Tag Archives: 40 Before 40s

BONUS–Run a Marathon

25 Mar

What?!? When I was 30 and first started writing this blog, one of the items was to run a 10K, so it’s pretty incredible that in a matter of 6 years, that goal has turned into a standard weekday morning occurrence. Now I can proudly say that I’ve done two half-Ironman races and run two marathons.

Running a marathon was never a goal of mine. It seemed pretty silly. Why would anyone want to run for 4ish hours? Half-marathon, no problem, but the full distance just seemed ridiculous.

That was until we decided to sponsor the 2016 New York City Marathon, the biggest and one of the most well-known marathons in the world. My colleague Reed said that we needed to run it because it is a “bucket-list race.” Wasn’t on my bucket list. Somehow though she convinced me this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I shouldn’t pass up. So, I signed up.

I shocked the heck out of my family by taking this big jump. They were so supportive though. My mom even used her Photoshop skills to show me how great I would look running the race… (it’s like a marathon Where’s Waldo)

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I looked online for a training plan that wouldn’t be too aggressive, but would get me to the finish line in one piece. I found a beginner plan from Bart Yasso, former Runner’s World writer known as the “Mayor of Running.” I followed the plan religiously, not missing a day.

Physically I was ready to take on New York, but mentally was another story. I’m just a little bit Type-A (insert sarcasm here), so I did so much research and studying going into the race that I think I psyched myself out. My recommendation for anyone looking to run their first marathon is to be prepared, but don’t overdo it.

In the final days before the race, I was a ball of nerves, but SO excited!

And I had my coach in town to go on one last training run.

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When race day came, my goal was just to finish, that’s it. No lofty time goal. Just survive this thing.

You get to the start line several hours in advance due to road closures, so fortunately I had a bunch of friends from Fitbit to hang out with and help keep the nerves at bay (as much as possible). As unofficial team mom, I also made us matching shirts. 😉

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The time went by fast and before you knew it, we were off. I kept a steady pace and made my way through the 5 boroughs and 26.2 miles.

The crowd along the route was incredible. There were people along almost every inch. It was so inspiring. And best of all, I knew some of them! My mom, dad and Mychael jumped around the course to cheer me on at different points (thank goodness Mychael is an NYC subway expert navigator). My cousin’s even came out to cheer me on in Brooklyn and the Bronx. The signs my friends and family made were amazing and looking for them along the course was a great distraction. I’m so lucky to have such incredible support.

And I DID IT! I finished the race in 4:30:42.

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It was such an incredible experience. Personally, very fulfilling to accomplish such a lofty goal that only 6 years prior seemed outrageous, but also so inspiring to see all the different types of people out there doing the race, pushing through their own personal boundaries to show what they are capable of. 🙌

We spent a few days after the race hanging out in NY and celebrating. We got to see family…

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and as a sidenote, how cute are my parents? (This is the first time they used Snapchat.)

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I enjoyed the experience so much that I ran the race again in 2017. I followed a much more aggressive plan from Very Well to try and improve my time, now that I knew I could do it. I was on track to shave at least 15 minutes off my time from the year before. And as an added bonus, Mychael decided to run with me this year (I think he was having a bit of FOMO after how much fun I had the year before 😜).

Unfortunately, we both got sick in the weeks leading up to the race and our training was thrown off track.

When race day came we were still under the weather, but decided to just go for it any way. We altered our goal from getting a PR (personal record) to just having fun.

We had a bigger Fitbit crew to hang out with before the race.

2017 was MUCH colder than the previous year, but we had great outfits to keep warm at the start.

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We stopped in mile 1 to take a selfie on the Verrazano Bridge.

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Mychael stopped again around the 10-mile point to take a bourbon shot with this supportive fan.

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We stopped to take pics with our friend Jessica just past the halfway point.

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Needless to say, we were taking our time. But we did it. Between the weather (Mychael took off his shirt and rung it out at one point) and being sick, we were happy just to finish.

Even though we were forced to change our goal, we had a lot of fun running together and it was a different experience this year to take the time to enjoy all the different sights and sounds of each borough.

I don’t know if I’ll ever run New York again, but these experiences have awoken a new love for running. Chicago 2019, here I come!

