Monday, June 24, 2013

Franklin 1/2 Recap (Left calf revenge!)

Franklin 1/2 marathon
TN 1/2 # 8
Lifetime half # 51
13 in 13 progress 9/13
Finish time: 1:58:11
When this race was announced I wasn't all that hyped to run it. A half marathon in June in our hilly back yard---- HEAT, HILLS, HUMIDITY... YUCK! What did twist my arm to run was that many of my friends were testing out the waters in this new race and I didn't want to miss out. 

This was the first annual Frankin 1/2 held in Leipers Fork (which is actually not Franklin) Leiper's Fork is a small town right outside of Franklin, and fun fact, its where Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban live. 

Leah, Matt,  Michael, and myself all carpooled to the race in the morning since we knew traffic was going to be an issue on the 2 lane roads that lead to the start. 

Leah's goal was to get 2nd over all female since we knew our friend Ashley would win it. Matt's goal was to place in his age group. I had no goal. My left calf has been bothering me for over a month now. Tuesday it was starting to act up and when Wed rolled around I had a limp. I went to the emergency room to rule out a blood clot (it runs in my family) and when that came back clear Leah said she would do some manipulation. 

Thursday she did some dry needle therapy on my calf (think acupuncture except instead of leaving needle in. you move it around the muscle over and over) The idea behind this is to create an inflammatory response in the muscle to accelerate healing. Your muscle may spasm and feel achy. Luckily no spasm but I wasn't able to walk afterward so I took my gimp self to bed and walking returned in the morning. 

Fast forward to race morning and I was just appreciative that I could walk pain free despite calf being tight. 

B came prepared with hydration vest (and too prepared with the long sleeve) 

On to the highlights...
The Good 
  • Water / gatorade stops at every mile marker- so needed on this hot day
  • The size- I believe there were roughly 1000 runners. It was never crowded on course and was easy to cycle through bathrooms and get refreshments afterward
  • Course was a loop and extremely scenic 
  • Free peaches at the end.... I had 4 I was so hot
  • Between Leah and myself, we walked away with 12 jars of bischoff spread... lots of recipes have been researched on what we can do with this
  • The Bling--- adore it
  • Leah finished 2nd overall female- first in age group. Matt finished 3rd in his age group

The Bad
  • Race officials announced 5 min till race start (which was scheduled for 7am) that due to large amount of traffic still awaiting to park, they would delay the start 20 min to accommodate those runners. You don't delay race starts in the summer in the south--- every minute counts. 
  • Heat and humidity. IT.WAS.HOT- high for the day was 91 and pretty sure it reached it by 9am. I was sweating so much, that it was stinging my eyes that finally at mile 4 I took off my shirt so I could hold it and use it to wipe my sweat. I do not have the body to be running in a bra for a race, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made. 
  • HILLS, HILLS, and more hills. There were approximately 2 'flat parts' in the course, both in the 2nd half of race- everything else was either up or down.... but mostly up.  I knew it was going to be tough, but the heat definitely exacerbated the suckiness. 
in no way does this photo do justice, but just an example of an extremely long gradual where you don't see the top of hill
  • A lot of people suggested to rename the half "Hot and Hilly Half" as it was that bad. (Matt's face says it all- unfortunately I did not get the make a bad face memo)

