10.15.2008

Wordy Wednesday - Breast Cancer 3Day!

Ok, let me just warn you. This post is gonna be long as hell. I want to post about my 3Day experience in it's fullest so I'll always remember it, and I'll have this post to look back on. I walked with my friend Charlotte, and our friend Janine was part of the Traffic and Safety Crew.

So yes. Breast Cancer. Appropriate because October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Have you been too wrapped up in the gloriousness that is fall and football? Then you might have noticed the pink ribbons on the NFL referees shirts. FREAKING COOL! And I noticed a few pink ribbon pins on NFL coaches as well. Very cool.

Back to the 3Day:
Friday was a loooooooong day. We got up at 4am and headed over to opening ceremonies at Potomac Mills Mall. Got there around 5am. Char got herself checked in properly, we dropped our bags off at the gear trucks, and then had about 3 hours to stand around. Not so good for the feet. Eventually I gave up and just sat down on the concrete (we were outside in the parking lot). During opening ceremonies we met a group of 3 girls. They were in front of us during the ceremonies, and we started talking to them. One of them, Melissa, was struggling to get a little clip thing back on her camelback, so I offered to help. Char commented that I was just trying to touch ppl's boobs. Now, a normal person, would've given us a strange look, turned, and run. Melissa however, turned to me as I was jokingly holding my hands in front of me in a mock boob squeeze, and walked her boobies straight into my hands. Can we say friends for life? That's what I thought.

So we start walking. And walking. And walking. Friday we walked 23.5 miles (although a rumor going around was that we actually walked 26.3). They gave us little cards with mileage on them, and when our pit stops were and lunch and such. At the bottom of the card was a tiny little asterisk with a note that said "Milage may not be exact." Oh the impact of those words! At the first pit stop Melissa advised us to slather our feet in vaseline, and holy crap if I didn't thank her 25 times by the end of the day for making us do that. No blisters after day 1! WOOT! I shudder to think how much WORSE my feet would've been if I hadn't done that. Not a pretty sight. (The vaseline helps cut down the friction between your feet and socks and shoes, and friction = blisters, so that's why it helped.) So we all stuck together for the day and had a blast. Melissa, Crys, and Becca were a RIOT! Everyone out on the walk was so fun and friendly. You would just walk and overhear someone saying something, and you could just jump right in with a comment or a laugh and it was all good. Like walking witn 3300 of my closest friends, LOL! Becca would randomly start singing a song, and people would jump in an sing along. At the intersections where they had to direct traffic, the Moto Crew (all on motorcycles, really awesome ppl) usually had music playing from their bikes so everyone would dance and sing along. It really was a fun time (which I can say now, looking back, cuz it's OVAH and my feet are mostly back to normal :P). Naturally, to end Day 1, we had to climb a MONSTER hill. We practically ran up that thing! Lol! It was a combination of trying to lose the creepy guy that had attached himself to us, and the knowledge that the faster we get up the hill, the faster we're done walking for the day. Plus, hills are good for buns of steel, and that right there is good motivation on it's own! So we get to the top of hill and we're all excited cuz across the road is camp! WOOT! So we start walking. And walking. And walking. And by now, I'm dead on my feet. My feet are throbbing, I'm just about ready to cry, and all I want to do is see the damn camp. Then we see the "1 mile til camp" sign. Sweet. 1 more mile. I can do this. Well, there's no way in hell that sign was 1 mile from the entrance to camp. No effing WAY man! I know I was a bit delirious at that point, but there's just no way. Everytime we went around a bend in the trail I was SURE we were gonna see camp. And it kept not appearing, lol. Finally though, we made it. Then we had to find our gear truck, get our bags, get a tent, find the campsite, and set up the tent. Awesome. So we get to our site, and I immediately sit down and take off my shoes for fear of my feet exploding if I left them on any longer. Immense relief once the shoes were off. So we start putting the tent together, which is pretty dang simple. It's one of those small-ish 2 person tents, where the long rods are all connected and all you have to do is thread the loops and pop the rods into the right holes. Easy = awesome. So we unroll our sleeping pads, and immediately fall over onto them in a heap. I look at Char and say "What have we gotten ourselves into?! Please don't hate me forever!!" and then we dissolve into giggles for a solid 5 minutes because we're totally delirious. So we set up our tents, and decide to put on our pj's to go eat dinner and then just bring clean undies to change into when we shower. So we go get dinner, which I can barely eat cuz I'm so full of water and pretzels and granola bars from eating all day long. Spaghetti and meatballs with garlic bread. Not bad, but again, I couldn't bring myself to eat all that much. So we finish there, and trudge over to the shower trucks. Where we are 25 and 26 in line. Awesome. 50 minutes later we get into the truck and take fast showers cuz there are still 894038290432 ppl in line. Head back to our tents, and crash out.

