As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…..more running for chocolate! It all started because I thought I was on to something; if I took Wrigley for a run, then he would be exhausted. It turns out that the joke was on me. Exercising him hasn’t made him tired. It has only built up his endurance. This animal is like the Energizer Bunny. After eight years of going for a run, this guy just keeps going, and going, and going, and going.
This summer, my old man met his match. We had a standing running date with my gal pal Maria and her 18 month old Chocolate Lab, Tagg. It was the best summer ever; Wrigley was exhausted! As a total bonus, Maria invited me to join her, and our friend Jess-a, to run in Chicago’s Hot Chocolate ~ 15K.
In my entire life, I have only competed in two races. Six and Seven years ago, Nick and I ran in a 10K to benefit the animals, and that was a looooong time ago. As far as I’m concerned, 9.3 miles is practically a marathon. What was I getting myself into?
Every week Maria, Jess-a and I would meet to run; on the path, on the street, through the park, around the neighborhood. It was awesome. Normally, I’m dragging a nearly 100lb animal down the street (I’ve since diagnosed myself with the need for rotator cuff surgery as a result) with my headphones nestled in my ears, listening to my favorite tunes on my I-Pod. As a rule, the only other people I ever run with are Nick and Amanda.
Training with Maria and Jess-a was an amazing experience. While I love the time I spend running with my baby, I absolutely loved training with the girls. It’ so much more gratifying (and way less expensive) than therapy!
Never having been to a race that was kind of a big deal, I was excited to be downtown Chicago with all of the runners, spectators and chocolate. There were people readying their endorphins everywhere. In fact, we were so pumped, there was even big, big talk about running a half marathon before we even crossed the starting lime.
And, we were off; running through the streets of Chicago, with the promise of hot chocolate and fondue at the finish line. We did what we always do, making the time fly by while chatting and laughing all the way. I didn’t know what to think when we passed the 3 mile mark. On one hand, we were 1/3 of the way finished, but on the other hand, WE WERE ONLY 1/3 OF THE WAY FINISHED.
After we made it past the United Center, I knew we were half way done. When we clipped past the 6 mile marker, I was feeling pretty good. By the time we got past the 8 mile marker, I was starting to think I’d never make it. We still had over a mile to go. With half a mile left, I asked the girls to please, please, please tell a story to make it go faster. Jess-s a suggested the alphabet memory game, “I’m going to grandmas house and I’m bringing….an apple, a bottle of wine, chocolate, a dog, an elephant, a helicopter, etc.” The closer we got, the naughtier the things we were bringing to grandmas got, which we shouted as we made our way to the finish line.
As if in slow motion, we finally crossed the finish live, where, as promised, they were handing out Ghirardelli chocolate. It was a little slice of Heaven. While the chocolate was certainly an incentive, the best part of the whole experience was bonding with my girlfriends.
More running, more training, more chocolate, more beautiful friendships……..
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