Brrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10k Race Recap

When I signed up for the Brrrooklyn Hot Chocolate 10k about a month ago, I knew I wasn’t going to be in peak shape, but I figured it would 1) get me out of bed on a cold winter morning 2) give me a good workout/fitness predictor. And let’s be honest, if I always waited to be completely in shape, for the perfect weather, for a flat course…I’m pretty sure I would never race. I think that sometimes you just have to see where you are and give everything you’ve got on that particular day. Anyway, the race has sort of been on the back burner this week, so the realization that I was going to be racing a 10k didn’t really set in until I picked up by bib number on Friday night. My legs were feeling pretty good and I was able to get in bed by 11pm ish, but unfortunately this week hasn’t been the greatest for sleeping. I guess I have a lot on my mind and so insomnia has made an appearance. 5-6 hours of sleep just isn’t cutting it for a girl who needs 8.

I finally dragged myself out of bed a little before 7am this morning giving me less than an hour to drink coffee, eat a few bites of luna bar, get dressed, and warm-up 2.1 miles to the race. Thankfully I wasn’t checking a bag because I was cutting things pretty close. I definitely could have used some more time in the bathroom, ahem. But I got myself to the starting line and all was going according to plan until they announced the timing mats weren’t working and there wouldn’t be any timing. Um, what?? I got myself out of bed before 7am on a Saturday and paid $20 for a “fun run”?? Meh. I was not pleased, but these things happen I guess. I must say though…it’s a little difficult to stay in race mode, when you know you won’t be timed. I decided to just see what happened and try to get in a good workout. I never, ever wear Garmins during races, but for some reason I made the last minute decision to bring mine to the park and in retrospect, I’m really glad I did. There was only one clock (at the finish line) and the mile markers were small and hand drawn (I think?), so it was nice to know what pace I was running. The first couple miles were okay and I ran with Susan for a bit (yay!), but the second time we ran the big hill I sort of thought I might puke. Things improved by miles 4 and 5 (which were mostly downhill) and I just tried to find a rhythm and pass some people in the final miles. My stomach started rebelling around mile 5.5 and instead of a countdown to the finish line, it became a countdown to the porta potties. TMI? You’re welcome. The good news? I made it to the finish line with out embarrassing myself, either with bathroom issues OR a horrendously slow time.

According to my watch: 10k/6.21 miles in 42:30 (6:50 pace)

The good news? That’s only 2 seconds off my PR, not too shabby considering I probably raced at about 90% effort. The fact that it wasn’t an “official race” was sort of demoralizing and it definitely messed with my motivation a bit.

The bad news? Umm…6:50 pace should be my half-marathon pace, NOT my 10k pace. Yeahhh. Either I have one “race pace” or I need to start doing more workouts. Probably the latter.

But in any case, it was a good effort. I give myself a B+. I made friends with the nearest porta-potty, sipped on some hot chocolate, and then powered on for another 6.7 miles. The weather was beautiful and I have plans to go out tonight, so adding on miles to make it a long run seemed like the best option. The remaining miles were sort of uneventful. The three cool-down miles immediately after the race were super slow (and awesome!!) and then I resumed regular long run pace.

Ta-da! My first 15-miler of Boston training. Blue highlighted ares = race

I’m at about 51 miles for the week right now, so if I can run 8 or 9 tomorrow, I’ll come close to 60 miles. I guess this whole marathon training thing has begun, huh?

In case anyone is curious about what I ate post-race/15-miler, it’s not that exciting. I do have plans to celebrate with ample hills ice cream + beer tonight though.

Hot chocolate in my race mug. Fact: I drink so much hot chocolate that I just bought a costco size can of whipped cream. The container has 66 servings…I predict it will last 10 days. Maybe.

Sometimes I eat healthy things like oatmeal with blueberries, apple, and peanut butter. I like oatmeal, but since I can barely get myself to work on time as it is, it’s more of a weekend thing.

