I took a half day off on Friday and left work around noon to head up to SF and the hotel. I eventually hooked up with my teammates, we registered, handed in a few checks, and had a great dinner at Fino where we loaded up on carbs. I got into bed early, but didn’t sleep all that well – I was way too excited, and I must have woken up 7 or 8 times during the night. The alarm went off at 4:15 (ugh), I packed up my stuff, bandaged up my blister prone spots
got dressed and we met Nathalie and her husband in the lobby at 5:00. We made our way to Speedway Meadows, had some breakfast and coffee, shivered our way through the opening ceremony, kissed our respective husbands goodbye and we were on our way!
It was pretty tight at first – more than 2400 walkers leaving at the same time makes it pretty slow going. But as soon as we started moving, I warmed up – and didn’t even get cold going over the Golden Gate bridge!
Most of Saturday was pretty easy. Avon does a great job organizing, and they provided everything we could have needed; good snacks, medical services when necessary, plenty of encouragement and some nice scenery in the form of the very nice (and some very hot) San Jose Bike Cops! How come I don’t run into them here in San Jose, damnit! Here are a few shots of Saturday morning fun:
The walk was beautiful. After we went over the bridge we headed through Sausalito and up to Marin. There were a lot of people cheering us, and I got to make some new friends. Kai is a Newfoundland – and when we came back past his house 5 hours later, he was still in the same position!
He was very sweet. So was this other little dog – I didn’t get her name but she sure was a huggy one.
We really felt great for most of the day. I wasn’t in any rush but ended up walking faster than I ever have, while using very little effort. I’m sure this was energy I’d built up while tapering down my training toward the very end; I was in good shape and pretty well rested, and it paid off. Nothing really hurt until about mile 20 or so – which is farther than we’d ever walked. One of the last challenges we hit on the way back was this:
We knew it was coming because we’d gone down it early in the day – it was tough, but all the walking I did in the hills of Los Altos and Los Gatos really helped! I slowed down but I didn’t have to stop to catch my breath once.
Once we got past the hill, our only big challenge left was the Golden Gate bridge – again.
It was a lot harder this time, I think more due to the traffic noise than anything else. I wasn’t in any more pain than at any other time, but it was so wearing! Damn that place is loud. I focused on the path straight ahead of me and tried to ignore everything else. As we got off the bridge, I spotted my husband Brian waiting for me at the 1-mile-to-go point. What a sight for sore eyes! He’d bought a couple dozen really good cookies and was handing them out to walkers as they came off the bridge. He sure knows how to make friends (or potential dates, I don’t know). I was so thrilled to see him – I thought I was going to have to call him when we got to camp, and there he was, waiting to walk the last mile with me. And it was a good thing – my feet were killing me by then and I was really wobbly.
But we made it and I was very psyched to have completed 26.2 miles! Here’s tent city:
Our team captain’s husband and some other knitting friends had come by, pitched our tent and put our luggage in it! What angels; they couldn’t have done anything that would have made us happier. Anyway, the shower felt better than any shower I’ve ever taken, and I emerged feeling much better as well as about 3 pounds lighter from having gotten rid of all the road dirt. Next stop, medical tent, to have them take care of my blisters.
I decided not to stay in the tent, but went back to the hotel with Brian, where I took a bath, stretched for about 40 minutes, and then eased my feet into my aloe-infused fuzzy socks and was one happy girl.
Brian brought me back to Crissy field in the morning, where we were given a nice breakfast by the fabulous walk crew,
and we were on our way! I’d bandaged my blisters really carefully in the morning, stretched twice, and felt absolutely great. We made our way through the city and most of our favorite cheerleaders were back for a second day:
Pepper the I Will Survive Lady was awesome. She danced her way to I Will Survive at high volume for 2 days straight and yelled out encouragement and generally brightened everyone’s day. I also met a new friend, Tony.
We climbed a few hills:
They were tough but not as tough as I thought they’d be. We had lunch in a nice park somewhere around mile 8
We were doing well. I could feel my blistered toe, but it was ok. I was tightening up and feeling some knee pain, but nothing was going to stop me. Nathalie’s knee was acting up but she wasn’t going to give up either. So on we went. Around mile 10 the weirdest thing happened. I got this sharp jabbing pain in my toe – it felt like an electrical shock that didn’t want to stop. I couldn’t walk normally on it, but I was able to limp along. Just before mile 12, there was my wonderful hubby again, waiting to do the last mile with me. Nathalie’s hubby joined us shortly after that. As we neared the finish, we got quite the welcome! I couldn’t stop smiling.
It was the most awesome feeling.
We picked up our new tee shirts and I made my way to the medical tent. I thought I had just one more blister on my previously wounded toe, but it was uglier than I expected. Blech!
Ruby at the medical tent fixed me up though and I felt better – though I was so bandaged up I couldn’t put my foot back in my shoe – so I limped along with my wrapped foot there for all to see. It looked more dramatic than it really was.
The closing ceremony was cool, and Avon sure did a beautiful job of making us feel very proud of ourselves.
We walked 39.3 miles over 2 days.
I raised over $4,500 dollars myself
There were over 2400 of us walking this weekend
As a group we raised over $5.4 million dollars
During that time, about 125 people in the US died of breast cancer.
I’m feeling damned fine.
I love my supportive husband.
I also love the San Jose Bike Cops
If you feel inclined to donate toward the fight against Breast Cancer, you can still donate for about 29 more days by clicking on the link on Donna’s sidebar.
That’s it! Thanks Donna, and goodbye Boobie Tuesday!
An awesome experience indeed....
I'm glad to see some familiar faces...SJ Cop Hotties....Phil (Did he blast the song Pretty Woman on a stereo?)...Pepper....and our "Walk Dog" was Snowflake, a beautiful Dalmation wearing a red bandana...