ver the next few months, Take a Challengewill be following my progress and supporting my cause throughout the highs and the lows of this 3500 mile run. With less than a month until it all starts, I thought I'd start with a bit of background to what and more importantly why I am taking this challenge.The background...

The idea of running across the US popped into my head several years ago. I was a senior in college and wasn’t entirely sure of what was next. I think I was feeling the need to do something big and freeing. I ended up returning home after graduation, and I am so grateful that I did, because I got to spend some very special time with my dear childhood friend,
Jill Costello. She was diagnosed with lung cancer just one year prior to our college graduation. I arrived home in San Francisco in May 2010 and she passed away on June 24. Because I was living in Boston when she was diagnosed and for the last year of her life, I am especially grateful that I got to see her in that last month. She was one of the most impressive women I have ever had the honor of knowing.

After she passed away I did end up getting a job in New York as a paralegal in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. I have been at the office since and have really enjoyed my time here. I have taken the LSAT and still consider law school as a possibility, but have found myself, more and more, pulled to honor Jill in a big way. As a member of Jill’s LegacyI have wanted to contribute, but it has been tough to do so from New York in a way that has felt really meaningful to me. So, the idea of running across the country popped into my head again. Probably not what most people would think of first as a way to contribute to a cause, but I’m a little crazy! To read a little bit more about me click here.

Once I had the idea and had shared it with a couple people a real adventure started to take shape. Since we have launched the website things have really been taking off and now I just can’t wait to actually get running! I know the next month and a half are going to go by incredibly fast and before you know it, I’ll be on the road.



Over the last few months I have been training by, well, running! I have done several marathons and half marathons in the past, so long distance running is not foreign to me. Prior to really becoming a runner, I was a soccer player from age 6 through college. So, hard training and lots of running have always been a part of my life. This is not to say that I haven’t gone through some lazy times! I did my first 30+ mile run in April and it felt great. I made it an all-morning affair and stopped for lunch after 20 miles as well as incorporated some walking breaks. You can read about that experience in my very first blog entry. Since then I have pretty consistently been doing anywhere from 6-13 mile runs during the week and longer runs (20-30) on the weekends. I do not have a strict training schedule as my current living situation is not really convenient for that. (I live with and help care for my 6 and 4 year old nieces, so my schedule is often at the whim of my surgeon sister-in-law’s schedule). I run when I can for as long as I can, but also do not want to put myself at risk for stress fractures or other injury, so I am trying to be very careful with my body while also preparing it for the strain ahead.

As for nutrition...

I have been eating pretty much the same as usual. I am a generally healthy eater – I don’t like fried foods, fast food, or too much stuff of that nature. My toughest obstacle is living in an apartment where there are always “kid snacks” that call my name! As of late I have been having a lot of veggie juices from a local juice bar, protein drinks, fibrous veggies, fruits, nuts, hearty soups, and trying to get in lots of protein. Basically all the stuff that every health blog, magazine, show, etc tells you you are supposed to eat. Before long runs, which I like to do in the mornings on weekends, I just have water, coffee, and usually a protein drink. I don’t like to eat much before I run because it usually just makes me nauseous.

For clothing...

I usually wear either running leggings or spandex running shorts (like bike shorts). I don’t like to have extra fabric and would rather not deal with shorts that will ride up at all. For tops I prefer dri fit tops over cotton. Cotton tends to chaff more and does not breath as well. The last few weeks were pretty hot so I was wearing workout tank tops to keep cool and catch some sun! A favorite top is the Nike Pro Combat Fit Top. This shirt in incredible! For shoes I am a recent convert to Asics, which I love. I used to be a dedicated Nike wearer, but tried these at the suggestion of our local Jack Rabbit running store and am so glad that I did.  The Asics Gel-Cumulus 14 is my new shoe and it’s great.

I think that about covers the logistics about training and a little bit about my inspiration for doing the run. I have been completely overwhelmed, in a fantastic way, by the supportive responses so far. I cannot wait to start this journey and meet new, incredible people along the way. I know this is going to be a tough but amazing 4 months and I am very much looking forward to it and to honoring Jill Costello.

From the Brooklyn Bridge, New York City to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco


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