Saturday we got up at like 6:30. Had some breakfast, and then just hit the road. We left around 8 and saw Janine on our way out, so that was nice. Saturday I decided to wear different shoes from day 1. I can't even begin to explain the horrific impact that caused on my feet. Within 2.3 miles (which may not be exact :p) I could feel a blister forming on my heel. Another 2 miles or so and we hit a grab and go and got a snack and refilled our water bottles. I knew I wasn't drinking enough, and not drinking enough is ALSO bad for blisters. Super. It was 4 miles or so from that stop to the next pitstop. About 1/4 mile away from the pit stop I look over at Char and say "Something just happened to my foot." I managed to get a blister on the ball of my right foot, AND pop it, within 7 miles or so. NOT COOL!! So at that pit stop I waited in line for medical and had them fix up both of my feet. I figured I would have them do it once and pay attention and then do it myself the rest of the walk. We ran into the girls at that pitstop. Crys was all antsy, so they ended up leaving ahead of us, which wasn't a big deal. We passed Becca on the way to the next pitstop, and ran into Melissa and Crys. We decided to hit the road quickly and get to lunch so we could relax a little. As we were on our way to lunch we passed a few small unofficial cheering stations. SO nice. It really made me tear up to see people sitting out there in the sun and the heat, just to cheer us on and thank us for walking. Well forget it, by the time I got to the official cheering station we were almost 12 miles into the day, my feet needed some TLC and it was HOT. So when we turned a corner and saw 300+ people sitting at an intersection, I knew I was in trouble. I looked at Char and said "If all those people are sitting there to cheer us on, I'm 100% gonna cry. Game over." She naturally teases me, as she is incapable of emotion (it's a running joke :)). I start tearing up almost immediately, and then see a little girl holding a sign that said "Someday I want Ta-tas to save!" and is waving and clapping and thanking us. GAME FREAKING OVER! So now I'm speed walking through the cheer station, cuz I know I look like a moron, and people are like "awww she's crying." and I'm like AH! Stop making fun of me! (I knew they weren't, but still.) There were groups of people there with 3 generations to cheer us on. Totally crazy and awesome. So I speed through there while Char is petting all the dogs (we missed ours) and wait on the other side. Make out way to lunch, find a semi shady spot, and pop a squat. Felt SO GOOD to get my shoes and socks off, those puppies needed to BREATHE! Lol! Found the girls again, ate and stretched and then fixed my feet and took off again. 4 miles from lunch to the next pit stop. Except it was 4 miles, all highway, all in the blazing sun. I wanted to die. Made our way to the next pit stop, sat in the shade, and took our shoes off again. As soon as I sat in the shade, I was fine. The damn sun was just killer! Finished off Day 2 relatively strong, but still hurting. That day was 21.5 give or take. Got into camp at 5pm (That's a full 8-5 work day of walking in case you weren't paying attention), went back to the tent and chilled for a bit, called some ppl, etc. Checked out my feet. Blisters on the sides of both heels, the balls of both feet, the inside of both big toes (next to my index toe? I guess that's what it would be? LOL!), and then a smallish one on my right pinky toe. Super. So we got our shower stuff and went over to eat. We got to eat with Janine before she had to get back to work, so that was nice. Met Tom, the guy she made friends with while working. He has the same sense of humor as our little group, so that was a lot of fun. Overheard some girls talking about how this one woman got to back to camp at 1:00 or 1:30, and was complaining there was nothing to do around camp. OF COURSE THERE WASN'T!!! You're not supposed to RUN the course you dumbass! Went and took our showers, there was practically no line this time. I took FOREVER cuz the hot water just felt so good on my aching body, lol. Thankfully, there was NO ONE waiting when I got out, so I didn't feel bad at all :) We decided we wanted to go get matching shirts to wear on sunday (we matched the rest of the weekend, we might as well match sunday too, lol). Stop by the LaCroix tent and see the girls using the foot massagers, so we chat with them for a bit. The massagers didn't even feel that good for me, so that stunk. I didn't have clean socks, and I think that's why, didn't feel so hot on blistered bare feet, lol. They went off to shower, so we hit up the store and got shirts and pins, and then stopped at the post office to send a few postcards. Then went back to the tent and passed out.

