Wow!!! Yesterday was frigid to say the least!! All I really wanted to do when my alarm went off at 5:00 am was hit the dang thing off, roll over and curl up snug as a bug next to my hubby for some much-needed snuggle time…but instead I got up, dressed in three layers and headed downtown to run in the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K!
First let me tell you a little bit about the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K! It has been coined as America’s Sweetest Race, was established in 2008 in Chicago, Illinois and has had over 200,000 participants since then! Each race features a 15K (9.3 miles) and a 5K (3.1 miles) distance to choose from and all participants receive an amazing goodie bag that you pick up at the Expo along with your bib number! This year I received an awesome bag and an even awesome-er (that’s a word right?!) jacket!! Check this thing out!! It’s awesome and proved very useful the day of the race!!
Here are all my goodies from the Expo along with my at the Expo! Loved the race swag 🙂
After the race, there is usually a huge Post Race Party where runners can enjoy music, a family friendly kid-zone complete with bounce houses/games (they had to cancel the kid-zone due to the temperatures but they did have them at the Expo and my son had a blast) and an awesome Finisher’s Mug filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty treats to dip!!
The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is the official charity partner for the Hot Chocolate 15/5k race. This program provides a “home-away-from-home” for families and children facing a serious medical crisis so they can stay close by their hospital at little or no cost. Check out their page for my information on this great program!!
Now back to the actual race….due to the extreme weather (snow, ice, frigid temps) that came through our area on Friday & Saturday…many people were deciding to not go at all due to the extreme cold (it was about 15F at race start) and I easily could have done the same but there was just one problem…you see…I had won this entry from Ashley over at Downsizing Ashley so there was no way I was going to throw away an entry that someone else would have loved to have won! I was excited to win at the time and I was going to follow through cold or not 🙂 Here is me before the race with my AmAzInG IR4 Riley signage.
I did, however, switch from the 15K down to the 5K. I did this for a few reasons, namely that I have just not been running as much lately due to some issues with my one leg (which is better now) and also some deaths in the family. I just did not feel like I was prepared at all to run the 15K and really did not want to hurt myself. I’m getting ready to start training for a Half-Marathon in March and really didn’t want to start out injured. I battled myself with switching for a few days…even right up until the turn off for the 5K’ers to take as the 15K’ers went another route…Why?! I really kept feeling like a fraud because here I was veering to the right with my 15K Bib showing for all the world to see…I was a little disappointed but for just a second and then I pulled forward and finished that 5K STRONG!!! I just have to remember that it’s always better to listen to your body and finish something strong rather than pushing your body too far and not finishing at all.
I also KILLED that Finisher’s Mug of Chocolate-y goodness!!!
- “Hot Chocolate” race has 10,000 runners braving the cold (fox2now.com)
- Cold temperatures cause changes to big downtown race (fox2now.com)