On Saturday, I walked the Hot Chocolate 5K with my mom and my friend, B-. Normally this is something I would run, but B- isn’t able to due to a heart condition, so we try to walk a 5K together once a year. This year’s race was particularly rough – the race was due to start downtown near the Farmer’s Market at 7am with a start temp of only 20° F, which meant I not only had to get up around 4am, butI also had to layer as much as humanly possible. I felt like Ralphie’s younger brother from A Christmas Story (“I can’t put my arms down!”). By the time I got out of my car to walk to the start line, I was wearing 4 layers on top, 2 on bottom (including a delightfully awful combo of hot pink shorts over leggings), hat, gloves, earmuffs, and a headband over my mouth and nose.
The 15K and the 5K started at the same time, which made getting started, especially in a later corral, feel like it took forever, but once we started moving, it felt so good. Even though we were walking quite quickly, passing quite a few people along the way (including some 15K racers), by mile 1 I had completely lost feeling in everything from the knees down, which made me slightly concerned about the possibility of tripping/falling, but thankfully it was a road race and not a trail, which made it easier.
The best part about the Hot Chocolate 5K by far is the finish line. After picking up your water and medal, finishers get a hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and tons of yummy goodies to dip into the chocolate, including bananas, rice krispies, pretzels, and others. It makes all of the freezing and cold worth it as you inhale chocolate and get it all over your outer layers while walking to the car to turn on the heat.