Introduction

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!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Epic Trail Run and a Few First Times.....

A quick overview for those that don't want to read this LONG post with pictures and videos:

Woke up early Saturday for a long trail run.  Started running about 4:45 am and knocked out 11.5 miles with around 1500 ft of total elevation gain. 

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I'm turning these trails into a weekly run and I always elect to run through the neighboring community so I can start before the sun comes up.  As you all know it gets pretty hot here in AZ so the more miles I can knock out before the sun comes up the better.  Picture of the sun rising and the hills I will be climbing over the next few miles.


They call this structure the microwave tower and this was the peak of my climb which was right around 2500 feet.  The trail leading up to here was pretty level and once I hit the climb to the tower I just kept telling myself, "get to the top its all downhill from there."  It felt like it was straight up and I was climbing tons of stair cases.


I had a video coming back down from the Tower and the tough terrain.  Decided not to post due to extreme turbulence lol.  Once I hit the trails again you can see why I love trails so much, cant get a view like this in town.


As I was running I was really thankful for the mountain bikers.  The trails are really well maintained and packed which make them really runnable.  Here is a pic of how runnable the trails are and below is a video of me walking the closing mile with some bushes over hanging the trail which make it really nice and shady.

  
 
Some Running Firsts:
 
1) First Double Digit Run - This was huge, before Saturday my longest run was 8 miles around my neighborhood and my longest trail run was 7.5 miles.  Building towards our marathon next Feb I am starting to feel good about that.  I have a virtual run half marathon later this month and I think I am more than prepared for that.  Thirteen miles no longer makes me feel nervous.
 
2) Energy Gel - This was my first time trying an energy gel.  I need to order some Vfuel gels but in the mean time I tried the GU Energy Gel.  I forgot to take it until about mile 7 which I was pretty much done by that point and I'm not sure how much the GU helped.  They are pretty thick and gooey so I'll need to keep working on taking them during my longer runs.  
 
3) Salt Deposit - This was the first time that I had salt deposit around my forehead and on my shirt.  I hydrated well leading up to my long run and drank just about all my camelbak during the run. So I think I need to start taking some salt sticks with me and some electrolyte mix.
 
Question for my fellow runners, my longest run each of the last three weeks has been around 6 miles.  I have been sticking to the 10% rule in weekly mileage, but is it bad that my long run jumped from 6 miles to 11.5?  (You'll be settling a dispute between Mrs. Schlub and myself lol)

18 comments:

  1. I can't comment on the jump in mileage. It seems like a lot ~ but I'd want to know how much you totaled for the week and how that compared to your previous weeks!

    Your pictures are awesome and I love that you're enjoying the trails so much. When soccer starts up in the Fall I'll be picking your brain about which trails to run/where. I end up on the canal a lot - which is fine, but it's nothing like what you have pictured. Do you encounter desert creatures? I'll need to prepare myself for that!!

    Early AM starts are the only way for you to get those runs out of the way for SURE.

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    1. My weekly milage has slowly increased. Week of 5/11 was 17, week of 5/18 was 20.5 and week of 5/25 was 22.5. So I really tried to stay close to the 10% rule as far as total milage goes.

      Where does the team play most of their games down here in the valley? Sometimes you run into creatures but not as often as you think.

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  2. Even though (I'd agree) sometimes you really don't need gel/water, you'd be surprised how much a gel or other form of quick calories can improve things when they are actually needed. I also think its good practice to forgo nutrition on longs runs periodically so you can feel what its like to have to keep moving on zero energy. Its a different kind of tired from shorter distances (where you can just take a breather), resting won't really give you more energy you just have to fight!

    Also I would recommend being VERY careful with salt tabs. I think its reasonable to say that your best way to fuel is how you normally do since that is what your body is used to. I tried hitting a salt tab last year once because I thought I needed it and had a beyond epic bonk. I think over-hydration is also easier than you'd realize. Curious to know how long you were out as that often determines at least for me what for water I bring. Remember that water does not equal energy.

    For the jump, I try to increase only one parameter of my training. For instance if I increase my mileage, my vertical, time and pace should stay relatively the same. That being said I'm also probably an awful if not the worst example to look at as I do not plan my training at all and kind of just do whatever I feel like on each given day. Just be aware of your body.

    Keep on killing it!

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    1. I think I want to keep testing the gels to see how my body reacts and what works for me. Once I get that Ill work on the running with tired legs training.

      I'll watch the salt tabs, but also doesnt hurt to try them see how they impact my body on my long runs.

      I understand the one parameter thing but I am much like you, if my body feels good I just go with it. My body was definitely tired after the run but recovery was pretty quick. Much better fitness level than I thought I was.

