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Friday morning we got up about 5 am so we could be out of the house by 5:30. frederich was nice enough to get up early so he could drive us down to the opening ceremonies at Nationals Stadium.

We dropped our bags at the truck first thing. Then we walked over toward the stage. When we got close I pulled out my camera and found that somehow over night my batteries had drained. Seriously - on Thursday night I had pulled the camera out to make sure the card was clear and it did't seem to be having any problems. But Friday morning all I got was a message that said "please replace batteries". Even taking them out and putting them back in to readjust them didn't help. Of course I'd packed extra batteries - in the bag that was on the truck. So we walked over to the tent where they were selling tee shirts and stuff to see if there were any batteries, but no such luck. LLT pointed out that it was strange that considering Energizer is the main sponser of the walk there was no way to get batteries at opening ceremonies. But we did manage to take pictures of each other with our cell phones. So we have one picture each of us with the goofy rabbit ears. Of course I just went into my cell phone to pull the picture out and found that I apparently didn't hit "save" so there's no pic of LLT with the rabbit ears :(

Orla at opening ceremonies

By the way, this is the ONLY picture of me at the walk that we have - guess I should have handed the camera to LLT once in a while huh? But she's much more photogenic than I am.

We did manage to see pinkribbonwench who was giving out stickers and foam rabbit ears. She said she would see us at Pit Stop 4 but we never managed to see her again at any point of the weekend.

At 7 they started the opening ceremonies with a set of stretches. Then after some speeches, they let us start walking. The area the around the stage was divided into two sections with a pathway down the center. When they released the walkers they alternated letting a bunch go from each section. So when it was our turn to leave I grabbed on to LLT's backpack to make sure we got to stay together.

We went down the path to the actual starting point of the walk - where our credentials got scanned for the first time and LLT picked up the "Patience" banner. She carried the banner to the 2nd pit stop.

DSCN0173 LLT with the Patience banner, taken at the 2nd pit stop

I probably should explain about the banners - there are a bunch of them. Eight that represent qualities for dealing with breast cancer like Paitence, Love, Courage, Commitment, Optimism, Healing, Belief and Hope. And a bunch that represent who people are walking for like Daughters, Sons, Mothers, Fathers etc. All of the banners are carried for the entire route by various walkers. When one person is tired of carrying a banner it is picked up by someone else - usually at the pit stops.

We also got our Route cards - which don't actually say what the route is. It's just a general idea of how many miles you've walked by the time you reach each pit stop plus the times that the stop is open. If you get to a stop before it opens they will hold you there until it opens and if you miss the stop they will make you get on a bus that will take you to either the lunch stop or camp depending on what time it is. This is so they have all the walkers in a controlled area of the route.

Komen route card day 1

We walked from the front of Nationals Satidum (the side away from South Capitol Street) up to the corner of the next road. Then turned on it and walked to South Capitol Street. We turned there and walked toward the Capitol - losing our first groups of people to the McDonalds where they left the route to grab breakfast. LLT said something about waiting to pass a Starbucks and it became a topic of conversation as we kept walking. We walked down to the National Arboretum and then around to the side walk that curves in front of the Captiol. I remember wondering if the people who planned the walk did the mileage based on streets or based on the actual distance of what we walked - all those curves and such.

Then we walked up North Capitol Street to right across from Union Station. LLT and I thought about ducking in there for Starbucks, bathrooms and batteries but decided against it since that would have meant an extra 1/2 mile walk. So we kept on the route. Luckily the route next took us down by the Captiol Hill Hyatt right next to the Starbucks - all we had to do was cross the street. When we went inside we found we weren't the first to decide to make an unexpected pit stop - heck we weren't even the 20th. One wonders if the staff had any warning or if they just had an unexpected windfall of several hundred people to deal with. There was also enough people in line for the bathrooms that we were using the men's as well as the women's. I kinda wonder what the baristas said when the day was over. This is also where I made my first voice post. We left Starbucks and went down to 7th Street where we crossed over to Independence Avenue. Along the way we actually got to the first pit stop, by the Canadian Embassy where I sat for a few minutes to look at my feet and put a blister bandaid on (I didn't have a blister but wanted to be proactive and I'd forgotten my scissors for the moleskin). I also made my second voice post there. I was somewhat disappointed that we weren't going to go by the Department of Commerce (where aluminmug worked for so many years) but I shouldn't have worried because we followed Independence to 14th Street and then walked up to New York Avenue. At that point we FINALLY passed a CVS where I was able to buy some batteries - and of course LLT made me get Energizers.

