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, February 29, 2016

The Phoenix Marathon Race Recap

Well, in my opinion, it was another disaster LOL.

Before I get into any of the details I have to extend a special thanks to Mrs. Schlub.  She was with me the whole second half of the race and I have no idea what I would have done without her.  She had everything I ever needed all along the way and feel absolutely blessed that she was there to support me in this disastrous effort.

For those that don't want to read through all the details, I finished the marathon with an official time of 4:55:04.

Friday after work I hit the local running shop to grab some Clif bars and the gels I would need for the race.  Then right down the street I stopped at the race expo to pick up my race packet and bib.
I requested of Mrs. Schlub to have homemade pizza as my prerace meal and it came out amazing. 
Prepped my gear and had it laid out for the morning.
Knowing I had an early wake up call, Mrs. Schlub let me get to bed around 8pm which I finally fell asleep around 9pm.  Alarm went off around 3am and I started my prerace routine.  Jumped on the road around 4am and parked near the finish line around 4:30am.  I had a short walk from my parking spot to the bus pickup but man was I glad that I got there early.  As the bus pulled onto the highway headed towards the start line there was a HUGE backup of vehicles trying to exit the highway and get to the parking areas.  I seriously would have had an anxiety attack if I was stuck in traffic like that.

The bus ride took a bit longer than I expected but we arrived at the start line around 5:15am.  They had a bunch of space heaters and small wood burning fires setup all over the place for runners to stay warm before the start.
I hit the restroom before they got super busy then settled in next to one of the wood burning fires as I took off my warm clothes and prepped all my running attire.  I hit the restroom a couple more times before I packed up my drop bag, had it loaded in the delivery trucks, and headed to the start line with everyone else.

At 6:30am we were off and things started out great.  The first 4 miles were all down hill so it was easy to run conservatively and still click off miles at a decent pace.  Miles 1-4 clicked off at 7:57, 7:34, 7:46, and 7:43.  Starting just after mile 4 we had a small climb to tackle so I tried to keep my effort level the same and allow my pace to pull back a bit.  So miles 5 & 6 clicked off at 8:06 and 8:17.  Once you get through those two miles we got another section of downhill spanning miles 7-10.  Again with the downhill section I tried to keep the pace easy rather than allowing myself to hammer away and burn a lot of extra energy this early in the race.  My average pace over those miles was 7:45 and I was really happy that I had run this section of the course weeks ago because knowing the path really helped my preparation. 

After mile 10 is where I planned for the real race to begin.  The first ten miles have a significant downhill, have a lot of sections that allow you to pass the time, and the remaining miles are pretty flat and uneventful making it easier to get inside your own head.  Knowing that the remaining miles were pretty flat I planned to pull back and just run on feel through the remainder of the race.  With that I ended up passing the half marathon mark at 1:43:54 with an average pace of 7:56 min/mile.

At this point I gave myself a little fist pump because I was running the race perfect based on my prerace plan, plus I knew I would be seeing Mrs. Schlub in the next mile so I was feeling pretty good at this point.
I met up with Mrs. Schlub and continued to click off miles.....then mile 16 hit!!!

My hamstrings were feeling a little tight so I asked Mrs. Schlub to get me some pickle juice.  My plan was for her to hand it to me as I was running so I didn't have to stop.  As she was getting things ready and prepared to hand them to me, our exchange wasn't going well so I stopped to grab the bottle from her.  As soon as I started to run again, I felt a lot of pain in my left knee and I couldn't put any pressure on my left leg.  I tried to jog/walk it off and really thought this was the end of my race.  I even told Mrs. Schlub to ride to her vehicle and I would call her if I needed her to pick me up.

Luckily she stayed with me because my knee slowly started to loosen up and the pain wasn't as severe.  I was able to get a small trot going and I figured I would keep that pace going just to get to the end.  Then around mile 20 cramps started to hit me big time.  I spent around 10 min waiting for a horrible cramp in my left hamstring to subside before I could start walking again.

