Racing in the Rain: Hokie Half-Marathon! (Recipe: The Perfect Chocolate Cake)

Boy, oh, boy did we have a fun-filled, jam-packed weekend!  Including me running my second race ever in the rain!  I am hoping that running an entire half-marathon in the rain will give me gorgeous weather for the NYC Marathon on November 2!  A girl can hope, right?

Friday was a fun day getting ice-cream with my friend and her son after work and hanging out with them until dinner-time.  Then it was home to the puppies followed by an INTENSE thunderstorm while I attempted to frost A’s birthday cake which was a complete disaster.  (I had run out of parchment paper while baking the cake, and Pam with a floured pan just didn’t cut it, and the cake wound up in 5-6 pieces.  Frosting it together didn’t turn out to be an easy task.  But I did my best!)

Then I headed out in the rain to pick up Pyro (a gorgeous red-headed BC) before picking up A at the airport.  My girls (and Pyro!) were excited to see him here!


Saturday we took the 3 girls for a walk around Shelley Lake before meeting K&T at Sola’s for brunch.

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Sola’s has a pop-up market for local artists once a month and Shawn was there displaying her artwork, so we went to support her! You should totally check out her work:  Earth Muffin Studio. A and I got to the counter at 11:08am–they stopped serving breakfast foods at 11am which meant that we went to another local bagel place down the street as we were craving breakfast sandwiches.  But we still had fun catching up with K&T and Shawn before heading out!  Post-breakfast, we made our trek up to Blacksburg for my race!  All pups in tow!

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My friend Jennie and her husband were very gracious hosts taking us all in (she is watching Pyro for the next two weeks, so I was merely transporting her).  They have a gorgeous home and a huge yard and the sweetest, cutest pup ever!

After settling in, we made it to packet pick-up for me to get my race bib and swag:


Followed by dinner at my all-time favorite place:  Macado’s.  We had a fun group gather for dinner, and, as always, we had a blast!  However, I will say I can’t remember the last time I waited so long for a table in my life!  They were understaffed and it was crazy!  But we got our meal and Anthony had his birthday cake.  The cake also had some issues during its travel to Blacksburg and wasn’t in the best condition, but it still tasted good!

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Then it was time for bed so I could get up for my race in the morning.

The weather had been calling for rain, but I was hoping for a drizzle partway through the race to cool us off.  That was not the case.  It rained steadily for the entire race, and it wasn’t just a mist.  I was SOAKED even before the race started!  I am so glad I decided to bring my running sleeves.

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Jennie and Keeper found me before the race to wish me luck!  And they, along with Cheryl and A, surprised me along the course.  Cheryl and A were at miles 6.5 and 10 and the finish!  And Keeper and Jennie were at Mile 13!  It was soo amazing to have their support!  It was definitely a miserable race for spectating!  They were troopers!

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But I finished!  Not quite as fast as I was hoping for, but I also did not have great racing conditions and there were several more hills than I was expecting.  The course would have been beautiful with all the changing leaves if the weather had been nicer.  Maybe next year.  It went along the Huckleberry and through downtown Blacksburg for a majority of the miles.


My official time was 1:49:15.  That is an 8:20 min/mile pace.  I consider it a very successful NYC Marathon training event!  Especially with having so many supporters there!

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I will say I was an ice cube for about 3 hours after the race.  And my sports bra chafed.  A lot.  As in pretty painful even the day after the race.  That’s what you get with cotton.  I have ordered two more sports bras to try (one from Title 9 and one from Lynx Sportwear), but they haven’t arrived yet.  Hopefully, I’ll have a good one by the time I get to NYC!

After a hot shower at Jennie’s, she sent us on our way with hot apple cider as we had to drive straight to the airport for A to catch his flight.  Always going, going, going!

I promptly took a nap when I got home.  Some housecleaning followed along with dinner at Relish with Amanda and Geoff (DELICIOUS!) where we made the pup exchange.  They watched Alise’s other dog Nick over the weekend while I took Pyro (also Alise’s) to Blacksburg, and now I’m watching Nick for the next two weeks while Alise is kicking butt at her externship for vet school in Florida.

I then went over to K&T’s to get the lowdown on the Slade pups since I will be watching them while K&T are at CanAm and was convinced to stay and watch the premiere of the Walking Dead.  I may now have to go back and start at Season 1…like I have time for that, but it just might have to happen.

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Oh, and I completely forgot to bring my Garmin watch to Blacksburg.  Yeah, I had a mini-freak out at the restaurant Saturday night.  I always run with my watch.  I have never forgotten it.  I guess there is a first time for everything. I had to go much more on feel this race and trust that I was holding a steady pace.  It worked out.  But I WILL be making a packing list for NYC.

Quote of the Day:

“We lose ourselves in the things we love.  We find ourselves there too.” -Kristen Martz

Last week was Anthony’s birthday.  The big 2-9!  I know I briefly talked about his birthday brunch while we were in Milwaukee for his marathon weekend.  But he got his birthday cake when he came into town this weekend.  (I am the luckiest and we get to see each other 3 weekends IN A ROW in October!!)  He asked for chocolate cake with chocolate frosting, and he got his wish!  We celebrated with the group when we went out to dinner before the half-marathon, and I think most people approved!

Perfect Chocolate Cake

The Perfect Chocolate Cake


– 2 cups sugar

– 1 3/4 cup AP flour

– 3/4 cup cocoa

– 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

– 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

– 1 teaspoon salt

– 2 eggs

– 1 cup whole milk

– 1/2 cup vegetable oil

– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

– 1 cup boiling water


– Heat oven to 350*; grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.

– Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

– Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on the medium speed of a mixer for 2 minutes.

– Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

– Bake 30 to 35 minutes.

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3 Responses to Racing in the Rain: Hokie Half-Marathon! (Recipe: The Perfect Chocolate Cake)

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