April Fools Half Recap
Its 1:40am, race day. This is much earlier than I'm used to waking up. I don't have to be up for another 20 minutes, so I roll over and catch my last twenty minutes of sleep.
2:00am, my alarm goes off and I know it's time to get up, I hit snooze and sleep for another 10 minutes. 2:10am, now I have to get up, so I do, you know the usual bathroom routine by now. After I'm done I get my clothes together and put them on.
Since this is my first out of state race, I've backed my bag from the night before. Everything from an extra change of clothes to a travel sized deodorant was in this bag. However I place a few more items in the bag such as Gatorade and my wallet and close the bag up.
I turn the TV in my living room on and immediately flip to the food channel. Diners, Drive-In and Dives is currently on at 2:30am which is great because I love this show, but it makes me hungry and I automatically think, breakfast.
I head to the kitchen and make my usual (peanut butter and banana on wheat bread,) and also remembered that I have to make lunch for my friend who is like a father to me for him as well, since he's the one who is driving me out to Atlantic City.
I eat half of my sandwich and realized that I can't finish it so I wrap the rest in a plastic bag as well as the breakfast I made for my friend. Afterwards I apply some KT tape to my left knee and my IT band as it was hurting and I didn't want to take any chances. At this point I have KT tape everywhere, knees, IT band, back, hamstrings and my calves. The only way to see if this stuff works is to apply it everywhere, so I did.
At this point I'm ready to go out the door. I take a couple of pictures and at 3:25 I'm gone.
I jump in the car waiting for me downstairs and we're off. I'm excited to take this drive to Atlantic City. We chat and chat until we realized that we've made it, we see the strip of hotels and we know we're here.
A few seconds we spot the Taj Mahal and we drive into the parking lot. We arrive around 5:30am, which was great timing since I had to be there at 7:00am and the race didn’t start until 8:00am so we stretch a little in the parking lot and then we start walking to find out where I have to pick up my bib number.
We head up to the horizon room with a couple of other people who were also looking as well. We finally find the room and there are a couple of people in there picking up bibs as well as volunteers handing out t-shirts.
I get my bib number and this clear plastic drawstring bag, which is sturdy enough to keep and make my way out of the room. I stopped to use the bathroom and put on my bib number. (Because everyone needs a bib number selfie.)
From there it was off to find some coffee. As we walked through the hotels casino we found a Dunkin Donuts way in the back, it wasn’t crowded and there was plenty of seating, so after drinking some coffee (not me,) eating the rest of my breakfast and drinking some Gatorade we sat around, chatted and waiting for time to pass.
At 7:30am we made our way to the start line, before getting starting outside we see a whole bunch of runners waiting in the lobby of the hotel. There was a man in a Speedo with marker on his face, so of course I had to take a picture.
Before walking outside I decided to take a mirror selfie, so I did. Isn’t this cool?
Walked outside and there are a whole bunch of runners, but nothing to the capacity of NYRR. BlackGirlsRun New Jersey was in full affect warming up and chanting, while I’m standing in the sun, trying to keep warm.
The announcer called for us to be at the start line and that’s where I made my way to, still cold and very excited I was happy because I this is my first out of state race and I know I have many more to come.
Miles 1 – 4: This was all on the boardwalk, did you know the boardwalk is four miles long? I didn’t, but it was so great just running pass the hotels and casinos, the stores everything. It was very quiet and not too much people were out but, still an exciting feeling, as soon as the boardwalk ended, we made a right turn and we we’re on the road.
Miles 5 – 9?: I have a question mark there because this is what I’m guessing they were, after the mile 4 marker sign, I started to become very frustrated with the course I stopped seeing marker signs and of course this was the one race I decided not to track myself using the Nike+ app. I’m running through the streets of Atlantic City on a very flat course (which reminds me of the Brooklyn Half,) and I don’t see a mile sign. I’m coming up on the “turn” for the out and back portion of this course and I see a couple of people standing and I ask do they know what mile this is. Their reply was “It’s the half way point.” So I say thank you and keep running. So it’s a little over 6 miles. I see a split marker and then the mile 7 marker sign and then followed by the mile 6 marker sign in the span of 3 minutes. I keep running. I see the mile 8 marker sign, followed by the mile 5 marker sign, I really don’t know what to do at this point, so I just run. I reached the mile 9 marker sign and don’t see anything after that.
Miles 10 – 13: After all the confusion, calling my mother, oh yea I did call her to tell her what was going on and her thought was the “6 and 5” marker signs were to tell me how much miles I had left to go, (which made sense after awhile) I finally end up back on the boardwalk for the last 4 miles of this race. The sun is now beaming down on my skin and I can just feel the rays sinking into my skin. These last couple of miles are daunting because my left toes are going numb, the fuel stations were so spread out that I couldn’t drink a lot of my water being afraid that I wouldn’t have enough. At this point it everyone in the city has woken up because the boardwalk was crowded with people and I’m almost embarrassed to be running down the boardwalk with other people just walking though, bobbing and weaving though each other. But as I pass mile 11 and mile 12 I just can’t wait to be done and I told myself, I must beat that NYC Half time.
Finish: 3:03:01 – I beat my time at the NYCHalf but I didn’t PR. I really wasn’t looking to PR this race, but I was really looking to come in under three hours and I missed that mark again. Maybe if I didn’t become so frustrated and walked so much between miles 5 – 8 I would have finished it, but no matter.
I got my huge shiny medal, made my way back to the car, changed my clothes and it was off back to Brooklyn.
That’s it folks. This is my second race to qualify for Half Fanatics. My third and final race will be the Brooklyn Half, which is less than a month away. Not really looking to PR this race either, but under three hours would be great!
Are you running a race next month? What are you running? Is it the Brooklyn Half? Lets meet up!