Picture Captions plus run dem’ hills.

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I loved this article—>  The Best Way to Run and Race Hills.  

Hills intimidate me.  When I am running uphill I feel like my heart rate is maxed out, speedwork doesn’t even do that to me.  Maybe hills feel extra hard for me because I have done trillions of flat treadmill miles over the years or maybe because in the past I have been a champion at choosing the routes that closely resemble pancakes (flat)… either way, hills are one of the many things I am focusing in on in my training for my next marathon.  I am running outside as much as possible and really trying to squeeze hills in as much as possible.  For me, I really like to pace hills according to effort.  If I try to keep the same pace going up a hill as when I am running on a flat surface then I run out of steam FAST.  

If I go up the hill and focus on pushing myself as hard as I do when running on the flat portions then I still have plenty of energy to cruise back down the hill and hold pace on the flat sections.  I rarely (if ever) look at my watch when going up a hill.  I am not concerned about my speed as much as making sure that I am putting in a good effort and saving something in me for the rest of the course.  If hills are killing you off lately, maybe try out going off of effort rather than a specific pace (unless your training plan calls for hill sprints or a specific hill workout, that is another story.  Those workouts are designed for you to sprint up and recover on the way back down.  Races are a different story for me because I usually make up for lost time on the downhill and avoid going all out on the up).

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Winners of the VACAY SUNGLASSES GIVEAWAY!!!

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What is your hill strategy in a race or hard run?

What has been the HILLIEST race course that you have ever done?

Have you had a s’more yet this summer?  Have any fun s’more variations?

Left or right handed?

-Left.

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81 comments

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I actually love hills and can’t wait to read that article! My husband and I are both left handed and all 3 kids are right. Totally feel like I’ve told you this before!

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that’s crazy. And she asks the same questions sometimes…it comes up in the context. Still interesting though…

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I have yet to have any smores this summer and it’s very disappointing.
I’m right handed.

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NYC was pretty hilly! BUT, I like in an area with a few small/big hills – so I ran up them all the time, which meant I found the bridges manageable.

I’ve only had a s’mores oreo so far this summer

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In Florida we don’t worry too much about hills. If we want to run hills, we have to run big bridges. Staring out at the Gulf of Mexico and the beautiful beach makes ‘hill’ running not too shabby ;)

No s’mores yet. Right handed.

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I go hard on hills knowing I will be able to race down the back end but I’m careful not to go all out. I know my energy levels well enough to know I’ll be totally spent if I do that.

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Big Sur was probably the hilliest race I’ve done. When we drove the course the hills were intimidating, but while I was running they weren’t nearly as bad. Maybe because I was running with my best friend and we were enjoying the views! Mississippi Blues marathon had alot more hills than I was expecting. I count my steps when going uphill and I don’t look at the top of the hill. I just keep going until my legs let me know I’ve hit the top!

S’mores are the best! We broke those out a long time ago! :)

Right handed!

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I actually kind of like hills, though not necessarily in races. I push as hard as I can up hills. The hilliest race I’ve done was a 10K in Sherman, Texas. The entire first 5K was uphill. I thought I was going to keel over.

No s’mores–I don’t like marshmallows or chocolate, so I end up eating only the graham crackers.

I’m right-handed but tried to train myself to be left-handed in high school and college. I’ve always been fascinated by lefties!

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My strategy is always not to die. I want to go up them as fast as I can, but than I feel like I lost all my energy on them, but if I go slower on them than I feel like I’m going super slow and losing time.. I try to do a good in between pace.? Ha
Or just choose a flat course :p ha

Righty

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I stink at hills! They are always a challenge for me, mentally and physically.

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Hilliest race was the Country Music Marathon in Nashville. Brutal!!

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Hilliest race — The New River Marathon that goes through the mountains of NC! One turn had the steepest, GRAVEL incline… oy.

