Life Lately && Marathon Recap! 10.5.2017

I did it, you guys! My fourth marathon is actually over. And you know, I’m really sad about it. I LOVED training this time around. Every long distance run was like a new event for me to plan with Patrick (obviously, as my sherpa), and now, it’s all done. You better believe I’ll be finding another one to sign up for soon πŸ˜‰

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As I probably alluded in my last blog, the month of September was wildly busy for us. We had a wedding every single weekend (and we were in two of them) – but I really cannot complain because WEDDINGS ARE AWESOME and LOVE IS AMAZING. ❀

Our friends Kristin and Tony started off the month with a beautiful wedding, sprinkled with refreshing and heartwarming touches of their time they’ve lived in Hawaii together.

kp and tony

Then our friends Nicole and Scott tied the knot in good ol’ Iowa – and that was the weekend I ran my longest build-up run. It was gorgeous!!

scott and nicole

The third weekend, our friends Alex and Alexandra got married and had a wild party afterwards! Loved seeing you two again!

alex and baxter

And lastly, but certainly not least, our close friends Blair and John said incredibly beautiful vows, and I was so grateful to be part of that ceremony. Such a beautiful couple.

blair and john

All that being said, September was over before we knew it, and all of a sudden, it was the week before my big race. And ya know what? We had ZERO plans that whole week (probably intentionally on my part – yasssss). We stayed in every night, watched movies, and Patrick cooked incredible home-cooked foods. I stayed away from sugar and alcohol that week too, just to make sure my body was in top condition and that I would sleep well πŸ˜‰

I should take that back…. reverse reverse! I attended my first 108 sun salutation yoga class the Sunday before my marathon, where we literally complete 108 sun salutations in the 60 minute class. It was beautiful. Motivating. Invigorating. All the students were breathing in sync and I cannot wait to experience that feeling of community and one breath again. ❀

108

We were lucky enough to get invited by a couple friends to go see the Packers play at Lambeau the weekend before my race. I know this is crazy, but THAT WAS MY FIRST PACKERS GAME EVER. It was absolutely a blast and I can’t wait to go to more! It was also SWELTERING outside, which I couldn’t complain about, AND the Packers pulled through with a victory! All the best things. πŸ™‚

go pack

packers love

The weekend of my race, we went to the expo and got my packet and Patrick bought me a new running hat! That night, my sister, her boyfriend Erik and their sweet (crazy) puppy Benny came to visit and had dinner with us because #carboloading. Oh, and my sister made her famous Pumpkin Bread that totally is addicting (I secretly hope she doesn’t make it again because I have been INHALING it all week!). And the morning of my race, it was absolutely perfect. The weather was on point for long-distance Fall running, I had a great breakfast, and we got to the start in plenty of time for me to warm up and even wait in the massive bathroom line HA. Baymax was with us too of course ❀ And all of a sudden, they were counting down to the start!! πŸ™‚

expo

I chose to stay with the 4:40 pace group for the beginning of the race, in the hopes that I would make it at least to the halfway point with them (and then of course, I naturally slow down) so that would prime me for a PR. And I did that! I stayed with the group until about mile 15, which was a blast! The pacers were so friendly and talkative, and they both loved Harry Potter, so we had plenty to talk about πŸ˜‰ I’m in the blue, with the hat, super excited, arms up – you get it πŸ™‚

pacer

At about mile 15 I saw Patrick and he jogged with me for a bit. He was FILLED with encouraging words and affirmations, and I just couldn’t stop smiling while I saw him. But this is really when I felt like I started to slow down. I knew this would happen and I wasn’t worried at all. I was feeling strong and didn’t even need to listen to music at this point either! (I ended up not needing music for the entire race actually!). However, around mile 20 is when I really started to slowwwww downnnnnn. My head was tired, my right hip was killing me, but I dredged on! I knew the finish was SO CLOSE, and since I have done the Lakefront Marathon before, I knew that my favorite part of the course was coming up. I ended up walking at some point almost every mile, which of course blew the buffer time that I had built up.

thumbs up

At the finish, I heard and FELT the energy from the crowd. My sisters and my dad were with me towards the finish and they were cheering and encouraging me to PUSH through to the finish. I saw my Mom (hi Mom!) and she had her homemade sign that’s so filled with love and I just about cried when I saw it! I picked up my pace and finished the race at a sub 10-minute pace (which is wicked for me after that amount of mileage!).

