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 😉


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 😉

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. ❤


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. 🙂

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!! 🙂


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 😉 I’m in the blue, with the hat, super excited, arms up – you get it 🙂


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 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!? 😀

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 😉 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!


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!


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, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon


Tuesday Tastes: Cinnamon!

Hello, hi, good morning friends! Almost the end of September, everyone – and I hope you’re making the best of this beautiful Fall weather 🙂

Got a beautiful walk in with my family and puppy over the weekend, as well as a solid run in yesterday morning at the gym! #happyShannon over here!

photo 1 (1)photo


So getting to today’s blog theme – I haven’t done a Tuesday Tastes (food-oriented) post in WAY TOO LONG, so starting today I’m holding myself accountable! You people must be starving out there without my compilations of recipes! 😉

Going along with a suggestion from my mom, I’m focusing on a key ingredient in many sweet fall recipes today: Cinnamon.

benefits of cinnamon

One of my favorite spices (mostly because I associate it with smelling wonderfully and the Autumn season), I have found some stellar recipes for y’all to take a look at to maybe incorporate into your Fall cooking this year! Enjoy!

Cinnamon-Caramel-Apple-Energy-Balls-4-titleCinnamon Caramel Apple Energy Bites

Cinnamon Sugar Baked Apple Chips

Honey Cinnamon Roasted Chickpeas

Cinnamon Sugar Sweet Potato Fries

apple cinnamon blondies
Apple Cinnamon Blondies

Healthy Cinnamon and Sugar Apple Muffins

pumpkin chili
Pumpkin Chili

What are some of your favorite uses of cinnamon?
Try some of these recipes and let me know what you think!!

Peace & Love

Let’s connect! 



Twitter: @skdunne444


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 🙂


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 I 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 😉 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!


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! 🙂

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 🙂

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? 🙂 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 🙂 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

Let’s connect! 



Twitter: @skdunne444