I've been meaning to post a recap of my walk in November, but the past two months have just been jam-packed with “stuff” and I finally forced myself to sit down and write something!
I want to start off by saying how much I truly appreciate everyone's support for my participation in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. My San Diego walk was an incredible 60-mile journey and I have many wonderful memories. Memories I wouldn't have without your generous donations.
I managed to come through the walk with just a few minor injuries, sprained wrist and bruised and blistered toenails. I still bear the bruises under two of my toenails and a third nail happened to fall off last month. Yuck! But my feet held up rather well. They were not nearly as banged up as they were in 2009 and my sore muscles were fine just two days after my walk. In DC I was stiff for weeks! I guess all those extra training walks really helped! Ya think? lol
This walk will go down as the first rainy 3 Day in San Diego history, and my first time walking all day in the rain.
And when I say rain, I don't mean the gentle, warm spring showers that we were told you find in San Diego, but a “West Coast” Nor'easter. It was a cold, wind-driven rain that stopped only briefly and managed to soak you from head to toe. Not even the two rain ponchos I had on could keep me dry. It didn't help that we walked along the ocean nearly the entire day on Saturday and most of Sunday.
The San Diego walkers kept apologizing for the rain but the community support made up for the weather. In both cities I've walked the community support was great, but San Diego was at a higher level and very different. Besides the normal handouts of water, candy, gum and chocolate, the “San Diegans” handed out Jell-O shots, beer, wine, salsa and chips, coffee, cookies and donuts throughout the route. They also modified their support for the rain, handing out large garbage bags to use as ponchos, Ziplock bags to put over our socks to keep our feet dry and hand towels to dry off with.
All weekend long the 3 Day staff reminded us to change our socks because “wet socks give you blisters” but that is just not true. I got the same blisters on Saturday walking in wet socks all day that I got on the first day in DC and it was dry and sunny. I gave up on changing the wet socks after the second pit stop. As soon as I left the bus we used to stay dry while we ate lunch, my feet were wet again. And the second time I changed my socks it was WAY harder to put my shoes back on, my poor toes were so bruised and blistered.
Thankfully I packed my walking sandals for Sunday. My feet were much happier for it. In spite of the rain, the walk was great. Here are some of the highlights!
Day 1- Friday
The seals at La Jolla Caves
The Melon Men: three men in hot pink bras stuffed with watermelons
The walk down to the beach at Torrey Pine State Park watching the surfers waiting for the waves
Walking up the steep hill from the beach into Torrey Pines with the San Diego police on bikes asking us to “push the tush” and “cop a feel”
Lunch at La Jolla along the ocean, being windy and cold enough that we did not stay longer than necessary
Jell-O shots, wine and beer being handed out along the route
Mr. Smiley face and his daughter cheering us on as we walked the last few miles to camp. They stayed with us during the entire walk, even in the rain.
Tripping on a hole in the sidewalk about 3 miles from camp and injuring my hand (the medic said I was the only person to come in with a hand injury 🙂 I always have to be unique)
Arriving at camp after 23+ miles and finding a group of men and their sons helping set up tents and carrying bags for the weary walkers
Showers with no lines and individual changing area, a nice change
The remembrance tents glowing on the hill overlooking the beach
Day 2 – Saturday
Rain, Rain and more Rain!
Homeless man who sleeps under one of the overpasses telling me “you should stay out of the rain today. I am not even going out, not a good day to be walking. Stay dry and God bless you for what you are doing”.
The nice lady that was handing out Ziplock baggies to put on over our socks so that we could keep our feet dry.
The “hug” man at lunch. He stood under a tree waiting for each walker to come by to give them a hug. And boy did I need it after 13+ miles of walking in the rain.
Lunch on a school bus which was warm and dry
No rain for the next 4 miles on the boardwalk at Mission Beach
Parties at the condos on the beach with offers of cocktails, beer and free breast exams from young college men. I thought long and hard about joining them and getting a taxi back to camp! That beer was looking pretty good!
A double rainbow over the beach
Camp: the inside of the tent and sleeping bag were both dry
Showers, hot water and dry towels
Day 3 – Sunday
Sunshine as we packed up our tents and gear and left camp, even though the rain started shortly after
Residents of the assistant living center dancing and cheering us, some were in wheelchairs
San Diego police department entertaining us at the 1st pit stop as we waited for the porta potty. They were so much fun (even rocking a few of the porta potties while they were occupied, telling people to hurry up) and they used their vacation time to keep us safe on our walk.
Massive hill up from Old Towne, beautiful view once at the top but what a hill!
The “breast man”, he is an old man in a wheel chair with the sign that reads “I am a breast man”. He is out there every year, getting hugs and kisses from the walkers.
The last 3+ miles to holding with the sidewalks full of families cheering us on
Petco park and walking in as a team with the “Walks of Life” sign
The silence and the deafening cheers of closing ceremonies
The hugs and goodbyes
These were the memories that I took back with me
Again to all those who made a contribution, thank you for your support. I could not do this without you. And just in case you are wondering, yes I am walking again in 2011… in Philly.
Because of your generosity and the support of all of my donors, to date I've raised $6,800 to help end breast cancer. To contribute to my 2011 walk please visit my site here.
Thank you for making this possible. Maybe next year, you can join me!