My first 15k


Yesterday, I ran further than I have ever run before: 15k (9.6mi). Today, my legs feel sore and stiff, as if I am walking around on knees made up of chipped pallasite.

Miles vs. Date

I trained for two months, but as you can see from the above chart, I only ran past the 7-mile range once.


I can make all sorts of excuses as to why I didn’t train more, but a significant reason for it was pain. After about 5 miles, I began to feel significant pain where the (medial|lateral) collateral ligaments met the fibula. This pain would last for days after a run. Running the actual Hot Chocolate 15k was no exception.

The starting line

The day of the run was compatively smooth. The starting line was only a 20-minute walk away, so I went directly in without checking any gear. Once at the starting point, the line was divided up in groups based on the expected lap time we signed up with: 12:00/mile pace, in my case. 14-minutes after the first group left, ours did as well.

The famous windmills of Golden Gate Park

The actual run didn’t cover any new ground for me, as Golden Gate Park has been my stomping ground for cycling and running for the last 10 years. The weather was a perfect 55’F (13’C), and the sun was out. Roughly every 3 miles there was a rest stop with water, gummy bears, marshmellows, and best of all: bathrooms!

Runners coming and going along Ocean Beach

The detour down the Great Highway toward the Zoo gave us a glimpse of the ocean, albeit buried behind the sand dunes:

Tom and I on the Great Highway

At the 7-mile mark, I began to feel tired - like I really had to push myself up the hill to go on. At the 8-mile mark, I was tired, but everything was autopilot.

Tom, Little Bird, and myself

At 9-miles, some familiar folks were waving to me: my wife & kids! It wasn’t difficult to coax the youngest to run the final 0.6mi (1km) to the fininsh line with me.

So, why did I run? I blame my good friend and long-time cycling partner, Tom. He’s been running the Hot Chocolate for 7 years now. He had previously coaxed me into it 5 years ago, but unfortunately I broke my foot a few weeks ahead of the actual run.

Would I recommend the Hot Chocolate Run? Most definitely. The experience certainly has me thinking about the viability of running a Half Marathon later this year.

Tom and I, as the adrenaline wears down

Special thanks to Tom Kocon & Peter van Vugt for all the peer pressure and training.

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