And So It Begins

To say we refreshed the browser a few times waiting for our training plans would be a serious understatement. When this email finally came, we were pretty excited.

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And that excitement quickly turned into a constant state of tiredness. The week started off with a tempo run on Monday and boot camp Tuesday morning. Wednesday was Global Running Day which meant Deanne and I went to work representing! Not pictured here: our accidental twinning the day after.

Global Running Day

It also meant that I had to mad dash from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon charity kick off near Grant Park (thankfully we were supposed to wear our gear)

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to Fleet Feet for CES speed work (here we are finishing up with some stretch and strength).

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Thursday was boot camp again and then Friday morning was an easy run with my new favorite running buddy (she’s so cute right?)

Running buddy

This weekend kicked off with dinner at a new seafood place nearby with Meghan and Laura and then a slumber party with these two (and a pretty early bed time).

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They hung out in bed when I headed out for my long run Saturday where I met these fellow Team LUNGevity runners and Meghan for 7 miles. It was awesome connecting with Katie, one of our new runners! While talking we learned that her mom, a survivor, lives near the Cleveland event this weekend and is able to join us!

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Then went with me to my sisters grad party (photo taken before prom last week).

Family Prom

Sunday we ‘rested’ which to me means dog beach, errands, and a nice stroll (okay maybe more than a stroll) around town.

Sunday steps

This week is going to be busy. It starts off with a hill run tonight (and some dog beach time squeezed in there).

Hills

Then I am heading to Cleveland Thursday morning for a Breathe Deep event this weekend!

This week I am thankful for coffee

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banana and egg pancakes (seriously. . .only two ingredients and so good)

Egg and banana pancakes

and motivational signs in our kitchen (courtesy of LP).

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And as always, THANK YOU to everyone who has generously donated to my fundraising page! With 117 days to go until marathon time (not counting or anything), I am feeling pretty great about my fundraising. To donate or learn more about LUNGevity click HERE.

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.

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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The Blog is Back

Roughly one billion things (give or take) have happened since my last post in September so I’m not going to recap everything but for anyone who tracked my run or checked my finish time in the Chicago Marathon, you probably knew something was wrong. I mean I’m no Kenyan, but I can hold my own.

So here’s what happened: I’m an idiot. I ran 26.2 miles knowing that I had a stress fracture and no surprise, I broke my foot around mile 16. Peeing your pants is cool, running on a broken foot is not. It’s dumb, it’s expensive (hello adulting) and it’s pretty dang miserable (that’s my 4th beer, pre ER and post 10 miles of crying).

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So after a couple of months with a not so cool boot and even more months of no or barely running, I am finally back (like sloth-like back). I can honestly say that I am the luckiest duck and so fortunate to have such amazing friends, family and co-workers who called, texted, donated and cheered for me. A big shout out to my dad who has always been my biggest cheerleader (sans costume thankfully) and has always had my back.

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And to my sister who donated, cheered, schlepped me around and is solidly one of the coolest people I know. And these beautiful goons who cheered, donated, carbo loaded, put up with my sweat, tears and boot and told me no when I tried to sneak out and take my boot off like a crazy lady.

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People keep asking if I’m going to run again this year and while I’m leaning toward yes, I honestly don’t know yet. Until about 3 weeks ago I could still vividly remember the pain I felt for the last 10 miles of the race and my answer to you then would have been ‘Bye Felicia’. But I have healed and my competitive side (okay all of me) is saying I should go for Chicago 2016, so stay tuned. (Full disclosure: I almost compared this to forgetting the pain of childbirth but I’m afraid that might come back and bite me in the future).

P.S. I’d also like to publicly apologize to all spectators between miles 15-16 for taking my shirt off, it was REALLY hot out there.