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

Thursday, April 16, 2015

We don't want the funk!!!

If you read my post on Sunday you would see that I am in a bit of a mental funk. From time to time every runner goes through some type of funk. It may be something as little as wanting to run when they are supposed to be in taper mode or it can be severe as not running at all. Thankfully my little funk I am in is not too severe. My problem is I start to doubt myself as I approach a big race.

As anyone who has ran a marathon and most will tell you that the hardest part of a marathon isn’t the race it’s the training. Not only do you have to endure the long runs, but you have to endure the mental struggles that come with it as well. Your mind can be your greatest weapon or your demise in a race. I am sure you have heard someone use the phrase “I was in the zone”, well that is their mind working at its peak. On the flip side I am sure you have talked to someone who has said “my mind just wasn’t in there today”. Unfortunately there is no blue print or remedy on how to get out of a funk, each runner has to figure that out on their own.

As I was saying my problem is I start to doubt myself before a big race. I am only running the half marathon this year in Pittsburgh, and I say only because in the previous years I have ran the full. Therefore you would think I should not be worried at all. I don’t have to worry about the big hill at mile 11, and I don’t have to run 26.2 miles. Instead this year I set my sights on something else I want to PR the half, and not only PR I want to finish at 1:30 or below. My training has been one of the best training cycles I have ever done. I not only followed the Hal Higdon method, but I even upped the mileage the last few weeks. My speed workouts have gotten faster and my times have improved tremendously. So why would I doubt myself? I honestly don’t know. I noticed the last few runs I couldn’t get my mind into the run. I would start to think of something and then I would want to stop running or I would find it hard to get back on track. I have seen other people say this happens to them and I would even give advice and say trust in your training and believe in yourself. So why am I not taking my own advice? I remembered at time back on #runchat and one of the questions was how do you get yourself out of a funk when you are in one? The response I saw that most was switch up the run, whether it be with running a new course, adding music to your run, or sign up for a new race. Well I am about to put this to the test. Today I plan on doing a new route on my run while listening to some music. I use to listen to music all the time and honestly it did help take my mind off the run, but I started to notice I let the beat of songs dictate my pace. So today I will just do an easy 6 miles and hopefully be able to hold a steady pace. I also decided what better way to get my mind right by signing up for another race. This Saturday I will be running the Boston Trail Half Marathon. It will not only be my last long run before Pittsburgh, but it should let me know where I am at for the race. I am hoping to go and run a nice and easy pace. I am not going to try for a PR or anything like that, but hopefully I will realize that I am capable of doing what I set out to do. You can read all about if this works on my Sunday post. Here’s to hoping it does.

How do you personally get out of a mental funk?


  1. Good strategies for getting your mind back into it. I tend to run the same routes, and I think changing it up sometimes does help make the runs more interesting. I usually don't listen to music but the few times I have recently, it was a really different & good experience. Good luck at the race this weekend!

    1. Thanks, changing the course up always helps me because I am focused on the road more and looking around and not worrying about my actual running. Hopefully the race will also help me get my mind in the right place

  2. I can totally relate. I've been there since November and struggled through my Spring training season. My goal race is tomorrow and then I plan to take a little break to relax and hopefully come back to running with more enjoyment! Hang in there!

    1. Good luck at your race tomorrow, and here's to hoping we can both come back strong