We continued to walk up New York Avenue to somewhere close to the convention Center. We walked over by the park where Avon had their closing ceremonies last year (when LLT and I took the Team Wench sign).

Then we walked down K street. We stopped at another CVS store so LLT could get an umbrella to act as a sunshade. We walked around part of Dupont Circle and then down Q Street (I think?) Then over a bridge into Georgetown. We stopped at a park (that had a baseball field) for our 2nd pit stop (park was at O and 27th). There we made the mistake of sitting down for a bit too long and so got stiff. I also made my 3rd Voice post, which I managed to screw up by hitting the pound key one to many times so it got marked private (I've marked it public now).

Next we walked farther into Georgetown, where I saw a cool looking shop called the Dutch Lady on M Street. We went down to Water Street on Wisconsin then back up again on 33rd Street. For those of you who don't know the area, this is the view of 33rd street from Water:

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yes it's a BIT steep. There's also a section of stairs in the middle of it and a bridge before you get to M street. Of course once we got to M street they didn't let us turn but kept us going up through the neighborhood. The incline didn't get any smaller at that point really. I'm wondering how they managed to build buildings on this hill, but I guess there are steeper places - hey I wonder if Komen does a San Francisco walk and how that affects the training of those who walk there. Anyway, by the time we got half way up the neighborhood section (at the corner of 33rd and Q) I was down to my last bit of water - teach me to leave a pit stop without both bottles full to the brim. I was having significant problems to the point that LLT made me stop for a while. There was a group of women who stopped to check on me and one of them was very worried - to the point that she wouldn't leave even when I sent LLT on with the promise that I would hop a sweep van as soon as one stopped.

After 10 or 20 minutes with no sign of a sweep van I was feeling better and I'd pretty much figured out that the vans weren't going up 33rd. I'd also finished the last of my drinks and I knew there wasn't going to be any more liquid until I got to the grab and go which was somewhere ahead of me. So I got up and started walking. Right as I got to the corner a member of the motorcycle crew came by and told me that he'd had reports of someone who needed help. I told him that was me and that I felt good enough to go on until I found a sweep van. When I got to the next major road crossing I talked to the crossing guard (part of the Motorcycle crew) and he said that he had been unable to get a sweep van to stop for someone he had sitting under the shade a little ways off. Apparently every time one passed him they were full. But he also gave me the good news that the next stop was only about 4/10 of a mile away. I figured I could make it the rest of the way and I was actually feeling halfway decent by the time I got there. But then the crew person at the entry told me that lunch was "only" 2.5 miles away and I realized there was NO way I would make it. So I went and filled up my bottles with water and sat on the curb to wait for a sweep bus. I had actually finished one of my two bottles before the van got there - they had to call a van for the few of us who needed it which I didn't think much about at the time. But later I was told by one of the drivers that the sweep vans don't actually go to the Grab N Gos which seems kinda silly to me. Anyway we followed the route of the walk picking up people as we went. The route went through Embassy Row which was kinda neat - the area was beautiful and I wish I'd been able to walk it. When we passed LLT I saw that she'd thrown away the umbrella that she'd bought - which made sense since it didn't even make it to the 2nd pit stop before breaking in the wind. Instead she was carrying the "Father" banner, which she got at the Grab N go. For those of you who don't know it, LLT's Dad died of Lymphoma, and she wore his ring on a chain around her neck all weekend. So I knew that carrying that banner was important to her. Which meant that when we got to the lunch stop I found a place to sit where I could see her coming and I made sure to get a picture of her with the banner.

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Then we grabbed lunch - a chicken sandwhich, chips and cookies. The park where we had lunch had NO shade (have I mentioned LLT is allergic to the sun? No kidding, she's actually allergic to Vitamin D which means she needs to stay out of too much sunlight). Luckily there was a parking lot by the park that we were able to sit in so we were able to get in the shade of a nearby building - but we traded shade for eating RIGHT next to the Port-a-castles (yes after 10 years in the SCA I have to think in order to say "port-a-potty").

By the time we were done LLT had decided to join me on the bus ride back to camp on the concept that it was better to give up at lunch than it would be to not walk on Saturday. So on Friday I managed to walk 10.2 miles and LLT walked 12.5 (all mileages may vary as they're based on the route cards).

We got on the bus going back to camp and we had to wait a while since the bus couldn't leave until it was either full or the lunch stop closed. Luckily it was one of those big fancy buses with a DVD player and we got to watch most of My Big Fat Greek Wedding. I also got the joy of listening to the woman in the next seat over from me throwing up multiple times into a cup - I guess the heat and the walk was too much for her.

