Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k

Hey, hi, what’s up! I ran a race!

Despite waiting until the absolute last second to sign up (thanks, empty bank account), almost two week ago my boyfriend and I ran our first 15k! It was honestly so much fun and an amazing experience  (seriously, my boyfriend actually agreed to run a half with me!).

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But before we start searching for other races, let me share how this 9.3 miles went!

Basic Information 

Race: Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k
Date: Saturday, April 4, 2015
Start Time: 8 a.m.

Training/Prep

Even though I’ve finished a half marathon, I still created a training schedule for this race. Then I proceeded not to follow it at all. Good job, Jthom.
I hate running on treadmills and lazily only went to about 7 miles before this race. Even with that, I wasn’t running everyday. I still went to spin, kick boxing or the regular gym almost daily, but I didn’t stick with increasing my mileage properly. I  finished the race without walking (that was my goal), but I still don’t recommend this route. I felt MUCH more confident and mentally prepared for my half since I trained properly.

Pre-Race

On Friday night we picked up our race packets at the convention center. My only complaint is that the times were horrible for anyone with a work schedule. I had to leave work early to get there in time before the expo ended. Maybe extend the hours until 9 p.m. next year? Thanks.
Otherwise, the expo was good – nothing too great, but not horrible. The only other expo I’ve been to was for the Philadelphia Rock ‘N’ Roll Half Marathon, so I don’t have much experience or opinions on them just yet. I also don’t trust prices at these things, I always think I can get it cheaper online so I don’t bother shopping around too much.
The one thing I loved – and drew me to signing up for the race – is they don’t skimp on the goodie bags. You get a race zip up, draw string backpack, beautiful finishers medal and finishers mug. It’s really the best stuff I’ve seen at a race.

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A close up on the chocolate bar inspired medal.

Race Day

Let me preface this with how much I enjoy running in Philly. Actually, I think it’s just enjoyable to run a race in a city you’re not super familiar. What better way is there to see Philly than a 13.1 or 9.3 mile run around the city?!

Anyway, I live about 20 minutes from Philly, so we didn’t have to travel too far. Still we didn’t leave enough time to find parking – it was the worst!

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Someone wasn’t a happy camper looking for parking!

The 5k was before the 15k so a bunch of roads were blocked off making it impossible to move around the city to look for a garage. After some cursing, praying and lots of frustration, a spot miraculously opened up near the starting line. Don’t be like us, show up early.

Pre-race!
Pre-race!

We ended up in my starting corral (my boyfriend’s faster), but it didn’t really matter. Honestly, it’s hard to estimate what corral you’re supposed to be in, but we were passing people almost the entire race. Side note: In case my boyfriend sees this, he could have passed me at ANY point. The jerk is still a faster runner despite never running more than 6 miles, but he decided to stay with me. Dumby must love me or something. Okay, end side note.

See me struggling around the finish line -- yeah, embarrassing.
See me struggling around the finish line — yeah, embarrassing.

The course was great. I love that you start in the city and make your way to the park — the change in scenery definitely entertains me. The weather was a little cool and windy, which was working against us around mile 2. I hit my wall at mile 7 and the final 2 miles were hell. This is why I strongly suggest training properly!

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Post-Race

We got our finisher’s medals and mugs — so cute! The mugs had hot chocolate, banana, chocolate fondue, marshmallows, rice krispies and some other cute little snacks. If I hadn’t just ran 9 miles, I would have definitely enjoyed it. I drank some hot chocolate then handed it over to my boyfriend before I threw up.

I ate like nothing in that mug, but it's still cute!
I ate like nothing in that mug, but it’s still cute!

Injuries? My knees hurt A LOT post-race. I assumed this was because I hadn’t run outside in quite a few months – thanks, winter. Then everything else was just the normal sore with no appetite, but still starving feeling. You know, normal post race stuff.

Fun Race Story

The night before the race my boyfriend gave me an early birthday gift! He bought me the TomTom All Sport running watch! I’m absolutely in love with it – and admittedly still trying to figure out how to use it. Being the child that I am, I needed to use the watch for the race the next day and got it all set up – or so I thought.

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Fast forward to race day and about a mile into the race I look down to see how my new gadget is working and to my surprise I ran a 6:30 mile. Yeah, I didn’t believe that for a second. Seriously, I could NEVER. So that began me trying to figure out why it wasn’t keeping proper track of my miles and trying to reset the watch about 10x mid-run.
Well, at around 7 miles Pat asked if maybe it was in kilometers. Yes, it took us 6 miles to figure that out. Well, it took him 6 miles, I probably would still be thinking I’m running 6-minute miles.

Overall, this was a great race! I would definitely recommend it and it’s tons of fun even for the beginning runners or advanced runners who just want to have some fun.

Questions? Comment below! Otherwise, happy running!
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3 thoughts on “Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k

  1. HI Jackie, Great recap.

    We can record at night. No problemo. Would you like to record tomorrow night? Does 7:00 PM work for you? That would be great to talk to you then.

    You seem like a ton of fun, and how couldn’t I not like you after you said I’m great and had me ahead of Chalene. Still on Cloud 9 over that one!

    Serena Marie, RD, and I will be in Philly for Broad Street. Not running it though. Are you?

    Take care, Kari

    1. Hi Kari! Tomorrow’s actually the only night that won’t work — it’s my birthday! But let me know another night! And I’m not running the Broad Street, but my boyfriend’s brother-in-law is, so we might go cheer him on!

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