60 miles 3days 1 goal

October 3, 2011 at 8:45 pm (Uncategorized) (, )

It  was a week  ago (Now  almost  a  month)  that I was  walking with my  sister J, K , and our  friend S for  the Susan  G  Koman  Sf  walk for  Breast  Cancer Awareness.  I want to  write at least some of my thoughts and impressions down .( this post  may take  more  than one  day){ha  -much  more ) .

The  night  before most of  us  were at J’s  house,  eating pasta, bread,  and  cake.   We  slept  there because it  was an easy  trip to  Cow  Hollow in  the am .

S met  us at  J’s  house  at  about 5 – and we  went down . The guys dropped us off ,our  gear was  thrown in a  truck , lanyards  were found, the guys  found us , pictures were taken.   Even  though it was DARK, there were a lot of bright lights, so I  put  on my  sunglasses. ( I am  that  cool).Then it  was  time for  opening ceremonies.

The guys  left  and we went into  the circle. It  was corny, touching, loud, and very enthusiastic. Probably  great  if you had  done  it  before, but for a  first  time walker  and nonmorning person – just too loud  and – I  was impatient  with it. I  was  ready to  start  walking. I wasn’t  nervous, or  anxious  about me and my  ability  to  walk , but I just  didn’t  know how it all worked  and I was  just ready to go .

We  did finally leave  the parking lot (that is  where our  badges  were scanned ) and started  walking . Lots of cheers, toots, honk, etc. as  we walked  the first  part. It was also  crowded  – not  too crowed  to move,  but a lot of  people and a slower pace.  We  spent  a lot of  time trying to weave through the groups  and trying to get  away  from  the loud  talkers ( no I do not  care about a stranger’s daughter’s  wedding ). The  first  pitstop was  three or so  miles in – porta poties ( yay) ,drinks  and snacks . That’s  also  when  things  started spreading out  a bit.

No, I  am  not going to recount  mile  by  mile. Some  were easy , some were trudge, some were f’ing hard.   And it varied  throughout  the day  depending on the weather, the  terrain, how  long I  had been walking and if I  needed to  change  my  socks.

Things  that  made  walking easy – random  people  honking.  Music from  the motorcycle  crossing guard  that  were  helping us.  All the various  sweep teams in their vans( boob  camp was  the  name of one  van – they  all had  themes  – western , Disney , etc) , the SFPD bike  squad , our  friends  and  neighbors  that  showed  up  at  cheering stations, strangers  that came  out with  water ,  squirt  bottles,  snacks  and signs,  and our  favorites – the SJPD bike cops. They  were with  us  every  where , in uniforms , with  gun holsters  and pink  tutus. all volunteer, playing music, cracking jokes, flirting  , taking pictures,posing for  pictures, amazing  bike handling skills (  stay on  your bike  with  a crowd  of 50 – 70  walkers  all  around  you ).  Helping  us  stay  safe ,esp  in  the  areas  that  were crowed or  inaccessible to  the sweep  vans.

Other  good  things — the  number  of  people  involved ,  – walkers  and  supports  staff.  Mobile  shower  trucks – decent  showers.  ferrys  were  fun.  Dance  party . medical  personnel.

Also  grateful for  food. and porta potties ( even  if  there was  no love)

Dislikes . The wind on  treasure  island where we  camped. Cold when  you  had to  get up  at  night — and our tents  were  unstaked.   Katy  perry ‘s  california gurls  and Beyoncé’s  single  ladies — I  never  need  to  hear  them again. That  evil  hill in Saucolito.  The ferry .   I liked  riding on  them , but it took way too  long for  them to  fill , get  going, etc.  So  we  started walking later – which  meant  more  hurrying,  faster walking,  less  resting,  less  enjoyment  of  the moment.

Odd things.  We  got a  sticker at  every  pitstop – which is  what  I  did for  story  time kids.  So not  sure  I  needed a  sticker  reward. But  when a  9   year  old  boy  in a  pink  tutu  is offering a  sticker  to  cheer  you  on, you  have to be polite.  PB&J  grahman  crackers – commercially  made – good , but easy  to  OD  on.  Also,  a  few  people  that  said  things  like ” that  was  easy ” or  “that  wasn’t  hard. ”  you know  what – walking 20  miles a  day  3  days in a  row is hard.  Maybe not  as  hard  as  you  thought , or  impossible,  but it  is  hard.

