a few months back i heard about the hot chocolate race through the running grapevine and was soooo wishing there was one in vegas. that didn't stop me for long, especially since there was one so close in san diego! there is a 15k or a 5k you can participate in, a really sweet tech race sweatshirt, and when you cross the finish line they give you a bowl of chocolate. sold! i quickly recruited my mom into the 5k. which also didn't take long when i mentioned there was lots of chocolate at the finish line. ps we have major sweet tooths in my family:) thank goodness my mom is so up for anything!
last saturday morning we hopped in the car for the fairly easy 5 hour drive down south. we made it in plenty of time to play around the gaslamp district where the race took out of sunday morning. our hotel was amazingly close to everything and the room service we ordered for dinner that night was super delicious. the 5am alarm sunday morning however was crazy early.
|we like to carb up with cupcakes too:)|
donned in our outfits we made the half mile walk to the start line to gather in our corrals. after all the crazy things i had heard about traffic in other cities i was sooo glad we decided on a close hotel. we made it plenty of time for my mom to get into her corral since the 5k took off 1st. she was so super excited to be in a higher corral than me:)
after the 5kers were off the 15kers started lining up. we noticed that we were one of the only people dressed up that morning and the people around me in my corral looked awful serious. i was a little nervous to be honest since i hadnt run quite that distance in some time. but i was out there for fun and very much hoping to come in under 1:30:00.
soon we were off and up the 1st hill. apparently i was under very big impression that san diego was flat, ha! for the next 9.3 miles it was up and down, up and down. the problem with the downhill was just as mean as the uphill so i wasn't speeding down those either. the ground was also super uneven so you really had to watch where you were going. i saw a few people fall and it definitely made me keep my eyes on the ground the rest of the way.
usually i tick off the miles excitedly as i pass them and think to myself i only have x number left. for some reason the only way i could think through this race was breaking it down into three 5ks. not sure how that switch happened, but it got me through! sometimes you just cant fight things.
the course was a tough one, but had snaked through tons of neighborhoods so there were lots of spectators along the way. the water stations were stocked full of volunteers and encouragement as well. i took it slow the first 2ish miles to get my footing and figure out the hills a bit. once in a groove i was determined just to keep running up all the hills! the weather was gorgeous, although i really could have used some sunscreen lol.
after the 5k mark i picked up speed a bit and was feeling pretty good. then the really big hills came into play and man were they killers! i noticed that we never saw the 5kers and thought that was kind of odd, it really felt like 2 totally different courses. then we got to the hill just after the 10k mark. oh.my.god. it was literally straight up. luckily there were spectators at the top cheering us on and letting us know there was a downhill soon. we crossed the 7 mile mark in the process and thank goodness there was only 2 miles left afterwards, i was just about spent.
soon we crossed the 8 mile mark and it was one crazy downhill left then all flat through the back roads to the finish line! i picked up speed, ready to get to the chocolate. as we turned the last corner i saw the finish line and heard the amazing voice of my favorite race announcer. i have no idea what his name is, but he does long beach, did surf city, the turkey trot we did in november. i just love him. and he commented on my tinkerbell wings:)
i was scanning the crowd looking for my mom as i furiously drank water. finally i found her with a bit of a sad look on her face. she took off her jacket and showed me the huge scrape on her shoulder plus the crazy swelling on her left hand. turns out a mile 2 she lost her footing and fell right over! luckily the race had these really cool people called race guards that are doctors/nurses that run the race with us offering help to anyone in need. my mom said she was so so nice and was able to get to her so much faster than a volunteer then calling for help! they were able to dig out the rocks in her hand and the race guard finished the race with her just in case. she is ok, just a little sore.
we headed over to the very best part...the chocolate! the race people were so super efficent and we walked right up and grabbed our cups. my mom said she was glad she waited for me since there was a super crazy line after all the 5kers had finished. of course we dug right in and the pretzels were my favorite part. well that and the fun pictures we took:) it also had huge marshmallows, a banana, rice krispie treat, and vanilla waffers.
afterward we headed back to the hotel slowly eating our chocolate the whole way, best post-race snack ever! which was well deserved because that course kicked my butt. between the hills and the distance man i was beat up. respect the distance for sure!
we showered up, took a quick nap-thank you for a 12pm check out time-then headed up the coast a bit to carlsbad for super delicious lunch at a beachside cafe. which of course meant this...
my mom and i had a blast with this race! i am so so grateful that she is willing to join me in these crazy things:) at least this time i included chocolate!