On October 13, 2019 I set out complete state 45 and half number 75. I registered for the half marathon when registration opened. They asked why I was running and I shared why I run. I was fortunate to be one of the runners selected to have them do a blog on.
Here is a copy the email I received in July.
Just circling back here to let you know the blog post is ready, and I wanted you to see it first!
All the best, and can’t wait to meet you in October!
Unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to meet anyone because I did a turnaround trip to Rhode Island.
It was cheaper to fly to Providence on Southwest than it was to Boston on Jet Blue, that’s a first. I was blessed to have two friends in Massachusetts to support me at this race. My friend Julie picked me up from the airport and drove me to packet pick up and John my guide from Chicago a year prior signed up on race day to be my guide for the half.
The flight was uneventful, a bit pricey flying from Hobby to PVD. It is often cheaper to fly into Boston, not this time
I hacked up a lung still trying to recover from my upper respiratory infection. I would not recommend running ill. Why would I do it? Because I have limited time to get my 50 states completed on foot. I am just being stubborn, I am listening to my doctors and doing most of what I should, but I have a mission and I am being obedient to my mission which is to share my story/testimony with one person in the state.
Once I arrived, we went straight to the Airbnb, a word to the wise read the comments before selecting your place to stay.
It looked beautiful on the inside I didn’t care to take pictures.
Staying in Newport is expensive I would not suggest staying there if you can drive 30 minutes to the race, I would do that.
Downtown Newport was not the place to be it was wonderful being in the heart of it all and eating at the Red Parrot. But the nightlife kept me up all night. There was someone walking on the deck above me living it up. there were fast cars, thumping bass filled cars riding, drunkard on the corners and girls giggling until 0330. Not good when you need to wake up to go to a race. The first shuttle bus was scheduled to leave at 0500. There is not parking at the race start/finish unless you are an athlete with disabilities such as a hand cyclist or pushrimist.
The expo was tiny. The bib’s have your last name printed on them and the system was pretty efficient. There were booths for local run companies selling Oofos, Hokas, Goodr glasses and a place to take a selfie. It was a no-frills expo.
I eat Subway as a pre-race food. Subway was about 2 miles away. I didn’t go for Subway this race I opted to eat my Seafood Fettuccine Alfredo for dinner and breakfast the next day. I ate at the Red Parrot and loved the dinner and the Banana’s Foster dessert. I was not a fan of their Caesar salad dress, but it must be an acquired taste. CVS was within walking distance up several inclines to grab water for the drinking and for my water bottle.
got up after not being able to sleep due to the noise. If I wasn’t coughing, I was listening to people talking. I tried headphone, but I was afraid that my iPod wouldn’t be charged for the race. I ended up watching Netflix movies all night. I got up and was very cranky. I hadn’t gotten very much sleep the night before because I had to get up early to travel to Rhode Island, nonetheless I had to prepare for the race that I came to complete. I showered, got dressed and ate my leftovers. I packed up my gear and was as very cranky and was ready to leave at 0500 like we had discussed. I didn’t like having to strip my bed, or having to take out trash. I am truly spoiled and prefer hotels where you can have late checkouts. knowing that I was going to have to be dirty until midnight didn’t make me happy. I was a soldier in my past life so I knew I wasn’t going to die and that I could live with it. We packed the car and headed over to the shuttles. The blessing in this 8-minute trip to the start was that I was an AWD athlete so I didn’t have to catch a shuttle. I was able to take an hour nap in the car, Thank you God! I woke up to see part of the sunrise and then ran off to
meet my guide.
I met with my guide John and he signed up that morning for on-site registration. We spent a few minutes catching up. My body was really hurting and I didn’t take any meds because they dehydrate me. I really wanted to have a great race because he drove 45 minutes to come run with me. He is really a great guide one of the bests. I have had some crappy guides in my lifetime. I definitely needed a guide that day because I wasn’t not sure if I would need medical assistance or not. He was also great company. I remember in Chicago he worried if he was a good guide. It was even better on this race. He even took pictures for me so I didn’t waste too much time stopping. I did quite a bit of walking and oh my 383 feet doesn’t seem like a lot, but it is when you haven’t trained for it. I have stopped training for races and I just go out and do them. I race frequently enough to not train as much, not necessarily advisable either, just sharing how Kandi Kane gets it done. We stated in the second wave. I wanted to finish under 3:30 which was the course cut off time. I gave him my goal of 3:15 and that is what I worked for.
I strategically started behind the 2:45 pacer hoping to stay in front of the 3-hour pacer for 7 miles. There were drones everywhere taking pictures at the start. The hand cyclist took off first then the faster runners. There were three waves. There was also a marathon going on.
When the race begins you begin running up. What the hell? This isn’t flat, what is this? I knew that there was elevation even at sea level, and had a plan. I walked up every incline and ran down. I ran until I couldn’t breathe and that is what I did. It was a beautiful day with beautiful weather along a scenic course.
Nice views of the water, boats, and mansions. I didn’t like that cars drove on the course I don’t think all of the cars that drove on the course were supposed to be there. A police officer was yelling at a civilian who was driving fast around the runners.
A couple of time cars were stopped by officers. There was a place on the course where they told us there would be traffic and we were giving warnings before the start. The down hills were nice and definitely helped me go faster. Because I was tired my weaker side contracted more and my foot drop foot kept dragging even with the brace. That caused me to work even harder. A few times I doubted myself, I have never raced without proper sleep. I typically sleep well the night before, the night before the race.
Water stations were awesome most were themed, I loved the Pink Ladies and the guys that dressed like Richard Simmons. On this journey I have been tired, but nothing like today. I was so happy to have great company and someone that I knew wouldn’t let me face plant on the course no matter how many times I tripped. My goal was not to end the race toothless. As we came down the final slope, I was happy to see the finish. Except it looked like they were pulling the finish further back with each step. My fastest mile was mile two because of the huge downhill. Miles 10-12 had the most inclines and there were u turns in the road twice that just made me upset. I understand we needed the mileage; it was cool see more people on the course, but geez.
My last mile was not the slowest but it was close. I finished the race above my goal of 3:15 although I walked quite a bit and felt like death warmed over. I sounded awful as I would hack up phlegm, people probably passed me up because they thought they were going to catch whatever I had.
It was awesome that you run along the beach to finish and people sat on the seawall and watched. The post-race Chicken Noodle Soup was to die for. I only wished they had bigger cups. The mac and Cheese I heard was salty. I was just afraid to try it, there was also Lentil Soup. There were your typical bananas, apples and bagels at the finish. I just had two cups of Chicken Noodles soup. If you registered the day of the race after the race you were allowed to grab your shirt with the goody bag. Most of the goodies were edible. All in all, is was an awesome race I would repeat it again.
After I finished, I stayed and cheered on my 50 stater friends then headed to the PVD airport and hung out in the USO. I didn’t share my story on the course like I typically do. Today, God sent me to talk with the lady in the USO.