13 Days to Go!

This weekend was a great success (in my best Borat voice). Saturday I started out with my LAST LONG RUN — 12 miles down the lake front Last long run 12 milestrail and through the city. The weather was perfect and the trails were full of runners getting in their last training sessions. I started in the South Loop and headed north 6 miles down the lake front trail — turning around, I did my last 6 miles through the city ending at Starbucks on Roosevelt and Wabash.

After my run we drove out to County Line Orchard with a few friends and spent the day apple picking and eating (okay mostly eating). The apple pie and pumpkin donuts were amazing — and we bought fudge and cider to bring back.
Pie and donutsApple picking

Sunday, I made homemade chicken noodle soup to bring for lunch during the week and I went to the Breaking Through the Wall seminar at Fleet Feet in Old Town. It was such a great experience to be able to sit with 500 other people training for the same race and get insider tips from the panel: Olympic Marathon Silver Medalist Meb Keflezighi, Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist Deena Kastor, Bank of America Chicago Marathon Race Director Carey Pinkowski, Co-Founder of Chicago Endurance Sports Mike Norman and sports nutritionist Monique Ryan. We discussed everything from tapering, to nutrition for the next 2 weeks to day of schedule and recovery after the marathon. Below are a few things that I made sure to note. Homemade chicken noodle soup

  • Carbo loading should end Friday before the race — so no stuffing your face Saturday! Saturday you should start eating early and finish by 5pm.
  • Don’t eat or try anything new!
  • Your pre-race meal Sunday should be 3 hours before the race — yes, that means 4am! Get up, drink water and eat right away.
  • Try to sleep well all week because you won’t sleep the night before!
  • Have fun!

I think the biggest piece of advice that I got from this seminar though was from something Deena Kastor said. She told us that the marathon is made up of small choices that you make. This not only applies to the marathon but also to everyday life — there will be small decisions that you make that will either bring you closer to or further from your goal. 26.2 miles sounds daunting, especially to someone who has never run it before, but you can break those down to miles, water stations, or even steps. Every decision you make or step you take along the way will help you get a little closer to your goal. If that mentality doesn’t help — there’s always the beer at the end to look forward to!

bttw-ticket BTTW


Happy Birthday To Me: 20 Miles and Breathe Deep Lake Arlington

This past weekend was jam packed! Saturday I signed up with a few other Team LUNGevity runners for a 20 miler in Elk Grove Village. While it wasn’t a timed race, it was set up like the marathon will be and was a great way to ‘practice’ for race day. When I arrived, I met up with Joy, Laura and Ken who are running with LUNGevity and raising money for lung cancer research and awareness as well! The weather was 1233616_205345379635145_2095027865_nbeautiful and I couldn’t have had a better group of people to run with! We ran the first 9 miles together and chatted about how we got involved with LUNGevity, the marathon and I even got a happy birthday tune out of my pace group! Around 9 miles I realized that pace groups might not be for me. I love the company and it was so nice to be running with Ken, Laura and Joy, but I need to take the water stations a little more slowly. So they went ahead and I took about a mile to settle back in. I kept up a good pace, but as I hit the water stations, I need to sip the water slowly and take about 10 walking steps before I start back running and that’s not something you can do while running with a pace group. I continued on and around mile 15 (a turn around point on the course) I waved hi to Ken, Joy and Laura! The next mile or so was tough but once I got to mile 17, I pumped up my music and ran an even pace through the end. The best part of the run was the finish (duh) — because Laura, Ken and Joy were all waiting at the end cheering me on!
Note: all three of them are (cough — a little) older than I am and they all beat me!!

gWe stretched, got some snacks and then walked the almost mile back to our cars! While I was sore on Sunday, I am very happy with how Saturday went! I cannot stress enough how exciting it was to be running with other Team LUNGevity members! It was great to have the support throughout the race! (and check out this link in the Sun Times. .  Laura and Joy are the runners in blue and orange in the second photo!)

After the race, I ran (okay hobbled) a few errands for Breathe Deep Lake Arlington and then headed over to my family party to celebrate (with cake AND pie made by my grandma)!


Sunday was a great day for Breathe Deep Lake Arlington! It’s nice to see all of your hard work come together and to have such a great turnout! Naomi, our coordinator did a wonderful job: we had the walk (amazing weather), refreshments, raffle, and face painters for the kids (and me)! Everyone had such a great time!

As for the running: it’s TAPER TIME!!! Until the marathon, my long runs get shorter and shorter (12, 8 and 2 miles)!

I also want to take a second to thank all of the amazing volunteers are the race on Saturday and at our event on Sunday! Especially to my sister (pictured below) for waking up early and helping all day! These people wake up early (now in the dark and cold weather) to hand out water to runners or set up tables for registration. I am so grateful for all of the volunteers that helped this weekend!

LAKEARLINGTON0913  Charley volunteering LAKEARLINGTON0913 Beautiful event day LAKEARLINGTON0913 Deni and her sonphoto  LAKEARLINGTON0913 Heather and Naomi1375114_205748609594822_1714585182_n

Let’s Hear From Someone Else

I wanted to share some of the blog posts from LUNGevity that inspire me to keep training and raising money.

