Monday, November 5, 2012

Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 5k/15K

The packet pickup line.  That was the big story coming out of this weekend's Chicago Hot Chocolate Race.  Waits of 90 minutes or more to pick up your bib and sweatshirt.  I admit, I was infuriated as I stood in the freezing weather with my two year old and walked the ridiculous queue.  However, after participating in yesterday's race, it is unfortunate that it may have been overshadowed by the packet pickup fiasco.  The actual run was executed flawlessly with a great course, stocked aid stations, and no wait for yummy treats at the end.

I had convinced many people to register for this race, runners and non-runners alike, so I felt a bit guilty about the packet pickup events.  However, everyone managed to get the their bibs and pull it together to get ready for the race.  I had a prerace dinner with three of the people that had "trained" for their first 5K and weren't sure whether they should be looking forward to or dreading the big race.   While I took a lot of ribbing for "making" them do this, I knew deep down they were excited.

With the time change, it was a breeze getting up at 5:15 am Sunday morning.  We had two friends staying at our house in preparation for the race, so it was almost like a party getting ready.  We made our way down to Grant Park without any issues and I wormed my way up to Corral B.

For myself, my goal was to keep it under an 8 minute mile the entire 15K.  For my other clients it ranged- to finish the 5K, to finish without walking, to place top 10% in age group of 15K, to finish 15k with no pain.  Goals were all over the place, but I knew what everyone was shooting for and I was excited for them all.  Amidst 44,000 runners it was hard to keep track of everyone but they were prepared to handle it on their own.

As we took off I spent my first mile running with Rahm Emanuel and his security detail.  As much as I would have liked a guard alongside me the entire 15K, I decided to leave him behind during the second mile.  I turned in a sub 24 5K and felt strong as I repeatedly churned out 7:45'ish miles.   Hey, this might turn out to be a great race!    

As I crossed the finish line in 1:12 I felt fantastic.  I have not run this far in months and this is the fastest pace I have ever kept for a race of this duration.  Yay to fall running!  Congrats to Elisabeth, Claudia, and Patti for placing way up top in their age groups. Congrats to Bret, Hannah, Stephanie, Cindy, Dave,and Tavia for participating in and dominating a race that was a little out of their comfort zone.  And congrats to my hubby Gene for his first race back since a nasty ankle sprain, and for racing it really fast! Doesn't it feel great everybody?  When is the next race?!?!

-Coach A

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