Sunday morning came too early. We got up at 5am, packed our bags, took down our tents, and headed for breakfast. Saw Melissa, and they were already done and heading to the buses, so we said we'd catch them later. Got Melissa's number so we could all walk in to the closing ceremonies together. The walk was set for about 16 miles on sunday. Ate breakfast (mostly pushed the food around), stretched, hit up the medical tent for some moleskin, and then went to board the buses. They bussed us 40 minutes NE to Arlington. From there we walked through arlington, georgetown, passed the White House, did a loop near Union Station, and then ended at the old convention center (which is now a large parking lot called City Center). So I spent the whole bus ride fixing my feet. Get there, almost fall off the bus, pee, and off we go. Truthfully, sunday morning is a bit of a blur. Aside from the GIANT hill we walked up on Walter Reed, I'll never forget that! LOL! Again, we powered walked through that thing. Slower = harder on our feet! Pit stop at the top of the hill, pee, and we're off again. Hit the second pit stop and stop to stretch out a bit. As we're waiting in the line for drinks and food, Melissa finds us. She had to have medical lance her blisters and wrap up her feet, and Crys and Becca were to antsy to wait for her, so she told them to just go. (Running joke was that she felt like she was the 3rd wheel.) So she walked the rest of the day with us mostly. Made it through Arlington and across the bridge into Georgetown, around Georgetown and then to lunch. Find Crys and Becca. Am ready to cry my feet hurt so bad, and we've got another 8 miles or so to walk (I think). Becca tells me about these squishy squares you can put on the blister under the moleskin. They're lifesavers. Melissa waits for us while Crys and Becca hit the road. Eat, fix my feet, hit the road. Feet feel awesome for a few miles and I thank Becca profusely when we again meet up with them. Skip a pit stop cuz we're walking around tons of shops and stuff and figure we can just stop there. OOps, the route isn't along shops anymore. Awesome. Find a Fuddruckers to duck into and pee. Feel 10x's better. Walk walk walk. Pictures in front of the White House. Walk walk walk. At this point I'm starting to get really sore, and my feet are ready to give up. Still have at least 4 miles to go. Walking in front of Union Station, I notice a LOT of walkers on the other side of a park type block. This just about kills me. I would rather walk 943085943 hills than walk a circle. Walking in circles makes me insane. Tears start rolling down my face, but I'm trying to hide it. Becca REALLY has to pee. They go off to find her a place to pee, Char and I keep walking. I keep thinking the pit stop HAS to be close. It just HAS to be!! More tears. No end in site. WTF. Char says she wants to sit down at the pit stop and take off her shoes for a few minutes. THANK GOD. I don't care if she just said that to make me feel better, or if she really needed to sit for a bit. Get to the pit stop. Bathroom line 90394302 miles long. Sit behind a big tree, take off shoes, cry in relief, lay down and prop feet up to take some of the pressure off. Force myself to STOP CRYING DAMNIT! Char says that she's resigned herself to her feet hurting and being miserable for hte last 2 miles. Makes me feel better. Miss the girls as they come through the pit stop. Decide to just hit the road and meet them in a bit, wherever they are. Leave pit stop and immediately see.....AN ICE CREAM TRUCK!!! OMG YES!!! Char buys us treats. Chocolate Eclair. So delish. Walking walking walking. Only 1.9 miles from pit stop to closing ceremonies (not sure why I'm all of a sudden writing in fragments). Walk about a mile completely oblivious to the pain in our feet thanks to the ice cream. Pass Union Station AGAIN. See Melissa outside a bar we passed earlier. Meet up with the girls, stop for a pee and stretch break (no alcohol for us, we would've stayed there and skipped closing ceremonies all together). All of a sudden hear that we have to be done by 4:30. It's 4:05. OOPS! Speed walk the last mile. 2 blocks away the whole crown starts chanting 2 more blocks! 2 more blocks! SO FUN!! See the inflatables that mean FINISHED. SO happy. Lots of loud music and people cheering and high fives everywhere (we loved the high fives). Dance our way through. See Janine! YAY!! Get our long sleeves t-shirts that mean WE DID IT!!!

