Saturday, January 25, 2014

Choco Loco 5k -- Race Report

So I think my new goal is to do at least one extra race every month.  There's always the free Houston Wellness Project 5k to do, so I think it's pretty reasonable.  January's bonus race was the Choco Loco 5k.  That means that I've done two chocolate-themed races in a 7-day stretch.  I am very, very loyal to my favorite candy.

We picked up packets during the week, so it was nice to not have to show up any earlier than necessary in the cold.  We got to the site 20 minutes before the race start and still found a close parking spot.

There's something fun about walking on streets that are usually super busy but for a brief time get completely closed to traffic.  There were tons of police on the course to ensure driver compliance.  The mile markers seemed to be where they belonged!  There were three water stations, too, so there's no way anyone could have ended up thirsty.

This was the reason we'd chosen the race.  There were cookies, brownies, strawberries, all to be dipped in a chocolate fountain.  Also, Katz coffee!  Some people said the volunteers were rude in the food line and I'm sorry they felt that way.  Being a back of the pack person, I'm glad that they were trying to keep people in check so there was something left for the stragglers.  Maybe they need some signs so there's no ambiguity?  The finisher shirts were regular t-shirts, but I really like them.

The kids' k shirts were the same design in a different color and the medals were the standard for the company that runs these races.  I like that they give medals to the kids and they're amassing a collection of them with different colored ribbons.

My race
Since I technically set a 5k PR in the last 5k of my first half marathon, I decided to do an actual 5k race to have an official new PR.  To help me with my goal, I recruited #1 to be my pacer, since his 5k PR is a few minutes faster than I was hoping to accomplish.  He was thrilled to help and wanted to know exactly how much he was allowed to trash talk to motivate me.  Unfortunately, he got a horrible cold the day before the race and had to cheer from the sidelines.  Also, it was very, very cold.  Normally we are super gung-ho about taking everyone out (remember the super cold turkey trot?), but with #1 sick and #4 thrilled with his ability to remove hats and mittens, we ended up keeping the kids in the car while I did my race, then quickly swapping out Christian with #2 and #3 just before the kids' k started.  This didn't allow for much photo taking, so my moment of PR glory will live on only in my memory.  I finished in 35:22, which is an improvement of 5:51 since last June!  I'm really pleased that I'm able to walk a 5k this quickly and I still think I have room to improve my walking form.

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