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)!


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.


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


12 More Days

Not that I’ve been counting or anything but there are 12 more days until the Bayshore marathon which really means 13 until my body gets a break. I plan on using the 21 whole days between the marathon and Chicago training to do hoodrat stuff like hot yoga and swimnastics so hopefully when I start running again I won’t cry every time I get up from a chair. Seriously though, for anyone who thinks that they want to tackle a marathon I highly advise you train for a fall one because summer training is SO MUCH BETTER.








Anyways, I actually can’t remember all of the things that happened over the past few weeks but here’s some stuff.

Tuesday night Laura and I waited until the eagle had landed (or Meghan went to bed) and we jumped around like ninjas filling our apartment with balloons.










And for some reason when she woke up and saw them, this was her reaction.

Happy birthday Meghan









We celebrated at Green Street Meats which was filled with cute guys and the food was really good too.

Meghan and I









We basically ordered and shared everything on the menu including pitchers of the sweet drink tea.

Green Street Meats







Thursday night we checked out the draft and Laura took us to the Eagles tent where the least amount of cute guys were (sorry Laura) but it was actually pretty cool and we got to witness a little Eagles/Cowboys throw down.







Friday we celebrated Anna’s new job and cried into our pulled pork at the food trucks at Daley Plaza.

Anna's last day









And I made these guys because they’re her fav (yes, those are twinkies, they still make them).







Saturday Meghan and I went for our last 20 mile run and she wore this, what a mom.

Meghan 20 miles









The last 4 miles or so sucked because my knee hurt (I’m old) but we found a new route (which happens when you have 20 miles to cover) and the view was nice!

20 miles view






Then I did some serious rallying (with beer and Scooters)

Post 20 miles









And went to a derby party with Laura and then the 3 of us went to Big Star and ate fish tacos that were awesome.

Big Star Tacos







Sunday I tried roller blading (don’t worry, no photograph evidence) and Laura, Deanne and I hung out by the lake. Don’t let all of that fruit fool you, there’s pub cheese in there too.










Pretty much all week at work I’ve been doing this.










Tuesday we had a Cinco de Mayo work party, it was my idea and it was amazing. While I didn’t finish this plate I did eat roughly 50 margarita cupcakes.

Cinco de Mayo







Then one night last week it was gorgeous outside so we went out on a friend’s boat and drank way too much wine and it was amazing.










I plan on filing a formal complaint with the state of California for taking all of my friends away. First these cats.

Matt & Leanne









And this guy.










And now Christina!

Going Away Party







So Saturday we celebrated and I’m a little less mad because there was cake.










Also I did a bunch of random runs at some point over the past few weeks but I don’t remember when so here are some pics because even though it’s basically the same view every day, it never really gets old.

Run 2






run 3







Thursday morning run









run 4









Then Sunday we celebrated Mother’s Day in the suburbs with my family and watched the bulls game (I assume that’s how everyone celebrates their mom). Happy Mother’s Day to the guy who taught me how to box out and be a lady. Best mom and dad a girl could ask for! Love you!










So the next 12 days means tapering (and less eating). And thankfully work and life are busy enough that I don’t have a ton of free time to worry about coming last in the marathon.






Don’t Worry, I Run A Lot

Disclosure: In the last 12 days I’ve run 76 miles. I’m announcing this only because the post below contains a serious amount of food consumption.

So to start off on the right foot. . . Last Wednesday I ran 8 miles home and the view was pretty great.

8 Miles Wed 15th

And then I met Meghan for a Scooter’s date.


We shared (that’s her sharing face) a Caramel Fudge Nut Brownie Chip concrete and as I commented that raspberries would be the only thing that could make this treat better, she pulled out a carton from her Whole Foods shopping bag. . . just in case we needed confirmation that we should be friends. #byor


Thursday Bev came to see the new office and chat about Breathe Deep Newark and per usual she brought snacks.

Bundt cakes

Friday I had off work and it was 72 degrees so I did my long run and got a tan (okay so it was a weird tank top tan but I’ll take it). Having played tennis the day before and being as weak as I am, the hardest part of the 20 miler was holding my own arms up for over 3 hours, pathetic right? Check out these clear skies though!

20 miles view

But all long runs end in sangria (well the good ones at least) so we went to Diag. Blackhawks and great weather!