Jordan found me and brought his giant red MD flip flops. SO glad I called him and asked him to bring them. They're about the only thing my feet would fit in, they were so swollen. Take off socks and shoes to put on clean socks and see HUGE RIDICULOUS BLISTER on the ball of my left foot, and my right pinky toe is about 3 times it's normal size. Now understand why I cried for a mile. Hobble around and into closing cermonies. Really nice tributes, a few tears, but mostly just REALLY wanting to sit down. My legs really did not like standing still for very long. Say goodbye to the girls and promise to email soon (still haven't, WORST!). Hobble out and find Jordan, Janine, and Z together with bags. Decide to go eat and DRINK! Hobble a few blocks. Homeless guy tries to talk to Z, who ignores him. Homeless guy calls Z an "Axel Rose lookin Mother Fucker". Easily, funniest thing ever. Eat at Ruby Tuesdays. Have a captain and coke. Mostly just happy to sit down. Eat, drink, head our separate ways. Pass out in the car nearly immediately. Wake up in the garage. Almost cry thinking of walking into the house. Jordan carries me inside piggy back, and puts me on the bed. Snuggles with Tigah-now. He starts a hot bath in the whirlpool tub. Carries me into the bathroom so I can pee. Get into the tub on my own (barely). Feels amazing. Too hot water gives me a headache. Get out. Put on PJ's. So thankful for my super comfortable bed. Spoon with Jordan, pass out. Excellent end to the weekend.

So that's my recap, LOL! I warned you it was long!! Looking back, we had an amazing time. It was awesome to meet Melissa, Crys, and Becca. We shared SO MANY laughs and ridiculous stories. While I can't walk next year (the DC walk is the same weekend as my wedding), we're thinking of doing it again and recruiting my mom too (*waves* Hi Mom!). Maybe in 2010? We'll see, LOL! Next time I'll probably be a bit more diligent with my training (lesson learned!!!). I'm sure I'll share a few more memories and stories in the future. I just needed to sit down and get all this out! Lol!

Thanks so much if you read all this!
Have a great day!

~Col



4 comments:

Sara said...

You rock my socks, girlfriend. So proud of you. Love. :)

Jennifer said...

What an amazing weekend! Totally inspires me to try it next year.

Vanessa said...

Good for you, that's a whole lot of walking, no way I could do 40 plus miles. Hope your feet aren't too bad.

Kresta said...

Wow - that's quite a story! Glad you survived, if only barely!