Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 5k (Plus Some Monday Motivation From My Husband!)

Hi everyone! I had such an exciting weekend! It started out on Friday with volunteering at the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k packet pickup (which you can read about tomorrow!), some new running shoes (you can also read about that tomorrow, yay!), and finished with the Hot Chocolate 5k on Sunday morning! Since I was working packet pickup, I have only good things to say about it 🙂 For real though, it was super fast and easy! RAM Racing opted to do packet pickup from Thursday-Saturday at Philadelphia Runner in University City and Friday-Saturday at Philadelphia Runner at Glen Mills (out in the suburbs) instead of one big expo in Center City. I loved this plan because the Philadelphia Runner in Glen Mills has a parking lot and is in the same shopping center as a Whole Foods, so it was worth the trip! There were 10,000 people running the races on Sunday, so the bibs were assigned by corral based on finishing time and everything was done electronically to make it fast and easy for race participants (and volunteers!). The race swag is seriously awesome and I will definitely be using it again! The moisture-wicking hoodie fit perfectly, and if you put in a code during registration you got a free travel mug too!  It says, “Will run for:  Chocolate” in each check box!


Now came the tough part: waking up at 5:30 for the race! The 5k started at 7:15 and I knew from the crowd of 10,000 people at last week’s race in the exact same spot that we would have to get there early for parking, so we had to leave the house at 6:15. And even though the weather has been getting warmer, it was in the 30s that early in the morning. I was cold!

20140407-001505.jpgCold at the start line!

I had somehow scored a spot in corral B based on my estimated finishing time of about 30 minutes. This made me crazy nervous and I really felt the need to try to PR during this race. There were just 3 little problems: I had a pretty ambitions 5k time to overcome (28:41), I hate running on MLK drive, and I just ran a half marathon last weekend and hadn’t run since! Plus all day Saturday I’d felt awful and had pretty bad stomach pain, so I wasn’t feeling my best. Even so, I decided to push myself to see what would happen. The course was pretty crowded the entire time so I had to do a lot of weaving in the first half of the race. It was a pretty typical Philly 5k course on MLK Drive with the finish line at the Art Museum. Like I said earlier, me and this race course don’t really get along (my last 2 5ks here were miserable and definitely not PRs) but it does have pretty views of Boathouse Row and the Art Museum along the river. During the second half of the race my stomach started hurting like crazy and I let it mentally get to me. I just felt like giving up during mile 3 and was actually nervous I was going to throw up if I tried to speed up. I really couldn’t push myself at the end, which led to this finish line picture from Andrew where I look like I’m about to fall over!


After crossing the finish line I really felt sick but decided to push through it and get my finisher’s mug! There was not only the greatest hot chocolate I’ve ever had at a race, but chocolate fondue with marshmallows, pretzels, graham crackers, and a banana to dip in it!


We sat down on the stairs for a bit so I could get started, but my stomach hurt so bad that we decided to leave right away. I definitely had a stomach ache all day and was pretty miserable. But I felt a whole lot worse when I saw this:


Seriously! Two seconds away from getting under 30 minutes?!?! I have only done one 5k that was under 30 minutes and all my other ones have been crazy close, but 30:01 is just ridiculous! I was just so frustrated that I started crying when I saw my results. And then my awesome husband saved the day with some early Monday Motivation for me! He reminded me that the last time I ran it was 13.1 miles in the freezing rain, so it was okay to be a bit slower than expected during this race. He also reminded me that after my first half marathon it hurt to run for about 2 weeks, but I’d been able to recover much better despite running faster! He also said that there will be many other 5ks in my life so it’s okay if I don’t PR right now while I’m working on running longer distances. He made me feel so much better! Plus, I discovered that even with my not-so-fast finish time I was still in the top 21% of 5k finishers! That’s actually my best race placement ever so at least I have one thing to celebrate!

So what did I think about the Hot Chocolate 5k?


What I liked:

  • The race swag! It’s stuff that I will actually use again and it’s really cute!
  • The corrals based on anticipated finish time. Even though I had to weave around people, I knew that no one would be walking (in fact, the corrals at the beginning said “No walkers” on them) and I knew that people were able to line up correctly.
  • Even though I haven’t had the best experiences on this 5k course, I do have to say that it’s pretty flat and scenic!
  • The finisher’s mug was amazing! Everything tasted so good and it was nice to have something warm after running in the cold!
  • Everyone seemed to be having a great time and I could tell how much everyone loved chocolate! It definitely wasn’t a super serious race and it was a great race for first timers!

