Hello again friends! Did you know our favorite camel is back at it?
Ha. The camel will never get old!
Today’s post was going to be a mashup of photos from this past weekend, but instead I’ll let you follow me on Instagram, @sarah_ingle1, since they’re all already posted!
But, here’s one that didn’t make the Insta cut.
Instead of flooding you with a plethora of family photos, today we’re going to talk all about Saturday’s long run!
We were in Branson, MO this weekend, and in case you weren’t sure where that is, all you need to know is that it is situated smack-dab in the middle of the Ozark mountains. I had high hopes of knocking out another 9 miler, maybe even 10 miler on Saturday but after driving up to the cabin and realizing how impossible that was going to be, I bumped down my milage.
Here’s the cabin we stayed in and the hill right outside.
My thoughts exactly. Even driving down this hill to the cabin felt dangerous.
Thankfully, my sweet cousin-in-law who runs high school cross country was also in need of a long run on Saturday so we teamed up to conquer the hills!
I was a little worried from the get-go because the night before Adam and I were unable to locate any Clif Shot Blocks between our house and the cabin. I improvised and stopped at Wal-Mart and picked up a couple regular Clif Bars instead! I know my body well enough to know that if I don’t take in any calories/nutrition mid-long run that I will surely feel like poop the rest of the day. And since Saturday was a family-filled busy day, I wanted to avoid that poopy worn out feeling all together!
I ate one Clif Bar for breakfast before the run, and took the other one with me to split up and eat throughout my run, and leave with our waters. They actually were the perfect mid-run treat, and I felt re-energized after just a few bites. I think I did a pretty good job at improvising! Here’s the flavor I enjoyed…I highly recommend it! In fact, I usually can never finish an entire Clif Bar, but both of these I tore through in minutes!
Ok, now to the run. We walked up the hill outside our cabin, and left our waters and snacks right around the corner. Our cabin was located within a mile of Silver Dollar City, so we ran down the main road, and were able to make ~5 miles out of winding through the SDC parking lots and back to our waters! After we hydrated, we took off in the opposite direction down a side road that led us straight down to Table Rock Lake! If you’re familiar with the area then you know that Table Rock Lake is BEAUTIFUL! Well it’s even prettier at 7am! I wish we could have explored a bit more, but by the time we made it DOWN to the lake, we knew we were going to have a tough run back UP to our cabin. You might be thinking, “you ran through parking lots, how hilly could it have been?” Oh, it was. The parking lots aren’t flat at all, and they definitely gave us a run for our money and forced us to walk a few times to catch our breath! Lord knows I needed a hilly workout, and He delivered an excellent one.
Here are some scenes from our run:
I’m becoming a huge fan of Saturday morning long runs, and I wish that love translated to loving morning runs on weekdays, but I’m not quite there yet! And who knows if I ever will be, so for now I’m soaking up the beautiful scenes I get to see on my weekend runs!
When we finished our run we both looked at our overall pace and winced. Pretty sure I don’t even want to talk about it, but considering we were running hills the entire time, sometimes you just have to throw your pace out the window! Here’s our breakdown:
Mile 1-12:51, Mile 2- 10:05, Mile 3- 11:29, Mile 4- 12:00, Mile 5- 9:46, Mile 6- 11:39, Mile 7- 12:11, last bit: 1:24
Pretty ugly if you ask me, but then again so were so the hills!
1. Drink plenty of water the night before a hilly run. You’ll be glad you did!
2. Go ahead and throw your ideal pace out the window, that way when you see your numbers getting bigger and bigger you will save yourself some heartache! Running hills is a whole other ballgame compared to your normal flat route.
3. STRETCH beforehand! Your hip flexors will greatly appreciate this, as will your butt.
4. Set tiny goals. “Run to that tree, walk, run to that mailbox, walk, sprint to the very top” etc. It will help you manage the big hills easier!
5. Take a friend. Running a difficult, hilly route is 10X more doable when you have someone to encourage you along the way, and vice versa.
6. If you have to walk up part of a hill, try turning around and walking up it backwards. It will work different muscles and give other parts of your body a break.
7. Be sure and place your water and nutrition in smart places. If you know your hardest part of the route is at a certain spot, place your snacks around there, that way when you’re working your hardest you can reward yourself when you finish before setting off on your next leg.
8. Wear your compression socks! Your calves will thank you.
9. If you run with music, and you see one of your big hills approaching, go ahead and switch on an extra motivational song! Every little bit helps! Trust me, music has a funny way of distracting you while you run!
10. Always, always, always tell someone where you’re running! God forbid you fall flat on your face running down a hill or you twist your ankle, it’s always a good practice!
Thoughts? What is one tip you would add? Do you enjoy running hills?
Tonight I did a short, faster run at the lake. Nothing too special, but still the perfect amount to put me in an instant good mood and release the stress from the day. I think at this point I’m “winging” my half marathon training. It’s on October 26th, but I’m not overly worried about it, at least not yet. My thinking has shifted from running 5 days a week, to maybe 2 or 3 days during the week and a long run on the weekend. It’s keeping me from burning out, and I think I’ve found my groove and what works best for me, so for now I’m going with it. I may think differently once I switch into serious marathon mode, ha!
How is your training going? Have words of advice for a first time marathoner?
If you haven’t yet, now would be a good time to “like” Sweet Miles Blog on Facebook. I’m finally promoting it after feeling slightly silly for even having one!