Good morning! I’m taking a much-needed vacation this week and am traveling to Michigan! I’m really excited because last week I completed my last course for my MBA and am now officially done – not going to lie though, it’s feeling a little weird not to have any homework or tests to do.I’m sure I’ll get over that pretty quickly.
Last weekend I was invited to run in a new MN race, the Chocolate 5K by NR Racing. The Chocolate 5K has races across the US and this year they added one in Minneapolis to benefit AdoptAClassroom.org. The race was originally set to be run at Lake Harriet, but due to a permit issue they moved it right outside of Minneapolis to St. Louis Park. I was pretty excited about this change because it moved it to a park near me and I had been looking for a good 5K route to add into my training, so this was a perfect way for me to get an idea of a new training course.
Race morning was brutal, to say the least. The weather had been calling for rain all weekend and unfortunately it waited until race day to really start up. The race began at 8am and by 7:30 it was starting to rain really heavy and the winds were starting to pickup. I was nervous at packet pickup that the race was going to be called off, but thankfully as it got closer to start the rain calmed down. Normally during the Chocolate 5Ks there will be chocolate stations on the course but because of the weather we were given the chocolates beforehand.
At 7:55ish we started to line up. I liked that the race wasn’t overly crowded – there ended up being about 200ish of us that braved the rain/cold. There was a brief speech from the representative from AdoptAClassroom.org and the race organizers and then they started the race. For this race I had a few goals: 1. Run at least 1 sub-7 minute mile like I had a few days earlier at the gym and 2. Try to PR for the season.
I started the first mile really strong and ended up leading the females and 2nd place. The first mile was really flat and staightforward, and according to my GPS watch I did it in a 6:30. Awesome! Goal one accomplished! I have never been one to maintain a sub-7 (yet!) so into the 1-2 miles I allowed myself to slow down, especially since this brought on some large hills. The course was an out-and-back course with 3 loops mixed in.
3. Hilly. Loops.
The first time up the hill wasn’t bad, but by the 2nd time I was getting tired. By about 1 1/2 mile in another woman passed me and I jumped back to 2nd place. I kept her in my sight and maintained a 7:30 pace . We looped back and started again towards our last loop, and once we hit the hill the woman started to slow down. At the top of the hill I was able to take back the 1st place position and maintained a 7:15ish the rest of the race. As soon as I saw the finish line I sprinted and ended the race 3rd overall and 1st place female.
Overall this was a great race and the race organizers did a great job modifying the race with the last minute course change and bad weather. The only suggestion I’d have is to add a water stop along the way, but this was removed due to the weather (this also should’ve been the chocolate station too). I look forward to running this again next year!
Disclosure I was provided I free entry to the Chocolate 5K however all opinions are my own