Hot Chocolate 5K/15K


Fun fact: there are like 200 days until Ryan and I get married. And I am no where near the shape I want to be in. So get ready for an onslaught of #SweatingForTheWedding fitness posts!

Starting with this one: a recap of my very fun, very hilly, very hungover Hot Chocolate 5K last Sunday!

After prepping our guest room and bringing my dad home from the hospital last Friday, then cooking and hosting my annual St. Patrick's Day dinner last Saturday (with the addition of a lentil Shepherd's Pie this year!), I hopped out of bed at 5:45am on Sunday morning and headed to the Gaslamp for my second 5K Sunday in a row with my friend Megan.

Yeah... I was not exactly setting myself up for a PR.

The Hot Chocolate 5K is sponsored by Sweet Valley Organics and it was on behalf of them and their lovely team that Megan and I got to participate. Sweet Valley Organics makes delicious organic dark chocolate-covered fruit and nut snack bites, with mostly fair-trade sourced ingredients. Their Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Toffee Almonds, Dark Chocolate Cinnamon Praline Pecans, and Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Cashews are suuuuuuper yummy. (These are wedding diet approved right?)

I picked up my Sweet Valley Organics team racing shirt and my bib at the Expo on Saturday, as well as my Hot Chocolate 5K swag bag.

Honestly, I think this may be the best racing gear I've gotten at any race, let alone a 5K. My SVO team tech shirt was really soft and comfortable. And the purple long sleeve pullover is awesome! It has thumb holes and a convenient zipped-up pocket for IDs, keys, etc. I would recommend doing this race for the pullover alone.

Post-St. Patrick's Day dinner party hosting, I was definitely moving slow the morning of the race and was pretty late arriving downtown. I panic-parked like 15 minutes away from the starting corrals and ran all the way there only to find Megan and pin on our bibs with just a few minutes to spare.

Soon enough, we were off. And the race started... uphill?

The starting line itself was on an incline... and then there was another hill 2/10ths of a mile in. And then another incline... and another... and another... and another...

Don't get me wrong... the hilliness of this 5K was awesome! I love a flat and fast race as much as the next runner, but sometimes, especially when it's a shorter race, having so many inclines like the Hot Chocolate 5K did is both unique and challenging in a good way.

By Mile 2 though, I have to say I was a little exhausted. And mostly glad that Megan and I hadn't decided to do the 15K instead... because there was no way I had another 7 miles in me.

I ended up finishing in 38:12, which is by far my slowest 5K ever. It just goes to show how much work I have cut out for me over the next 6 months.

But I'm excited about that! I can't wait to look and feel my best on our wedding day (eek!).

After the finish line, it was Hot Chocolate time. I will confess, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about this post-race treat, but it was delicious hot chocolate and I downed the whole cup. Apparently, I have no qualms about such a rich post-race indulgence!

(And as for this awesome but unfortunately plastic finisher's mug? Don't worry... I'm not giving up on my plastic-free initiatives. This baby is getting turned into a fun little planter.)

Overall, the Hot Chocolate 5K is one race that I would definitely do again next year and there aren't many races I'd say that about. The quality of the swag and the challenging course make this race well worth the entry fee (even though that was waived this time thanks to the SVO team!). And it's a really great race for running with family and friends.

Plus, I'd like to redeem myself next year and not suck quite so hard. #SweatingForTheWedding, guys... #SweatingForTheWedding.