Month: January 2016

SAN FRANCISCO HOT CHOCOLATE 15K, 1-10-16

HC 2016

I’m late with my race report. It’s been a busy week. I’ve been studying as much as I can AND running AND going to the gym AND getting to bed at a decent time AND eating right. So, it’s late.

On my way home from the race expo, which is in the suburb of South San Francisco and not easy to get to without a car, I had decided this would be my last Hot Chocolate race. The jacket this year was just OK, not nearly as nice as last year and the expo itself was disappointing. There were so many people who seemed more excited about free samples than getting in shape that it seemed more like one of those “fun runs” than a race.

Hot Chocolate 1-10-16

Pre-race in Golden Gate Park

I have nothing against “fun runs”. I think it’s great people want to get out and walk. It’s better than sitting on the couch. But I’m a running. I’m trying to better myself with each race I do. It’s fun, sure, but it’s also a chance for me to PR or go farther than I ever have. Races to me are serious affairs. I enjoy myself, but I am also competitive. Mostly with myself, true, but I want to always do better than I have previously if I can.

The Hot Chocolate expos are usually quite sparse. They have very few vendors and the ones that give away samples are usually over crowded. In fact, at the Lara Bar booth, I nearly got pushed out of the way by a few people. This one guy tried to push me to get ahead of me in line and I stopped him. How rude can people get!

The next morning, I got to the race too early, as usual. I tend to do that at races. So I hung out at the merch tent, huddled with others, trying to stay warm, until they kicked us out. I met some really nice runners, including a couple of marathon runners and I felt more a part of this race.

Hot Chocolate Goodies 2016

Race Goodies and Buster

What made me feel sort of separated to begin with was this year the race directors tried something new. If a runner wanted to be in a starting corral other than just the general, mass one, they needed to show proof of an average pace per mile in a race faster than 12:30 minutes. Since that was my time in my part races (or a little slower), I couldn’t, so I got stuck in a corral with walkers and woggers (runners/walkers). The corral said “No Walkers”, but I don’t think many walkers pay attention to that, to be honest.

Let me just say that I think it’s great people want to be active and go do something, as I’ve said, and I hold nothing against walkers, but it creates problems for runners when these walkers are placed in the same corral or above runners because they we have to run around them, wasting valuable energy.

Hot Chocolate 2016

Love the medal

When the race started, I realized I was running at a faster pace than I had planned. But it felt good! So I kept up this faster pace for the rest of the race. I PR’d my last time by 6 minutes! I love the course. It starts in Golden Gate Park near Stowe Lake, winds through the park to Ocean Beach, going south on the Great Highway to Sloat and back up, through the park, uphill, ending on JFK near the deYoung Museum. It’s pretty level, except for the very gradual up and down hills that if you forget about, will get you.

I’ve decided that I will do the race again next year. With this faster time, I can get into a better corral. And maybe I can PR again.

Cheers!

FIRST RUN OF 2016

Buster 1-1-16

Buster in Golden Gate Park

It was one of the coldest tuns of my life, but this morning’s run was also the first one of the new year. So many possibilities for this Leap Year, so much ahead!

I bundled up in a long sleeved running shirt, Under Armor running tights, hat and gloves, but still felt cold to the bone. Instead of staying up until midnight on New Year’s Eve, I went to bed early and was up just before 5 am. I don’t drink and I’m not much of a fan of celebrating the new year anyway. It’s much more fun for me to be up and out early, even in the cold, to get a run in.

Ice on puddle 1-1-16

Icy puddle

There were only a few other early runners and walkers out as the sun peeked sleepily through the trees. It was the perfect morning to be a live, running, enjoying my run, I even enjoyed the cold while I ran.

I have big goals for this year. I reached most of the goals I set for myself last year, only a couple fell short. I got to New York City to see my beloved Rangers and visited the greatest city in the US, I ran my first marathon in 28 years; those were two huge goals I accomplished in 2015.

1-1-16

It’s cold, do I look cold?? 

For 2016, I have a few things I want to complete.

  • Lose 20 pounds and stay healthy
  • Run 3 marathons
  • Pass my CPT exam and move forward with my career
  • Save money

Those are my goals. I know I can move closer towards them.

Cheers!

PS: If you’re wondering what or who the little feline guy is at the top of the page, that’s Buster. He’s my running mascot. I found him on a run, took a picture, shared it on Facebook and then my friends wanted to see more pictures of him. So, you’ll see more pictures of him. If you have Instagram, he has his own account: @busterrunstheworld and you can follow me at: @Martha_Runs_SF