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).



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!


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!


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!



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!


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


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).


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:

Also this:



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.


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.


Running for LUNGevity

With the Chicago Marathon just 5 days away (ahhh), I thought I’d give a little shout out to Team LUNGevity for passing their goal THREE TIMES! Together we have raised over $40,000 and we aren’t done yet!

Since many of you have donated to my page to support me, I thought I’d let you know what’s going at LUNGevity (courtesy of Katie Brown). If you haven’t donated but would like to click HERE.


  • Learn the facts about lung cancer and share them Inforgraphic_Pie-01
  • Want to spread the word? Let us know! Volunteer to distribute LUNGevity Get Connected brochures to your local hospitals and cancer centers. Become a LifeLine Support Partner by offering encouragement, advice, experience, and HOPE to anyone needing additional one-on-one support. Volunteer or walk/run at one of the many Fall LUNGevity events happening nationwide. Email us at if you want to help!


Bank of America Chicago Marathon
Sunday, October 13, Chicago, IL

Breathe Deep Albany
Sunday, October 13, Loudonville, NY

Be Bold, Be Bald!
Friday, October 18, Nationwide

LUNGevity’s Musical Celebration of Hope Gala
Saturday, October 26, Washington, DC

Breathe Deep Phoenix
Sunday, October 27, Tempe, AZ

Breathe Deep NYC
Saturday, November 2, New York, NY

Breathe Deep Boston 5k Walk
Saturday, November 2, South Boston, MA

Breathe Deep Nashville Stache and Lash 5k
Saturday, November 2, Nashville, TN

Breathe Deep New Hampshire
Saturday, November 2, Concord, NH

Breathe Deep South Jersey
Saturday, November 2, Pennsauken, NJ

Breathe Deep Central Illinois 
Saturday, November 2, Bloomington, IL

Breathe Deep DC   
Sunday, November 3, Washington, DC

Lung Hill Run
Sunday, November 3, Kansas City, MO

ING New York Marathon
A Labrecque/LUNGevity Foundations Run As One Event

Upstage Lung Cancer’s 5th Annual Cabaret Concert
Tuesday, November 5, Boston, MA

Find an event near you—new events are added all the time!


LUNGevity Announces 2013 Lung Cancer Early Detection Research Awards

Regional HOPE Summit Registration. LUNGevity Foundation Hosts 2013 Regional HOPE Summit During November in Columbus, OH.

Be Bold, Be Bald! Nationwide, October 18 Go Bald for Lung Cancer!

LUNGevity Supporter Gets Inked! Look at what one LUNGevity supporter did to show his support for a friend fighting lung cancer.

Webinar: Squamous Cell NSCLC: Growing, Understanding and Expanding Treatment Options, November 12, 2:00-3:00 p.m. EST. Register today.

Webinar/Teleconference: How do I pick a Medicare Plan? October 16, 12:00 p.m. PST/3:00 p.m. EST

Webinar/Teleconference: Ask the Experts: Legal and Career Advice, October 16, 3:30 p.m. PST/6:30 p.m. EST

Upcoming Nutritional Blog: This month’s nutritional blog will be Nutritional-Related Side Effects of Cancer Treatment. It will be posted online on the LUNGevity website on October 14.

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

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

18 Miles and The Search Is Over

And the winner is. . .  Honey Stinger Chews! I finished all 18 miles, feeling great and continued to feel fine all day!Honey Stinger

I started off my morning with a packet of instant oatmeal (thank you Deanne for the suggestion), drank a glass of water and then headed out. I followed my normal route for the most part but instead of going down Wellington to the lake I headed down Addison. I went South down the lake front path and took small sips of water as I passed each fountain. At 5 miles I tried my first chew — making sure to swish the water in my mouth to get the taste out after. I continued to run and stopped every 2 miles or so for water and every 5 miles for a couple more chews. As I ran past mile 13 and realized I still felt great, I started to think about everyone who has helped me along the way. Yes, I am doing the actual running part myself, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the help and support of so many different people. So. . . . .

Thank you to Ken and all of Team LUNGevity for training, supporting each other and raising money and awareness for lung cancer.

Thank you to Gregg at Fleet Feet who recommended Honey Stinger chews and spent an hour discussing the pros and cons of each energy gel with me.

Thank you to my friends and roommates (Katie and Kelly) who are probably sick of hearing about running and put up with me going to bed at 9pm on Friday nights.

Thank you to Mr. Daar who has been telling us to take small sips of water for years. . . I finally listened Saturday. . turns out he was right.

Thank you to my Aunt Karen and Uncle Tom for doing this with me and for motivating me in the virtual (Nike) world and in the real one.

Thank you to Samantha for listening to me recount every mile of every run, for hosting yoga where I get my only stretching in and for giving me tips and talking about food while we run together.

Thank you to my Aunt Kim who is always positive and genuinely excited to hear about my running.

Thank you to my coworkers who put up with my workout attire and Barb who keeps us fed.

Thank you Steve, who patiently listens to me complain that I’m starving and then subsequently complain that I’m full.

Thank you to my family who is always supportive and my grandparents who have cheered me on at every sporting, school and life event (no matter how long and boring).

Most of all my dad, who taught me how to work hard even when things get tough and has told me I can accomplish anything I put my mind to — except sing.

Post Run Meal:

Chocolate milk Whole wheat bagel