Saturday, June 22, 2013

Franklin Half Marathon Report

I took part in the inaugural Franklin Half Marathon this morning, which was put on by Run Franklin and Start 2 Finish Event Management. There's a movement going on with the participants to rename this one the Hot and Hilly Half, which would be fitting. The first half of the race there were a lot of rolling hills and climbing, and the second half when things flattened out a bit the heat got cranked up. Definitely not a PR race, and one of the tougher ones I've completed. That said, it was a beautiful course that started in downtown historic Leiper's Fork, and I could see myself training on in it the future. Maybe when the leaves are turning.

For me this was always going to be a training run. This week's schedule called for 16 miles with 8 at marathon pace. I ran a little before the start of the race to get some of it taken care of up front, and then intended to execute a 5/8 plan. The first 5 miles, which were supposed to be easy, were difficult to keep under control. The aforementioned hills made settling in to a groove near impossible, and overall I went faster than I'd planned.

The remaining 8 miles didn't go much better. I accelerated at the split and tried to find the right pace, but the first 2 miles contained about 200' of climbing. Even though I didn't think it was all that steep, my legs were sapped. The peak was welcome, but the 1-mile descent into the valley that normally would have been great was a quad punisher. Once I finally got into the valley though, I managed to grind out a couple of miles right on target.

Realizing I was on the edge of overheating I changed up the run to a 5/5/3, and coasted in the last few miles. To be honest, I was really shocked to turn in this time today. I didn't pay much attention to my overall pace, and wouldn't have been surprised had I come in 10 minutes slower.

I really enjoyed getting to run with Josh, and was very impressed with how well Michelle managed her race. When I last saw her at the 5-mile mark it was clear she was struggling with the heat. So, when I saw her finishing only a few minutes after me I was amazed. She must've done something right to hold it together so well the rest of the race.

Mega kudos to the event organizers. There were a couple of snags, which are to be expected with any inaugural race, but overall they put on a solid event and got the important things right. Would I race it in the future? Not likely, but I'd definitely consider running it again. :)

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