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Getting to the Top of the Hill

In Running and Life

“A hill is like a breakup…in time you get over it.”


In a couple of months, I will run a 5k race. Although I’ve come to love longer distances more, I still like to participate in shorter races on occasion. It will be the fourth time I’ve run in this event and it was the first race I participated in since I began running seriously over 3 years ago. It has sentimental value.

What I didn’t know when I ran it the first time was there is a hill. A big one. And the hill has got the best of me every time. It is steep and long enough where it makes you want to give up and walk. So I walked.

While there is nothing wrong with walking in a race or everyday running, it’s not something I’ve experienced in any of the other races I’ve run. It’s a pride thing for me, and that hill has taken away some of my pride. It’s become my nemesis.

However, this year, I’m prepared. I’m in better shape than the previous races and I know the course well. So, my plan is to run that hill the whole way and not stop to walk. I plan to beat that hill this year.

running hill
Photo by Alberto Bigoni on Unsplash

But even if I don’t get the best of the hill this year, I know I will eventually get to the top, whether I run the whole way or walk a little.

That hill is something we all must face. It could be in everyday running, in a race, or in life. It could feel like Mount Everest or a small bump.

But we all have hills we must climb.

It doesn’t matter if you walk, run, or if it takes years to get over them, you will eventually get over that hill if you keep trying. But you have to keep moving — and you can only take one step at a time.

And the more you prepare for the hills (in life or running), the better off you will be. Because the next hill you face becomes easier to conquer.

So this year, I may get slowed down by that hill. I may walk. Yet, no matter what, I know I will get to the top. And I will enjoy it every step of the way.


  1. Maynard Sammons Maynard Sammons

    Thanks for this post.

    It’s funny, when I read “It’s a pride thing for me”, I totally got it. When I go running, that means I need to be running. I’ve run a couple of long distance races (half and 50k) and see a lot of people doing the run-walk technique.

    While I have never “studied” it or practiced it, mentally I can’t bring myself to walking when I’m supposed to be running. I”m sure it must work because those people finish as well as I do, or better.

    If I ever tackle anything longer than the 50K I know I’ll have to walk some. So maybe I set a threshold for myself if it is longer than X, walking is acceptable. Or if there is a big hill, walking up it is OK.

    Funny how we let something like pride get in the way of what could be a good technique for a better overall performance. Maybe one day I’ll get out of my own way and open my mind up to trying something “new”.

    • You’re welcome, Maynard. And thank you!

      I don’t know what it is either other than pride. I know it’s perfectly acceptable to walk but my ego gets in the way.
      And I think that’s why I like ultras is because I know I will have to walk and I tend to not be as competitive and just enjoy it. It’s not as much about speed as it is just finishing.

      Thanks again!

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