My 3rd Hot Chocolate 15k is officially in the books!
Before I start this recap I have to give a HUGE shout out to the race organizers and volunteers. I was blown away how organized this entire event was from start to finish.
There were no bathroom lines, parking was a breeze, corrals were actually enforced and there was hydration every mile or so on the course. AWESOME job Hot Chocolate run!!!
Anyway let’s start this recap out reviewing my goals for this race. My main goal was to finish (obviously) but also to use this as a practice run to get back into racing groove after 7+ months off. Well, spoiler alter…I ended up PR-ing on the course and am very confident that I can do the La Jolla half in a few weeks!
BUT the day didn’t quite start out as perfectly as it ended…
Every runner has a race day morning routine.
I like to give myself an hour before I have to leave the house to slowly sip coffee, get things moving if you know what I mean and munch on about half of a Bobo’s Oat Bar.
Well…when I woke up to my alarm at 5:00 am I immediately realized my coffee hadn’t brewed. I made my way into the kitchen to investigate an noticed there was a mess all over the floor. To make a long story short I spent 30 mins mopping up my floor and frantically getting ready/ brewing new coffee. My mom, dad and sister arrived at my house at 6:00 am and I desperately CHUGGED down some coffee and we headed out the door.
There really is nothing worse than starting off a race morning frazzled before the running part has even happened.
THANK GOD there was no traffic and parking was simple because I think if another thing went wrong I would have lot it…hello caffeine addiction haha.
We ended up getting to the starting area an hour early (oops) and used the time to make a couple necessary bathroom trips and snap some pictures.
Rocking the 2017 Hot Chocolate hoodies
Freezing to death before heading into our corral
The Hot Chocolate 15k is a very hilly race I actually don’t think you are ever on flat ground…you’re either running uphill or down so it’s important to go into this race with a plan.
My mom and I strategically started out pretty slow at a 9:30ish pace. We wanted to warm up, get a idea of how our bodies felt that day then set our pace from there.
We ended up separating at about mile 4-5 because we have very different ways of tackling hills. I personally like to run fast uphill then really struggle on the downhill where my mom likes to take her time going uphill then can relax her body on the downhill portion.
Honestly, my biggest takeaway from this race was realizing how straight up awful I am at running downhill. Like seriously, does anyone else have this issue? I ran my fastest mile (8:06) running UPHILL and one of my slowest miles downhill. WTF?
I think a big reason for the downhill struggle being extra real today was because I stupidly didn’t really taper and took a yoga sculpt class the day before the race. My legs were pretty tight the entire race and my dad even mentioned that I looked stiff crossing the finish line. Rookie mistake Diana!
With the La Jolla half coming up I’m really going to make a point to work on downhill running and be sure to give myself at least 3 days before the race of not working out AT ALL.
BUT, despite my legs being tight and completely sucking at the downhill portion I ended up getting a PR on the course and finishing in 1:23:57 which is about a 9:01 pace.
My mom was right behind me and finished in 1:27:38 and got 10th in her age group.
I probably should focus more on a strong finish than a good picture haha
Go mom go!
FINALLY it was time for the highlight of the whole race (besides the awesome hoodies) THE CHOCOLATE!
This year the finishers mug had hot chocolate, pretzels, some chocolate filled cookie thing, marshmallows, a banana and rice crispy treat. I think I ate my entire mug in 30 seconds and loved every single second of it!
We didn’t stick around for long after the race since it was cold and there was no beer (LOL) but did take the time to eat, snap some pictures and recap the race before heading back to my house.
Delicious finishers mug mmmmmmm
Caught mid marshmallow bite
Yay for finishing our 3rd Hot Chocolate 15k!
After 94875984 races over the past couple years my family has established a post race tradition of heading back to my house to hit the pool/hot tub, drink some celebratory booze and bbq!
Today was no exception.
We sipped on drinks, grilled some delicious steak & salmon and spent probably too many hours in the hot tub…no wonder I’m a little woozy writing this recap right now so sorry in advance if there’s some typos.
Nothing better than a good hot tub sesh after a tough run!
As usual the Hot Chocolate Run did not disappoint. Both my mom and I KILLED the course and my dad, sister and Bryce had an awesome morning having breakfast/ bloody mary’s at the Werewolf next door to the start/finish while we ran.
Win/Win for everyone involved haha!
In all seriousness though, this is one of my favorite races of the entire year for the following reasons; it’s well organized, the course is challenging and can you really beat getting a hoodie and chocolate? NOPE!
Until next year Hot Chocolate Run!