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, March 27, 2014

Gut Check!!!!

     As the weeks start to dwindle down and the Pittsburgh Marathon approaches I am getting more and more motivated.  In previous marathons something has gone wrong either during the race or before the race. A broken toe, tripped and stepped on, just to name a few.  But for once I feel like I am in the best shape I have ever been in before a marathon and I feel like this is my year.  My year to prove to myself exactly what I am made of.
     A little over a month ago I was given some good advice from a fellow runner.  I was told not to worry about my marathon time and worry about my 5K time. At first I thought this didn't sound right. I mean I want a good time in the marathon, I could care less about what I run in a 5K. I have been there and done that with those races.  But then he explained by working on my speed in order to improve my 5K time and still doing my long runs as normal, I would start to pick up time on the long run.  So I went back to basics, I thought about everything my cross country coach taught me in high school.  Intervals, tempo runs, trail blazing, and hill workouts soon became my worst enemy and my greatest help.  In high school I was 5'4  and weighed no more than 150. Now I am 5'9 and weigh 175. I was nervous at first thinking "this is going to be harder now since I am carrying more weight and have slowed down since those days".  But over the next month I was dedicated and soon I was noticing my time was dropping.  Last year it seemed like I couldn't go below 24 minutes for a 5K. Now 24 minutes is coming with little or no sweat.
     Today I planned on doing a quick 4 mile run.  It looked like rain was coming and I was trying to beat it. As I parked my car and walked to where I start my run I started to think about where I am and my goals.  Today it was time to find out.
It was GUT CHECK time.  Time to lay all the cards on the table and show my hand.  I started running and I kept thinking in my head...."be smart Shaun you got this, you know what you are capable of". One mile down- 7:15 split,  I was feeling good and my legs were starting to loosen up. Two miles down 14:03.  I was half way home on my run and had the biggest hill coming up.  As I got to the hill I gave it a quick look and just zoned out.  I put my head down and pictured myself running down hill.  I would give a quick glance to see where I was at, and before I knew it I was on the downward slope. Three miles down and one to go, 21:30 minutes.  I couldn't believe It I was holding a 7:10 pace and I felt great.  My last mile I dug deep and said out loud "It now or never." as I crossed my four mile point my time was 29 flat. I slowed a little on the fourth mile but I felt good.
     I have noticed in the past weeks that my long runs are getting easier as well. I held a 8:20 pace my 16 mile run last weekend and I hope to improve on that this weekend when I do 18.  I am anxious for the marathon.  I have my fingers crossed that for once I will get to run healthy. And I am ready to see what I made of.  


  1. Congratulations in your training, I am pretty sure you will do great! From what you write, it seems that you are training pretty hard and there is no doubt you will rock this race! Good luck in your training!

  2. Outstanding gut check! Amazing work. It is interesting how the different types of running workouts all connect together, like your shorter distance speed work as you train for the marathon. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Awesome job on the 4 miler! That's fabulous. My body doesn't love speed work weekly, so if I have to skip one when I'm marathon training, I'll do a 5 miler like this. I just run as fast as I can, and try to beat my previous time, and it really does work great!

    Good luck these last few weeks of training, you're almost there!

  4. Thank you, good luck to you these last few weeks as well

  5. Very interesting advice! A woman at a half marathon I did last year said she also focused on 5Ks for speedwork while she was training for the half. Sounds like it's really helping you too. Did you run JASR yesterday?

    1. I had all intentions of running JASR yesterday but I ended up staying out late on friday night and was in no shape to get up early.. I ended up doing my long run around my house... How did you do?