Friday, September 18, 2009

Reflection on the 3Day 2009

I am taking my time writing this, as I want to capture and remember all that I can. I hope that this may inspire someone to walk with me next year. bwahaha. Here is a map of our course through Seattle:

[Day One: 9.11.09; 21.6 miles; 55,764 steps; 4,339 cal]

Before I even start, I want to remind myself of something. [ #1: you're not allowed to pack the day of ]. Okay, moving on. I was so nervous. I wasn't able to meet up with the group I was supposed to walk with (communication issues) so I started off the day by myself. The opening ceremony was wonderful, but my anxiety was through the roof! We started at Shoreline Community College and it was really crowded at the get-go. Just before getting my credentials scanned I met up and walked the first mile with two very nice ladies. I was talking about walking alone and someone piped up ahead of me "Really? She is alone too!" and that is where I met Ashley (My sister that isn't my sister). This is the best pic from Day 1 that I could find. Ashley (right) and I (left) approaching a cheering station.

We then decided to walk together. We shared stories and we realized that we had much more in common than we thought. In fact, our reason for walking was even so similar. Both of us were walking for our aunties (she had 2 aunties to walk for, one is a survivor, and one lost her battle). It was such an emotional journey and I was so glad that I found someone to share it with. [ #2: start out with moleskin; #3 get thin toe socks ] I started a blister on each heal before the first pit stop (I know right...). After that we went on to Edmonds and got to enjoy a bit of the water and downtown. There was the cutest girls with pink painted pennies and we got to make a wish in their "well". Then we went on through Lynnwood and ate lunch at a park on 196th. We stopped to air out our feet and get a little rest and we were on our way. It was so hot. I think Day 1 was around 85 degrees. Thank goodness Ashley's sister gave me her bandana to dip in water for my neck. Also my sister was kind enough to replenish my bandaid stock and get some Neosporin. hahaha.

Finally, we made it to the last pit stop and Ashley decided to take a sweep van back. She hurt her calf on a hill, and needed to rest up. I walked the last 3 miles or so by myself, and I enjoyed being able to reflect. We camped at Kasch Park by Boeing. It was incredibly ridiculous because it was turf soccer fields and so there was little beads of tires stuck to EVERYTHING! Yes, they are embedded in my blisters. It was amazing to see the sea of pink tents everyone was talking about.

After taking half an hour to rest up and get my feet aired out, it was on to FOOOOOD. Yummy spaghetti and garlic bread goodness! Oh yeah, forgot to say thank you to my sis for bringing my flip flops (d'oh). I chaffed pretty bad the first day so I also invested in a nice little skort to keep certain areas happy. There was a Karokee contest but Ashley and I were so pooped that we skipped it and went on to bed. [ #4: bring Paco Pad or air matress to sleep on ]

[Day Two: 9.12.09; 21.7 miles; 57,518 steps; 4,747 cal]

Waking up was tough. Hell, sleeping was tough. I think it was about 6:00 am that I woke up. I moved. Ouch. Moved again. Ouch. Then I proceed to rub Bengay on everything and took some good old ibuprofin and it was on to shower. By the way, my random tentmate didn't show so I got the tent to myself! Pretty sure there was 1,999 people wanting to strangle me. We waiting until the morning to take 'em, probably the best decision ever. Good little warm up before stretching it out. Then it was on to more food. I went back to my tent and wrapped my poor heels. The blisters were getting worse. Ashley decided not to walk the 2nd day, so I was on my own again :-D T

About a mile down the road I met Beth and Kathie. They were so wonderful! We shared stories and got along really good! It was nice to be chatty. We started at Kasch and we walked through the rest of Lynwood and then into Everett, my home town. It was crazy we were so chatty I didn't even realize we were in my friend Annie's neighborhood. We walked right past her street! I was just about to sprint to her house real quick when I turned and there she was on the corner! We have this connection, and she has just walked out about 5 minutes prior. It was good to give her a hug and finally see someone I know. She took this picture, my only one from Day 2:

We then walked down through Forest Park and into downtown (North) Everett. We walked down Pacific onto Rucker. We even passed PC's Pub that graciously held a fundraising event for us last year. They even said that they were willing to do it again. Whoop. Then on we went and passed so many community supporters. We lunched at Legion Park with a view of the Sound. That was super neat. Hub met me there and got me a few boxes (yes boxes) of Icy Hot patches. By this point my feet looked like this:

Notice the lovely blisters and sexy cankles I am rockin' at this point. Beth decided to take the bus to camp and Kathie had a fall so she was at the med tent. She actually got out of there before me and I didn't know. I was getting my feet wrapped up to be on my way again. This was the turning point of our Everett loop so from her we went to Colby. We walked right past the hospital that my aunt died at in March. It was so tough and emotional but I held it together. The next cheering station was at 41st and I was first greeted by my mom and sister. I saw my mom and just lost it, started bawling. Momma's hugs are the best. Sissa brought me some pink necklaces and some happy pills so I might catch some sleep that night. I then saw Hub and got a big hug outta him and some more IH patches. We then started walking on the Interurban Trail and I met up with Erin and Megan (no pics, and I never saw them again). They were so motivating for me. I really enjoyed getting to know different people.

Finally, I made it back to camp with 43.3 miles under my belt. Wowza. I was so happy about this!!! Ashley was there to greet me at the gate and I went to my tent and rested for a bit. Then Ashley and I went on to dinner. There was a wedding! That was so cool. The couple's team is pirate themed so they had a pirate wedding. It was really cool to see that. After that there was the dance party. I thought I wouldn't be able to move, but it actually helped me loosen up. Let's get this straight, there was no getting low in my apple bottom jeans.