finish

finish 2

Did I get a PR, you ask? I will be honest and tell you. No. I was off by ONE. MINUTE. At first I was slightly bummed- more than slightly… but you know what? I don’t care now. That marathon was one of the best long-distance runs (let alone races) that I’ve ever run and I enjoyed every single step of it. I don’t regret a thing (aside from walking so much at the end LOL). But here’s to new goals and 2018 for a new PR, right!? πŸ˜€

medal and me

My whole family was at the finish. WHOLE family. Both sisters, Manda’s boyfriend, my dad, mom, step dad, step mom, ALL THREE DOGS, and of course the love of my life Patrick. This was definitely a race to remember. And today, Thursday, I already am feeling almost back to normal aside from some right hip pain (which is usual for me). I am so so so grateful. Our bodies are incredible, aren’t they?

me and dadme and momme and patrickme manda erik

Aside from my marathon completion, we have just been enjoying this beautiful Fall weather just starting to poke its head through in Wisconsin. I LOVE IT. However, I’m realizing I may need some more sweaters and layers for work πŸ˜‰ Any excuse to shop, eh?

getting lit

SUPER EXCITED though because we are flying off to EUROPE tomorrow afternoon! Me, Patrick, my sister, her boyfriend, and her best friend Hannah. We booked this trip monthsssss ago and the day is finally almost here!!! We are flying to Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Berlin, and I seriously cannot wait for some actual vacation time. It’s been too long, and now with my marathon done, we can celebrate!! Cheers to that!

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Thank you for reading about my experience with this marathon and I can’t wait to share another journey with you next time around! If you have tips, tricks or tools I can use going forward, I’m all ears – you fellow experienced runners, you!

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Have an amazing beginning of October, friends. It’s definitely my favorite month, aside from July (birthday month, #duh). I’ll touch base again soon with a Europe blog, you better believe it! In the meantime, follow me on snapchat or Instagram for daily updates!

xoxo,Β Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

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Life Lately! 10.24.16

Hi people! These monthly life update blog posts have become very common and easily maintainable for me. So I think I might keep this going πŸ™‚Β Wuddya think?

We have been loving our busy schedules lately – this month was FILLED with travel, all over the country! Portland, OR; Austin, TX; and the photo above was from this weekend visiting my grandparents in Madison. Love love loving Autumn!

Friday night we joined our wonderful friends for a pumpkin carving party – mine is above, Patrick’s is below. The morning after… mine was DEVOURED by squirrels.Β What the heck!Β It was pretty hilarious to be honest though…


Let’s travel back to the end of September/ beginning of October. Patrick, my sister Mandaline, her boyfriend Erik and I traveled to Portland, OR for a wonderful getaway for 5 days. And lemme tell ya, WE FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS STATE. Portland is such a gorgeous and open city, with all the cycling, coffee shops, and hiking areas you can imagine πŸ™‚ #heaven

We went hiking along the Oregon Coast and saw the GORGEOUS ocean. The vastness of this magnificent part of our earth always stirs a wild travel lust within me. I can’t stop thinking about going back!

We went to a few wineries along the coast as well! The boys, enjoying their decadent pinots πŸ˜‰

And sisters doing what sisters do – with the most beautiful sky you can possibly imagine. ❀

We had the most delicious brunch too. I MEAN HELLO, below.

YES we are thinking of moving there. NO we don’t have a timeline yet. But YES it is officially part of our souls and we must follow our dreams πŸ™‚

Bringing it back home – I have been half marathon training the last few weeks (weird, I know). I always considered myself “trained for a half marathon at all times” but I wanted to really put an effort into this training for my half marathon here in Milwaukee on November 6, so I got some NEW KICKS (because duh) last weekend. Asics are my new runners, and I love them so far!! πŸ™‚

Anyone else run in Asics? Thoughts??

Maintaining my yoga practice as well, with all this training and running and lifting. Still learning, still loving, and still expressing myself in new ways every day. ❀

Running has brought me SO much joy lately. It gives me a reason to get outside and get fresh air, get my sore muscles moving, and allows me to really feel my breath (outside of yoga) so I can push myself harder every day. I’m running a marathon next May, so continuing training even in “off season” is so important for me.

Baymax has been PERFECT and AMAZING and growing like CRAY. He’s almost 90 pounds guys. Our little pup is growing up so fast ❀ He’s still dumb though, so I’m okay with that πŸ™‚ Smart, but still my little dum-dum.

