Monday, March 2, 2015

Seattle Hot Chocolate 5K

Hello lovely friends!

I just had a great weekend. Ran my first race of 2015, actually my first race since NOVEMBER!

Last year my Mom, Sister and I ran/walked the Hot Chocolate 5K together and made a girls weekend of it. We stayed in Seattle the night before, went to the expo, went to dinner and then the following day did a little running. We had such a good time that we decided to make it an annual thing.

Waiting for the hotel shuttle
So we registered for the HC 5K but my mom had surgery a few weeks ago, has a bulging disc (essentially she's a complete wreck) so it was up in the air as to if she would run with us. Turns out she wasn't up to running but wanted to spend the weekend with us anyway. We caught the ferry to Seattle Saturday afternoon and called for our shuttle. Well, turns out the shuttle from our hotel didn't come to the ferry terminal, it was out of their 1 mile radius. SERIOUSLY?! My mom had called and verified it was IN the radius that morning. Whatever. They told us they could pick us up at 1st and Madison. We didn't know where that was exactly but we just started walking. Going from the ferry dock to the Seattle Center is a lot of uphill. We had our luggage and the streets were packed so my mom wasn't really enjoying the stroll. Got a few blocks up and waited outside another hotel for our shuttle to come pick us up for real this time. Thank goodness it was a sunny day, we had a 20 minute wait. Once we got to our hotel (Hyatt at the Place) we checked in and headed a couple blocks up to the expo. HC gives out sweatshirts in their swag bags every year and this years zip up was AWESOME. So comfy! Beats last years by a mile....mainly because my mom and I are quite large chested and our boobs suffocated last year. NOT FUN.

Delicious Fooooood
After the expo we went back to the hotel to freshen up and then we headed out towards Westlake Center. We had a 6pm reservation at PF Changs and wanted to hit up Top Pot donut on the way. Mandie decided we could keep them in our purses and eat them as dessert later but I just carried them out in a big bag. What was the restaurant going to do, take them away? Unfortunately I set them on the booth at PF Changs and Mandie set her purse on them so they got kinda squished. Whoops. Anyway, PFC was DELISH. Honey chicken = SO GOOD. Crab Wontons = UH-MAZING. We also go Phad Thai and Mongolian beef and it was OUTSTANDING. Nothing bad here, ever.  We got a good laugh when the waiter delivered the Phad Thai and said "I recommend squeezing your baby lime on this dish" We looked at the lime and it was so tiny. He brought us a new plate on limes :) Their fortune cookies were also red and my mom said (not sure if she was serious) "Does this taste like red velvet". I almost died laughing. The people next to us probably thought we were insane. Then we shoved all the crumbs and loose noodles by my sisters plate so when the waiter took her food he had to whip out this little tool to scrape the food off the table. We laughed so hard. "That tool if for tables with kids!"

After dinner, and a short unproductive trip to Nordstrom Rack, we walked back to the Hyatt and climbed in bed. It was like 8:30pm. I introduced Mom and Mandie to 'Pit Bulls and Parolees' and then we went to sleep. Sort of. My mom was fascinated by the people walking the streets alone at 10pm. This one is not use to city life :)

The alarm went off at 5:45am, race start time was 6:45 and we only had a few blocks to walk. Saw lots of people rocking Ragnar gear- right on! I forgot how many people run this race, about 12,000. The starting line was packed and the lines for the port-a-potties were huge so I was glad that I didn't have to go. Less nerves before this race than normal. I ran without my Garmin and had no expectations of how this race was going to go since I've taken several months off from racing/ running. It was so nice to just enjoy the experience and take lots of pictures for scrapbooking (I'll have to do a separate post about my obsession with project life). Once the starting gun went off we still had to wait about 20 minutes until our corral made it to the start line. It was crowded but not terrible until you ran into the walkers who didn't get the memo about moving to the side. Nothing pisses me off more than a group of 3 or 4 people just cluelessly taking up a good chunk of roadway
doing their own thing as if 12,000 other people aren't trying to run a race too. We ran the downs, walked some of the ups with no particular plan other than running based on feel. Half way through there was a "sweet station" passing out chocolate chips so we grabbed a few and then took some pictures in front of the big inflatable hot cocoa mug along the course. I felt like the course went by faster than year than last year even though I was little more out of shape. Maybe it's because I knew what to expect, or because the weather was gorgeously sunny. It's not the most exciting course ever but it takes you from the Seattle Center down towards Pike Place and then back around. There is a tunnel right around the 2 mile mark that has the worst grade! A few blocks coming out of the tunnel a guy said "it's all downhill from here" and I shot back "are you lying?" Everyone around laughed. It went downhill for awhile and then there was on last rather steep hill. He was a liar. Finished the race, called mom to meet up and made our way towards the finishers area to collect our mug. Final time per their website was 40:43. Eh, not bad considering. A hell of a lot slower than my PR (26:43? I think) but I'm not where I was then and have to accept my current abilities.

Overall this is a super fun race if you just want to enjoy the experience. I really love that we turn it into a girls weekend. I don't know if I would want to travel over the morning of for a 6:45 start time, but plenty of people do it from my neck of the woods. The 15K had a super cool medal this year which was a new feature, so maybe next year I will do that. We'll depends on how mom is doing because her participation is important to me too. First race of 2015 in the book and I'm re-motivated. Can't wait for my next one!