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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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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The Rumors are True

The rumors are true. I AM running the Chicago marathon again this year (gah) and I AM NOT running for Team LUNGevity and here is why:

  1. I’ve been hogging a spot. Yes, I have raised almost $7000 in the last 3 years but now I am opening a spot up for someone who has been impacted by lung cancer and can benefit from the support of LUNGevity Foundation. Our Breathe Deep and Team LUNGevity events are the front door to our organization and I’m hoping that just one more person can join us for the marathon and stick around as part of our LUNGevity family for life. Because as some of my past TL members can attest, I will bug you for FOREVER.
  2. Stealing is wrong in the real world, but in the fundraising world, it’s totally encouraged. Through researching charities to run for this year and signing up to run with one, I have been able to get a few ideas to implement with Team LUNGevity. I have also made some friends (phew, I know everyone was worried) and I have a little endurance event manager pow wow later this month. The more you know, the more you grow.

So while I may be running for another charity, you better believe I will continue to manage, fundraise, promote and host Team LUNGevity events between now and October 9 (you don’t get off that easy). You can totally direct your donations to my cohort Deanne Brandon who will be repping the team for the 4th year in a row.

For this year’s Chicago Marathon I will be running for Ronald McDonald House! As someone who cries out for her dad even as an adult (I’m using the term adult loosely) I truly support their mission in keeping families together. Examples from previous posts below.

Exhibit A

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Exhibit B (of roughly one million)

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Volunteering over the past year or so for Ronald McDonald House has helped me to see the direct positive impact that fundraising has on children and their families during such a tough time in their lives. Ronald McDonald works to keep families together providing a home away from home. Not having to worry about hotels, gas, dinner and so many other small things allows parents more time to spend with their sick child and that is absolutely something that I can get behind. So my goal for RMHC is $2000 and thanks to my amazing friends and family I am almost at the $1000 mark!

 

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You can donate to my page HERE 

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P.S. For any of our local Chicagoans, Breathe Deep North Shore is coming up on April 17th and in it’s 5th year their goal is to hit ONE MILLION DOLLARS! To help them knock that out of the park you can totally sign up and join us that Sunday! (This is me peer pressuring you).

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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.

 

26 Days to Go

This weekend started off with some solid adulting on mine and Meghan’s part when we stood on unstable stools and tried to replace the light bulbs in our fan. We got to take a trip to this place. .

The Home Depot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kidding. .  our Home Depot does not look like that, it’s just orange and smelly. But they did have a cool aisle like this Bob the Builder one and we got the job done looking like pros.

The real Home Depot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since my heel has been hurting more and more I decided to skip this weeks runs and get my zen on in hot yoga instead. Initially I had to con Laura into going with me but after her first class she was hooked, aside from the whole ‘being hot part’. I don’t think there’s anything they can do about that, it’s kind of in the name. . .

So instead of doing my long run on Saturday, I slept in and then Deanne and I met and hung out with kiddos at Bell Elementary and made signs for our Team LUNGevity runners. Below are a few of my favorites. . .

Team LUNGevity 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I particularly like the one that says “I hope you win”. Me too. . .

Team LUNGevity 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then later we snuggled up and those goons went out while I stayed in like an old lady and slept.

Snuggling

For the past couple of months Laura’s been trying to convince us to go to Mad River to watch a game with her so Monday night we gave in and all of us eagle bombed our way through their loss. If you’ve never had an eagle bomb, congrats, you’re smart and not missing out. It basically tastes like vodka, redbull and regret and while Laura will dispute this, just because they’re free, doesn’t make them a good idea. The waitress was so super nice so I won’t hold a grudge that she forgot the whiz on my cheese steak but seemed to keep the eagle bombs flowing. . .however if I ever go back to that place, it’s water and beer only.

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On the bright side I won my first week of fantasy football, no thanks to my own doing of course. But I consider my ability to call on friends, family and random gentlemen on the street to help manage my team a skill.

Fantasy Football

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And with 26 days to go to the marathon I am slightly nervous about the whole running part (a minor thing I know). I have a 20 miler in Philly, 12 miles on the lakefront, 8 in Breese (8 miles of cow. . .) and then it’s marathon time. Not to mention all of the pre-marathon activities we have planned like movie night, yoga and pasta party the week before! So I am in it to win it for this one (okay in it to come in like 40,987th pace) and this guy is right.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But I think after this one my body and I might need a serious break.

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

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Also I got these sweet kicks : )

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P.S. My sista is getting married in a few weeks and this dapper fellow is my date. Jealous?

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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.

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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.

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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!

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