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#27 Buy a Condo/House

19 Jan

Yeah, that’s right…I think this officially makes me a grown-up. On March 23, 2017, we bought a house!

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Now, when I first put this on the list I figured I’d be buying a house in LA on my own, hence the “condo/” addition. But, like I said, I’ve been working on #39, so now I have a partner in all these important life moments.

When we made the big move from Santa Monica to San Francisco in March 2015, we looked to rent an apartment/condo similarly sized to our place in LA. We had an amazing thing going in Santa Monica – 3 bedroom, 2 bath, walking distance to the beach – so we knew it wouldn’t be quite the same, but we had no idea what we were in for up in the Bay Area. We ended up finding a 2 bedroom, 1 bath in the outskirts of the city for 150% what we were paying in LA.

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We were optimistic and we were still walking/riding distance to the beach, but we had to trade in our bathing suits for sweatshirts. We quickly came to learn though that the city wasn’t the place for us. The weather was just such a downer.

In spring 2016, we came to the realization that for the amount we were paying to rent a condo in the city, we could buy a house in the East Bay. So in July we started casually looking. We weren’t really ready to buy, but we wanted to see what was out there and what we could realistically afford.

We looked at houses in “up-and-coming” areas of Oakland, but it didn’t exactly feel safe and some of the spaces were…creative.

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We looked at a “fixer-upper” in Piedmont and after that decided to add walls and floors to our checklist.

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We worked our way further and further from San Francisco and finally stumbled on a cute city called Concord. Concord is up-and-coming in a much less scary way than Oakland. It’s older and some houses could use some work, but you don’t need to get a concealed carry permit to walk alone at night. 😉

We kept casually looking for a couple of months and then had one lucky weekend where we found not one, but two houses we loved! That was a Saturday. By Tuesday we had a real estate agent, a mortgage broker, we were pre-approved for a loan and we put in an offer. Everything happened SO fast!

After a little bit of negotiation (while I was in NY for work) and beating out 11 other offers, we got the place! It was the most exhilarating and, at the same time, scary experience of my life. But now we’re proud homeowners and, added bonus, turns out Mychael is quite the handy-man. 😃

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We’re almost ready to have people over, so get ready for the housewarming/1-year anniversary party, coming soon!

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#39 Find my Soul Mate, Fall in Love and Get Married–Part 1

16 Jan

Well obviously I can’t completely check this one off the list yet, but I’ve made a ton of progress. This is actually a really lofty, three-part goal, of which I’m two thirds of the way done, so I figured it was worth a shout out. As probably the most important item on the list (or perhaps tied with #40, but I’ll let you know about that when I get there), needless to say it has taken a lot of time. This is perhaps the reason I took a four-year hiatus from this whole blogging thing.

You may remember the cute trainer that was introduced while I was checking #4 off the list (run a 10K). Well, I bought a Groupon for bootcamp classes, set out to get in shape and run a fun little race, but ended up joining a triathlon team, finding my soul mate and switching some things up that would completely change the trajectory of my life.

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(Best triathlon coach award…yeah, I ordered that trophy)

Mind you, I didn’t know how to swim and only owned a beach cruiser, but that didn’t stop me. Workout all the time? Sure, trainer Mychael. Join a triathlon team and nearly drown on the first day of swim practice? No biggie, Mychael. Dedicate all my free time to a sport I’d never really heard of before? Whatever you say, Mychael. Love is weird like that…it makes you do crazy things and at the time they make total sense.

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I knew instantly that he was the one. My roommate at the time, Beatrice Guapo, can attest to that. We watched a video of Mychael online the day before my first bootcamp class and I told her I was going to date him (I obviously couldn’t have done this blog post back then…crazy girl alert!!).

Now on his end, it wasn’t so quick. It took a long, painful year for me to wear him down and convince him it was ok to date a client. That people wouldn’t think he was a sleazy trainer because well, everyone already thought we were dating anyway!

Separate from the love element though, meeting Mychael really was the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I started really enjoying working out and built a strong professional interest in sports and fitness that has shaped both my career and personal life.

Fast forward five years and here we are. I’m happier than I ever dreamed I could be. It’s something that’s incredibly difficult to put into words, but Mychael makes every day a little bit better. He’s the only one that can make me smile in any situation…and he does.

