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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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™‚

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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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Life Lately 4.21.17

Hi everyone! Checking in because this week has been such a fantastic and fun week, I have so much to share πŸ™‚

Firstly, last Saturday, Patrick, my dad and I all ran the inaugural Brew City Half Marathon in Milwaukee – I think it went pretty dang well! The course is very similar to every single Milwaukee half marathon course (haha) so I knew everywhere we were running and what to expect, which is always a plus πŸ™‚

Patrick and I finished together, so I’m hoping we have another SWEET finish line photo! Finish time of 2:25!!  My dad was just shortly after us – he always likes meeting new people on his long runs and talks their ear off and gives them running and life advice πŸ™‚

I saw my childhood friend from grade school too – April!

It was a really fun first year and I think they did a fairly good job putting on the race! Aside from running out of water at mile 11 and having gross beer/brats at the end of the race (but that’s just me). The medals are HUGE and claim to be the “tallest” medals for any half marathon. I’ll take that!

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And of course, yoga is going really well. Here are some of my favorites from the last few weeks:

**I have also started a push up challenge for myself to 100 per day. Check my Instagram, I post hilarious videos that show how much I’m dying HAHA. πŸ™‚

Sunday was Easter, of course, and we (as always) got Easter baskets from both our mom and dad, filled with candy, and of course, most of that candy is gone already in less than a week. THIS is why I don’t buy candy haha! It disappears in our apartment πŸ™‚

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Always love getting a great picture of my family during the holidays when everyone looks so nice πŸ™‚

Patrick (and a little bit on my end) has been DOMINATING the cooking scene the last few months too, and I just can’t get enough of how awesome our food looks on our new plates haha!

Turkey burgers with sweet potato fries.

Chicken thighs with asparagus wrapped in bacon and crescent rolls.

We may or may not have gotten a huge sushi boat last week too. More on that celebration in another post… πŸ˜‰

And yes, for those who have asked, Baymax is doing SO good. He’s the most perfect puppy, and he OFFICIALLY is over 100 lbs at 14 months old πŸ™‚ He’s so energetic and fun (not pictured above) and clearly loves napping and sleeping and any general relaxing with us after all the running and playing we do every day!

Life really is good right now you guys. Things are flowing, decisions are being made, the energy is bright and exciting, not to mention the beautiful weather we’ve had lately which makes me even MORE anxious for summer. πŸ™‚ I really can’t complain about one thing.

Happy Friday everybody! I hope you all are able to enjoy this last weekend in April!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately 4.3.2017

It’s Monday again. It’s a new month.Β There’s so much to be thankful for this Spring πŸ™‚

I haven’t written in awhile, and I’d like to tell you it’s because I’ve been too busy (which is partially true). Truthfully, I have definitely had “free time” on the weekends to jot down ideas and thoughts on what to put in my blog, but I didn’t do it. I took that time to snuggle with my puppy, watch Bones on Netflix (of which I really can’t get enough), and cook/ go on walks with my love. It has been a roller coaster of a month to be sure!

I have been so in tune with my yoga practice, and this feeling is unlike any I’ve felt before. I am not stressed. Literally you guys, lately, my stress is virtually nonexistent. I have changed many aspects of my life and how I spend my time since the beginning of this year, and so far, every decision has been one that benefits me. I can feel the positive effects so strongly and immediately.

We go for daily walks as a family (me, Patrick and Bay) and have been LOVING this warmer weather. Sundays, we walk for 3-5 miles in the morning with coffee and sometimes stop for donuts if we are so inspired πŸ™‚

I have been getting better quality sleep, and have allowed myself to sleep more on the weekends (instead of getting up early like I usually do). I have been eating more natural proteins and SO many veggies; not to mention very little processed or preservative-filled foods. And my alcohol consumption is significantly reduced too. I go to the gym every weekday morning, and I always listen to my body regarding when it needs rest or when I’m feeling exceptionally strong that day.

I’ve been frequenting my yoga studio a few blocks away once or twice per week, in addition to my own personal practice. I am so excited to feel strength building in my upper body and that I’m able to hit more arm balances and ones that usually require more flexibility. This yoga journey has been incredible so far!

