Monday, February 20, 2012

Will Run for Chocolate

Last fall I received a promo email about a new race series rolling across the country, the Hot Chocolate 5K and 15K.  They advertised a post-race chocolate-fest complete with fondue and hot chocolate, and the nearest race location was a convenient 3 hour drive from my house.  I immediately picked up the phone, called my mother-in-law and said, "Will you run for chocolate?"

It was a loaded question.  The woman would do pretty much anything for chocolate.  If cut, she would bleed chocolate syrup.

As suspected, she jumped right on it, and we signed up for the race in Dallas.  Originally, we both signed up for the 15K, but about two weeks before the race, the following conversation occurred:

MIL: I think I might switch to the 5K.  I don't want you to have to wait on me for 45 minutes while I finish. (She's semi-new to running, but tackling it like a champ!)
Me:  I don't mind waiting at all, but I want you to do what you are comfortable doing.
MIL:  I'm just not sure I will be ready to do the 15K so soon.
Me:  I definitely don't want you to overdo it, but again, waiting is not a problem.
MIL:  I'm going to switch.

She switched.

I went about my business and did not worry about it.  A few days later the conversation crept back to the forefront of my brain, and I realized she would now be waiting for me to finish the longer race.  What exactly did we accomplish here?

Then it hit me.  She was being sneaky!  The chocoholic switched to the shorter race to beat all the 15Kers to the chocolate!

I am on to you, dear MIL!

Unfortunately for her, Old Man Winter outsmarted her.   Four days prior to the race, I checked the weather and saw it was going to be in the mid 40s on race day.  Perfect weather for running in shorts. I packed up my shorts, new Running Skirts arm warmers and the rest of my running gear and headed out for a short work trip before heading to Dallas.

I should have known not to trust the weather man.  I'm from Oklahoma for Pete's sake.  The weather cannot be predicted in this part of the country.  Due to my lack of judgement, I was totally unprepared for the unexpected cold front making its way through the DFW area on Friday night.

The gun-time temp was 28 degrees with a 15 degree wind chill.

I was dressed like this:
(It's too bad I don't like color.)


At least I was going to look cute.  That's what is important, right?

I happened to have a lightweight jacket, but it didn't do much to combat the below-freezing wind.

Don't get me wrong, I have run in colder temps before.  Prior to moving to the tropics, I actually enjoyed winter and was always game for bundling up and heading outside.   Give me a mountain over the beach any day of the week.  I'd rather shovel snow than shake sand out of my shoes.  Despite my cold weather preference, I like to be prepared for frigid temperatures.  Exposed skin and 15 degree wind chills are enemies, not friends.

The morning of the race, we received an email from the race director saying something along the lines of:

If you are an idiot and did not bring proper attire, we HIGHLY advise you to switch to 5K to avoid health risks.


(insert evil laugh, HERE)

They didn't have to tell me twice.  This race was supposed to be fun.  It was more about quality time with my MIL than PRing and listening to my teeth chatter for 90 minutes.  I felt no shame!  All I could think about was the hot chocolate waiting for us at the finish line.

Despite numb fingers and tingly legs, I ended up having a blast pacing my MIL through the 5K.  We made it through the course as quickly as possible for this:

and most importantly this:
(Come to me, warmth!)
I'm pretty sure my freezing fingers cooled down the drink faster than I could consume it.

We snapped a pic by the blow up hot chocolate mug too.

I look happy and calm, but I was still shivering and numb.

It was extremely loud and crowded in the post-race party, so we promptly ditched the chaos and headed off to get cleaned up and find breakfast.

After thawing out back in our hotel room, we spent the rest of the weekend doing warm shopping.  It was a great weekend of running and some long overdue quality time with my MIL.  Most importantly, she PR'd!  I was so proud of her!

Up next, Leap Year Virtual 5K.

Run on,
Preserving Polly

PS. For the record, this leg of the Hot Chocolate series was run exceptionally well.  They had some trouble at a previous race, which had us all a little skeptical.  They pulled off the Dallas race with flying colors.  It started on time and was very well organized.  I would definitely participate again, assuming I can pack appropriately.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a fun event! Proud of you both for getting out there in that cold weather!