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).

Coffee

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.

cupcakes

The Rumors are True

The rumors are true. I AM running the Chicago marathon again this year (gah) and I AM NOT running for Team LUNGevity and here is why:

  1. I’ve been hogging a spot. Yes, I have raised almost $7000 in the last 3 years but now I am opening a spot up for someone who has been impacted by lung cancer and can benefit from the support of LUNGevity Foundation. Our Breathe Deep and Team LUNGevity events are the front door to our organization and I’m hoping that just one more person can join us for the marathon and stick around as part of our LUNGevity family for life. Because as some of my past TL members can attest, I will bug you for FOREVER.
  2. Stealing is wrong in the real world, but in the fundraising world, it’s totally encouraged. Through researching charities to run for this year and signing up to run with one, I have been able to get a few ideas to implement with Team LUNGevity. I have also made some friends (phew, I know everyone was worried) and I have a little endurance event manager pow wow later this month. The more you know, the more you grow.

So while I may be running for another charity, you better believe I will continue to manage, fundraise, promote and host Team LUNGevity events between now and October 9 (you don’t get off that easy). You can totally direct your donations to my cohort Deanne Brandon who will be repping the team for the 4th year in a row.

For this year’s Chicago Marathon I will be running for Ronald McDonald House! As someone who cries out for her dad even as an adult (I’m using the term adult loosely) I truly support their mission in keeping families together. Examples from previous posts below.

Exhibit A

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Exhibit B (of roughly one million)

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Volunteering over the past year or so for Ronald McDonald House has helped me to see the direct positive impact that fundraising has on children and their families during such a tough time in their lives. Ronald McDonald works to keep families together providing a home away from home. Not having to worry about hotels, gas, dinner and so many other small things allows parents more time to spend with their sick child and that is absolutely something that I can get behind. So my goal for RMHC is $2000 and thanks to my amazing friends and family I am almost at the $1000 mark!

 

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You can donate to my page HERE 

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P.S. For any of our local Chicagoans, Breathe Deep North Shore is coming up on April 17th and in it’s 5th year their goal is to hit ONE MILLION DOLLARS! To help them knock that out of the park you can totally sign up and join us that Sunday! (This is me peer pressuring you).

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Running is Hard. Not Running is Hard.

I started this blog post over a month ago and titled it “New Shoes, New Tude” after I got these sweet kicks.

Shoes

So excited, I jumped right back into my running schedule (literally on the way home from Fleet Feet). Check out this view
Tuesday June 30 RunOh and this one.

10 mile run

Since it’s been over a month since my last blog (and because I don’t have time) I won’t post a photo of every brunch, run group, movie in the park, friend date, birthday celebration, workout class and intramural game. Just a few highlights below.

Meghan and I took a mental health break one day and did fun stuff like stand up paddle boarding, a DIY divvy bar crawl and explored some restaurants in the area (yumm Angry Crab).

DIY Divvy Tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few of us volunteered and represented LUNGevity Foundation at the Imerman Angels Brunch Run 5K and had a blast.

Imerman signs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I got to hang with these goons. Sisters are the best, everyone should get one.

Sista Sista

And this one (we’re in love).

Me and Bo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then in mid July I got a stress fracture in my right foot and had to pump the breaks. Yes, I called my dad right away crying uncontrollably that I won’t be able to run for a few weeks as if the world was ending. These helped though.

Flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what everyone does in their office right?

Foot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is how I felt.

Injured

So I spent the time (trying not to punch anyone) doing weights (that might be a stretch), yoga and some swimming (okay rafting). For a few days I think my friends, family and co-workers got a good laugh at watching me hobble around and then that wore off and the fear set in.

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Thankfully, for everyone, I was cleared to run again a couple weeks ago and I went back to my marathon schedule thinking I would just hop right back in. I quickly realized that was not going to happen. For anyone who has seen me on the lakefront path in the past 2 weeks, no I’m not going to die even though it looks like it. So yes it is true: if you don’t use it, you lose it.

It’s scary to think how hard running can be after only a few weeks off. Mentally, I could not be happier to get out and run again (I think everyone else around me agrees). Physically though, it’s going to take me a couple more weeks to get back into it. So big thank you to my friends and run group who have run with me the past couple of weeks and only moderately laugh at my struggling.

Non running related (that exists right?) event season is coming up at work and things are about to get real. In anticipation for my 3rd year I decided do some highlights from last year (thankfully orange and t-shirts are growing on me). It’s true, our team would do just about anything to help end lung cancer.

Events 1

 

 

Events 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Events 3Events 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as crazy as it’s about to get, I’m excited for this fall. But I do want to personally apologize to my dad for crying so hard during nap time in preschool that he had to move me to another school. I think he and I can both agree we’d like those naps back.

Naps

Cheers to 2015 event season and marathon number 4!

Coffee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, big thank you to everyone who has donated to my fundraising page!

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.

Scooters

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

BOYR

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

workout

And then Laura and I went for a jog!

Laura

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.

Adult

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.

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!

Surprise!

And then this happened.

Vapiano

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

Floppy

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.

