Hello, thank you for joining me along my journey of becoming a Runner! I've always been an active guy, played sports in high school and continued into adult recreation sports after high school. As I started my family and found a career, the activity level slowly decreased. Well my Fiance had enough of our lazy ways and started on the Weight Watchers program and completely overhauled our daily meals. Step 2 was getting more active, so we decided to JOG our annual Juvenile Diabetes charity walk and actually enjoyed the activity. The month following the charity walk, we signed up for our first official 5K and had an absolute blast. From that point forward I have officially been BIT by the running bug and this is my journey to becoming a RUNNER!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thank You

Hey Everyone!!

I wanted to drop in and thank everyone for their congratulations and kind words. 

I had family and friends at the finish line cheering me on as I finished up on Saturday and it was a really great way to close out the race.  So overall between my family and friends at the race, all the Facebook love, and your kind words here on the blog, I’ve had an overwhelming amount of support after this huge accomplishment.

I’ll have a full recap up in the next couple days so be on the lookout for that.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

I'm an Ultra Marathoner

I made it!! Came out way to fast, suffered for half the race, and came into the finish with my family waiting for me.  Amazing experience and I'm proud of this huge accomplishment.  All the details to come, I resting cause my WHOLE body is sore lol

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Calebrating Race Week

Happy Thursday Everyone!!

We are in the midst of race week celebration, are all of you celebrating with me?!?! LOL

Actually we have stayed pretty busy with sports and holiday decorating that I’ve been able to keep my mind off the race for the most part.  Which overall is a good thing but most of today and tomorrow will be dedicated to getting ready for Saturday.

I’ll try to touch base again before Saturday to go over all my last minute prep.  S@#$ is getting real LOL!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Race Week...Ahhhhhhhh lol

Happy Monday!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

We are officially in race week.  My first ever 50k is going down this Saturday.  Can you believe it??  It feels like just weeks ago I was announcing in a post that I was tackling my first 50k….crazy!!

Although I was taking things pretty easy last week, I still had plenty of activity to keep my legs active. 

Thursday – Thanksgiving day there was a group of about 6 guys meeting up to burn off some calories before the massive feast that each of us planned to have.  I decided to join and knock out some easy miles.  I really had to stay committed to my plan for a couple reasons.  #1 the guys planned to run about 9 miles and I only had 5 miles on my plan.  It would have been easy to tag along and enjoy the run but I really wanted to focus on sticking to the plan.  So I ran with the group for the first 2.5 miles then headed back to the car for a nice 5 mile out and back.  #2 there were essentially two pace groups, a fast group out front and a casual group bringing up the rear.  Again, it would have been easy to click off miles with the fast group but I decided to stick with the casual group and keep the effort level real low.

Friday – Turkey Bowl Football day.  Each year around Thanksgiving my church throws a mini football tournament for all of us old men who want to relive our glory days.  At a high level this looked like an accident waiting to happen with any number of collisions or twisted ankles that could have occurred.  But all in all it was a good day, legs felt great, and I had a great time with a lot of the guys I know from my church. 

Saturday – Little bit of an error on my part.  Our normal group run was getting out for about 7.5 miles.  I only had 5 on my plan but decided that I would casually run the full loop with the group.  Adding an extra couple miles wasn’t going to be a big deal.  When I showed up we had a pretty large group turn out for the post Turkey Day run.  Our assumption was that everyone wanted to burn off all the food and desserts they ate for Thanksgiving.  Once again we had two pace groups and I surely couldn’t pass up another opportunity to show the fast guys that I could hang with them right?!?!  So yeah, I bombed away at miles with the fast group and I ran these miles a lot harder than I planned to.  Outside of my effort level being higher than planned, it was a great day, and once again my legs felt great.

Sunday – Full rest day!!  Spent most of the day putting up Christmas decorations.  Legs were a little tight from football on Friday and the group run on Saturday but I knew this whole week would be SUPER light and plenty of time for my legs to recover.

So here we are, race week!!

Any last minute advice for this weekend?? – I plan to drink a gallon of water each day this week to make sure I’m properly hydrated lol

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Lessons Learned Part 5

Can you believe it, only 2 more days until Thanksgiving!!

This is post #5 in a series dedicated to those areas in my training that I’ve had to work through some trial and error to find out what works best for me.