Finally we made it to camp where we were each given a little bag of goodies which included (you guessed it) a set of batteries!

First things first, we went to find our bags which were much easier to find than all the black bags some other people brought. The number of all black bags was only outdone by the number of ones decorated with Pink! We were also given this lovely little bright pink land zit (really it was too small to be called a land pimple).

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We set up the tent as easily as you would expect from a couple of people who camp as much as we do. Of course the whole time LLT was mourning the fact that we didn't have her lovely canvas tent. We also set out our solar yard lights that we brought to make sure we could find the tent if we needed to stumble to the port-a-castles in the middle of the night. Finally we covered the tent in the shower curtain that LLT brought for that purpose - the poka dots really helped to identify which tent was ours and helped our neighbors too (on the last day someone actually thanked me for not taking the tent down until she'd gotten back from breakfast because she'd been navigating based on our tent all weekend).

While I filled the air matress LLT helped another walker set up her tent and gave some advice to a couple of other people. At last we were done and decided to head down to the food tent. I don't know what I did, but as I started walking I lost my balance RIGHT next to the tent and all I could think of was that I couldn't fall on the tent or I might squash it. So I staggered for a bit trying to get my balance back and finally fell on the spot next to us (which NEVER got a tent). Luckily I managed to fall without catching myself on my hands.

On our way down to dinner we stopped at the mail tent because I knew LLT had at least one piece of mail and I thought I would find something there for me too. Sure enough in addition to the note I'd written LLT at the Expo we each had a card from aluminmug and Gimpy LLT was fooled for a minute because apparently our mothers have similar handwritting. then she saw the New Jersy post mark and thought that maybe it was from eridun. But I had faith and sure enough the card was from aluminmug. I'm still wondering about that NJ postmark though - aluminmug assures me it was mailed from Delaware.

Dinner was salad, spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread and a really bad chocolate brownie. LLT decided she didn't want much spaghetti so she filled her plate with salad and her salad bowl with the getti. LLT and I each made the mistake of grabbing iced tea which was REALLY bad - not only unsweet but powdered as well. Luckily they also had soda and I was able to make do with orange (I usually only drink root beer or ginger ale).

Afterward we went to the massage tent where we were able to sign up for a free 10 minute Thai Massage. They had a bunch of chair massage stations set up and one Thai Massage person (who used a mat). Since we both were having problems with our legs that's the one we went for. LLT also got to snuggle for a little bit with a very cute minture poodle mix (forget what mixed with) named Lucky. They also had these wonderful lounge chairs (apparently they're "zero gravity recliners") that we got to sit in.

After our massages we went back to the tent, replaced the batteries in our tent light and while LLT read for a while I wrote some letters to be mailed on Saturday. We left the tent open except for the the netting layer and every so often we heard people come by and admire our lights. Yes apparently we had some of the coolest camping toys in our row. :) After a while we TRIED to go to sleep - note the TRIED in there. It was a "bit" windy and there was a lot of noise from the nylon and tarps covering tents flapping in the breeze. Plus the whole tossing and turning thing that I tend to do. And then it started raining. In short, I don't think either of us got a lot of sleep.

Saturday morning we got up to have breakfast, eggs, wimpy bacon, biscuit, potatoes, oatmeal, yogurt and cereal - well that's what they had available but we didn't eat either the yogurt or cereal and I didn't have potatoes. You should have seen the look I got from the server when I didn't take potatoes but I had oatmeal instead. While we were eating I finished up the last of my letters.

Then we got on the road. We were a bit later than we had been on Friday since we waited a bit after they announced that the route was open. But we were by no means the last people out of camp. LLT suggested that we walk a bit slower than we did the day before in an attempt to be able to walk longer. But we thought we weren't doing that badly even though people were passing us. We did stop at one point to let me put moleskin on a hot spot - I don't think LLT put anything on her feet the entire weekend!

Saturday's route actually started and ended with camp, which was in Bethesda some place close to the golf course where they hold the Congressional Open Golf tournament. Very chi-chi neighborhood with lovely houses. We were most of the way to the first pit stop when we saw the caboose rider - a girl on a bike with a cowbell that rang whenever she wiggled her hips. Yes - we did end up being the very LAST walkers there for a little bit.

