Friday, February 17, 2012

Will Run for Chocolate: the Hot Chocolate Race and Guilt-Free Fondue

Saturday morning, I woke up at 6am, surprisingly excited. Despite the sudden drop in temperature (it had gone from 70 degrees to 25 degrees in the matter of a couple days), I was raring to go! I got up, ate a breakfast of delicious applesauce (applesauce is always so good when it's chilled), and got dressed in pants, two pairs of knee socks, a tank top, a long sleeve shirt, two jackets, a fuzzy ear piece and gloves (yet, I still felt like I needed more layers). After checking the map and the weather one more time with Maddy (I had stayed on her couch the night before, because I live way too far away for such an early morning commute), we got into her car and headed to Fair Park, where we would be running in the Hot Chocolate 5k.

In spite of terrible logistics regarding traffic conduction and parking, we made it into our corral and waited our turn to start the race. The music selection at the start line was pretty great and the crowd was enthusiastic. Everything was perfect (notwithstanding the fact that I could barely feel parts of my legs and face due to the low temperatures). After a few unsuccessful attempts at starting line pictures and a brief countdown from the announcer, we were off!

Maddy and I attempted navigating through the crowds without getting separated from one another, which had the lovely side effect of forcing us to pace ourselves (even if the pace was a little slower than usual), and everything was going along swimmingly. Almost a mile in, we even ran into (haha! ran!) a few of our friends from kickball! More accurately, they ran up to us (and tickled us, like the athletic jerks they are). Unfortunately, it was just enough distraction that I totally didn't notice the gaping chasm right in front of me (or tiny pothole, whatever) and fell (good thing my cat like reflexes kept me from toppling over completely and enabled me to recover in what I can only assume was an extremely graceful way).

We got through the first mile before slowing to a walk. Seeing as running a mile straight was my goal for the race, I was pretty stoked (albeit tired and somehow overheated and super cold at the same time). We walked the rest of the second mile and took the opportunity to catch our breath, stow away some of our extraneous layers, and re-tie our shoes.

When thanking Maddy for her support,
she simply said "You got me to the race,
so I got you through the race."
Hooray for prepositions!
We started running again at the 2 mile mark and attempted to finish the race without breaking! As we approached the 3 mile mark, however, I had decided that I'd had enough. Gasping for air and complaining of stomach pains, I slowed to a saunter and told Maddy to go on without me. She would have none of that though, and kept shouting encouragement at me until I rejoined her a moment later. We crossed the 3 mile mark then the finish line (at 3.1 miles), and it felt so good (except that I was still gasping for air and wanted nothing more than to sit down... which we then did).

After recovering for a bit, we made our way into the after party where we were handed the most beautiful tray I've ever seen. Well, the tray itself was plastic and boring, but ON the tray were fruit slices, marshmallows, a Rice Krispies treat and a cup of chocolate fondue. It might possibly have been the most delicious chocolate fondue I've ever tasted. However, since chocolate doesn't usually hit the spot at 9am, we left and made our way to a celebratory breakfast. It was the best day.

How did we do? Great!
We ran for 23:40 total and completed the race in 40:55. That's almost 10 minutes faster than last year's Firefly Run! Also, we came in 2985 and 2986 out of 4214, putting us in the top 71%.

I hope we can do as well this Sunday at the Color Run!

What motivates you when you want to give up? Is it strange that the coldest day of the season thus far was the morning of our race, and less than a week later I'm back to wearing short sleeves out? Why do they insist on handing out the grossest flavor of Gatorade at the hydration stations when there are so many delicious options out there?

When taking this picture, all I could think of was that Halloween
episode of the Big Bang Theory, when they all happened to show up
as the Flash. It was suggested that rather than change, they all walk
in a line all night to make it look like it was one Flash going really fast.
I think Maddy, that 2 dimensional stick figure, and I acheive the same effect.

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