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Running For Coverage During An Election Year

Fox News reporter Shannon Bream is no stranger to sprinting towards the finish line. In fact, she sometimes finds herself in an all out dash to chase a developing story while adhering to frantic deadlines. As a reporter covering the Supreme Court with a segue into politics for the 2012 Election, Bream is no doubt a master of managing stress. Women’s Running recently caught up with Shannon to find she uses running to maintain balance in her fast paced world. Find out what lessons she’s learned from running and who she thinks would win in a 5K race between the Presidential/Vice-Presidential candidates:

Women’s Running: How did you start running?

Shannon Bream: One year my husband decided his New Year’s resolution would be a marathon. I was very supportive – promising to make posters and meet him several times along the route. He said, “No, I want us to run together.” Honestly, I couldn’t fathom that. I could barely run a mile. I promised to give it a shot (fully intending to gracefully slip out of the race commitment at some point). But he never let me give up. Six months later we did the Pittsburgh Marathon, and I was hooked for life.

WR: How does running help you manage stress?

SB: Though running is my favorite activity, I know it’s important for me to do other things as well. I lift free weights 2-3 days a week, and try to work in a boot camp class too. Some of my favorite days are when my husband and I take our 13-year-old chocolate lab out hiking.

WR: What’s your favorite race memory?

SB: I have done many 5K and 10K races, but only one marathon. I have to tell you, the people of Pittsburgh put on the most amazing race. Every neighborhood along the route really took pride in showing up to cheer on the runners. I saw so many bands in front yards, people wearing costumes and bowls full of fresh fruit. It was truly a community effort, and I will never forget how encouraging the people of Pittsburgh were that day!

WR: How has running helped you in your career?

SB: Running taught me that much of life is mind over matter. You can’t ignore physical injuries that may hamper your running, but you can ignore the mental talk that tries to convince you that can’t go another mile.Training for that Pittsburgh Marathon PROVED to me that what seems impossible – rarely is. I developed as much mental toughness by doing that as I did physical conditioning. That drive has fueled my career ambitions and given me the courage to overcome some serious physical challenges I’ve had over the last couple of years as well.

WR: Describe a typical day in your life right now.

SB: The wonderful thing about my job is that there is no typical day. Ideally, I like to start my day with a 4-5 mile run, some coffee and a bit of reading (C.S. Lewis is a favorite). Then it’s either a mad dash over to the Supreme Court for 10am arguments, or I may be chasing a candidate somewhere on the campaign trail. A reporter’s day is filled with a series of deadlines, and I truly enjoy that challenge. Along with live reports for Fox News Channel many of my days also include reporting for Fox Business Network, our online shows, radio and writing print pieces for the web. On my busiest days I literally wear my favorite Asics, so nothing can slow me down.

WR: With your election coverage, you are on the road quite a bit right now. What do you eat to stay energized?

SB: Staying disciplined enough to eat what I know is good for me is one of the toughest challenges of being on the road. I try to fill up on protein like egg whites and lean meats, and I’m a big fan of low fat chocolate milk and Kind Bars. Sheer exhaustion and lack of options sometimes lead to less-than-ideal choices. While covering one Senate campaign that often took me to the middle of nowhere, I was driving through the mountains for hours and finally spotted some signs of life. I pulled off the exit and right through a tasty fast food drive through. When I arrived at my hotel to check in, the front desk manager said, “Excuse me ma’am, you seem to have something on your jacket.” I looked down and saw what has become known as the “curly fry brooch” sitting on my lapel. It happens.

WR: What have you enjoyed about covering the election this year?

SB: It’s fascinating to me to see how one statement or misstep can change the race entirely. I’ve been covering this Presidential race since the pre-primary season started about a year-and-a-half ago. Candidates surge and recede at surprising speed. One minute they’re out, and then a single event can vault them right back to the top of the polls. The same is true in reverse. I’ve gotten to meet intriguing people, and run in states across the country.

WR: If you challenged the presidential and vice presidential candidates to a 5K race (including yourself), whom do you think would win?

SB: I think it’s clear that Paul Ryan would leave us all in the dust. President Obama, because of his basketball conditioning, has got to be in good shape as well. Without naming any names, I’d like to think I wouldn’t finish in last place .

Like many women, Shannon fits running into her busy schedule – what tips do you have for making fitness a priority?