Post Race Reflections | Hot Chocolate 15k Race CHICAGO

Posted On By keena

Yesterday I did something for myself that I am proud of! A few months ago, I committed myself to running my first race. I wanted to do something that was challenging and that would push me outside of my comfort zone. Just the sheer fact of knowing that I would have to buckle down and train, which meant changing up my ever-so busy schedule, was exhausting to me.

All the way up until race day I was literally trying to talk myself out of doing it. I was worried that I didn’t train enough or that the rain that was in the forecast was going to make it impossible for me finish the race. Every little detail I analyzed just to have an excuse as to why I shouldn’t be doing something that I had no experience doing what so ever.

RACE DAY CAME AND BOY WAS I NERVOUS AF

Fanny pack. check. Gloves. check. Poncho. check. Fanny pack. check. Gloves. check. Poncho. check. Fanny pack. check. Gloves. check. Poncho. check. I literally tripled checked myself to be sure I was prepared and had everything I needed.

Luckily I wasn’t alone as I got to run the race with several of my co-workers BUT my co-workers had run a few races before so this wasn’t their first rodeo. We line up just before our corral time so we ended up a little bit behind but we end up catching up. The blast goes off and I am already out of breathe. All the excitement of rushing to get to the corral (that included hoping a fence) took out the little bit of energy I had to start off the race.

My immediate thought was “I’ve been training for months! Why am I so out of shape!?!?” Now I’m power walking my way on Lower Wacker, telling myself that I made a horrible mistake by signing up.

Tired and exhausted…but still pushing through!

I hit the 2 mile mark and it already felt like the end was near for me. I got to the part of the course where the 5k and 15k runners separate to their respective courses and every inch of my body wanted to give up, turn the corner and just end it with the 5k.

But something in my spirit just would not allow me to do that. The purpose of me running the 15K was to prove to myself that I can make it the top of the mountain and I was going to do just that. I kept telling myself to keep going, don’t stop and see this Goliath through to the finish line.

Once I changed my mindset, the race became much easier for me. Though the weather conditions made it physically tough (the rain was starting to come down and that high wind was ROUGH), what was truly slowing me down was my attitude and I acknowledged that.

By mile 7 I was high spirits and I was able to actualize that I was going to be able to finish the race.

The rain at this point was coming down much harder but I didn’t complain…I just busted out my poncho and kept it moving. I was so close to the finish line and I could literally TASTE the victory ahead. The last bit of the course had us running uphill and that was absolutely HELL on my legs at this point. My nose was running and my hands were starting to swell. Everything in me wanted to just STOP and take a break but I knew I could not do that because if I did…it would be difficult for me to get back going again.

Just before crossing the finish line!

Like the energizer bunny, I just kept going and going and going. My legs felt like jelly at this point and my power walk wasn’t so powerful anymore. Eventually…I saw the finish the line and this hell that I willingly sign up would be officially over.

I learned so many lessons about myself (and my body lol) participating in this race. I’m not a huge fan of chocolate so that was never a motivating factor for me. I truly did this race to challenge myself in a way that I have never challenged myself before. Strength, will power, dedication…all of that was tested over these last few months and THANKFULLY I didn’t lose a limb in the process

Overall, my first race experience is one that I will never forget and I can’t wait to do another one! I brought home the gold and chocolate!

I did it! Here with my Finisher’s Mug and Medal.

 

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