Today’s Topic – Our Bodies are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G

Over the last few months I’ve had plenty of comments and posts about how thankful I am to be able to run and be active.  There was even a post from June where I was mentally writing a big ol rant post about how my legs were trash when I came to the realization that my legs were fighting through a ton of elevation gain and I needed to be more sympathetic to that.

As I’m now in full on taper mode and I just finished a 70 mile week, it’s only right to extend a huge THANK YOU to my body and legs.  There are still some small runs on the plan and any number of accidents that could pop up but as of today I’m headed to the start line healthy.  

And maybe I should take that a bit further, my body has also allowed me to be…

Trained – I feel that this was the best training cycle I’ve ever run.  Yes I moved some runs around and missed some runs here and there, but over all I killed this training cycle.

Confident – I’m completely confident going into this race.  I’ve ran the miles so I know I can complete 31 miles but I’ve also scouted the course and feel confident with my race plan.

Race Ready – I’m flat out in great shape.  I can feel it when I run.  I don’t want to say I’m in the best shape of my life but as I inch closer to this race, I can feel that I’m in amazing running shape to tackle this race.

A lot goes into a long and time consuming training cycle like this.  One of the biggest factors is keeping your body healthy and your body responding to the stress and increased activity the right way.  I’m in no way an expert on pre- and post- run maintenance because there are a lot of things I DO NOT do.

Strength Training – I loathe the gym.  I know all the research.  I know what all the experts say.  I know what the elite runners do.  I just greatly dislike weights and the gym so I avoid it as much as possible.

Stretching – I will do some static stretches here and there when I’m watching TV or at the office when I have some specific tightness on my body (calves, hamstrings, ITB, etc.), but that’s about it.  There isn’t any major rhyme or reason behind this, I just haven’t found the stretching to be overly beneficial or necessary.

Foam Rolling – Um….yeah lol.  For me personally, foam rolling made my ITB issues worse a couple years ago.  That’s when I went to a bit more stretching and retired my foam roller. 

Again, these are choices that I make based on my training and my body, and on the other hand, there are some things I do that seem to keep my body feeling good.

Steam Showers – After long runs, nothing feels better than a long relaxing steam shower.  I literally turn the water to scorching temps, lay down in the shower, and let the water pour down on my legs.  It seems to relax all my muscles and I feel like my recovery is much quicker.

Warm Up/Cool Down – Because I don’t do much stretching, I often find myself taking the first mile very slowly.  This allows me to shake out my legs and get my muscles warmed up for the run.  I’ve also been more intentional on ending my run with a smooth and casual finish.  Occasionally I still throw in a “fast finish” just to close out certain runs strong, but for the most part I end things with low effort and sometimes even end my runs walking.

No Flip/Flops – This is a constant argument between Mrs. Schlub and I.  Flip flops are horrible for your feet.  They provide no arch support and no cushioning.  I try to be barefoot around the house and in running shoes everywhere else.  Lucky for me I have 2 good pairs of road shoes that were recently retired to casual use.  I only run trails now lol.

Sleep Position – This may come across as strange but I sleep on the couch A LOT.  The one big reason I do this is because our couch is the perfect length so I can comfortable lay across and prop my feet up on the arm rest.  This keeps my feet at a 90* angle the entire night and has 100% healed and warded off my Plantar Fasciitis.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had some tightness in my foot and by morning my feet feel perfect because of this process. 

Warm Clothes – It may be the Arizona blood, or the slender physique, but I get cold pretty easily.  When I’m not running, I don’t take chances and make sure to stay warm.  Especially right now so close to race day, I don’t want to take the chance of being cold and getting sick which can easily derail a training plan or race.  I don’t need to prove anything, I like to be warm lol.

So those were some of the DO’s and DON’T’s that I’ve picked up during this training cycle. 

More specifically, I am 100% grateful and feel truly blessed for the ability to run and be active.  I’m sure many of you will agree, we punish our body with high miles, high intensity, and often find our muscles screaming at us to stop.  Our bodies have more power and ability than we will ever know and quite often take us past the limits we set for ourselves.  We need to take care of these bodies that bless us each and every day.

What are some ways that you thank your body?

Anything you do that goes against conventional maintenance for runners?

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday Randomness

Hey Everyone!!

Welcome to Thanksgiving Week!!

Last week I had planned to do a link up with all my fellow bloggers about how much I dislike Mondays but I have to admit, three day work week has me pretty excited.

So instead, here is a random post Monday filled with a bunch of stuff just because lol.

1)      2 Week Notice -  I am officially inside 2 weeks until race day.  I was looking at my training plan and I literally have 5 more runs until its race time, can you believe it’s already here!!

