Monday, November 8, 2010

Nothing Better ... Hot Chocolate & Pumpkin Pie

By Ross Forman

When I got in my car this past Saturday morning, the thermometer said 29 degrees. Yes, a wee bit chilly, but perhaps fitting for a race called the Hot Chocolate 15K.

The temp rose into the 30s by start-time and, heck, three minutes before the start, the sun came out.

Chocolate always brings smiles!

Especially Ghirardelli Chocolate, which was the main sponsor for this annual run along the lakefront near Soldier Field. The Hot Chocolate 15K is best known for its sweet-looking brown (think chocolate) jackets given away to all entrants.

And I must confess, the main reason I registered was, for the jacket. Will admit, though, this year’s hooded jacket wasn’t as nice as past years, at least in my opinion.

As for the race, I used it as a training run for the Honolulu Marathon, which is next on my running slate – on Sunday, Dec. 12. And I changed my race-day strategy, oh, minutes before the start. I just figured, what the heck, I’m gonna try to run the 9.3-mile course a bit faster than I normally would for longer distances.

By the time I finished the Hot Chocolate 15K, about 90 minutes after starting, I was feeling good – and ready for the chocolate fondue dish, with apple and banana slices, pretzels, Rice Krispie treats and more, ready for dipping.

I also downed a cup for hot chocolate – with marshmallows, of course.

After running, and enjoying the chocolate, I raced back to the suburbs to officiate some hockey games. I worked eight games on Saturday and Sunday after the run.

My quads are feeling it, as always.

That leads me to Greater Than, which boasts to be The World’s Greatest Sports Drink, powered by coconut water. Give it a try – I have, others have and it’s good, well worth it.

I’ll go with Greater Than, Cytomax, Gatorade or even more chocolate to reach my goal in Honolulu which, thanks to two trips up Diamondhead, is a very difficult course. This is my third run at the Honolulu Marathon and am confident it will be my best. I’ll be running again with Dell, and I know he’s gonna push me to my Personal Record (PR) … even if he has to pull me. Dan, Richard and others from Chicago are also making the 4,200-mile trek to Hawaii for the
marathon, so that will be fun, and no doubt extra motivation.

Then what? Well, I’m not too sure what 2011 holds for this runner. (Much less 2012, thus my 'song of the month' selection below.) I decided that the Goofy Challenge, which consists of running a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) on Saturday and then a Full Marathon (26.2 miles) the next day in early-January in Orlando was just that, goofy. Or maybe I should just say stupid, crazy, and insane for me to have even thought about it. I’m not doing that, at least not now. Maybe someday, but not in 2011.

So instead I’m looking at spring marathons, or a Half, though not sure where. Perhaps Paris. France, that is. Not the booming metropolis of Paris, Illinois. Yeah, there really is a Paris in Illinois, located in the middle of the state along the Indiana border.

Hope everyone, including my best bud Chuckie, has a pumpkin pie-filled Thanksgiving … with some chocolate, too, of course.


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