Who Am I?

I am an avid runner and have been running since I was 15 years old. I began running low to medium distances while on my high school track team, running the 800 meter and 1600 meter races (I was a sub 5 miler and a 2 minute 800 runner). In addition to the track team, I also joined the cross country team. After high school I still wanted to run and decided to start doing road races. I have probably ran a couple hundred 5k races (16.29 PR)along with many 10k's as well. In 2009 I decided to step up my game and try to tackle my first marathon. I will be honest; the only reason I did this was because my father ran a few and I wanted to show him that I could do what he did. I trained poorly for my first one and regret it. If you are going to run a race, train like you want to win. I still continue to run marathons and other distances as well, and every race is a chance for me to better myself.
I started this blog to hopefully communicate with other runners and to shed any knowledge I may have about the sport that can help other runners. I believe running is the best sport and can be a great stress reliever. I encourage all runners to spread the word of our sport and show people why running is so good and why the community of runners has such great people. You can follow me on twitter @byrne1324 or find me on facebook- Shaun Byrne

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A Final Goodbye

It's been over 300 posts and I have thought long and hard about this decision, I have decided to call the blog quits. Before anyone asks there is nothing wrong. If you need to know a reason why, let me explain.
This year I have already started my training, and it has been the best training so far. I learned how to deal with the treadmill. I started to incorporate cross training more than ever. While doing all of this I am working longer hours also. I love blogging and I love sharing my workouts with all of you, but right now I think I just want to work on myself and my goal of running certain times this year. I don't want to have to make time to write a blog when I could utilize my time for training. I also have learned with the more hours of training the more time is taken away from my wife. Instead of worrying about writing my blog I could be enjoying the day or evening with her.
This little blog that started out as just an idea to help people evolved into so much more. I was able to connect with some great people. I was able to get paid for my running knowledge, and I was able to help out many companies with products. Will I miss it? Of course I will, but sometimes you have to set your priorities.  
I can say I know I helped some people with my blog, and I also know I was able to give some people a good laugh at times. I even managed to piss people off a few times with my Random Friday's, but I stayed true to myself and always said what was on my mind. So I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
I am not saying that I will be gone forever. and this doesn't mean that I am walking away from social media. I will still be on twitter @byrne1324 and you can find me on Facebook as well. If I do decide to come back to the blogging world it will probably be under a new page and a new name, but be sure I will let you all know.
One last thank you to all of my readers. You are the reason that I have made this far with the blog.
keep striving to be your absolute best and don't let anyone stand in your way.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Shamrock Training Week 6




This week my main goal was to get back into my normal training routine, running speeds faster than I have been in the previous weeks.

MONDAY: Cross Training- I originally planned on running this day, but I actually planned out my next few weeks and Monday's are going to be a good day to rest the legs and do some some strength training. I did an hour long workout that I have been using from Men's Healthcare. It is an intense workout that can be done at home, but you can feel it working.

TUESDAY: 5 miles on the treadmill. So after reading Steve Cannon's book I have really looked at my running in a whole different light. I have taken the attitude of taking the first step. I set the speed to an 8 minute pace and zoned out. It felt great to finally get back to running at my normal pace. Anytime my mind would start wondering I would keep saying to myself "one more step and everything will fall into place."

WEDNESDAY: 4 miles on the treadmill and cross train: I started my 4 miles at an 8:30 pace and picked up the speed every mile. My last mile was done in 7:30. I felt really good and I am noticing a huge improvement from just a few weeks ago. After the run I did an AB workout on some machines.


FRIDAY: 3 miles on treadmill: I felt really good with the previous runs earlier in the week so I decided to pick up the pace for this run. I ran the 3 miles at a 7:45 pace. Surprisingly I felt really good and once I got into my groove I wanted to pick up speed, but was smart and ran a constant pace.

SATURDAY: 7 miles on the road. It was a cold and wet run. The course I chose was a very hard and hilly course. My legs were screaming at me around mile 5. I dropped my pace but never stopped running. After the run I realized that I have been so focused on speed that I have neglected my hill workouts. So starting this week I will dedicate one day to hill workouts. I don't even need to go far for this. My street is flat from the main road to my house then goes down a nice hill to the cul-de-sac. After my run I was starving and convinced Amanda that we should go out to dinner. We went to a small little Italian place called Olive and Peppers in Gibsonia. If you live in Pittsburgh you need to try this place. The food was amazing and the portions were huge. It is very rare that I have to bring home extra's but I bet I brought home half my plate. I had Chicken Marsala and it was amazing.

