My Hot Friends

Being a part of the New York City fitness community means two things:

  1. My friends have smokin hot bodies.
  2. My dates with them often start at a fitness studio or on a run and end at a bar.
What did I tell you? Sweaty beasts.

Meet Jenn and Will. What did I tell you? Sweaty beasts. But so gorgeous!

The other thing that I learned in the past 3 years is that many, many of us have IBD. Every time I meet someone new, they or someone they know has this terrible disease. And yet, we pursue our personal fitness goals. We teach the classes, we coach the clubs, we run the studios, sweating alongside one another, working as hard as our bodies will allow.

I met Jenn Seracuse from Flex Studios 2 years ago while collecting donations for my Kick Ass 5K. We quickly became friends when Jenn shared with me that she has Crohn’s disease. I met Will Lanier, the manager and a coach at BRICK New York, through many mutual friends as he battled Ulcerative Colitis last year and became the face of the Blank:Cancer campaign.

One day, we will be smarter than cancer.

One day, we will be smarter than cancer.

I somehow managed to convince these two to run a half marathon with me and raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s Team Challenge. And then I had to back out of actually running with them, but am thrilled to be their coach!

Told you. My friends are HOT.

Told you. My friends are HOT.

They’re hosting a joint event to raise money for their journey to Portland, Maine this July!

If you are around NYC next weekend, you HAVE to stop by and get sweaty with my friends. Not only are they two of the most genuine, kind people I’ve met, they are SICK fitness instructors. Every time I take Jenn’s class, I am shaking for days. They also happen to both be Lululemon Ambassadors. I mean, we were destined to be friends, right?

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Oh, and did I mention it’s only $25 cash???? With the soaring prices of workout classes these days, this is a STEAL.

Here are the details for the HIIT/Pilates fusion class:

  • Sunday, June 14 from 12-2pm
  • Dream Downtown 355 West 16th Street
  • Facebook link to the event 
xoxo

xoxo

All proceeds go toward their fundraising efforts. Bring a water bottle and a towel, you will be getting sweaty.

You really should go to this. They’re awesome. Team Challenge is awesome. And I want them to feel the love of the running community, to which they are both newbies.

Thank you friends! And happy Friday!

Now go out and run!

Ready or Not

I can’t wait to get back to blogging regularly. I have had SO many adventures these past few weeks, some I can share and some I cannot, but all really great stories that I can’t wait to write about.

In the mean time, I’m trying to rest for the big race tomorrow. Apparently, my body is ok with that since I fell asleep everywhere I sat down yesterday.

Airplane ride...zzzzzzzzzzz.

Airplane ride…zzzzzzzzzzz.

But this weekend is all about something you guys have been reading about forever. Tomorrow is my first half marathon with Team Challenge. This race isn’t about me.

This race is about everyone who has been touched by Crohn’s or Colitis.

Taking Steps with friends for all of you!

Taking Steps with friends for all of you!

This race is about all of you who reached out and shared your stories with me about you or your family member or a friend with IBD.

So many cupcakes, so little time. And all for a great cause!

So many cupcakes, so little time. And all for a great cause!

This is about my friends who can’t participate in their lives because they’re too sick.

This is about the runners who trained for this race but who are sidelined because one of the major side effects of IBD drugs is that it makes you susceptible to every other virus in the world and OF COURSE you came down with pneumonia this week while on Remicade.

Wish you were here in Chicago with me!

Wish you were here in Chicago with me!

This race, for me, is a love song to my family, to my friends, to my doctors and surgeons and nurses and PAs and RDs who fought like Hell alongside me. And this race is about all of YOU.

You who ran the Virtual 5K and donated to my fundraising page and helped me become the ONLY VIP fundraiser from the Greater New York team.

Party! Party!

Party! Party!

So, THANK YOU! I look forward to running my heart out tomorrow with all of you on my mind as I push for another PR in Sweet Home Chicago.

