Earlier today, I ran the Hot Chocolate 5K with Scott and his cousin Julie. The race course was awesome - started running north on Columbus and then turned around on Wacker and then south on Michigan. It was my first cold weather run - around 37 degrees at the start time. (And we had to wait for an hour - literally - to start due to each corral taking forever so it was quite chilly). Once I started running, though, the temperature was ideal for running and felt great.
The best thing about the race was that I got my first runner's high. I've been wanting to get one for my entire running career (10+ months!) and this was my first time. It felt goooood. I was ill-prepared for the race, due to a busy couple weeks and other stupid excuses, but I fought it and just kept running. There was a time that I told myself "ok, Kate, don't be a wuss. Keep your ass moving". And I did! I felt great, and it was the first time where I caught myself thinking "now THIS is why people run!"
There were a few motivational things that occurred along the way, like two signs at the beginning that said "Kick some asphalt" and "I'm a stranger... but I'm so proud of you!" I got chills seeing them, and they were so inspiring.
My race soundtrack was just as good this time as the Firefly 10K (and I actually used the same one). Just like the Firefly Run, I ran each mile as a dedication to someone. The first mile I ran for Hurricane Sandy victims, the second mile I ran for Joe Biden, and the last mile I ran for President Obama. It sounds so cheesy typing it out, but I love doing this at races. It helps keep me running as fast as I can - thinking about the person I'm running that mile for. (I also saw someone wearing a t-shirt that said "I'm running for Barack Obama" on the front, and "because he's running for me" on the back. Wish I had thought of that!)
And the company was also great. I love running races with Scott, because - I'll be honest - he's faster than me, and it's motivating to try to keep up with him. And it was Julie's first ever race, which was awesome. (And she did great!)
The hot chocolate at the end of the race was a-ma-zing and included a hot cup of chocolate, plus a big dollop of quality melted chocolate (like fondue) with three apple slices, three pretzels, one oversize marshmallow, a banana, and a rice krispie treat. (I consumed every bite, but it was basically on an empty stomach and I do not recommend that - felt like death later). The race was well organized except for the race packet pickup. We waited in line for 90 minutes - outside - to pick that up. Next year well have to not do that :)
Overall really enjoyed my first cold-weather race, minus the cold weather :). This is probably my last race for the year (unless I do a Turkey Trot) but it was a wonderful race-running season.