The caboose rider told us that we only had 10 minutes to get to the next pit stop and get out on the road again or we would be forced to ride the bus to the lunch stop. She suggested we grab a sweep van in order to catch up - so that's what we did. Of course what we found is that we were about 500 feet from the stop but didn't know it because of the hill in the way. By this time my knees were already hurting due to the sucky asphalt path that we were walking for the day. Not to mention that there were very few flat spots either from walking up and down hills or from side to side on the pathway. I'm not surprised they had issues with turned ankles during the day.

Because we were trying to make up time we just refilled our water bottles (I'd learned from the day before) and got back on the road. We didn't even sit down. We also started walking a bit faster and LLT mentioned that she didn't have a problem with us taking the sweep van into stops if we hit the caboose.

By that time my only goal for the walk was never to be the first person to take either the sweep van or get on the lunch bus - quite a step down from at least walking 10 miles a day and trying for 15.

Anyway I thought we'd at least made up some time - I only had to stop and sit for a minute or two once and as I say we were walking faster. But when we got to the light at Pit Stop 2 it was 10:16 and the stop was supposed to close at 10:15. We basically had enough time to hit the port-a-castle and refill water bottles before going back out on the route. I just couldn't do it - I'd been telling LLT for about the last mile that I NEEDED to sit down and do something for my knees as they were becoming more and more painful. So LLT decided to keep going and I decided to meet her at lunch. Another walker suggested that I go to the medical tent to get them to wrap my knees. But the medical tent was really busy and the stop was closing so I just grabbed a couple of ace bandages and hit my knees with some tiger balm before trying to wrap them myself.

As I started to walk toward the bus one of the staff members stopped me and let me know that the bus was full and therefore I could slow down. There was another walker that was stopping here as well and she was going to call a sweep van for the both of us. So we sat in the parking lot and watched as the crew pulled down the tents and packed up. Finally a sweep van came to pick us up and it turned out to be the van who had been following the front runners for the morning. So we were actually the first people that particular van had picked up. The driver/assistant pair were from out of the area and I think they took some wrong turns getting to pit stop 3 (Sweep vans don't go directly to lunch or to Grab N Gos so they were taking us to the 3rd stop where we could grab a bus).

Once we got to the stop I went straight to the med tent and had them rewrap my knees since the bandages had already slipped. They wrapped them and applied tape to try to keep the bandages up. But it took a while for them to get to me so I got to watch people getting blisters lanced (when you came to the med tent for a blister they asked if you'd tried self care first and if you hadn't they wanted you to try it). The most popular thing people were requesting is something called Bio Freeze which is kinda like Ben Gay without the stink. But what amazed me was that the most popular request for treatment after blisters seemed to be knee issues. While I was there they ended up wrapping several knees besides mine.

I got out of the med tent and grabbed a pb&j sandwich while refilling my water bottles. Then I called LLT to ask her where she was in case she was anywhere close to pit stop 3. It turned out she only made it to the Grab N Go before having to stop because of severe pain in her left ankle. They were calling a sweep van for her and a couple other people so I told her I would meet her at lunch. Then because I was feeling okay I decided to walk the 2.5 miles to lunch.

When I got to the lunch stop I waited for LLT by the port-a-castles. I also took the time to re-wrap my knees because the bandages had slipped during the walk from Pit 3. After a while I tried calling her to see where she was in case she had already gotten there. She was just limping in so I went to meet her. We limped her straight to the med tent and she got a chair to wait in while I got us lunch. Then I went and got her more chips since she was craving salt by that point. When the doctor looked at her the Doc decided that she needed to go to the ER to get her ankle x-rayed since there was a possibility she had broken her ankle.

I should note that the weather had gotten downright chilly - to the point that I was regretting my decision not to carry my fleece jacket during the day. But at least I was in long pants. The most popular thing at lunch was the mylar emergency blanket and they must have gone through cases and cases of them.

I waited with her until the ambulance got there and they were taking her away on the stretcher (there was another girl that they took away in the same ambulance who ended up having a severe leg problem as well). Then I got on the bus back to camp - Walk totals for the day Orla 7.4 miles, LLT 8.7.

I got back to camp and went to see if I could find the Bank of America internet station that the signs were talking about but apparently they couldn't get it working. So I couldn't do any updates to LJ. So I went to the electronic post card station and sent out a couple of those. Then I went back by the Bank of America booth to find that while they had a really cool cell phone charging station with lots of different cell phone connectors they didn't have one for the Palm. So I was out of luck there.

