Toward the end of my training for the Hospital Hill Half Marathon, I started to wonder if I was focusing too much on running hills. Maybe I was overdoing it.
The race started at 7am and the plan was to leave the house bright and early at 5:30am. We left a little later than planned and hit more traffic than we expected but Kim and Liz dropped Nancy and I off just a couple of blocks from the starting area with plenty of time to spare.
When we got to the starting corrals, Nancy was wise and got in the relatively short lines for the porta potties. I was assigned to the first corral and I didn't know how long it would take me to get in so I passed on the porta potties and went to find where I should line up. I realized later that I should have stopped. I got to the line with plenty of time to spare but by the time I realized that, the lines for the porta potties had grown and I had doubts I could get through the lines before the start. Oops.
Kim and Liz parked the car and stopped by my corral to wish me luck. Then they found a spot just up the street to wait for us to run by.
The starting area was divided into several corrals and each corral started the race a couple of minutes after the corral before it. I was in Corral A and we started five minutes after the two wheelchair participants. Then Corral B started a minute or two after us, and so on.
The pacers in my corral had signs that made me feel confident that I was in the right place, but there were guys around me talking about marathons and half marathons that they had won. Who were these people? My best time in a Half is 1:25. On a hilly course in June, I was hoping to run under 1:30. These guys were covered in Boston Marathon gear and talking about winning races. Combine that with the fact that the 5K and 10K runners were also mixed in with us, I made a mental note not to take off too fast because the guys around me were likely to be flying.
At 7:00, they did a countdown, fired a cannon, and we were off and running.
(Hospital Hill Half Marathon Elevation Profile.)
(Nancy is in the red shirt, waving at Kim and Liz.
Her corral started 5-10 minutes after mine.)
Around Mile 3, I hit one of the longer downhill stretches and tried to take advantage by relaxing and settling into a manageable pace. I probably let myself go a little too much and ran from 3 to 4 a little fast.
About the time I reached Mile 6, Nancy was finishing the 5K and earned her very nice finisher's medal. She finished in 35:07 and was 21st in her age group!
(Liz congratulating Nancy after the 5K.)
(Super Spectator Liz - A seasoned pro!)
(My Finisher's Flip-Flops.)
Unfortunately, my stomach wasn't ready for a lot of food yet so I nibbled a little pulled pork and sipped part of my beer before we all packed up and headed out. Before we left, Nancy and I got one more picture to remember the day we conquered The Hill.
(Nancy's 5K Finisher's Medal.)
(My Half Marathon Finisher's Medal.)
We stopped at Bread Co. on the way back to the house and my stomach still wasn't ready for real food so I had a Naked protein shake. Yum!!! Luckily, my stomach was plenty ready by the time we had dinner tonight... Kim smoked some ribs and chicken and had people over to celebrate Nancy's birthday!