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 13, 2014

Hell Week!!!

     With now only 3 weeks away from the marathon, this is the time we should all start getting mentally focused on the race. Physically we should all be just about ready at this point.  This past week was a very mentally draining week for me, to sum it up it was the week from hell.
     It all started Sunday night. It was about 11:00 pm and me and my wife were just getting ready for bed when we noticed our dog Kia was acting very strange.  She was pacing around the house and hiding under the dining room table and wouldn't stay in one spot very long.  I am not one to worry a lot about my dog but I could tell something wasn't right at the moment.  We waited a few hours and there was no change in her behavior.  At around 1:00 am we decided to take her to the emergency 24hr vet.  On the way there though my wife's car just died.  Now I am pushing a car up a street into a gas station to call triple A and calling my mother in-law to come pick my wife and dog up as I wait with the car.  After all said and done I didn't make it to vet till 2:30 am.  Our dog still had not been seen, but i noticed that Kia was acting her normal self. And by that she was in asshole mode, where she runs around and jumps on everything.  But the doctor wanted to take an X-ray just to be safe.   As expected there wasn't shit wrong with this fool, in fact I am convinced that she wanted just go for a ride. She loves going for rides and will cry by the front door if she thinks just for a minute that she is going for one.  So that ride ended up costing $250 and lasted until 4:00 am.       
                                                                                                           Monday I was waiting to hear from my mechanic on what was wrong with my wife's car.  Here the timing belt broke, normally this isn't bad but because we were driving when it happened, it bent all the valves in the engine.  My mechanic gave me 2 options. First was to pay $2000 to have it fixed, but it would have to be sent somewhere else and would take a while to get done. The second option was he could put a new belt on for $300 and we could drive it straight to the dealership and trade it in.  We choose option 2.  Unfortunately the car wouldn't be ready to be picked up until Tuesday.
      Even with all the stress I needed to get in my run. I decided to run a flat course that was a mile long. I would run a mile then rest for 2 minutes then run the mile in the opposite way.  I did an out and back twice equaling 4 miles.  My goal was to go at 75 percent of what I would run a normal mile at.  I was really happy with how I did. I stayed within 10 seconds of my time for each mile.  My splits were 6.41, 6.35, 6.42, and 6.32.  It felt really good to get in a nice speed workout that I wasn't killing myself with.

     Tuesday as soon as I got home from work I did a quick 6 miles.  My time was 49.43.  I felt good but was a little disappointed I couldn't go longer. I had to pick my wife up from work, then go pick up the car from the mechanic, and then go trade it in.  I was the lucky one that got to drive my wife's car as she followed me in my car.  The whole way to the dealership I was praying I would actually make it there.  Luck was on my side I guess because I made it.  My wife picked out a car (2012 ford focus) that she liked and they started the paper process.  Everything was finally looking good until the salesman came over and said that he screwed up and put the wrong last name on the loan and now the bank is closed and she would have to wait until tomorrow to pick up the car.  
     So Wednesday I expected the worst the way the week was playing out.  I think this day actually wasn't bad though. My mother in-law picked my wife up from work and they were able to pick up the car.  Funny thing I forgot to mention is we only got $800 trade in value for her 2005 Dodge Stratus. Oh well at least it wasn't in our possession any longer. That car was a nightmare. Sometimes I felt like my mechanic had it more than we did.
     Thursday I went to the gym and did some cross training.  I was stressed out beyond from all the shit that had been happening and just a bunch of bullshit from work.  When I left I felt really good and felt like I put in a good workout.
     Friday I decided to take the day off and I went to watch my 5 year old nephews first hockey game.  It was amusing to say the least. Little kids just throwing their body around without a care in the world. Running the wrong way or in circles. Part of me wanted to jump on the court and start coaching the kids.  Besides running, hockey has always been a huge part of my life until recently.  I decided to hang up my blades and focus all my free time to running.  
25 time season champs out of 30 seasons. You can basically say our team was one of the best teams in the area.  I miss playing sometimes, but I love running and would never want to injure myself playing another sport that could easily do that.

Saturday was my long run day.  I met Chelsea (@PghCityGirl) for a nice relaxing run. It was nice to finally meet one of the many people I talk to on twitter. We started on the North Shore trail and headed into town and up Liberty Ave.  During the race your running down Liberty so I guess I never realized just how long it is. It was a nice little workout. We made our way into Shadyside and then headed back towards town. Chelsea and me separated at the 10 mile mark.  She is doing the relay so for her to go that far with me was impressive. I know I wouldn't of done if I didn't have to. I guess that's just the laziness in me though.  We probably were running around a 10 minute per mile pace.  When we separated I ran 8 by myself and dropped to 8 minute miles.  It was a good run all around. Running with such a nice person and seeing so many othesr out on the course.  You can see everyone had the same idea, try to run some of the course as the race approaches. 
    When I got home from my run I relaxed for a bit then decided to go grab a bite to eat.  I took Kia for a ride since she loves them so much. At the drive through window the girl working goes to give me my large drink, let me repeat that LARGE drink, and I guess I squeezed the cup too hard and the lid popped off and I dropped the whole cup on me.  Just what I needed to drive home soaking wet, and sticking to steering wheel.  
    Today I will be going to the track to do some intervals. I plan on doing some 400's and 800's.  I would of went earlier today but I had to go and clean my car out from all the soda that was in it.  But not before a little more shit could go wrong.  I pull up at the car wash place and fire my money in the machine and start spraying the car down and then realize I forgot to shut the sun roof and I am spraying water directly into the car.  So what should of been a 15 minute cleaning turned into 45 minutes of hell. Can someone come over and just look me in a room so nothing else can go wrong.   They say every storm runs out of rain, well I hope this storm is dry for a while.

Have you ever had a week where you feel like just everything is going wrong?


  1. Wow! When it rains it pours! As for the emergency vet, that's always a tough situation since you don't want to not take them if it's a problem, but you don't want to spend hundreds of dollars if nothing is wrong. Even though she was fine, you would have felt awful if something were wrong and you hadn't taken her, I'm sure. I'm impressed that you got your runs and workouts in despite everything that happened. Things can only get better, right?

    1. Exactly if I wouldn't of taken her to the vet I am sure something would of been wrong and I would felt horrible. I can hope it gets better

  2. Sorry you had such a rough week! Hopefully you won't have to deal with all that again anytime soon! My dog does the same thing. I will freak out thinking she's in pain or something and as soon as we get to the vet she's just fine! So strange!

    1. I swear my dog gets a kick out of it!!!

  3. Sorry to hear you had such a horrible week. Glad to hear about some other Pittsburgh runners though. Hope things get better!

    1. Thanks, after the marathon I want to get all the Pittsburgh locals who talk on twitter and go out for a drink one night

  4. Aw, rough week! I'm glad your dog is okay!

    Sounds like you had a good run at least!

  5. Glad you pup is fine. Their composure is amazing and when you can finally see that they are hurting, they never complain, never suffer self pity. You definitely described a hell week here, hope the coming weeks treat you better!