What I didn’t like:

  • The early start time. I know they had to do it, but I hated having to get up so early especially because I knew it wouldn’t be warm by the time the race started.
  • It’s a bit pricy for a 5k if you don’t sign up right away.  Luckily I got to run this race for free due to a race entry giveaway!  But I would sign up for this race only if the price hadn’t increased at all because the people who signed up last minute definitely had to pay a lot!

As you can tell, there’s not much to dislike about this race! It’s been traveling all over the country throughout the winter and should be coming to a city near you soon! If it does you definitely need to sign up because the swag and post race food are amazing!

Have you ever missed a goal time by only 2 seconds? If you’re used to running long distances do you struggle with running faster 5ks? Have you ever run a chocolate themed race?









19 thoughts on “Race Recap: Hot Chocolate 5k (Plus Some Monday Motivation From My Husband!)

  1. AAGGHH – you were SO close 🙂 That is some SERIOUS motivation though for your next run!!! And that race looks like a lot of fun. I’m not a huge chocolate fan…but my hubby would die for the swag. haha.

    1. I know 😦 At least I didn’t miss it by only 1 second, right? As the #1 biggest chocolate fan on earth I loved this race, but I wouldn’t run it if I didn’t love chocolate! You should tell your husband about it!

    1. Yeah if I had to drive far to get to it it would have been awful! The start times are just too early!

  2. Your husband is so right…try not to be discouraged by that one second. You had a great race, especially for coming off a half marathon the week before. I get your frustration, though…can’t deny it! 🙂

    1. Thanks! Part of me feels silly being so upset about it, but the other part is like “seriously 2 seconds?!?!” Ugh! I hope I can redeem myself soon!

  3. Yes I have missed a goal time by seconds! It’s the worst. I kept thinking if only I’d pushed a little harder but in all honesty, you did amazing and I’d be pretty proud of a 30 minute time. The race swag and post race food look delicious

    1. Thanks! I hate finishing that close to a goal but I know I didn’t have those 2 seconds left in me. And I wasn’t about to puke in front of all those people, they probably wouldn’t have let me eat chocolate and you know that was the only part of the race I was excited about!

  4. Ugh, I feel for you! My 5k PR is 26:02, meaning I’m missing breaking into the 25 minute range by only 3 seconds. It makes me crazy! Congrats a great race. Don’t sweat the time, we all have off days and off races. If they were all perfect then there wouldn’t be any excitement going into a race.

    1. Truth! I kept saying over and over that I was so happy that this race was my off race and not the Love Run Half! I’d rather have an awesome half marathon than an awesome 5k! And that’s definitely a tough PR to beat but I know you’ll be able to do it!

  5. I missed a school record in high school by 0.3 seconds! But this race looks like it was awesome, and the swag is pretty cool too 🙂 congrats to you for racing back to back weekends!!

    1. Ugh that is rough! I guess I’m not the only one with this problem! Running for time is so stressful, I’m kind of looking forward to a break from racing for the first few months in Alaska!

  6. I’ve never run a chocolate 5k but I really want to, sounds fun. 🙂 You did great! Don’t be disappointed by your finish, you will crush it next time! I missed my goal pace in my last 5k by 3 seconds, or course that put my overall time off by more than two seconds but I was bummed about the pace time still. I have only done 5ks recently but I am running a 7.4 this weekend! 🙂

    1. I can’t believe how many people have missed their goals by only a few seconds! It’s so not fair! And good luck in your 7.4 this weekend!

  7. Sounds like a fun morning and you were so close to your goal – I think you did great! I’m actually running the Hot Chocolate 5k in Minneapolis in a few weeks so reading this post makes me extra excited for the race. Can’t wait to get a chocolate mug of my own 🙂

    1. Awesome! The food was seriously good. I kind of want to know what type of chocolate fondue they used so I can buy some! Have fun!

  8. Congrats on the finish! I would LOVE to run a sub-30 one day, fun to meet fellow bloggers will similar time goals 🙂 The Hot Chocolate events look fun and yummy! I wish they had one in the DC area.

    1. Thanks! Yeah I’ve had this goal forever and I only beat it once so far and most of my other 5k times are only seconds away from beating it. I think I might actually have to start speed training or something because I can’t seem to break 30 minutes!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s