Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 15K

23 Apr

We drove down to the Cities from Nevis on Friday morning. Emma and I hung out at Aunt Cheryl’s house (where we were spending the night) until about Emma’s naptime and then we drove the 30 minutes or so to packet pickup. When Emma had had a decent nap, I put her in the stroller and off we went. The packet pickup was well organized and we were in and out in 10 minutes. I got suckered into buying some Real Time Pain Relief lotion since my knees had been bothering me so much.

It was windy and cold so we just got in the car and headed back to Blaine. I returned a shirt to Kohl’s and then we picked up Noodles & Co. for dinner. I got mac & cheese with chicken so that I could share with Emma. Travis’ aunt and uncle came over for dinner, which was fun. It took forever to get Emma down for the night without her screaming at the top of her lungs, but once I finally did, she slept well. So I got a decent amount of sleep before the race.

The next morning, we made coffee, fed Emma breakfast, packed up all our stuff (which was a lot!), and headed to Bruegger’s near the race. We had actually wanted to go to Panera, but apparently that’s no longer there… I ate my egg and cheese on honey wheat on our drive to the parking garage. We pre-paid to get into the closest lot, which ended up being a great idea. We just handed over our parking pass and were in. I assembled my running playlist as Travis ate his breakfast sandwich and then we put Emma in the stroller and walked to the start line about 5 blocks away.

It was WINDY! Aye. I decided to wear my light windbreaker over my long-sleeve shirt, which meant relocating my bib.

20140419_083726I had used the restroom at Bruegger’s but the race had TONS of portajohns so that would’nt have been necessary. I found a spot in Corral I (11:00+ pace) and within about 5 minutes, I waved to Travis and we were off.

20140419_084537 (Large)My adorable cheering squad

Right off the bat, I could tell that I was running faster than I had during training (11:30/mile), and even faster than my “goal” (11:00/mile) but my legs felt strong and the pace actually felt pretty easy. So I went with it, even though I wasn’t entirely sure that was the best idea. I’d find out!

Mile 1 – 10:05

Mile 2 – 9:58

Mile 3 – 10:32

The wind was gusting 25 mph at times, which made me glad that I had worn my windbreaker.  We had to run across and under a number of bridges, which meant the course included a decent amount of hills. Surprisingly, I was able to muscle through the wind and all hills except one doozy, and I still felt good! This course was especially fun for me to run because we were on trails that I ran almost all the time in college. So it was a run down memory lane in addition to a race. 😉

Mile 4 – 10:25

Mile 5 – 10:35

Mile 6 – 10:30

Around Mile 6, I felt the beginnings of a blister forming on my left foot, on the bottom of my foot between my big toe and the toe next to it. I tried to not run differently because of it, but the tightness in my ankle later that day revealed that I didn’t do a great job of that.

I was hoping that there would be gels out on the course, but there was only Gatorade and water at each aid station. I ended up drinking a cup of Gatorade at the halfway point, and at the finish – which was also a gamble because Gatorade has upset my stomach in the past, but I guess I felt the risk was worth it. (It ended up being fine!)

I don’t think my uncertainty about running the full distance went away until I was around Mile 7. But once I passed that mile marker, I knew I had it in the bag – and could even turn it up a notch!

hotchocolatepicMile 7 – 11:01

Mile 8 – 10:25

Mile 9 – 10:50

The last 0.5 – 4:30 

The last miles ticked away and finally it was the home stretch! I finished strong, and saw Travis and Emma right before I crossed the finish line. My final (official) time was 1:39:15, a 10:39/mile pace. I was 144/211 in my age group and 926/1356 overall. I am so pumped about my performance, and could not imagine the race going better.

20140419_105133 (Large)I found Travis and Emma after grabbing a water and then we moseyed on over to the post-race meal tent to get my mug full ‘o chocolate. I didn’t get a picture of it because I was too busy eating it, but this is what it looked like:


It didn’t include apples, but it was delicious. The chocolate fondue was amazing. I almost lost my banana in it, and ended up getting the chocolate all over my fingers. Totally worth it.

20140419_105118 (Large)Emma had been awake for a long time, and was very ready for a nap, so we headed back to the car. We tried to get subs from Erbert’s & Gerbert’s for lunch but the location on Washington is gone! So we settled for Chipotle. And since we were in the neighborhood, we popped by to see some old friends after lunch. Emma did really well for being so tired. After that, we headed down to Rochester for Easter fun (separate post coming soon)!

6 Responses to “Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 15K”

  1. Lisa April 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Congratulations on a great race!! You did awesome; it’s always so fun to surprise yourself with a faster result than you thought. Is this a new PR? ( or maybe auto PR, as I don’t think there are too many 15K’s around.)

    I can totally sympathize about the wind. It was crazy that day!

  2. Jen April 23, 2014 at 7:59 pm #

    Awesome job!! You did great! 🙂

  3. specialkkluthe April 24, 2014 at 9:04 am #

    Thanks Lisa and Jen! @Lisa – I’ve never run a 15K before, so yep, it’s an auto PR. 🙂 I could see doing this race every year like your Earth Day half.

  4. Angie April 28, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    Congrats on your race! I’m feeling the itch to start training again, and it’s a good feeling. Will you be doing any more this summer or fall?

  5. specialkkluthe May 30, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    Sorry, @angie, just saw your comment now! No, I’m not going to do any more running races. It was too hard on my knees and I’m itching to do something besides run. I am thinking about doing a bike race, but I need to start biking again first!


  1. 2014 Recap + 2015 Outlook | Life, Really Blog - January 20, 2015

    […] a challenge, but nothing motivates me more than signing up for a race. Training for and running the Hot Chocolate 15K in April got me running again, and so did finding a friend who enjoyed running and lived close to […]

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