SUNDAY: 3 easy miles on the treadmill. My hip was a little sore from my long run on Saturday. I know 7 miles isn't really long but when you haven't done long runs in a while, except for last week the legs take some time getting back to form. What I thought was funny was just a few weeks ago I was running my normal pace at 9:30 per mile and now that is what I am calling my easy run. The hip is no call for concern, as I expected this since my hip is always the first thing to get sore during a race.

In a race what is normally the first part of the body that gets sore for you? Do you work that muscle more than others leading up to a race?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

40 Days Book Review and Book Give Away

About two weeks ago I was given the opportunity by Steven Cannon to read his book. The first thing you should know about me is I am not a big reader. I am very picky when it comes to what book I want to read, but for some reason I jumped at the offer. I am glad I did because this book has changed my outlook on not only running but in life itself.

The story is about Steve's journey as he runs around Lake Michigan while raising money for the Liverstrong Foundation. Yes, you read that right. He ran around Lake Michigan... all 1037 miles of it. Not only did Steve run around the lake but he did it in 40 days, which means he completed a marathon a day for those 40 days. The book is so much more then just a man running around a lake. Steve not only lets you into his world as he attempts this monumental feat, but he shares the stories of many of the cancer fighters in which he is running for. This book was a roller coaster of a ride for me. At times I was shaking my head thinking I have been there before (the trials of running long distance) and at other times I was tearing up hearing the cancer stories.

This book is so well written and at times I honestly felt that I was right there on the road running with Steve. I would picture the lake in my head and see the road or trail in my mind. I would see Steve's friend waiting for him in the RV to end the day.

One thing this book did for me was it made me look at life different. Throughout the book Steve keeps telling you that all you need to do is take the first step. The first step could be your chance to do what you once only dreamed of. Before I read this book I was questioning myself on if I could really PR my half marathon time this year. Now I know I will and I owe that to Steve. I am not going to sit on the sidelines and let what I thought was possible pass me by. The past two weeks during my training, any time I felt tired or wanted to give up I thought of Steve on the road doing 40 marathons in 40 days. He knew it would be hard and he knew there would be moments that would test him both mentally and physically, but he never gave up. This book is great if you are a runner, but it is just as good if you aren't. The running is just a small portion of what I took from it. This book is about seeing yourself doing something and actually seeing it through.

I rate this book a 10 out of 10, a must read.

Steve has offered to give away 2 Ebooks too 2 of my readers. So to be entered in a random drawing for the book all you have to do is comment on this post with your email, or email me at byrne1324@yahoo.com and let me know you wanted entered, or lastly leave your email on my facebook post for this blog post. Whatever way is easier for you.  You have till Sunday night at midnight to get entered and I will contact the winners on Monday. Good luck and if you don't win I highly suggest purchasing this book.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Shamrock Training Week 5

Total Miles: 17
Cross Training days: 3
Weight: 185- I was down to 183 and I feel like I am getting more toned, but last night I pigged out at a Steelers party. I weigh in every Sunday morning so this is probably why the weight came back on. These playoff games could be the downfall of me.

So here is how the week played out.

MONDAY: 4 miles on the treadmill. I started this week determined to get back on track. I hit the treadmill and ran a nice easy pace of 9:30 just to get my legs back under me. I felt really good after and the only problem I ran into was I am still dealing with a cough and when I run I sometimes have trouble keeping my breathing on track. I heard some people say this damn cough that is going around has lasted 6-8 weeks on some people. I pray I am not one of those people.

TUESDAY: CROSS TRAIN: I found a really good workout on the Men's Health website. It shows you 21 different exercise's that will help get you shredded. It took about an hour and I did one set of all 21 exercises.  I plan on breaking them up and doing 7 three days a week. This first day was more of a test run to see how hard they really were. They are hard!

WEDNESDAY: 3 miles on the treadmill. Now that I had my legs back under me I decided to get back into the runs full swing. I started at a 9 minute pace and dropped each mile by 30 seconds. After the run I did 6 miles on the bike, and a few quick exercises to loosen my hips. My hips are always the first thing to go in a long race, so this time around I am going to focus on them a lot.

THURSDAY: 4 miles on the treadmill. 5 weeks into this training and I had not really done any speed workouts. I did a 4 mile tempo run for my first one. The first mile was a 8:30/mile pace then mile 2 and 3 were a 7:45/mile pace followed by a 8:30/mile to finish up the run. Now that I am back to normal I will make sure to throw a speed workout in each week from here on out.

