Whew! This morning I ran the Ghiradelli-sponsored Chicago Hot Chocolate 15k . This race wasn’t inititally on my schedule but after hearing great stories about it and discovering that not only did you get a cool jacket for running- they also provided free hot chocolate and chocolate fondue to all racers/family after the race. Count me in!
Ian and I went to the expo at Union Station yesterday. I had been warned that packet pick-up lines would be incredibly long, but I didn’t experience that at all. In fact the only line I saw was comprised of people buying merchandise.
The expo wasn’t huge, but it was bigger than a lot of expos for non-marathon races. One of the coolest parts (for me) was seeing my name pop-up on a board when I checked my B-tag (bib-tag I guess? I’ve only heard of D-tags).
All smiles in anticipation of the race!
To be honest- I was more nervous than excited for this race. I haven’t been running much outside (or at all) since the marathon. My longest run in the past month was 8 miles two weeks ago… so I was shaking in my little boots about racing 9. I knew I could finish it- but I also wanted to be proud of my time.
The nice thing about living in the city is being able to walk to Grant Park. This really helped with the marathon and the race this morning. Who wouldn’t want an extra hour of sleep? I had about 1/2 of a cashew cookie larabar but couldn’t stomach anymore- nerves? stomach issues? I have no idea.
I am also lucky that Ian doesn’t mind (at least he doesn’t mind too much) about spectating at races. Usually I don’t need to check any gear and I have company until race time. We left the apartment and headed to Grant Park only to find that race was being delayed. A truck had tipped over on the 5K course and the entire course had to be rerouted.
The 5K started only 20 minutes late so I kissed Ian goodbye and headed to corral B. It didn’t seem to matter which corral runners were assigned to- the late start made it a free-for-all with all runners just trying to jump in somewhere. Within 2 minutes of getting in my corral, we started walking toward the start line.
An we were off-
I was happy that the crowd seemed to thin out within the first mile. After the Chicago Marathon-where it took 7 miles- I was worried all road races in Chicago were that way. I was happily proven wrong. I settled into a 7:30 min/mile but after my Garmin lost signal going under a tunnel I was unsure what my actual pace was (my Garmin tends to act funny after it loses signal- it plays catch up or something). I kept running at what I thought was a decent pace and what my watch was telling me was between a 7:20-7:30 min/mile. I knew this was faster than what I had planned but it felt way too good to slow down!
The race seemed to fly by- I haven’t run a race shorter than a half-marathon in two years- I forgot how much fun these races are! Before I knew it I had crossed the finish line in 1:08:52 –> a 7:24 min/mile! I’m thrilled!
It didn’t take me long to find Ian and we headed straight over to the Ghiradelli post-race party.
The post-race treats were just as good as promised! There were bagels, muffins, fresh fruit, chocolate fondue, a ton of things to dip in the fondue, and of course- hot chocolate.
I had a couple or orange slices, some melon, a pretzel stick dipped in chocolate, and some hot chocolate. I ended up going back for another half pretzel dipped in chocolate and a warm up on the hot chocolate. So delicious!
Michigan was playing early today so we picked up lunch on the walk back. We stopped at Cafecito, a cuban sandwich and coffee shop in the loop. I had the Jardin- eggplant, roasted peppers, mozzarella, mushroom, arugala, and jalapeno hummus pressed on cuban bread.
It hit the spot.
Unfortunately, Michigan lost to Iowa, boo!
I’m off to do a little homework and then go out to dinner later! Have a good Saturday!