Our Austin trip was wonderful – a beautiful celebration of love at our friend’s wedding. We loved seeing the city and even though it was 90+ degrees the whole time, it was a wonderful quick weekend trip to see a sweeeeet city! πŸ™‚

Oooobviously yoga happened.

He’s kinda the best person I’ve ever met ❀

This is what’s basically going on with me lately. My personal training and two other jobs are keeping me busybusybusy and every single day I’m figuring out a new way to be grateful, happy, and still push myself towards my goals. ❀ My life is whole and still finds ways to fill me up, with such beautiful friends and family surrounding me every single day. I could NOT be happier right about now πŸ™‚ ❀

Happy Monday everybody, here’s to another wonderful month of Autumn!! AND HALLOWEEN COMING UP!


Peace, xoxo

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Exciting Updates and Thoughts! 8.11.16

Good morning beauties! Okay. I know it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted but BOY do I have updates for you!! So much has happened in the last 3 weeks and I am just bursting to share with you!

First and foremost… I have officially accepted a new position for my career… As a Full Time Personal Trainer!! πŸ™‚ I was referred by a friend, and the position honestly just sort of landed in my lap but I COULD NOT BE MORE EXCITED.Β 

This entire week has been shadowing trainers and group fit instructors, and I even have my own clients to personally train already πŸ™‚ It’s a pretty wonderful scenario and I can’t wait to get busier!

THE BEST PART is that I get to keep my current job part-time! They found a place to keep me working here and I am so grateful and excited to stay a part of a wonderful company during the day when I’m not training πŸ™‚ #grateful #lifeisgood

Outside of THAT amazing update, I have still been trying to keep my schedule relatively the same. Working out in the mornings, still having my wonderful homemade dinners with Patrick and Baymax every night. It’s a wonderful life πŸ™‚

Some looks at my inversions for this last week.

Since my birthday was July 31, and we were on our camping trip at Rocky Mountain National Park (different blog to come!), I wasn’t able to see my family, so I was able to celebrate with them after we got back! πŸ™‚

My mom made me THE BEST CARD (as always) ((and yes that’s considered a card to her- a poster)) with pictures of me growing up and it is currently hung in our apartment since I love it so much. She makes every card with so much love and care, it’s amazing ❀

My dad and step mom and sister took me and Patrick out for Mexican last Friday (MY FAVORITE YAS) and Patrick and I split a margarita bigger than my face. πŸ™‚


AND my little sister made me a homemade blueberry pie. I feel like I can literally smell it and taste it through this picture… SO AMAZING.


The following morning (hilarious, I know) we ran a HOT 5K around Miller Park area on the Hank Aaron State Trail. Only about .25 miles was actually ON the trail, which I’m bummed about, but my dad and I ran a sub 10-minute mile pace the entire time so I was happy πŸ™‚

That night, we went out to the State Fair with our wonderful friends Mitch and Lindsey and OBVIOUSLY had to go down the Giant Slide. I haven’t done that… in probably… 15 years. I kid you not. It was probably the best 10 seconds of my month πŸ™‚

All in all, I am deliriously happy. Life works out in mysterious ways, and I couldn’t be more grateful for all your support, and particularly the support of my incredibly man Patrick. He’s my man-cheerleader and I thank him every single day for being the best person in my life. My mom, my dad, my sisters… they are all the best too – we literally exchange family emails on a daily basis going over pros and cons of my life decisions.Β How amazing is that? ❀

Did I mention that above^ was my first time doing a forearm stand with no wall? I had myself close to a wall JUST IN CASE, and I gently floated one leg at a time up and didn’t even touch it. YAY PROGRESS! πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful beautiful healthy day my friends! πŸ™‚

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Peace, xoxo.

Joined Running with Spoons!

Our Marathon Journey. The Halfway Point.

Hello Saturday! Yes, I understand it’s already 4:30pm on Saturday, and it’s not even halfway through our day. Marathon training at its finest πŸ™‚ Our weekends don’t “start” until after our long runs on the weekends. But we always welcome the remaining day and a half with open and welcome arms! πŸ™‚

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I have been continuing my yoga challenges of course (there are sooooo many right now!) and posting frequently on my Instagram if you care to take a peek πŸ™‚

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imageI wanna throw together a little update on how Patrick and I have been doing so far during our marathon training. This is, as a reminder, Patrick’s first marathon (YAY SO EXCITED) and my third (WHY AM I STILL DOING THIS). We decided on New Years Day to sign up together and to get 2016 going with a bang and a goal to be super fit and healthy πŸ™‚

imageAs of this morning, we officially passed our halfway point for our training. So far, our longest run has been 15 miles, and today we ran a half marathon together. Next week, the real fun begins πŸ˜‰ With LONG distances and finally getting into 40-50+ miles per week before we hit the big day on May 22nd.

