I’m Shannon, you may know me by my social media handle, be short run ultra. If you were to meet me out on a trail or at an event, it would be easy to recognize me because I’m petite. There are pros and cons to being my height verse an average person’s height when it comes to endurance running. A couple of positives: I’m light and nimble on my feet; my center of gravity is closer to the ground, which gives me good balance; my legs have a higher turnover; closer to the ground when I fall. Disadvantages: I take twice as many steps to cover the same distance; climbs are rough.
I became a runner in 2010, around the time I began dating my husband, Stephen. He was an avid fast runner (5k-26.2mi) and I wasn’t the biggest fan of running or his “long” runs, because they took away time we could spend together. Through my many mental and physical battles, he continued to encourage my running. He did his best to be patient, as I was turtle pace (with side cramps) and he could easily crank out an 8:00 min/mi.
Fast forward through an injury and stuff newb runners deal with, my first marathon was the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon, D.C.. I liked it, I had fun, but I’ll probably never participate in a road marathon again, unless I’m doing it for charity. The event was too crowded and annoying on several levels. I hated it. There are many more reasons for why I prefer trail races over road. My next race was on trail. Spring, 2016, The North Face Endurance Challenge, D.C.. It was a marathon. I found the grind and pain quite attractive. November, 2016, I ran my first ultramarathon, JFK 50 miler. It was love, I discovered what I’d do for however long I could do it for. Ever since, I’ve been focusing on improving and building upon the 50+ mile distance. Ultrarunning is my lifestyle. I admit that I’m probably addicted to it, and I somewhat enjoy the pain and suffering that comes along with it.
Fun, random facts: I’m a mental health counselor, specializing helping people to understand and better manage anxiety; I’m a National Certified Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor. I specialize in treating anxiety and working with endurance athletes. I also help people address trauma and eating disorders. What I do as a counselor is all clinical work. I own and operate Finish Stronger Counseling. For coaching, I am a mindset coach for endurance runners and athletes. This is a non-clinical service that you can find more on here. I started the mindset coaching business, Finish Stronger Mindset Coaching, in order to reach more people, as mental health for athletes needs to be a priority; One of my dreams is to compete and complete in the World’s Toughest Footrace, Badwater 135 (maybe more than once); Cat person; I love tarantulas; I listen to heavy rock, some metal; I’m vegan; Family is important.
My intentions with this blog / website are: to inspire and encourage people; reach runners and athletes who want to improve their mindset mental wellness at home and while racing; share ultra crazy things; use this as personal therapy and a way to unwind.
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Be Short Run Ultra
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” ~ Jeremiah 29:11