Disclaimer: I received free entry to Hospital Hill races as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
My experiences running Hospital Hill events have changed greatly through the years! From being my first postpartum event in 2014 (not the greatest experience), to a redemption race weekend in 2015 (amazing weekend of running), my first HHR half marathon as a pacer, and now my 4th year running as a BibRave Pro!
Earlier this spring, the Hospital Hill Run weekend was changed to a virtual event (like many other events throughout the world). While we all will miss the live event energy, we were given the opportunity to engage in an online community throughout our training and racing.
By registering for the event, runners were able to get into the Hospital Hill Virtual Run Facebook group. The HHR team created several challenges throughout the training and racing season to keep everyone engaged and excited. These extra steps have sure been fun to follow along with!
Since the Hospital Hill events are virtual, they also modified the “race timeline”. The first weekend in June is typically when the live event would have taken place — but virtual runners have until the first of July to submit their results!
Also, registrants received their swag once available to the event team (or later once registered). I received my bib, shirt, and medal several weeks ago — so everything was ready for my run! Or so I thought…
As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have been going through some fairly interesting joint pain symptoms since the early 2020. My joint pain hasn’t gotten any better most days but I was finally able to see a rheumatologist (about an hours drive away) in late June.
At my appointment, we went over my medical history, family history, and current symptoms. I left with an empty bladder, 5 less vials of blood, processing x-rays, a script for pain meds (which he said wouldn’t likely help much for the pain I am having — but worth a shot), and no diagnosis. While I am playing the waiting game, I was sent for more labs the next day (thankfully I could get them drawn locally) and taking the pain meds as prescribed.
Most days come with a decent amount of pain in my wrists, knees, and ankles but I have been able to “work out the kinks” with some walking. Bad days amounted to a 30 minute mile — and “good” days have been closer to 18-20 minute miles. Boy did those good days feel like unicorns and rainbows!
Since being on the pain meds the past week, I have had several more tolerable days — and dare I say “great” days! Morning pain and stiffness is still bad, but I feel have been able to loosen up a little faster with each passing day.
These better mornings have lead to my oldest son and I going out for walk/jogs after dropping off the littlest at daycare in the morning. I walk or walk/jog depending on how I am feeling while he rides his bike with me.
While this isn’t meant to be a pity party post, I just wanted to give a snapshot background into why this years Hospital Hill Virtual Half Marathon will be an interesting one… I am told that movement helps with inflammation conditions but running regularly has fallen to the wayside a while back. Family walks and lunch walk/runs to the school are all I have the gumption to do these days. So a timed half marathon isn’t my highest priority when it comes to my ongoing health issues…
Hospital Hill Virtual Half Marathon
If the event had gone forward live in June, I would have given it my best effort for the day. Who knows if I would have even finished or been pulled off course for going too slow… Since it was moved to a virtual event, I figured I would spend as much time as I needed to get in the miles. But then the ongoing pain and a closed daycare for the big kid didn’t give me a whole lot of time to work with…
After reviewing the “rules” for the event, I made a plan to tackle the miles in smaller chunks by utilizing the “restart later” function on my Garmin. While in ANY OTHER situation I would not see this as a true half marathon experience or finish, this is the only way I was going to be able to smartly put the miles together.
I made a plan to run/walk in 30 seconds on/off so I could mix it up and not wear myself out too bad…and I would get in the miles whenever/however I could.
Sunday evening — The littlest guy and I headed out for the first of a few chunks of miles. If it wasn’t 90+ degrees I would have totally gotten in a few more miles — but I didn’t want to overheat the baby. The loop didn’t have much elevation change and felt fairly good (all things considered).
Monday morning — Once we dropped off the littlest at daycare, the big kid and I went out for the same loop I did the night before. I was a little sore at first but I loosened up in the first mile. I have slowly remembered that while it is super hot in the evening, the humidity is lower. The temps were much more tolerable in the morning but the humidity was relatively 542% — which is no fun.
Tuesday morning — With temps and humidity lower than the day before, we decided to go a little further. The loop was mostly the same as the days before, but we added a short out-and-back in the first mile that ended up adding 1.1 miles to the previous days total.
Tuesday evening — Time was running out to get my miles in, so I decided to get back out once the hubs got home and after I put the kids to bed. Again, the night was warm but not horrible without the humidity. The loop for the final 4.5 miles gave me the only “real” elevation change for the event — a couple monster hills were a “fun” change of scenery. I took my headlamp in my pocket, but didn’t end up needing it. I got home after dusk, but there were enough street lights to suffice.
As I mentioned before, I wouldn’t consider my efforts for this years Hospital Hill Virtual Half Marathon as a “true event”…but I did what I could in the circumstances I was given.
Hopefully I am able to get this joint pain under control (sooner than later) — and hopefully we will be able to get back to those hilly Kansas City streets for Hospital Hill 2021!
How are you handling cancelled races this year?
Have you events been postponed, deferred, or moved to virtual?