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.

unnamed.png

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)

speedwork.jpg

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

18951147_10104666680985920_7045640874398159262_n

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).

unnamed (1)

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!

Long run 2

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

Best coffee quotes pics images pictures photos (19)

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

Egg and banana pancakes

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

unnamed

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.

Internet, Meet Lola

Meet Lola. She loves shoes, gazing out the windows, snuggling and lucky for me: running.

Lola

I was a little hesitant to give up any of my ‘me time’ because most days my run seems to be the only time I have to myself but last week I had a late start so I took her out for a morning run and we fell in love. Little does she know she just signed herself up for the next 23 weeks of training (she’s a natural) — so stay tuned to see her sporting a Team LUNGevity shirt soon! To donate and support my (and Lola’s) fundraising efforts click HERE. This will be my last year run for a charity so I plan on making it count!

Our Breathe Deep Events have kicked off and it has been super busy over here. Between Toledo and North Shore just passed and we have a ton of events coming up!

BDNS

Outside of work, I am running the Chicago Spring Half Marathon on May 21 (my first half in years) and planning a 90’s themed Celebration event for YNPN May 18th. This is basically how I feel all of the time:

49a26b174d0d3b9d57e84fa27229b7f5

Big shout out to my sister for finishing her first half marathon for Paws! It was in the 90’s AND hilly and I’m pretty impressed.

Shelby Paws

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)!

team-lungevity-logo

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.

12141625_4381409770505_4142564619254028288_n

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

Coffee

Nutmegs First Marathon

Nutmeg and I decided we would make a weekend out of this whole marathon thing so we got an Air bnb, grabbed our cohorts and went to Traverse City.

On the way there Thursday night we stopped in Grand Rapids where the beer is cheap.

Grand Rapids

Friday we spent the day exploring and we tried on hats.

Cool

Went to the beach.

Nutmeg

We ran into this sign, clearly we were meant to be on Wellington.

Wellington

And some poetry.

Poetry

We did a serious amount of hydrating with hard cider (probably not the right kind of hydration).

Cider

And followed it up with pie.

Pie

Laura made the coolest sign and gave us a pep talk per usual (no glitter though).

Laura's sign

Then we hit packet pick-up in our matching shirts.

Twins

Saturday morning we woke up super early and posed for a pre-race photo (naturally matching again and in the porta potty line).

Pre Marathon

I am definitely not going to pretend like it was a breeze, it was probably the hardest race I’ve done so far and I’m semi surprised that Meghan and I made it out alive without strangling each other. There were for sure a few times I thought she was going to murder me and we’d end up on an episode of Dateline. The course was relatively flat, Traverse City is beautiful and everyone we encountered was beyond nice. The marathon itself though was tough, like really really tough. Also big thanks to my iPhone for playing Phish’s Beauty of My Dreams and Want to Want Me by Jason Derulo on repeat for hours. If anyone needs a karaoke partner, I’m your girl.

So our time wasn’t so great and a couple of years ago I definitely would have beaten myself up about it but we ran 26.2 miles, stuck together and made it out alive so I’d consider that a win. Here’s what you look like after you run a zillion miles.

After Marathon

Since I met this goon on the interwebs, people often ask if we get along or if we get sick of being together all of the time.The answer is yes we do get along and no I don’t think I’ve gotten sick of her yet (I will keep you posted though). You definitely get to know someone when you live together but training for a marathon together takes it to a completely different level. When you run more than 15 or so miles with someone things get real but it also makes you more considerate of each other and I can confidently say that there’s no one else I’d let blow their nose in my sleeve. And I am so, so proud of her for finishing her first marathon! Naturally we celebrated with mimosas.

Mimosas

And the best brunch ever.

Brunch

And we skipped the napping and resting and went straight to drinking on a patio which was a pretty good life decision.

Post race drinks

And then did the same thing, just different location.

Post race

Then Sunday we spent the day tasting wine before we headed back home.

Wineries

On the way back we caught this sunset.

Drive Home

So now it’s back to real life and I’m sure I’m forgetting a ton of stuff but here goes.

Memorial day we went to Scooters naturally and celebrated still being alive.

