Hot Chocolate 15k Recap

There really is no better motivator than chocolate.

My expectations for the Hot Chocolate 15k were not very high because my husband’s company party was the night before (and hello finger foods and open bar!) I’m not a big drinker but because my husband had been out of town for so long (an eternal month!), I wanted to enjoy the night with him and eat, drink, and be merry–not worry about what I ate because of a race the next day.

All cleaned up

All cleaned up

So I indulged and had two cocktails and paid several lengthy visits to the other bar, the cheese bar 😀

We still made it home early because, well, we’re not much of the party type. Seeing 9 o’clock before my head hit the pillow made me at least feel like I’d get a decent night sleep.

I woke up, er, my son woke us up at our usual 5 a.m. time and I began getting ready. I wasn’t sure whether to go with shorts or leggings as the weather in Arizona is still pretty mild (don’t hate me). I decided capris because I’m a wimp to even the smallest drop in temperature.

I had a ton of friends doing this race so I made sure to get there early with enough time to take pictures and chat. There were 3 running groups that I was meeting up with–2 before the race and 1 after–and two co-workers who were also running. Trying to find everyone proved to be an awesome warm up 🙂

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My AZTNT crew ❤

 

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Several MRTT chapters 🙂

 

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Teachers on the run!

The race had corrals which I liked and was happy that I was in the first one with several friends from my running group. We all run similar paces so when the gun went off, we all stayed together at the beginning.

We were chatting and not really even paying much attention to our pace which was great considering I hadn’t wanted to anyway.

The first mile beeped a 9:00 flat and I was pleasantly surprised as I felt great and had been talking the entire time. We kept running, keeping up our conversation, giggling, and just having fun. The second mile beeped 9:06 and again, we were happy to have maintained our pace talking the way we were. The third mile beeped, 9:07. Now I was starting to get a little competitive with myself and figured if I had been keeping such a steady pace, I might as well try and keep it that way the rest of the way. One of my friends began distancing herself and sped up her pace, another friend began to slow down a bit. I kept it steady.

I checked off miles 4-7 at

8:58
8:53
8:54
8:58

Yes, please congratulate me for those beautiful splits! 😀 I was feeling so good and felt like I was on total cruise control.

Part of the credit does go to my husband though– he had not signed up to run the Hot Chocolate 15k because he thought he’d still be out of town. Since he’d made it, and needed to get some mileage in anyway, he decided to run part of the course with me 🙂

Mile 8 was part of an awful long out and back and I beeped it away at 9:09.

The last mile was all about finishing strong and getting to the chocolate as quick as I could.

8:48!

And the end result was a brand spankin’ new PR!!!!

Almost a 2 minute improvement!!

Almost a 2 minute improvement!!

I was so incredibly thrilled! I wished this would’ve been a half marathon because the way I felt would have earned me a new 1/2 PR lol! I was so happy with my splits and felt that this was by far one of the best races I’ve ran this year. Such a good way to start to close out the season (I do still have one more race, a 1/2, on Sunday!).

Having such little expectation and going into it with purely fun in mind I think allowed me run such a good race. I want to remember all of this for future races! All stressing out does is make me overthink things and lose focus on why I do this in the first place–to have fun!! 🙂

After the race was more socializing. Seriously, this race just had good vibes all around.

One of my friends I’d started with finished just behind me and we met up with some others in our group to pose for pictures.

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My AZTNT girls

 

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Mandatory podium shot!

 

I was also finally able to meet up with another one of my running groups to take a fun group pic

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#RunEatTweetAZ (follow us on Twitter!!!!!) 😀

 

And then best of all, several co-workers had come to cheer me and two of my fellow teachers at the race.

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Love my job and co-workers ❤

 

I must have stayed a good hour post race just hanging out. It was so. much. fun.

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Oh, look who I ran into!

 

I can’t forget that along with an awesome race, the swag is what makes it even better. Along with a sweet jacket, finishers received this awesome medal

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It didn’t melt!

 

and of course, chocolate!!!

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Nom!

 

If you’ve never done a “fun” race, this would be the one to do. It’s still a race you can be competitive at if that’s your style (the top finisher ran it in 49 minutes!), but it’s also one that’s all about having a good time.

Having done it two years in a row, it’s become a yearly race that I will for sure always have on my calendar 🙂

–Have you ran for chocolate?

–What would be your favorite food to “run for”? (mmm, pizza)

This post was written by me and contains my own honest opinions. I was not compensated in any way by Hot Chocolate 15k organizers. (But if you guys wanna hook me up next year, I’m all for it!! 😉 )

 

 

 

Hot Chocolate 15K Re-Cap

First off, we’re in need of another YAAAY!!!!

I knew it was going to be a cold one (I have to add the “for Arizona” disclaimer) and it certainly was. I expected it and went prepared with the works: long running pants, long sleeved shirt, running jacket, those ear cover thingys, and gloves. You’d think I was running in Antarctica but I didn’t care—I hate being cold.

 

Pre-Race: Do I look cold?

Pre-Race: Do I look cold?

I had a feeling I’d start stripping during the race and I did; the gloves came off at mile 3 and the jacket at mile 4.

After my watch beeped away the first mile, I saw I had done a good warm up at 9:27. I decided then and there that I was going to shoot for sub 9:30 the entire way. And…..I did it!!

Here are my splits (I love them!):

1-9:27
2-9:02
3-9:11
4-9:16
5-9:16
6-9:17
7-9:05
8-9:18
9-9:07

As I was running and seeing that I actually was completing each mile under 9:30 I couldn’t help but think of how far I’ve come. I felt like I was seeing all of the hard work from the past couple of months right in front of me. Sometimes it’s hard to think that it will pay off but it does, it truly does. I had been a 10 minute miler for such a long time you couldn’t convince me that I’d be running a race with sub 9:30 miles.

When I crossed the finish line and saw that I had finished at 1hr 25 min tears welled up in my eyes I was so ecstatic. My goal had been to finish under 1:30 and to have done it with time to spare made me so happy. You couldn’t erase the smile from my face crossing that finish line. It never went away all day.

To top it off, well, you know what else was waiting for me at the finish line…..chocolate!!! After I collected myself as best I could, I walked over to redeem my mug of hot and melted chocolate. I’m a bit particular when it comes to chocolate but I definitely give this race’s two thumbs up! Perfect Sunday!

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Have you seen your training pay off?

Are you a chocolate lover?

P.S. It was another no music race and I must say, I’m digging the silence.