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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Fall Begins. . .

With the fall event season in full swing now and the marathon just 25 days away (but seriously, who is counting anyways) life has gotten seriously busy. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s been going on the past couple weeks:

On September 4th I did the Super Bears Shuffle 5K with co-workers and got an awesome time. It started out near Soldier Field and fireworks went off as we ran through this:

bears 1

Here I am at the finish (check out that time) with about 40 gallons of sweat pouring off of me.

bears 2

 

This guy was in town just in time to join us and beat me.

Bears 5K with Steve

Here is LUNGevity representing before the race started (the after photo wasn’t so pretty).

LUNGevity at Bears 5K

Then Friday night it was pouring, you know, like it keeps doing in Chicago and I swam home from the brown line.

Chicago rain

Since the weather stunk and some of us (okay just me) had to get up early the next day to run 20 miles, we naturally decided to have a wine and game night in. Here I am being the Prettiest Princess (don’t get too excited Grandma, that ring is fake) and as you can tell, game night at our apartment is clearly a formal thing.

Game night

 

Saturday morning I woke up and ran 20 miles. Thankfully the weather was beautiful and the humidity calmed down for the 3.5 hours it took me to get through my run.

20 Mile run view

This is what you look like after you run 20 miles. . .delirious.

20 mile after

Saturday night (after sleeping and watching football all day) we headed out to Epic to celebrate birthdays and got this view of the city.

View from Epic

Sunday Meghan and I woke up early to meet Deanne at Fleet Feet in Lincoln Square and do the History Run (so fun, you should try it).

History Run

And then we went to Flat Top and ate a ton like this:

Oatmeal

and this:

French Toast

 

oh and this:

Omlete

As if we didn’t eat enough on Sunday, someone (cough Beverly) brought in cupcakes to work Monday (thankfully I run roughly one billion miles a week).

cupcakes

 

Then Monday night we did a little LUNGevity bonding at trivia and we won! Thursday we did a girls night at Bottles and Bottega and if you haven’t been, you should definitely try it!

Bottles and Bottega girls night toast

and as we painted we drank wine and ate all of this:

Food Bottles and Bottega

and now we will obviously be quitting our day jobs.

bottles and bottega final

On Friday, Runners World really nailed marketing on the head:

Good joke RW

Saturday I did 12 miles and then went shopping with Meghan where we saw (at several stores) 4 different husbands sitting on the couch waiting as their wives shopped. What are you doing?! It’s the weekend, go home and watch football!

After shopping Meghan got a little insider view into my job (so weird and awesome) when we picked up these bananas for the event on Sunday.

bananas

Then we went over to Jeni’s (not for the 3rd time this week) and got these:

Jenis

As if I didn’t eat enough we went to Frasca Saturday night for dinner and got pizza (eaten before a photo could be taken) and this:

Frasca Brus

and these brussel sprouts covered in parm and bacon that I consider to be my vegetable source:

Fras brusee

and then obviously a cookie skillet because you can’t go to Jeni’s twice in one day right?

Cookie Skillet

Sunday I woke up bright and early because it’s event season! I attended Breathe Deep Lake Arlington and got this little nugget out of bed to help me (sisters are the best, everyone should get one).

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The event was a success and I am so thankful for Anna and her mom coming to help (best co-workers ever)!

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The past couple weeks at our office have been a little hectic to say the least. With fall event season starting, LUNGevity is busy busy but we also had a few glitches with our server that made some of us look like this at 6am.

sad office morning

Spending the morning at the event though makes all of the hard work and frustration worth it when you see everything come together. Also, this is not the worst view for a workday:

LA view

After the event I dropped Charley off and got to hang out with my dad for a little while. He informed me that he will be taking the day off after the marathon because you know, spectating is a tough job.

Last night Meghan and I went to a 30 minute spin class which was just enough to be considered cross training without making me want cry. Then we went to a 30 minute yoga and foam rolling class which was awkward and painful (but definitely worth it the day after). We were tired and sore from work and spinning so by the time we got to the foam rolling part we were delirious and a little disruptive. There is no photographic evidence of this class, probably for the best.

After work today I’m doing my LAST 20 mile run before the marathon– woot! So for anyone who sees me carbo loading in my office all day it’s because I HAVE to. No more waking up super early on the weekends for this girl!