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I’ve always aspired to have a relationship like my parents…married over 40 years and still madly in love…grab a quick kiss in the kitchen sort of love (something I thought was so gross when I was a kid). My mom always told me that their love grew over the years and I shouldn’t expect to be that close to someone right away. Well, after a year as Mychael’s client and best friend, 5 years as his girlfriend and a few months as his fiancé, I have a good idea what she was talking about. I can’t wait to become Mrs. Shannon.

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To be continued…

BONUS–Flying Trapeze Training

15 Jan

This one is a little old, but still worthy of a post. On October 11, 2013, my good friends Beatrice Guapo, Sarah Arvizo and I decided to take a flying trapeze class. I’m not at all afraid of heights, but when you get up there on the platform and have to actively jump off, I’m not sure how anyone would be completely fearless.
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It’s a short lesson with very little instruction and then you’re strapped in and ready to go. You climb up the rickety ladder and up onto a platform. The worker pulls over the trapeze and then 1-2-3, you jump. It’s that easy.

We got to do it several times and on our final turn we completed a complex move where you hang upside-down, let go and grab onto another person’s hands on the other trapeze. It’s a little difficult to explain, so check me out in this video.

Not necessarily something I ever thought I would do, but we had so much fun and I was so proud of myself for sticking that last run. Circus Circus here I come!

BONUS–Ring the Bell at the NYSE

15 Jan

As I get older (and wiser), I’ve realized that this list is ever-changing. Things that used to be really important to me are no longer even a consideration and amazing new opportunities keep coming my way. Because of that, I’ve decided to add some bonus posts to highlight the cool things I’ve been up to that weren’t even a consideration when I started this blog 6 years ago.

On April 20, 2015, I started working at Fitbit managing all of the celeb/athlete relationships and consumer events…dream job! This also marked a career shift for me from public relations to marketing, which I couldn’t be happier about. It was a whirlwind start and things haven’t really slowed down since.

On June 18, 2015, just short of 2 months after my start date, Fitbit went public. Having previously only worked at agencies, I had never been through this before and honestly, I didn’t even understand what it all meant at the time.

Our CMO asked me to oversee our consumer activation, which would be a huge workout on Wall St. in front of the NYSE. No big deal, just meet everyone at Fitbit and build something really awesome for the most important day in our company’s history….no pressure.

With the help of the incredible marketing team at Fitbit, we put together a kick-ass event that was a huge success. We had 100 people working out with celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak and actress Jordana Brewster in the middle of the day on Wall Street (and we had to turn more people away due to space restrictions). We gave out 5,000 Fitbit teal t-shirts and even nearly caused a riot with so many people trying to get their hands on one.

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The success of the day and the energy from everyone at the company was a huge rush and a great way to start off my time at Fitbit. The even more incredible thing though came earlier that day when a few members of the marketing team had a chance to go up on the platform and ring the bell.

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It was such an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience and I was so proud and honored to be a part of it. It was a moment and a day that I’ll never forget.

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I’m Baaack

15 Jan

Well, it’s been a while. Several years to be more specific. I’ve been working on a lot of things – been putting in a lot of effort on #39, but more on that to come – and even checked some items off the list. So here goes. I’m back and ready to make a dent in this list!IMG_3703

#8 Keep a Plant Alive for Three Months

4 Aug

After a bit of a hiatus, I’m happy to report that I’m back to blogging! I haven’t been completely slacking…I’ve been working on a couple of these more long-term goals, but nothing to cross of the list just yet (stay tuned). In the meantime though I’m going to give one of the most difficult things on here a try – keep a plant alive for 3 months (insert scary theme music here).

I’ve never had much of a green thumb, which is not entirely my fault as I’m pretty sure this is hereditary (I’m looking at you, mom :-)), so this one is going to be tough.

After an impromptu trip to The Home Depot yesterday (yes, my life is very exciting)…

 

I am the proud owner of a Fuchsia plant.

Fuchsia PlantIt has really pretty hot pink and purple flowers that hang down off the branches. There are a bunch of unopened pods, so hopefully soon I’ll have some really beautiful photos to share.

Wish me luck!

Me & Fuchsia Plant

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