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Hill strategy: don’t look up, run by effort, and don’t make any decisions while climbing the hill
Hilliest race: flying monkey marathon!
We make s’mores in our outdoor fireplace
Right handed

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You nailed it, Jen! Those are my three strategies for hills as well! Especially the one about not making any decisions.

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The hilliest race I’ve ever done was a half-marathon in the Maluti Mountains in the Kingdom of Lesotho – holy hills! But the scenery was worth it 1000 times – most beautiful race ever!

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I try to focus on the top of the hill and just pump my arms until I finally get there! I’m not the best at running hills, but I just keep reminding myself, it will be over soon : )

Ugh, the fact I haven’t had a s’more yet gives me the sads. But best believe I will be having one in the near future.

And I’m right handed to write, but play most sports lefty? I know, I’m weird.

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My hill strategy is to keep even effort not even pace- don’t try to kill yourself going up, because you can always make it up going down! I also try to focus on something close by instead of the top of the hill. I love running hills and have to run them all the time because pittsburgh is a very hilly city!

My hilliest race was called Marathon on the Mountain, held at a ski resort. It was SO hilly and was the most challenging race I’ve ever done! My time was horrible, but I have to say that was my proudest racing moment, and my favorite race medal!

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I am try to learn to appreciate the hills…they definitely make us stronger runners! I do love a good downhill, especially in a race.

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I am random in that I accelerate up hills. I have noticed this recently after someone commented it to me. I think I really just want them to be over and it is easier to go faster? I hate extreme downhills- I often try to go slower to help my knees!

Your pictures make me want s’mores!

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I live in pancake flat south florida so the only hills I have are bridges! I do love floating down on the downhill!

Because my part of Florida is so flat choosing a fall or winter marathon is such a challenge. I love choosing places out of the state where I can be better guaranteed to have cool race day weather but I can’t go anywhere with hills because I don’t have any to train on! So excited to run Chicago this fall!

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I am s’more deprived! Perhaps I’ll change that when my niece comes for a visit in a few days.

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I am a lefty! I don’t like hills- I just remember one hill during the Runner’s World half being relentless. I kept thinking it was over but it kept going and going!

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The hilliest race I’ve ran was the Go St Louis Half Marathon. They had the course going up and down steep bridges – not fun. My strategy for hills is to go by effort, not pace, otherwise I burn myself out!
I’m right handed.

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Hill strategy: Focus on my breathing and nothing else. It helps me make sure I am keeping a steady breath and getting plenty of oxygen to those muscles – by the time you feel like you’ve mastered your breath, you are up the hill. AND THE ANGELS SING AND IT’S AMAZING. The end.

Have a great morning!!

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Of course I’ve had s’mores this summer, what a crazy question!

My hill strategy is to keep reminding myself that I’m stronger than I think. For me, it’s all mental.

BTW, I bought the gray/white/red Roolee dress you’re wearing in the pics above, based on your recommendation from a while back … it is one of my new favorites. I’m somewhat tall, and it is refreshing to find dresses that aren’t too short, but aren’t long and dowdy. Thanks for providing the link!!!

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OH YAY!! Sarah… I am so so glad you love the dress. Isn’t it seriously the most comfortable thing in the world? I wear mine at least once a week ha!

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You did not fail the marshmallow….burnt is the ONLY way to eat one…otherwise, why even put it on a stick??

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My hill story is simply from living in San Francisco at the top of Nob Hill for a couple of years. No matter how in shape I was, I still got winded on the walk up to my apartment. I will forever live in fear of hills. :) Right handers all the way, Janae. Loving the captions!

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I have not yet had a s’mores this summer but that needs to change! I love burning my marshmallow completely and then blowing it out ;) Haha!

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Cousins really do make the best friends. They were the only real girl friends that I had. Other than that I only hung out with guys. Less drama.

Right handed, my husband is left handed though.

The hilliest race was in high school when we went out to run in California. Mt SAC is insane.

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I really focus on hills for workouts because I think they are some of the best training you can do.

I love the captioned photos…for me I love the flavor of smoked or charred marshmallows. I think it’s the best! Have a great day Janae!