Some things I am loving this week:

1) The running shoe pile by my front door. It keeps multiplying. I’m testing some shoes for Women’s Running Magazine (Newton Motion Stable Performance and NB Minimus) and I the shoes are bright neon colors. I like this.  Still not sure how they’ll do on the road though…..stay tuned.

2) My new Target sports bra. Confession: I bought this out of desperation. I really need to do laundry. However, it’s an awesome sports bra – it reminds me of my Nike compression sports bra that I probably paid twice as much for.

3) The Girl Scout Council of Nassau County offered to give me a sneak peak at this year’s new cookie flavor: Savannah Smiles. Free cookies? Yes, please! I was a girl scout from age 4 through 18 (yes, you can be a girl scout all the way through senior year of high school!), so the organization has a special place in my heart. I also really love cookies. Have I mentioned that?

Are these the healthiest thing on the planet? No, but duh, were you expecting them to be? They are cookies. However, they don’t have any hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup, so points for that. And how do they taste? Lemony, crispy, and dusted with powdered sugar. I liked them! I don’t think the lemon flavor would mix very well with coffee, but they made a nice accompaniment to an afternoon cup of green tea.

Have you ever had a race turned into a “fun run”? Did you race it anyway? Tempo it? Go home and go back to bed (I really wanted to do that)….

  • Are you going to do the (free to us) Manhattan Hot Chocolate next weekend?

    Great to see you post-race, and nice job going back out there for more miles – brunch was all I could think about, so I admire your ethic 🙂

  • Robin

    The only race turned “fun run” I think I ever had was the Manhattan Half last weekend … I slept in instead and did a snowy run later. Womp womp.

    Also, I ran by Ample Hills on my LR today and after reading your rave reviews, I was soooo tempted to throw in the towel on the run and just eat some ice cream instead (because running and eating ice cream accomplish the same thing…in my dreams).  Alas, I’ll have to go another time!

    Awesome 10k time!  I know it’s not where you want to be right now, but that is a stellar pace for 6.2 miles. I’ll take it 😉

  • I haven’t raced enough to have had that experience but I can bet it would be annoying. It’s great that you pushed yourself through it, and 6:50 minute miles is pretty impressive! 
    I also LOVE girl scout cookies. The girl scout troop in the neighborhood where my college is sells them on the street corner near the library right around midterms season. It’s a terrific marketing strategy. I think I ate about a box of samoas per econ problem set last spring. 

  • Nice race despite the stomach issues! Sucks when you don’t get what you paid for– I was pissed about my short 5K (turned out it was actually 2.8 miles) last week when I paid $33 to run it.

    I found the same sports bra in hot pink on the clearance rack for $7! I wore it during the Houston Marathon. I <3 Target.

  • Anonymous

    ugh id be so sad if a race i signed up for didnt have a timing mat. i’d probably still try to do it anyways. knowing me i’d probably do better since i tend to perform better in workouts when the pressure is off….

    good job still putting forth a good effort!

    yum! girl scout cookies! my favorite will always be thin mints.

  • Yeah, I was a bit bummed about waking up early to trek to Brooklyn to just do a “fun run”…that I think was a PR!  Boo.  It was fun to run with you for a few miles, however, that hill is NOT fun.

    Favorite quote of the day, “I think I need a bathroom….now.  I’ll be back.”

    Thumbs up for a mug as a race souvenir.  I’m a fan.  

    Target definitely has some awesome workout gear that’s cheap too…their sports bras are some of my favorites and I love the fact that they’re not $40/each.

  • Anonymous

    i hate that damn hill, but maybe if i run up it enough, it will prepare me for Heartbreak Hill on April 16 (omg)…

  • Anonymous

    I saw Carla at bib pick up and post race 🙂 🙂 You’ll be in town next weekend, right?

  • Anonymous

    When I was studying abroad (and a little homesick), my mom sent me a box of thin mints and a box of samoas….i won’t even tell you how long they lasted. (not long at all!)