Friday night

My sister is getting married this fall so my fam celebrated. Sisters are the best, everyone should get one.

sista sista

Saturday night I thought I was 21 and drank a fishbowl. Sunday I quickly remembered I am not. Monday was kind of a crappy day already and then I found out this girl is leaving LUNGevity. I’m super happy about her new job but also sad she won’t be here everyday to laugh, cry and tackle mailboxes with.

Anna and I

















I have the best roomies though and Laura got these smiley face donuts on her way home from work to cheer me up.

smiley face donuts

And then because we’re really cool, Meghan and I did a little workout in our living room, not matching.


And then Laura and I went for a jog!


Tuesday I squeezed in 8 miles before work.

Tuesday morning 8 miles

And 8 miles clearly wasn’t enough because I went in feeling like this.


But Dove must have known somehow because I opened a piece of chocolate and got this little message. It’s a pretty safe assumption though that if you’re eating dark chocolate at 9 am you’re having a crappy day so smart move Dove.


But the day got a lot better because on the way to lunch we found this with a dollar in it and it made me smile! So on our way back we left one for someone else to find!


And then this happened.


And later on the way to Jeni’s I saw this one the ground. What kind of dog is this?


And as if the night couldn’t get any better, we did a little taste testing (and by a little I mean a lot). But someone has to do it right? To give you an idea of how much ice cream we got, the nice, innocent lady at the counter asked if we wanted 6 spoons, nope…. just 2.

Taste Testing

Later in the week Jeni’s closed it’s shops and recalled their ice cream so there is a slight chance that I have listeria. . .

Thursday John turned a million so these were in order.










At night we did a little roomie volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House and it was Bulls night so obviously we had a blast.

Volunteering Benny









We cooked, served food and I was on dish duty (yay my fav). Then we took a tour and they had the doorknobs of hope which were really cool!










And while I’m sad that Anna is leaving us, I am happy that Deanne is moving into events! Naturally we celebrated with macaroons!










For the last few months Laura has been trying to get us to go see The Room, which is supposed to literally be the worst movie ever made (spoiler alert: it was). So at midnight, in the rain we schlepped over to the Music Box and while it was horribly written, acted, way past my bed time and I looked like a wet dog, it was pretty fun so I’m not mad.

The Room









The rest of the weekend was crazy busy and I did 12 miles in the rain, blah.

12 miles













We celebrated Meghan’s birthday with too many jello shots.













Sunday, Deanne and I volunteered at the Ravenswood 5K (check out those vests).

volunteering Ravenswood 5K










And then we went to Taco in a Bag.










Wednesday is this little goats birthday and we plan on celebrating all week and ending on Saturday with a romantic 20 mile run.











And the scary counter on the left side of this blog tells me that there’s less than a month until the Bayshore Marathon and while I’m excited, there is a part of me that’s afraid I might come in last. Chicago has over 40,000 people who run it and while I’m not a Kenyan, I’m pretty confident that at least 1 person will come out behind me each year. Bayshore though has just over 2,000 runners so I could possibly be the one bringing up the caboose. Thankfully I have breweries to look into to distract me from these worries.

Outside it looks like spring but the wind makes it feel like winter and I’d be okay if it got warmer out ASAP. . just sayin.



P.S. I hit $1200 for my marathon fundraising! Thank you to my dad, Beth, Jen and everyone else who has donated!

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.


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!

Dawn Legg

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


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


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


And posed like tourists too.


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


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.


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.


Yay, it’s official!


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.


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


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.



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.


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.


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.

unnamed (1)

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.

unnamed (8)

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.


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.


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!


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.

unnamed (2)

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!


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.


Marathon Recap

I’m going to write this in so much detail that it takes you as long to read it as it did for me to finish the marathon. Kidding! It’s event season still. .  ain’t nobody got time for that! So here goes:

Last Friday our office huddled in the conference room and ate snacks. . I mean made signs. . and my reading glasses ended up on the interweb.

sign making 2

Sign making group

And here are Deanne and I making signs for Team LUNGevity (so technically ourselves) because we’re really, really cool. . .

Sign making

Then I went to pick up my shirt and got stuck in traffic for roughly. . five-ever. . so I was late to meet Deanne at the movies (any of my friends that are reading this have probably fallen out of their chairs. . you read that right. . I was late to something, like for real late). But my shirt was pretty awesome. . .

