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!

Friday Fitness News: Kick Ass 5K

There is no news to report this week except for all of YOU who kicked SO much ass on Tuesday for the Kick Ass Virtual 5K.

Some stats:

  • 1: number of haikus
  • 2: number of siblings (can you spot them?)
  • 3: number of continents covered
  • 4: number of times I cried on 4/9/13 (happy tears)
  • 7: number of miles I covered
  • 8: number of ways people participated in the 5K (crutch, run, walk, bike, elliptical, swim, horseback riding, wheelbarrow–see pic)
  • 20: number of miles covered by another runner
  • 158: number of people who have donated
  • 6830: number of dollars raised ($6930 so far!)

Of course every race needs a commemorative shirt. These little gems will be going on sale in two weeks. 100% of proceeds go to Team Challenge!

I'll probably need one of each.

I’ll probably need one of each.

My sincerest thanks to all who donated and participated.

And now, without further ado, I’d like to present to you the finishers (who sent me their photos!) of the Kick Ass Virtual 5K to benefit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

Stacey Kim Hillary Deb Diane.png Jim&Michelle Colleen Chris Youssef2 Christine HaikuKat JenG AshleyB Lauren PPW Tara Elizabeth LaurenC Danielle Sarah Jill&Linda MeganGBM Jackie Becca Lulunatics Cyanne Karen&Paul Karen LaurenM KristinAstoria Jen Michelle Jenny Paige Emily Greg Kat Sandy Gina&Scout NicoleR Lesley&Minion Cassandra ChristineM Heidi 43513AE4-DBE9-4DAF-924D-7C7C5DEC354F KristenC VeggieRunner MelissaB JennyP AmandaS Heather

Did you spot my two siblings? There are also 3 classmates in there, one Lulunatic run club, and several IBD sisters and brothers. Thank you, thank you, thank you all. It was a blast.

Don’t forget to keep your eye out for the t-shirt sale the last week of April! Limited time only. Remember, you can still donate and be entered into the Acapulco trip raffle! Tickets are $20/each–donate here to be entered!

Now go out and run!

Kick Ass

There are about 486 things in the works in my world these days and blogging has been on the back burner as far as my work output but at the absolute forefront of my mind daily. I have dozens of blogging topics running around my brain but this one is closest to my heart.

So close to my heart, in fact, that I’m scared to write it. I’m kind of afraid to fail and this is a big undertaking for me.

If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I have Ulcerative Colitis. I mean, technically I guess I don’t have it anymore cuz I don’t have a colon. That’s right. I’m colon-free and kicking ass!

No colon, no cry. No co-lon, no cryyyyyy.

No colon, no cry. No co-lon, no cryyyyyy.

In the Spring of 2010 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (sexy!) that, along with Crohn’s Disease, develops as a result of a overreaction of the immune system. Basically, people with IBD have malfunctioning immune systems that attack the entire digestive system. It’s causes are unknown but it is likely hereditary and absolutely unpreventable and incurable (except for surgery for UC patients).

I don’t want to make this a graphic description about what happens to those of us who have IBD, but you gotta know it’s Hell on Earth.

Vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding ulcers, anemia, joint pain, severe abdominal pain, cramps, weight loss, loss of bowel control, fever, constipation, severe exhaustion, night sweats, and so many more specific to the individual patient. Hell. On. Earth.

Colonoscopies, steroids, chemotherapy, anti-immunity drugs, craaaazy diets, nutritional IVs, and everything in between.

Colonoscopies, steroids, chemotherapy, anti-immunity drugs, craaaazy diets, nutritional IVs, and everything in between. Told you. Hell.

There’s a reason that one of my favorite support groups is called My Doctor Knows Me Best From Behind. It’s a disease that people all over the country and world live with silently. Well, not me. I’ve been open about my disease, my colostomy bag, my stoma named Rosebud, and my fight.

I’ve shared with you my journey to surgery in 2012, then {unexpectedly} the second surgery, and finally clawing my way back after surgery. It’s not always been pretty but one thing I have vowed to never be is silent. Not that I’m ever silent about, well, anything…but I digress.

Colostomy bag or no colostomy bag, I'm proud to sport my tummy on the Internet!

Colostomy bag or no colostomy bag, I’m proud to sport my tummy on the Internet!

On June 8, 2013, I will be running 13.1 miles in my beautiful hometown of Sweet Home Chicago as a member of Team Challenge. We are the runners and walkers who raise money for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America in the hopes that in ten years there will be a cure for IBD.

Team Challenge NYC (shamelessly stolen from Daphnie's FB page).

Team Challenge NYC (shamelessly stolen from Daphnie’s FB page).

I know people ask for donations for all sorts of diseases every day. But I also know that many of you asked me how you could help when I was diagnosed, in the hospital, and recovering. Well, here’s your chance!

I’m hosting the Kick Ass (or Kick Butt) Virtual 5K to benefit Team Challenge on Tuesday, April 9th, 2013. Why April 9th? That was the date last year when I scheduled the surgery that would remove my colon. It was a very big and scary day for me but it was also the day I took steps to get my health and my life back.

  • Date: April 9, 2013
  • Time: Any time of day your heart desires.
  • Location: Central Park, East River track, the treadmill at your gym, the bike in your basement, your neighborhood sidewalk, and anywhere else you can find.
  • Activity: Run, walk, bike, swim, or jump a 5K (3.1 miles)–your choice!
  • Cost: $15 donation to my team donation page.
  • Bonuses: $15 gets you one entry into the AWESOME raffle I’m putting together. Every $10 after that gets you another entry into the raffle. $50 gets you 5 entries.
  • Prizes: Still coming together, but I predict fancy workout clothes, great shoes, fun fitness accessories, and some more cool stuff. I’m working on it and it’s gonna be GREAT.

