Twizzlers, orange slices, bands, sprinklers, cold water, lemon-lime Gatorade, cheering sections, brrrrrrrrr frozen sponges, flip flops, BBQ sandwiches & beer! Oh! And with all that even came the 40th Annual Hospital Hill Half Marathon! This past Sat. I ran my 2nd Half Marathon. My first was in April, I feel like I was prepared for that one. This Half was very, very different. In the parking garage of the expo I broke out in tears and nearly started to hyper-ventilate! I didn’t want to do this run! I didn’t feel prepared at all & I was SCARED of all those hills. I’ve been doing some hill training, just around our little town, but nothing like what was to come in the Half. I wasn’t even going to have my own bag bitch to hold my stuff on the day of the run! What was I going to do!?!
I didn’t sleep well AT ALL the night before… nerves, nerves, nerves. Awake at 4 a.m., not by choice, (STUPID Chihuahua!) I tossed & turned for 30 more mins. After getting up, showering (YES! I shower prior to running. It wakes & relaxes me), I put my last minute items together. I was all set to go. The weather couldn’t have been more PERFECT! I picked up my friend Melissa, ate a little yogurt, peed a couple of times, peed some more--- I was ready!! We met up with our friend Michelle & joked, laughed & relaxed a little more. At that point, I felt ok, ready for it to happen. With the cannon off & Kansas City, Kansas City, here I come, playing over loud speakers, we were all OFF!
I made friends with a lady behind me. She’s running the Marine Corps Marathon too! She’s not having anyone go with her though… and here’s the beauty of making running friends… I gave her my name to look me up on FaceBook & she messaged me the other day. We’ll meet up in Oct. for the MCM! We can support each other.
My decision to stay with a pace group, proved to be very smart. It was mile 4 before I even knew where we were. We had already gone up the longest hill! How could that be?! My pacer, Megan was a chatty Cathy, that’s how! We were talking & singing & joking with cops along the way; I was impossibly busy to even realize we were knocking down miles & staying AHEAD of our pace time!
Around mile 8, I had Gel issues. NOT in my hair, but my fuel gel. I tried to remain calm, & not burst out into tears because I couldn’t get the damn fanny pack turned back around, so it would be resting on the small of my back, not on my stomach! What kinda pictures would that have made for, I wonder… Speaking of pictures, I only saw cameras once along the way & at the finish. I tried to look like I was indeed a runner, sucked in my pooch, stayed focus, smiled, but not cheesily, tried to have the correct gait, tried to not look blinded by the sun, annoyed with the stinky runner in front of me, or like I was totally about to fall over dead at any given moment. We’ll see how all that worked out, pix come out tomorrow.
There were FREE high fives with a ½ mile left, a short, but very steep hill, of which I opted to walk up & once again, I could see where we started & hear the announcer calling out finishers. With that, I took a deep breath & picked up my feet in a quickened pace! I was gonna finish this race with my head held high, my feet fully functional & my pride worn sparkling well!
I shaved off 8 minutes from my Rock the Parkway Half time, wasn’t sore, only had one small blister & felt AMAZING! That night, I was dead tired & had chafing issues. The next night I was icing my calves, thighs & the blister popped on its own. All in all, a pretty fun time. I’m thankful to all of my supporters! I’m proud for showing MYSELF, my best is YET to come & that a nervous breakdown is only a moment.
Tomorrow is a 2 miler. I’ll take it nice & easy & I’ll do it in the hottest part of the day, because that’s how I like it best. Happy running y’all!