• Getting Over the Hump

    March 29, 2012

    Good morning, friends!

    Happy Thursday to you! I hope your day is off to a better start than Murphy’s!

    IMG_2071 (750x562)

    I guess he wasn’t feelin’ it this morning. Poor little pug. His life is so hard.

    Breakfast

    This morning’s breakfast was “Oatmeal” Minus the Oats and a glass of iced coffee with almond milk. You’d think I’d get sick of this breakfast by now, but I haven’t for some reason. It might have something to do with the amount of Teddie Peanut Butter that I add to my “oatmeal.” Hey, I love me some Teddie!

    IMG_2332 (750x563)

    Three Questions Thursday

    It’s Thursday again, which means: Three Questions Thursday!

    Ok, just last night I tried the sweet potato fries that you have been raving about and omg they are amazing! I should have tried them sooner. My question is I tried cutting them the way your pics looked but mine did not come out looking like wedges. I had one or two come out as wedges but most were weird shapes which burned. They were still delicious but am wondering what your secret to cutting them into wedges?

    Yay! I’m so glad you liked them! As far as cutting them, check out this tutorial for making Sweet Potato Wedges. I think it’ll help!

    I’m coming to Boston to watch my husband run the Boston Marathon in a few weeks. I think I’m going to try to watch the race closer to the finish line, but I’m wondering if you have any advice for first-time spectators? I also know you love beer (so does my husband), so do you have some recommendations of where we can get a beer and food after the marathon?

    Oh, boy, do I! Check out these this post: Spectator Tips for the Boston Marathon. It has lots of helpful info for spectating and beer drinking!

    I loved your recap of the marathon and the part about “making hills your bitch.” I really hate running hills, so I am wondering if you have any advice how to make them less torturous for myself?

    I feel your pain. Hills kill me too and, up until recently (i.e. the New York City Marathon), they always kicked my butt. Here are a few things that help me make hills my bitch now!

    • I’m stronger than the hill: Ok, this might sound kind of stupid, but it’s exactly what I thought to myself as I ran up each of those hills/bridges in the New York City Marathon. Basically, I thought: it’s just a hill, and I’m stronger and more powerful than it, so I will make it my bitch and run up it like it’s no big deal. Having that mental toughness powered me up each and every one of those bitch hills.
    • What goes up must come down: When it comes to hills (for the most part), for every incline, there’s a decline. Reminding myself of this helps me push to the top because I know my body will get a little break on the way down. The temporary pain is worth it for that short rest at the top/way down.
    • Visualize myself at the top of the hill: When I hit the incline of a hill, I immediately visualize myself standing at the top, feeling accomplished and enjoying the start of the decline, which makes it seem so much more manageable.
    • Watch it shrink: When I start running up a hill, I take a mental note of its size in order to pace myself, but also as a way to remind myself that it will ‘shrink’ for every step I take forward. Usually, the ‘smaller’ the hill gets, the harder my legs work to get to the top! It just want to conquer it!
    • Don’t stop: Even if I feel like death while running up a hill, I won’t let myself stop. I’ll usually just shuffle along until I feel better, but no hill is going to make me its bitch.

    What are your tips and tricks for tackling hills on your runs?

    P.S. Exciting news! Reach the Beach just lauched a new relay race in New Jersey! Check it out!

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    { 55 comments… read them below or add one }

    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat March 29, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Great tips for hills! I personally loathe them but lately have just been adding one or two to my runs, and it seems a lot more manageable that way. There are a few in my area that have really nice downhill portions after them, so I always look forward to them!

    Reply

    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh March 29, 2012 at 8:32 am

    Aww, poor Murph. That is one forlorn lookin’ pup!

    That reminds me, I need to put sweet potatoes on my grocery list! :-)

    Reply

    Jill @ Jill is Active March 29, 2012 at 8:45 am

    Such a cute picture of Murphy but so sad!! Don’t you wish you could ask him what’s wrong??

    Great tips!! I always think how with each step, the hill is getting smaller. It definitely helps!

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    Molly @ RDexposed March 29, 2012 at 8:46 am

    Maybe his neck was just tired-ha!

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    Rachel March 29, 2012 at 8:47 am

    Your comment on Teddie peanut butter reminded me of my most recent food addiction: dipping mini shredded wheat biscuits in my chunky peanut butter jar. It’s a delicious, crunchy mouth surprise that I enjoy for a little (or not so little) snack!

    Reply

    Tina March 29, 2012 at 8:52 am

    @Rachel: That sounds so good!

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    Jonna March 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Hi Tina,

    Quick question for your on your oatmeal minus the oats…do you follow
    that original recipe exactly or are you making a substitutions? Do you know if you can use the Dash of Flax? I guess it’s ground up fairly well, like wheat germ. Thanks! Jonna

    Reply

    Tina March 29, 2012 at 9:12 am

    @Jonna: Yep, I pretty much follow the recipe, but sometimes I don’t add the walnuts (mostly because I forget). I’m not sure what Dash of Flax is, but if it’s like wheat germ, it’ll work! :)

    Reply

    Leah @ Chocolate and Wild Air March 29, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Love the hill tips – we definitely need those around Nashville! This place is hilly!!

