So I conquered the hills of Kansas City and it was great! I ran Hospital Hill half marathon this past weekend and it was an experience. It was hard, it was rewarding and it was fun all at the same time.
Around 6:15, Matt and I made our way to the race area. This was a lot bigger than the last half I ran and so I was a little overwhelmed with everything. We were in a corral start so once I found my corral I was ready to go...kinda. I tried to meet up with a friend but we could not find each other before the race started. It is probably a good thing for her because she ran way faster than me! It is fun to be around other runners and get to talking about the day and the race and how everyone is feeling. The weather was absolutely AMAZING! Usually this race is hot and humid but today it was cool and breezy. 6:50 we have the National Anthem and 6:55 the wheelchair racers begin. It's almost time and I am getting nervous!
7:00 the cannon (yes, not a gun but cannon this time) goes off and the 1st corral is on the streets! I have a few minutes as they are letting corrals go 2 minutes at a time but once I am up and ready there is no turning back. i cross the start line and the adrenaline kicks in. I have my ipod going actually on the playlist this time and I was going. I had a goal in mind so I kept those pacers in my sight. I knew as long as they were in front of me I could do it.
Mile 1-already there is a hill. I take it slow, listen to my music and try my best not to think about what I am doing. I just run don't focus on pace I just get up that hill.
Miles 2-5 I am feeling pretty good. There have been some hills along the way but nothing too bad. The downhill is always the best part anyway! They had aid stations every 1.5 miles so that helped me as I did walk through those so that I could drink some water. I still have not mastered the jogging/running while drinking out of cups, maybe one of these days I will figure it out so I don't have to slow down each time.
Mile 6 I began to hit a wall. I had not trained as well as I wanted for this race and I started to feel the pressure. My back started acting up as I do have lower back problems. I tired hard to not focus on the discomfort and just power through. I had some great music and a lot of encouragement throughout.
Mile 10 was the BIG hill! A mile and a quarter long but it was great to get to the top and know I was almost home. The volunteers on that mile were great. They were so positive that I couldn't let them down and walk because as much as I wanted to they were there supporting me the whole way!
Miles 11-13 were great. I had one hill to get through and then it was all down hill from there...literally! I crossed that finish line at 2:15:39 and was so happy! It was only 4 minutes slower than my first half but with more hills! I know if I would have trained better I probably could have been faster but I was happy to finish without having to walk more than just through the aid stations. I finished before my goal and that is all that matters. I got my medal and my finisher flip flops and I can't wait to sign up for it again next year!