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.

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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!!

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

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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.

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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. ❀

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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™‚

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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™‚

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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™‚

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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.

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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!).

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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˜€

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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?

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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?

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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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Sunday Musings 1.22.17

Good morning beauties! 

Since the beginning of this year, my plans have changed. I am focusing on re-focusing. 

My yoga practice, my running schedule, my goals with lifting weights. 

My work schedule, how I can grow in my job, what I can do to improve our company.

The layout of our apartment, what I do in my spare time, purging our rooms of unnecessary clutter.

My diet and eating schedule, focusing on cleaner and nutrient-rich foods, lessening the empty-calorie snacking.

All of these parts of my life have been recently revamped, and I am thrilled to continue with my new plan to achieve my goals this way. Every single day, I try and focus on what I can do this day only, and how I can move one inch closer to my goals. Every day is different and everything is personal. Find your way, and keep that as your way. 

Having a daily practice for all aspects of my life has grounded me and given me the opportunity to shed stress and rejuvenate my spirit and drive for the week to come. Don’t get down without knowing and planning on climbing back up. ❀️

Have you written your goals? Have you rid yourself of unnecessary baggage? What do you want to accomplish just today, only today?

Until next time, friends. ✌️

Xoxo.

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

New Blog Face!

Good morning friends and long-lost bloggers!

It’s been a HOT minute since I’ve blogged. (Again). But this time around, I have a new face, a new goal, and a new vision for my blog. πŸ™‚ New name too! @fitnessbyshannon. Everything is re-named and branded to match that, so I hope you love it just as much as I do!

I’ll be posting weekly about workout ideas, writing/ journal topics I’ve come across, awesome recipes, etc. Similar to @apples2absfitness but a little more refined I think? We’ll see where it takes me.

I hope you’re ready for the ride! Thanks for reading! ❀

Peace and Love, xoxo!

In the meantime – check out my 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!

Marvelous Monday Musings 6.27.16

Happy Mondayyyyyyyyy!

Really, I’m this awake right now. We had a fantastic weekend, guys. We saw tons of family and friends, and also got a solid amount of Baymax/chill time. I’d say it was a great success!

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Handstands outside my house HAVE to happen. πŸ™‚

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So Friday was “National Bring Your Pet To Work Day” and I obviouslyyyy had to partake. Being this is our first pet and all πŸ™‚ And because he’s the cutest dang puppy ever. He had such a fun time at work, with our walks and playing with all my coworkers πŸ™‚

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Always involved in some kind of a yoga challenge too. Lately, I’ve been so sore from my classes and regular weight lifting schedule that I’ve been using yoga for stretching and opening my muscles and fascia again, as opposed to strength improvement. It’s been wonderful to switch it up!

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Saturday morning, my sister, Patrick and I drove to Madison for my grandma’s 80th Birthday! She doesn’t look or act a day over 60 and she is seriously one of my favorite humans on earth. We had such a fun time with family and I got to reunite with my cousins on that side who I don’t see as much anymore! Really a great family gathering πŸ™‚

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Saturday night after we got back home, we had our HOUSEWARMING party! I’ve never hosted a party at an apartment of mine, so this was a first. AND I got to share this time with Patrick in our new home πŸ™‚ We had so many friends come and visit and even got some housewarming gifts! Which we were not expecting. A fun time was had by all, and we definitely will be having more get-togethers in the future since this was such a success!

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Sunday, we cleaned and relaxed and went for long walks. It was kind of the most perfect Sunday ever πŸ™‚
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Did I mention frozen yogurt? Yeah that always makes it a better Sunday πŸ˜‰

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Our wonderful friends who live 3+ hours away came to visit us too! It was a wonderful time hanging out and catching up πŸ™‚ We love seeing friends we haven’t seen in awhile ❀ Thanks for visiting Ashlie and John!

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I hope you all feel the warmth and marvelousness today too πŸ™‚ It’s going to be a beautiful Monday and even more gorgeous week ahead ❀

Peace, xoxo.

Instagram: @apples2abs.fitness

Puppy Thoughts!! 6.9.16

Hey all you people!!

We officially have a beautiful fur baby puppy addition to our home!! Everybody, please meet Baymax. He’s an American Bulldog/ Great Pyrenees mix that we adopted from a rescue here in the Milwaukee area.

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He came home with us on Sunday. And BOY have our lives changed and our lifestyles been enhanced so incredibly.

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Every morning, I let him out first thing and he is adorably groggy, I can’t help myself from snuggling him constantly and contemplating staying home from work! πŸ™„ Patrick lets him out over lunch and I get him after work. Hearing his wiggly body and excited tail wagging when we come home is such a hilarious and wonderful sound!

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He has been exploring around our yard, front and back, and has found his favorite sniffing spots, has met our neighbor dogs, and is getting quickly acclimated to his new home πŸ’š

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We adopted him from a wonderful rescue called JR pups n’ stuff. And his foster family had him for two weeks before we got to bring him to his furever home with us πŸ’š

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This is seriously going to be one of the best summers we’ve ever had, because he can come with us to all our fun events!! And he has already met some of our friends and of course, #rockstar 😊

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Obviously aside from all our puppy adorableness that we’ve been living in, I’ve been keeping up with my yoga poses and challenges. Follow my IG for updates too! πŸ™‚ @apples2abs.fitness. Good stuff, folks πŸ™‚

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My sister and her boyfriend also came in last weekend to partake in the 45-mile bike ride that helps the fundraiser for the United Performing Arts Fund. Manda and I rode together the whole time and STOCKED UP on granola bars like we were getting paid for it.

Patrick and Erik did their guy thing and raced each other. Byeeee.

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We got to ride up this HUGE bridge, ride back down, and then yes, turn around and ride right back up said huge bridge. It was a beautiful view though and luckily, since I just bought a new bike, my legs didn’t TOTALLY hate me after πŸ™‚

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I hope you all have a beautiful week and are ready for all the puppy love we’re going to be throwing your way! πŸ™‚

Peace, xoxo.

Teamed up with Amanda over at Running with Spoons!