Which one is BETTER + when running gets hard–> I’ve got THE THING to help you.

I’ve got a new HRG BABY POST—>  24 WEEKS!  You can read it HERE!!


Can we just talk about that beautiful temperature in the below picture.  I was so thrilled when I walked out the door and those numbers and the cool breeze was there to hang out with me.

I also got to see a pretty amazing sunrise!

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7.11 miles @ 9:17 average pace and for part of it I listened to this podcast and it was awesome.  I especially love hearing about companies that I LOVE and how they started and the successes and failures along the way to get where they are now!

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I’m happy that I can somewhat still do pigeon pose because my hip flexors are TIGHT.

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It feels like I haven’t really challenged myself in my running in a while but this last Saturday at my trail race, my muscles were definitely challenged.  One of my oldest mental techniques popped into my head during the very first long hill that we came across.  It is one that has helped me through hundreds of hard hills or rough spots along race courses and training runs.

Sometimes I visualize a hill as being one of the hardest spots in life.  Whether that be eating disorder low points, loneliness, saying goodbye to kids to go to their other parent’s house, family struggles, work problems… you name it, one of them will pop into my head and that hill becomes that experience.  As I’m climbing that hill I remind myself of that particular trial that I have had in the past and think about how I overcame that time of life.  I think about the strengths I had, the courage, the lessons learned and remind myself over and over again when my heart is pounding and my muscles are burning that I overcame that challenge in life and that those things were a whole lot harder than the hill I am currently running.  I remind myself I didn’t quit those hard times of life, I’m sure as heck not going to quit the hill (or hard part of the workout).  If I can make it through those really rough emotional times, I most definitely can make it through a little physical hardship that is only going to last a few minutes!  I also think about some big trials that either Andrew has been through, my parents, my siblings or best friends and think about how they overcame them and it fills me up with all of the energy I need to get to the top.

And then I always remind myself of how sweet it feels to come through on the other side of a big trial.  It feels like you just get to fly again and take off the 50 lb backpack you have been carrying everywhere with you… which is exactly what happens once you get to the top of the hill.  You get to fly down and as your breathing normalizes and your muscles are no longer telling you to quit, you realize you can keep doing whatever hard thing is put in your way!

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Knox came home yesterday morning and after 5 days apart, these two were beyond happy to see each other.

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So were these two.  Hearing their giggles together is my favorite.

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Lunch was out with the girls!  It felt like it had been forever since we last caught up on everything.  It was delicious and a really good time.

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I have great news.  Chocolate is sounding really good again.  It was a long 6 months without it but it is back.  I still have no desire for candy but chocolate is good and chocolate custard from Culver’s is my current #1!

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Every piece of clothing that I wear now has at least one nice stain from whatever I was eating at the moment right on my belly.

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Somehow a water fight started in the front yard (Andrew…….).

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And for dinner, it might not look pretty but it tasted SO GOOD.  We had this stroganoff.  It doesn’t use cream of chicken or anything… we used ground turkey too and the mushrooms in it tasted amazing.

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A little snuggling with Beretta before bed time.

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Last night I went to the youth activity that I do every Wednesday night.  In our church you can accept certain callings (service opportunities) and mine is to work with the youth girls (ages 12-14) to teach them on Sundays and to also do weekly activities.  I love it.  If you are a newish reader, I used to teach high school health to 9th graders (and some 10-12th graders) so this age group is really fun for me.  Yesterday they did a big combined activity with the boys and the girls and after a bbq we did this huge slip ’n slide.  They added soap to the slide to make it even more slippery.  The kids flew down this thing… there were zero injuries and a ridiculous amount of laughs so it was a success.

