This past Saturday I ran the Hot Chocolate 15K for the second year in a row. I was prepared for the cold because last year was painfully cold. We parked too far away and got out of the car too early, two mistakes I didn’t make again. This year I also came prepared in my Feetures! merino wool socks so my feet wouldn’t feel like little pads of ice like they did last year. This is a fairly hilly 9.3 miles and I knew it would be a good training run for me in the midst of my training for the Nashville Full Marathon.
First I have to say that I LOVE the jacket we got instead of a race shirt. It was a full zip hoodie, gray with pink trim for the girls. Last year was a half zip and it was a very non stretchy and kind of poor fitting fabric so I didn’t love it. This one I love, so even before the race I was already satisfied! The blow ups and the photo-ops they had set up near the start were really fun. There was huge blow up marshmallows and cups of hot cocoa. It was a very festive and fun feel down at the start. I got down there early enough to park close and meet Emily, and that worked out great. The race started on time and as I remembered it was very hilly, especially in the first half. I tried to pace myself because I knew that I would be facing multiple hills. I ended up running a 1:07, actually a minute slower than last year, but still a nice pace. I ended up in 4th place in my division out of 403 women. There were 2255 women that ran the 15K and I was 14th out of them. I believe that running is a great way to compete with yourself and challenge yourself to improve. However, it is fun to see where you stack up with other women in your age group. It helps to keep me in the competitive spirit.
Now for the most important thing, post race snacks. Runners get a cute fondue finishers mug with some chocolate fondue, a banana, pretzels, and a few other treats. There is a nice little cup of hot chocolate right in the center of the mug. It is a cute and different snack than at any other race.
I ran in one of my two favorite shoes, my Brooks Glycerin. And the truth is that I love them and my Saucony Triumphs. I used the fact that these Glycerin matched my new Nike Thermal pullover as the deciding factor. Fashion may not be the most important factor, but it is a nice added bonus! I think this race was fun and very organized. It seemed way more crowded this year. There was a 5K too which is great because it gives people another option.
Next I plan to run the Tom King Half Marathon on March 7th, to help with my training for the Nashville Full. The Tom King is flatter so I hope to keep a good pace. I definitely would recommend this race to anyone, just be sure you are prepared to run in the cold. But remember, it is only cold when you’re standing still!