How you register:

  1. Donate to my page ($15 minimum).
  2. Email me (runstrongereveryday@gmail.com) that you did and how much so I can enter you into the raffle.
  3. Extra entry for blogging or tweeting about it (make sure you tag me or let me know!).
  4. Sport the race bib I email you and run/bike/swim/wheelbarrow a 5K on April 9th.
  5. Send me a picture of you sporting your bib, biking in the gym, running on your treadmill, or any other photo so I can include it in the blog recap of the race.

Time doesn’t matter, I don’t care if you do it one mile (or half-mile) at a time, and everyone is on the honor system. If you get sick, do it another day. No worries! My goal is 50 runners. I know, I know. Shooting for the moon. But I have a big family, $15 is roughly 3 latees a week, and you can literally walk your dog for 3.1 miles.

You can Kick Ass or Kick Butt, your choice. But together, we will find a cure for IBD!

You can Kick Ass or Kick Butt, your choice. But together, we will find a cure for IBD!

Please consider supporting me. This disease took my colon but I swore on April 9, 2012 that it wouldn’t take my life. And it didn’t. And it won’t. Yeah, my J-pouch is still kinda wonky but I will never look back on my choice with regret, rather I choose to stare this disease in the face and say, “I’m colon-free and kicking ass!!!”

Kick Ass (or Butt, if you prefer) with me, won’t you?

Now go out and run!

PS. If you or your organization would like to donate something for the raffle, please email me: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com

Don’t Freak Out

One of my not-so-favorite parts about this time of year is all the diet talk. It’s EVERYWHERE.

Twitter, Facebook, blogs, magazines, discount websites, and in every single conversation I overhear at the nail salon.

Image courtesy of Harper's Bazaar

Image courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar

A “Nine Day Wonder Diet”?!?! Do you know what you could do in 9 days that would do wonders? Get some sleep, drink some water, run some miles, and smile more often.

But NOOOOOOOOOOO. Harper’s Bazaar and every other magazine out there wants you to think they have a “Wonder Diet” that will miraculously make you look like Heidi Klum. Seriously, Heidi. Your body is sick. I know you work for it, so I don’t begrudge you, but my GOD you look fantastic!

Heidi runs on the river! Me, too! See you out there, girlfriend. (Image courtesy of Zimbio.com)

Heidi runs on the river! Me, too! See you out there, girlfriend.           (Image courtesy of Zimbio.com)

Here’s the thing. Holidays are festive. There are parties, finals, parties after finals, big dinners, late-night festivities, and COOKIES GALORE!!!! this time of year. It’s ok to enjoy the merriment of the season.

It is NOT, however, ok to…

  1. Stuff yourself and then complain you’re fat.
  2. Eat nothing and passive aggressively criticize everyone else who is.
  3. Get wasted every night, miss your morning run, and then whine about your slower 10K time.
  4. Run 100 miles this week because you had some delicious white chocolate fudge.
  5. Stress eat, abandon your workouts, pull all-nighters, and then starve yourself for a week.

Get a grip.

C is for Cookie and that's good enough for me. A life mantra, if you will.

C is for Cookie and that’s good enough for me. A life mantra, if you will.

This is not a healthy eating blog because, well, no one should model their eating off of me and my J-pouch diet (I’m still in need of a clever name for my pouch, by the way…). But runners are no less susceptible to the holiday food backlash than anyone else. We’re human after all.

Except Oscar. He is superhuman. (Image courtesy of the Washington Post)

Except Oscar. He is superhuman.                             (Image courtesy of the Washington Post)

So, keep running. Keep training. Have a merry, happy, wonderful holiday season. Enjoy your family and friends and that weird co-worker whose much more fun that you originally thought. Don’t go bananas but don’t also be that Judgemental Judy in the corner with your carrot sticks, scowling at everyone eating a cupcake off the dessert tray. No one likes that party guest.

Ignore the magazines and do what you do. Just don’t overdo.

Maybe get involved with the Runner’s World Streak (albeit a few weeks late) or try the Refine Method Challenge or check out Cooking Light‘s delicious holiday cookies. I’m a raspberry stripper fan, myself.

Mmmmm...can't get enough of these! Good thing they're kind of a pain in the butt to make.

Mmmmm…can’t get enough of these! Good thing they’re kind of a pain in the butt to make.

And if eggnog is what gets you through dinner with your family, then so be it. My personal preference is prosecco or sauvignon blanc, but desperate times call for desperate measures and if there’s alcohol in it, I’m drinking it. Enjoy the holidays, friends.

And don’t forget to go out and run!

P.S. Today is the last day of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. I want to thank you all for your kind words and for spreading awareness about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. In case you ever want to know where you can learn more or donate to the cause, there is a great non-profit called The Great Bowel Movement whose founders are some very lovely ladies I have the pleasure to know.

And if you ever want to raise money for the CCFA, Team Challenge is national and they do seriously fun half-marathons in places like Napa and Vegas. Helllllllloooo, Vegas 2013 anyone?

Thank you again for your continuing support of my super-sexy journey with this disease. Now go out and run!

BOOM! Ask me!!

BOOM! Ask me!!