And happy snow day if you’re in the south! Arkansas got slammed last night with an ice storm, so I’ve taken up residence on the couch today, snuggled up next to Miss Truckee and the Mr. Thankfully the storm ended up not being too bad, not nearly as bad as the winter weather we got last winter or the winter before that. Our power has remained on, luckily, but streets are covered in ice and it looks like we aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. I’m a-ok with that.
This weekend we were in Nashville for the Hot Chocolate 15/5k race. It was, again, beyond freezing, but it was also a blast! I was an ambassador for the race again, and had 1,127 runners use my promo code for a free Will Run For Chocolate wicking hat. Pretty awesome, and I’m so glad race registration went way up this year! This race is so fun, and unique, and it’s a great non-intimidating way to get runners of all backgrounds out there logging some miles! Plus, the race shirt is a fantastic hoody, and your finisher’s mug is complete with hot chocolate, hot fudge, and snacks to dip! You can read last year’s recap HERE.
Adam was going to run the race with me, but, after I lost my mind and forgot his backpack (packed full of his running clothes and other weekend necessities) at home, he obviously ended up not running it with me. Huge bummer, but after he woke up not feeling well anyways, it ended up working out just fine. I will never hear the end of how I mysteriously just didn’t pack his bag in the car, and still can’t figure out how that happened. Epic brain fart for sure! So anyways, I had mentally prepped to run/walk it with him, but then last minute decided to run it after realizing I was in corral B! AH! (A through K corrals). I figured it’d be a good way to just see where I’m at running wise anyways, but knew it wouldn’t be my easiest 5k ever considering I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve run since the marathon last month.
Race start was at 7:00 this year, as opposed to the 5k being at 7:30 and the 15k being at 8 last year. I’m glad they put both races together this time – definitely way more convenient for folks! Plus, it just made it feel like a bigger race, and big races are always so much more fun! So Adam dropped me off around 6:20 and I walked around, jogged to warm up, picked out my music, and tried not to freeze before it was time to line up in our corral. The sunrise was beautiful, but goodness it was cold! A few minutes before 7:00, we lined up, and I was right in the front of the B corral. After the National Anthem, the A corral was off, and about 3 minutes later, our corral was off. I’d forgotten my Garmin at home, and my hands were too cold to take my gloves off to start Map My Run, so I ran it blindly and tried to stick with what felt good!
The race starts on one side of the Bicentennial Mall, then heads out into downtown Nashville. Mile 1 is fairly flat, and I would guesstimate my pace was something around 8:30. Mile 2, is basically all uphill for the first 1/2, then back to flat for the second half. My pace slowed way down going up the hill, and I actually stopped to walk for just a second because let’s be honest, when’s the last time I ran straight up a hill. Good lord. I’d estimate my pace topped out around 9:00 maybe? Mile 3 was pretty flat in the beginning, then a huge part of it was downhill (basically down the other side of the uphill part of mile 2). This part is fun because you run side-by-side runners who were back behind you, also, the 5k and 15k split at mile 2.3, ish. For mile 3 pace, I’d guess maybe back down towards 8:30. I felt like I was booking it, and swear I blinked and the race was over! Adam thinks it’s because the last race I ran was oh I don’t know…23 miles longer???
Not going to lie, I was pretty pumped when the 5k and 15k split and I went the 5k way. Ha! I thought I’d be mad at myself for not doing the 15k, but man it felt good to run a short race! I may have secretly thought to myself, “haha suckas!”
I came through the finish at 27:01, and knew instantly that those two seconds I walked up part of that hill were the difference in a 26:00 and a 27:00 minute time. GAH. Oh well. They did such a good job at spacing out the corrals that when I finished, they were sending off the last corral to start!
My overall pace was 8:42 min/mi. I’ll take it, all things considered!
I met up with Adam shortly after, we got my finisher’s mug, and took some fun photos. And even though it wasn’t my best time, it reminded me once again how much I just love to run and race. There’s just something about it! Being surrounded by thousands of other people who have the same goal you do, and who are all struggling on the same course, is so fun, and so neat.
Looking back at my outfit, I’m realizing I was wearing umpteen brands. Mizuno shoes, Tiux socks, Under Armour tights, Oiselle top, Columbia pullover, Saucony gloves, North Face headband. Wowzers.
After the race, we headed to the mall to pick up a few things for Adam since you know, I forgot his bag. Ha. Yay for spontaneous shopping trips!
That afternoon, we had lunch with my family and got to love on our nephew, then we headed out for dinner and a movie Saturday night to complete our Valentine’s Day.
Sunday morning we went to church with family, then to breakfast, and came home and left in a rush so we could beat the bad weather.
And now here we are, enjoying our snow day. I just whipped up a delicious batch of nachos, and now I’m feeling like a snow day nap just might be in my near future.
I’ll be back later with snow pics!
Did you run this race? Have you run it in your town? Have you had a snow day lately? If you live up north, I realize you’ve had a snow SEASON.