Hot Chocolate 15K Nashville

Woo hoo!! I love long weekends! Fiance and I got to do our new Valentine’s Day tradition, which is running a race! We started the tradition last year when we were in Afghanistan and I am glad we had the opportunity this year to run another race together.

Let’s start with the packet pickup. I had to rush from school (about a two hour drive from Huntsville to Nashville) to get to the packet pickup on Thursday night. After being in Huntsville for the past couple months, I have sort of forgotten what it is like to drive in traffic, so I was a little frustrated when I hit the pm rush hour traffic in Nashville. However, I MADE IT and was able to get the bibs and awesome jackets/bag for the 15k.  It was super easy to get the goods, but I was a little frustrated that the packet pickup was in the middle of downtown Nashville. To me, it doesn’t seem logical to have the packet pickup in the middle of the evening rush hour traffic in the congested downtown area. But… I got what I needed and was excited for the race!

Bibs

The race started at 7 am, with a suggested arrival time of 6 am, so we decided to stay near Nashville on Friday night. I picked up fiance from the airport and we made our way up to the city. We stayed in Brentwood, which made for an easy 15 minute drive into the city.  Fiance chose to Longhorn Steakhouse (I think?) for dinner and I ate a delicious salad and TONS of bread for dinner. And soup. Yummy soup.

We got up around 5 am and got ready for the race. It was pretty cold out (in the 20s or 30s I think), so I wore pants and a long sleeve shirt with a headband for the race. And gloves. Definitely needed the gloves.  We got to the parking garage near Bicentennial Park around 5:45 am and sat in the warm car, debating whether or not to wear a jacket.  After discussing it, we decided to just tough it out because we knew that we would start to get hot once we started running.  Shivering… we made our way to our corral for the race around 6:45 am.

Ready for the race

Oh, the corrals… Let’s talk about that. I’ve never really ran in a race in a corral (Manchester Road Race had corrals, but we didn’t have the opportunity to use the… general race area for us!!!) but I had an expectation that people would stick to their corrals.  I noticed that there were a lot of “C” runners that I was passing throughout the race… which leads me to believe that they kind of “corral cheated” and started ahead of where they were supposed to. I only say this because I was at the front of the C corral and… I’m not that fast of a runner. I should not have passed THAT many people. Corral cheating… I guess it comes with the racing territory. I’m not bitter or anything… nope… not at all.

ANYWAY… I absolutely LOVED this race. Sure. There were a lot of little hills, which I didn’t expect (I REALLY need to do a better job of scoping out the elevation maps before a race) but I still loved every aspect of the race. The spectators were great. The scenery was beautiful. The air was cold, but crisp and refreshing. I told fiance to let me hold the pace and not to push it. I had some calf pain last week and didn’t want to hurt myself during this race because I have the Rock and Roll Half coming up in DC. I expected to probably do about a 9:30 pace for this run, but after the hills, I decided to “let myself” run closer to a 10 minute pace. Much to my surprise, I actually ran a 9:18 pace! (I DID stop my garmin for my 2 minute bathroom break, so the overall results have my pace as slower… but for actual RUNNING, I did the 9:18 average).  Fiance told me that I was actually the one leading the pace, even though it felt like he was pushing me / pressuring me / dragging me up the hills. I am very, very happy with this race!

Post Race

And the medal. I LOVE this freaking medal! And the chocolate. SO GOOD. Yes… that’s chocolate on fiance’s lip. Such a cutie. The hot chocolate at the end was awesome and the fondue was also do delicious! We scarfed down the good and then rushed to the car to get home to a warm shower. We spent the rest of the day just hanging around downtown Nashville and soaking in all the live music and delicious adult beverages. I love Nashville and I hope I get an opportunity to hang out around the area again someday.

Time to take a little rest and hopefully just kick back and enjoy this last week of class… And run another race next weekend. It’s only a 5k and I’m mostly doing it for the fun aspect. Fiance won’t be doing this race with me, so I probably won’t push myself as much as I would if he was running with me. I hope everyone had a great weekend!!!

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