Scooters

Then I made a mess. Walking and eating ice cream is tough!

Scooters Fail

And I did a lot of this because my body is old now.

Icing

Then Tuesday I came back to my office to these!

TL Shirts

Friday we had our May Team LUNGevity fundraiser at Halligans where Deanne seriously hustled the crowd and Deni and I drank beer.

Team LUNGevity Fundraiser

Meghan and I made it through over a year of living together, 16 weeks of training and a marathon but we almost did not make it out of our first Costco trip alive. Thankfully they have hotdogs and ice cream at the end or someone would have slept on the couch that night.

Costco

We celebrated National Running Day with Fleet Feet’s relay from store to store and then went out for the hawks game.

Natinal Running Day

And we made root beer floats for kiddos at Ronald McDonald.

Ronald McDonald

Saturday before the Hawks game we hit up a TRX class where I verbally annihilated a girl for laughing at Meghan for not running a lap after the class. Um she just ran a marathon so shut it lady. Then the dream team hit Logan Square for a scavanger hunt that turned out to be really fun and lead us around town doing shots with bartenders and hunting graffiti.

Then on Sunday John, Samantha and I did the Zoo Run through Lincoln Park which was pretty cool actually until the torrential downpour and lightning (I do not look good wet).

Zoo Run

Also my sister is getting married in October and it looks like this handsome fella is most likely going to be my date. Not mad.

Wedding Date

And Chicago Marathon training has officially started! And while I am totally excited to manage Team LUNGevity again this year and start running again, my body totally isn’t so I think the next couple of weeks are going to be rough. On the bright side it’s sunny and warm and basically the opposite of the winter training that I just went through so I’m not going to complain.

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

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!

11025117_4044612310779_7271801247685025024_n (1)

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.

be3a29258e09952bd0842b8e743c914d

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.

10305503_413513738818307_1164618764786097868_n

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.

11037626_4053610015716_4762955056641868755_n

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!

11033173_842386819167852_3404713154785313066_n

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!

Marathon

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.

IMG_9440

How I Stay Motivated

Last night on my way home from work I ran into a friend from college and we got to talking about running. Having done several races herself, she was contemplating registering for a marathon. As we chatted about training, shoes and of course eating, I mentioned Bayshore in May and my 5 mile run I had scheduled for later that night. Shocked that I planned on heading out for a run at 8:30 pm in the cold, she asked me how I keep motivated.

snooze-buttons-arent-part-of-the-program1

Most days running comes easy to me and let’s be real, I run because I love to eat. It’s also become a way for me to clear my head and I’m a much calmer, happier and more tolerable person after I’ve logged some miles. But having trained for my first two marathons in the sweltering hot Chicago summer, winter training can be seriously rough. Having a schedule to stick to has always worked for me but there are days, like yesterday, that I work late and I’m tired and it’s cold out and the last thing I want to do is put on 7 layers and run.

On days like these I think about my dad. Growing up my dad raised four of us pretty much on his own. He worked two jobs and still managed to help us with homework and cheer us on at every activity we were involved in (even if that activity was just 4 somersaults). When I was a freshman in college my biochemistry professor said something that I will never ever forget. In an attempt to get us to come to class, he calculated how much money we were wasting each time we skipped one of his labs. For those of us who were out of state (sorry dad) it was $120 down the drain. That moment seriously impacted my life and on the days that I thought about blowing off class to sleep in or go out, I thought about how hard my dad worked to get me there. Yes I’m an adult now and I support myself but when things get tough or I feel like taking the lazy way out, especially when it comes to marathon training, I think of that day and all of the work that my dad put in (and all of the sleep he didn’t get) to give me the amazing life I have now. Suddenly 50 minutes of running doesn’t seem that hard.

Dad and I after

Team LUNGevity is another thing that keeps me motivated. Over the past few months we have lost some amazing people including Mark Beban, Lisa Strada, and Chip Kennett and while I love my job, that part of it, for lack of better words, totally sucks. I work with outstanding people everyday including our most recent Team LUNGevity members Brandi and Dawn, who have lost loved ones to lung cancer and it just reminds me how important it is to keep fighting, running and raising money and awareness.

OneStep-471x700