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


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 1.29.17

Good morning Sunday πŸ™‚

This morning, I got up early, took Baymax out, made some black chai tea, and sat down with our LED fireplace on… and journaled. Handwritten in this new beautiful notebook I got. For the first time in years. Probably since just before dating Patrick – which will be two years in 6 days by the way!

It felt so wonderful, so freeing, and I didn’t worry about punctuation or misspelling or even super legible writing. I kept thinking of my Grandma, who recently passed away – she always told us that when she wrote letters or typed on her typewriter, she didn’t care about any of those “unnecessary things” like spelling and grammar and punctuation. I wrote from my heart, about whatever came to mind. Similar to how I write in my blogs but more free-flowing, uninhibited.

After sipping some tea and journaling, I went to my yoga class I’ve grown to love so much. I’ve gone 3 Sundays in a row, and I am learning so much about the flow of my body and re-aligning and figuring out what works best for me. I’m learning to transition! That is such an awesome feeling, learning to flow from one pose to another, instead of just sticking random poses and stretching in my home practice. Probably one of my absolute favorite parts of being part of a class and community lately. Yoga is really becoming an amazing outlet for me to appreciate my body, feel it move, and learn how to push it slightly further but still listening to its restraints ❀

I also have been coloring in my new coloring book, as I’m sure many of you have noticed πŸ™‚ Another incredible creative outlet that I’ve always loved to do. Just me and 50 sharpened colored pencils, with blank pages with outlines of flowers, nature scenes, and motivational quotes. ❀

I also started half marathon training this week! I ran 5 days this week, 3 miles a day. The first day was ROUGH. I am still learning to re-listen to my body, trying to recall muscle memory and re-build my stamina since my last half in August 2016. I’m actually very excited for this part of training; it’s such an incredible journey watching your body grow and your heart rate stay steady and your muscles get stronger with each training run. My first half of this year is the first weekend in April, then I have another the 2nd weekend in April, and finally the 3rd weekend in May. Here we go! πŸ™‚

I also just bought the greatest new book, Eating withΒ  Intention by Cassandra Bodzak. This is exactly the mantra I have set for myself for this year. Doing everything in my life with intention – – moving, eating, recovering – everything that my body needs to do, I’m learning to do it with purpose. I just started reading the book, and it’s incredible already. She includes meditations and recipes for eating to love your body. Mostly vegan/vegetarian recipes too. Learning to fuel your body with nutrients instead of just convenient foods or giving in to the guilty pleasures that we ALL have. Having a craving is not a bad thing; it happens to every single person. Acting on every craving and giving in to all desires does not bode well for your body, and we must live with some discipline and love for our temples instead. I’ll keep you posted on what else I learn πŸ™‚

I hope everybody is having a fantastic 2017 thus far! Patrick, my sister Mandaline, and I all take off this coming Thursday morning early for 4 beautiful days in Orlando Florida with our family for a little weekend getaway. Can’t wait for some sun and Epcot and relaxation ❀

Have a beautiful Sunday loves!

Peace, 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


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


Changes and Goals and Life Lately 1.12.2016

Oh how things have changed since I last wrote a blog! The holidays were wonderful, and I got to see so many friends and family to celebrate the end of the year as well.

We rang in 2016 with friends, dancing, and me actually staying up past midnight πŸ™‚ And I wouldn’t have had it any other way!

After the New Year, the next few days FLEW by, with no work and getting ready for our trip to Washington DC for Patrick’s birthday! We relaxed (to the max), planned some stuff for this year, talked about resolutions, and before we knew it we were heading out for our road trip, with 12 hours of driving ahead of us.

Before I get to our trip highlights, might I just say that since the new year, I have been on a relaxation train, and I have had an up and down relationship with it.Β Anyone with me? Do I plan a whole day of things to do? Do I just sit and watch Netflix? Nap? Cook? Workout? Make up errands? Netflix??

I have been trying to work on mindfulness, and allowing myself to feel peace so my brain can actually settle for a minute or two every day. Easier said than done. I’m used to flying around a million miles a minute, checking off 50 things on my agenda daily, and coming home to eat and pass out and be fully satisfied with my day. So, this major change is coming very welcomed but also… now what? #thestruggleisreal

Aside from having a large amount of downtime now (with my real estate internship coming to a close at the end of the year), I have so many goals I want to SMASH this year. Starting with obtaining my personal training certification [finally]. I am taking my exam this month, and have been [ahem] trying to study as much as I can. Meaning….. I have picked up my book twice and moved it closer to my bed in the last month. So, this should be fun! Haha…

I also have goals for running – go figure. Patrick and I signed up for his first/my third marathon! IN MAY. That’s just about 5 months away people, so COMMENCE TRAINING…NOW! I can’t believe he decided to run one with me, and I am THRILLED we can take this journey together. Here we go! Let’s see what we can do. #weruntogether

I also want to run my usual assortment of half marathons and 5k’s, maybe some 10k’s in there. But this time, I want to try and travel a bit more. I love our local Milwaukee runs, but I love traveling just as much; SO, we are going to try and experience new cities and find new and exciting causes and hilarious race names to join! πŸ™‚ CANNOT WAIT.

