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Hot Chocolate 15K: Dipping into the fun of the run

Running goals are up to the individual runner, of course. Some seek out BQs, fast times or podium finishes. Others set goals like running a full or marathon in all 50 states. And still others are out for the fun of running and racing.

As a competitive person, I fall into the first category. At least for now — I know at some point I won't be able to set PRs or run as fast as I can now. And that's OK. At that point I will likely seek out more experiences when it comes to running, like doing races in different places or completing different challenges.

Even now, I need a break from time to time when it comes to pushing hard. That was among the reasons why I inserted a couple of Hot Chocolate 15Ks into my race calendar. Earlier, I detailed 10 reasons why runners should consider one of the Hot Chocolate races.

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Hot Chocolate St. Louis race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro ambassador, and check out to review find and write race reviews!

You can sign up to run the 15K or 5K in St. Louis at this link. Those who use my special code when signing up receive a free bonus hat. Use code: "BibRaveHCSTL17."

At the St. Louis race, I will be in for the fun of the run. I need a break both mentally and physically. The following week I will run the Mount Dora half marathon, where I will try to PR once again. In St. Louis, I don't want to run too hard to affect my chances of ending the year with a PR.

As far as the mental game goes, I will focus on the 15K as an easy training run. I will need to remind myself not to get worked up when people pass me — Note to self: It's cool. You are not racing. By going out for a 9.3-mile easy run, I will set myself up for success the following week both mentally and physically.

And no matter what happens, I am virtually guaranteed a PR at what will be a new race distance for me.

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