Race Report: Hot Chocolate 15K

Back in January I mentioned this race I signed up for. Remember? So, it finally came up, the Hot Chocolate 15K, on March 1. For those who don’t want to do the math, a 15K is 9.3 miles. Training-wise I had managed to get one 9-mile run in. It was hard, but done. At the 6-mile mark my ankles were beginning to ache, and knowing I had another 5K to go was kind of killing me, though I made it through. As the race course appeared to be a big uphill climb up Highway 99, I forced myself to incorporate a lot more hills, including THE HILL (NE 70th, between the Burke-Gilman Trail and around 45th Ave NE. Aiiyaah).

So anyway, I ran the HC with two other women, Rina and Trina. Yes. Tina, Rina and Trina ran the race. #Winning. Both of them are faster runners than I. My target was a 10:00 mi pace, and I hit it. More or less. Less.


Here are my unofficial splits, per my Timex:

  1. 10:10
  2. 9:41
  3. 10:01
  4. 9:57
  5. 10:14
  6. 10:31
  7. 9:05
  8. 10:14
  9. 11:37
  10. 3:29 (final .3)

Overall it felt okay. I passed on the first “treat” station. Chocolate chips, I think. At the 6-mile station, or whatever station they were doing strawberry marshmallows, I said what the hell and had one. It actually tasted really good. At around mile 6 you reach the turnaround point on Highway 99, and start going downhlll back towards the Seattle Center. That mile was my fastest and it felt great. Those final 2 miles were incredibly tedious. The downhill is not as downhill as you want it to be, and for me I was ready to be done. Now that I’ve reviewed my splits, I see that the final final mile was where I really tanked. I remember already suffering and there’s one final hill on Mercer Street. Like a lump more than a hill, but you’re running up it thinking to yourself, this is unfair!

Overall the race is a well-oiled machine. Parking wasn’t horrendous (we carpooled, parked far enough way that the walk to the course is basically a warm-up. Mildly long Honey Bucket lines. Good swag. Not as crazy-fun as Beat the Blerch, but at least it’s not in Carnation. And when else do you get to run around Hwy-99 and check out the gorgeous view of Lake Union from up high? That was pretty cool. These treats were cool, too


This pic is from Trina’s FB page. I finished the race long after R&T were done, so I too my chocolate platter to go, and got it share some of it with the kid. The kid now uses the cup as a bath toy. Not too shabby.

There was an early race start, like 8 AM. We were home by 10:30. I stretched, showered, then headed up to Bryant Corner Bakery for the weekend breakfast I had been craving.


That’s a lot of food. But I ran a race! And it was good. So good.


Yep. Here’s how I like to train:


So, the lesson here is that the 10K is still my favorite race length. I hit my goals pretty much with the 10K in mind. Add that extra 5K and watch me flounder.

BUT…. I just learned that a college friend is coming out to Seattle this summer to run See Jane Run. Half-marathon. Soooo.



I’ll decide in May.

I ran a race

Race report. On Sept. 20 I ran my first race of the year. I Beat the Blerch. And it was great. 10K flat out and back at Tolt-MacDonald Park in Carnation. There were Blerches on the course, suggesting we stop and take a nap. There was cake, Nutella sandwiches and a couch at mile 3. These treats were at the finish line, as well, for those runners like me who might have vomited were they to eat cake at mile 3. What a delicious Nutella sandwich! I’ve got to get more of those in my diet.

If you don’t know anything about The Blerch, allow me to introduce you to
this comic, which sums up how I often feel when faced with the task of training for a race.

So, yeah. Fun. Bumped into a few friends at the start line. Also fun. Convenient parking. Lots of portapotties. Nice swag. Smooth start and the announcer says your name as you cross the finish line. One of the smoothest, well-organized running events I’ve been to, especially as a first-time race.

