Not really sure how I can top Mrs. Schlub’s guest post from yesterday. I tell her all the time that if she took over this blog (with a new name of course lol) it would become a much more legitimate blog. Hey it only took me 2 years to get her to guest post so maybe things are looking up.
I was gitty with anticipation on Saturday to get my post ready following my run that morning but obviously once Mrs. Schlub agreed to throw up a post, all that went right out the window. My run on Saturday morning was pretty epic. I don’t know about all of you, but I LOVE planning out my runs. What time I’m going to start….which trails I’m going to run…how much elevation gain will be incorporated…what I’m going to need…and the list goes on and on. Late into Friday night I had two different routes I was trying to decide between and it was all dependent on what time I wanted to wake up and get started. Typically I try to get started super early so I’m back home as everyone is waking up and I’m not missing out on family time. Mrs. Schlub being the amazing wife that she is suggested I sleep in a bit and get a later start so that I’m not running in the dark and I’m not freezing during the run…phew thanks!!
So I woke up around 6am, grabbed a quick bite to eat, packed up the truck, and headed off to the trails. Just my luck, I get a few miles down the road and realize I forgot my watch. No way in H#@$ I’m hitting this run without my watch so I drove back to the house and grabbed my watch.
The master plan was to run up and over one mountain, hit the summit of a second, and then return back the same way. I wasn’t sure exactly how much elevation gain or total miles would be involved but I was prepared for a lot of slow grinding climbs. Once I had myself all situated I hit the trail at 7:15 am with 37* temperatures and a decent amount of wind. Reminder…this is AZ folks…that is cold!!
The first four and a half miles were all grinding uphill with just over 1000 ft of climbing. This got me to the saddle of the first peak. Usually I take a break here and grab a few pictures but today was all business, so I hit the downhill and just kept on moving. This portion of the run was on a paved service road so it was a nice change from the climbing but in the back of my mind I knew I eventually had to come back up this road. Over the next two and a half miles I dropped down about 600 ft to the base of my second climb.
This second climb rises about 800 feet over roughly 2 miles. Then I was going to scramble to the summit which is another 300 feet. I was surprised how much bounce I still had in my legs and did a decent job running up this second climb with minimal hiking. Once I got to the end of the runnable section I took a quick break to assess my next steps.
I was about 2 hours into my run and had already knocked out 9 miles. I was also getting some nagging tightness in my left calf. So I decided to miss the scramble to the summit of the second climb and start the long run back. I have to say, my legs were on another level this day.
On the way back down climb number two, I was absolutely flying down the mountain. I felt borderline reckless but at the same time felt 100% confident in my footing and control. It was an amazing feeling that I felt a week ago when I was racing that other runner on my lunch break. Made short work of the decent and came back to the paved service road that I had to climb back up. This was a grind and I did my best to run/hike my way up that sucker. At one point as I got to the top a strong wind was blowing against me and all I could think about was the movie scene in Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring where Gandolf is blocking the Balrog Demon and yells “You Shall Not Pass”. The mountain was trying to break me with all its might, steep climb and cold winds. All I did was smile and keep on climbing.
I hit the saddle of climb number one again and knew it was all downhill from here. I asked my legs for all they could muster and cruised all the way back to the truck. Overall the run ended up being 17.77 total miles and an incredible 2,750 feet of elevation gain. By far the most climbing I’ve ever done in a single run. Of course had I knocked out the scramble of climb number two I would have been over 3000 feet of elevation gain but I don’t let that bother me much lol.
Funny story, I’m not sure if many of you realized this but I am a bit of a show off and really enjoy running up and down these mountain when most people are having trouble hiking these trails. When I got back to the truck a family was getting ready to hit the trail. I said good morning, they said the same, and then asked how I was doing. I was exhausted so I told them I was tired and ready to get home. Then they ask “How long were you out there??”…..Well that opens up the door for my show off side now doesn’t it LOL. So with a proud tone I tell them it was “just under 18 miles” and I get the “oh wow” comments LOL.
Anyways, I was 100% pleased with this run. My legs are trashed at this point but I don’t care, this run was well worth the sore muscles. The biggest thing I noticed was how well my legs responded throughout. I was able to bomb the downhills and grind the uphills at all points during the run. All good signs and I’m already looking forward to my run next weekend. Maybe I’ll crack the 3000 feet of elevation gain next week, we shall see.
Do you enjoy planning out your runs?
When was your last epic running adventure?