Hot Chocolate 15K Race Recap: Pam's take...

As Pam and I ran the Hot chocolate 15K together, I thought it would be fun to to have a he said/ she said type of recap. You can read my recap...here! Take it away, Pam!

So, I had this harebrained idea back in the spring that this year I would run the Hot Chocolate 15K. Of course, this was after I had just completed a 10K and figured that I'd have more free time to run once I was finally done with school. Let's just say that I love my work, but my schedule varied wildly from week to week and, recently, the longest runs I've been able to do were about 3-4 miles long. There are some weeks when I've had no free time at all... but I digress.

We woke bright and early Saturday morning after a night were PG woke at 1:30 and ended up climbing into bed with us to try and get a few more hours of sleep out of her. We dropped off the girls with my dad and headed downtown with our friends who were going to run the 5K. I should have been nervous, but the only thought going through my mind was, "Damn, it's freezing out. I can't feel my fingers and I swear the 8 million thermal layers I have on have done nothing to retain any of my body heat." Let's just say I am not really a cold weather runner. So, why did I choose the Hot Chocolate 15K? Well, the 5K last year was my first race and I get to have a ton of chocolate!

Once we actually started running, I finally started to warm up a bit and was feeling pretty good. While I am much slower than Dan, he stayed with me and kept my pace. Shortly after we passed the 5K marker, I realized that all that Gatorade I drank in the morning to hydrate had passed through me necessitating the finding of a port-a-potty. We found one in a parking lot and jumped in line. After about 5 minutes and still having about 10 people ahead of us in line, we decided to press on and see if we could find another, less crowded one. A few more blocks down Monroe, we found a bank of 4 and tried our luck again. We waited another 10 minutes there and, once done, felt much better but also realized that we were now at the very end of the pack. It was a little disheartening and, after standing still for so long, I was back to freezing and also a little stiff. What got me was that, had we pressed on a bit further, we would have come across a whole group of port-a-potties that were completely empty.

Shortly thereafter, I started to struggle. My right knee and hip were sore. This made running more and more painful. Dan encouraged me and helped me to keep going, even if we had slowed more to a jog than a run, but I finally reached a point where I needed to walk. I was also disappointed in myself but Dan stayed with me and kept encouraging me the entire time. He made sure I drank the Gatorade he was carrying for me frequently along the way, too. Several times I would try to start running again, but it hurt too much, so I would return to walking. I'm a fairly quick walker, though, so I power walked while Dan slowly jogged with me. That's pretty much how we finished the race, but at least I can say I finished. So, to console/congratulate myself, I enjoyed some delicious chocolate fondue, drank some hot chocolate, and stuffed as many chocolate squares that I could find into my pockets.

Some things I learned this race:
- I am so not a cold weather lover
- Strawberry Gatorade may taste OK when casually drinking it, but during a race it has an almost vomit-inducing flavor
- Always use the restroom one last time before getting into your corral
- My husband is a great guy to have by your side if you ever start to doubt yourself or need a shoulder to lean on (at times literally)

CHICAGO TRIBUNE VIDEO

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