2)      Annual Mileage – I was looking back over my Garmin data while I filled in my training plan and noticed that I have surpassed the 1,000 mile mark for this year.  That is pretty cool in itself but once I looked at the data a little more I was pretty surprised.  I’ll cover this in my annual review next month but I ran 27 miles in March and 19 miles in April.  I know I was throwing down massive amounts of miles the last few months so it more than made up for March and April but it’s just interesting to see the hiatus from running during those two months.

3)      Sleep is Good – Now that we have amazing weather here in AZ and I don’t have mid distance runs early in the morning, I’ve been able to get more runs done in the middle of the day on my lunch break.  This means that I’m able to sleep in and get up at a normal time to head into work.  I gotta say, my mind and body have been missing sleep quite a bit lol.  I actually feel like I’ve been pretty lazy the last few days.  You know that feeling when you get a good amount of sleep and wake up more tired than when you went to bed.  Yeah that feeling lol.

4)      Injury Prevention – Every year our church holds a Thanksgiving Flag Football tournament for all of us old washed up athletes to come out and re-live our glory days.  I’ve been a part of this the past few years and it’s always a good time hanging out with the other dad’s and playing some football.  Well this year I may doing a bit more watching than actually playing.  My concern is one of these big cavemen football players trampling me and next thing you know I’m injured for the race next week.  No Bueno!!  

5)      Thanksgiving – I always look forward to Thanksgiving.  As a family with strong faith, we are always appreciative of the blessings we have in our life.  But Thanksgiving is such a retrospective holiday where you can spend time with the ones you love and eat delicious foot.  I hope everyone has fantastic plans for the holiday.

6)      Christmas – I fought it off as much I could but we in fact will have Christmas decorations up for our Thanksgiving holiday lol.  I know we aren’t the only ones, there are houses in our neighborhood that had Christmas lights up last week.  None the less, we will be celebrating Thank-smas later this week lol.

How many miles have you ran so far this year?

Who else has Christmas decorations up already??

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Lessons Learned Part 4

Happy Thursday everyone!!

Don’t worry, one more day until the weekend and I’m sure most of us only have a few days to work next week before the big Thanksgiving feast.  I'm power eating for the 50K so I plan to put down some food lol.

This is post #4 in a series dedicated to those areas in my training that I’ve had to work through some trial and error to find out what works best for me.

Today’s Topic – Realization

I’m just going to be upfront and throw my cards on the table, I’m done with road running.  

Throughout this training cycle it has become blatantly evident that my body adapted much better to trail running than it did to road running.  I was talking to my coach this morning on our run and reflecting back to my preparation for my first and second marathons.  I remember the sheer pounding that my body was taking during those 15 – 20 mile runs.  My legs were trashed and it felt like my legs took forever to recover.

This past weekend I put in 40+ miles between Saturday and Sunday.  Both days I took some Ibuprofen after my run and later that evening my legs were feeling pretty good and I was up and moving around.  Not to mention on the runs themselves, I could feel that my legs were tired but I still had the ability to click off miles when needed.  I am fully aware that my base, my build up, and my overall training cycle has been light-years better but I can’t deny the facts.  My body feels amazing and I never felt this way during road race training.

The first realization that I was done with roads came a couple weeks ago.  I woke up late one morning and I considered running around my neighborhood to make sure I got my miles in rather than drive to the trails and miss out on some miles.  Well there wasn’t much debate, I jumped in the car and simply got as many miles as I could.  There was a great loathing when I had the thought of 10 – 15 miles around my neighborhood.  Now I still go for a run here and there around my neighborhood so I can get Buster ready for bed but that isn’t any more than 2 miles.

The second realization has been repeatedly popping into my head while I’m out for hours on my long runs.  I am currently signed up for the RnR Half Marathon here in Phoenix next January, and I am 100% regretting that sign up lol.  Originally I had PR on my mind when a good deal came up on my email and I jumped on the registration.  I had an amazing race earlier this year and ran 1:39 for the half marathon.  My goal quickly became 1:29 which would be a pretty amazing achievement.  Being 100% honest, since joining my current running group, and training for this 50k… desire at all to run the RnR.  I get more excited looking in the other direction.  How awesome would it be to run a 50 miler?  What about a 100k?  What about a 100 miler?  OMG what if I ever ran Western States or Hardrock or any of the other epic ultra marathons??  Now that gets me excited.

