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Nicole Runs #5 + Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15k

We are officially 25 days away from the DISNEY PRINCESS HALF MARATHON. I wanted to do a quick running check in and a recap of the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15k/5k.

Nicole Runs the Disney Princess Half

When I drafted this post I intended to tell you all about how I totally rocked the Atlanta Hot Chocolate 15k.

Then winter happened.

The closer we got to race day, the more sure I became that we were going to freeze our butts off. With a winter storm just days before, and a foretasted wind chill at 15* they decided to implement the cold weather plan. 

This meant that if you couldn't maintain under a 13 min/mile pace, you would be moved to the 5k course (the previous required pace was 15 min/mile). In all of my training I have gotten from +17 min/mile pace down to a solid 14:10 min/mile pace but there was no way I was going to shatter my personal best and PR in a race that was happening on the coldest day of the year with some serious wind and Atlanta hills to tackle.

When we walked down to the staging areas, there was a stage where they had a Zumba instructor getting everyone warmed up before the race and a single space heater that had about 20 people stuffed inside a bus stop looking thing. Oh and about 100 port-a-potties. That was good news for me because I never had to wait very long to take a pee break!

Our crew before we headed to the corals. My friend Melanie, my sister in law Jenn and her friend Danielle!

Our crew before we headed to the corals. My friend Melanie, my sister in law Jenn and her friend Danielle!

It was my first experience with corals and more than like 100 people participating in a race.

It was my first experience with corals and more than like 100 people participating in a race.

Getting ready to cross the marshmallow starting line.

Getting ready to cross the marshmallow starting line.

We headed to our corals and there was some (read: mass) confusion. I think we ended up in the right spot. There was lots of yelling and we couldn't really hear the announcer.

I got off to a pretty slow start. I don't know if it was the cold or what but I would say about 90% of the people in our coral were walkers who didn't know how to stay to a slow side. By the time I found my pace, we hit a BIG hill. Between the hills and the fact that I was worried about how quickly one might get frostbite being out in freezing temps, I wasn't running my best. 

By the time we got to mile 2, and it was clear they weren't going to let us to the 15k I kicked my butt into gear and ran the rest of the way to make up some time.

I think in the confusion of everything, my time didn't get recorded for the 5k, but according to my apple watch I accomplished what I wanted, a sub 45 min 5k time.

Once we crossed the finish, we were handed water - which was FREEZING as I was drinking it. Then I went to get my medal. Even though we didn't get to complete the 15k, everyone who signed up for it was still given their finisher medals.

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Which I was happy for because it may or may not have been the reason I signed up.

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I met up with Melanie and we pretend to eat our shiny chocolate medals before heading off to get in line to get our finisher mugs.

FINALLY I am a happy camper because I have my chocolate. Not pictured the sugar coma that followed.

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Overall, it was colder than it was fun. I think the winter weather plan kind of threw everyone off. It was my first time experiencing corals and a large number of people so I am glad I got to see how that all works before we head to Disney! AHHH.

I'm headed out now to finish up my miles so I can feel proud displaying my medal! Have you ever done a Hot Chocolate race?

Sunday Lately 57

Sunday Lately 57

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