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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Erie Marathon Recap

     On Sunday I ran the Erie half marathon. It was my first time running this race and this is my recap of the race. I arrived at packet pick up which was located on Presque Isle, Erie.  It was held at the Rotary Pavilion.  I really liked this because everything was there. You picked up your packet and then could browse the few vendors that were there.  Also I liked that the expo was held outside and you had room to move around unlike a lot of the other expo's that are inside and very crowded.  Another nice thing I noticed was if you purchased tickets for the pasta dinner on Saturday it was right there inside the pavilion.  I did not partake in the pasta dinner since I carb. loaded Friday night.

     The packet included your normal swag. A long sleeve t-shirt, some coupons and flyers, a 13.1 sticker, a bumper sticker, a bandanna that was a map of the Isle, and your number and timing chip.  

      I started to get prepared for the race all day Saturday. Starting around 2:00 pm I would sip some coconut water every hour. I made sure not to over eat even though I didn't eat the best meal.  Once in my hotel room I took a hot shower and did some stretching as soon as I got out.  I wore my Zensah Compression socks to bed to help with any pains I had in my legs.   I honestly had one of the worst nights of sleep. I kept waking up every hour on the hour looking at the clock. At 4:30 am the alarm finally went off and I jumped out of bed like it was Christmas morning.  Before getting dressed I ate my Power Bar and had a glass of water. The morning was cold so I was wearing my fleece pants and hoodie over my outfit. We left the hotel around 5 and headed over to the start which was at the same place as packet pick up.  One thing that sucked was how dark it was out. Walking from the car to the starting area was a task in itself.  I ran into some other runners and we managed to find our way. Once in the starting area I waited for my friend Abby so we could warm up together. It was still early and I made the smart decision to use the port-o-potty early before the lines got long.  It was nice not waiting but it was still so dark you couldn't see what you were doing.  I kept thinking to myself this has some kind of accident written all over it.  Luckily I managed to do my business with no mishaps.  
     The full marathon started at 7:00 am so I walked over to watch the start.  After the runners took off I made the smart decision to use the restroom one more time.  This time the lines were a little longer and there were rolls of toilet paper sitting out in front of each unit. I heard someone say "make sure you take in toilet paper because most of them are out."  Thank god I did not need to use the toilet paper.  After relieving myself me and Abby walked to the starting line for the 7:30 half start.  They had people holding signs that said what mile splits so you knew where to stand.  I had no real goal for the race so I started between the 8 and 9 minute per mile sign.  
     Like I said earlier I had no time goal for the race, but I did want to run a smart race. My plan was to watch my water intake and just run a comfortable race and see how I felt.  I took some advice from Kristy who said take water every mile even if it is just a sip to stay hydrated.
Mile 1- 8:06  I felt good and felt like this was a nice pace to go at. 
Mile 2- 7:55 My shins were hurting, but it wasn't anything to worry about i figured.
Mile 3- 7:53 Still felt really good and my pain in my shins were starting to go away.
Mile 4- 7:45 This was the first time I took some GU. I normally don't take it this early in a race, but I knew that there was some at mile 8 so I figured break the race down into 3 parts. 
Mile 5- 7:46 When I started the race I wore my arm sleeves, at this point I started to get hot and wanted to loose them.  Luckily at mile 5.8 you passed the start and I was able to throw them to Amanda who was watching from the side
Mile 6- 7:35 Seeing people always makes me speed up and I picked up the speed since my adrenaline kicked in.
Mile 7- Somewhere around here is when I noticed my Garmin was not on with the mile markers set up for the race. It was dead on for the first 6 miles then it seemed to be off a bit.  8:21- I know I slowed down because I ran into another runner and broke open my hand held water bottle.  I stopped to make sure it wasn't in the way of any other runners.
Mile 8- 7:54 I was still feeling good, I knew if I wanted to pick up the pace I could, but I honestly wasn't worried about the time. I was still doing everything the way I planned.
Mile 9- 8:01 This mile has the only uphill on the course.  It is a small hill compared to most hills I am used to, so it didn't really phase me.
Mile 10- 8:31 I decided to slow down a bit from here on out. I knew as long as ran under 9 minute miles my time would be respectful. I want to go to Columbus with confidence and this race was giving me just what I needed.
Mile 11- 8:45 
Mile 12- 8:34
Mile 13 and 13.1- 9:34  If you add the times it does not add up with what my official time was.  I finished with a time of 1:46:34        169th overall and 14th in my age group.     

I am very happy with how I did in this race. I set out to execute a smart race plan and I succeeded.  I felt really good and know I could of went faster. This was a great race to build my confidence.


 After getting my medal I got to watch my friend Abby finish. She ran one of her best times and I am very proud of her. 

Overall this was one of my favorite races. The course is super flat and shaded.  Even though we got perfect weather on race day I feel like if it was sunny the trees would of gave us great cover. The expo was small but good and it was really organized.  The race was organized and except for some small things like the toilet paper had no big problems.   If you want a race that isn't too crowded and are shooting for a good time this one is for you.


  1. Congratulations! Erie is a nice race, the half is definitively worth it for the course and the race. Doing the full is another story: making two loops is kind of boring ...

    1. After I finished I did say that having to run that twice could be kind of boring. Especially because the course is quiet and doesn't have much scenery

  2. Congrats on a smart race! I loved the swag they gave you, sticker and bandanna? So cool!

    1. Ya I thought the swag was a little unusual but cool, I especially like they gave the 13.1 sticker. You like to travel for races put a Pittsburgh or around here on your list

  3. I think the swag rocks. A 13.1 sticker & bandana with map of Presque Isle? Cool! Congrats on meeting your race goals. I am in awe that you can run that fast & think it's comfortable! You are going to kick ass in Columbus!

    1. Thank you, jenn you are not far behind me, it took me some time to get to that point and you work twice as hard so you will be there soon enough

  4. Very nice. You da bomb. Keep thinking those champion thoughts. You've got this!

  5. Great Race Shaun! You paced this one nicely and should be feeling good about Columbus

    1. Thank you Kim, yes I am feeling good and think I just need to fine tune some things and I will be alright

  6. Great racing! I've heard really good things about that race! Everything seems to be lining up for an awesome race in Columbus!

    1. Thank you!!! I think we are all going to run good races in Columbus!