I’ll start by saying that Tuesday’s run was both grueling and amazing at the same time. It feels like forever since I threw down a serious trail run and after our camping trip I absolutely needed to get back out there. I decided to wake up super early on Tuesday to hit the mountain before work. I’m still a few weeks away from serious marathon training so at this point I’m trying to keep my effort low while I build a good base. Because of this I decided that I was simply going to hike the mountain rather than trying to run to the saddle. Regardless of hiking or running, let’s just say the mountain kicked my A%&!!
I got to the mountain about 400am, laced up my trail shoes, threw on my pack, threw on my headlamp, and away I went. The weather was amazing (ok for Arizona this time of year, it was amazing lol), I was looking at 85* with a nice breeze. There is about ½ a mile from where I park to the trailhead, so I decided to jog this portion which includes a pretty good climb. Once I hit the trail head I only jogged the flat sections and had to keep reminding myself that this was a “hike” and not a “run.” 100% honesty, I was gassed about 10 min into this hike. The mountain quickly reminded me that climbing is no joke and basically laughed as I crawled my way up on trails that I use to run.
First take away is that I need to embrace this challenge. I know I’ve been doing a lot of flat running and don’t have the climbing ability in my legs that I use to, but I can work on that. Second take away is that I made it to the summit. I never stopped and turned around, it was all about getting to the top, so mission accomplished. Third take away is the views and weather was gorgeous; I sat at the summit for about 15 min just enjoying the cool breeze and the changing colors of the sunrise. Nothing can beat this!
So I know you’re asking, “How can getting your A&% kicked all over the mountain be amazing??” Well the downhill was exactly what I needed. I was worried when I hit the summit that my legs were done and I would have no pep left to hit the downhill. Well the rest at the summit did wonders and I was able to bomb my way down just like normal. I know I said this was just a “hike” but come on, who can resist some technical downhill running lol. There are two flat sections that I really love to run, they don’t have too many boulders and really allow you to open up and run. My Garmin shows that I was clicking off around 6:33 min/mile and 5:50 min/mile…WHAT?!?!?! I told Mrs. Schlub later that night, it felt absolutely amazing to just open up and run HARD. Not worrying about IT Bands, Plantar Fasciitis, or anything, just running hard and feeling good.
Overall, I feel like my legs are coming together, I feel confident to start marathon training in the next few weeks. I’ve been tracking all my runs but have paid very little attention to all the details like I normally do. I’ve been running more on feel and effort as I build the right base to start my training plan. Let’s hope I can keep resisting the urge to run all of my runs at goal pace lol.
Who else has been doing too much flat running or too much treadmill running? I find that when I train on varying terrain, my legs acclimate so much better and feel 10x stronger at my races.