FRIDAY: CROSS TRAIN: 1 hour of circuit training. I like doing the circuit training room at the gym because it works out the whole body. It doesn't leave one particular muscle group hurting bad the next day. The only thing I had to add in was some ab workouts.

SATURDAY: 6 miles on the road. Finally I was able to get back on the road and run. I was blessed with some awesome weather for the run. As I ran I thought back to the last time I ran on the road and I honestly couldn't remember, It had been a few weeks since I was able to get a really good run in outside. I didn't time the run but now I wish I would have. I felt awesome and I was really moving. I am using some new mental techniques that I will get into next week that really seem to be working for me. For once I have learned to control the voices in my head that say stop, or your body is too tired.
Saturday night like most of Pittsburgh I was glued to the TV to watch my Steelers. My cousin had a party and all of my friends were there. There was so much food and I honestly ate way more than I should, but everything tasted great. I made a Philly Cheese Steak dip that was a huge hit.
How about that game? It was great to watch the Bengal Fans who were classless pieces of shit get all fired up that they were going to win the game to only have Big Ben come in and take their hearts away from them.

 SUNDAY: Today was a much needed rest day. The first week was a little light on the miles but for not running a whole lot that last few weeks it beat me down. I am still happy though that I am back and ready to up the training each week.

Thursday I will have a review of great book that I am reading.

How was your week? Who do you like in the playoffs to win it all this year?

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Knock Out Your Resolution

As the new year gets on its way, many gym's are being flooded with the resolution people. You know the people that say this is the year they are going to stick to it and drop sound pounds. The truth is about 8% of people actually will stick with it. I came up with a few tips that might help a person beat the odds and not end up being a statistic.

Invite a friend- I found when I workout alone my mind will wonder all over the place. People seem to forget that the physical part of working out isn't the only thing, there is a mental part as well. Your mind will tell your body to stop way before your body is exhausted. Having a friend will take your mind off things and it will also give you someone to talk too as the time passes. Another positive with working out with a friend is you can motivate each other to do better.

Deflect the haters- By this I mean don't let these meat heads at the gym scare you away. One thing that pisses me off every year around this time I start seeing posts from people putting down the newcomers. You pay the same amount of money as they do and have every right to be there. If someone makes a rude comment just ignore it. If you want to shut them up, still be there working out in a few months.

Don't eat the pizza- I am talking about that one gym that gives pizza out the first Monday of every month. I am all for a gym that doesn't judge you, but I find it weird that they are being counter productive by doing that. That pizza basically is wiping out your workout for the day. Remember why you are there and pass on the pizza.

Be You- Today while I was at the gym a lady got on the treadmill next to me. First thing she did was look to see how I was doing. I was a half hour into my workout and was closing in on 4 miles. She then walked away from the treadmill and looked around for another open one. Since it was crowded she had no choice but to use that one next to me. I had just started my cool down when she got on. She looked at me and says "I hope I can get to that point one day. My goal is to run a 5K in the summer." I said good luck and told her she had plenty of time to train. She then tells me that she just wants to make it 10 minutes today. I gave her a few tips and told her to try the walk/run method until she felt comfortable with running. After I left I realized that I should of told her was just be herself and don't worry about what the person next to her is doing. Whether it be lifting or running we have all been at that point where we struggled. You don't think people just can lift tons of weight and run long distances without putting in the work, do you? Focus on you. Start with small goals and work your way up. Setting extreme goals at the beginning could actually be bad for you. When you don't see results you are more likely to give up and quit.
Be Positive- The sooner you realize that everyone has days that just don't go as planned, the better off you will be. How you overcome those days will define you. Stay positive and keep moving forward.

