This year, January started off with state #22 and ended in December with state #32. This has been another adventurous, fun, exploratory, painful, challenging and amazing running year.
I loved, loved, loved being able to spend time with my family and friends on this journey. Having my cousins and friends also running with me was an extra special bonus!! This was another year of new memories, experiences and making social, historic, connections with places and people
1. This was the first time I had a race cancelled while I was there. January 2017 was suppose to be Clearwater, Florida with my dad. They cancelled the race the day before because of the bad weather that was coming. I was pissed and disappointed. I never thought my race would be cancelled but I found out it happens. The good thing about Florida( first time), Dad and I went to the Women's March and we went to our favorite restaurant Frenchy's in Clearwater, Florida.
2. On my 43rd birthday I ran in my 25th state in Reno. Besides running in state #25 my cousins ran the 5k race on that day too. I was able to see and hang with my Reno cousins and new little cousins that I never met. We laughed, drank, explored, reconnected, and ran together. I was able to spend my birthday with my family and eat the " all you can eat birthday sushi" special
3. Loved Loved being able to see and visit more family. I had the pleasure and joy of seeing my cousins Anita and William twice in Charleston South Carolina and Savannah, Georgia.
4. Cousin Love and friend love continued in Wisconsin. I spent time with my cousin Wendell and my girl Yolanda took the train in from Chicago to hang with me and run a 5k with me.
5. My other girl Nicole, drove three hours to support in Charlotte, North Carolina. We were able to kick it old school and hang out together.
6. Big Big shout out to my girl Maureen ( and pepper) for our First and the original "Girls Trip" North Dakota edition. For a week we explored the state together. Because who goes to North Dakota? Plus being their doing the racist attacks in Charlottesville, Virginia in a state that is predominately male and white was such a different experience. I was in a space, white space that I knew nothing about.
7. North Dakota was my first all women's race
8. I made a connection with nature and history. Visiting Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, Part of the badlands in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and Seminole State Forrest
9. I ran across the Mighty Mississippi River for the first time .
10. My favorite medal that means so much: West Virginia. Those mother F'ing hills. Uphills for miles 11, 12, and 13! The medal is simple but that was one of the hardest half marathons to date!!
11. The race that made me nervous and scared me was Florida. Running in Seminole State Park. Trails, Black Bears, heat( Florida in July), and sugar sand. This was a simple, no thrills race. All in nature. At one point I thought I was lost while running and I fell hard. This race took me completely out of my comfort zone.
12. The biggest and most interactive medal from Arkansas. I was able to take an tour and run past central high school. A place I never thought I would visit. Learned about the Japanese interment camps in Arkansas and more history. My running buddy T happen to run this race too, we were able to have a runcation together
13. Besides crossing the Mississippi River in Tennessee, I was apart of the inaugural Big River crossing half marathon.
14. North Carolina was my last state east of the Mississippi. Of course it was unusally cold when I ran. So not prepared!!!!
15. Texas was my first state to start up the westward journey. In Texas I presented my research and hung out with friends. Cactus Pear Vodka and Mrs. Kitchen....yes please, more and thank you.
16. State #30 was Tennessee. It was my mom's birthday celebration. I was able to visit her undergraduate alma mater, see and touch cotton for the first time, and visit the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel
17. In Wisconsin, my body felt overheated. First time I had that experience. Midwest summer June heat was no joke.
18. Since I couldn't get on a flight to Charleston, South Carolina( holiday and weather issues) I flew into Charlotte, North Carolina, rented a car and drove almost four hours to Charleston, South Carolina. Not part of the plan at all but, I was determined not to miss this race.
19. North Dakota, they played the U.S. and Canadian national anthem. First time that happened. And the race was in suburban hell ( West Fargo).
20. Texas and Little Rock were the largest races I ran in this year and probably the most racially diverse races.
21. Savannah, GA was also in the suburbs but they had the best post- race food. Lots of chocolate goes. It was my first Valentine's Day( love) themed race.
22. Arkansas and Georgia were both themed races. Arkansas gets the prize for the theme.
Next year the goal is to hit state #40. Already Arizona, California, and Montana are on the confirmed list. Also, the 48-96 hour gangsta runner is no longer. Heading out west there will be no " quickies". Plan, organize, plan, plan.