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April Fools Half Marathon (1:30.30)

April Fools Half Marathon (1:30.30)

This year’s April Fools Half was a personal worst for me. It wasn’t the worst weather, but it wasn’t my day. It hasn’t my season, but that’s okay they all can’t be. I’ve come to terms with that, and I’m not magically expecting PRs. I’ve run the last five half marathons between 1:29-1:31. Far from the 1:24 I ran a couple of years ago in AC.

Going into April Fools, I had a lot going on. Earlier in the week, I had gotten shots in my upper thigh. Even though it had nothing to do with running, it made me sore. The week before, I cut out a workout, added an extra rest day, and just tried to rest. My legs did not feel good, and mentally I didn’t either.

But I love racing in Atlantic City, and I think the race is always well put together. The week leading up to the race had everything from torrential downpours, to thunderstorms, to the wind, and finally settled on no rain but 100% humidity. Joy! We haven’t had many days that have been humid. Yet, they seem to fall on race days.

While walking around, I felt like I was breathing through a straw. The race started with no issues, and we were off. Immediately I found myself as the fifth woman. The first four women were no more than 20 seconds in front of me. I bounced around a few places but ultimately settled into fourth.

The first mile I hit in 6:40. I felt pretty good. I thought, wow this might be a surprisingly good day for me. I just kind of cruising and felt like I wasn’t putting in that much effort.

april fools half marathon atlantic city me running

Thank you Lisa for the photos

The second mile I ran in 6:36 which looking back was a way to fast for the day. I didn’t feel bad, but you shouldn’t “feel bad” at mile 2 of a half marathon.

I hit the 5k in 20:38 which isn’t all that far off from some 5ks I’ve recently run. We just kept running along the boardwalk and couldn’t see more than 20 feet in front. The fog and humidity were thick, and I was sweating up a storm.

We left the boardwalk and headed towards Ventnor. I was running alone, and I couldn’t seem to get any sort of groove. I thought I might be able to hold the same pace, but the humidity began weighing on me.

The next couple of miles are on the streets of Ventnor. There isn’t a huge crowd, but it’s still fun. I hit the halfway point at 44:00 and I knew I would not be able to keep that pace. I had taken the race out too fast for the weather…

As we headed back towards Atlantic City, we began to see people coming in the opposite direction. It’s always my favorite part to see friends, and it makes the miles go by quickly.

My miles began to creep up, and I was averaging about 7 min miles. I’ve been hard on my running lately, and that didn’t help. I kept plugging along.  I waved to friends and just put one foot in front of the other. Just keep moving forward.

april fools half marathon atlantic city me running

Around mile 9, we went back on the boardwalk, and I told myself, just a half hour to go. I was using a lot of (out loud) self talk to get me towards the finish line. I counted down every mile which is not the attitude to have.

I determined at mile 10 I would need to run exactly 7-minute miles to break 1:30. People cheered for one woman and me kept saying: you are so close to 3rd place, she is only 2 minutes (LOL) ahead. Go. Go. Go. Finally, I said that wasn’t close at all, and she looked at me like I was crazy.

april fools half marathon atlantic city me running

Mile 11 and 12 continued, and I ran a 6:58 and 6:56. The final mile felt like it took forever. I crossed the finish in 1:30.30. My GPS said it was 13.2, but I won’t say I ran any tangents well (or even good).

Thoughts:

Two years ago, I had a similar experience at the April Fools Half. The race was well put together, but it wasn’t my day. Although, not my day in 2017 was still a 1:26. I’ve been hard on myself recently, and it feels as though running just isn’t coming together as I would like. 1:30.30 is a great time for so many, but for the amount of work I’ve put in, it’s not for me. I still had a great time at the April Fools Half, and it’s one of my favorite races of the season.  You can argue the weather was bad, but in ideal weather, it wouldn’t have been my day, my legs weren’t there.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. 

Questions for you: 

Have you ever been to Atlantic City?

How do you shake out a bad race? 

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13 responses

  1. Great report – I have not been to Atlantic City. And I usually shake out after a race with a slow trail run. But a bad run – just a quiet walk. You run so well – so amazingly fast. I only wish I could run so fast. Be gentle to yourself – we all have bad days. I just DNF’d – that really stunk. I learned that even I survived. But it burned me up. I enjoy reading your blog! Wishing you a great month of May – run well – you’re a great runner!

    • Thank you so much for stopping by! We all have those races with DNFs and I think it’s all part of the sport. I hope you feel better, are you healthy?

      • Yes, healthy – just nagging knee issues. See my post – what came first the knee pain or the under training. And age – but, I really don’t think it’s age – I struggle with schedules and making time for myself. I’m at the start of a total reset on running. And the knees are doing so much better. Lowered the mileage – and took the focus off the pace and am just trying to enjoy the run. Thanks for asking. Looking forward to your next race report.

  2. You did great. I never ran april fools half..id like to try it.
    If i have a bad race i dwell on it for a day then put it behind me
    And move on and focus on my workout for my next race..
    I learned alot form you when reading your blogs. I like how you say we all can’t PR or have a great race and you are right.
    We may feel our bodies arw not into it sometimes or weathet may have a factor.

    Happy running hollie..
    Hope to see you at a race soon.

  3. I can totally understand your frustration, but – also it was 100% humidity. You know that played a huge part in your time! You’ve got the skills and speed; you’ll be back to your previous form soon.

  4. You can definitely SEE the humidity in the photos, which means I’m sure it was weighing you down! I think adapting expectations for the weather is important, even if we’re in great shape, when you’re really fit, you can’t expect every race to be a PR. I ran the Salt Lake City Half Marathon last weekend and it was really chilly! BUT I managed to run an 11 minute PR from my previous half marathon 6 months ago

  5. Well done to run in that humidity! I think humidity is one on the worst conditions to run in. Running a bad race sucks. But I reckon there are two kinds of runners, those that have had a bad race and those that haven’t had a bad race yet. It’s just part of the experience. I try to bounce back by trying to find one thing I learned from the experience and can improve on next time. For example, give the ridiculous humidity, could you have hydrated differently? If it’s a learning experience then it’s not a loss.

    • Thank you so much. I don’t think there is much I could have done differently, it wasn’t the humidity that hurt me, my legs just didn’t have it.

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