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I would love to hear what you run the most on?  Sidewalk, asphalt, grass or dirt?  I’m all about running on the asphalt as much as possible.  I do run on the sidewalk a bit if I’m in a busy area but not only do I try to avoid the sidewalks because I love tripping over their cracks, but also because my grandpa told me to when I was younger:)  He was a huge track & cross-country runner/coach and he advised me to run on asphalt instead of concrete as much as possible because it is a bit softer on the joints.   I want to run until I’m 100 so I do anything I can to keep my joints happy:)  I’ve also read a lot that it really doesn’t make a difference between the two but my brain just keeps telling me that I like to run on asphalt more than concrete… what about you?

You know your husband is a good person when he doesn’t mind matching your shoes… or when he doesn’t mind you stealing his socks for the last few days because I for the life of me can’t find any of my own matching socks.   Our washer swallows my socks, I’m positive.

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And another reminder.. I HAVE ANOTHER HRG BABY POST UP!!!


Any visualizations that you use when climbing a hill or hitting a rough spot of a race/workout?

Do you run most on grass, dirt, concrete, asphalt?  Do you switch it up often?  Does your body notice a difference?

Absolute best milkshake combination in your opinion?  I take these things seriously now because they are starting to sound good again (as of yesterday ha… who knows what tomorrow will bring).

What was your dinner last night?  Was it something you’ll repeat or a one and done recipe?

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I had a chocolate chip cookie milk shake once. It even had a chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich on it.


Thanks for sharing this. It’s funny, because you post things right when I need to read them the most. I’ve been climbing a hill/in a rough spot since last fall, and it feel like more hills and rough spots just keep piling on and adding to the challenges. I keep hoping things will get better, and I have a really big potential job opportunity that I’m saying BIG prayers about (I find out tomorrow), and sometimes it really is hard to keep pressing on without just wanting to give up–like when you’re in a race and hurting and want to quit but know that you’re almost to that goal of the finish line. I know this tough spot in my life won’t last forever, and I know God has a plan and reason for everything, so I’m doing my best to trust in Him. And reading your positivity always helps spark more hope in me, so thank you for that!

And I know it’s supposedly bad, but I love running on concrete. I just always have, and for some reason running too much on asphalt aggravates my plantar fasciitis. Hopefully my joints will be OK when I’m old!!


Natalie! I am seriously so sorry about what you’ve been going through this last year! You are sure strong! GOOD LUCK with finding out about your big job opportunity. I hope so bad you get it. Please let me know!!


I’ve recently started just putting my head down when running up hills and focusing on each step, rather than focusing on the top of the hill. It’s really helped so far, because I’m not focusing on how far I have to go – because I really don’t know how far I have left to go!

Where I live it’s easier to run on the sidewalks than anything else, so that’s where the majority of my runs take place (or the treadmill…) But I recently discovered an open track near me that I might start going to for shorter/speedy workouts that should be a little softer :)


I usually tell myself that when I get to the top of the hill, I can take a break…but I am usually so excited to go downhill or on a flat part that I don’t take the breaks! It just helps me feel better. I also start counting my steps to distract myself.
Mostly concrete for me…sidewalks can be dangerous, although I haven’t fallen this year like I have the past few. I don’t have access to very much asphalt paths but I do feel like they are better when I can run on them.
I have some issues with dairy so I can’t really do milkshakes…but before I knew this, I used to LOOOOVE this salted caramel milkshake from this tiny little ice cream place in my town. I miss it!


Happy Thursday! That custard looks SO GOOD!
I don’t do a lot of visualizations for hills, but I do have certain songs I like to listen to on the hillier stretches of my runs. Since I grew up running in Boston and New Hampshire, most of the races i run are less hilly than the trails I ran when I was 16:)
I run mostly on concrete, but I do try to seek out dirt paths when I can. I once ran the NYC Half, and it was almost all on concrete; My joints hurt more after that race than any other race I’ve ever run!
I love black and white milkshakes best:) Especially when there’s whipped cream on top!
My dinner was so sub-par last night…a sweet potato and some leftover chicken and salad. Tonight I’m eating out with a friend, though, so hopefully I’ll get some inspiration!


