I ran out of H words to complete my alliteration. Anyways, the 39th annual Hospital Hill Half Marathon is upon us once again, and while I wanted to write about this upcoming race, I didn't particular want to wait until 3:30 in the morning THE DAY OF THE RACE to start writing about it and how much I was looking forward to it, but it is what it is. Such are the advantages of working overnights.
I've already got my nap in for the night, and I'm ready to run. Thinking back to last year's HHHM, I can't help but get down on my knees and pray to whomever that the temperature could not be more polar opposite this year than it was last year. For the past twelve months I have constantly referenced how that HHHM last year had to be the hardest thing I've ever done physically in my life. Take the weather, of course, and the fact that I'd only been running for 15 months and wanted to really push myself on these ridiculous hills. Throw in that I had yet to embrace the up-all-night aspect of working 3rd shift that you basically need to survive, and I walked into a soupy, humid mess on zero sleep, with a body beyond tense from being pissed off about not getting any sleep (you know how that goes). Since then, I've been running races, and running in general, after getting of work, or after staying up overnight, like I'm doing today. It's been working. Should have tried that last year.
Anyways, why I'm fired up for this race is because it is my first race since I finished the Disney Marathon in January. Five months between races is the longest stretch I've had since I started running back in March 2010, so it has been different. I haven't thought about signing up for any races in that time frame, so maybe I've gotten over that need to feel like I have to have drastic improvement in my times. On the other hand, I did sign up for another marathon (Des Moines, October) this year, so clearly I want to keep running races. How else am I ever going to qualify for Boston by 2016?
How is today going to go? I can only imagine better than last year. The 3.1 mile stretch up the Broadway Hill to the finish was the closest I have ever been to just quitting and asking to be taken off the course. With a temperature currently in the mid-50s, and hopefully not above 65 or so throughout the race, I think I can do pretty well. I haven't been doing a lot of speed work or anything like that this time around, but when I have, I've been able to easily eclipse the times I set as a goal. I'd be thrilled with 1:50:00 this time around, which is my usual goal for half marathon's, but will be glad to take any sort of improvement over last year's time. Those hills are probably worse in my mind right now because I wasn't really prepared for them (especially that hill at UMKC, that's just not fair), so if I can make sure not to kill myself there, I think I'll be ok.
Hospital Hill seems to have a great tradition. To be honest, the whole race scene is still pretty new to me, but people in KC really seem to rally around it as a big source of accomplishment, which it is. So everyone, go out and have fun today, run well, and just remember about the ice cold Michelob Ultra waiting for you at the finish line. Easily the best part of the day, right? Until next time...later.