Yoga challenges and trying new poses has still been a favorite part of my mornings, and I have had some interesting times lately trying some new things, and still working on my handstands. I am SO CLOSE to being able to hold myself up without having a safety net of a wall behind me [just in case I topple] so I can’t wait to nail that goal… like now. πŸ™‚





Which brings me to my most recent trip with Patrick – to D.C.! We drove [because yes we actually like each other that much] and had a blast of a time in the car, singing songs, playing stupid games, and listening to Criminal Minds over Bluetooth in his car (my personal fave).





Our food was obviously a highlight of our trip (as it always is), and Patrick’s birthday, we decided to go to a Belgian restaurant that was in the heart of the city. BOY was it incredible. We had a pork belly appetizer, and he had the special of the night and I had some kind of chicken dish (per usual). Aaaand of course, we got a birthday dessert that was banana cream pie with chocolate peanut butter crust and beignets on the side. MIND BLOWN.


Some of our other treats were pretty exceptional too, and I tried taking pictures of everything we ate. Aside from the fact that I had a white soda, acid reduction pill, and pretzels attached at my hip, our food tour of DC was pretty dang awesome πŸ™‚





We explored many of the museums, and my favorite was the Newseum – I’ve been to DC multiple times and I had never been to this incredible museum. It showcases and explains the fascinating history of creating news; the people, the equipment, the laws involved… I learned so much I had never known about our history, important and big events in and before our lifetimes, as well as what it takes for news crews to deliver crucial updates to the world at any moment. There was an area of the museum dedicated to Pulitzer Prize Photographs – photo journalism is so incredible and heart-breaking to me, with how it can portray such strong emotions and inflict feeling within the viewers. I have to say I teared up reading some descriptions of some photos. They had another section in Newseum that paid tribute to 9/11, one of the most important and largest news events in our lifetime. The videos they had rolling, newspaper covers they had on display, and the huge news antennae from the top of the World Trade Center…all filled every person there with emotion and awe. The news crews were very clearly the unspoken heroes, running towards falling buildings and smoke and fires to show us, the public, what was happening that day.




I’m so happy Patrick had a fun and exciting birthday trip to a new city, and I couldn’t be happier to have shared that time with him. ❀ Can’t wait to see where we go for my birthday this year….

Even though a lot has changed lately, I’m moving soon, looking for a great new career, and working on my physical fitness while attempting new recipes and weaving in vacations/trips, everything is good. I am happy. Good is happy and happy is good. So, I’ll take it, and I can’t wait to see how 2016 goes. I’m ready for some more smiles and memories, dasfasho πŸ™‚


Peace, xoxo.


Hawaiian Vacation [in photos]

Hello?! Anyone out there?? I know it has been SO LONG since I have posted last. Hawaii for 10 days, then working for the weeks after (and trying so hard to keep up with the faster-paced lifestyle here!) pushed back allllll my time to write in my lovely little blog.

I HAVE TIME. Β [kinda] πŸ™‚

So I choose to link with Amanda for Thursday thoughts!

I wanna show you every single detail of what I saw and experienced in Hawaii, but that would be… about 8 blogs’ worth. So, instead, I’ll do a fancy shmancy photo-highlight version for this incredible trip. ❀ Enjoy!

Ready to fly!

10-hour flight, no big deal.

Getting off the plane. In paradise.

Our wonderful hosts’/ friends’ home!


Yoga pose #1 of the trip πŸ˜‰


Our attempt at going for a run, in 80 degrees, strictly uphill.Β IMG_9901

First time EVER snorkeling!! AMAZING!


Gorgeous St. Michael the Archangel church


Ya know, just sitting on some lava tubes from the local volcano.


Exploring the black-lava shorelines and little black crabs.IMG_9917

How gorgeous is this local beach…


Kona Brewing Company Tour! Deliciousss.

Rowing down to Hawaii πŸ™‚


Our stunning views for the whole trip. ❀

Some of our INCREDIBLE meals. The bottom is literally the best fish fry I’ve ever had.

YEAH, we cliff-dived πŸ˜€ HOLY CATS, highlight of my life.

We hiked (and created our own path on) a “lava lake/crater”. Yeah, that was pretty baller.

My favorite hike we went on, on Thanksgiving day. The peace and calm was tangible, and I soaked up as much as I could πŸ™‚

Submarine Journey!! WOAH this was a highlight for me, seeing all those fishies and sharks and ship wreckage down in the ocean!


Our wonderful, selfless, and splendidly fun Ohana. ❀ πŸ™‚


Tour of beautiful Hawaiian sacred land.

My favorite person in the world ❀ Our hiking adventures were unbelievably amazing!

I have DOZENS AND DOZENS more pictures, but for now, this is our amazing, once-in-a-lifetime travel to Hawaii, in a very small nutshell. I hope that you can one day go and see this beautiful paradise. ❀

OH! And how could I forget… our amazing hosts/friends who live in Hawaii (Tony and Kristen) GOT ENGAGED while we were there! Love you both, and many amazing happy years to you ❀ πŸ™‚

Happy happy life, happy happy love, and happy happy peace ❀