The Ugly
  • Within the first mile my left calf was bothering me. Since we were running uphill right out of the gate, I attributed it to that and didn't dwell too much on it. 
  • Right after the mile 5 marker my left calf started spasming which caused me to fall down. Luckily the folks at the water station had a walkie talkie and got a go cart person to come get me. I couldn't believe I was going to have my first ever DNF. 
  • The go cart man was nice enough to massage my calf to help loosen it up and after a bit I decided to give it another go and try to finish this beast of a race (Plus I wanted the medal)
  • I cannot tell you HOW MUCH I walked. Luckily I had a fast first 5 miles, so even though I sat out for a solid 10 min, I figured with my slower pace I could still finish under 2 hours. I knew Leah would be wondering where the heck I was since I told her I was aiming for a 1:45, so I texted Brian (he normally runs with his phone) to pass along I stopped running for 10 min but I'm back and that i'll finish around 2 hours... turns out he didn't have a great race too- had I not stopped I would have beat him given his time relative to mine. 
  • I have NEVER in all my races been as hot, or as COMPLETELY DRENCHED as I have for this race- it was disgusting. 
  • Race organizers waited pretty  much until the race was completely over before starting awards. Since both Leah and Matt received one, we had to still around till 11 for that to happen. We're all a bunch of tired, cranky runners who have been in the heat since 6:30am and just want to shower--- definitely a suggestion for next year to quicken things up a bit. 
  • For its inaugural year, The Franklin 1/2 put on a good race. Aide stations were spaced perfectly and having big water stations in the finisher's area was a nice touch as well to accommodate the heat. 
  • Medal was on point.
  • Loved how they had many computers set up to type in your bib number and get a print out to see official time and how you placed. 
  • My big suggestion would be to either start the race at 6am OR move the race to the fall. The entire course is surrounded by either trees (although there was no shade) or beautiful foilage. I think it would be breathtaking to run through while all the leaves are changing, plus it wouldn't be hot. 
  • Lastly they need to shorten the gap for awards. If someone wins an award its because they are fast- it is unnecessary and highly annoying to have to sit around 2 hours after you're done with the race just to receive a plaque. 
The company was good at this race, but the running part I hated. I knew this would be a tough course, I just had no idea it would be my hardest race this year- and the hottest I've ever felt. Unless they move the start time earlier or get some seriously awesome bling, I think this is a one and done for me. 

Garmin Stats-  whats hilarious is looking at strictly numbers, race was decent- just goes to show there is more to what a watch says. I felt like death the entire time, and had just switched my watch to total time mode since I didn't care about my splits. I felt like I was going WAY slower than I was. 
Mile 1: 7:28
Mile 2: 7:31
Mile 3: 7:42
Mile 4: 7:44
Mile 5: 8:34
10ish min break at 5 mile mark
Mile 6: 8:37
Mile 7: 8:57
Mile 8: 7:53
Mile 9: 8:37
Mile 10: 8:30
Mile 11: 8:41
Mile 12: 9:03
Mile 13: 8:49
Mile . 2: 6:06


  1. Great job despite your calf trying to knock you out of it right away, and the hills, humidity and heat. The medal is pretty awesome.

    Hope the calf gets better for you soon!

  2. The three Hs that I try to avoid all wrapped up in one race!!! Hills, heat, and humidity and you still rocked it I would say!!! I hope your calf is better very soon!!!

  3. That's insane that you could still finish under two hours even with those calf problems. I have been battling the calf issues for years now, so if you come up with a fix, let me know, it's just gotten worse over time.

    I agree about delayed starts in summer - not acceptable! Love the medal.

  4. Goodness...I like the good, but the ugly sounds awful! Sorry it was so hot and the race time was pushed back so much! I agree that minutes count in the summer. Way to go and congrats on another great half!

  5. Woah, impressive finish with all of those odds stacked against you! Congrats!

    The heat, hills, and humidity were ROUGH, but at least we had the gorgeous Leiper's Fork scenery to enjoy!

  6. Those medals are so fantastic! Would love to add that to my collection. ANY race in June is going to be ridiculous but I can't even imagine a half in this Tennessee heat. It is so crazy that you had to stop and STILL finish in under two hours. You are officially my hero. I'm so glad you were able to get back on your feet and finish the race despite your legs. Great job!!

  7. Wow, way to push through and finish! I don't love running in the heat, so I am very impressed:)

  8. Great medal! Thanks for reminding me not to run TN in June.

  9. SOunds like a total killer. You ran great in spite of conditions and injury. Congrats. Very cute medal!

  10. I am super impressed you finished this race considering all you had against you! I am not sure I would have - way to go determination! Love the medal!

  11. What a fantastic time given you had so much issues with your calf! WOW!! I hope you are feeling better and not ended up with a bigger injury.

  12. Woah, speedy finish! Ugh- a 20 minute delay in the heat is awful... way to run well despite those conditions!!