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I always shorten my stride, pump my arms toward the sky and slow down. I just can’t race up a hill and I want to keep my form and heart rate in check for the long haul.

I ran ragnar Napa and there sure were some hills in San Francisco. The San Francisco Half was pretty hilly too. And of course all the bridges in the NYC Marathon….

I’ve been smoreless this summer so far! I’m just a fan of dark chocolate and a burnt marshmallow. The graham crackers are not my fave so swapping out for Nabisco Lorna Doone cookies is my thing =)

Right handed

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The hilliest run I’ve done was in Galena, IL. Illinois in general is flat as they come, but Galena is a major exception to the rule! It was HILLS, HILLS, and more HILLS! Just when you would hit a downhill, the road would turn up into another huge hill. Let’s just say my time was sub-par, but it kicked my booty!

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I also shoot for keeping consistent effort and don’t look at pace while going uphill. I also focus on using my arms as I know you do as well and this really helps!
The Brewers Half Marathon was my hilliest race- Miles 10 and 11 were all uphill!
I haven’t has s’mores yet this summer but I need to change that!
My husband and I are both left handed! We will see if our kids are too?!?

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Okay that is cruel for mile 10 AND 11 to be uphill… my legs would want to fall off ha! Yay for lefties:)

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I live in coastal Georgia so no hills here. But there are some bridges that provide hill work. I love training on hills…especially when it means I get to pass someone on a hill during a race.

Made s’mores at a campfire on my dad’s fire a couple of weeks ago. Yum.

Left-handed.

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I don’t mind hills, as long as they are not at the end of a race. I get grumpy when I have to finish up a hill, haha. My trick is to look down and pretend I am running on a flat surface. My effort will naturally settle in to my race pace.

The Seattle Marathon (in December) was a pretty hilly course, but all of the hills were strategically placed in the last 7 miles –> Brutal. We have a half marathon in Bend called the Haulin’ Aspen that is a trail run and the hillest course I have ever seen for the 13.1 mile distance.

Right handed. My husband is left.

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The Amica Seattle marathon at the end of November is pretty hilly. There’s a gargantuan one at mile 22 where it’s so steep that your nose practically touches the road while you’re climbing it. I get through hills by reminding myself that it won’t last forever, and I’ll get that recovery feeling back as soon as I crest the frigging thing!

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I need to get on my smore game this summer.. can’t believe its already July!

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First comment- in the pouty face pic, I can’t believe how much Brooke looks like curly when she was younger!! Wow- you can sure tell they are cousins!!

The hilliest race I have done (3x) is called the Quadzilla 15k. It’s one giant hill after another :) But the scenery is beautiful!

A few weeks ago I made a s’more with a brownie instead of a piece of chocolate. It was amazing.

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I’ve been training on the hills in Central Park for the past few years (the northern part of the park has some killer leg burners!). I just moved to Virginia though and I feel like I’m seriously lacking hills to run along – nervous for the NYC Marathon in November now without those!

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Hilliest race I’ve done is the SF Marathon. I’m not great at hills, but I try to also go by feel and don’t look at my watch. I find the more I practice hills the easier they feel (although they never actually feel “easy”!). If I take an extended break from them it’s like I’m starting from scratch.

Haven’t had s’mores yet this summer, but we’re going camping later this month and will be partaking then. I heard about doing s’mores with Reese’s pb cups instead of regular Hershey’s chocolate and I’m going to try it!

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Mmm I love s’mores! They did nail those pouty faces!

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What a small world – I was at the Bean Museum with my family last Thursday. :)

My hilliest marathon was the Grand Valley Marathon in Palisade, Colorado. You climb to the top of the mesa at mile 4(ish), then constant rolling hills to mile 22, down the mesa, finish flat. A pretty race but hard.

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I have not had a smore, and this post reminds me that I really want to try a smore frappachino. Pretty sure I should put this on the to do list today.