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    Sarah March 29, 2012 at 9:09 am

    Great hill tips! especially the part about visualizing yourself at the top. Visualization is HUGE. Towards the end of a race I visualize myself crossing the fnish line. It is a powerful feeling. I make sure to try to always have hills on my long runs because I loooove the downhill feeling of relief! It is kind of like wasabi… hurts so bad for just an instant and after it goes away you just want more!

    My sister is training with the MS society team for the Boston Marathon and her tip for me regarding hills is looking down and leaning forward. It works wonders!

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    Khushboo March 29, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Avoid courses with hills? Haha just kidding! More than physical strength, mental strength gets me through them.

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    Jen March 29, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I’m pretty certain Murphy is my favorite blog dog. He’s too adorable all the time!

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    Lindsey March 29, 2012 at 9:12 am

    Never look to the top of the hill! Just keep your sight focused a few feet in front of you and keep moving. It is kinda a mind trick but this way you really aren’t looking to the top and dreading how much more you have to go.

    Reply

    Nicole March 29, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Murphy is adorable!
    For hills I turn up my music and I also think about a Trekking class I’ve taken (treadmill class at the gym – sprints, inclines, etc) and dominated. And I think back to making it through in one piece on the treadmill and translating it to the road.

    Reply

    emilie derotte March 29, 2012 at 9:17 am

    i wondering how your oatmeal looks like so yummy :)
    whan i try do to one, it doesn’t look like this one :(

    Reply

    Ashley @ The North Carolina Cowgirl March 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Poor Murphy, he looks so sad in that picture! I love seeing the pictures of him..He seems like he has a ton of personality!

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    mary @ minutespermile March 29, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Going up is hard- very true! But I’m always wary of going down, too. After I ran the Boston Marathon last year and went down “heartbreak hill,” I learned firsthand the dangers of downhills. My quads KILLED on the downhill, far more than they did going up. I cried.
    Going downhill stretches your muscles, and if you go downhill fast, it will stretch them out even more (and, at worst, cause small tears in the muscle. Ouch.)

    Going uphill? Lean forward slightly, take smaller steps, and don’t look at your feet. Good posture helps, alongside positive thoughts :)

    Reply

    maggie March 29, 2012 at 9:32 am

    quick question about kale in smoothies – do you have to cook it at all before you freeze it or is it just raw?

    Reply

    Tina March 29, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I buy it frozen, but I think a lot of people throw it in raw.

    Reply

    Cait's Plate March 29, 2012 at 9:47 am

    My tips and tricks when it comes to running hills are really simple: avoid them at all costs! ;)

    Reply

    Christina March 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

    My first attempt at running hills were to run really quickly and get over the hump. Not the best idea. So I just slow down my pace and imagine that Im someplace else. Kind of weird but it works so well.

    Reply

    Matt March 29, 2012 at 9:52 am

    tell murphy to suck it up and stop being such a little b***h

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    Tina March 29, 2012 at 9:53 am

    @Matt: LOL!

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    Lisa @ Jogging on Coffee March 29, 2012 at 10:00 am

    I just have to say Murphy is so awesome. I hope he cheers up soon!

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    Liz @ Tip Top Shape March 29, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Aaw, poor Murphy!

    Reply

    Lu March 29, 2012 at 10:12 am

    That is the most adorable picture of Murphy. Hope he perks up a bit. :)

    Reply

    Wendi @ A Southern Yogi March 29, 2012 at 10:15 am

    My tip – PRACTICE

    I try to do hill repeats a lot. The good news for me is that I live in Greenville, SC which is a fairly hilly place. It’s hard to find a flat area so I have to incorporate hills in most of my runs anyways BUT, I will do hill repeats. Basically, I start at the bottom of a fairly steep hill and I will do 30 second, 60 second and 90 second repeat. I’ll usually do like 4-5 sets of each. Start off kind of slow, mark your spot and try to beat that spot each time. It’s hard but in many races, I’ve found myself passing people on the hill because I’ve been training. It doesn’t make them easier but it does make me more fit to tackle them :)

    Reply

    Ashley @ Coffee Cake and Cardio March 29, 2012 at 10:17 am

    Poor little pug! He’s just too cute though!

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    Katie @ Peace Love & Oats March 29, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I always run faster up hills, I feel like if I push it harder then it’s over faster!

    Reply

    Ciara March 29, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Such an adorable pic of your pug. I just love their wrinkles :)

    Reply

    Erika March 29, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Is it really Thursday already??
    Hill training is not fun. I need to start setting goals about how quickly I will run up specific hills. Usually, I just repeat to myself, “up and over!”

