Phoenix Hot Chocolate Race & Weekend

Well happy Monday and how’s the weather where you are, friends?  Like I mentioned Friday, St. Louis got our first snow over the weekend, but Jonny and I were in sunny and warm Arizona where you’d think it’d be nice and toasty.  Not so much the case surprisingly, but the weekend was marvelous nonetheless. Linking up to Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday today.  

Because I had so many referrals to the Hot Chocolate race (THANK YOU!), I was able to travel to a destination in addition St. Louis to do the race.  Since my brother and Jonny’s brother both live in Arizona, it was a no-brainer to choose the Phoenix race.  The Hot Chocolate team kindly put us up at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Gainey Ranch which was absolutely beautiful.

hyatt arizona

It was truly a wonderful hotel – the kindest staff, clean rooms, and gorgeous views as you see in the picture above that Jonny snapped during one of his morning walks.  We didn’t get to enjoy any of their many outdoor amenities, but that’s alright.  Alright, I’ve got so much marvelous to share from the weekend, let’s get started!

Justin recently bought a house, and this was the first time we got to see it.  Itz awesome though we didn’t expect anything less.  The coolest part is definitely the orange trees and lemon tree he has in his backyard!  I picked a whole basket and ate several oranges and drank fresh lemon water all weekend.

arizona lemon orange trees

Totally jealous.  When we arrived in town on Thursday evening, Becca and Robbie picked us up from the airport and Jonny and I grabbed dinner from My Big Fat Greek which is always a favorite when we visit.  During the day on Friday, everyone was at work, so we hung around and took some walks in the chilly weather.  Friday evening is when we met up with Justin, and the five of us went to Tommy V’s for dinner.  It had a nice ambiance, and we all enjoyed the food (especially the Kobe meatballs we got as appetizers!).

robbie becca

Robbie and Becca are getting married February 2015!

On Saturday, Justin and I picked up our Hot Chocolate race packets which included the performance fleece hoodies.  The hoodies were really nice and it was cool that the expo had an area for you to try on the hoodie and exchange the size if necessary.  And we obviously enjoyed a mini cup of hot chocolate at the expo!  Later, the five of us went to Blue 32 Sports Grill to watch the Mizzou football game (which sadly did not end in our favor), but it was a fun sports bar.  There were a million tv’s and the grub was tasty.

The boys were drinking and were pretty tired four hours later when the game ended, so we laid low Saturday night and ordered takeout from Tottie’s Asian Fusion.  We laughed since itz not typical pre-race fuel, but we weren’t too concerned.  Sunday morning came which meant – RACE DAY!  Justin and I bundled up.

justin hot chocolate race

Since I’m still not running, I would be walking the race which meant I had on extra extra layers.  The race was well organized and we never felt like we were extremely crowded.  Justin is not a runner; instead, he’s a CrossFit buff which is why his bulging muscles show through so nicely in his Under Armour compression shirt. 😉

hot chocolate run

And maybe I pretended to run as I began to cross the finish line… Justin never runs more than a mile at a time since he does CrossFit, and without any training for the race, he still finished in 22:24 (7:13/mile) which meant he came in seventh in his age group, 43rd overall, and 30th out of 709 men – quite impressive!

Not being able to run during the race was hard, if I’m being honest.  While I knew I was doing what was best for my body and Baby Itz, it made me itch to run even more than before.  I crossed in 47:16 – gah!  (that’s 15:13/mile)  My time to run will come again and I often keep that in mind.  Since I wasn’t competing for time (obviously lol), I did stop and take a few pictures throughout the course.  Running (walking) in Arizona sure is different from St. Louis!

arizona view

The official hashtag for the race was #willrunforchocolate which meant plenty of hot chocolate and chocolate goodies post-race.  Instead of receiving a medal, you got a mug filled with hot chocolate, warm chocolate fondue, and dippables.  This made us both happy and was a delicious breakfast post-race treat.  I even commented that there should be spoons in there; Justin went savage and used his fingers.

hot chocolate mug

Everyone’s happy when chocolate is involved!  The mugs did include a wet wipe for your hands which was super convenient.  Afterwards, we headed back to the hotel so I could shower, pack our belongings, and checkout.  We went to Butters Pancakes & Cafe for brunch which totally hit the spot.  We all cleaned our plates to say the least.

jonny robbie

Robbie & Jonny both still love their college gear!  Proud alums!

We had a couple of hours to kill before heading to the airport.  The boys watched Sunday football (no surprise there!), while I wrote this blog post for today.  Everyone was happy.  I did manage to break Jonny away from the tv for a moment for a picture.  We both love the giant cactus that is in Justin’s front yard, so it was the perfect photo opp!

jonny me arizona

And that’s a wrap, folks!  Long post filled with my favorite pictures from the weekend.  Going back to work today will be a bit tough as it always is after a vacation, but itz fun to look back on such wonderful weekends – especially when they’re filled with family, fitness, and food (particularly chocolate!).

What was marvelous about YOUR weekend?

Hot Chocolate Race GIVEAWAY {closed}

Hi friends and happy Monday to each one of you!  I’ve already posted twice about the Hot Chocolate race series, so you probably understand my excitement.  I mean, HELLO, you get an awesome fleece when you register and tons of chocolate goodies.  I mean, seriously tons!  What more could you possibly want?

EDIT: 2014 Code: ItzLinzHat

hot chocolate race coupon code

Don’t forget to use ItzLinzMug when you register!

