Run a 5K

Item No. 8 on my list for the 33 Project was “Run a 5K with Jenny,” my wife, who had done both a 5K and an 8K in the previous year; I, on the other hand, hadn’t really done any consistent running since my senior year of high school.

Given that my 33 year started on September 10 and that the race we signed up for, Chicago’s Hot Chocolate Run, was on November 4, I didn’t have much time to train. Fortunately, because I hadn’t been motivated enough to say I wanted to run a marathon or even a half-marathon, it all worked out.

The photos below chronicle our inspiring journey to our post-run breakfast on race day.

"Mediocre at Best" t-shirt from my high school track team

I wore this below my cool guy Nike Dri-FIT shirt; my high school (Greenhills in Ann Arbor, Mich.) track team had them made for our 1997 season, which was my junior year. Our coaches and parents were not amused. We won regionals.

my runner number (9201)

My race number. I looked for significance in 9201 because I’m one of those people. There was none.

Jenny and me before leaving for the race at 5:30 AM

Jenny and me in her parents’ kitchen before heading to downtown Chicago for the race. It was just after 5:30 a.m. Her mom may hate us for being awake to take this picture.

H Corral Sign

This was the sign for our pre-race corral, which is a fancy, livestocky way of saying “The place where you stand around in the cold before running.”

5K crowd

There were literally 10s of thousands of people running in the Hot Chocolate Run this year. This is not all of them being photo-bombed by the Chicago skyline.

Jenny and me in corral

Jenny and me hanging out in Corral H. She had the experience. But I—I was taller.

starting to move--in our neon shoes

Sweet action shot of our neon shoes on the move. My New Balance Minimus 0’s actually did most of the work. For instance, I think I was catching up on my correspondence at this point.

Jenny and me post-race

Here we are post-race in front of that fountain that was in the opening credits of Married With Children. Jenny told me the real name, but I don’t remember it. And I think the Married With Children Memorial Fountain sounds better, anyway.

post-5K breakfast: chocolate chip pancakes and turkey sausage

The real motivation all along: chocolate chip pancakes, turkey sausage, and coffee. Luckily my own scent did not cause me to lose my appetite.


  1. Joseph Liss

    Congrats Ted. My only run at 33 was to try and make it to 34.
    The fountain by the way is “Buckingham Fountain” I think that it is named after the music group, but I am not sure.

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