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, April 6, 2014

4 Week Countdown!!

    4 weeks is all that stands between a lot of us runners and the start of the Pittsburgh Marathon.  Over the past few marathons I have learned that is okay to take a week and kind of take it easy on the runs.  I still did the mileage I wanted, but I didn't push myself to hard.  The last thing I want to do is tire myself out with the race creeping up.

I set out to do five miles at a easy pace and ended up running 6.78 because I felt so good.  I still did a course that is rather hilly though. My time was 1:01:41 and was a pace of 9'05".  My legs were kind of tight for the first few miles but eventually loosened up around the 4th mile. The only problem I really ran into was with the change of weather it made my breathing difficult.  My asthma was really bad, and I needed to use my inhaler at the end of my run, which is very unusual.

It was my birthday this day, so I took the day off and went to Pittsburgh Steak Company with my wife for dinner.  I am a steak lover so this was just what I needed. A nice 20 oz. T-Bone steak.  

My plan was to run a nice easy 7. I ended up just going a bit more, only because I didn't feel like walking to my car.  My time was 1:08:54 and my pace was a 9'29". Obviously I was taking it really slow on this day.  I just wanted to have nice relaxing run on this day.  I felt really good and once again the only problem I had was with my breathing.  I have come to realize that it is going to take a few runs in the warm weather to get my lungs used to the weather again.  So hopefully we get some warm weather for a few consecutive days here soon.

I used this day as a cross training day.  I went to the gym and lifted weights for about 45 minutes and rode the bike for a half hour followed by a half hour on the elliptical.  I really have never used an elliptical until this year of training and I give these girls at the gym credit for how hard they go on that machine.  It literately beats the shit of out me, but I can feel it really helping my hips out.

I ran a quick 4 miles. I didn't track it with my Nike App because I wanted to run without headphones.  At some point in the marathon I will put my headphones on but for the most part I don't want to wear them.  I like to enjoy the elements around me on that day.  Once I feel tired and need motivated I will put on my music and go from there.  So this day was just about getting use to feeling things without having something in my ear telling me my mile splits.  I ended up running a 8'20" pace.  This is right where I want to be for the first 6 miles of the race, so I was very pleased with the run.

I was really excited to get up and run yesterday.  Mainly because I recently just purchased Energy Bits from Kristy over at Pittsburgh Runner, and was anxious to see if they really worked.
 I decided to do 11 miles, since next weekend will be my last real long run up until the race.  Let me just say WOW do those energy bits work.  I felt awesome the entire time I was running. Even when I was done I just felt like I could keep going and going.  My only gripe with the bits were the taste.  But lets be honest here, most supplements or anything you take for performance taste like shit.  I will be purchasing more of these little bits very soon.  For some reason my body felt like playing tricks with me on this run.  First my left ankle was bothering me then my right ankle. Then on mile 6 I had to go to the bathroom, luckily there were a lot of trees on this section and I dipped behind one take a quick pee.  Not one of my finer moments on a run but it needed to be done.  Even with all that though I still felt really energized and had very minor problems.  Also my breathing was under control. Probably because it was cold out again in the morning.
My time was 1:42:43 and my pace was a 9'20".

Today I will use this day as a stretching and foam rolling day.  This week coming up will be more of a go hard week and Saturday will be my last real long run. I will use this as my dress rehearsal for the race, and I will run with exactly everything I plan on wearing during the race. The last thing you want is unexpected rubbing or scratching from your clothes.

How is your training going? Do you do a dress rehearsal or do you just wing it?


  1. Happy birthday! My hubby is a steak lover too!

    You had a great week of training! You're so close to taper, I bet your ecstatic!

    I'm really glad that you like the ENERGYbits. I used to dislike the smell, but now I love it. I just kept reminding myself that they're food, totally natural and not pills or supplements. It's pretty awesome that something that is so good for you, can help with running/working out, so much. Catherine, the ENERGYbits founder, developed them, when her friend was battling cancer. She wanted to create a "super food", and man, did she succeed!

    1. You have no idea how happy I am it's almost time to taper. I just want this race to get here and be over with.
      I am sure I will get used to the smell of the energy bits or I will do what the lady suggested and make a smoothie out of them.
      It's crazy that they are actually food and work so well. I have been telling everyone about them

  2. Nice job this week, looks like a perfect way to lead into the last bit of intense distance before taper.

    I've been using each long run for as much dress rehearsal potential as it could provide. Since most of them were in awful winter conditions, testing out the clothes was never an option, but other things like the pre-race breakfast and bathroom routines, laying out clothes the night before, just basic habits I could build that will be used on race day. Overkill, but that is part of the fun for me.

    My biggest debate right now is the camelbak. I've been using it during long runs out of necessity to carry sufficient water. On race day there will be aid stations available so I could skip the bak if I want to. Part of me wants to wear it (A) lots of storage for GU and salt capsules (B) I've been liking sipping an ounce here and there instead of chugging a cup and then going without for the next mile. Part of me doesn't want to wear it because of the extra weight and just kinda wanting to be minimalist. Decisions, decisions.

    1. I have never worn one, though I probably should. One of my biggest downfalls is I don't take or drink water on my long runs.. I take a packet of GU and that's it..I need to start trying to get more fluid intake during my long runs

  3. Very exciting! I just read the Elite Runners' e-newsletter about starting to taper. I had no idea the tapering for a marathon was such a long process. I'm learning a lot by reading everyone's blogs! I'm also excited to get & try those energy bits.

    1. I only taper a bit, the last few times I tapered a lot and felt like I lost a step from it