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˜‰


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. ❀


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™‚


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™‚


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!? 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!


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,Β Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon


Run, Swim, Yoga.

This morning was rough. I woke up and it was dark outside. My group workout turned into a solo one. And I was tired. Real tired.

But I told myself LET’S GO, and got my butt to the gym. I was dogging on the drive over, wondering how my workout would eventually go, and if I would even complete what I set out to do when I got there.

I ran hard. I swam hard. and I poolside yoga’ed hard. And today is a great day. πŸ™‚

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Make the best of every single morning, because one day, it won’t be so easy. It won’t be so positive. And you will STILL have to push yourself to get to that happy point. I am so glad I got up and ran my 3 miles, swam my 1/4 mile, and did my 20 minutes of poolside yoga. Β I’m ready to make THIS day another great day πŸ™‚

What brings you zen? What makes YOUR day better when you’re having a rough start? ❀

Peace, xoxo.


PS – here’s my wonderful adorable dog Buddy who ALWAYS makes me smile when he stalks bunnies from our family room window.

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Birthday Trip: Lotsa Snapshots from NOLA

While scrolling through my phone pictures, I realized I collected a great deal more memories than I first thought from our trip to Louisiana, so I’m going to snapshot highlights from our trip for you ❀ Summaries, ya know.Β Should I use bullet points…?

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Getting dropped off at the airport.

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First day walking tour of the French Quarter.

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Dinner our first night ❀

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Found the Court of Two Sisters on our run!

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Crow on Canal Street! After our run on Day 2.

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Jackson Square Selfie!

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Checking out the French Market.


Old New Orleans Distillery Tour.

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Gumbo for lunch πŸ™‚

Steamboat Natchez dinner cruise at night, with live jazz music, I might add πŸ™‚

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Shots from our 11-mile, 90 degree run on my birthday. We just couldn’t resist!

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Jazzzzzzy Shan! I had a musical moment.

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This guy… πŸ™‚ ❀

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Pit stop on our double decker bus tour in the afternoon!

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Oh, and this SCRUMPTIOUS dessert that night.

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Our WWII museum experience. You MUST go if you are in New Orleans. It’s really beautiful and has a very comprehensive explanation of the events that took place during this time.

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After lunch, we played a few games of cards, and packed our things to head to the airport. It was a WHIRLWIND of a vacation – so much FUN packed into four days. Thank you, love, for a once-in-a-lifetime trip πŸ™‚ Cheers to many more!

Also, last night, we went to a friend’s house for dinner (shout out Hannahhhh! πŸ˜‰ ) and she cooked us some DA-LISH-US pizzas. From scratch I might add.

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And here are some shots from my workouts Sunday through today.

Sunday – 3 mile run with Patrick in Chicago.
Monday – Upper body workout, abs, and yoga.
This morning – 6 mile run. Which I needed after all that pizza πŸ˜‰

photo 2 (5) photo 3photo 3 (5)I hope you all get to see New Orleans sometime in your lives! It’s truly a beautiful historical city and I can’t wait to head back for more fun and FOOD! πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful day,

Peace, xoxo.