Running The Colorado Half Marathon: A Memorable Mom/Son Weekend

Back in January, when I opened our calendar for 2017, I slightly majorly gulped looking at our May events. For the record, I’m old school and still have the flip-style paper calendar hanging in our pantry. I’m a creature of habit and I’m used to walking in there every morning to brew my cup of coffee on our Keurig and glance at the month’s events scribbled down in those little black squares. Anyone relate?

This is a year of big changes for our family, exciting events, milestones, and achievements.  Four BIG “events” were scribbled on the calendar for this month:

  1. The Colorado Half Marathon with Ethan.
  2. Austin’s high school graduation.
  3. Framing stage at The Forest Modern.
  4. Family vacation to Seattle and Canada.

So much preparation, endless emotions and designated focus has been all-consuming. Whenever I think about sitting for a moment and “relaxing” I hear four things in my mind….

“get outside and run (half marathon looming over my head), plan graduation party & prepare for this super important time in Austin’s life, stay on top of the framing happening at The Forest Modern (see the latest updates HERE!) and all the change orders I’m sure to make, and organize and plan every little detail of our 10 day trip touring Seattle/Vancouver/Victoria/Olympic Peninsula.”

Exhausted yet? I am just reading that…lol. And that may be the biggest run on sentence in my blogging history.

I’ll admit, this month I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster keeping it all in check.  I’ll be driving down the road and suddenly this overwhelming reminder that Austin is graduating and leaving for college soon hits me. Ugly cry ensues. Today was his last day of high school. I’m pretty sure he secretly did cartwheels or some version of a happy dance in his bedroom this morning while I was dabbing my tears. Next week he graduates and we close a chapter in our life and achieve the biggest milestone of raising a child.  The last 18 years with him have been a blessing and we will be very proud parents watching him graduate.

I love being a mom of all boys and have found the best way I can really connect with them is through outdoor adventures. We all love to hike, so that is always something fun we can do together. Austin and I climbed a 14er (Pikes Peak) three summers ago and I loved that time with him alone. Ethan happens to be the kid that has taken up my passion for running. Last year he ran his first half marathon with me and “caught the running bug.” Once you run a marathon or half marathon, you’re either hooked or vow never to put your body through that again.  Seven years ago I ran my first race ever and birthed a passion I didn’t even know existed deep inside myself. Since then I’ve ran two marathons, six half marathons, and three 200 mile team relay races. Running changed my life in so many positive ways and I’m so thrilled that Ethan can relate with me on that level.

During the weeks leading up to race day, Ethan and I would train on our own during the weekdays. He would run after school and I would run first thing in the morning.  Every Sunday was our day to go for training runs together.  We had some good runs and then some runs that our legs felt like lead. There’s always good days and bad days when it comes to running. With my crazy schedule this month, I felt the least prepared for this race but somehow muscle memory kicks in and the legs and lungs know what to do on race day.

Last Saturday we took the 2 hour road trip to my favorite college town, Fort Collins, CO. Tim and I met when we lived there for college. We bought our first home there. Austin was born there. My former career as a neonatal nurse happened there. A lot of wonderful memories live in this town and I always long to move back.  Ethan and I had a fun little drive. Apparently I listen to my music way too loud and I caught him trying to turn down the volume several times during the drive…lol.  I was just gearing up for the race!

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When we arrived, the temperature was 90 degrees….glorious!!! We’re still in the 40’s-60’s temps in Colorado Springs and I’ve been dying for some hot weather. We checked into our hotel where the race bus would be picking us up at 5 a.m. (what on earth????) the next morning.  We then headed to Old Town and ate at our favorite restaurant, Beau Jo’s Pizza.  They have the best gluten free pizza! Just a little date with my boy. Isn’t he a cutie?

We headed back to our hotel so we could get to bed early. Our alarms were set to go off at 4 a.m. to give us time to wake up before we boarded the bus that would drive us 30 min up the Poudre Canyon to the start line. We thought we were going to get plenty of sleep going to bed at 9:30, until…..the drunk guy in the hotel lobby woke us up at midnight hollering for what seemed like 30 min. I’m not sure what that was all about, but the next morning as we took the elevator down, his rude awakening to us in the middle of the night was all the buzz amongst other racers.  Apparently, the cops must have come, because we heard sirens. And then more sirens, was there a fire somewhere??? Oh, and then the train….Oh geez, who needs sleep before running 13.1 miles…ugh.  Good thing I had my race apparel set out the night before.