Oh yeah, and photos, lots of them, available for download at no cost. Wha??? Here’s one …


My time was about 1:01, or a 9:53 pace. Not surprising, considering the minimal training I had been able to do. The 10K is an ideal pace. Short enough to be done with minimal training, long enough to be worth a race entry fee and the hassle of race day.

What’s next?

Race 11.16

Mustache dache at Magnuson Park. 5K with some gym mates. Glad to get my poor(er) performance from my last race out of my system.

A fun race. Everyone wore a mustache, people dressed crazy, just lived in the moment. I’m in the below pic, not obvious, but in like the group shot here:


I do well at Magnuson Park races. Flat and familiar.


Mile 1: 8:54
Mile 2: 8:48
Mile 3: 8:55

Run 11.9

I had a rare opportunity to run around Green Lake last weekend. By myself, with no pressing appointments, deadlines, meetings, etc. an enjoyable mid-morning run. No rain, lots of Seattleites enjoying the weather.


Music: an old playlist from a few years ago. A little Taylor Swift, a little Vampire Weekend, some Foo Fighters, and more.



Shake it up.

Run 10.23 – 25

When I was growing up I thought I would end up living in New York, maybe L.A. I applied to NYU and Barnard, was accepted into both. Accepted a spot at Barnard. Went to an orientation at Barnard. Then I was accepted off the wait list at University of Chicago and never looked back. Yadda yadda yadda, ended up in Seattle. I say all of this because of how much of a poser I feel like when I visit New York. I marvel at the small spaces most of my friends accept as a way of life. I wonder how the women walk everywhere in their cool shoes. I exit the subway and am completely out of sorts, not knowing what is north, east, south, west. I always walk the wrong way, and thank goodness for that little blue dot on bing maps that tells me where I am on my phone app. I have figured out up is uptown. Down is downtown. Fifth ave is where east meets west, but it doesn’t seem like you need to tell anyone whether to meet them at ninth and w 58th or e 58th. It’s just 58th (believe me, it makes a difference in Seattle. NE 15th and NW 15th? So not the same thing).

ANYWAY. This is a post about running. Usually when I travel for business I am a frequent patron of the hotel gym. Last time I even did a drop in at a local CF box. This time I was just two blocks from Central Park, so I thought a run would be fun. I tried to prepare by studying maps and learning landmarks, but ultimately found it easier to follow a few joggers and soon I was on the path with tons of runners. I veered off and circled the reservoir, then ran back, trying to take the same path, not always succeeding. I enjoyed it so much I added it to my agenda for all 3 mornings I was in the city.

By the way. Central Park may be the only route where the you’ll experience both a buttery breakfast pastry aroma and the stink horse manure. At the same time. Mmmmmm.

Each day, I ran between 5 – 6 miles, depending on how lost I got coming out of the park (see first paragraph for reference).
Music: Foo fighters, Killers, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.

The pic above was taken at the reservoir on my last run.

WOD 6.5 National Running Day


Happy National Running Day! I have the perfect workout for you. Actually not that bad, since I fortunately had a few miles under my belt from the 10K. My time this morning was 4 seconds slower than my first timed mile. But, I’ll make an excuse and say this time around I was well aware that I wasn’t finished after the mile, that there was more running to come.

(You can seemy times listed on the left and side of the pic. 8:12 was the first time.)

You know what? Hearing footsteps running behind you can be very motivating.

America’s best 10K, check!

When my sister told me that BolderBoulder is like a big, long party, she wasn’t kidding. Sure, the elites take it seriously. But a ton of the participants seem to go for the crazy antics. A few were dressed in costumes. Spotted a banana, grapes, gorilla head, and plenty of tutus. More impressive were the spectators along the route path. Tons of hoses to cool us off (did I mention it was in the 80s?) plus others daring runners to partake in “performance enhancement drugs” such as otter pops, Doritos, pancake syrup (wha?), and, my favorite, cupcakes. Plus, a slip ‘n’ slide.

