I have said it many times, and it still remains true. The Hospital Hill Half Marathon in Kansas City is one of my favorite races.
A couple weeks ago, I ran this race for the 3rd year in a row. I had no idea what my time would be, but I really wanted to push it and see what my body could do. A goal of breaking 1:40 was in my mind, and I thought it could be attainable. I also had a running buddy with me that had the same goal, and for a me a buddy always helps.
The morning started off a bit of a disaster. It was thunderstorming like crazy and the rain was coming down hard. I can run in rain, but knew if the storming did not stop, we wouldn’t get to run the race at all. The idea of not running made me sad. One because I love this race, and two because I paid for the thing!
We ended up having a 45 minute delay, where Stacy, Ramsey and I sat in a nearby hotel and chatted. It was actually a great time and I loved catching up with Stacy. The rain delay ended up paying off.
After waiting it out through the rain delay, we finally lined up to start. I met my friend Nicole at the 1:40 pace group and we were off!
The first few miles flew by. There are some huge hills those miles, but we really just chatted the whole way and kept our minds off of them. Around mile 3, the rain picked up, which also picked up our pace a bit.
As Nicole and I hit more hills, we continued to run really steady and strong. At first I was worried we were running too fast, but after a few miles we were both comfortable with the pace.
The thing that makes Hospital Hill such a great race is that for every insane up hill you have, you get a rockin’ downhill too. There is no better course for downhills in the KC area. And since this is a half marathon, the downhills don’t tear up my legs like they did in Boston.
Around mile 9, Nicole and I started to part ways. I realized I was still feeling really good and decided that I would stretch my legs and see what I could do. As I approached mile 10, I prepared myself for the mile long climb ahead. This hill SUCKS, but it is also a huge confidence booster. Many people are not prepared for it, and they have to stop and walk. I am used to running big hills, so I was able to maintain pace and make it up the hills.
Passing so many people definitely helps. Especially when everyone you pass is a man :) Side note – I don’t know how many men I ran past started sprinting when they saw me next to them….don’t worry though, it only took a few more steps to pass them for good. Girl power.
When I hit mile 12, I knew I only had one steep hill left, then the most amazing downhill finish you will ever find. I gave myself quite the pep talk running up the last hill. And when I reached the top, I cruised to the finish.
Finish time: 1:37:30(ish)
I forgot to pull my splits from my watch, so I don’t have them anymore :( But I had an awesome negative-split race.
I was in shock when I saw my finish time. I know I can run a fast half marathon, but was not expecting to run that fast given my training and how my body felt. Having such a great race was a huge confidence boost for me, especially after struggling through the end of Boston so much. I felt like my speed was back. And also got excited to see what I can do with my half marathon time come fall.
Despite the rain, mostly every one else I knew running also had a fantastic race. Ramsey PR’ed!!!!! And my other friends all met their goals.
All in all, it was a great morning on the hills of KC! And I can’t wait to run for the 4th year in a row in 2015!!
Did you run Hospital Hill? Or do you have a race like this that people think you are CRAZY for loving so much?
A few more pics from the day..