Today is Giving Tuesday and I hope you are making donations to all of your favorite charities today! As you know, CCFA is my favorite charity and I would LOVE it if you would show your support for this awesome cause by donating to my Pittsburgh Marathon Fundraiser! I have a lot of exciting things to share with you all in the coming weeks related to the Marathon, my training, and raising money for CCFA! 

Thank you! Besides CCFA (THANK YOU!!), who else are you donating to this #GivingTuesday? Share in the comments below! 

26 until 26.2!

The countdown is on! It's the 26th of the month and there are 26 weeks until I run my first 26.2! I'd like to kick off this countdown by reaching 26% of my $1000 fundraising goal! If 21 people donated just $10, I'll reach my goal! 

I appreciate every dollar that is donated and it all goes directly to fund the Western PA/WV chapter of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. 

The Training Plan That Wasn't...

Remember back in January when I picked out a training plan for my upcoming half marathon? Then the universe said LOL and the next few months did not go according to ANY plan, training or otherwise.

January brought 22 days of travel for work and volunteer obligations, a sinus infection, and bed bugs

February brought more travel and sub-zero temperatures. Without regular access to a treadmill, I was stuck inside.

In March came 18 days of travel, another sinus infection, and a kidney infection that turned to be e.coli (!!). I actually put a lot of miles in, but most were walking while traveling (I averaged 5-8 miles per day while in New Orleans). 

In summary, I haven't had a single week where I got all the runs on my training plan in. Oops. With that said, most weeks haven't been a total fail and I know I can finish 13.1 miles - it's just a matter of being able to finish in the time I want.

April finally brings warmer temperatures, and with it, the HIGH levels of pollen everywhere. April is also the month that some big miles need to happen, come hell or high water. If I can get a few good long runs in, I'll feel much better about May 3. Right now, I'm not sure I'll realistically be able to make my goal :( Right now the plan is to stick with Coach Jeff and Chelsea for the first 12 miles or so and make them keep me on track. 

Soooooooo if we could actually have some decent weather and I could not get sick or have my allergies make my head explode, that would be stellar. KTHXBAI.

What are your best tips and tricks for salvaging a disaster of a training plan? Comment below!

THE GOOD NEWS: Thanks to a very generous donation from my employer, I HAVE NOW SURPASSED MY FUNDRAISING GOAL! This is even better than any running could ever be because every dollar is a step closer to finding a CURE for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis! Think I can make my stretch goal of $1500 by May 3rd? If you haven't had a chance to donate yet, please do so here! On behalf of the approximately 1.6 million Americans living with IBD, we say THANK YOU! 

30 Days to go!

I can't believe that in only 30 days, I will run my first half marathon! I can't believe it - the time is going by so fast!

To continue with preparations, here are some more tips from Jeff Galloway!

Training and Motivation Tips
by Olympian Jeff Galloway
Register now for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 with no risk!  The 2nd annual half marathon on Dec. 13, 2015 is currently $95. You can sign up with no risk! Take advantage of this low price, and if you can't make it, you can roll into the virtual option with no extra charge!
Register today at

Why do we get injured?

1.  Be aware of irritation of weak links.

The Key Weak Links are body parts where my runners tend to experience injuries are these: Knees - Feet -Calf - Achilles -Hip - Glute/piriformis/sciaticia

But the body parts that YOU need to be aware of are the sites where you are injured or suffer more aches and pains.

So if you're sensitive to the first indication of irritation in these areas and take immediate action it's possible to avoid injury.

2.  Stress buildup due to the way we train.
  • Training schedule is too intense-not enough rest between stress.
  • Adverse Training Components-speed is too fast or has too much, too soon.
  • Running form-too long a stride, forward lean, bouncing too high off the ground.

So staying focused on the way one runs and following these guidelines, can often allow runners to maintain a manageable increase without injury


Top 5 ways to avoid stress buildup-and avoid injuries

1.  Take walk breaks more frequently, and run shorter run segments
2.  Form: shorter stride, feet low to the ground
3.  Slower long runs, with more walk breaks
4.  Avoid Stretching
5.  Be careful when running speed sessions

Jeff Galloway
4651 Roswell Road, I-802
Atlanta, Georgia 30342

Carmel, CA                                                                     Lake Tahoe, CA
"Re-Charging Your Running, Fitness and Nutrition"       The Perfect Summer Running Camp
April 23-24, 2015                                                            July 23 - 30, 2015 (week)                           
 Click here for more info.                                                 July 24 - 26, 2015 (weekend)
                                                                                        Click here for more info.