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I don’t think that marshmallow was a fail!! I always toast mine super slow to get em really melty then I torch em!!

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Oh, so many smores. that’s my favorite! And I am more right handed, but am ambidextrous in a pinch. My hilliest course…. well, I do a lot of trail races, and many of those are up in the Angeles National Forest, or similar hilly areas. So… lots of hills. I love them hahaha

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The hilliest race course I have ever done was the Equinox Traverse adventure race. 25,000 ft of elevation gain in 48 hours. ALL THE UP.

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I have not tried these S’Moreos yet but am dying to! http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/s-moreos

I’m about to sign up for the Tahoe Marathon which I’m pretty sure will be the hilliest race I’ll ever run!

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Right.

The “hilliest” race for me which is probably nothing compared to others was my 2nd half in Danville, VA. It boasted “gently, rolling hills”. It was not pleasant and there were some not nice words. There have been some other races where there have been surprise hills that I have not appreciated!

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I made s’mores cupcakes this weekend and they were beyond amazing!! But I haven’t had actual s’mores since I moved back to England almost 4 years ago! They aren’t really a big thing here but I’m definitely going to have some when I visit my dad in Chicago, this summer :)

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Tampa is pretty flat, so I don’t get in much hill training, but I will be incorporating hill presets (on the treadmill) and stairs into my training.

I hear Route 66 is rather hilly… I’ve too afraid to confirm the accuracy of this rumor. ;)

And, I’m a lefty too! That makes us both special!

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I too am intimidated by hills. I know I need to train them to get faster but the slightest incline makes me feel like I’m going to die. LOL!

The hilliest race I ever did was the Kentucky Derby Marathon. Some of the hills were on curves so I would think the downhill would be around the bend only find it kept climbing higher. I felt amazing after that race not only did I conquer the hills but I got a PR that day. :)

We got our first fire pit this year so we have been making s’mores like crazy!

~Right handed

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I try to run hills atleast once a week. This makes them less scary. Its so funny that you posted about smores. I was laying in bed last night thinking about how I have not had one yet this summer. I think I will need to make some this weekend. Last year my son and I were hooked so much that we were making them on the stove in the kitchen haha.

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My 4th of July race finished on a steep uphill. Ugh! I could have used those tips earlier. I’m so excited I won sunglasses! You made my whole week!

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No hill strategy here- I’m another flatlander. Sea level all the way. I don’t even have any bridges around that I can run, except once a month when we go to the beach! I’ve been eyeing up the local 6 story hospital parking garage, though. It’s on my list of things to do.

S’mores- not yet!

I’m a righty, so is hubs and oldest daughter (and no lefties in my family, only one in his…) but our youngest is a lefty. I think it’s pretty fascinating.

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My hill strategy is to run by effort on the uphill and to pick my feet up “before they land” on the downhill. Funny b/c my blogpost today is on a 10k race that was up a steep hill, then back down (https://chasingoliviacrew.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/race-recap-chc-meriden-castle-craig-10k/)

Oh, and I am right handed :)

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My hill strategy depends on the duration of the run or type of race. Typically, if I can see the top then I will run them (unless the grade is particularly steep) or if the incline is gradual….However, in an ultra then I will walk most hills to conserve energy. I cannot tell you how many trail races that I see people attempting to blaze up the hills early on….and then later see those same people struggling to get through.

My 50 miler in May had 8300′ of elevation gain…it felt like we were constantly climbing…and the climbs were steep and lasted miles….in the last six miles, there was a 3 mile hike – that hurt!

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For hills, I focus my eyes about 6 feet in front of me…never look up!!! And tell myself to ‘dig, dig, dig deep!’. Also…don’t make any decisions on an uphill! Never.

In my opinion, you passed the marshmallow test with an A +! You must let them catch on fire and char!!! It’s the only way!

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My hill strategy is to remind myself how strong and powerful I am, and honestly if I don’t walk then I am happy!
We are planning on s’mores this weekend at the beach!
I am a leftie. I’m a little sad that none of my kiddos are.