    Reply

    Katy @ HaveYouHurd March 29, 2012 at 10:45 am

    When it comes to running hills, here is my advice:

    1. Practice – Run at least one hill, small or large, in every run you do. The more you do them, the less intimidating they are!
    2. Dig – When I’m running up a hill I dig my feet into the hill. Imagine if you had to run up a hill of sand how you have to really dig your feet into it to push yourself up the hill. It’s kinda like that. I dig into the hill the whole way up.
    3. Don’t slow down – Sometimes I even speed up a little (not a lot) when I run hills.
    4. After you’re done with the hell, say out loud: “F*&% you hill” – this is something I do and it always makes me feel better :)

    Reply

    Tina March 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    @Katy @ HaveYouHurd: Haha! I usually have a few choice words for the hills too! ;)

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    Kerry @ Totes My Oats March 29, 2012 at 11:20 am

    I’m big on telling myself “Once you get up the hill, it’s all downhill from there!” and I blast some good toons – it’s all mental.

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    Life's a Bowl March 29, 2012 at 11:43 am

    One of my fave things about going to school in Boston was having the opportunity to watch the Boston Marathon! I lived on Beacon Street right near Fenway and thought that was a perfect spot to watch from- close to the finish line but far enough away to be close enough to see the runners!

    Reply

    melissa March 29, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    That is the cutest face yet!! Cheer up murphy! I recently read this about pugs and thought of you (and murphy) Pugs are dogs who tends to make people smile because they are convinced of their own importance.

    Reply

    Melissa (MelissaLikesToEat) March 29, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    I have yet to make sweet potato fries. I know I’m seriously missing out. Must get on this.

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    Eva @The Healthy Party March 29, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    sweet potato wedges are seriously one of my favorite foods!

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    Annette @ EnjoyYourHealthyLife March 29, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I love your tips for hill running! For me, I’ve actually always enjoyed hills–because I know the reward that comes :) Just keep that in mind, and it ain’t no thang ;)

    Reply

    Justine Duppong @ Life With Cheeseburgers March 29, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    If I’m pushing through a tough part of my workout, it always helps me to visualize myself getting stronger–that only happens when you challenge yourself!

    Reply

    Gillian March 29, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Back in high school cross country we would repeat the mantra “kill the hill! the hill must not win!” Sounds dorky but it helped to have something to think about other than “when is this going to be over?”

    Reply

    Tina March 29, 2012 at 1:36 pm

    @Gillian: I love “kill the hill”! :)

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    Gabby @ Gabby's Gluten-Free March 29, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    I never get tired of oatless oatmeal! I like to change it up and use some applesauce instead of banana or add berries or citrus curd. Yum!

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    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama March 29, 2012 at 1:21 pm

    Poor Murphy! It’s not a good day when you have to rest your chin on a step.

    I am not a fan of hills. I live on the seacoast of NH so it’s pretty flat give or take a few hills here or there. I know I should do more but I mostly pick routes that don’t have steep inclines. When I do hills, I tell myself to push hard because usually after a hill comes a downhill so I can just let gravity do it’s thing.

    Reply

    Kristen @ notsodomesticated March 29, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Don’t stop is good advice for hill running. And I just think about how much stronger the hills are making me. If I’m REALLY out of breath and dying by the time the hill is over, then I give myself a walk break. But not until after the hill is done. ;)

    Reply

    ct cupcake March 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    did someone really ask how to cut and bake sweet potato wedges?! sheesh, I’m not a cook and I can easily figure out to how cut a potato wedge.

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    Lexi @ Cura Personalis Foodie March 29, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Sweet potato roasting = an art :)

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    sue March 29, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    LOL! That’s one pathetic looking little pug!

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    Sarah March 29, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I keep getting shin splints when I run, which keeps my training from really taking off. I suspect it’s because I live in the mountains and there’s hardly any non-hilly roads. Do you have any posturing tips or anything like that?

    I did try using a treadmill but I loathe every second of it.

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    Hillary March 29, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Sometimes I swear out loud. Very mature, I know. Other times, like you, I try to remind myself that I get closer to the other side with every step I take. Usually that helps at least a little!

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    Megan @ Weddings and Workouts March 29, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Awww, Murphy looks so down :-(

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    Sarah March 30, 2012 at 12:39 am

    A running coach once told me to take 10 quick steps at the beginning of the hill and then settle into a comfortable push. I love this technique and use it to get back to speed at the top of a hill, too!

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    Ashley April 2, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I read an article a few days ago with some tips on running hills. This one is similar to “watching it shrink” but here’s the trick: mentally cut the hill into three pieces using landmarks like mailboxes, trees, etc. In your head, only concentrate on running that third. It’s like running three baby hills but before you know it, you’re at the top!

    Reply

    Kirbie July 7, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    This post totally helped me conquer a hill today, albeit, it was only one hill, it did make me feel great. So thanks!

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    Tina July 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    That’s awesome!! Nice job! :)

    Reply

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