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

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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!

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 Week

I’m sick, which stinks for me (because of the whole marathon thing in 4 days) but I think my co-workers are secretly (or not so secretly) happy that they don’t have to hear me since it hurts to talk.

Anyways the last couple weeks have been super busy (I’ll stop saying that November 23rd. . . or when I’m dead) but here’s a quick recap.

My marathon packet came in the mail and reminded me that I actually paid to wake up early and run 26.2 miles. . .

Packet

I got older (see packet above) and celebrated a lot with friends and wine and cake (duh) . . .

Birthday

27

I cried at least 3 times at work because the new server hates me and doesn’t care that it’s event season. Thankfully I have the best co-workers and friends who send things like this. . .

Jess candy

and this. . .

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Breathe Deep Philly happened and after 18 hours of traveling I finally arrived at 1 am with enough time to drink wine and do arts and crafts. . .

Jess

Event day went perfectly though and I’m glad I got to hang out with these goons. . .

Philly

Last week I went to LA for one of my best friends weddings. . .

Leanne and I

This happened and surprisingly, neither one of us cried. . .

Elizabeth

And while I vacation, marathon training doesn’t, so I squeezed in a few runs and the view wasn’t awful. . .

Run in LA

While my friends at home were enjoying the 40 degree weather I hung out in the pool. . .

Pool

And then on the beach. . .

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And then Sunday we had to leave these guys. . .

Matt, Leanne, Steve and I last night

 

Which stinks, but on the bright side I checked my bag AND got it back after the flight. This might not sound like a big deal to most of you but as far as lost luggage goes it’s Me: 1 Airlines: 3 so on Sunday I was winning. . like better than Charlie Sheen winning. And I got to come home to this. . .

Sunrise

 

Plus, I’m one of those rare, crazy people who love to come home to Chicago, even though the weather sucks 90% of the time.

I have officially hit my 2nd fundraising goal thanks to my wonderful friends, family, co-workers and apparently my stuffed bear Martin who knows how to donate online. . .

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And it’s marathon week which means yoga, short runs and movie wine night at Samantha’s tonight! Last year she instituted ‘marathon week’ in an attempt to calm me down and prepare me for the race. This year, it’s just another excuse to hang out, drink wine and snuggle up with this guy. . . (ladies, Barksdale is single and you can check him out here).

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Speaking of single. . . I finally got my phone battery replaced so it won’t die during the marathon (because I certainly don’t want to listen to my own thoughts for 4 hours). I’ve been putting off going to the Apple store for roughly 5 months. . . okay more like a year but last night I finally schlepped over there and turns out, it’s swarming with cute guys! My only complaint is that Apple should serve wine while you wait. . .although I guess mixing alcohol with technology is probably why half of those people are there anyways. . so maybe that’s not the best idea. But I’ve decided that if I get desperate one day, before I start browsing the Paws website for cats, I’ll dump some water on my phone and head over to Apple and see what happens.

So the rest of the week is busy with Fall event planning and Team LUNGevity marathon prep. Saturday is the expo, shake out run and the last chance to carbo load before I go back to eating like a normal human being!

countdown

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

 

#RUNCHI Fun Run, New Shoes and Watermelon

Monday I planned on meeting up with the #runchi cheer team (including Samantha) and my roommate Meghan for a fun run at Fleet Feet after work. Pretty much right after I got on the train though I realized I forgot to bring my running shoes with me. So instead of going back home, I decided that it was fate intervening and telling me I should buy a new pair (because nothing makes a crappy day better than new running shoes). After work I headed straight to Fleet Feet and hopped on the treadmill so they could watch me ‘pronate’. Then the guy came out with a few selections and had me try them on. I opted for the latest version of the Brooks Adrenaline and while I wasn’t the craziest about the color at first, they’re starting to grow on me. He also suggested that I go up half a size to leave more room for my toes for long runs and he was right (although that means I now wear a size 10 shoe. . .woof). I think one of the ways you know you’re a ‘real runner’ (or maybe just an adult) is when you choose the right type of shoe for you instead of deciding based on color. There were about 20 other pairs that I liked better and were way cooler than the ones I got but these fit me like a glove!

Monday new shoes

Once I laced up I met with the #runchi cheer team girls and Meghan and we hit the road. Since it was a rest day, Sam and I just did an easy 3 miles and caught up on the latest gossip and Meghan chimed in here and there (she has an injury so is getting back in the game). The nice thing about running groups is that you meet new people and it’s easy to just jump in whenever you have time. We all have something in common so I can go for a couple weeks and then if I have to miss a few runs, I can hop back into the group and pick right back up where I left off. We ended back at the store and took some very sweaty photos.

Monday fun run with Meghan

Monday fun run with Samantha

Yesterday after work I went straight to packet pick-up for the Bastille 8K that Samantha, Meghan and a few other girls are doing together and grabbed mine and Meghan’s swag. Then I went on a quick 3 mile run sans phone and music to clear my head before getting some errands done.

Tuesday Bastille shirt pickup

This morning I woke up earlier than I had planned so I did a ‘weight’ workout in the gym. I use ‘ ‘ around the word weight because I don’t think I’ve ever lifted a dumbbell heavier than 5 pounds before. The view was great though so no complaints here.

Tuesday view

My plan was to squeeze in my 6 miles during lunch because Deanne and I are going to a charity orientation after work but the opportunity to go to the Taste arose so obviously I choose food over running. My run will have to wait until tonight!

P.S. I’m only $300 away from my fundraising goal AND cut watermelon is buy one get one free at Jewel today so basically I won the lottery this morning and I may or may not have already eaten one of these. . .  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday watermelon