(#10) Atlantic City April Fools Half Marathon – Part 2 (Volunteers & Milk)

April 2, 2012

Aurora sort of leaning back with her April Fools Atlantic City 2012 half marathon medalPicking up from yesterday, somewhere between 3 and 4 miles in, we make a turn and go through a neighborhood. Still awake. I got this.

There was one very young, completely adorable little girl at a water stop who said the exact same thing to everyone. It was simple. “Vanilla Gu. You’re doing great. Keep it up!” She literally phrased it the exact same way, using the same inflection to every single runner that passed.

You could tell that an adult (probably a parent) had most likely encouraged her to volunteer, and in the morning coached her on exactly what to say to the runners. It was one of the cutest things I’ve seen in a race, and I got to pass her twice, since the course was a loop.

There was another funny girl at a water stop who said, “Would you like some water?” I reached out for the cup. It was empty. “April Fools!” she said. (Then she handed me one with water in it.) I thought that was hilarious.

I didn’t know what sorts of April Fools’ jokes the course would have – maybe labeling each mile as Mile 1, or who knows? But everything was labeled as it normally is. I didn’t experience any April Fools jokes – other than the one at the water stop.

some water and beach along the Atlantic City boardwalk in the fogAs I got close to the turnaround, a woman in the group of people coming back toward me said, “Aurora?” It was one of my blog followers! I kid you not. This lovely girl, Aimee recognized me in my hat from all my blog pictures, and gave me a hug as she passed. So cool, right? She also let me know that chocolate milk was coming at the turnaround(!) Sweet business.

(And it turns out it wasn’t the race staff who brought milk, it was her friend Pat.)

If you’ve been reading the blog, you know I’ve been questioning milk a lot lately. Well, I’m done with my questioning phase. In every athletic magazine I’ve been reading lately to pass the time on long subway rides, people say milk is good. Doctors say it’s good. Athletes say it’s good.

When I was talking with one of my brilliant friends, whom I trust a ton, about how milk made me nervous and how there are documentaries about how it’s secretly not as good for you as you think it is, he made a joke (with a truth tint to it) about how documentaries are for people who are trying to prove a false point. I said, “not all documentaries.” He basically said, “True, not the ones that are seen and talked about.” Touché

So, until I get any better evidence, I’m going to go about blissfully believing that milk is really good for me and gives me all the calcium I need. And I’m glad, ’cause I freaking love it (both milk and the idea of getting calcium).

Aurora in between poses wth her medal
(caught in between poses)

[Edited to add: I later had various vegan challenges and changed my tune a little. I now try to limit my dairy intake.]

Remember last week when I was flabbergasted at the difference in how two races felt when my times were only 121 seconds off? Well, I know that in half marathons, every second counts. That’s not so super true with me since I’m quite slow. It’s really more about minutes when you’re this slow.

However, even though no one said it to me, in my head, I heard you all saying “121 seconds could make a huge difference in the way you feel. Over 2 minutes? That’s an eternity when it comes to a race.”

I thought it would be nice if I could match or beat my Washington DC time so that I could be flabbergasted about the difference in feel of the races without any of us questioning if it was due to the 121 seconds.

I didn’t set that as an official goal for myself, but I thought it would be nice if it happened.

Somewhere around mile 7/8, I realized I was on track to PR. What?! I’m here sleepwalking through this race, and I’m on track to PR?

Will I be able to pull out a personal record? Find out tomorrow.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?