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 19, 2015

2 Weeks Until RaceDay: Taper Time

With only 2 weeks until the start of the DICK'S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon it is now time to go into taper mode. After this past week I am looking forward to that. Normally I would get the taper blues and go insane but this training cycle is different and I really need the break. I will be one person who is happy for the taper. If I was on a beach I would be laid up in a hammock with a nice cocktail in my hand.

This week was supposed to be my week that really would let me know where I stand. I scheduled a race hoping to help get me out of my mental funk. Every run I had planned was going to be at a speed a bit faster than normal and the distance would be a bit longer than scheduled.

MONDAY: 5 miles at 8:00 pace or faster. I ran a pretty flat course and was able to finish in 38:24. I felt really good. It was nice because I still wasn't going 100%. It was the start of the confidence booster I needed.

TUESDAY: Speed Workout: 4 mile fartleks. The course I did was pretty flat except for 1 big hill. I used the telephone poles as my markers, and would go about 90% full speed for one set then jog for the next set. Once again I finished feeling really good.

WEDNESDAY: Rest Day: I had all intentions of running this day, but I had to go with Amanda and look at a house we were interested in. Looking at the house was great, but I recieved a call from Stephanie who was on her to Boston and would be passing through the Burgh. She needed to get in a 40 minute run. Stephanie is a person who inspires me and I really wanted to finay meet her, but it just wasn't going to happen. I did give her directions to the riverfront trail so she could run on it and see our beautiful city.  Please make sure to wish Stephanie luck while she runs Boston tomorrow. Her Twitter handle is @IRun4MyCrazy.

THURSDAY: I set out of a 6 mile run while there was a brief break in the rain. I had it all figured out I would run a new course and listen to music in hopes to shake up the training. I thought maybe a good run where my mind wasn't all over the place would help get me out of my mental funk. As soon as I started I knew something didn't feel right in my right calf muscle. It felt very tight, but I just figured it would loosen up as I ran. Two mile in and it was still tight. On the third mile coming up a hill I felt the muscle get real tight and it brought me to a sudden stop. Luckily I was only 1 mile away from my car and was able to walk back. When I say walk it was more of a painful limp. This was not the confidence booster I needed. When I got home I checked and didn't see any bruising on my leg, so I foam rolled it and threw my compression socks on for the night.

FRIDAY: With my leg still sore and a half marathon the next day I decided to skip running. It kind of worked out since I was going to the Pirate game that night. One week in and I still hadn't been to a game with our season tickets.

SATURDAY: The Boston Trail Half Marathon: (Review on Thursday) I woke up earlier than normal so I could roll my calf muscle before I left. I still wasn't even sure if I was going to be able to run the race. I got there early so I could pick up my packet and start stretching. I ran into some SCRR members and we were going over the course and discussing strategies. After getting a group photo I went out for a short run to see how the leg felt. It was still sore but I felt I could give it a go. I lined up just before the 2 hour pace group. As I started I felt strong and soon found myself in front of the 1:55 pace group. About mile 4 is when I realized my leg was not getting any better and the pain was getting worse. I made the decision to slow down and not risk injury before Pittsburgh. I took small strides and ran a smart race for the remainder and finished in 2:04. Normally this would be a let down with that time, but actually it was a confidence booster and just what I needed to get out of my mental funk. I didn't give up. I fought through the pain and ran a smart race. Now that it is taper time I will take the next 2 weeks to ice down the leg and get it back to normal for RaceDay.
SUNDAY: Today I plan on just taking it easy and icing down my muscle. I will also do some foam rolling as well.  The good news is there is still no bruising on my muscle, so I am pretty sure it is not torn. With some ice and compression I should be alright. I am now out of mental funk since my race yesterday and this up coming week I plan to get back in the gym and still lift since the running will be on hold for at least a week or so.


How did your week go?
How do you deal with taper time?


  1. Shaun, you are seriously an inspiration to me. I love that you got out of your funk by pushing yourself through a half marathon when you could have easily thrown in the towel. Take care of that leg! roll/ice/roll/ice you know the drill. You're going to own the PGH half when (not if) you get to that starting line rested and healthy!

    1. Thank you so much Nichole. Sometimes we just need to endure a little pain to realize what we are capable of. I have no doubt in my mind I will be ready come May 3rd and I will give it all I got.

  2. You do the smart thing with the Boston Trail half. You've proven over and over again that you're ready for Pgh, and I'm glad that the race got you out of your funk. You have two weeks to work out the leg issue--plenty of time to be ready to fly on May 3!

    1. Thanks Jennifer, I feel that 2 weeks is plenty of time for me to work this leg thing out. It already feels better and I am going to take it nice and slow. May 3rd I will be more than ready

  3. I'm really sorry that you're having some trouble this close to race day - I understand 100% !! I battled Achilles Tendonitis for a good part of last year so I am also really familiar with pain in the foot/calf; have you tried stretching it out on the stairs? That always helps when I start getting that pain...basically, you put the ball of your foot on the step so that your heel hangs down. Then push your heel down towards the floor and hold it for a few seconds. Then push back up. It's so basic, but it's REALLY effective!! The good news is that there is lots of time to work it out before race day!
    You've had a great training cycle and are going to be so ready to crush this course!!

    1. Amanda I have a stretched that I got from medi-dyne and it works awesome. You stick your foot on this half moon thing and you basically just roll it forward and back and it stretches out the muscles. I am using it nightly with a small roller to get deep in the muscle and I am icing it every night. I already feel better and taking this week off running will really help. I will be 100 percent ready come race day.