Tuesday, November 30, 2010
My 3-Day For the Cure update........
I am sorry it has taken me so long to get this on the blog. I feel as if I have been on the go since the minute I got off the plane from Arizona!
Where do I start....I hope I can get across just how wonderful; this whole experience was. I was either laughing my head off or crying my eyes out. It never "let up" at any time. I wish I could have recorder every minute of these 3 days. You all would be wanting to join me on this heart felt cause next year!
It all began on Day one Friday at 4:00 am, My brother Troy had to make an hour drive to Gilbert to drop me off at the starting point. When pulling into the drive we were directed my a large man in Fury Hot Pink boots! It made me smile. Of course my brother's first response;"he's Gay!" I don't think he really got the fact that EVERYONE would be in some kind of PINK apparel . I had to laugh! I said my good bye and was off to drop off my luggage. My first impression from the start was WOW! These people are so HAPPY to be here. (just a note ALL "crew" members are also volunteers) I ran into my first new "friend" .....a small woman named Angie, she was from Arizona and walking for the first time also. She was to meet up with some other ladies at the start. I was also meeting up with a lady I had meet on the 3-Day message board. (Carol Jordan) She "adopted" me as a team mate since I was alone. When walking in there was a white ribbon where you could write the name of some one who had lost the fight against Breast Cancer. I had told a running friend of mine that I would place her Mom's name on it from her. I was amazed at how many names were on those ribbons. It brought tears to my eye's. And those were the first of many.
After making my way to the starting area, I meet up with Carol. Such a sweet lady, I liked her right from the start. Also I found out we had two others we were waiting for that were also "adopted". Cedar Bennett ( a pharmacist from Arizona) and Stacey Conrad ( a School Bus Driver from Payson, UT.) It was nice to know that we all except Carol were first timer's. We made our way down to the opening ceremony....taking pictures of course along the way. I could tell right off we would all get along great!! They were just as excited as I was to get started. Everywhere you looked you saw PINK! Men & woman. I felt little out of sorts just wearing a pink t-shirt....I mean people were decked out in tu-tu's, wigs, costumes, anything you can dream up....it was there! After a very tearful opening ceremony we were off on the course. And from the very beginning, there was a "SEA" of spectators cheering us on. (we came to know them as "Walker Stalkers") All long the course was "Stop & Go's" every 3 miles, where you could get snacks, water Gatorade, medical help, plus potty's! All the "stops" were "themed"....as in one was "Bra"zil another was The Jamaican "BooB" -sled team....and so forth. The crew really made the stops fun and worth taking a breath. It was so organized! If at any time you had a question you could ask ANYONE and they would know the answer. It amazed me. We all had to wear a lanyard around our neck, through out event with our own "upc code" on it so they could scan you 0n and off the course.
I meet many people on the course....heard many success stories, and to many sad memories of loved ones. On the course you weren't allowed to have ipods, but the some of the crew members were a Harley Davidson group that had there bikes decked out with bra's and pink boa's. There bikes all had NICE stereo systems so when they would pass us on the road you could hear the music. Well me not shy yelled to one of them to just ride by me for awhile! :) A nice girl in front of me was dancing to the beat and heard me yell.....she was soooo with me on needing some tunes! I introduced myself and asked her where she was from. Her name was Angela (a hospital counselor for terminal kids, from Washington, D.C.) she was walking alone for the first time also. So I "adopted" her as part of our "team". And from that point on it was a friendship. She had a great attitude and out going like me! :) Day one was a eye opener for me....I never thought I would be that drained emotionally. The feet felt good, some "hot spots" but no blisters. We all finished the first day and in good spirits walked into camp. Now Camp was just that! We came into a field of over 500 PINK TENTS. Now that was a sight! Of course just knowing that everyone of those tents held 2 people walking for the Cure made my cry! We as a group went to eat.....now just so you know this food was GOOD! We NEVER went hungry the whole 3 days. In fact I know I gained 5 lbs. How does that happen while putting in 60 miles? anyhow after the dinner, it was off to the showers. They had transformed several Semi trucks into individual shower stalls. We has to wait in line for about 20 minutes in order to get our shower. But they never ran out of hot water! Amazing!! Then back to visit or you could go to the "Memory tent" where you could write in a journal in memory of someone you knew. Then lights out @ 9:00pm sharp. And believe me you wanted to sleep. However the first night was COLD! I was surprised it was as cold as it was. I don't know if it was the cold or my emotions but I did not sleep. I wasn't the only one. Around 3:00 am Cedar who was in the tent next to mine asked "Lark you awake?" I replied" I didn't ever go to sleep!"......So the second day began.
We all started together but some of us were faster than others, but we all always meet up at the stops and lunch. It was nice to see a face you knew. There were soooo many people. By the first stop, I & Cedar had Blisters! :( I always get blisters on a Marathon, however when I do those race I don't have to do 3 marathons back to back! So this was a test of strength for me. I just kept thinking of all those who had Cancer...then couldn't take a day off because they were in pain. So I didn't want to give up. Cedar & I came upon a crew member to give us some blister care advice......she told us to wrap them in Duct tape. Yup you read right. So when Cedar past her parents house she ran in & got us some. WOW, it really worked! I felt 100% better. So I was off. but by the last 3 miles of the day I didn't think I could go any longer. The tape wasn't helping any longer, and I could tell I had a few "new" blisters. that is when my teammates words of encouragement kick in. Stacey & Angie were walking by me at that point and just kept telling me to keep moving. I have never hit "THE WALL" in any marathon, so I am not sure what it felt like. But that feeling the last 3 miles of day 2 SUCKED! After crossing the finish line, Cedar & I went to doctor our feet......Needless to say I had to cut the socks & duct tape off my feet. WOW! They were raw!
I had to go to the Medic tent and get 8 of several blisters lanced (popped) and wrapped up. They didn't want me to walk the next day, but I wouldn't back out. I mean I HAD to finish.