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Vanessa Shawver's Blog (42)

Big Sur Marathon Report

In July 2017, I joined a group hoping to get into the Big Sur marathon via team lottery. Since they needed people and I was already preparing for the Pikes Peak marathon, it seemed like a harmless idea at the time. I even signed my husband up thinking that if we went, it would at least be a nice California vacation for us both. A week later, to my surprise…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on May 6, 2018 at 3:59pm — No Comments

Conquering the Resistance

I have a marathon in approximately 30 days and I’ve run less than 20 miles in the last month. While that sounds crazy and I could give you many excuses why my training is so drastically weak, the truth is that I’ve rarely been prepared for any long race I’ve attempted over the years. Is it because I’m lazy or unmotivated? Perhaps, at times. But I believe it’s more likely due to a routine, unconscious desire to create this deficit for myself so that I am forced to continually face fear and…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on March 26, 2018 at 11:11am — No Comments

Moving (Up) Mountains

I’ve watched them run down the last stretch of Ruxton Avenue for years, bloodied, battered, and sometimes limping but almost always with a big smile. Having run a few marathons myself, I usually recognize a runner’s smile once the finish line is in sight, but for these individuals, everything seems to slow down and magnify in that home stretch like none other. Their strides seem longer, the cheering louder, the colors brighter and even the thin mountain air seems denser with excitement and…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on March 15, 2017 at 4:58pm — 1 Comment

Just Because It's a Bad Idea Doesn't Mean It Won't Be Fun!

Go ahead and admit it, we’ve all done some stupid things before.  Some of you may recall childhood memories of trying to “fly” off your roof with an open umbrella to more creative endeavors as a college student powered by the sweet allure of cheap beer or even more recently as a young adult in your first…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on September 7, 2016 at 2:05pm — No Comments

Xterra 20K Trail Run Review

About six weeks ago I came across a friend’s Facebook post for the Xterra Trail Run…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on August 8, 2016 at 3:00pm — No Comments

The Ugly Duckling

Coming off last year’s unsuccessful attempt at a Boston Marathon Qualifying time, I find myself…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on May 10, 2016 at 10:30am — No Comments

There's my Purpose! Where the Hell Have You Been?

I’m not sure what’s going around these days, but it seems like many folks seem to be suffering from a slump that started at the end of 2015. I am no exception as I spent most of last year trying to qualify for the Boston Marathon where I came up short in September with a 3:58 when I needed a 3:45. It seemed to suck all the motivation right out of me, despite the fact that I…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on April 1, 2016 at 2:21pm — No Comments

Running for Resilience

Being a runner, I have tremendous appreciation for volunteers and also believe that everyone should aspire to be one as often as you can. I’ve received my share of kindness from many friends and strangers over the years, so I try to return the favor by paying it forward whenever I can. That is one reason I became a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for Children of the…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on March 15, 2016 at 7:57pm — No Comments

I'm Not Dead Yet

We’re now over two months in and the 2016 Inaugural Brewers’ Cup competition is still on fire as our runners continue to set record attendance at all Pikes Peak Road Runner races, are frequently found monopolizing the awards podiums, swarming local breweries…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on March 7, 2016 at 3:46pm — No Comments

Slow Poke

I have a problem that I’m betting many of you have as well – I’m really, really busy. Besides my day job to pay the mortgage, my days are filled with side jobs, exercise plans, kid activities, volunteer ventures and even meager attempts to socialize with my friends and husband when I can squeeze it in. While my enthusiasm and passion for so many different hobbies and social activities typically leaves me feeling happy, productive and fulfilled, there are those days when I am simply…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on February 11, 2016 at 1:00pm — No Comments

The Great Equalizer

Audrey MacDonald, is an energetic, fiery woman with a wide smile, bright eyes, strong opinions and a penchant for the spotlight. Born in 1929, she was raised on a dairy farm in Connecticut, where she tended to buck the stereotype of girls of her age, running alongside the boys and joining the Army against her mother’s wishes as soon as she graduated high school. She talks…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on January 21, 2016 at 5:30am — No Comments

2016 Inaugural Brewers' Cup

For 2016, I had this crazy idea to start something called the Brewers’ Cup. The premise was simply to find other folks who loved beer and running as much as I do and make it a little competition. I had an inkling that there were a good number of people who might want to play along, but I had no idea that that number would explode to 19 teams of 15 runners each, with a waiting list that expands every day since we’ve started the competition two days ago.

I didn’t do very well in high…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on January 3, 2016 at 6:03am — No Comments

Crushing the Desert of Despair

I've been told that if you can't define success, then it's impossible to achieve. That is why I take a deep look within myself before setting any lofty goals. I believe it's important to understand why I've set those particular goals and what I'm specifically trying to achieve. Success for me has always been defined as the fulfillment of my soul.

Several months back I set a goal to qualify for Boston by running the Big Cottonwood marathon in Salt Lake City. For a 43-year-old woman,…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on September 14, 2015 at 9:00pm — No Comments

Does King Kong Wear Nikes?

There are exactly 19 days to what I feel like will be my first marathon. Sure, I’ve actually done two before, but I didn’t train for either, trotted along with no regard for time and even stopped for beer at various points along the way. My best time was four hours and forty fun minutes. This time, it’s much, much different.

This time, I’ve terrifyingly publicized my goal of attempting to qualify for the Boston marathon,…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on August 24, 2015 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Tales from the Mountain: Sweat, Blood and Stale Beer

After bagging my second Pikes Peak Ascent this weekend, I find myself in a familiar predicament where I walk around swearing that I will NEVER do that race again. Not because it was particularly bad (I actually even had a little bit of fun), but purely because I’m reminded how…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on August 17, 2015 at 3:00pm — No Comments

The 4 R's (Run, Read, Write & Relax)

There are only 39 days until I make an attempt to earn a Boston Qualifying time and 11 days until the Pikes Peak Ascent. I've put in tons of work over the last few months, managed at least a half marathon at my qualifying pace, and suffered through the Barr Trail Mountain Race to…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on August 4, 2015 at 2:53pm — No Comments

Summer (Turna) Roundup

As June fades away and July is upon us, the Summer Round Up looms on my calendar in giant red letters -  my easy, at-a-glance method for identifying upcoming races. This race, the second of the Triple Crown series, is always tough because the course has never been the same for me and this year is no exception. It's hard to prepare for what seems to be the grab bag of races, but I suppose the mystery of the course can either relieve…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on June 30, 2015 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Lighting the Griswold Christmas House

It’s no secret that the last few years of my little running hobby have been fairly lackluster and ordinary. At times, I’ve actually had short bursts of enthusiasm lasting a couple of hours, or even a day or two but mostly I’d slump back into mediocrity, satisfied with my life on the sofa or at the brewery instead of out on the trails challenging or improving myself like I had in years past. For those that know me, I tend to be a bit…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on June 23, 2015 at 1:00pm — No Comments

Thelma & Louise LIVE!

Encouraged by my friend, Jaclyn, I registered for the Thelma & Louise Half-Marathon a few months back mostly because I loved the movie, it sounded like a fun race and I’ve never been to Moab, so why not? Somewhere between registering and the actual race, I got a wild idea of trying to qualify for Boston at the Big Cottonwood Marathon in Salt Lake City in September.…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on June 9, 2015 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

My Little Muse

I’ve said many times that one of my biggest joys is running with my kids. My two teenagers have decided they really aren’t into the sport anymore, but my youngest, 11-year-old Eric, still loves the challenge and is willing to join me on my running…


Added by Vanessa Shawver on May 29, 2015 at 11:00am — No Comments

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