Highlights – meeting a  woman  from  Evergreen  colorado – who  had  ued a  drug that S had  worked on .   Meeting I  from  the Warming hut  Hotties – She  walked  with  us on  the first  day. Meeting my  friend  P  , from  Niles , as one of  the motorcycle  club  crossing  guards.  The story of one  of  the sweep  vechicle  people  – both   horrible, ( her  whole  family  on  both side  had  huge  numbers  of people  with  breast  cancer),  and yet  hopeful with  her  determination/dedication. The  Stories  from  the kids  invovled  with  youth core – yes  they  were sad  stories,  but  also exciting ,  becaause  they  were o  determined  to make a difference. ( 9  to  14  year olds  with  more dedication than I  have  ever  had. ) The  dance  party-  spend  two  days  walking 40  miles — and oddly — you  have  to  shake  things  loose.  The  closing  ceremonies.  Yes,  still had  some corny  moments.  But  dancing, celebrating , yelling,  raising  your shoe to  the surviors works.

for  others  that  want  to  do  this —

1)  bring hardboiled  eggs  of  jerky – our  biggest  problem  as walkers  was  the  need  for  protien – and  the pitsops didn’t  always  have  enough.   And sometimes  lunch  was too  far away.

2)  Tents  are small so  they  stay  warm – if  you  get  warm ,  keep  that in  mind  as  you  pack – you  maybe able to go lighter  than  you  think

3)  evening clothes – unless  there is  rain – really  you  need  a set  for  camp – pj type  clothes  work  just  fine.

4)  if  you use  pain killers – carry  more  than  you  want- you will need  them and  want  to  share. ( there  were  people  I  would  have  carried at  the end  of  the walk if I  could  have)

5)  go  to  the medical  tent — they  did a  lot for  my sister  J and for  our  new  friend I

6)  If  you really  want to  walk the  whole  thing get  up  early in  the am – The  longer  time you  have to  walk – the more  you  can  enjoy  it.   Pauses,  breaks , slowing down  to talk to  people  make  it  more  fun.

Now  for  the bigger  questions:

Am I  still walking:   A  little.   I was tired  for a  week.  But I  seem to  have started  walking again – Only  a  few  miles , but my  feet  are still cranky. ( a  month  later  nothing  is  cranky – but I  have  been  busy  with  normal  things – I  was  going to  walk  to  work at  least  once  this  week ,  but I  have a  cold )

What did I learned.  My  self motivation – once  I’ve  made a  commitmet , is really high.  I  walked  when I  planned  to walk , I  did not  wimp  out, I  only shortened  the walk when I had a physical  needs .  Though  I did  do longer walks  with people – I  did a  lot  on my  own .  I  even  found  when  I  was on  the  walk  , I  spend  a  lot  of  time in my  head

Was it  worth it -Yes,  without a  doubt. physically, mentally , emotionally   a  truely  satifying way  to raise  money – I worked  hard for  the money  people  donated  for  somethig I  hope  truely  helps.

Will I  do it again.  A  more  complicated  question.  Not  next  year.This  year a major motivation  was – Can  I  do  it?  To do  it  again I’d  need  to  drink  the gatorade – There are people  that do  it  over  and over . I can  see  where it  comes from , but it  took up  a  lot  of my  life.  The last  three  months  of  my life  were spent  walking. It  takes  me  all day  to  walk over  15  miles. I  need  a new  motivation to give  up  that much of my life


  1. Kari Buchanan said,

    It may have taken you a month to write, but you summed up the experience nicely.

  2. Jenny said,

    What Kari said.

    • Jenny said,

      Oh, and thanks for writing this down.

      While in London a few weeks ago, I went in to work out with their weights. The gym was a palace of plastic people that looked through me as I didn’t fit the mold. I internally scoffed them. I bet none of them had recently walked 60 miles in a week…

      • egb63 said,

        yeah – I feel a bit differently about a lot of things since doing this. When I first started going to the gym – I had a hard tiem . Trainers wanted me to lose weight, but I wanted to be strong. Strong is what I am now.

  3. SDS said,

    I was just reading this. It brought back fond memories. I laughed at the end, as well, about drinking the koolade. Apparently I did! Then again, my life does not have the significant other to devote time to. I think being single makes it easier. Esp since the training group provides social elements during training. Thanks for writing this. I keep saying I will write something…it has been three months, almost four, and I have yet to pen to paper. Glad to see one of our motley crew representing!

    • egb63 said,

      Nothing wrong with drinking the koolade – you know what you are getting into! The SO is only part of it — I lost much of my reading time, all of my gardening time and my house was in greatwer chaos than I could be comfortable with . And it has taken 3 months to catch back up. And now , of course I have to re-add the exercise back in. It has been a tad too sporadic since about the 12th of this month, but that is just a holiday glitch.

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