As of right now my focus is on the 50k in two weeks.  In the back of my mind I’m pretty sure I’m running the RnR Half, I don’t want to waste the registration fee, I’m cheap lol.

But again, I’m pretty set on my feelings towards road races and the realization that I truly enjoy trail running.

Do you prefer road running or trail running?

What recent realizations have you made in your running life?? 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Schlubbing Recap 11/7 - 11/13

Happy Tuesday Everyone!!

Here it is, full recap from last week’s running.  For those that don’t want to read through all the details:

Total Miles – 72.5 miles
Total Elevation Gain – 7,700 feet

Monday, November 7th – Planned: 6 miles with hills     Actual: 2.8 miles with hills
Mondays have become pretty hard to wake up early and get out for a run.  I like watching The Walking Dead and for us out here in AZ it doesn’t come on until 10pm.  By the time I finally fall asleep we are talking 1130 or midnight.  So of course I slept in Monday morning and decided to get a run in during lunch.

Plan was for 6 miles with hill repeats.  The mountain near work isn’t quite the mileage I need but it definitely gives me the elevation gain I need.  800 feet over a mile and a half is excellent hill work.  So I figured I’d get another lunch run in during the week to make up for the missed run Monday morning.  On a side note I forgot my watch and had to use Strava on my phone.  I HATE forgetting my watch.  Anyways, pretty solid run, tons of traffic on the mountain so I couldn’t really get into a good groove.  Run ended up being 2.8 miles with 850 feet of elevation gain.

Tuesday, November 8th – Planned: 8 miles     Actual: 10.61 miles
Run #1 – Got up early in the morning to hit a 7.5 mile trail on the way to work.  I normally tackle this loop clockwise but this morning I wanted to change things up and attempt the counter clockwise route.  This was magical, it makes the trail so much more runable and I really only have to tackle one big climb.  Plus the weather was amazing.  So run #1 ended up being 7.5 miles and 1000 feet of elevation gain.

Run #2 – Brought an extra change of running clothes to hit the mountain on lunch again.  Gotta get runs in when we can right??  Pretty similar scenario as Monday.  Solid run with lots of traffic up on the mountain.  So run #2 ended up being 3.11 miles and 840 feet of elevation gain.

Total for Tuesday between my two runs was 10.61 miles and 1900 feet of elevation gain.

Wednesday, November 9th – Planned: 10 miles     Actual: 9.34 miles
I was meeting a group of guys at 445 to knock out our 5 mile loop.  I knew I was planned for 10 miles so I headed out alone at 4 am to knock out 4 miles worth of hill repeats.  I mentioned this in a post last week, this was a really windy day and I had to push myself to get through these repeats.  I was really happy when I was headed back to the parking lot to meet up with the guys.  Once we were running together things were a lot easier and I was actually surprised that my legs still had some spring in them after the repeats.  Maybe I didn’t repeat hard enough??  So this run ended being 9.34 miles with just under 1200 feet of elevation gain.

Thursday, November 10th – Planned: 5 miles     Actual: 2.8 miles
HAHA this was my lazy day.  It was super windy on Tuesday and Wednesday.  When I woke up on Thursday and heard the wind outside, I had no problem deciding to lay back down for a couple more hours of sleep.  I brought my stuff along with me and hit the mountain on my lunch break again.  Third time this week, solid run with lots of hikers enjoying the weather.  Another side note, I forgot my watch again and had to use Strava on my phone.  I HATE forgetting my watch.  Same stats, run ended up being 2.8 miles with 850 feet of elevation gain.

Friday, November 11th – Planned: Rest Day     Actual: 5.16 miles
By Friday I was pretty set on going after the 70 miles for the week.  I slept in on Thursday so I felt good with a run on my planned off day.  Not to mention a buddy was running that morning so he didn’t have to twist my arm to get me out for our 5 mile loop.  We met in the parking lot at 445 am and had a perfect 55* that morning.  We kept it pretty casual as we talked through all the important aspects of life, but mostly running lol.  Run ended up being 5.16 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain.

On to the weekend and S@#$ was about to get R-E-A-L…..

