Thursday, June 7, 2012

Running the hills: I do it for the bling

Whew. I've checked the last half marathon off my list!

  • Rock the Parkway - April 14
  • Kansas Half - April 22
  • Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon - April 29
  • Running with the Cows - May 12
  • Hospital Hill - June 

  • When I first looked at my list all written out, I didn't think I'd ever get to crossing off the last half marathon. But, I did. And, most importantly, I had a blast doing it!

    It's kind of appropriate that I finished up my crazy streak with Hospital Hill, because Hospital Hill was actually my first half marathon six years ago (in 2006). I was stupid back then and ran a full marathon in April, then tried my hand at the half distance in June. Apparently I didn't understand the building up of races of different distances.

    And, back then, race directors hadn't discovered how much people (ahem, me) enjoy cool medals (bling) and race swag. My first Hospital Hill, instead of shirts, they gave out unisex running shorts. Really think about that. Unisex running shorts. Yeah ... they didn't work. At least for me. Maybe some people liked them. But they were too long for me and too short when I tried to give them to Cory. I'm not sure whatever happened to those shorts. I'm sure we donated them, so maybe there was a really tall girl or really short guy shopping at Goodwill who appreciated them.

    Anyway, in the past six years, races have majorly upped their medal and swag game. For this year's Hospital Hill, we got technical t-shirts, running socks and finisher flip-flops. Way better! Plus, next year is Hospital Hill's 40th anniversary. The race is known as the Grandfather of Kansas City Road Races. In honor of the 40th anniversary, the race is doing a three-part medal, where all the medals from 2011, 2012 and 2013 fit together. It's a great marketing tool, because it's truly the reason I signed up to run this year.
    One more left ... (And, no, I don't actually have the  wooden plaque yet. We'll see if we can convince Cory it's worth buying next year!)
    You can see for yourself how much cooler the medals have been the last two years versus in 2006. (I obviously don't have pictures of the infamous shorts, or I would share those, too.)
    2011 and 2012 are WAY cooler. I just can't wait for next year's! 

    Now, this is reason I was able to convince my girls Kelli and Anne to run:

    We all got shirts with this design on them. I mean, how can you not want a shirt with a pink skull and cross bones and bow on it?!?! Really. Um, yes, please! As you can see, and I will fully admit, I love to run races for the shirts, swag and medals.

    So, now you know why I ran Hospital Hill 2012. Now, I can tell you all about the race. It was actually a great day. The course is notorious for its many hills (thus the name of the race). And, every year I've run it, it has been miserably hot and humid. Saturday was a completely different experience. It was a gorgeous morning. Low 50s, low humidity. I ran with a light long-sleeved shirt for half the run. In June!?!? Crazy, but awesome.

    I wanted to take it easy, seeing how it was my sixth half marathon in less than five months. I tried to find my post-kid-running-partner Sarah to run with, but with the thousands of people lining up in the starting line chute, I just couldn't find her. I did, however, run into my friend Katie, and implored her to let me run with her. She normally doesn't like to run with people, but I think my pitifully sad sounding begging finally wore her down. She let me come along. (I'm a big fan of running with people and will almost always choose to run with someone rather than by myself. I'm a social runner that way.)

    The race itself was great. I didn't PR, but I also didn't push too hard on myself. (My official time was 2:03:10 - even with a mid-race porta-potty stop!) I just wanted to enjoy it and have a good time. (And get my second-in-the-series medal!) The weather was so much better for running than in the past, I cannot tell you how much more pleasant it was. The hills were still hard, but not as brutal as in years' past. And, I finished smiling and happy! (That has not happened in years' past!)

    Waving to my little cheerleaders while running with Katie.

    Cory always manages to get more pictures of the back of me running. I choose to believe it is because I am so fast.

    Clearly, I was enjoying the race. Katie must've said something hilarious. This is with .1 mile left. And, yes, I know I look ridiculous.
    With Katie after the run. 

    With my do-it-for-the-shirt running ladies, Anne and Kelli!

    In front of the fountains at Crown Center with Ally, Kelli and Anne! Love it!

    I finally found Sarah after the race was over. She got her goal, which was beating her older brother! Gotta love competitive running in the family.
    And, because no blog post of mine is complete without a picture of some cute kiddos:
    Charlotte, Molly and Ella looking really, really intrigued by the thought of running through those fountains!
    Thanks Hospital Hill for a fabulous race. You know I'll be back next year for medal #3!


    1. So I've been meaning to tell you I watched an episode on 60 minutes about Michael Phelps. The interviewer asked to see all his medals. He had his medals from China in one of his mom's old mary kay cosmetic bags. Then he had to go to his bedroom to find his Greek medals and he said "yeah, I've been missing one of my gold medals. I handed it to someone to hold and I'm not sure where it went off to. I think I know who has it" They laid them all out on the table and he said that was the first time his olympic medals had been together. He obviously does not appreciate the bling!!

      By the way, I love the pink skull t-shirt!

      1. I guess if I were the world's best athlete in my sport, I might not need the medals for validation of my awesomeness. However, as a mere mediocre athlete ... well, just gimme my bling! :)