The run for chocolate – 2010 Hot Chocolate 15K

 Well I haven’t been advertising that I was doing this run because I haven’t really run much post marathon. I signed up for the 15K option vs the 5K option because in my pre-marathon glow I thought “9.3 miles will feel like nothing after running 26.2.” In my post-marathon funk I failed to continue to run much and thus the idea of 9.3 miles seemed less appealing. I haven’t run more than 3 miles in a row since 10-10-10 (the date to motivate, aka the date that kicked my a$$). This was going to be…interesting.

Today was FREEZING! Despite all my complaining about the cold this morning, I was eternally grateful for a crisp fall day when just a short month ago I was sweating my head off waiting in the corral for the marathon to begin. Team 40/10 was well represented with Marcia joining us for her first official event participating in the 5K. We shivered together in an act of team solidarity waiting with Marcia and wishing her luck. After Marcia took off, Colleen, Julie and I dodged the other 5K’rs and went to find our 10 min/mile pace spot. We hadn’t started the 15K when the first 5K runners started arriving at the finish. I dreamed for a moment about crossing the finish line and hoped I would look as fresh but knowing I would not.

After hitting mile 1, Colleen was long gone as usual. Surprising myself, I stuck with Julie’s 10 min/mile pace for 3 miles. It was at this moment that my body said “Whoa there lady! This is all you’ve trained for in a while”. Needless to say I had to bid Julie a farewell. I shook off the disappointment of being the last of our bunch and hunkered down. I chided myself for a time for not being more prepared and then I saw the turn- around shortly after mile 4. This is when the terrain really started to piss me off. They thought it would be cute to make us run across grass and then turn onto a path. This path was an obstacle course impersonating a gravel path. First, it was narrow. Second, it was full of HUGE (well not exactly boulders, but really big) rocks. Third, it had its share of potholes. To boot…it was uphill! This went on for longer than I was hoping, but heck I was hoping for a flat easy run. Eventually mile 6 was upon me and again my body yelled “I gave you 3 more miles! Now what do you want?” As if these 3 mile reminders weren’t aggravating enough, I had a little more aggravation. Some big headed racer comes barreling down this narrow path announcing to all within earshot “RUNNER COMING THROUGH!!!” I was putting my eyes back in my head from them bugging out in shock so I didn’t get a chance to tell her that we were all runners… that and I was really tired. Whatever . I could hear the announcer screaming something so I knew the finish line was near. I tried valiantly to look enthusiastic as I raised my hands for a Moto Photo photographer at mile 9. I will always say that my children and the finish line of any race are the most beautiful things on earth. This finish line was no different, but I swear it kept moving farther down the street. I again tried to look like an accomplished race finisher for the photographers with my hands in the air, of course.

This course was different. No spectators for most of the course. It was peaceful for the most part. Chicago was looking like a jewel with its sparkling buildings, shimmering lakefront, and colorful trees. I’m still in awe when I look ahead seeing thousands of heads bobbing up and down almost in unison. I’m most happy when I meet up with friends at the end. Yes, they are usually all waiting for me to finish as the caboose of our little group. I’m thankful that someone is always waiting. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet up with everyone I planned on seeing because it was too damn cold for early finishers to wait around, but I heard all had success . Today I got the pleasure of not only meeting my Team 40/10 members and their families, but also some of my fantastic clients. My running girls Becky, Renee and Kelli all rocked their respective races and made me so proud. They all looked beautiful post race and were already planning their next races. *Sigh* I love my job and my girls. Team 40/10 was chatty and laughing like we always are after an event. The chocolate fondue at the end was delish, but post race hugs were really the sweetest end to today’s race. I know it’s sappy but I’m pretty blessed to get to do this with some really fantastic people.

Until next time…Live Well, Toni Kuhel

My Running Girls!


One thought on “The run for chocolate – 2010 Hot Chocolate 15K

  1. You should write for SI! This had me on the edge of my seat and I felt I was in the race with you. Another great writing and running accomplishment, Toni.

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