Well, today I get to giveaway one entry for the Hot Chocolate race!  The St. Louis race is fast approaching on December 15th, but this giveaway is for an entry anywhere in the country.  And there are fourteen locations, so travel somewhere fun, or choose your city: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.  Did I mention the performance fleece you get when registering has thumb holes?

goodie bag hot chocolate

Perfect for the cold winter months and black goes with everything!  Plus, there are tons of other goodies available in the Hot Chocolate shop like pajama pants, long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, ear warmers, hats, lunch bags, and more.

I’m linking up with Healthy Diva’s Marvelous in my Monday since any and everything relating to chocolate is clearly marvelous!  And a free entry?  Oh yes!

Be sure to LIKE Hot Chocolate on Facebook!

You have the choice of running a 5k or a 15k for the Hot Chocolate race, both great distances. Since I’m not longer running, I’ll be walking the 5k. (Walkers must keep a brisk 15-minute per mile pace.)  I’m pretty sure I’ll run walk quickly for chocolate.  Hehe.

finishers mug hot chocolate

Upon crossing the finish line, you’ll receive a finisher’s mug like the one pictured above.  It includes hot chocolate (duh), plus dippable goodies for chocolate fondue – YUM!

To enter the giveaway, leave a comment on this blog post with which Hot Chocolate race you would choose and if you’d do the 5k or the 15k (mandatory for entry).  Other additional, optional entries include the following:

  • On Twitter, follow Itz Linz and Hot Chocolate and tweet the following, “I want to run for chocolate in the @HotChocolate15k race with @ItzLinz! #willrunforchocolate #hotchocolate “
  • Follow Itz Linz and Hot Chocolate 15k on Instagram.

Be sure to leave a separate comment for each additional entry (three total entries possible).  This giveaway will be open until Thursday, November 14th, 2013 at 8:00 pm CST.  The winner will be randomly selected and announced on Friday, November 15th. Giveaway is now closed.

Congrats to #87 Nichole B.! Please email me, so we can get your registration all set up!

*Disclaimer: As a Hot Chocolate Ambassador, I was given a free entry to the race.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Hot Chocolate 15k or 5k Race COUPON CODE

EDIT: 2014 Code: ItzLinzHat

Hi friends!  Today I want to remind you of an awesome race that’s making itz appearance nationwide.  Itz the Hot Chocolate 15k or 5k Race and itz been named America’s Sweetest Race!  I’ve blogged about it before, but today I want to highlight some of the factors that sets this race apart from others.  First and foremost, when you register use the coupon code ItzLinzMug!

hot chocolate race coupon code

Chocolate made me do it.

Usually at races you receive a race t-shirt.  How many t-shirts do you own?  Like seriously.  Instead of getting a t-shirt with your Hot Chocolate race, you receive a runner’s performance fleece and an awesome one at that!  Check it out:

goodie bag hot chocolate

IT HAS THUMB HOLES, PEOPLE!!!!  And personally, I love that itz black because that means it will match any and all outfits (clearly very important!).

The St. Louis race is fast approaching on December 15th and word on the street is itz filling up fast!  Not in St. Louis?  Not to worry!  The other cities include: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.  Click HERE to see the complete schedule and details!  You can use the coupon code ItzLinzMug everywhere!

So if the sweatshirts weren’t cool enough, take a look at what you’re handed upon crossing the finish line (and get ready to drool):

finishers mug hot chocolate

Itz a finisher’s mug complete with hot chocolate, fondue, and dippables!  If that isn’t motivation to get your booty across the finish line, I don’t know what is!

Now, while all these goodies are great, I don’t want to gloss over the fact that the Hot Chocolate race series partners with the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). The RMHC program provides a “home-away-from-home” for families and children facing a serious medical crisis so they can stay close by their hospital at little or no cost.

Will YOU run for chocolate?

*I am an official Hot Chocolate Blogger and will receive my registration on race day.

Hot Chocolate 15k or 5k Race PROMO CODE

EDIT: 2014 – 2015 Code = ItzLinzHat

Will you run for chocolate? The Hot Chocolate 15/5k is America’s sweetest race!  Details below, but first, when you register, be sure to use the promo code ItzLinzMug to receive a free travel mug with registration!


The chocolate really begins to flow at the Post Race Party where runners enjoy music, a family friendly kid-zone (complete with bounce houses and games) and a finisher’s mugs filled with hot chocolate, chocolate fondue and tasty dippable treats!

Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) is the official charity partner of the Hot Chocolate 15/5k series. The RMHC program provides a “home-away-from-home” for families and children facing a serious medical crisis so they can stay close by their hospital at little or no cost.

split jump

The Hot Chocolate series is currently is in fourteen different cities including: Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Nashville, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and St. Louis.  Click HERE to see when the race will be in your city!  (You can use promo code ItzLinzMug no matter the place!)

Even though I’m not running right now, the St. Louis race takes place on December 15th, so I hope I’ll be running by then.  If not, I’m sure I’ll be able to walk fast enough to receive my post-race chocolate – heh heh!

Of course, I want to see as many of my St. Louis friends out there, but I also want to encourage as many of you to sign up, as well.  Itz for a great cause (the Ronald McDonald House Charities are AWESOME!), you get to run, you get some sweet swag (ha!), and you get tons of chocolate at the end.  What could be better?

Will YOU run for chocolate?

*I am an official Hot Chocolate Blogger and will receive my registration on race day.