And by the by, you can donate through TONIGHT to still be entered in the amazing raffle I’m having. $20 = 1 raffle entry. Donate here immediately  You do not want to miss out villa for 10 in Acapulco. And who knows? I may just hit $8000 by the time I toe the line at 7am Central Time tomorrow.

You never know.

You never know.

Now go out and run!

Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: Forward

This year hasn’t flown for me where school is concerned. The opposite, in fact. It has CRAWLED.

Whatever is slower than a snail, that's what this year has been like.

Whatever is slower than a snail, that’s what this year has been like.

But when I look back at exactly one year ago today, it seems like it was only a few months ago and not twelve. One year ago today, I spent most of the day under anesthesia, in the OR and recovery room, having my colon removed to cure my Ulcerative Colitis.

Sent this the day after so Obi-wan didn't worry so much. See Dad? I'm smiling = I'm ok!

Sent this the day after so Obi-wan didn’t worry so much. See Dad? I’m smiling = I’m ok!

What a difference a year makes.

Last year, I couldn’t run 2 minutes on the treadmill before I had to jump off and race for the bathroom. Last week, I ran a PR in the half marathon. 1:40, thankyouverymuch. Oh, and I’m gonna kick ass in Chicago running for Team Challenge in three weeks!

Jersey, baby!

Jersey, baby!

Last year, I was so sick I was getting chemo pumped into my veins, iron IVs, and hydration solution every week. As of right now, I’m only on one drug, soon to be DRUG-FREE!(This probably means very little to anyone but Mrs. Obi-wan. Look, ma! No drugs!)

No more blogging with one hand and getting Remicade in the other!

No more blogging with one hand and getting Remicade in the other!

Last year, I missed just about every single running/walking/sporting event with my friends. This Thursday, I’m walking in lower Manhattan with my lululemon family and friends in the Taking Steps walk to spread IBD awareness. (Join me!)

Go ahead, ASK ME!

Go ahead, ASK ME!

Last year, I was terrified I wouldn’t make it through my first year of DPT school because of the two surgeries, the colostomy bag, or some other unforeseen disaster. Not only did I conquer my first year of school, this Friday I will be exactly halfway through my first rotation. And I’m feeling great about it!

Abby Bales, Student Physical Therapist and wheelchair driver extraordinaire.

Abby Bales, Student Physical Therapist and wheelchair driver extraordinaire.

What a difference a year makes. I cannot thank my friends, family, classmates, running community, lululemon family, and all of you enough for all of your support and encouragement over this past year.

I guess today’s post embodies all of what Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays are really all about: forward motion in the hopes of a better tomorrow.

I was scared to go forward with surgery but I did it and I don’t regret it one little bit.

I was scared to go forward with school, not knowing if my body would hold up, but I did and I made it through (with a little LOT of help from Birdie).

I was scared to come forward about my disease and surgery and all that but I did and managed to not only make new friends, but reach out into the IBD community to help other people struggling with the same decisions I had to make.

And no matter what happens, it is always better to be here than not to be here. I know that now more than ever.

Happy colon-free-iversary to me! I am totally colon-free and kicking ass!

Now go out and run!

Blogger On the Run, Indeed

Welcome to all of you clicking over from Women’s Running Magazine! And thank you so much to Kara and WR for the featuring me as their Blogger On the Run. It’s an honor.

womens-running

If you haven’t seen it, you can click here. I thought long and hard about how graphic I would get while describing my experience at the Jersey Marathon. In the end, I decided to go for it and flat out say “diarrhea” because, hell, that’s what it was. Not “tummy trouble” or “bathroom stuff” dammit. It was diarrhea and it’s what people with IBD deal with every single day.

TMI? Maybe. Deal with it.

Finishing in Jersey. Feeling a whole lot better than I was at mile 15, obviously.

Finishing in Jersey. Feeling a whole lot better than I was at mile 15, obviously.

If you comment on the post over at Women’s Running, you will be automatically entered to win a 12-month subscription for the magazine. So go comment!