Both of us have had some “injuries” and some soreness, of course the kind that’s typical with long distance training and some soreness that isn’t so welcome. For me, hip and IT Band issues (as always and as expected) and for Patrick, some muscle issues with his calf. BUT aside from that, we are LOVING training. And are so happy that we have finally been able to run the majority of our miles outside. Running indoors after work and on weekends in the winter was rough. But with Spring coming soon, we get pavement, trails and sunshine! πŸ™‚

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I am so encouraged every day by running with him. He not only pushes me to run faster (he’s WAY faster than me naturally) but he also is helping me improve my form, posture, and even my breathing. I feel like a newly taught runner, not even kidding! I have learned so much more about my body and what works best for me after his advice; his experience and background running Track and Cross Country in high school and college has given him a huge leg up for this race. I cannot WAIT to see him cross that finish line (in pictures since he’ll obviously SMOKE me haha).

I even asked Patrick what his favorite part about marathon training is, and he said… committing to doing it together πŸ™‚ And putting both of our minds and bodies to this challenge… is just the best feeling in the world πŸ™‚

Thanks for reading this little recap πŸ™‚ We will keep you posted of course as we go along the way!

imageAnybody else training for a marathon? Or even your first big race?? How’s it going?

What training plan are you following? Any awesome articles or programs you recommend??

Peace, Love, and Always Running ❀ xoxo

The Power of your Core

Hump dayyyyy! And it’s a gorgeous and sunny morning here in Wisconsin.

I’ve been thinking and planning a lot the last few days about how to strengthen my core (back and abs, all around) as well as my shoulders. I LOOOVE practicing inversions, so I know how important core and shoulder strength are for stability and balance.

Even though I run (which works your core) and do abdominal workouts every other day, there is still so much more to learn about how to strengthen and ACTIVATE your core when you try harder poses and transitions.
imageI did some research on how to strengthen your core and figured these would be some great workouts to incorporate into my daily/weekly schedule. My goals are to be able to do a comfortable pistol squat with both legs, as well as a handstand with no wall support at all! That’s been a goal of mine for awhile now, and I’m allllllllllmost there πŸ™‚
imageHere are some workouts I found – give them a try! See what you think πŸ™‚

Strong Core Focus Workout

6-Minute Yoga for Better Abs

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I’ve also used an e-book written by Morgan DeYoung called Ab’Asanas, which I highly recommend. It’s got a great variety of exercises to incorporate into your yoga practice, so try it out! She’d love to see your results. πŸ™‚

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Lastly, I use TurboFire workouts as often as I can in addition to my running and weight-lifting, so I HIGHLY recommend trying them too! πŸ™‚

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Do you have an awesome core workouts or exercises you love or live by? I’d love to try some new ones!

Also, it goes without saying that a strong and healthy core heavily relies on healthy, clean eating. I will compile a post about those tips in the future. It is crucial to balance food with exercise, since everything starts internally. Input is output! Let’s get STRONG!

Peace and love, xoxo.

Happy Thoughts and Musings 2.4.16

I want to start my post today with a “Yippee!” because today is my 1-year anniversary with my lovely soulmate, Patrick. ❀ I’ll leave my poetry to sweet, sappy love notes to him, and just let you all know how excited we are to celebrate this. It’s been such a fun and adventurous and love-filled year – here’s to another 100 anniversaries love! πŸ™‚ ILYSM.

imageBesides this wonderful excitement, I have also been applying at a myriad of jobs and am SO happy how everything is going. I’m putting my best foot forward and leading with my good side in my interviews, and I should have some awesome news in the next couple weeks on that!

imageMarathon training is going swimmingly. We are doing our first 9-mile run on Saturday, while away celebrating our anniversary + valentine’s weekend, and I’m so excited to see how it goes. It’ll be the longest run I’ve done, well, since my marathon in October. I KNOW I KNOW, that’s a long time, but I’ll bounce back, trust me! πŸ™‚

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imageI’m still completely obsessed with the podcast scene, especially while running. I don’t know about you guys, but listening to a podcast makes my mind completely focus on NOT running, which is really great! Without even realizing it, I’ll have run 3-5 miles in just one podcast and it totally takes my mind off the grueling hours of training that are coming…soon… oh #marathontraining.

imageDo you guys have any awesome podcast recommendations? I’d love to get some more ideas! I’m currently on Season 2 of Serial. I KNOW RIGHT.