Any other tips that you think may be able to help out someone trying to better themselves with their new year resolution?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Shamrock Training Week 4

I hope you all had a great new year. My night was kind of chill and involved a few drinks at a friends house. As I get older I am starting to realize that I like to just relax on new years and not do it up the way I used to. Don't get me wrong I will still throw down a few beers, but I don't need the big crazy crowds anymore.
I am happy to report that my 2016 is off to a great start. I am sure you remember me bitching about my foot and the pain I was in. Well have you ever had one of those moments where you just want to slap yourself in the face? Let me explain this one, so Monday I felt a little bit of pain but felt that it wasn't painful enough to keep me away from running. I went to the gym and jumped on the treadmill and set the speed for a 9:30 per mile pace. The run was hard but I managed to get through the 5 miles. On Tuesday I woke up and headed back to the gym and once again used the treadmill. The pain was the same as it was the day before, but I pushed through and got another 4 miles in. 
On Wednesday when I woke up the pain was back at full force and I was having trouble walking. I passed on the gym and was starting to get really frustrated, then I started to do some thinking. My gout pills were not working. Cherry juice, which is the number one home remedy was not working. Days that I wore my running shoes all day the pain seemed to be a lot better. After thinking about all of these things I came up with the question, maybe it wasn't gout and actually it was from wearing my work boots everyday. See as winter comes I tend to wear boots not only to work but I will put a different pair on when I get home and go out.
On Thursday, new years eve I had a half day of work and instead of wearing boots decided to put on an older pair of running shoes that were still in great shape. As the day went on the pain was getting better. I didn't do any running that day but I did do some cross training, just some light circuit training and some burpees. Since Thursday was new years eve I knew the big test on if I had gout would be how my body handled alcohol. Alcohol is the one thing you want to stay away from if you have a gout flare up. 
Friday when I woke up the pain was no worse than the day before, and that is when it finally hit me that it wasn't gout this whole time. I really wanted to run but thought maybe if I hold off for one more day and continue to wear nothing but running shoes the pain would be gone completely. I did do some burpees though just to make keep my mind from thinking I am missing out on too much training. 
Saturday the pain was just about gone and I finally was able to get back to my normal speeds on the treadmill. I started with a 9 minute mile and dropped down to an 8 over the 5 mile run. I still have a cough that just wont go away so my breathing was giving me problems, but overall I thought I did really good. After going to the gym I went out and bought a new pair of running shoes. These shoes will not be used to run in but they will are all white and look good with jeans and will take the place of wearing my good boots when I go out. I also plan on wearing my running shoes to work a few days a week. I will still wear my boots just not as much. I am so relieved to know that I can get back to hardcore training.

Today I decided to take a rest day. As much as I want to be back everyday, today was the first day where my cough wasn't bothering. I figured if it means not running today and starting fresh tomorrow, I am okay with that.  Tomorrow starts getting back to the grind of everyday and really going hard from here on out.

How did your new years go? 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Random Friday: New Years Resolutions

Welcome to the first Random Friday of 2016. Hopefully 2016 will bring some good Random Friday's for us. So since it's a new year and everyone has their resolutions, I thought I would share with you mine. I also would like to share some things I am hoping we can leave in 2015 and not bring to 2016.

My Resolution: This year I want to be more dedicated. In the past few years I may have slacked a bit with training. I always set high goals and the only way I am going to hit those goals is to go hard all year. The days of me coming home from work and saying I am too tired wont cut it, and with a new job that sometimes can run late into the night there will be days I need to wake up early and make sure I get my workout in. One big goal for 2016 is losing a few pounds in order to gain some speed during my races. I need to really dedicate myself to eating better, and not saying "this one little snack won't matter." 2016 I need to be a new me basically.
There are some things I would love to leave behind in 2015. Things that just annoyed the shit out of me. Here are some things I think we should all agree on that don't need to come to 2016.

The Kardashians: Haven't we been put through enough with this dis functional family?  I am sick and tired of hearing about this whole family. We all have our own fucked up family members that we don't need to hear about yours. This family is everything that is wrong with our country. People more concerned about money and looking good rather than trying to help others.

Shortening words: One thing that really gets me is when I hear words like "Bae" and "Jelly".
Oh me and my bae are going out tonight. When I talk to another girl my wife gets all jelly. The word is babe and jealous you ignorant dicks. I understand we had some pretty stupid slang words when I grew up but it seems like the youth of today is so lazy that they can't even say a full word. 

Reality Shows: What ever happened to a good old TV sitcom? It seems like every show that is on is a contest. I miss the old shows like "Married with children" and "Seinfeld". Every week you got a different story line and  no one got voted off or sent home. 

Lastly everyone getting so damn butthurt: I have said this a million times. If you see something that bothers or offends you then ignore it. There is no reason every time a person gets upset they have to call for a whole war on society. That is life my friends. It's all of us fucked up people being able to live on this earth and try to make the best of a situation. Why cause waves when you don't have too?

What is your resolution and what would you like to be seen left behind in 2015?