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

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Interview with Nicollette Byrne

     Since last week I did not post a Sunday interview, due to the holiday week. I have decided to post one in the middle of this week to make up for it. This weeks interview is with my cousin Nicollette Byrne. Nicollette ran her first race on Thanksgiving morning. She participated in the Pittsburgh Turkey Trot 5K and ran an impressive time of 34 minutes. So i figured this week we would get some insight from a person who is just starting out running.

SB- The Turkey Trot 5K was your first race, what made you want to run it?
NB- In high school I was extremely active, playing every sport I possibly could. Not only did I love being in shape, but the completion aspect was addicting. After seeing you and many of our other cousins running races, I thought it'd be fun to possibly do together, a good way to get/stay in shape, and a way to get back to the competitiveness.

SB- How did you train for the race?
NB- I used to go to the gym 2-3 time a week where I would do 30-45 minutes of cardio and some strength training. I only decided to do the Turkey Trot about a month in advance. I started by running as far as I could outside until I had to stop. (Which was only about .7 miles!) From there I ran 2-3 times a week adding .25 every run. I don't know how effective/efficient this would be for everyone, but it got me to where I wanted to be.

SB- Were you surprised to see how many runners showed up for the race even though it was only 30 degrees out?
NB- I was! Before the race I was nervous I'd be the slowest or newest runner, but it was awesome to see so many different people out there doing something so great! Everyone was so motivating and friendly, I'm glad the Turkey Trot was my first race.

SB- Now that you ran your first race do you think you will run more?
NB - I definitely want to do more as soon as possible! I want to start by improving my 5k runs, and possibly move on to longer races. (Hopefully the 5 mile trot next year!)

SB- Describe how you felt when you crossed the finish line?
NB- It was honestly exhilarating. There were a few times training in the cold and snow at 7am when I questioned why I was running, but rounding the corner to the finish line confirmed why I was doing what I was doing. Not only was our families there to cheer me on, but I also was so proud of myself for completing something I never thought I'd do. The rush and high you get at the end of a race is amazing.

SB- Any runners you look up to, or that inspired you along your journey to running your first race?
NB-Our family is my greatest inspiration. Everyone who has been running is so different, it really made me realise that I could be a runner if I really tried. Our cousin Mike is an incredibly smart and acheived writer, Katie is a full time mom of 2 kids, Gab and Nicole are hard working sisters, and you are a multiple marathon runner who can drink a case of beer in a weekend. If all of you are not inspiration enough, I don't know what is.

SB- When you were running the race what was going through your mind?
NB- Its weird how fast the 3 miles went by compared to when I was training. I usually focus on my music to keep my pace, but I can't even tell you what I listened to that morning. I think I was in such awe and overcome with adrenaline that I didn't have much time to think. I'm interested to see if this changes with the more races I run.

SB- A lot of people say running is easy and anyone can do it. What do you think about that statement?
NB- I think that those people are 100% wrong. That statement is insulting to all runners, whether we jog 1 mile or run 26. Running not only takes an enormous amount of physical endurance, but it also takes even more mental endurance. I experienced firsthand that running even a beginners 5k requires dedicated training. No one can wake up one day and decide to run a marathon.

SB- Your time was very respectable for someone who never ran a race. Do you think your time could have been better or do you think you trained to the best of your ability?
NB- Thanks so much. I went into the race not caring about how long it would take me to complete it. I was happy that I was able to get out there and run a 5k, so I was extremely happy that my time was faster than when I had trained. Like I mentioned earlier, I only trained for about a month so no I do not think I was trained to the best of my abilities. I am still shocked at how much I improved in that short month, so I know that with more time will come more improvements. Now that my first race is complete, I know I will be paying more attention to that time!

SB- Anything you would like to say to a person that might just be getting into running or thinking about running a race for the first time?
NB- YOU CAN DO IT. As long as you are dedicated to yourself and your training, you will improve. Never doubt your body's ability; your mind is the only thing against you. I have the highest respect for everyone who signs up for a race. Whether you run for only the first .5 mile or if you sprint the whole thing, you are doing more than most people! I couldn't run a mile a month ago, and I completed a 5k this weekend in just less than 35 minutes. Again, YOU CAN DO IT.

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