April 8, 2014

Will Run for Chocolate: Hot Chocolate 15K Recap

Just a reminder to check out my Bakery on Main gluten-free oatmeal review & giveaway (ends Friday!). 

Mondays still suck guys. Yesterday I was exhausted from the weekend and had a busy day at work, with the only break being an impromptu lunch date with the boyfriend, which was followed by rushing to class in the rain and arriving 20 minutes late only to find lecture had been cancelled. I hung out in the library for an hour until lab started when I could have been napping at home, ugh.

On a happier note, the weekend ended up being lovely and full of family time, running, and chocolate!

I drove up to Philadelphia on Saturday for the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K race packet pickup. I had to get to my parents' house by the early afternoon for a little day trip down to Atlantic City so I was rushing around in the morning and packed in a hurry.  Packet pickup was in University City near the University of Penn, which is a really pretty area. I was especially happy a Starbucks was on my way because I needed my coffee fix! They had the packet pickup at small sports store which was surprisingly efficient and fast. Even though it's not a brand-name or anything, I really do like the pullover we got in lieu of a race shirt or medal.  


I didn't get much sleep the night before the race (my usual pre-race jitters and insomnia) but managed to get up and drive downtown pretty early.I had my usual pre-race breakfast of a banana, peanut butter, and lemon-lime Nuun energy (which is my current favorite flavor!).  I was anxious about parking since I was headed to the race solo, but managed to find a reasonable garage close to the race start.  I was parked by 6:45, and I as I walked to the race area I realized it was far colder than I had anticipated even though it was a beautiful & sunny morning. Maybe a tank top and arm sleeves were a bad idea. Yikes. 
 I checked my bag immediately but later went back for my race pullover which I had stashed in my bag-a great decision! The 5K started at 7:15 AM, with each corral starting about 3 minutes apart with the 15K beginning at 8:00AM. I met up with Sarah and her friends as we all talked about how cold it was and waited for the 15K corrals to start. The race area was pretty organized and had fairly small-looking port-a-potty lines for the expected 15,000 runners.  
10152978_10201954952818528_1898467247_n
snagged from Sarah
It seemed like more people were running the 5K, so I happened to be in the first corral for the 15K. I wasn't feeling great before the race, along with having numb fingers and shivering.  I really should have packed gloves and a headband! I wanted to try to stay around a 7:30 pace as a training run for the Nike Women's DC Half in a couple of weeks where I want to run that pace.  I felt really good for the first few miles after my hands thawed. 
Now since I had just run in Philadelphia, with this course going the same direction from the Art Museum down MLK along the river I felt really comfortable with it.  While it was chilly, I finally warmed up around mile 4.5 and took my pullover off and wrapped it around my waist.  I was looking at my Garmin this time but was happy that the mile markers seemed to be spot on.  
They also had a nice amount of volunteers and water stops along the course, which is always appreciated.  My pace of 7:30 ish min/mile felt pretty good; I didn't feel like I go push it much faster, but I also didn't feel like I was going to die.  I haven't really been doing speedwork, just running lots of races-oops! 
It was an out and back course like the Philly Love Run, which I kind of hate, but 15K distance made it go by pretty quickly.  There were some speedy ladies ahead of me I used as pacers and ended up picking it up a little bit at the end, though by mile 7 I was hungry and ready to eat some chocolate. I crossed the finish in 1:09:56 and managed to be 10/450 in my age group which felt good. 
I immediately walked right up and got my bowl of chocolate fondue. I also felt pretty cold again pretty fast! The hot chocolate was awesome, and I loved having something warm to drink.

I devoured the marshmallow, banana, and pretzels with the fondue. I totally wanted more fruit in my bowl to dip into the chocolate instead of the mini rice krispie treat or graham crackers! 
I also managed to get some chocolate on my face because it was so windy as I tried to dip my pretzels. Classy, I know.  Thank goodness the bowl included a wet wipe

There was lots of space for the post-race area in front of the Art Museum, which was nice. I liked running a smaller race where I wasn't rushed when I finished to keep moving along or get through a crowd of people.The race also had plastic bags to wrap up the fondue mug with to take home with you-good thinking. I then met up with Sarah and her friends, grabbed my bag, and headed home because I desperately wanted a hot shower! 
Overall the race was well-organized and really fun! I liked the 15K distance a lot, which I don't think I've really run before. I was happy with the course and my run. I will also run for chocolate anyday.  
Oh and I swear I'll recap RNR DC this week since I've already recapped two races since then.
Have you ever run a 15K? What is your favorite thing to dip in chocolate? 

20 comments:

  1. OMG - I love this! I wish we had one of these in Alaska!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was fun-they do it in a bunch of cities so maybe one day in Alaska!

      Delete
  2. That looks like a nice jacket!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is super nice and surprisingly warm!

      Delete
  3. Great recap and this race looks like it was so much fun! I was hoping they would have one in Baltimore this year, but no dice. Maybe next year I'll have to travel.

    I actually ran my first 15K race 2 weeks ago. Cool distance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! I was hoping for Baltimore too but we'll see! There should be more 15Ks!

      Delete
  4. I've never ran a 15K but I really want to run a hot chocolate race... hopefully they bring one to PGH soon!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely it was a great event and who doesn't love post-race chocolate?!

      Delete
  5. 10/450?! That's freakin awesome! Congrats!
    Miche from Buttons and Birdcages

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great race! I did the disastrous Hot Chocolate 15K in the D.C. area a few years ago. I'm glad they've got the logistics ironed out. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah yes I read all about that so I was actually really nervous that this would be a hot mess!

      Delete
  7. Wow congrats on your finishing time and your awesome fast pace! I ran this race too and I agree that the hoodie and chocolate were amazing!!! I loved how different the post-race festivities were from the Love Run - everyone was happy and having fun instead of walking through ankle deep mud and crying (or was that just me?). But you're right, it was so cold and that hot chocolate helped so much. I'm glad you had a great time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much! Definitely more happy and less miserable than the Love Run. After that I pretty much just wanted to get home as fast as possible!

      Delete
  8. It really was a good race! I'm glad we got to do it. Also, I guess I noticed the chocolate on your face but didn't realize it was chocolate hahaha so typical of me. I'm pretty sure I was still finding chocolate all over me when I got home hours later. If it wasn't so cold I would have given it an A++

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes-hopefully the next few races we do are warmer!

      Delete
  9. Nice recap - and congrats on your division placement! Looks like Philly had much better weather this past weekend :) The race swag looks nice and post food - delicious!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, the weather was WAY better. Still cold but not a record-breaking rainfall or anything like last weekend!

      Delete
  10. Congrats on your placement! I'll be at Nike too, though quite a bit slower than you. :)

    I think I would like everything about this race- the pullover and that cute little fondue mug/bowl. I'll have to find one next winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I did Nike last year-it's a great course and pretty flat! Definitely look on the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k site, they have a bunch of cities!

      Delete