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, December 22, 2013

The Gift of Running: Sunday Interview

      Since it is the holiday season I have decided to interview the person that has given me the gift of running for this Sunday’s interview. The first time I ever really knew I wanted to run was in 1987. I was standing on the sidewalk at my father’s work waiting for him to run by. As he ran by everyone started to cheer his name and clap for him. I remember just standing there in awe looking at all the people and thinking they are cheering my dad. At the age of 8 years old then I looked at my dad and thought he was like a superhero or something. I knew at that point I wanted to have those cheers for me one day.

      Almost everything I have learned about running has come from my father. He is the one person that I really look up to as a runner. There are just so many things he has taught me, my posture, my breathing, and not to worry about the time. To this day when I have a question about running I go directly to him. One thing I admire the most about him as a runner is that it didn’t affect our family growing up. Ask any marathoner about the training and they will tell you that it takes a lot of time away from family and friends. I know this from firsthand experience, luckily I have a wife that not only supports my running but is very understanding to the demands of training. In my interview you will see how my father was able to train and have it not get in the way of being at home. So hopefully you will enjoy reading this interview as much as I did asking the questions to my mentor, my inspiration, my father William Byrne

SB- When and why did you first start running?
WB-It was 1983 and I was 35 years old and I wanted to see if I could finish the great race. I started to train and realized that it came very easy to me.

SB- You have run races all over the country of different distances, which is your most memorable and why?
WB-The Pittsburgh Marathon in 1985. It was the first year they had it and the crowd was amazing. It still is the single largest sporting event in Pittsburgh with how many people lined the streets to watch and cheer on the runners.

SB-Are there any races that you didn’t get to run that you wish you would of?
WB-New York marathon (he tried to get into the lottery 4 times but never made it in) and the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in DC. (What is nice though is that he did get to see me run in the NYC Marathon and he got to see my brother run in the Cherry Blossom.)

SB-How has running changed over the years from when you first started running to the running of today?

WB-The price of races has gone up significantly and now with the internet you are able to see when races are online. Back when I ran you had to wait for the Sunday paper and it would list all the local races and that is how you knew what day the races were. You registered my mail or on the day of the race.

SB-Is there anyone that inspired you when you were running?
WB- Not a single person per say but the amount of people out there doing it was inspiring.

SB-When you were training what was your training?
WB- During the marathon I would run 6 miles to work and 6 miles home every day. Then on Sunday I would run my long slow run which could be up to 20 miles. Off season or not training for the marathon I would just run home from work. (This is why I never realized that my father was training as hard as he was because he never missed time with us. On Sunday he was home before I woke up most of the time and during the week I just assumed he worked until 6.)

SB-If you wouldn’t have been injured would you still be running?
WB-Absolutely! (My father had 3 disks in his spine degenerate and had to have surgery on it. He still walks for exercise but his running days were over at that point.)

SB-How do you feel when you see the younger people in our family run and friends of the family running as well?
WB-Envious but very proud. (When I talk to my dad I can tell how proud he is not only of me but of everyone he knows that runs. Even when we did the interview he was telling me about my friend who I interviewed earlier Anna Dillon and he was telling me how he thinks she has all the intangibles to be great.)

SB-How will you feel when I beat your best time for a marathon? (Even though he has always wanted me and my brother to be great we still compare times and it is bragging rights in the family.)
WB-Proud, let’s just hope I live that long though. (Don’t worry dad your about to see your time fall in May)

SB-Anything you can say to someone just starting out or thinking about running?
WB-Make your own schedule, don’t try to do what someone else is doing. Do It because you want to be healthy if anything. And remember no matter how bad you are there is someone who is worst. Run and you will see what a great experience it is.

      What I did forget to mention is my father not only started running while he was in his 30’s but he was running weighing around 200 lbs for most of his running career. His times were good enough for him to be looked at and respected by other elite runners in the area. So my goals for running aren’t to be just great but my goal is to be half the runner my father was.

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