Allstate Hot Chocolate 5K – 11/4/18

“There’s no crying in baseball!” – Tom Hanks

And just like there’s no crying in baseball, there’s no real offseason. Sure, you can tell yourself that you’re ‘off’ because you don’t have anything more on the race schedule. But you’re just lying to yourself…

In order to ensure that you’re ready for the next season, you’ve got offseason training and at least a couple of fun races. It gives you a good benchmark of where you’re at, what you want to work towards and things to work out when there’s not as much pressure.

For me, while true offseason training doesn’t start until tomorrow, it unofficially did today. I added a few fun 5Ks to my 2018 schedule to help me figure out what to work on and serve as pre-season benchmarks.

Race #1 was the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5K in Chicago. With DST, I figured that I’d be fine when I made it to Grant Park. However, when I got to Gant Park, it was still dark. The taxi driver helped to find two amazing people that helped to get me to gear check.

Once I met up with my guide (Keri), we started making it to the corrals for our early start. During that walk, she couldn’t find anyone who could help us. So my solution was to play Marco-Polo with Dave Kappas’s voice. If you’ve raced anything in 2018 (5K, 10K, Half, Marathon or Tri of any kind), there’s a 98.75% chance that Dave has been on the mic. 🙂

After finally making it into the corrals, we were off with the A group. Most of that first mile was in darkness / semi darkness underneath streets/overpasses. While I had to wok for about 30 seconds a couple of times, the first 2 miles went well. Actually, it went really well until we made it to the hill at Roosevelt.

This is a hill that I’ve had to deal with in the past, and it blows. But this time through, I was able to make it about 1/2 way up the roughly 1/4 mile hill before having to walk. This cost me at least 3-4 minutes (did I mention it’s a big hill?), but we finished strong.

And while that hill sucks, I will not be running away from it; or hills in general. I have two Triathlons in 2019 that are extremely hilly. There could be more, as there are new races for 2019. But the point is, that I need to conquer hills better — back to the original point of why these 5Ks are on the schedule.

Big thanks to Achilles Chicago and RAM Racing for all of their help with the race! I’m looking forward to the next race, which should have far less hills.