Cookies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Volunteering

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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.

roomies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Tacos

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Meghan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

spring!

 

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

Goal for 2015: Keep Being Awesome

Just kidding!

2014 has been an adventure to say the least. I went through my first full event season, trained for my second marathon, attended roughly a billion weddings, joined the #runchi cheer team and tried out the whole dating thing. Here’s what I’ve learned from this past year: my life is pretty crazy and really great.

I used to be nuts (seriously, ask my friends and family). . . well maybe uptight is a better way to describe it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to be perfect, I spent too much time planning and caring what people thought. Somewhere along the line though I learned to relax a little, to just be myself and stop caring about what other people think so much (spoiler alert: it’s a lot more fun). The last year of event planning, marathon training and even dating has taught me that life is messy and shit happens. .  a lot. Sometimes you just have to calm down, be yourself and take things as they come.

As crazy as it was, 2014 made me realize how grateful I am. I have a job that I love with co-workers and volunteers that I genuinely like seeing and talking to everyday. My friends and family are supportive, fun and always have my back. I’ve learned to go with the flow a little more and I even shaved 20 minutes off of my marathon time. I’d consider myself Charlie Sheen winning.

So my goal for 2015 is to just keep being myself, well the best version of myself and just see what happens.

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Post Marathon Life

There is a real thing called the Post Marathon Blues (seriously, Google it) that a lot of runners go through after they cross the finish line. It makes sense that you would be a little lost after spending 4 months of your life dedicated to training for something and last year I definitely felt it. I didn’t miss staying in on weekends or waking up super early to run, but as someone who likes having a schedule (okay I’m crazy), it’s weird not to have every free second and workout planned for you.  This year though was completely different. I crossed the finish line, chugged a few beers and haven’t looked back. Yes, I’ll totally do it again next year but as soon as I was done training I went back to being a normal human being (and eating like one). I’m sure it has a lot to do with the fact that this year has been crazy busy, but the last two weekends were a nice break from running, work trips and weddings.

Last weekend my brother came home and we went out to dinner and then hung out and watched Breaking Bad.

Buck, Charley and I

 

Then Saturday Steve, Deanne and I schlepped to Lincolnshire and went to a pumpkin farm that was clearly meant for kids but we had fun anyways.

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Pumpkin Farm Slide

 

Deanne and I pumpkin farm

 

Sunday I tailgated with friends,  Deanne and I got massages, Meghan and I saw Gone Girl (so good) and then we went on the most painful run ever.

Tailgating

 

Tuesday we decided to try the running thing again and went to Chick’s Night at Old Town and it was dark and windy but fun and only moderately painful.

Chicks Night 2
Wednesday we carved pumpkins. . .BOO!

Pumpkins 2

 

And made homemade cranberry applesauce. . .

Applesauce

 

And then roasted the pumpkin seeds!

Seeds

And the view wasn’t that bad either. . .

View
Friday after work I attempted to make a mummy pie which looked like crap and tasted amazing. . .

Pie 2

Then I went to see Kinetx and here I am way past my bedtime. . .

Kinetix

Going out on Friday night might not seem like a big deal but after training for a marathon for 16 weeks and getting up every Saturday morning at 6am, being out until 2am (and enjoying it) is hardcore. Because usually it takes a few weeks to get back into the swing of things and you feel like this. . .

Funny

Saturday afternoon I went to the blood drive and here’s what I looked like after I donated. . .

Donate blood

If you haven’t donated blood before you should. . . you’re someone’s type ; )

So I’ve donated blood every 8 weeks for the past 10 years and have not once felt sick or fainted but as we were walking out I fainted and hit the floor. . .hard. . . and afterwards I looked like this. . .

Hit the deck

When I woke up the first thing I said was “I want my dad, someone get him” you know, because I’m an adult. . . And you know how I know I’m a real adult? Because my whole body still hurts. You don’t bounce back so easily when you’re old, falling is a serious thing.

After a serious amount of recovering (okay a 3 hour nap) I got to hang out with these guys and you can clearly see that I’m the one in charge. . .

Dog sitting

Dog sitting 2

Dog sitting 3

Today I got to see them again when I went home to the burbs to watch the Bears game and hang out with my family. . .

Bo boboboo

Oh hey. . .

bo from back

And I found this picture from when I was the flower girl in my aunt’s wedding and it’s clear that I’m going to be that girl from 27 Dresses. . .

wedding

Oh and I had this for breakfast this morning before heading to an event at Fleet Feet but I don’t know how to go back to insert pictures so I’m just going to put it here. . .

Breakfast

The last couple weeks have been busy, but good busy. While marathon training is over, event season is not and we still have one crazy month to go of planning and traveling before it settles down a little. This weekend I head to Kansas City (yay for good food and company) and the following weekend we have a few events in Chicago (including Fall Benefit) and then Nashville before Thanksgiving (not the worst way to end event season). Thankfully, I have the best job ever but I definitely foresee a lot of coffee in my future. . .

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P.S. Big shout out to our Team LUNGevity Chicago Marathon runners that raised $76,085.43 (and counting)!