)! Talk about inspiring and hopeful! Learn more here!

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Oh and Lung Cancer Hope Month = cookies! Big shout out to this stud for helping me ice and package roughly one billion cookies.

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Okay so maybe we won’t be quitting our day jobs and opening a bakery anytime soon but they were totally made with love (and like 20 pounds of butter).

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So what better way to kick off event season then Lung Cancer Hope Month right?! Here’s what you can do to help: check out the list of events, register, fundraise and spread the word (via internets, word of mouth or white ribbon iced cookies). Or if you are super ambitious (read: crazy) (or are marking things off of your bucket list) you can totally run the Chicago Marathon for Team LUNGevity. . just saying (but seriously you can, email me: boachicago@lungevity.org)

Also this:

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P.S. While I’m just managing TEAM LUNGevity this year, Deanne is back again and will be our team mascot (don’t tell her I said that). So all of those folks who donated to me should definitely consider supporting her because she’s awesome and is totally going to beat Oprah’s time this year WHILE also simultaneously raising money for critical lung cancer research. Kind of a big deal.

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P.P.S. Diana had her baby and she is so precious and adorable and since I’m not sure what the protocol is about putting people’s babies on the world wide web I will just include this photo of her with a cupcake from our events meeting. Don’t worry though, Olivia is totally cuter than this cupcake.

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