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, September 6, 2015

Buffalo Creek Half Week 9 Training: Getting Mental

This week was all about not only putting in the miles but doing courses that would really test my mental toughness. One thing I have learned over 20 years of running is your mental toughness is just as important as your physical toughness. Your mind will want to quit on you before your body does, if you can fight through your mind saying quit you will do much better in a race. With that in mind every course I picked was for this week was going to make me want to give up and push my body to it's limit.

MONDAY: 5K at race pace.  The course I chose was an old race course that use to give me problems. It has 2 major hills and 2 smaller hills that are guaranteed to tire out your legs. In previous races on the course my best time was 23:14. Monday I ran it in 22:12. I had to tell myself a few times to keep going and not give up. I never looked at my time until I was finished and after I saw my time instead of getting happy for a PR on the course, I immediately said "I could of went faster". It's moments like these that are showing me my improvements.

TUESDAY: GYM DAY: All day I knew I was going to the gym and all day I kept getting depressed because I knew the treadmill would hurt my shins. I am not sure if this is a mental thing or if at times it just kills my shins. I decided I needed to pull something out that might make me not think and just run. Enter my Nike shoes I purchased months ago and have had them waiting in the wings to get back on my feet and get ready for some races. Armed with the Nike's on my feet I made the treadmill my bitch. 4 miles at a 8:00 pace, followed by a great leg workout. These shoes will be worn for the great race and for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon.

WEDNESDAY: 5 miles on a very hard hilly course. This run went good as far as the running part but about 1 mile into the run I got hit the BG'S. What is the BG's you ask? That is the bubble guts. My stomach started to rumble and make all types of odd noises. I happened to be in a place with no bathrooms in sight, however there was a nice set of woods. I don't need to go into detail but lets just say I started this run with 2 sleeves on my shirt and when I got done I was wearing a sleeveless shirt.
Rather than that little mishap the run went pretty good.

THURSDAY: HILL WORKOUT:  I found a grass hill that is about 300 meters straight up. I would sprint up the hill and jog back down. There was no resting and by the end of it I thought I was going to collapse. I never gave up though, and I just kept telling myself the race I am training is all down hill so imagine how fast I will be able to go if I am training running up hills.

FRIDAY: REST DAY: Most weeks I don't need a rest day, but this day felt so nice since I really pushed my legs during most runs.  I still had to cut the grass so it's not like I was just sitting and resting them though.

SATURDAY: LONG RUN: 10 miles at about 75 percent speed.  My legs felt heavy for the first 2 miles but once they got loose I was really feeling good. The course I ran was not an easy one which made it even better. Anytime I felt the urge to stop I was able to push through and keep going. It was a huge confidence booster as the weeks start to get closer to race day.

SUNDAY: By the time you read this I will be either driving too or I will be in Charleston, South Carolina. Amanda and I are finally going on a much needed vacation this year. I will have to use this day as a rest day since we will be driving most of the day, but I am not mad at all. Don't expect another post from me until next Monday. I will still be reading all my favorite blogs and commenting through out the week, but I am not going to take time out of my vacation to write my own. Don't worry my running gear is packed and I am ready for some good beach running.

What I took away from this hard week was, I am ready!  There is still room for improvement up until the race, but I am already in the mind set that this race is going to be a special one for me. Every week I plan on throwing in courses that make me work hard until the end of the run. One thing I lost in previous races was my mental toughness, I trained for the physical part but not the mental part. This time around I am working on both, and I expect a better outcome that past races.

How was your week?
How you handle training with vacation?