20 miles

and if you haven’t donated to Team LUNGevity yet, here’s your chance!

TL

This weekend I turn 27 (it also happens to be Taco fest in Lakeview which I don’t think is a coincidence) and I thought I would be freaked out about it but so far my life is prettay prettay great. I have an amazing family that loves and supports me and only annoys me about 20% of the time. I have friends that rock and somehow still like me after years of knowing me. I love my job and have the best co-workers and volunteers a girl could ask for. So if this is what 27 looks like. . I’ll take it!

For the next couple months though, this will be my motto:

Coffee

So Many Things. . .

With event season (and marathon training) at its peak, things here are crazy busy so this is my attempt to fit everything from the last 6 days into a quick post. Lucky for you that means less talking from me. . .

My roommate Meghan and I ran The Magnificent Mile Chicago Women’s Half Marathon last Sunday so Friday we went over to Fleet Feet South Loop to pick up our packets.

10593084_3723658327130_8191497308851633323_nSaturday was carbo loading time and we went to town on this pizza at Spacca Napoli. I was so busy eating that I forgot to take a photo until we were almost done. Verdict: amazing, you should definitely go try it.

pizzzzSunday morning rolled around and we woke up bright and early to chug coffee and eat our oats and then headed over to Grant Park for the start. Did I mention this was Meghan’s FIRST half marathon? Cheers!

coffee pre eventWe lined up with all of the other crazy people who wake up early and pay money to run 13 miles.

Meghand I pre race

We ran the first 4 miles and the beginning of the course through the Mag Mile was great. Then I sped up a little bit and the course was downhill (unfortunately not literally) from there. We followed the lake south until mile 8.5 and then we turned around to head back ending up where we started in Grant Park.
Pros: there were plenty of water stations, Meghan was there and I didn’t die.
Cons: it was hot, spectator scarce and I didn’t die.
Shout out to Deanne, my co-worker, friend and Team LUNGevity cohort who came out to cheer us on! Seeing her at mile 11 was definitely the pick up that I needed!

SignMeghan and I survived and met up at the finisher chute. I finished in 2 hours and 11 minutes which was 11 minutes over my goal time. .  woof. Meghan finished in 2 hours and 20 minutes (I’m so proud)!

Meghand and I post race with medals

Here we are on the step and repeat looking like super stars clearly (the kind that sweat a lot).

post race meghan and i

Overall I’m glad that I did it but next year I plan on going back to the Chicago Half in September, mainly because they hand you a beer when you finish.

Here I am with my dad and sister after the race. My dad has a medal too. . kidding those are keys.

Dad and I after the race

Charley and I after race

After the race I did the dumbest thing possible. . . I showered, changed and went to Oakbrook mall (read: outdoor walking in 90 degree weather) to shop with my sister for her homecoming dress. It was totally worth it though because I got to hang out with this little nugget!

Charley and I shopping
Then we headed over to my aunts where I hydrated with my Uncle Tom’s famous strawberry daiquiris, ate and then totally fell asleep on the couch.

Charley, Dad and I

Monday was a lot of Meghan and I recovering (hello Labor Day) with snacks, SNL reruns and then Trivia Night.

Tuesday I made this because my grandma says that homemade cooking “brings all the boys to the yard”.  Meghan and I looked outside when the pie was finished and the yard was empty. . so naturally we ate it all topped with vanilla and caramel ice cream.

Apple Pie
Wednesday morning I went back to running and marathon training and did 5 miles before work.

Morning run
Then Meghan and I tried out FlyWheel for the first time at their launch party Wednesday night. There are not many things I hate more than spin class so I went into it a little sour. The first 20 minutes or so were rough but then Holidae In (yup, that’s how it’s spelled) came on and my mood instantly changed. Also our teacher had moves like Beyonce and the rest of the class was ‘fun’.

Flywheel

I started my day off at the Bank of America Marathon Charity Operations Meeting and with 37 days to go, I am super pumped! Speaking of Team LUNGevity, shout out to Matt Goode who has raised over $35,000 and oh yeah, is running a marathon!

Tonight after work I am running the Bears Shuffle 5K with co-workers so stay tuned for a fun update.

And that’s all for now!

 

bears 5k
P.S. Sometime last weekend we had this lox and cream cheese combo. . . couldn’t leave that out of the post.

Lox