The first is Ashley and me, the second a pic of people dancing on stage. After this we hit the hay at about 9:00pm. Oi.

[Day Three: 9.13.09; 16 miles; 41,091 steps; 4,190 cal]

Seriously. I thought I was sore yesterday? What the hell was I thinking? I woke up and took some ibuprofin and tylenol and then slowly (very slowly) made my way to the pole thing to meet Ashley. We hit the showers first and then went for breakfast. [ #5: bring some of my own snacks, their vegi meals aren't very tastey ] I stopped at medical and had my feet wrapped up and headed back to the tent. I packed my stuff up (a lot harder to get stuff in my bag) and tore down the tent. I look up and there is this line...

Apparently we were being bussed to the next starting point. We rode in this bus that had the heat cranked to approximately 200 degrees and it took us to Northgate. We were dropped off and I really stretched out. We took a potty break at the honey buckets and then we were off. First stop, Green Lake. HAHA I could hear the walkers around GL (not 3Day peeps) talking to eachother, and they all thought we were walking GL. Seriously? Yes, we are all walking Green Lake mister and apparently there are 2,000 women (and like 50 men) that have such a hard time walking 3 miles that we are limping and shuffling our feet. We also need to bring Camelbaks and extra shoes for this 3 miles as well. Oh and to the lady that said "oh I am so tired I already did 5 whole miles today" eff you. That is not what I needed to hear.

Okay. Now we're getting somewhere. This day is at least 5 miles shorter than the others, so I can do this, right? At least I kinda know where I am. Anywho, guess what we did next? Stumped? Oh yeah, we walked. Alright after this pit stop at Greenlake we start going. Then there is this hill. It is downhill so I didn't think it could be too bad. WRONG. I messed up my knee on that hill with about 10 miles left to go. Sheesh. I didn't need this. Well, I kept going limp after limp falling further and further to the end of the pack. We get to the pit stop before lunch and I had a mini melt-down. My heels were bad by this time and my knee was killing me. The medical staff tried to give me a "red card" and I said HELL NO. I have less than 10 miles left. I have come this far, I am not backing out now. Ashley decided to take the bus and skip "the hill" (Capitol Hill neighborhood) and go on to lunch. Then I heard "TAWNYA" I turn, and who is it? It is Beth! Just what I needed.

We then made a pact that neither of us would let the other give up. Boy was I glad I met up with her. We left the pit stop limpin and gimpin to lunch. OMG Capitol hill is intimidating by foot. [ #6: next year do more training on hills ] Pretty soon we hear a cowbell. Not good. That would be the caboose stalking us. We were literally the last ones in to lunch. Beth rebandaged her foot, we met up with Ashley, I grabbed lunch and we ate on the run. We had to get ahead of some people if we were going to have a chance a finishing without being swept up. We hobbled all through Seattle. I forgot I got a nickname on the walk with my gangster gimp "Thug Lite". Yep that's right. That chic will never know she made my day.

From lunch to the end was a struggle for me. I would say it was the hardest thing I have ever done. I kept limping and Beth and Ashley kept me motivated. At the pit stops I kept grabbing Bengay and moving on. We didn't have the time to stop for more than a pee break anymore. We walked on Pike down to the waterfront and walked along the Pier. We were now getting stalked by the sweeper vans "are you sure you're okay?", "really, you've done so much you can ride the van now", "need a ride?". We kept waiving 'em off though. We went down through the sculpture park and then it was only a few blocks until the Key. As we rounded the corner we were greated by so many people cheering us in. Yes, I cried.

Down into the Key Arena we went to be held until the ceremony. Not a very long wait for us, considering we were one of the last 10 walkers in. We received our finishers shirts and then we were hearded out the door to walk to Memorial Stadium. Yes, more walking. I am about dead by now, I have nothin left. Stick a fork in me, I was done. We made it in line and walked in and it was soooo worth it. So many people lining up cheering us on. The stands were full of friends and family. I can't explain the feelings I had.

After the walkers came in, we were followed by the crew and then the survivors. It was amazing to see all of the walkers raise up their right shoe in support of the survivors. Let me see if I have a good pic...

After the ceremony, Beth, Ashley, and I exchanged contact info and we were on our way to see our family.

I missed my husband so much on this walk, but boy was it worth it. When I saw Hub I lost it. I was so sore and could barely move. Hub's mom got a pic of me and you can tell I have this crazy I am going to cry look on me.

After gathering my composure I got in a cheesy pic with Hub.

I guess this is the end of my 3 Day blog. I am finishing this on Friday the 18th. My knee still hurts, my blisters are still open, and I still have CANKLES. ugh. Do you know what though? I already signed up for next year! That's right. This journey is so amazing and the memories will stay with me forever. I have met the most amazing people. I will not stop until there is no need to walk anymore, until there is a cure. If you would like to support my efforts next year, my 3Day bank is back at the big old $0.00 and I have $2,300.00 to go. I am so excited, because I already have friends interested in joining my team. If you would like to donate, or join my team, visit my personal 3 Day page and click one of the buttons: "Click to donate to Tawnya in 2010" or "Register to join Tawnya's team" link to personal page below.

Thank you to all of my friends and family that have supported me this year. I don't know how to thank you enough. In this time of sadness we have done something to make it better. Together we can do this!