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

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.

Running-Like-Coffee-650

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!

Denial

So I’ve been putting off writing another blog post mostly because I’ve been crazy busy but also because training for two marathons in a row kind of stinks and I’m in denial that Chicago training has begun. I haven’t missed any runs in the past 3 weeks but anyone who has gone with me can attest to the fact that I’m dragging. . .like seriously dragging.

I’m definitely forgetting a lot of things and there are very few pictures of my runs (it was hard enough to do the actual running) but here’s a little recap of the last couple of weeks.

Laura bought these super cool sunglasses for July 4th and I stole them and wore them inside.

Laura's Glasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John was in Seattle for the week and obviously knows me too well. . .

Mints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
We started keeping puzzles in our office and last week they finished this one. I say ‘they’ because I’m way too crazy to do a group puzzle so I just sit back and supervise. . .okay eat.

puzzle

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, and on Wednesday’s we wear black.

Work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday we played a little table tennis in the office (I promise we do work) and Allison killed everyone.

Table Tennis

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then we did a little pre-birthday yoga on the rooftop.

Rooftop Yoga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And celebrated Deanne turning 21 again with tacos (naturally). . .

Deanne's Birthday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
. . .and fwends at Barcocina.

Barcocina

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday it was LUNGevity bow tie day at the Oriole’s game!

orioles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We checked out the pride fest and posed for a Christmas card.

Fest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we went to The Dawson for some more celebrating.

Dawson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday I went to one of the hardest Shred classes ever in support of Alzheimer’s Association and then got to spend the day with the best dad ever at the Sox game.

Father's Day

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy birthday to this little lady, the best pie maker and selfie taker I know.

Grandma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Monday ABC weather kept interrupting The Bachelorette and we were not amused. We live in Chicago so we just assume that at any time it can rain, snow, natural disaster, etc.. . . no need to interrupt important programming to tell us.

Tuesday we went to see Back to the Future in the park and naturally brought wine juice boxes.

Steve wine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And acted like adults.

Adults

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday I spent the day at a Fundraising Roundtable with some other organizations and was happy to see that other people geek out over fundraising too! Then I rushed over to Chick’s night because I’ve been seriously failing at attending (thanks for pointing that out to everyone Nutmeg) and struggled through 3 miles. Thankfully the company was great.

Friday Meghan made me breakfast for dinner (why I keep her around) and I got to see these cuties. It’s okay Bo, I’m afraid of boys and doorways too.

Bo and I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday Meghan, Laura and I got to watch Max and Bo and we ventured to the 606 and took a fam pic.

606

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we ended the weekend celebrating with one of my 2 favorite sistas.

Pride with Shelby

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pride Roomies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tonight Fleet Feet asked me and a group of others to model for their fashion show. I haven’t modeled anything since I looked like this so it should be an interesting night. . .

unnamed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And somewhere in the midst of all this I ran 71 miserable miles and saw this sign. #facts

Word

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finally updated the countdown on the side of the blog so I guess Chicago Marathon is really happening in 103 days so I should probably do a little bit of an attitude adjustment.

P.S. Thank you to everyone who has donated to my fundraising page! 

 

 

 

 

Countdown to Marathon Training: ONE WEEK!

Saturday morning my running life got a lot easier when Fleet Feet Lakeview opened! I love fun runs and chicks nights during the week but having to schlep home from the South Loop or even Old Town after a long day and running sometimes stinks. As of Saturday morning, there is a Fleet Feet open 5 blocks from my apartment making Monday night runs and Thursday chicks nights way more enticing. Meghan, Deanne and I braved the cold and went out for a 3 mile run and grabbed a couple #runchi shirts while we were at it.

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Thankfully we got a workout in because Saturday afternoon 20 or so of our friends got together for a chili cookoff and while I didn’t come in first place, I’d consider myself a winner for getting to watch football, drink beer and eat chili all day.

