ginger: (3-day training)
To paraphrase what I saw on someone's shirt this weekend:

One cause.
Three days.
Sixty miles.
350 volunteer crew.
2700 walkers.
$6.9 million raised for a cure by the Seattle 3-Day.

My own tally - one sore foot, achy calves, inflamed hips, bad sunburns, a sniffle, and two nights of the worst sleep imaginable - suddenly sounds totally worth it.

I tell you - the number of people who turned out along the route to wave signs, or mist the walkers with water bottles, or hand out candy or popsicles or otter pops - totally amazing. I got dissed by a 5-year-old once though - he was high-fiving all the walkers, and I went to high-five him, and he pulled his hand away from me, and went back to high-fiving everyone behind me :P But the little girl in the tutu and tiara handing out stickers was totally adorable. There was a trio of older guys, named Moose (!! He really liked my moose-on-treadmill baseball cap *grin*), Bob and Dan, who would stand somewhere along the route, cheer on walkers, and then get in a vehicle and drive ahead to do it again. I saw them 7 times on day 1, 4 times on day 2 and 3 times on day 3. Moose gave good hugs. There was this other guy who wrote encouraging messages on his SUV windows and drove around to various points on the route playing loud bouncy music and high-fived everyone - saw him 2-3 times a day too. There was so much encouragement from both the volunteers and the community. I tell you what, wow.

And to the few people - you know who you are - who, when they heard I was going to try to do this, went "You are going to what?" (because I'm just about the least athletic person in the world, and I'll admit that readily) - you guys are the reason I didn't stop. So even if it was kind of a jerky thing to say, it DID get me up those hills - if only so I can now say I TOLD YOU SO!!!

Because I kicked ass all over that route.

I spent Day One walking with an RN from the state prison at Monroe. She broke her hand less than two weeks ago, and was in a cast, but she walked anyway. We held each other up on the way up the last hill into camp (and who the FUCK decided that putting camp, which we couldn't get to without walking 20 miles first, needed to be at the top of the second steepest hill I've ever seen? On Day One, we had to walk over 2 miles up what I swear had to be a 35-40 degree incline), and then lost track of each other.

On Day Two, I started out with my tentmate (an RN from a women's clinic at Evergreen), but I sent her on ahead at the grab-and-go where I needed to stop for an icepack. Chatted briefly with a safety officer who kept encountering me through the rest of the day and asking if I was still okay. I stopped at every pit stop after that for 20 minutes on ice, except for the last one of the route. Over the course of the day, I walked with my buddy from Day One for a couple of miles, and by myself for most of the early afternoon, singing to myself and chatting with the groups who passed me. (I've had "La Vie Boheme" from Rent stuck in my head since Friday afternoon. No idea why.) Day Two ended with literally three miles up the same hill as Day One, on a road with a similar incline, before the last mile was level. About halfway up (so about 2 miles from camp) a sweep van had pulled over to pick up someone else, and I stood in front of the van and wibbled for a minute about whether I was going to get in and punk out, until someone behind me said, "You get away from that van. You can walk with me. You've been standing there long enough that I bet you really don't want to get in." And I thought to myself, "Yeah, she's right." So I walked the last 2 miles - very slowly - with a lady from Bainbridge Island and a couple of her teammates.

Day Three, I left solo, and en route to pit stop one, ran into a team of three coworkers (Bill, Ron and Kristina) and Bill's daughter Heather. They invited me to walk with them, and I did all day up until the last mile, where they had to slow down for something and I knew that if I stopped, I might not start up again. But they were very nice, and everyone we passed was familiar with Ron - the night before, at the "open mic" time, he'd gotten up and talked about his wife Linda, who was currently battling breast cancer. I wasn't there, but it was apparently very moving - we even got passed by some women who had written on their shirts in sharpie "We're walking for Ron's wife Linda". When they saw who they were passing, they wanted their pictures taken with Ron. It was really moving. All four of them had pictures of her on their t-shirts.

The last walk into the holding area was lined with people cheering and clapping and yelling "You did it!" I had about an hour in the holding area, so I clocked in (started at 6:45am, finished at 3:25) and got my t-shirt, then bought a sweatshirt with the 3-day logo on it (which I had meant to do earlier, but didn't want to have to pack it all weekend), and SAT. Took off my shoes, and noticed a burgeoning blister - my first of the weekend - on the side of my foot. So I put a bandaid on it, and iced the top of my foot for a bit (which is still sore - I expect I probably strained it or something), and IM'ed with Joyce a bit while I waited for all the friends-and-family to listen to the guy on the loudspeaker going "WILL ALL THE FRIENDS-AND-FAMILY PLEASE MOVE TO THE CLOSING CEREMONIES AREA" (which they were all totally ignoring, except mine, who were where they were supposed to be because they are this many smrt).