I’m still putting a plan together on how to jump start my personal training career too; I want to do this part-time for now, and I really want to do it right, and with a company that I believe in and that believes in their customers and employees too! Any recommendations on how to get my feet on the ground running? πŸ™‚
imageIn other news, I am contemplating where Patrick and I should go for my birthday trip. Yes, it’s in July, but we’re taking ideas now! I was thinking Portland or Seattle, since Oregon, Washington and Alaska are the only 3 states I haven’t been to in the U.S. Any ideas on a summer birthday getaway?

Also, I’m re-addicted to my protein bites I used to make all the time. I have them for breakfast, snacks and desserts, and I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY MORE NEW RECIPES!

imageMy yoga practice is doing fairly well, but I NEED to get into a studio. It’s time I start with an instructor to push me and guide me and help me create a strong foundation again. I’ve been using the eBook Ab Asanas by Morgan DeYoung, and it’s been keeping my core engaged (and super sore) for a few weeks now! I love it!

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imageHow is everyone else doing? What’s new in your life? πŸ™‚

Mwah! Peace, xoxo.

TOL: Fall Edition 9.25.14

So its been awhile since I did a themed Thursday Thinking Out Loud post (as always thanks Amanda for the inspiration!), and since this iiiiiiiiis the first week of Autumn, let’s roll with it πŸ™‚

thinking-out-loud

1. I haven’t had the opportunity to bust out my boots yet for this season (I mean, Fall did JUST start on Monday), but you better believe next week they’re coming out! Wisconsin is so confusing with its weather… its 50 degrees when its supposed to be Summer, and now that it is Fall, we have mid-70’s. Oy vey!

boots season

2. Okay so IΒ had to put a point about pumpkin SOMETHING in here. I mean, what’s more Fall than pumpkin-flavored stuff?! I found a recipe for Oatmeal Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies, which sounds incredible… but I’m going to put a little spin on it and try making it with my added Body By Vi Sweet Almond flavored protein too, going to exchange the maple syrup for honey, and I’m not going to add raising πŸ˜‰ GOSH that sounds amazing… excuse me, I’ll be right back after I make 8 batches.

oatmeal pumpkin breakfast cookies

EVERY SINGLE RECIPE (not an exaggeration) on this blog looks more delicious than the next. But her more recent post about how to cook Autumn Herb Roasted Chicken sounds just DECADENT. Seriously perfect for this weather and time of year, I hope you all try something like this!

autumn herb roasted chicken

These Chocolate Cherry Apple Rings just screeeam Fall food. Such a light tasty treat for this perfect apple season!

chocolate-cherry-almond-butter-apply-rings

Lastly, these Spicy Gluten-free, Paleo Zucchini Boats sound AMAZING and definitely like something I would meal-prep for dinners for the week in Fall!! Love combining veggies and meat in unique ways! πŸ™‚

spicy zucchini boats

3. Even though summertime running season is over (saaaaaaaaaaad!), I’m still going to maintain my outdoor runs through the Fall. Yes, it calls for a wardrobe change, but it’s such a beautiful time to run – I really can’t complain πŸ™‚

running in fall

4. Speaking of wardrobe changes, here are some (obviously completely necessary) clothing items I (desperately need) want to buy sometime soon (now).

nike running gloves
Nike Running Gloves

fabletics leggings
These Fabletics Leggings.
HOW FUN, right?!

nike long sleeved running shirt
LOVE this bright color for Fall!
From Nike.

glycerin brooks running shoes
No harm in looking at new running shoes for a new season…
Right? πŸ™‚ Gotta love my Brooks!

autumn workout outfit
I’ll just wear this everyday forever, kthnx.

5. Love this quote. Change of seasons, change of mood, change of spirit. But always staying true to myself, because I KNOW everything will turn out okay πŸ™‚ Surrounded by so much love and positive mindsets, how can it not?!

be okay

Hope you all have a spectacular and beautiful day, as always ❀photo

Peace & Love

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