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Creative Casey's Blog

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hot Chocolate 15K Chicago and other fun runs

Post Race Celebrating

We are women hear us roar!

I made it to and back from the Hot Chocolate 15k in Chicago! If you recall I upgraded to the 15k but had never ran that far before (it's 9.3 miles).  I had about 2 weeks to train after partcipating in the 10k Monster Scramble run and the most I got up to was 8 miles. I figured if I could make it to 8 then I could make it the finish line.

It was a beautiful weekend to visit Chicago. Niether myself or my friends had been before. It's a pretty cool city or at least the limited parts I saw. It was very clean, practically right on the lake, and the L was  pretty neat.  Our hotel room was great- big and on the corner so one view was the city and the other was the lake. Most importantly our hotel was on the main running route and we were about 1 mile from the start line and half a mile from the finish line.

The swag bag for the event was awesome. The best part being the jacket we each received.  I was slightly worried about this run and the process because the reviews from last years race were that it was very poorly organized. Apparently the company listened to the reviews because it was the polar opposite this year. Packet pick up was easy and no waiting. Another highlight was the 3 chocolate fondue covered marshmellows I ate!

We cruised around the city during the day, rested a bit and then went out again that evening. I had a famous Chicago deep dish pizza which was mouth watering and later my friends and I shared a warm homemade giant chocolate chip cookie with ice cream and fudge on top. Yummy.....

The race day was sunny and slightly chilly. Everything was organized and the race went well. It was a bit slow going for the first 2.5 miles as I had gave up my corral status (which was D) to wait and start out with my friends who were in corral M. This meant that I wasn't evenly matched with runners my pace but slower runners. I'm pretty sure I could have improved my time by 3 minutes if I had run with my pace group. However; I still kicked but and did better than I figured I would. My final run time was 1 hr. 19min. and 46sec..  My mile avg. was 8:35. I placed 120 out of 1,126 runners (co-ed) my age that ran the 15k and 633 out of 6,448 overall female 15k runners. So not to shabby for an old lady! Overall there was about 40,000 runners. It was an insane experience to be a part of and so much fun!

After the race we enjoyed our chocolate fondue and hot chocolate, took some pictures, danced a little, talked to strangers and then headed back to the hotel. We all agreed that a pedicure would feel wonderful and treated ourselves to one before heading to the airport for our return flight home.

I'm salivating just looking and remembering this pizza!

All that swag.

Other runs:  A colleague of mine convinced into running my first trail race last weekend. We ran in part of the Dirty Cheap Fleet Feet trail series run.  This was a weekend of running if chose to do all of the races. The first being a very steep challenging 3 mile run, followed 2 hours later by a 5 mile run and an 11 mile run the following day. All races were at Mendon Ponds which is a local park/reservation area.  We ran in the early morning 3 mile steep hill run. It was freezing out, snowing sporadically, and I couldn't feel my toes for the first half mile. You had to walk about 3/4 of a mile to get to the starting point and you started by running up hill.  The hills got to be so steep that there was no way you could run up them. They were vertical hiking trails so you had to grab the ground and use trees to pull yourself up. I guess with trail runs you historically have a slower pace time due to the ruggedness of the trails and have to be very careful especially this time of year when it was wet, muddy and leaves and roots were all over. I even had to jump over a fallen tree.  My time was 32min. and 15 sec. and I came in 1st in my age group (30-39) so not to shabby. Considering there was a couple of RIT students that were 19 and 20 and fairly fit and their times were 28.32 and 29. 40. I felt pretty good about my run though not so much that I want to do it again right away!  No pics to show just my race bib.

**So what do you do when you get home from a tough race and you are still on a runners high? You sign up for more races!  I subscribe to this active gear website or rather they found me and now I get a ton of mostly useless info from them daily. But recently they sent out an article on 21 of the most fun runs a person should participate in. Surprisingly I have done quite a few and there were 2 on there coming up that I could check off that list if I chose too.  So my last two races for this year will be the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and the Jingle Bell 5k run a week later.  I went to Savers yesterday and picked up some pieces to make my outfits so stay tuned for the pictures! I also recently found out my counterpart at St. John Fischer who is a friend is also running in both of these races which I'm excited about and will make them even more fun.  Below is a sneak peak at part of my outfit for the Jingle Bell run!