  • Anonymous

    oh man, i don’t think i’m up for a 10k two weekends in a row. 6.2 miles is one of my least favorite race differences haha. i bet next week will be flat though!

  • Anonymous

    when the weather gets warmer, i think you should do a long run that ends at ample hills. and give me a call 🙂

  • Yes! Weekend is pretty packed but I’ll be there through Thursday morning (2/9) if you want to meet up. I’m up for running or coffee-ing. 🙂

  • I was a girl scout, too! Only until the 9th grade, though.

  • but, tell us, of that pile, which pair of shoes is your favorite?!?

    I’ve never had a race turned into a fun run but odds are I’d probably still try — well, I guess it would depend on the day as there are some races I’ve given up in — eg: mini 10k last year — too damn hot and humid, I was mentally dunzo at the 5K point

  • Anonymous

    ooh, I almost signed up for that race but kind of glad I didn’t due to the “fun run” aspect. A few of the races I’ve signed up for have been canceled because of weather, but not turned into a fun run. If they had, I think I’d try to race it or at least tempo it! Why not? Nice racing AND long running! Hope you guys had fun last night!

  • Margot H

    Nice job on the 10k!  Even at your not-best youre an awesome racer!  
    But my bigger question is….since you have the inside to the Girl Scout organization, perhaps you can tell me when I’ll be able to purchase those drops of lemony deliciousness myself?

  • Nice race!!! I had to buy socks the other day because I haven’t done laundry for so long!!! And my socks seem to disappear and never make it home from the gym.  

  • Anonymous

    hmm, i think if you go to the girl scouts website you can find nearby troops that are selling cookies.

  • Yep, several NYRR races (including last week’s manhattan half!) turned into fun runs.  I bailed on them all except the More/Fitness Half in 2009-I was supposed to be a pacer for the 4:00 marathon group before they canceled the full and turned the half into a fun run.  I had to get a run in anyway…but boy lotsa peeps were pissed (apparently the communications regarding the cancelation were poor)

  • Nice job on your race! I love that they have hot chocolate cups as post race prizes.  What a perfect cold day post-race beverage.

  • Jason Drury

    My eight year old daughter is a girl scout and I am a girl scout dad 🙂 I feel girl scouts is one of the best things a young girl can get involved in. I am really impressed by the material they are taught at the meetings. I was curious how long you could be a girl scout for (I never heard of the girl scout equivalent of an eagle scout), so thanks for answering that question. You have a great blog, keep up the good work and take care!

  • Anonymous

    Aw, thanks! I think that the Girl Scout equivalent of the Eagle Scout is the Gold Award: http://www.girlscouts.org/program/highest_awards/gold_award.asp

    Tell your daughter to keep at it! 🙂

  • The shoes all look so cool!  I love the bright colors.

  • Nice job with your total mileage and pace on Saturday!! It would have been pretty tough for me to race once realizing it wasn’t timed!
    Also, super jealous you are trying out Newton’s. I have wanted to pick some up but they’re so damn expensive for some reason. Curious to see what you think.
    Also, super jealous about your cookies! I love lemony/fruity cookies. Thats great they don’t have HFCS – I find myself reading almost every single packaged food box these days to see if it contains HFCS – it’s amazing where that stuff lurks – even in “healthy foods.”
    Okay I’m done with my rant. 🙂 Enjoy your cookies.

  • brian

    i want to do a hot chocolate run! philly needs one! that’s awesome you get to test out new shoes and (more importantly?) COOKIES.

  • PHL hot chocolate run!! Agreed!

  • ChrisCareyIrl

    I once turned up for a festive 10K race shortly before Christmas. Due to some icy conditions on a sheltered downhill section, the race had to be reduced to 9K. There were plenty of scrooge-like grumblings upon the announcement from the less jolly of the participants but I was happy in the knowledge that I was just about to record my 9K PB, no matter what the time! (No hot chocolate afterwardsm, which would have been nice!)