I love milkshakes! I think I’d prefer regular ice cream though ;)
When running hills, I was always taught to keep driving your legs for 10 paces after you reach the top, it feels so much easier after running on an incline!
I do most of my running on pavement unfortunately, and thanks for reminding me that I need to do pigeon pose way more often! My hip flexors are always tight too.
I had easy chicken and broccoli alfredo last night – it hit the spot! I can’t wait for it to cool down so I can finally start using my oven again!
Have a great day!


Uh, I kind of feel like a dumb dumb that I had to google the difference between concrete and asphalt? I guess here in Boston, I only run on concrete sidewalks when I am near work. Otherwise I run asphalt, like along the Charles. Sometimes if I have an easy run and my legs feel beat up, I will run on the dirt path next to the Charles to give my legs a quick break.

When climbing hills, I typically focus on pumping my arms and focus on one step at a time.

I love chocolate milkshakes!

And last night, after my 7 mile tempo-run, I was NOT hungry at all, but forced myself to eat a burrito I had made at Whole Foods, plus some kombucha, plus blood orange sorbet. Later that night I was hungry again so finished the burrito and had a bowl of Life cereal!


I run on asphalt the most. I love running on newly laid asphalt! And I’m glad it wasn’t in my head in thinking that it is a little softer.

I’m going to use that analogy next time I come to a hard spot in my run


Shake and roll: four dates, soak in almond milk, put in some cocoa or cacao, and blend. Boom!

FYI, since dates aren’t my thing, I do dried plums and figs. Figs happen to be in season at this time. Also, I read we’re supposed to cook cacao (like maca) even though the raw foodies say just do it raw. Hey, the argument is the natives utilizing maca for centuries put it in baked (cooked) goods. So, if I put in the cacao, I cook it with some ghee first. I’m talking low heat; and I’m not going to expand on the heat. You’re welcome.

And thank you for the stroganoff recipe without cream or canned soup! Love!!


I mostly run on a mix between concrete and asphalt…a lot of the roads around me are obviously asphalt, but then if I go through a neighborhood there is more concrete. I think my body honestly feels a little better on the treadmill…(but outside is so much more fun)! :)

I can’t do milkshakes a lot because they kinda hurt my stomach…but a good ole plain vanilla shake from Arby’s or McDonald’s is probably my favorite! Have a great day, Janae! :)


we went for sushi last night and it was just delicious! I am not a big milkshake fan although I do enjoy the giant over the top trendy milkshakes the restaurants have around here now! all of the candy and cake and cookies attached to the glass make it a good time.


I run mostly on asphalt and dirt…I try to avoid concrete sidewalks as much as I can before they just make my legs ACHE!

I feel like I need an oreo cookie milk shake in my life asap.


Your hill/toughinterval coping mechanism sounds like a good one for those killer contractions coming your way in a few months… :)


I normally run on sidewalks but now I feel like I have to run on asphalt instead! I don’t want to hurt my joints! The picture of Knox and Brooke really encompasses childhood silliness to me with the backwards trumpet and pipe cleaners on Brooke’s head :)
I miss Culver’s! I love their custard and need to get some next time I’m in the Midwest. New Jersey has yet to get a Culver’s which is a travesty to me. Dinner last night was popcorn at the movies, super healthy I know ;)

Have a great day Janae!


I love your attitude towards running up hills – I’m totally going to think like that next time I get to a hard hill!! Something little that helps me get up hills is to keep my eyes on my feet – if I look at the top of the hill it only discourages me! I also like to count my steps.

I usually run on concrete, but whenever I see patches of dirt I like to run on that for a little break on my joints!

My tastebuds are lame, but I just love a plain vanilla milkshake! I had one last weekend and it was the absolute best.

And my din last night was a portobello mushroom sandwich filled with veggies and cheese! So yummy. Have a great day, Janae!!!