Finally, the closing ceremonies started - only a half hour or so late (I hear last year they were almost 2 hours late). We walked in, ostensibly in rows of 8 (but I noticed most of the rows were kinda deformed), and it was a hell of a long parade. I didn't catch most of what they were saying while we were walking in - I was about halfway back in the long parade. (I'm sorry, y'all - it was seriously a moving experience, I was trying really hard not to cry at the time, and now I'm totally not able to put it into words. Dammit.) We got thundering rounds of applause. The crew got thundering rounds of applause. The mention of flush toilets and showers that weren't communal and in semis got thundering rounds of applause. (Oh my god. I swear I flushed the toilet thirty times last night JUST BECAUSE I COULD. I felt five years old afterwards.) The tail end of the parade - the walkers who were also survivors - got thundering rounds of applause from the family-and-friends, and a Shoe Salute from the rest of the walkers.

Dan, Grant and Anjela, and Ari and Ari's parents were there. They retrieved me with lots of hugs, then we retrieved my bag, and fled to cars, where I sat on something other than a folding chair or the ground for the first time in three days. And OMG the air conditioning. I swooned almost. Once we got out of the parking lot (which took bloody near an hour), we went to Delfino's (I'd been saying all weekend I'd cheerfully strangle someone for a pizza) and had a good time and drank out of a GLASS instead of a camelback or a water bottle. Dan and I came home, I showered, flushed the toilet and giggled for a while, and watched an episode of Smallville, and then I went to bed. In my own bed. With a mattress. And a pillow. And a cold wet washcloth on some of my sunburn.

Also: I heard from people who have done both previous Seattle 3-days and 3-days in other places that this year's course was the most difficult they'd ever seen. Rawr.

Done!

27 August 2006 10:26 pm
ginger: (3-day training)
Course cleared. Aside from that 3/4 mile yesterday, I walked the whole fucking thing.
ginger: (3-day training)
9.2 miles down. Hip is achy, but cooperating. 5 hours til closing ceremonies. Gonna make this a clean sweep - Sunday, you're going down too.
ginger: (3-day training)
10.4 miles...I've walked 9.75 of it, roughly. This hip will not beat me. Ice is my friend. No less than ... I can't count how many people have asked me if I have sunscreen on. I keep saying "yes, the burns are from yesterday." It's time to apply more, once I finish my lunch.
ginger: (3-day training)
Stoopid hip. I'm getting about a mile and a half per 20 minutes with an icepack. Sigh.

Ironically, I think I'd mostly be fine if I had my cane.

I'm at 4.6 miles, of which I've walked all but about 3/4 of a mile. I'm not done yet - ice, ibuprofen and frequent breaks are my friend.
ginger: (3-day training)
(I tried to post this by email, but it won't send for some reason. So if it doubleposts again later, my apologies.)

Aftermath - the medical results of kicking Friday ass.

First and foremost, my right hip flexor - you know, the muscle surrounding the crazy arthritic hip joint of mine - is inflamed. No stabby pains, but it's definitely sore and achey. However, after 15 minutes with an icepack and a couple of motrin, it's relatively inoffensive. I can keep taking the motrin and get an ice pack at pit stops if I need to, and I should be fine, just kinda slow.

Second, I have sunburned arms. And probably face too, but I didn't look. Owie. Naturally, I did not pack the little bottle of aloe I got. (Yes, I forgot to put on sunscreen. This is the fourth time I've been sunburned since I moved to Seattle, and onlythe second that didn't involve garb.)

Finally, the top of my right foot is sore. I dunno what that's all about.
ginger: (3-day training)
I have been honked at by scooters, cars, trucks, semis, tow trucks, buses, tow trucks hauling buses, police cars, ambulances, and a post office van. (Still waiting on a fire truck.)

And I have kicked me some Friday ass.

I entered the starting gate at 7:25 this morning, and walked into camp at 3:35 this afternoon. Today's official route was 19.2 miles, and I walked every step of it.

Hell yes.
ginger: (3-day training)
10.1 miles down. More than half done. Thighs sore, hip fine. Drank 50oz water and 20oz crappy gatorade so far. Having a blast. It's beautiful out here.
ginger: (3-day training)
5.4 miles down. Having a blast. Walking with a new friend. Staying hydrated and eating snacky things. ETA at first cheering station: 10:35, maybe? It's 2.5 miles from here.

Text messages can be sent to me from my userinfo :)
ginger: (3-day training)
I'm off, y'all. Be excellent to each other, and I'll see you on the flip side!

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