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

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Interview with Anna Dillon

This week I decided to interview a good friend of mine, Anna Dillon. Anna approached me a few years ago and told me she wanted to start running.  After running a few times with Anna I eventually convinced her to run a 5K race with me (the selling part was me telling her she would get a free t-shirt).  Anna may not be at the top of the woman class right now when it comes to running, but she possesses all of the skills to one day reach that level.  She has the form and the endurance; all that she lacks is the confidence. One day I hope Anna will see what I see in her. If she just lets go and doesn't listen to her mind when it says to stop or give up, I would not be surprised to see Anna run a sub twenty minute 5k.

SB- 1. When and why did you start running?
AD-I started walking a few years ago for weight-loss purposes. Slowly the walking turned into an occasional jog, then running. You are the one who encouraged me to run. You probably don't remember, but I told you I wanted to start. You invited me to run with you at Wilkins school. You said you hadn't ran in a while, so I thought I would kick your butt. Wow was I wrong! I still run for weight-loss but I also run to destress. It is the part of my day that I do not think about work, dinner, cleaning, or laundry.

SB- 2. How often do you run and what distance do you normally do?
AD-I used to run four or five times a week about 3 or 4 miles. Now with a newborn, I'm lucky if I can get out for 15 minutes! It is getting more difficult now that it's getting darker. I am excited for spring when I can take him with me.

SB- 3. Do you prefer to run alone or with a group while you are training/ exercising?
AD- I prefer to run alone. I love music. One of my favorite parts of running is turning up the music and just going! But I never ran with a group before. I don't know if I would enjoy that.

SB- 4. Do you have a goal for when you run? ( a time, a distance)
AD-I like to time myself. I usually run the same routes, so I try to beat my previous time. I am not always successful. I still can't figure out why sometimes I do so good, and other times I do so horrible.

SB- 5. As a mother who runs, a lot of woman can look up to you. Do you think it's been harder to run since you became a mother?
AD-Yes! Running was the first thing I would think about after work. My entire day would revolve around how quickly I can get my shoes and earphones on and get going. Sometimes I would change at work and start my route from there. My husband and I are still adjusting to becoming parents. Our life and house have become pretty chaotic. Running now revolves around naps, feedings, and my husbands schedule. Not to mention the colder weather and darker evenings. It can be hard to find the time, But I take every chance I can get.

SB- 6. Is there anyone you look up too as a runner?
AD-I look up to you. You have always encouraged me and told me I could do it. You have taught me that I do not need to be perfect or excellent at it, as long as I enjoy it.
I also look up to my sister who is a full-time worker, wife, mother, and runner. She runs every chance she can get. And kicks butt!

SB- 7. What will be your next race and how will you go about training for it? Or if there is no race in your future how do you decide your workout?
AD- My next race is undecided. I really wanted to do the marathon relay, but due to the baby, training has become difficult. Exercising has also become difficult. My waistline is suffering! I think I will do the local races next year. I always enjoy a free T-shirt!

SB- 8. Since you have started running would you say there has been a change in the running in Pittsburgh?
AD-I am not sure if there was a change, or if I was just ignorant to how much running there is in Pittsburgh. There is a whole world outside of local 5K's. Before running myself, I never noticed how many runners are out there. Have you ever gone to Mount Washington?! They must be the healthiest people in the United States. They are always running!

SB- 9. Do you think female runners are givin the same respect as a man during a race or training?
AD-Truthfully, I don't know. I would assume yes, but I have never been in competition with elite men and women. I have always done fun races where everybody is encouraging.

SB- 10. Any advice or anything you can say to someone who may just be starting out or about to take up the sport of running?
AD-Just do it! Don't be scared or embarrassed like I was. I would also say not to get discouraged. That is much easier said than done because I still get discouraged a lot! Just sticking with it has made me better and I enjoy it more.

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