But, lets get on with it. The race. Lets preface this with I didn’t train as well as I could have. I had my concerns with the altitude (sea level is for sissies, they say) and I was recovering from both the stomach flu and a cold/bad rattle kind of coughing thing (which I still have, btw). I also shouldn’t discount the fact that this was my first out-of-state race. While my sis’ home, where I stayed, is pretty much as welcoming and comfortable as i can get without being at home, stocked with everything you could ask for, it was a little bit different than my notmal routine, and to rely on someone else who organized the trip just took me out of my element. Not to say i wasnt soo grateful for that (thanks, sis!) Ultimately what affected me most was something I could control and something I couldn’t. One, my prerace eating plan was not well thought out. I did have the eggs, toast w/PB that is normal for me, but the timing was off, and then I forgot to pack a GU with me at the start line. Two, it was hot. Like, Africa hot. Or, just Boulder hot, and there was no way I could have trained for that. As a result, by mile 3 I had a side stitch and at the4K marker I had to stop and walk. I proceeded to stop at least 2 more times (not including water stops, which I took miles 2 -5) to walk a few meters.

Something I was prepared for … The hills. For some reason I had envisioned a very hilly course, but in reality there were just a few smallish hills. The course summit, which came at the start of mile 5, actually motivated me and I ran my fastest mile at that point. The final hill, on the way to the stadium that leads to the finish, was the most annoying, but not anything I couldn’t handle, even if it was at a slow pace. Nothing will ever beat the hill at the Seattle Rock and Roll Half turning the corner at mile 5 or so and seeing a giant “real” hill in front of you.


At any rate, I had a great time. So glad that I could do this race with my sis. “Who won?”, the husband asked when I called him after the race. Well, it’s not like we were competing or anything, but if you must know. I beat my sis. Or, as the kiddo would say, “Haha, I win! You lose.” (We’re trying to teach her sportsmanship, really we are). The first time i went running with my sister i was probably in 7th grade. I was chunky and unathletic, and she ran cross country and did track. I couldn’t make it more than a few blocks before heading home. That maybe was the last time i ran with her, too. Of course that was 25 years ago and I finally figured some stuff out. And, these days Sis is recovering from injuries and all … But, you know, just thought I’d point that out. I was faster than her, just this once. 🙂

Final details: time: 1:11.20
Pace: 11:28
Fastest: 10:44, mile 5
Slowest: 12:25, mile 4
Overall place: 21,845

Run 5.22 hill repeats with w/ Lea #soundcrossfit

Time: early! 5:50am
Where: the ‘hood
Workout: warm up, then Hill repeats. 3 x the hills between 38th & 35th
Notes: thought it a good idea to get in some hills before Boulder. Fortunately Lea said yes when I asked if she wanted to join in on the fun. Which came in handy knowing she would be there on a rainy morning.
Not much more I can do to prepare, I guess.

Sunday, run day 5.19 #soundcrossfit

Time: 3:00pm
Where: Burke Gilman trail, to the Wall of Death and back.
Workout: 6 miles steady state
Notes: one of my favorites. A reasonable mid length distance, very familiar route, nice and flat, and who doesn’t like to say, “I’m going to the Wall of Death”?

via yelahneb on Flickr

My last long run before BolderBoulder. Purposely slowed my pace down the last mile to get the feeling of what 10:00 or slower feels like. My goal is to finish without passing out, so ill be taking it easy. If I feel great and run great, it will be a nice surprise.

Times include traffic light stops in miles 2, 3, 4 & 5:
1) 9.24
2) 9.59
3) 9.41
4) 10:07
5) 9:49
6) 10:14
Time: 59.17.41

Many sick days last week. Missed crossfit on Wed & Fri, plus and extra running workout. Hope/glad that’s over with. Now I just need to stay well hydrated for the week.

Music: Foo Fighters. I find it hard to listen to anything else for runs longer than 30 minutes.