My mom and I walked the Hot Chocolate 5K this past weekend in C-bus. When we were down for the Columbus Marathon, I offered up a challenge. I wanted to do this race anyway, and I said to my mom that if she walked it with me, I would pay for her race entry. She agreed, and just like that, my mom was registered for her first 5K!
I started the day with Raymond. This was the first Saturday morning we spent together since August, so we went to breakfast at Cracker Barrel. I, of course, ordered way more food than I needed, but I (kinda) justified it by saying that I was carb loading.
My mom arrived a little after 1pm, and we were off! The ride to Columbus was quick, and we had a great time yapping the entire way. I discovered the wonders of navigation on my phone, and we needed it to maneuver around downtown. We had a little trouble finding our way to the Convention Center, mainly because I was confused as to whether or not it was the same one as the Columbus Marathon, but we made it! We walk in, go up the escalator, and freeze. It looked like we walked right into a Dancing With the Stars episode!!! Dance gowns, shoes, jewelry, you name it, it was there. Mom and I used this opportunity to channel our inner Julianne Hough.
We walk a little farther in the Convention Center and see this sign. Are we even in the right place?!
Finally, we know we are on the right track.
We get in line, receive our race bibs, and then proceed to jacket pickup. The Hot Chocolate races are nice because instead of a shirt, you get a windbreaker jacket. How cool is that?
After packet pick-up, we grab dinner at Bob Evans before heading to my brother’s house. Stevie and Tracy let us stay at their place, and it was so nice to visit with them without worrying what my kids are going to break in their nice house. We drove through Easton to see the Christmas light and did a little shopping.
We went to one of the greatest stores ever, Shoppers World! It’s basically in the ghetto, surrounded by dollar stores and used tire places, but the deals are incredible. We finished up the night with trips to Marshall’s and Meijer before heading home.
Race morning came pretty early on Sunday, mostly because I stayed up until after 2am visiting with Stevie and Tracy. Mom and I get up, get ready, and are out the door by 6:45am. I was a little worried about traffic going into downtown, but it was, for the most part, pretty painless. In downtown, we had to turn down a little side street to find parking because the line to turn into the main parking area was ridiculous. We were cutting it close with time, so we parked the car, shoved money in the box, and set out for the starting line. My mom learned the joys of pre-race bathroom lines, as in they are unbelievable. She decided to hop out of line, and we made our way to the corrals.
We were in the last corral, E, with the walkers. I think my mom got a little worried when she saw a sign that said you needed to keep at least a 15 minute/mile pace. I knew she would have no problem with that. My mom is used to buzzing around like a crazy woman, so I knew she could walk at least that fast.
The race began, and we started our walk. We’re walking along, and all of the sudden, mom starts jogging! My first thought was, “Sweet! My mom is running!” Turns out she was running because the poor lady had to pee so badly. We came upon the Hyatt, and I asked her if she wanted to make a pit-stop. We hopped out of the race and ran inside, emerging a few minutes later to find that the race had passed us by. No worries. We kept on walking and caught up to the group. The best part of being at the back is you are always passing people.
We get to the end, and I tell mom that when you do a race, you need to finish strong. I told her that we get close to the finish, we’re going to start jogging. We start a slow jog a little before mile 3. Mom thinks she can’t do it, but I try to encourage her. I’m sure she was ready to tell me to stuff a sock in it, but she just kept running. We finish the race with a jog and a smile (ok, I know I was smiling, not sure if mom was). I was so proud of her for not walking across the finish line 🙂 Our official time will reflect something different, but I wore my watch and made sure I stopped it for the bathroom break. When you take that time out, we finished under a 14 minute/mile pace. Not too shabby.
We walk to the finishers’ area and get in line for the thing we have been waiting for all morning – the finisher’s mug! The lines are pretty long at this point, but I know chocolate is waiting for me at the end. I was so excited that I think I squealed when I got my mug. It had a cup of hot chocolate, chocolate fondue, and all kinds of delicious things to dip like a rice krispies treat, pretzels, marshmallow, banana, and wafer cookies. I am in heaven! My only complaint was the hot chocolate. We drank some the day before at the expo, and it was delish. The stuff at the race – not so much.
We finish our goodies and get ready to leave. There was just one problem. In our morning haste, mom and I forgot to document where we parked, thus we didn’t know exactly where our car was. It took us under 45 minutes to complete the race but at least 60 to find our car. During that time, mom needed another pit stop for the bathroom and coffee. I told her that she can be a guest author on my blog and do a review of downtown Columbus bathrooms since she saw so many of them this weekend. We must have looked like a bunch of idiots walking up and down both 4th and 3rd Street. FINALLY we found the damn car, and we realized we passed it during our search at least 3 times! We get in the car, start driving to Stevie’s, and could finally laugh about what asses we were. This was a serious blonde moment for both of us. And we weren’t just laughing. This was full-out, laugh-til-you-cry kind of laughing, and despite our parking mishap, we had a great time.
I really enjoyed doing this race with my mom. For one, I combined three things I love – my family, races, and chocolate. Doesn’t get much better than that. Secondly, I got to spend time with my mom. We don’t get that very often, and it reminded me of when I cheered competitively in high school. Mom and I would make the trips to competitions, and that was my time with just her, enjoying something we both loved. Maybe races/walks will be the new cheerleading competitions 🙂