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  3. I would be interested to hear how you like the Vfuel if you order them. I really can't stand Gu. It's tastes / feels like really thick icing to me and I don't like icing. I'm the weirdo that scrapes it off and just eats the cake part of a dessert :) I usually bring chomps on my run since they taste like gummy bears!

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    1. I am going to order them, Sage Canaday suggested them so of course i need to try them lol. Ill let you know how they work.

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    2. Hahaha! Yeah, I know Timothy Olsen uses Vfuel also so they must be good ;)

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    3. If they are good enough for the elites, they have to work for us average runners lol

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  4. I'm glad to hear the run went relatively well. As to your questions, here a few thoughts of my own. Since your marathon training, it sounds like you're in a similar spot like me. I'm preparing for a fall marathon, and I started training in February: the first 18 weeks are going to be base mileage and most are easy runs. The next 16 weeks will be a combination of long runs, tempo runs, track workouts, and recovery runs.

    As to the gel, as you noted, mile seven was too late to take it in. Remember to experiment with various brands so you can discover which ones work well and which ones may create GI distress. A rule of thumb is a gel every 45 minutes or so.

    I'm glad to hear you are increasing weekly mileage by 10%. I've abused this philosophy many times and have paid for it. I'd be curious to know if the 6.5 to 11 mile long run has created any issues for you (pain of any kind). The fact that it appears to be on a soft trail is good as it will lower the impact a bit from a long run on the roads.

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    1. Sounds about right. for the most part I took my time on this run and walked/hiked when I felt like I needed a rest.

      I knew mile 7 was too late. Next is Vfuel and Ive heard the 40-45 min rule so I just need to be more diligent about it.

      The increase in long run definitely created some soreness but no pain. My body feels great and I am actually pretty happy with my fitenss level right now.

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  5. You do have a great view on your trails! It's crazy you have to go so early...but I am in hat boat now also. I can not do Gu, only sport beans, I have to be careful though I get cramps when I more than a few. In he heat I have been horrible salty...The jump i mileage, well that's not traditional, but if you run a lot and feel conditioned I would say why and just make sure next you only go 8 or 9 and maybe go for a long again the next week, just to make sure you don't start a new pain! II have been where you are I totally get it! I did run my first half after I had only done 10 miles lol and it was fine.

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    1. Always great views on the trails. Ive done sports beans but need to check other fueling options for my marathong next year. I was going by feel and even after the run my body felt great so i think I am good. I agree that my next long run should be a bit shorter just so I am minimizing my potential for injury.

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  6. so, normally i don't like to bump my long run up by more than 2 miles...but really it's about overall mileage. at least that's what i tell myself. now...combine the first double digit run with that kind of elevation...that's a whole nother conversation all together!

    i love all of your firsts!!!! yay for a double digit run!!! i actually remember all of my first times doing those things. my first 10 miler....my first salty face (super gross, but a great badge of honor)...my first gu.

    so, my tip on the gu. i always put a little water in my mouth along with the gel so that it all just goes down. i hate just the gu, cause the syrup gets all in the crevasses...then my mouth stays coated with sugar. i hate that. i like to just swallow it down without any aftertaste :)

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    1. Well you had to bring up the elevation didnt you.

      I think they were great firsts. I use everything as learning experiences so these will go into my mental file so I can avoid them in the future.

      Good tip on the GU, that is exaclty how I felt when I was taking it. Took me a few swigs of water to get it all washed down and my mouth to feel like normal.

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  7. Great trails! I am so impressed that you can function in the heat there (and at 4am!) here in the northwest we start to whine when it gets in the upper 70's. (babies) I don't think the mileage jump is a concern IF you feel okay and if you don't make it a trend. It's pretty awesome really and must have felt great to do that!
    Gels aren't a favorite of mine, too sticky, too sweet. My choice of late is clif bloks, margarita flavor with salt....yum! Love hearing about your runs, very inspiring~ k

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    1. Its funny when I read blogs and 85 is hot, I was running in just about 100 the last couple weeks lol.

      I try to stick to the 10% weekly milage rule so I dont think its a huge deal plus my body felt great.

      It wasnt the best texture but I really need to get used to them so I will be trying them for a few more weeks before I decide.

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  8. I am so far behind. Congrats on your first double digit run!! Those trails are so beautiful and scenic. If you're not a fan of the thicker consistency of the GU, you could give PowerGels (made by Power Bar) a try. They're a lot more liquidy. You just have to be careful because its easy to make a mess!

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  9. Love trails. I tried Vfuel this weekend and I loved them. Thanks to Sage Canaday lol.

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