My guest today is a lady that fully embraces the online running community.
She recently ran her first marathon with the support of countless friends she finally got to meet in real life.
I am looking forward to going a few easy miles with Shannon Alsheimer today!
A Late Bloomer
Shannon Alsheimer is a self-described “late bloomer” in running.
While growing up, she was focused on cheerleading and would only run when forced.
It wasn’t until January 2020, that running entered Shannon’s life.
She wanted to get in better shape and decided that running was the simplest way to do that.
Shannon followed the popular Couch to 5k (C25k) running program.
It didn’t take her long to fall in love with the sport.
Prior to 2020, Shannon had a rough few years and running provided a good escape.
A few months later when the pandemic struck, it affected the trajectory of her running.
Looking back on her early days of running, Shannon thinks that the pandemic helped her stick with running.
She, like so many others, was homeschooling her children and running provided some much needed “her” time.
As Shannon was running more, she began to do more virtual races.
The races provided motivation and something to look forward to.
Shannon also came across an app (no longer available) that provided a community of other runners.
Running didn’t come easy to Shannon, so it was helpful to share experiences with others.
In the early stages, she ran every run too hard which eventually resulted in a stress fracture.
Coming Back Stronger
Shannon’s injury came a mere 8 months into her running journey.
After her diagnosis, she realized all the things she should have been doing all along.
Once she was cleared to begin adding in exercise, she began with strength training, stretching, and foam rolling.
In total Shannon was out with injury for 3 months before she was able to run again.
During those 3 months of no running, Shannon and her family realized how much she needed the sport for her mental health.
Shannon still managed to complete a virtual race during that time.
She was doing the race for a charity that was near to her heart and didn’t want to not do it.
Rather than run, she opted to bike the miles for her race.
The charity Shannon has fundraised for multiple times now is ALS One.
Shannon’s husband’s family has a lot of ties with ALS.
They have seen up close what the disease can do and they wanted to contribute in any way possible.
ALS One is an organization that focuses on research in the hopes of one day finding a cure.
Shannon saw all the good that ALS One has done for her family as well as countless others.
She has run Falmouth Road Race three times as a charity runner.
This past year, both Shannon and her husband together raised ten thousand dollars for ALS One.
Shannon has found that raising money for a charity is often harder than running the actual race.
A Donna Tradition
The first half marathon that Shannon ran was the Donna half in February of 2021.
The race takes place in Florida and she almost didn’t even make it to the start.
Shannon and her husband were flying out of Boston, but bad weather almost halted their plans.
Due to a lot of luck, Shannon was able to go ahead with her plans.
The weather was less than ideal, but Shannon wouldn’t let anything bring her down.
She enjoyed the experience so much that in May of 2022, she decided to sign up for the full.
Prior to starting the training, Shannon hired a coach and added in strength training.
Her training cycle was nearly flawless leading up to the race.
No Longer Underestimating Herself
Race day came and Shannon was shocked that throughout all 26.2 miles, she never hit a wall.
The Donna Marathon weekend is quickly becoming a tradition for Shannon and her family.
Another marathon is likely in her future.
Shannon isn’t ruling the Marine Corps Marathon and/or the Dopey Challenge in Disney.
Currently, she is training for the Falmouth Road Race again as a charity runner.
Even though she enjoys the racing piece that isn’t the top reason why Shannon continues to run.
Running helps with her mental health along with raising money for a cause that’s important.
She likens running to a spool of yarn, that she can untangle while she’s out there.
Mentioned In This Episode:
Stay connected with Shannon Alsheimer by following her on Instagram.
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