Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Conquered the Hill? Yes We Did.

Last October a friend and I decided to run in the Hospital Hill 10k in Kansas City. She had just had her first child and I was feeling the flab from a stressful summer. This was the incentive we both needed to get back to a healthy lifestyle. The other incentive [probably a better one] was that we would get to spend the weekend together catching up.
I actually started training mid-March. Hubs was a solid coach. I told him I wanted to run 3 days a week and I wanted to finish the race in under one hour. Within 5 weeks, I had already paced my goal time and I was feeling very good about the race. Three weeks prior to race-day, I ran a 10k route in Kansas City. I picked a route with lots of hills because as its name suggests, the Hospital HILL run, has several large hills. I finished that run in 58 minutes, which again confirmed that I was ready for this race.
But after that day the training went downhill. I had a sharp pain in my hip that made it hard to run any further than 2 miles. Then I got sick with a cold that had me down for a week. So, I tapered my training big time and not on purpose. The week of the race, I did one hour on the elliptical and that was it. Still, my hip was hurting, but not as much.
On race day, my plan was to run as I planned. If my hip didn’t cooperate, I would slow down or walk, but I would finish this race. We woke up ridiculously early for a Saturday and rushed off to downtown Kansas City. I+I forgot my sunglasses, my chapstick, my advil and most importantly my ipod. It seems that I would be running this race with only my thoughts to push me through and not the beat of my music. I downed 2 Aleve with cold coffee that was left in the car and the guys dropped us off to get to the starting line on time. As we lined up, I realized too late that I was supposed to be in corral “D,” but we were lined up in corral “G.” It seemed too difficult to maneuver my way through the 12,000 other people so I stayed put. Plus, it was less nerve-racking to start together. After the first 200 feet, I took off [with Courtney’s permission], and the race was on.
I have to say, the first 2 miles were great. I felt like I could run forever and I hadn’t felt any pain in my hip. The main problem was that I needed to pass people and it was very crowded, even at mile 2. The “Hospital Hill” was the first hill and because it was at the beginning, I didn’t feel like it was terrible. It was long for sure and even steep, but I had a lot of energy and pushed through. At the top of that hill, I saw Richard, Josh & Jackson which was a big plus.
At about 30 minutes I felt my first hip pain. It wasn’t too bad, but I knew from the past weeks that it would probably get worse. I hoped that the Aleve would keep it under control and I think I subconsciously slowed my pace. Over the next 2 miles we went up another large hill, which also probably slowed me down a bit.
At the fourth mile the 10k racers turned off and went up another large hill. This was the worse for me because it seemed like it was not going to end. It did though, and there was a glorious downhill. I saw Richard again and passed mile 5. At this point, my body wanted to speed up. It is also the point where people start telling you that you are almost there. I knew that wasn’t the case, but I still kept thinking that I would see the finish line around every corner. It played with my mind and I got a little frustrated. Then came the last hill. The steepest one by far and only about .2 miles long, but seemingly straight up. I pushed through yet felt like I was running in place. Everyone was telling us that this was the last hill – it was all downhill from there.
It was true, but the finish was still further away that I expected. So I sped up too soon. By the time I saw the finish I knew that I hadn’t made my goal time and I was a little put out and did not put any extra effort into finishing. When it was all over, I wasn’t all that tired and I knew I could have pushed myself harder.

 Post race, we had trouble finding each other. By the time we had, I was freezing! Court looks awesome, I look a mess!

I was, however, immediately sore in my hip so maybe it was better that I didn’t push harder. At any rate, I finished without having to walk and Courtney came in only 3 minutes later and was way under her own goal time! We got a nice t-shirt, socks and even flip-flops! And even better, we had the entire rest of the day to hang out together – Chick-fil-a for lunch, shopping at Trader Joe’s, games galore & Thai for dinner! Not to mention, lots of hours of fun with one of the happiest babies in the entire world – I like to think Jackson doesn’t smile near that much for the rest of you that see him on a regular basis.

I think that this should be a yearly tradition and am looking forward to it. Maybe Josh & Richard will even join us next time…

Hours later, sporting our new tees.

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