Friday, November 09, 2012

I ran for chocolate

While we were in Chicago last weekend, Meg and I ran the Hot Chocolate 15k.

It was just good luck that I happened to find a run that was in town the same weekend that we were. Plus. The chocolate theme? C’mon.

Meg and I are pretty willing to try out any run once. Especially if it’s convenient. Being just a couple of weekends after our half marathon, we were trained up for a 15k. And running in Chicago – instead of Detroit or Ann Arbor – would be a nice change from the norm.

We haven’t had a ton of luck with most of the popular, gimmicky race series: they’re generally overpriced and far less awesome than we anticipate that they will be. (See: Warrior Dash, Color Run.) But still we sign up. Once.

On Friday, I saw tons of complaints on the race’s Facebook page about the wait to pick up race packets. Two hours in line. Yikes. Thankfully, it was sorted out by Saturday. It took us a half-hour to pick up our packets, which we did on our way to Aunt Louise’s house.

The goody bag was decent. It was nice to get a hoodie instead of yet another t-shirt or tech shirt. And it came in a cute pink drawstring bag. I like things that are cute and pink.

We stayed in a hotel just a couple of blocks from the race start. The time changed in our favor, so it didn’t seem all that early that we rolled out of bed and into our race clothes.

There were tons of runners. Tons. 40,000, I think. It must have been the biggest race I’ve ever run. We were in one of the first corrals – E, I think – but we still didn’t start until well after 7:00. (They spaced the corrals out at 3.5 minutes, which seemed lengthy.)

The race itself was good. I finished exactly when I expected to finish.

It’s been a while since I’ve run in a race that I haven’t participated in before. I forgot about that unknown factor. Not knowing where the hills are or how far you’ve gone. That gets in your head. Truthfully, the 9.3 miles seemed longer than the 13.2 that I ran a few weeks before.

Brace yourself for the best part of the race. This is what the post-race party consisted of and it was delicious:

Okay, so if I’m going to participate in a gimmicky, for-profit race, the gimmicks can start and stop at chocolate fondue. It was delicious. I didn’t get muddy and I wasn’t choking on colored cornstarch.

We stopped for a self-portrait at Cloud Gate (you know, the bean) before heading back to the hotel.

The weekend was a little high on family drama. Emma was awful and her awfulness permeated every second of family time. The race pretty much saved the weekend. And the chocolate.


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