From baby steps to running strides … and everything inbetween.

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Coach Mike Byrnes

I originally had a different post planned for today. However, my dear friend and coach, Mike Byrnes, passed away this past weekend. Therefore, today, my post is dedicated to one of the most important people to ever grace my life.

I know that Coach meant a lot of different things to a lot of different people. His accomplishments and contributions to the world are far too many to ever recount so I am not going to try and cover all of those today. If you want to read them, simply google “Mike Byrnes, Track & Field”, and the resume you’ll find will be long and distinguished. No, instead, I want to give you a small glance into my time with Coach. Several months back, I was approached to write down some of my memories of Mike and now seemed like an appropriate time to share them more publicly. Here is just a glance at Coach Mike and I’s story. A story that is forever etched into my heart… Continue reading

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Selfless VS Selfish

“When I can be selfless”. That’s what I always told myself about having kids. The time would be “right” when I could be selfless.

That’s because growing up I was one of the lucky ones. I had two very selfless parents. My mom left her job and stayed home with my brother, sister, and I until we were old enough to start school. Between the three of us kids, we participated in soccer, cheerleading, band, cross country, karate, wrestling, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, school plays and even dance. My parents were always on the sidelines or in the audience watching and supporting us.

Growing up we also had season passes to amusement parks, water parks, swimming pools and even to Colonial Williamsburg. We took family vacations each year to places like the beach or Disney World. My dad participated in every father daughter dance & my mom volunteered to chaperone field trips. I could go on and on but the point is my parents were always INVOLVED. They made my brother, sister and I the focus of their lives and put our activities, wants and needs above their own. From field days at school to driving 45 minutes each way to soccer practice our parents constantly gave their money, time and attention to better us. They were and still are selfless.


Sarah holding her now two-year-old niece, Leighton, when she was a baby

I however, am the opposite of selfless. I am selfish. Continue reading

Coaching Sarah

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See My Schedule – No words. Just Work.

Post By: Darren Brown – Husband/Coach/Father

Schedule 20 weeks

In light of the recent (but not surprising) revelations by Dick Pound and WADA regarding the systematic doping in Russia, and possibly other Nations/Federations, I will simply post Sarah’s schedule this week … no comments.  We’ll let the HARD WORK of this 21-week pregnant woman speak for itself in terms of dedication, commitment to clean sport and hope for a better future … Continue reading

see my schedule - 20 weeks

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See My Schedule – “Ohh, we’re half way there …”

Post By: Darren Brown – Husband/Father/Coach

New Balance GNO Sign

Sign outside the New Balance GNO event Sarah traveled to NYC for

This week, I had originally planned to write about how training had gotten back on track after overcoming Sarah’s early PGP issues; how we had avoided another travel-induced setback; how Sarah seemed to be entering the halfway mark in good spirits, excited about her progress and fitness.  I mean, everything about the prior week of training told us this was where we were headed. We were wrong … Continue reading

Weights in NYC

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See My Schedule – Travel & Training at 19 Weeks

Post By: Darren Brown – Father/Husband/Coach

As mentioned last week, we entered this week knowing that flexibility and adaptability would be paramount.  The last time Sarah traveled cross-country, she started to notice the onset of her PGP (SPD).  We knew that another long flight this week could potentially cause those issues to return, and worse, if we weren’t careful.  We also knew that there would be some shifting that had to take place in our regular “routine” based on an early flight Wednesday, long day Thursday and early flight Friday.  With all that in mind, we entered this week fully accepting that it may be a less-than-ideal week of training … and that this would be “ok” as long as she came out the other end healthy and feeling good.  Here’s what the week looked like  and a few quick insights into new modalities, double-runs (*gasp*) and unfortunate circumstances that happen at just the right time … Continue reading

WC Top Finishers

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See My Schedule – “World Champion” at 18wks

Post By: Darren Brown – Husband/Father/Coach

PHEW! This past week was a full one.  Not only did Sarah do her first two workouts back on the road since the onset of her PGP, but she also turned 29 on Thursday, which we celebrated by heading to the track for Sarah straights and curvesher first session of the 2015/2016 year.  Now, I know what you are thinking … “Why would you get on the track this early?” Well, in spite of what some may think, just because you get on the track, doesn’t mean you have to be doing “speed-work” (although we sort of did … in a way … I’ll explain below in the training insights section). Continue reading

Sarah MB Push-Up


See My Schedule – Return to Running

Post By: Darren Brown – Husband/Father/Coach

Last week, the onset of PGP (Pevlic Girdle Pain – AKA SPD, Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction) caused us to remove running and lifting from the last four days of Sarah’s schedule, replacing it with even more cross-training and corrective exercises.  This allowed us to combat the pain while still keeping volume up.  It seemed to work, as Sarah’s pain level decreased significantly by the end of the weekend. Turn the page, and this week, we began to build some easy running and weights back into the schedule.

We took this week day by day, adding in one piece at a time; then, sitting back to see how Sarah’s body would react to the stimulus. This is a new process for me. Having worked together since 2012, I had become accustomed to how Sarah’s body & mind would react to certain stimuli.  Now, however, I am having to learn this process all over again … and the worst thing I could do at this point would be to rush it.  We have a lot of time and made Lake Mead 3/4some really good progress this week. We continued to perform the corrective exercises alongside a heavy volume of cross-training, but also managed to run a solid 30 miles (across 5 days), with a long run of an hour and even some strides added in on Friday.  We continued to avoid lateral movements and completed her two planned quality workouts on the ElliptiGO. Overall, we are very happy with the week’s training. Continue reading