I proceeded to walk from mile 20 to mile 25.75.....

As I came towards the finishing chute I started a light trot and all I kept saying to myself was "hamstrings please don't cramp, hamstrings please don't cramp."

So I was able to finish the marathon in a light trot at the finishing time was 4:55:04.  Now I was in much better spirits after this run than I was in Vegas.  First, having Mrs. Schlub with me during all the tough times was unbelievable.  I don't know what I would have done without her.  Second, I will go into much more detail tomorrow but this was another humbling experience and a big eye opening race.

There it is, marathon #2.  Like everyone has said, I've completed two marathons and that is quite an accomplishment.  I'm happy about the experience but I know I left so much out there on the course this weekend.

Thanks for reading, I'll have more details tomorrow.


  1. Aww man, that sounds ROUGH! Thank heavens your wife was there to help. That would keep me going, too!

    I hope you can figure out what is causing you to cramp so badly!

  2. Great job!! 2x marathoner is something to be proud of!! I'm sorry it didn't go as planned (didn't for me either), it was a rough day out there in that heat, it really does affect you like whoa. Hopefully it didn't affect your desire to give it another go someday because I know you'll have a race where the stars align (sub 3:30!!). Great job and way to keep your spirits high, the marathon is a beast and you rocked it in 80 degrees!

    You should consider Canyon City in November, in LA (5 hour drive). Cali weather always seems to be more stable than Arizona, and the course is faster than Phoenix.

  3. Awww Richard I am proud of you!! You still got it done in under 5, so kudos. I know how crappy that must feel after crossing the half way mark so strong, but it is till another marathon done!!
    It was hot!! I hope you are feeling proud of your self today

  4. Congrats on marathon #2!!! You got a PR, ran and stuck with the race with cramps, and you had an amazing woman by your side when you needed her....I would consider that a pretty successful day!! Things didn't go as planned at that is OK! Thats what runners have to deal with when we feel like putting ourselves out there. Regardless of time, you did GREAT! I know many people that would have probably given up and you did not!! Great job!


    Because we hang out (online) with people who run marathons all the time it's easy to forget just how monumental completing a full marathon really is. Such an incredible accomplishment!

    Running is a lifelong sport so I wouldn't worry too much about your time during these first two marathons. You have many, many more years of marathons ahead of you. I think you'll BQ like 50 times in the future! Maybe more! :)

  6. Congrats on #2! I am so sorry you were cramping so badly. Huge props to you for sticking with through all those hard miles. It is a really tough thing. Great job!!

  7. Congrats on your marathon! That's great that you finished, despite the cramps and knee pain. I would have had a really tough time continuing on. Don't worry about it not going the way you wanted. Races don't always go the way we think they will, which makes those good days so much more special. You did a really great thing! Keep it up and get some rest!! :-)

  8. Congratulations on your marathon. It may not be how you wanted it to go, but you have to remember how amazing completing a marathon is...and completing it with cramps etc.--well done!

  9. Good job Mrs Schlub! That's really awesome she was there with you . Hey you have a smile on your face in that photo and you were able to finish #2! Excellent ! It's all a learning experience to draw on for future races, of which I'm sure you will have many. Congrats Richard!

  10. Congratulations on marathon #2! I'm sorry that cramping bedeviled your race effort and things didn't go the way you planned. You were in great shape leading up to this and in the first half of the race, and that is something you can still take away from this experience. I'm so glad to hear that you are in better spirits after this one, and mad props to Mrs. Schlub for being a rockstar!

    I completely agree with what Kristina said: since we surround ourselves with people who run marathons and ultras just for fun, it's easy to forget what a huge deal it is to finish 26.2. Most people in the world will never do that - only about 2% of the population. Makes the finish time seem kind of insignificant, huh? During this past week in Guatemala many of my teammates were also recreational runners and they couldn't fathom the idea of a half marathon, let alone a full, let alone me training for my third full. Perspective is everything.


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