My favorite part of running hills is when you get to the top and your legs/lungs feel so good. It makes me smile just thinking about it. I’m actually looking forward hill workouts again when the weather is a little cooler. I usually do these workouts with friends, so it ends up being fun because we are all suffering together :)

I run mostly on asphalt with a few concrete park bike/walk trails. One local park has crushed limestone. I like running on that too. It reminds of when I used to run on a cinder track. It’s like white noise…very calming.

My favorite milkshake is banana (or banana chocolate). If that’s not available, I’ll get a chocolate malt. Okay…I feel like I need one later today. HA!


I love listening to How I Built This too. It’s so cool to hear about how companies came to be, and the challenges the founders went through. That slip and slide looks like so much fun! Haha I don’t care that I’m not 14 anymore, I totally would have given it a try.


That stroganoff looks so good. I want to make that tonight. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

I run on a combination of concrete and asphalt, I guess, but I can’t actually tell the difference. For speedwork, I always do it on a soft track which my body appreciates. I don’t really like trail running/running on dirt because the soil and small rocks can get inside your shoes. Do you ever have this problem?


Sometimes I visualize myself running away from something bad! Is that weird? A T-Rex, a burgler, a runaway train — anything to get my adrenaline spiking!

I definitely switch up my terrain — and my legs thank me!

My fav milkshake of the moment is Mint Oreo — Try it!

Dinner last night was a homemade version of Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad — we buy the chicken tenders frozen and bake them ( to save time), whip up the dressing and load up huge salad bowls. I ALWAYS leave the table nice and full when we have this for supper! It’s a serious repeat around our house!


OK your website name made me super curious, so I had to check it out! My daughter is also .5 Korean (I’m full and my hubby is 0). Cute cute!! :)


Whenever I am having a tough time running, I imagine that I am holding onto two ropes and as my arms move back and forth, I am being “pulled”. For some reason, this helps me SO much! I also look at different points ahead (no more than 50 feet ahead) and use them as goals. I set tiny goals and tell myself that I can stop once I get to that tree/ pole/ trash can. Having a smaller goal is so much easier than thinking about the miles. Also, best milkshake= anything with oreo chunks. Hands down.


Oh I love this visualization Tamara! Love it, I’m going to borrow this! Thank you. I hope you get a milkshake with all of the oreo chunks asap:) Have a great day!


Chocolate peanut butter milkshake. Sometimes I think about ordering something different but I just can’t lol.

Made chocolate chip banana pancakes last night for dinner… I may have already made them for dinner once or twice in the past few days ?


I can’t tell you how happy it makes me that you have been having a lot of pancakes lately… the best! I think I need a chocolate pb milkshake next:) Enjoy your day Kristina!


I run mostly on concrete, but I do think asphalt running feels better on my legs. I also like running on crushed limestone for a change of pace :)
One of my favorite flavors of milkshakes is a simple, strawberry milkshake :) Landon and I split a milkshake a day after we got married and now it has become a tradition to get a strawberry shake for our anniversary (which was YESTERDAY!)
I love how you view running challenges and life’s hardships! I do the same thing. If I have a tough run, I think through hard experiences I’ve gone through and how I’ve overcome. Also, when I have a hard life situation, I think of tough runs and how I’ve pushed through. When I was in labor with my son, I pictured myself running and that seemed to help a ton!


I love that hill visualization idea! That is awesome! Also I want to say thank you for the awesome tempo run post the other day- I rocked my 10 mile tempo this morning by utilizing a couple of your hints and tricks! Such a confidence booster for my marathon next month!!


WAY TO GO CYNTHIA on your TEN mile tempo this morning. You are amazing! I can’t wait to hear about how you rocked your marathon next month:) Keep me updated!


Visualization is so important. I always try and remember in a tough race or workout, it’s not forever and I will make it through the pain you know? (As long as it’s not injury pain of course). You can’t climb a hill forever!


Welcome back to the chocolate loving world. We have missed you. Culvers has a turtle concrete mixer that is bomb. Chocolate custard, caramel, brownie pieces and pecans. Maybe I will go get me one now. For second breakfast. That seems reasonable.