Long weekend runs are going pretty well. I’m running more than 8 miles every Saturday, in preparation for half marathons that we have in April and May. Then marathon training starts in June of course. And that is something I am SO excited for (ironic, I know). I saw so many of my friends and other local runners talking about running the Lakefront Marathon last year and I had a severe case of FOMO so I am so excited to be part of that training this year again! πŸ™‚

Patrick and I are settling in so nicely in our neighborhood and are excited to stay in this area for another year. We love the quiet calm that’s here, and we love all the dogs and runners and families too! It’s such a great fit for us and our chill, yet still active, lifestyles. My bearded, wonderful, incredibly selfless man is the best person I could’ve asked for to grow with and travel with and see the world with. I am so incredibly lucky ❀

Love those around you. Hug your puppies more. Hold hands with your friends and significant others. Drink more tea and sleep more. Let your body be your temple, and allow your heart to pour love into everything you do. ❀

Just like Bay does every day πŸ˜‰

Peace friends, xoxo.

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

Life Lately 2.6.17

Back to the cold Wisconsin weather again. My family, boyfriend, and I were just in Orlando Florida this past weekend for four days of sun, Disney, and relaxation. It was badly needed by all and I am so grateful for the family time we had there.

Patrick and I also celebrated our two year anniversary of dating on Saturday ❀ My heart swells and smiles so brightly when I see him. I can’t believe its only been two years – I was convinced it was closer to 5 but was immediately corrected πŸ˜‰ Looking forward to spending our whole lives together, so 2 is just a drop in our love bucket πŸ™‚

Focusing my energy this week on maintaining a healthy lifestyle, eating simply, and getting back into the groove of my workout plan. Vacations always make my life topsy turvy, switching around my workouts and eating foods I raaaaarely would agree to eat. But moderation is what life is all about – and that’s how we can continue living happy lives, while loving our bodies simultaneously. It’s not easy to come back home and swing back to healthy eating and waking up at 4:40am to workout before work, but I know that my body craves the attention and the care it deserves. Dedication and consistent care. That’s what my body loves and what I will always focus on giving it.

While on our trip together, I tried to only use my phone for pictures. I miss the old school 35 mm cameras and the camcorders my dad used to carry around on our trips to capture precious family moments, but those times are slowly easing away, introducing cell phones as the new “moment-captor”. I’m becoming slowly okay with this, although on vacation, I really do love not touching my phone for hours at a time. It’s a detox in its own right, and I need to have more of these detoxes around the house and through my regular day-to-day as well. It feels good to feel light, not carrying the weight of the world and the sadness and arguments that could come with checking my phone every hour. I don’t need that. No one needs that. Let’s tech detox more πŸ™‚
Also living in gratitude for the opportunity to travel as much as I/we do. We obviously value travel over spending our money in other ways, but the fact that we have flexible work schedules and always have a puppy babysitter (thanks Mom!) gives us way more peace of mind ❀ Seeing the world has always been a huge goal of mine – I have wanted to see every single corner of the earth since I was a kid! My dad instilled the wander lust deep in me since he took us to all kinds of states and countries growing up – the newness and excitement and exploration that comes with seeing a new city is mesmerizing. And I’m totally addicted to the journey and the destination simultaneously πŸ™‚

Have a wonderful Monday my friends, Peace to you!

xoxo, Shannon

Instagram: @fitnessbyshannon

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

MIMM: Fourth Full of Family Fun!

MiMM

Thanks for being MARVELOUS you guys ❀

I have so much to talk about regarding the weekend, so I’m going to minimize the chatter, and post the photos with just a few words each. So much family fun, and I hope you all enjoyed the weekend as well! Cheers!

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Dave Matthews with Sarah at Summerfest

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Delicious froyo treats with Natalie on Thursday

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3rd of July Fireworks at the Lakefront

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Firecracker Four run with my dad and sisters

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My sister Manda posing with the best puppy ever, Gus.

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Attempting to pogo stick. Yeah…. definitely not as easy as I thought!

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At-home fireworks Friday night!

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Painting my kitchen on Saturday!

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Delicious lunch Manda made for us. Cauliflower mash with sauteed shrimp.

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Color Run Volunteers on Sunday morning. Go Team Blue!

IMG_20140706_09024720140706_104152My dad…. in the fray. AKA – Papa Smurf!!

Such a busy, productive, and fun-filled weekend. Can’t wait to see what next weekend brings, and I’m really looking forward to this warm, humid weather we’re expecting πŸ™‚ Happy Monday y’all! Peace & Love, xoxo.

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Twitter: @skdunne444