Saturday, November 12th – Planned: 13 miles     Actual: 15.5 miles
I knew I was planned for 13 but if I wanted to 70 miles I needed to put in some extra work.  Our son had baseball at 800am that morning so there was no way I was waking up to start running at 3am.  I “happily” decided that I would run in the middle of the day so that I could take my time as well as get some much needed training in the sun.  Hit the trails around noon and planned three loops of our 5 mile route.  I crushed the first two loops and figured the last one would be a real sufferfest and I would be power hiking a lot.  To my surprise my legs showed up and that third loop was only slightly slower than the first two.  Outside of the warm temps, this was a solid run to start off my weekend.  Run ended up being 15.5 miles with 1100 feet of elevation gain.

Sunday, November 13th – Planned: 24 miles     Actual: 26.2 miles
This was the focus of my entire week.  I was not only going after 70 miles for the week, but I was on the actual 50k course for race day and was using this run as a complete race day simulation.  I was running through everything that I had planned to that point with the exception of bringing extra water since there would be no aid stations out on the trails this day.

I broke the run into two loops so I could hit the car at some point and refill my water and fueling.  The first portion is one giant loop that is roughly 16 miles.  I was particularly interested in a section around mile 6.5 because this is a section of the trail that will be included on race day but I had yet to run.  Boy was I glad to run this section.  It actually has a bit more climbing than I expected and really helps with my race day planning so I make sure to have some gas left in the tank when I hit this section.  Once I hit about mile 10 it’s pretty much all downhill all the way back to the car.  I intentionally bombed this section clicking off 7 and 8 min miles to make sure my legs were tired for the second loop.  Got back to the car, had a banana, refilled all my water, refilled all my fueling, and headed right back out for the second loop.

The second portion is roughly 10 miles and this section includes a smaller section that is actually the start of the race.  Again being intentional, I wanted to tackle this section in daylight because this was a section I had never run before and I wanted a good opportunity to plan for race day.  Just like the section earlier, I’m really glad I ran this trail before race day. This is 100% a blow up section of trail.  For about 3 miles the trail is amazing, it’s all switchbacks with small inclines and declines that are crazy fast.  Even being about 20 miles into my run I was clicking off 8 min miles in this section.  Then comes miles 3 – 6…these are some tough miles.  You have some pretty strong climbs followed by a long drawn out steady climb all the way to where an aid station is going to be on race day.  That wouldn’t be so bad if your finishing with that section like I did during this run, but that isn’t the case on race day.  On race day once you hit this aid station, you have another REALLY long climb up to the highest point of the race.  If I’m looking at the data correctly, you hit this really fast section clipping off miles like crazy, then from mile 5 to about mile 11 your climbing about 1000 feet of elevation gain.  YIKES!!!  Again, I can’t say this enough, I’m so glad that I got out on the course before the race because now I know I have all the right information to put together a strong race plan.

Totals, November 7th – November 13th – Total for the week was 72.5 miles and 7,700 feet of elevation gain.

There is only one word to describe this week…CONFIDENCE!!  My body feels amazing, and I know that I’m ready for this race.  I can honestly say that this is the most prepared I’ve ever been going into a goal race.  All I need to do is finalize my race day plan and then execute.  If I can do that I know that this race is going to be the accomplishment and the performance that I’m expecting out of myself.

How do you develop your race day plan?

Do you ever do course recon and run miles on the actual race course before race day?

Monday, November 14, 2016

You Gotta See This

It is done!!

I am officially into the taper and after my monster numbers last week, I feel 100% confident going into my first 50K.

I’m working on a full weekly update but I wanted to share with all of you the fantastic weekend that I had.  I originally had on the plan a 24 mile and 13 mile back to back weekend.  Because of our schedule change I’ve been running my long runs on Sunday with my recovery run coming on Saturday.  It has made it tougher to run the long run as the last day of the week but you have to get the miles in when you can right??  Like I said last week, I saw that I was planned for 66 total miles and I was going to challenge myself to go after 70 miles for the week.  That means I changed my plans for the weekend to be a 15 mile and 26 mile back to back weekend.

All I can say is that I dominated this weekend!!

Saturday ended up being 15.5 miles with 1100 feet of elevation gain and an average pace of 9:49 min/mile.

Sunday ended up being 26.2 miles with 1400 feet of elevation gain and an average pace of 10:40 min/mile.

So for the week, I ended up with 72.5 miles and 7600 feet of elevation gain.  WOW!!

Honestly I never thought that many miles in one week would be possible.  I’m sure as all of us our runners, you know that feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with such a big milestone.  Honestly all I can say is that everything is coming together at the right time, my body feels amazing, and I’m looking forward to getting after it on race day.

How do you celebrate hitting a big milestone??

When was the last time you challenges yourself and pushed past your limitations