If you go, you better invite me. That sounds amazing.


Okay, so this MAY sound odd but BEST ice cream shake (frappe over here in the East! :) ) … add a packet of hot chocolate mix to milk and a bit of ice cream. Blend. I used to make 2 of these a day when I was in high school over the summer. Delicious.


Okay, that sounds INCREDIBLE Amanda. I will be trying that ASAP. Thank you!


I LOVE that idea of using visualizations to get through hill work. Hills are my worst enemy, I’ve decided, so I’ll be stealing this idea for my next hill workout! :)

I actually love running on grass when I can! I live right by a huge soccer field so when I’m able to I run there and do a few loops around it to ease my joints a bit! It’s awesome! But, other than that I mostly run on the road or sidewalks! I think I can tell a difference in my body, but I may just be crazy! Ha! But, one thing I really do notice is that my pace always picks up on the grass…I wonder if there are any “grass” races I could sign up for??? :)

100% Chick-Fil-A chocolate milkshake wins in my book! Best one hands down. Between that and their chocolate chip cookies, it’s basically my idea of chocolate heaven. ;)

We had BBQ chicken pizza and it was FABULOUS!!


I am not a runner, but I do lift weights and what lifting seems to do for me is synonymous to you and your running. So a hill is the same as reps. I am going through a really difficult time right now am feel so exhausted and emotionally fragile. I am trying to keep up with my lifting routine and move my body rather than hole up in my room and stay in bed. Today during lunges I just said “One more step. Just one more step” “I can do hard things” and think about how I have overcome personal challenges in the past and all I have to do is take one more step in this second and let go of all the other thoughts-projections of future, the unknown, discomfort, etc. I too think of loved ones and friends and what they have gone through and overcome and it gives me strength. I think of the kids I work with who come from poverty and witness violence and trauma and I choose strength for them.


I do think asphalt is softer than concrete so I run on it when I can, but safety comes first. I also like running trails.

We had meatloaf last night – I’ve made it many times. It’s my grandmother’s recipe and it calls for bbq sauce instead of ketchup or tomato sauce – it’s SO much better! Also, I mix it up in the morning and refrigerate until I’m ready to bake it so the flavors really get a chance to blend.


That sunrise is beautiful!

I run mostly on dirt trails, and I like to think it’s better on my body, but I’ve had a lot of problems with my achilles and peroneal tendons lately, so maybe I should find some concrete? Ha!

Last night’s dinner was grilled veggies, mango and pineapple over rice with a tandoori yogurt sauce. And best milkshake was ginger/pecan/toasted coconut. Glorious!


My personal mantra when I am having a rough time running or doing a challenging workout (or backpacking up a mountain with snow shoes which is easily harder than any running I’ve done–probably because I am a weak sauce runner ;) ) or being a million years pregnant is “You are stronger than your body. You are more than your body.” As cheesy as it is, repeating this to myself reminds me that the physical is just a part of who I am. I’m a spiritual being. An intellectual being. And I am strong. So that is what helps me through.

Asphalt runner all the way, if I can. I love to hike and whenever I see trail runners I think about it for about 5 seconds… and then no. I like a stable surface.


I run mostly on a treadmill!! I talked all about the 10 reasons why on my blog today, in fact!! :)

I live in KS and we have Braum’s; I love their cookies n cream shake or birthday cake shake – my 2 year old loves blue ice cream :)! We have a rolled ice cream place opening soon near my house, and I know I’ll be trying that out!


Pigeon pose was my FAVORITE when I was pregnant. We did it in yoga and up until I was 9 months pregnant so hopefully you can still do it! My yoga teach would give modifications using pillows for those who had some trouble with it


That race looks like so much fun! I run about 98% on dirt with the occasional concrete bike path in there. My body loves the dirt. My legs totally feel like they got hit by a bus when I run on concrete. I am a city running wuss at this point!


