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, June 22, 2014

Weekly Recap: Week of Firsts

    This week was a lot of "Firsts", and throughout the post you will see what I am talking about.  Last week I had a poor week of training and I was very anxious and nervous to get back out there and do some good running.

MONDAY:  I laced up my new Adidas Boston's and headed out for a 4 mile run. I figured I need to break them in and what a better way of doing it by really going hard in them.  My foot didn't bother me as much leading into Monday, but the only way to know what it would withstand was for me to really test it.  I ran my first mile in just under 7 minutes, and the foot felt great.  I eventually pulled back and got into a slower pace for the remaining miles. After the run my foot felt great. My first run in my Boston's also felt really good and I intend to start slowly using them from time to time in the next few months.

TUESDAY:  The dreaded speed workout: I arrived at my local track and started out by running a 800 meter warm up, followed by some stretching.  I then ran a 400 meter at almost sprinting speed, followed by a 200 meter walk.  Then I would run 600 meters followed by a 200 meter walk.  I went back and fourth with 400 and 600 meter runs for a half hour.  I ended up doing about 4 of each.  I was already beat and my legs were killing me, but I wanted more.  I then found a hill that is about 50 meters and has a very steep incline.  I would sprint up the hill and jog back to the bottom and go right back into running up.  I did this 10 times.  It was a hard workout to say the least.

WEDNESDAY:  I have designated this day as my relax day and do nothing.  One is because it works out to break up the week and the other is because me and my wife use this a our movie night.  We found a little theatre by our house that is small and plays only 4 movies but is cheap and never crowded.  However this day was not totally used for just relaxing. Last week when I was reading one of the great blogs I read Spirtual Creaminess, I read about how he had started the 30 day Ab challenge.  He was already a week into it and said he felt great and already felt improvements.  My wife is about to start a 24 day challenge tomorrow and I figured I will do one to show some support plus who doesn't want a 6 pack of abs.  This was my first challenge and my first day doing it. I don't know why I thought it was going to be a walk in the park, but I quickly realized I was wrong.  It is hard work and hopefully it will pay off. I will do some updates through out the challenge.

THURSDAY:  I headed out for a run not sure what distance I was going to get in.  The weather was playing tricks all week it seemed. I decided I would push the pace and work on my stride.  I ended up with a little over 6 miles.  The foot pain is all gone finally and running is back to normal.  I don't know if this a mental thing or something I need to just not worry about, but for some reason I want to make my stride longer.  I am only 5'9" so my legs are short and my stride is very small.  I read a good distance runner should be able run 3 meters in a stride. Ya right, no way in hell I can do that. However maybe I can tweek mine and gain some ground and not use my legs as much. So on this run I was working on my stride.  Its going to be a work in progress because my body wants to do what it knows, and long strides aren't it. 

FRIDAY:  I had a race on Saturday so I didn't want to go to hard this day. I just did a nice slow pace for 4 miles.  I came home and threw in some extra stretching and some foam rolling on my legs. I did notice this day that my Ab challenge is starting to become a little more easier.  By no means is it easy yet though. 

SATURDAY: OAKMONT 5K:  This is a race I do every year and is a race I really enjoy. This year however it was my cousin Chris's first 5K.  He started to run a few weeks ago to lose some weight.  He is already down 25 lbs. Obviously he is eating healthier too.  After some nagging and convincing by me and my friend Anna we got him to say he would run the race with us.  I figured there was no better race to do for your first than Oakmont. It is a flat course and is an out and back.  So Chris, his brother Mike, Anna and myself all met in the morning to drive together.  We got there and registered and then did some stretching.  I tried to tell Chris (@chrissmith6944 on twitter) to run his race and not to worry about other runners.  The nice thing with it being an out and back I would be able to see how we looked as I was coming back.  He looked good coming up on 1.5 and he was running with Anna.  I finished at 23:14, not what I was shooting for, but still not bad.  My cousin Mike finished in 27 minutes while Anna finished in 30:37 and Chris finished in 31:19.  For his first race I think he did awesome.  After he finished he said "I don't know why you guys think this is fun".  After having some refreshments and talking to some people he said he would do another one.  I don't think he is hooked yet but I think he now has a new respect for runners. I will post a recap of the race on Thursday.

picture: from left to right: me, Anna, Chris(@chrissmith6944), Mike(@mikesmithwriter)

      After the race on Saturday I had no time to relax because me and my wife were going to the Luke Bryan Concert at Heinz Field. It was a great show and we had a blast. I made friends with a lady from Canada and she told me to come run the Ottawa Marathon next year.  I may have to consider that.  One thing about the concert though was the trash in the parking lot.  Last year it was bad for Kenny Chesney and this year they did everything to fix that.  They gave you a garbage back when you parked in the lot.  You have to be a real asshole to not use the bag and just throw your shit on the ground.  Its a shame because it is mainly young people who can't handle their alcohol and just have no respect.  Besides that the show was great and we had club seats so we didn't have long waits for anything.

SUNDAY (Today):  Cross Training day.  Ab workout and Arm workout!!!

I have a couple weeks until my next race, so this time will be used to really start my Marathon training.  I feel this could be the best I have felt going into full training.  Hopefully the reward will be just as great. 

*From time to time I like to send anyone who reads my blog to other people's blogs.  One I recommend is  Joy In The Fire by: Stephanie Wattenbarg @SWattenberg. Please check it out and tell her I sent you!!!


  1. I was actually thinking of trying that abs challenge too. Might be a July month challenge. Sounds like the Oakmont 5K was a good race for everyone. I wish I would have made it.

    1. I wish you would of made it too, I know you would of gotten a PR. The turn out was real good and the competition was high

  2. Thanks for the link, I'm interested to follow along with your experience doing the challenge.

    Your Tuesday workout sounds badass. I've been goofing around at a nearby track, but nothing hardcore like you described.

    3 meter stride? That's amazing. After I read your remark about that I looked at my Garmin stats from a 10K race I did last night, average stride was 1.29m, I have no idea in hell how I could more than double that, but I suppose that's why I'm solid mid-pack and not an elite. Food for thought on an area to improve.

    1. After doing more research on the issue most articles say your stride should be 180 strides per minute.. But I don't know how in the hell do you calculate that. But they all say if you can increase the stride it will improve your running.. So like you said an area to think of for improving