24 In Daily Run/ Running

Rocking a Hilly Long Run

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.

picstitch (42)

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.

the lodges at table rock lake missouri

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!

clif bar

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:

long run in branson missouri

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.Β I may think differently once I switch into serious marathon mode, ha!

running at lake willastein at night

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!


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  • Reply
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama
    October 3, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Way to rock the hilly long run!! That’s awesome. Love your advice for hilly runs. Yes, throw that ideal pace out the window. You are getting an equally effective workout on the hills, so pace isn’t really important. Plus, if you try to push it hard on every hill, you will implode! It’s really hilly where I live, so hills are inevitable. If I want a hilly run, I walk out my door, turn any direction, and voila, a big hill. But the thing I love? What goes up, must come down. And this mama can rock the descents!

  • Reply
    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness
    October 3, 2013 at 7:13 am

    wow awesome job!! and how fun to go out running with your cousin! and thats cool that you’ve figured out how best to nourish/ hydrate on your long runs so that you feel good during and afterwards. perhaps if i learned how to do that, i would run more πŸ™‚ and i hate uphills, but i love downhills πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Eat Run Live Happy
    October 3, 2013 at 7:57 am

    I love that camel! haha. I have a love hate relationship with hills. The marathon I’m running this month has a lot of hills and I’m scared!

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food
    October 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Ha! I hadn’t seen that camel commercial yet. I don’t have a ton of hills in Williamsburg, but I don’t always mind hills. Good tips for making it easier!
    Kelly @ Kelly Runs for Food recently posted…Steak and Cheese Crescent BakeMy Profile

  • Reply
    Davida @ The Healthy Maven
    October 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I was reading somewhere that you should try running down hills sideways…or maybe it was up?? I should probably look into that before going out on any runs lol

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 14, 2013 at 9:16 am

      Davida- hahah, maybe we should confirm that before we try it? You are hilarious πŸ™‚ Maybe running up hills in a zig-zag pattern??

  • Reply
    Jillienne @ ChasingRaspberries
    October 3, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    My pace always slows down by at least a minute whenever I run hills too. One of the much more experienced runners that I run with gave me the advice of training on hills by sprinting up a hill and then walking down that hill over and over for 30 minutes. I still haven’t given it a try. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Jillienne- That sounds like an intense workout for sure!! Not sure I’m ready to take that on, but it sounds like a sweaty one!!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    That is far from an ugly run lady!! It sounds like it was tough — you did great!

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 14, 2013 at 9:15 am

      Ashley- Thanks girl!! It’s hard to ignore those times haha

  • Reply
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate
    October 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    I have never seen that commercial yet! And great tips- hills are never easy! For me, I find it easier to take smaller strides and lean a little more forward up big hills.
    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate recently posted…Fall Workout PlaylistMy Profile

  • Reply
    Abby @ Change of Pace
    October 3, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Gorgeous cabin! And way to run long on my hilly route on holidays! Tip 2 resonated with me the most- throw your idea of pace out the window so you’re not disappointed!
    Try a mint chocolate clif bar next time. I just started eating them this year and took one of those with me on every long ride and ate a couple during each race. It tastes like a chocolate bar!
    Abby @ Change of Pace recently posted…Confused about shoes – trail editionMy Profile

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 14, 2013 at 9:14 am

      Abby- Thanks! It was tough! Oooh a mint chocolate clif bar sounds DELICIOUS! I will have to remember to try that flavor!!

  • Reply
    October 4, 2013 at 7:00 am

    My very first thought when I saw that first set of pictures was, That looks like SDC! I live in Springfield MO so you were right in my backyard! And you are right – the lake is gorgeous in the morning, especially this time of year when it’s not crowded at all.

    Your hill running tips are great! My cross country coach used to always tell us to keep our heads up (don’t look at your feet) and really use your arms to “power” up the hills — almost like you’re pulling yourself up with a rope.

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 14, 2013 at 9:13 am

      Sarah- I read this comment and it made me so happy! Sorry I’m just now responding!! YAY for SDC! Springfield is such a pretty area of MO!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Way to take the hills on your long run! I have to admit, I try to run the flattest route possible on my long runs……I’m a wimp!! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Sweet Miles
      October 14, 2013 at 9:10 am

      Elizabeth- I try and do the same thing!! I’ll add an extra mile sometimes if it means looping around a few hills πŸ™‚ But sometimes they’re GREAT for your training!

  • Reply
    October 5, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Awesome tips for hills and the cabin is beautiful! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    Ashley @ Power, Love, and Self-Discipline
    January 4, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    These are great tips!! I especially love the one about going backwards to work different muscles. Brilliant!
    Ashley @ Power, Love, and Self-Discipline recently posted…Apple Cinnamon Detox TeaMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 13, 2014 at 11:00 am

    That is so great and that “cabin” is gorgeous!! I live in a very hilly area and my actual house is on a mountain so I know a thing or two about hill runs. It’s definitely challenging and sometimes I feel like driving to a flat trail to get my long runs in, but the hills really do make you stronger!!
    Stopping by from SITS. Hope you have a GREAT day!
    Allie recently posted…The Rundown – Link Up!My Profile

  • Reply
    Beth @ Goodness Gracious Living
    January 13, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Happy SITS day – I ran today too and there is a monster hill in the middle of my route. I always keep my eyes a few steps ahead because if I focus on the pinnacle, I get overwhelmed. A few steps at a time, a few steps at a time. I have to say that I am a bit jealous that you ran in shorts in those photos – I was in fleece lined clothes from top to bottom. Happy running!
    Beth @ Goodness Gracious Living recently posted…And The World’s Worst Mom Award Goes To…My Profile

  • Reply
    January 13, 2014 at 4:52 pm

    Hi Sarah! Visiting you from The SITS Girls. Very inspirational. In my case, I am not a runner but a walker, and I know it takes discipline to exercise, and I must admit I sometimes let it go down hill, not up. I believe that a discipline like that helps in every aspect of life, including blogging because it lends you determination to stick to your task. Wish you the best in your activities!

  • Reply
    Alisha @ Pondering Reality
    January 13, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    Hi there! I’m stopping in by way of SITS. I love your blog! It’s my goal to run a 5K this year. I live in the mountains of WNC so my training grounds are anything but flat. This is a super helpful post!
    Alisha @ Pondering Reality recently posted…My Take On The Golden GlobesMy Profile

  • Reply
    January 27, 2017 at 9:55 pm

    Increrible! We love running and family!

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