Oreo milkshakes all the way!


I too kind your advice on my trail run today and it helped! I still had to stop and walk some of the tougher hills (I’m not great at them), but I did better than I thought I would!

Last night I made coconut/almond crusted tilapia. It’s a recipe I’ve made many times, very easy and it’s delicious!

I love a good raspberry or blackberry milkshake.

Have a good day!


That meant to say I *took your advice* …..


I don’t so much visualize as I talk to myself and imagine other people being there to help me. I read somewhere that the army uses something like “modify, adapt, and conquer” and I most definitely said that to myself several times during my last race.

I run on about 30-40% dirt (w/ xc and I run trails on Saturday) and the rest on pavement.

My absolute fav milkshake is vanilla with the chocolate they use to dip ice cream in that hardens. It’s the best!

Wednesday night is our dinner out each week because we have church :) Tonight is Dorito Taco Salad and it’s definitely a fav and it’s super easy.


Love that mindset trick for hills! I think I need to write some of these sayings on my arm for my marathon! I like pavement running, and also towpath as long as it’s not too wet or stony. I did a combination of all of them today and took a massive tumble on the tow path!! I’ve wrenched my shoulder and have some nice lacerations, but I got up and finished the run. At least that’s less likely in a road race…

I do like a chocolate milk after a race. I used to love chocolate milkshakes from McDs when I was a teen, but I’ve not had one in decades (though it did cross my mind after the run today!) Dinner last night was a spring vegetable stew – lovely – if a little out of season! Glad you’re feeling the love for chocolate again :)


We had southwest flank steak for dinner….flank steak, salsa, peppers, onion, chili powder and garlic. It was delicious! It tasted like steak with red sause that my mom makes only it’s much healthier because hers is ketchup and a boatload of brown sugar. I’m surprised at how much I like it.

I normally run on asphalt because we don’t have sidewalks and I don’t know the trails where I live.

I had the same problem when I was pregnant with messing up my shirts. I would also occasionally burn a hole in one not realizing I was too close to a burner or lit candle.

Have a great Friday!


Asphalt. 100%.

I’m pretty boring- I love a good vanilla milkshake.

Dinner- Mezze Meatball Wraps. Another suggestion from CookSmarts. Seriously- CookSmarts is the greatest thing ever for busy people, who want to cook, don’t have too much time, want healthy food, and don’t want to spend much money. I love it. Best random investment ever.


for over 2 years we did trails exclusively. LOVE IT….. but since my marathon in October is a road race I’ve been adding some road miles just for training purposes. once November is here and maratjon training is over my husband and I are planning on running trails for the most part. when my running gets hard I always thinks of all the people who can’t run but would like to and it always gives me a boost to run for them. never taken for granted


I have always run on the road or shoulder, but now with some hip issues, I am trying to stick to trails and I can’t believe how much fun they are. My only issue is that just like sidewalk cracks, there are tons of things to trip over – rocks, roots, etc!
I want to thank you for that visualization idea for hills. I think it will definitely help me – I’ll let you know!
A cute idea I heard of for the new baby is that while you are still at the hospital, have the kids at home help make a “birth day” cake for the new baby! Then everyone can sing Happy Birthday to the baby sister.


Knox was gone 5 whole days? I thought he was missing from a few posts for a bit. happy he’s home. I just got a new nephew and his name is ‘Landon Knox’ – and I thought of your lil kid when I heard that.
I run on sidewalks, but would rather not. We just moved to Charlotte, NC (via Atlanta, via Minneapolis, via Idaho), and there are few places to run so I’m stuck in our neighborhood, and I’m a new runner. I’m getting used to running… in southern heat… in humidity. If I can do this, I can do anything. But sidewalks are dumb. I went out for my first 3 mile run before dawn and in the first .2 miles I tripped on the curb and bruised and bloodied myself nicely. But I finished! (Did I mention I can do anything?)

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