As a running blogger, I sometimes feel pressure to share my every workout, every run, everyday stuff the way that other bloggers do. But when I first started this blog, Obi-wan (my Dad) counseled me to focus on what I wanted to say and who I wanted to reach.

"Use the Force. Stretch out your feelings". Obi-wan's always so smart.

“Use the Force. Stretch out your feelings”. Obi-wan’s always so smart.

I didn’t want to be like the other bloggers. I wanted to share information, science-y stuff, and help runners run stronger and get smarter. Obviously, some stuff changed as I got sick. Like, I didn’t run as much and for a long time.

I didn't run so much as I laid around and shuffled up and down my block.

I didn’t run so much as I laid around and shuffled up and down my block.

But no matter the fact that I don’t blog 3 times a day or break down every mile of every run or didn’t run for weeks at a time or have tons and tons of giveaways or get invited to special events, I’m still a Blogger On the Run! Just a different kind of Blogger On the Run.

And I want to thank Women’s Running Magazine for recognizing that and inviting me to be a part of their feature.

And for those of you who haven’t heard yet, now that I’m all healed up and running again, I’m running for a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis! RUN WITH ME! Or cycle. Or swim. Or elliptical (is that a verb?). Or walk. Or hop.

Kick some ass with me, won't you?

Kick some ass with me, won’t you?

Here’s the gist:

  • Donate $15 to my fundraising page and you get one entry into the raffle.
  • For every $10 over the initial $15 that you donate, you get one more entry into the awesome raffle.
  • Email me the amount you donated: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com so I know how many raffle entries to mark down for you
  • Wear the bib I send you on April 9th (don’t forget to water proof it!) and take a picture
  • Rock your 5K and share your photos with me!

Thanks again for stopping by!

Now go out and run.

Pushing Limits

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! to all of you who have already signed up for the Kick Ass Virtual 5K on Tuesday, April 9th. I reached over $1500 in donations as of today and am SUPER excited to share all the raffle prizes that have been rolling in.

Sneak peak and hoping to add more!!!

Sneak peak and hoping to add more!!!

If you or someone you know would like to donate a raffle item, contact me!!!! (runstrongereveryday@gmail.com) And don’t forget to sign up for the Kick Ass 5K! Or you can just donate to my page :)

This whole $20,000 goal is so far outside of my comfort zone, I can’t even tell you. I don’t really think I’m going to hit it. I know I should “believe” I will but I don’t. It’s a goal. It’s a very public goal. I’ll probably fail. It’s scary to fail so publicly to reach my goal.

On the track, in the gym, on the road, I’m pushing hard so that when I toe the half marathon line, I know I did my best to get there. Training is the easy part.

Running til I feel like this. I call it "Panting dog".

Running til I feel like this. I call it “Panting dog”.

It’s easy for me to push my body. It’s much more difficult for me to push my personal life goals. When my body gives out, there’s a reason I can trace back to fix and it’s not usually my fault. I like to push my body to the limit.

When I fail at a life goal, I feel like a total and complete FAILURE.

So I don’t push those limits. Well, I didn’t until the past few years. Putting together this Virtual 5K for (essentially) me makes me uncomfortable. I’d much rather just give them all of my money and not risk the failure.

I'd much rather run a 5K for something/someone else than for myself buuuuut, there are a lot of IBD-ers out there so I'll run for them!

I’d much rather run a 5K for something/someone else than for myself buuuuut, there are a lot of IBD-ers out there so I’ll run for them!

But there are kids with IBD. There are kids who will never know life as anything other than being the “sick”. There are people out there who live every day with pain and drugs and just the worst of the worst of it and I won’t be too chicken to set a $20,000 goal because I’m afraid I won’t meet it.

So here I am. Me and $18,500 more to raise. Watch me push that limit all the way til June 8th when I push my body in Chicago.

Gauntlet thrown.

Now go out and run!