P.S. I am still fundraising for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America - Western PA/West Virginia Chapter - please help me reach my goal and work towards a cure for Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis!


Instagram users love #tbt, or Throwback Thursday. 

Every week, it's fun to see the pictures people post from years past - sometimes it's spring break photos, or wedding candids, baby pictures! 

Others use the #tbt hashtag to show off weight loss success or other dramatic transformations in their appearance. 

Today, I'm going to share a few Throwback Thursday photos of my own. These are from my graduation from Gannon University (Go Knights!) in May 2008. This was about a year and a half after my diagnosis in December 2006 and at this point, we were still trying out different treatment options to find something that works. 

One of the most common short-term treatment options for a lot of Crohn's and Colitis patients is steroids - Prednisone is pretty common. These pictures show just a glimpse of what steroids do to your body. The "moon face" happens because Prednisone causes your body to retain sodium, causing bloating in the face and mid-section. Prednisone also causes your body to lose Potassium, leading to painful muscle cramps. Prednisone also causes an increased appetite, fatigue, and sluggishness. 

If you're thinking this is superficial vanity thing, you couldn't be more wrong. While Crohn's and Colitis have serious symptoms, their treatment options also come with their own set of negative side effects. Long term steroid use can wreak havoc on a person's body, so it's important to find treatment options that lessen these effects and also provide long-term remission. 

This is exactly the kind of work and research that CCFA supports every day. There is no cure for Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, and while they've made great strides on treatment options, there is still a long way to go. You can support this important work by making a donation to my half marathon fundraiser today!! 

Anyone who makes a donation of $13 or more between now and March 25 will receive a postcard from New Orleans! I will be there for a conference and am excited to explore a new city! 

50 Days!

In only 50 days, I will run my first half marathon! Yikes!

Today, I'm in Washington, DC to run the Rock n Roll Series 5k! Chelsea, Steff, and Kelsey are running the half, and Mel and I are doing the 5k! After the race, we're going to enjoy a girls weekend in DC and meet up with other runner friends Lauren and Mandy

As you know, part of my preparations for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon includes raising money for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America - Western PA/West Virginia chapter. All of the money I raise will stay within the local chapter, meaning it will have a direct impact on patients like me! 

I recently received a facebook message from a sorority sister telling me a friend of hers has a young daughter, a beautiful fourth grader, had just been diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. The mom and daughter were both feeling overwhelmed and wanted to learn more. The first place I directed them to was the CCFA website. It has so many awesome resources to read and learn more about Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and IBD. It also directs you to regional chapter pages, where you can learn more about in-person seminars and workshops that may be happening in your area, as well as support groups. I actually attended a support group in Erie for a little while after my diagnosis - it was a great way for me to learn from others who had experienced the same things as me. One of the coolest things CCFA does for kids is Camp Oasis - a camp just for kids affected by IBD! 

There is no cure for Crohn's Disease...yet. I am confident a cure could happen in my lifetime, and you can help make that possible! Please donate to my fundraiser and help CCFA find better treatment options and a CURE! 

To honor the 50-day countdown, anyone who donates $50 or more will receive a personalized thank you card (in the mail! snail mail!) from me - it may even include an additional surprise!! 

75 Days!

The UPMC Health Plan Pittsburgh Half Marathon is 75 days away!!! 

At the RSG1 Valentine's Day 10k - Thanks to Coach Jeff for this photo and all your encouragement! 

Can I count on your donation of $13.10 or more as I train to run 13.1 miles? Every dollar counts towards finding a cure! 

Donate HERE

Who do you run for?

As you know, I am training for the Pittsburgh Half Marathon that will take place on Sunday, May 3. It will be my first half marathon and I am also using this occasion as an opportunity to fundraise for an organization very near and dear to my colon heart. 

I am a charity runner for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America - Western PA/West Virginia Chapter. All of the funds I raise will stay directly within the local chapter, meaning it will benefits those suffering from Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis right here in Pittsburgh! To learn more about all the awesome things the CCFA does, click on the picture below! 

My goal is to raise $1000 and thanks to some of my awesome friends and family, I am already 28% of the way towards my goal! I am optimistic that I can surpass this goal by May 3! Who has an extra $10? $15? $25? Every dollar counts! And remember your donation is tax-deductible! Donate today