Click here to read a blog post by Jill Feldman, a survivor and advocate for LUNGevity.

To read more about one of my amazing coordinators for Breathe Deep Lake Arlington, see Naomi’s blog post.

Katie Brown, our director of support and advocacy, writes about LUNGevity’s Lung Cancer Support Community.

Lois Green is a fellow marathoner and lung cancer survivor. She talks about lung cancer, running and volunteering after Hurricane Sandy in her post.

Read this blog post about a community coming together to support their co-worker and friend.

Learn more about Ron and his Bike for Bear as he raised money and biked 400 miles in memory of his brother.


Lung172 (ZF-10496-13668-1-173)

Let’s Try For $1500!

Thank you to everyone who has donated to LUNGevity through my marathon page! I am so grateful for all of my family, friends and co-workers for their support! I am so excited to say that last week I reached my goal of $1000 . . . and then surpassed it!

Since we are still 26 days away from the marathon, I figured I’d move my goal up to $1500. Let’s see if I can get there by race time!



12 Mile Cut Back Week

Usually I spend my Saturday mornings doing a long run but instead this Saturday I went shopping with my sister for her first Homecoming dress (way better than running)! So Sunday morning, I planned to meet a couple of girls from Lululemon run group for my 12 miler.

Sunday morning we meet outside of Lululemon on Southport. Since the rain was pretty heavy, we stuck close to the area, only running the Lululemonlakefront path for a few miles. It was nice to run with other people and it took my mind off of the bad weather. We ran through the Lakeview/Lincoln Park neighborhood and chatted about the marathon, training and our next long (20 miles) run! We finished up at the store and then headed over to Great American Bagel for coffee.


Next week is the run that I was dreading BUT it turns out it might actually be fun! I was planning on doing my 20 mile long run along the lake front and then heading home for my family birthday party in the suburbs. Last week though, I was looking for races near Elk Grove Village that might allow us to promote our upcoming event, and I ran across a 20-miler race that is for marathoners training AND will allow me to pass out materials on Breathe Deep Busse Woods! Also, I will be close to home to eat cake after! I reached out to my fellow Team LUNGevity runner, Ken and he and friends will be running as well! I’m excited to meet some of our team and get through the 20 miles with other people training!


19 Miles and Chipolte Fest!

I have officially conquered 19 miles!

I woke up around 6:45 on Saturday morning and had some oatmeal and water before heading out. Instead of going straight to the lake Map 19 milesfront, I ran through Lincoln Park for about 4 miles before taking Addison over. I went north up the lake front path until I hit 6.5 miles and then turned around and went south. On my way back south, I actually ran through The 5 and 10K Lung Run! It was cool to be running a couple of miles with hundreds of others who are raising money for lung cancer research.

Once I hit 13, I came back around and headed home. Even though the run lasted about 3.5 hours, I felt pretty great the entire time. I ran the 19 miles aside from when I stopped for water — walking 10 steps each time to swallow before running again. Once I got back, I had a bagel, coffee and orange juice, my legs were sore and I was tired, but I wasn’t nauseous at all!

This time I tried Cliff Shot Bloks but I put them in the fridge over night and took them out before I left. I had 2-3 every 5-6 miles and I was Shot Bloks 19 mile runable to eat them with no problem while I drank water. I have decided to go with the strawberry Shot Bloks for marathon day! The first few times I had tried them, I didn’t eat them with water and they were mushy from being left out. Having them refrigerated before made a huge difference.

After the run I met friends at Chipolte Fest (is there a better way to end 19 miles?) in Lincoln Park. We had tacos, pulled pork and pie and walked around the park for awhile.


Pulled Pork and Pie Chipolte Fest


What’s Next?

This Saturday: 12 miles

September 21st: Happy Birthday to me! 20 Miles!

September 28th: 12 miles

October 5th: 8 miles

October 12th: 2 miles

13 Miles in the Rain

Saturday was my 13 mile cut back run and it was. . . easy. It is crazy to look back and think that 13 miles (or 13.1 — because the .1 is always Oatmeal August 31the hardest) was something that I trained for weeks to accomplish. Half marathons used to be the event that I built up to and now it’s another notch in my marathon training belt.

I woke up on Saturday and ate a bowl of oatmeal (still working for me) and headed out. I decided to go Northwest a little before heading over to the lake just to shake things up a little bit. About 2 miles in to my ‘long run’ the rain started coming down. At first it was a light drizzle that lasted another mile or so and then it started coming down consistently harder. While my socks were getting wet and my clothes a little heavier, the rain actually didn’t bother me and turned out to be a nice 13 miles August 31change of pace. Because of the rainy weather, the beach was empty and the lake front path clear. As Samantha’s mom would say, the only people running in that weather are women getting married and in my case, those training for the marathon.

I trucked along in the rain for the full 13 miles, stopping only to get water twice (it wasn’t as hot as it typically is) and to check out a tree that had fallen from the storm.Fallen Tree August 31

While this run wasn’t very eventful, I have a feeling next week’s will be so stay tuned. . . 19 miles (longest run ever) planned for this upcoming Saturday followed by Chipolte Fest — is there any better way to end a run? Post workout snack August 31