Shirt back
I missed the first few minutes of Transcend, a movie about Wesley Korir but thankfully I got to see most of it and then we stuck around for the Q&A after which was hilarious. Turns out the Kenyans work so hard because they need the prize money to feed their families. In my case, the longer it takes me to run a marathon, the more places my family has time to stop at and eat and drink beer. Here we are with the movie/running star. . .

Movie Friday

Saturday morning I met Deanne and Frank (another Team LUNGevity runner) at the Runner’s World shake out run where we did an easy 2 miles and cheesed for the camera (there was a lot of that happening all weekend). It’s surprising that I’m smiling in this photo since I had been awake for 4 hours without coffee (more like a miracle).Shake out run


Shake out run with frank

Then we headed over to the expo and got our bibs, shirts and a bunch of other random stuff that is probably still in that huge clear gear check bag somewhere in my apartment. I posed immediately for Samantha’s must have photo with the alert level sign. . .

Alert flag

And then we posed in front of another sign. . .

Expo with Deanne
And then another sign for good measure. . .

Steve and I at expo

And then we wrote our names on the this huge thing that they take from the expo on Sunday and put along the route at Mile 24. . .

Signing the wall

And then right after this my body realized I hadn’t had coffee yet and I immediately left to go to the nearest Dunkin before someone got hurt.

Once I set up my coffee IV, I checked out the program and look who I found. . . Hey LUNGevity!

LUNGevity in program

During the afternoon we went over to Fleet Feet and I looked for marathon shirts and tried on visors because obviously they make me look cool.


One of the many things that stink about running a marathon is that if you are a small or medium (which surprisingly I am), you will not find a shirt in your size unless you are literally the first person in the store several days before the race. Otherwise all of shirts leftover are large and extra large because no one runs a marathon and then needs an extra large shirt. So instead I just held up a shirt that is too big for me but I’m basically wearing it. . right?

shirt at Fleet Feet

After Fleet Feet we went to Greek Town and carbo loaded and went out. No photographic evidence. . .probably for the best.

Sunday morning I woke up bright and early and ate my oatmeal while I waited for these guys to get in. . .

Dad, uncle joe and I pre marathon

Steve’s condo is a few blocks from the starting line which is awesome for me because then I don’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn and schlep over on the train and Deanne could come over and hang out before we headed over to the starting line.

Deanne and I pre-marathon

We left around 7:20am to walk over and went through security straight to the bathroom line and posed for a pre-marathon selfie before sprinting to the start corral just in time. . .

Starting with Deanne

Then around 8:21am we took off! My goal was to take each mile at a time and keep it between 10 and 10:30 and to have fun (ha). So every mile I reset the clock as if it would trick my body into thinking I was only doing one mile total (I’m so smart right). . .and it worked! I felt great and stayed on track through mile 18! Around mile 2 I saw my family and then in Lakeview I saw Meghan and since I was running and don’t have a photo of her cheering, I will instead post this embarrassing one of her. . .(thanks for cheering and making me root beer floats dingus)!



Then a couple miles later I saw Allison holding the sign she made . . .



Around mile 10 I saw girls from my Lululemon run group and then mile 13 I saw my family again. 14 was charity mile so I saw all of my co-workers and Steve cheering and naturally I wiped my sweat over everyone as we hugged. . .

TL Mile 14


Then around mile 15 I saw this face and could not have been happier. . .

Samantha Cheering


Samantha ran with me for a minute and told me I looked great which is clear from these photos. . not. . .



And then I was on my own. Miles 15 through 18 were fine and I rocked out to One Direction and kept telling myself I just had 1 mile to do over and over. Then around 19 my pace slowed a little bit but something wonderful happened. . . this 70 year old Asian man handed me a firecracker popsicle and made all of my problems instantly disappear. It wasn’t until mile 22 that I actually hit a wall and shit got real for about half of a mile (I’m allowed to swear once because I ran a marathon).