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I am officially signed up for the Bayshore Marathon and training starts next week! In the meantime I plan on spending the next week working out ‘for fun’ before stuff gets real again.

marathon

Considering my block looked like this on my walk to the train this morning I think spring marathon training is going to be quite the adventure!

unnamed (3)

P.S. Happy 5th birthday to my favorite little yogi and hoodrat: Barksdale!

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Work, Life and Lung Cancer Awareness Month

I read an article this morning on the interwebs called “10 Unexpected Truths About Running a Marathon” and all 10 are totally spot on including number 4: You’ll Hate Running”. For a couple days after you finish a marathon you miss running and having a schedule so you work towards getting back to it. But somewhere between a week to 2 weeks after that feeling dies down and you’re over it completely. Aside from a chick’s night run last week (which is a workout but really more of a girls night hang out), a lunch break run for my sanity’s sake (pic below) and a Shred class I haven’t really felt like running.

Lunch Sanity Run

Unfortunately (I blame science) I still have to workout if I want to continue eating at the rate that I do (and keep up some level of sanity). So starting tomorrow it’s back to yoga sculpt at Core Power AND I am going to attempt kick boxing (feel free to laugh, it’ll be a sight for sure). Stay tuned for some scary stories. . .

The past week was kind of a blur but I did get sushi at my favorite place with this girl (sorry Leanne, we miss you) and a bunch of other stuff that I don’t even remember anymore.

Sushi Din

Friday my flight to our Kansas City event got cancelled . . three times. Thankfully I made it out first thing Saturday morning in enough time to sport this amazing orange t-shirt and hang out with my fabulous committee (and this little one).

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Orange is starting to grow on me which is a good thing since all of our volunteer shirts are that color.

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Sunday morning bright and early we headed over to Liberty Memorial for a great event day (check out this view).

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It was a little windy (you can barely tell right?) And for some reason, someone thought it would be a good idea to give me a bullhorn (obviously he quickly realized it wasn’t necessary).

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Despite the wind and cold we had a fantastic day and I’m so happy that I was able to be there to see everyone and be a part of the event!

Sunday I flew back and went to see the crazy guy tight rope across two buildings in Chicago without a net and blindfolded.

Tight Rope

I’m sort of glad I went to see it but I probably should have thought my plan through a little better because I ended up pushing through crowds with my suitcase to find my fwends and by the time I got there I was a little crabby and kind of got into a little bit of a scuffle with a girl standing behind us (yes, I got into an argument with someone) and I felt really really bad afterwards. Because she was totally wrong (seriously, she was, I’m not just saying that) BUT it isn’t her fault that I was tired and hungry and had a suitcase with me like a dingus and super crabby. But in my attempt to explain manners to her I realized that I wasn’t using mine and I was raised better than that and I’m really sorry. Anyways, it was a little chilly so I stole this hat (it looks better on me anyways) and all was right in the world (oh yeah, and I had pizza so that helped). You can see above my eye where someone’s suitcase hit my head on the plane when they were getting it down ugh.

Watching Tight Rope

This week is super crazy both at work and in real life (I think there’s a difference between those two?) but with a ton of great things. We’re doing margarita Monday tonight since it’s Beverly’s last week (although you don’t really need a reason for that), Wednesday is the Fleet Feet Fashion Show (yay) that a few of us make into a girls night every year because we’re really, really cool. Then a comedy show Friday! We have a ton of events going on this weekend including Breathe Deep Busse Woods that I’m going to Saturday morning and then Fall Benefit that I’ll be at Saturday night! I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to participate or not (because running and I could use a little break) but I’m definitely going to the Hot Chocolate on Sunday with friends. Thankfully, I’m an awesome cheerleader so if I don’t run, everyone’s in for a treat.

And, it’s Lung Cancer Awareness Month so spread the word whether it’s through social media, word of mouth or through cake pops like Beverly’s.

Cake Pops

Because if you have lungs, you can get lung cancer.

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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)!

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.

Struggling

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)!

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

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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. . .

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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). . .

Results

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. . .

soup

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

Medals

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

Cookies

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.

stairs

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). . .

Cart

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!