Franklin Half Marathon Race Recap

What? Franklin Half Marathon
Where? rural Franklin, Tennessee
When? June 7, 2014
Who? 664 runners
How much? $60 to $80 depending on registration date

Franklin Half Marathon tech tee and medal

race swag

My finish? 2:33:23
Swag? technical T-shirt, medal, peaches
The Good: scenery, water stations, parking
The Bad: the mile-six hill

Pre-race dinner: balamati rice, tofu, steamed vegetables, soy sauce
Pre-race bfast: water, banana, almond butter and toast
Post-race snack: peaches, chocolate milk, water, blueberry bagel
Post-race bRUNch: garden salad, waffle fries, tropical punch Nuun

Franklin Half Marathon scenery

my view for the entire half marathon

Because I live and work in the heart of Nashville, that is also where most of my runs take place. So all of my major races that take place in the city have me pounding on the same roads I drive and run everyday. The courses are familiar, and they can be mundane. The Franklin Half Marathon was a welcomed change of scenery that kept me captivated all 13.1 miles. The race took place in Tennessee’s countryside, about 30 miles south of Nashville. Runners started in Leiper’s Fork, just feet from the iconic Pucket’s Grocery, one of Middle Tennessee’s best bRUNch spots. It race course took runners down a two-lane state road past farms full of horses, cows, haystacks and corn crops. We passed several state historical markers, including the former home of U.S. Sen. Thomas Hart Benton.

Franklin Half Marathon history lesson

And, of course, there were rolling hills, which were manageable until mile six – an eternal uphill that slowed me to a walk until I reached its peak. I hadn’t run hill repeats in at least two months and was under prepared. Otherwise, it was a good run during a great race on an unseasonably cool and foggy morning. Such a great race, that I finally snapped a decent race photo.

the bRUNcher

The crowd was small, and the volunteers at water stations did plenty of cheering since there weren’t many spectators. Although this wasn’t a closed race course, police did a good job of keeping the few vehicles in the right line, and runners stayed left.

Franklin Half Marathon start line

start line

Franklin Half Marathon finish line

finish line

My favorite part of the Franklin Half was water bags that made the water stations painless. I didn’t get frustrated with paper cups too full with water or volunteers standing in my running path. Instead, there were boxes of chilled 5-ounce water bags for runners to grab at their convenience, bite and gulp down.

Overall, the Franklin Half was a pretty seamless race. Free parking was available on a farm just across the street from the start line. Runners didn’t step on each other’s heals for the first mile, like in large races in Middle Tennessee. Post race amenities included a variety of bagels, candies, fruit and sports drinks with seating. I will definitely run the Franklin Half Marathon again.

the peach truck

Second Quarter 2014 Fitness Goal Check In

Contrary to appearances, I have not abandoned my blog. I’m still running, although not enjoying bRUNch as much. To prove it, and to help with accountability this year, I’m checking in on my 2014 fitness goals.

2014-07-09 06.36.53

1. I am a vegetarian.

It has been 196 days since my last taste of meat, and I haven’t missed it one bit. The best part is that my weekly grocery bill has decreased about 25 percent. This past quarter I learned it is important to read labels and ask about ingredients when dining out. While snacking on apple slices and peanut butter and mindlessly staring at a label, I realized my favorite Jif Omega-3 Creamy Peanut Butter  is loaded with the healthy fatty acids because is made with anchovy and sardine oils. You’ll never see it in my pantry again. And in the South, many restaurants cook their vegetables with meat and use chicken broth or beef bouillon cubes as the base for soups and bisque.

2. I am running 2,014 kilometers in 2014.

To date I have logged 399.4 miles, averaging 13.8 miles a week during the second quarter. I am not going to achieve this goal by year-end, and I am OK with it. My original logic behind this feat was that if I could consistently log 25+ mile weeks, then I would be prepared to begin a marathon training plan. But attempting any run longer than 14 miles has been disastrous (my longest run to date is 16 miles). Frankly, I’ve found that the more structured I make my workouts, adhering to a specific training plan or aiming for a certain number of miles each week, the less I enjoy running. But when I wake up and move where ever my feet take me for as long as my legs will carry me, I have happy runs. This epiphany has sparked a desire to focus on shorter distances and faster running times.

How are you progressing on your 2014 fitness goals? Are you reevaluating your goals?

Strawberry Jam

eat all the jam

This past weekend, I celebrated one more year of life with another strawberry birthday. After a morning six-mile run, my Gma joined me for a drive 30 minutes north of Nashville to Bradley Kountry Acres. I wanted to pick two quarts to play with … [Continue reading]

Bondi Band Review

2014-06-03 06.04.20-1

One bummer about late spring and impending summer is the heat, which makes runs more difficult, slows me down and sends sweat running into my eyes. Thankfully, Bondi Band helped relieve me from the heat with sent me a few of their bands to test and … [Continue reading]

How to Build Endurance

these feet were made for running

How are you? I hope all is well! I've been looking at your blog, and I've been inspired. I want to begin running. I'm not much of a runner, but I really want to make 2014 about myself, health and fitness. I figured running would be a good jump start… … [Continue reading]

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes & A Love Story

lemons make love

Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." ~Maya Angelou When Traughber and I began dating, we spent many Saturday mornings at our favorite breakfast/brunch … [Continue reading]

My Oatmeal Review

just add hot water

Oatmeal is a smart choice for runners, and really anyone interested in healthy living. Its slow-releasing carbohydrates provide a sustainable energy source during exercise, and whole grain oatmeal has a nice dose of protein, fiber and a touch of … [Continue reading]

Vega Bars Review & Giveaway

thank you vega

I’ve been a fan of Vega since transitioned to a plant-based diet and began drinking the Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake almost every day, either for breakfast or post-run. One scoop is light on calories yet contains loads of protein, fiber, … [Continue reading]

First Quarter 2014 Fitness Goal Check In

a peak at the bRUNcher's plate

To help with accountability this year, I’m checking in on my 2014 fitness goals every quarter. 1. I am a vegetarian. It’s been three months and counting since I dove into a plant-based diet, and I haven’t had any lapses. The first few weeks … [Continue reading]

It’s Okay to Walk. Really.

Moment of truth? I’ve never run an entire half marathon. I’ve hit walls and had to walk-run the last few miles to cross the finish line. I've walked up tough hills, to calm cramps and when I’m feeling winded. Even during my best runs, I slow to walk … [Continue reading]