I run so much better when I’m wearing comfy running clothes and when they look good too! Two years ago I got hooked on Lululemon workout clothes. Especially these running shorts. They are great for training and race day since they have small hidden pockets in the waste band for stashing essential energy chews to give me that boost.  I also love that I can put my iPhone (minus the case and I have the iPhone 6s which is smaller) in the back zipper pocket.  These shorts are so light weight and flattering too! Not your typical running short that looks like you may have dropped a load in your shorts (trust me, this can happen during race time if you’re not careful…haha! #TMI) I’m digressing.

I’m really picky about the tank tops I wear.  I like form fitting but not suffocating. This running tank is flattering and super light weight. The back feature is super cute too! I’m pretty sure it powers me to run much faster ;).  I’ve never run a race without my Garmin or my iPod. I think if either decided to fail me on race day I’d just throw in the towel right then. They’re my “security blankets.”

On the bus at 5 a.m.!

The half marathon start line was 7 miles up the canyon where the bus dropped us off. The sun was barely beginning to come out.  This was the first year I finally wised up before a race and came prepared for cold early mornings. We brought old hoodies to wear while we waited an hour for the race to begin. I’ve been told that the race crew collect the discarded jackets, gloves, hoodies, etc. that the runners leave behind and take them to a homeless shelter or goodwill.  Let’s just say it was so nice to not shiver to death for what seems like an eternity before time to run.

Not a glamorous photo.

The scenery was so pretty and we hung out by the river just waiting…

6:20 a.m. came and the sun was promising a beautiful morning ahead to have a race!  We got this pic just before we ran.

This was my favorite race ever! The weather was perfect, we both felt great, and I loved experiencing this time with Ethan. Watching his determination and seeing him push through, especially when the last couple of miles can get tiring, made me so proud of him.  The very last 1/2 mile he became the energizer bunny and took off and left me behind. We both finished strong and now have another medal to stow away and a memorable day to think back on for years to come.

Tim surprised us and got up early to drive 2 hours to watch us run across the finish line at 8:38. He got this pic as I heard him calling my name at the end.  I was so happy to hear him cheering us on and I know that meant so much to Ethan to have his dad there too.

Next year Ethan wants to run his first marathon. Race regulations require you to be at least 16 years old.  He’s 15 now so I’m thinking the Colorado Rock and Roll Marathon (which was my first marathon) next fall will be the big one!  I never planned to run another marathon, but there’s no way I’ll let him run that alone. He needs his super proud momma running right by his side. Hopefully, not pushing me in a wheelchair…haha! Lord help me next year.

So that’s one big event accomplished for May! Next week is graduation and the grad party! Lots of cleaning and getting the house ready will be on my agenda for the next few days before family and friends fill our home.

The Forest Modern is moving fast and the main floor is now completely framed! EEEK!! Be sure to follow me on Instagram where I have been sharing video footage of all the happenings there. You can also catch up on the weekly progress HERE. I promise to get a new updated post as soon as I can squeeze in some blogging time! Life is just taking precedence!

Planning our Seattle to Canada trip is almost complete and I cannot wait to escape for 9 days with my family! The perfect way to end our busy month of May!

Have a great weekend!



  1. Shauna! I don’t know why but this post made me tear up! Ok.. I do know why. Running that race with your son is seriously the sweetest thing ever! And Tim coming to cheer you on at the end!? That’s when I officially had to pull out the tissues. And Austin graduating!? Don’t even get me started. I am thinking about you this month sweet friend! And carrying around a box of tissues. Because apparently I can’t talk to you or read your blog without crying. 😉 Loved this post! Love you even more. 🙂 xo

  2. Shauna, everything that Erin just said!!! This makes me want to get my boy running now…even though he’s only 9, lol!! Praying for you to get through the month and I hope you enjoy your trip to Seattle! How fun will that be to cap things off!!! Love you sweet friend and what a great post this was! xoxo

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