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My only hill strategy is “just keep swimming (aka running)” because I just hate them and all I want to do is get up them.

The Bridge of the Goddesses half-marathon in Oregon was BEAUTIFUL but the whole thing felt like one giant climb. Thankfully it was an out and back, so the second half was a little easier on the downhill. The Helvetia half (also Oregon) was challenging hilly also.

No smores yet this summer, but I’m hoping they will be present at our upcoming giant extended family lake cabin vaycay. Because I REALLY want to try them with peanut butter cups.

Right handed, but sometimes I write/draw with my left for fun and pretend I’m a small child.

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Brooke’s pouty face is perfect!!

Thanks for the article! It was a great read and motivator!

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Love me S’mores. My favorite combination is two keebler striped cookies instead of graham crackers! My husband like the reese’s cup variation.

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Oh, that poor marshmallow.

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I haven’t had s’mores yet this summer but I did make your s’more bars for a party and they were a huge hit! I usually end up burning my marshmallows when I attempt to roast them too!

I’m a righty!

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I feel that way about speed training. I’d take a hilly run over tempo work any day of the week.

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i read that you shouldn’t try to exhaust yourself going up hills, rather just try and keep a constant pace. I’ve been doing it slightly different for years though. I shorten my stride, and put my head down (which isn’t the recommended way…). Once at the top of the hill I lengthen my stride a bit and when running downhill I just let gravity help me. Probably all wrong, but it’s worked for me so far…

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I really need to correct your marshmallow photo. That was not a fail! That is a perfectly roasted until black marshmallow. My favorite way to eat them! Let them catch on fire, burn for a couple seconds, blow it out and eat!

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There haven’t been very many races that I’ve done with hills. I mostly try and avoid them. I have done 2 races with a pretty steep steady hill. I think on one of them I walked up most of it. I don’t think I was prepared for the hills mentally so it took it out of me.

I’m a lefty. The true question is if you can cut with scissors right handed? :)

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It’s been years since I last had a smore. I had roasted marshmallows for the first time in a long long time a few summers ago. I had forgotten how delicious they are!

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i ran the nike women’s marathon in san francisco — those hills were for real!

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It might sound crazy but I always rely on my arms to get me up hills… If I pump them just right it takes the pressure off my legs. The hilliest course I have ever done would have to be the Race 13.1 Greensboro half marathon that I did in May.

I just had s’mores on Saturday – I love the classic Hershey, marshmallow and grahams :)

Right handed!!

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-the 20 km I did on Saturday had some MAJOR hillage!
-Love s’mores..none this summer….yet!
-righty :)

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I’m off to run some hills after work! I always used to avoid them on purpose. I’ve learned I need to throw them in to get stronger! I did one half marathon a few years ago that had a STEEP hill at mile 11. Otherwise it was totally flat. It was rough, but I did know it was there ahead of time.

We made s’mores on the 4th! I love them! I’m right handed, and my husband is left.

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yay, a fellow lefty! i get super excited when other people declare their left-handedness. life is just cooler in the left zone. ;)

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Hilliest marathon: Flying Monkey! I hate hills! Fortunately what goes up must come down and I am a superb downhill runner!

Those 2 pouty girls are going to be total heart breakers!

Right handed.

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Our home cross country course in high school was extremely hilly. The hilliest course I have ever run.
My strategy for hill running: good form (not hunched over), use your arms and think positive!
We had Smores a couple of weeks ago!! I love summer!
Right handed.

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My hilliest ever race was this February. It was in downtown Kansas City and somehow they routed it so that it was all steeply uphill. Add freezing temperatures and a brutal wind and it was pretty much my nightmare race…

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Seems that you, kids and friend had great time, great pics!!!

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Trying grilled smores cones at the beach next week with the family – you use waffle cones, marshmallows and chocolate chips and I bought on chips and Heath bits to make them even better – then you wrap in foil and grill – can’t wait :)

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Mmm, roasted marshmallows!!

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