So last year I started feeling awful around mile 18 and it lasted basically until mile 25 when I was too delirious to realize what was going on anymore. This year I kept waiting to feel like crap and it didn’t happen until I passed the 22 mile marker and felt like I got hit by a semi. So I went through the water station and stopped for 30 seconds to stretch which was an awful idea because when you stop after running for 22 miles straight your body is like. . . okay, this was fun, I’m done. It took pretty much everything I had and then about 2 blocks but I started running again and hit the 23 mile marker and realized that this isn’t so bad and I only had 3 miles to go. After that it was smooth sailing (well the kind of smooth sailing when you feel like a 200 year old crippled man).

After I passed Mile 25 I saw my family and my dad cheering for me and then after that you really don’t remember anything between Michigan and 13th and the end when you cross the finish line and they start pushing you through the finishers chute.

Here’s my time (check out those splits). . .


Here’s a tip to anyone who is going to run a marathon. When they hand you a beer at the end, take it and then take another one (or 3 in my case). It helps. . .a lot.

Post marathon with beer

The trek back to meeting your friends and family is always the worst because you have to weave through all of the other runners but your legs and brain cannot communicate so when you try to stop walking. . .there’s a pretty good chance it won’t happen. But then I got to see my dad aka by biggest fan and we took photos on the street corner like normal families do. . .

Dad and I after

And this one. . .

Shelby, dad and I post marathon


And then this one (aren’t they cute?). . .

Dad, Uncle Joe and I after

And then as if there weren’t enough sweaty photos of my on the internet, here’s one more (wishing I had another beer). . .

Post Marathon

Steve and I once we finally made it back across Michigan and upstairs. . .

Steve and I after

Then after you pose for pictures and celebrate and everyone goes home, things start to get real. This is what recovery looks like. . .

Hot tub

Also, if anyone is wondering if their Apple headphones can withstand 20 minutes in a hot tub, the answer is yes. This year at least I wasn’t too sore to take my shoes and shirt off, so while it doesn’t look like it here. . I am winning.

Remember how lucky I was to be at Steve’s condo before the race? Well after the race it’s a whole different story because once you get in, you can’t cross back across Michigan until the race is over and surprisingly, I wasn’t the last runner so after I got back, drowned myself in the hot tub and showered, we still had to wait 30 more minutes and a nap until I could do this. . .


Big thank you to all of my family, friends (especially Steve) and co-workers who cheered, texted, called, donated and put up with me for the last few months! I’m not going to lie and say I couldn’t do it without you but it definitely would have sucked 😉

Monday we had off for Columbus day (phew) so Deanne and I went to breakfast in Old Town. . .

Deanne breakfast

And then we went over to Fleet Feet to get our medals engraved like the winners we are. . .

Medal engraving


And this is what happens when you run a marathon and then work from home. . .


In college I had a roommate (now one of my best friends) that used to write on her calendar “try to run” and then she would put on her workout clothes, go out the side door (we lived on a corner) and then run around the house and back into the front door and call it a day. I channeled my inner Katie and set my alarm for the next morning thinking I would see how I felt and maybe run. . . spoiler alert. . . I went back to bed.

try to run

Here we are at work standing. . . and also wearing the same shirts as we were on Monday (typical). . .

Deanne and I Tuesday

These are stairs (very creepy stairs in my building). . . and Wednesday I went down them without crying. So I guess it’s time to start running again (thankfully for everyone around me). I decided I’d go for a run after work but instead I went to Scooters for the first time and it was awesome.


So Thursday night Deanne and I went to Chick’s Night at Fleet Feet and did. . drum roll please. .  2 miles. It sounds pathetic because we just ran a marathon but Hal Higdon says to run 2 miles so it was good enough for me. Then we did something that I strongly encourage you not to do. .  we went grocery shopping when we were starving and my basket looked like this (the pear is just for show). . .


This weekend is the first in a really long time when I won’t be traveling for work, a wedding, celebrating a birthday or running a zillion miles at 6am so I plan on hanging out with my favorite brother (okay my only brother) who is home for the weekend, getting a massage (thanks Bev!), seeing Gone Girl, going to a pumpkin patch (aka donuts and  apple cider) and haunted house and then tailgating because now instead of destroying my joints I can go back to destroying my liver!

As far as running goes, I plan on doing the Thanksgiving Pie run in my hometown like we do every year and aside from that, just running for fun during normal hours. I am volunteering at the Pumpkin race on the 25th so you should sign up because I am an awesome cheerer!