So I went to the massage station and sat there for like an hour waiting for the sign ups to start - I was the 2nd person to get a Thai massage on Saturday with the first being the first person to walk back into camp having completed the whole 22.5 miles - who walked in at 12:30 - before either LLT or I had made it to the lunch stop! (BTW the route card says the walk was only 21.5 miles but at dinner they announced the extra mile - who knows where it was?)

When I got out of the massage LLT was up at the medical tent with the verdict of severely sprained ankle (apparently she stepped on it wrong a few too many times). So I walked up to the medical tent and then back down with her to dinner. Then while she sat I went and got her dinner - again with the whole majority of salad thing, plus chicken picatta, wild rice, overcooked broccoli, garlic bread and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Then I headed back over to the dining tent to grab mine.

After dinner LLT headed back to the medical tent where she was spending the night and I went to our tent to get her a blanket, pillow and sweats. Then I walked back over to medical and hung out with her until about 8 pm. Went back and crawled into the tent to read for a bit before turning out the light to get some sleep. It was so cold I tried to use the mylar blanket that Acelina had given us but it just kept ending up in a ball. So I gave up and tried to sleep with just the two blankets that we had brought for LLT and me (she had the big comforter with her). The coldest spot was of course my nose, since I spent lots of time making sure it was the only part of me outside the blanket. Finally I got out the disposable boot warmers that Acelina gave us. I would open one up, put it close to my face and go to sleep. Eventually it would run out of juice and I would open the next pack up. I ended up opening all four packs although I could have gotten away with 3 (I lost one).

In the morning I heard people stirring at about 5:30 but I was stubborn and stayed in bed until about 6. Then I went and grabbed breakfast before checking in with LLT to make sure she'd gotten something to eat (breakfast was sausage, eggs, cheese blintzs with strawberry goo, potatoes, muffins, yogurt, cream of wheat, apple and cereal - I ate sausange,a cheese blintz and cream of wheat).

On the way back to see LLT I found out that there was a bus that was going straight to lunch from camp so that I could just walk the 7.3 (ish) miles from lunch to finish. So I decided to take that option and since LLT was riding a bus to lunch (in order to cheer for a while) I decided to just wait with her for the gimp bus.

I went back to my tent and started packing the rest of our gear now that I had the big item from LLT (the blanket). Someone stopped by and thanked me for not having taken down the tent yet since it was the way she was navigating to get to her tent. Someone else said that a lot of people had been doing that. :)

I packed up our tent, pausing several times to give people advice on how to pack up the tents. I made the comment to someone that I'd wondered about our having a brand new tent for the walk right up until the point that I realized everyone was packing up wet nylon. When I said I really hoped they were planning on using the tents next weekend in Philly so they at least wouldn't be packed away for too long someone said that they pull all the tents apart and clean and dry them before they are used again. Not sure how much I believe that.

Anyway, I was able to get everything into the bags with only one large zip lock bag worth of trash. I only needed help with one of the bags getting it zipped closed. Then I started hauling bags to the truck. On the way I stopped to talk to someone and help her shut her bag. When she talked about how much trouble she had packing everything back into the bag I asked her if she'd used everything she'd brought and she admitted that she didn't use all of the clothes. Note - LLT and I used EVERYTHING with the exception of one pair of pants (on Saturday night I just stayed in my two layers of pants and didn't change them on Sunday) and whatever LLT didn't use from her stuff on Sunday because she spent most of the time in her Saturday clothes).

When I dropped off the 2nd bag the truck lady said "next time you won't pack as much huh?" At which point I told her that between the two of our bags one was just under 20 lbs and the other was about 23. So I think we did pretty well and I'm not regretting anything we brought.

I was so impressed by the tetris fu of the truck packers though that I took a picture of our truck at the point I dropped the bags:

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I went back over to the Medical tent and hung out with LLT and her group of gimpy people (there were 4 people on crutches by the end of the 2nd day). I also put some Bio freeze on my knees and got LLT to re-wrap them. Even she couldn't get them to be wrapped right and I ended up wrapping them for a final time at lunch this time keeping the wrapping to below the joint and just living with it.

After everyone else was gone and we admired the way that camp was being packed up for a while they came and got us to go on the bus. They'd brought a mule up to take the gimps to the bus and one of them walked with me so they were able to get everyone down in one load. But when we got to the corner they just had us stand there waiting for a while. Finally I decided to see if I could get the route card for the day and I was able to get enough to give all of the medical tent walkers one. But I wasn't able to sign out because the scanners had already been packed.

They made us cross the street to get to the bus and when the crew person on the bus saw how much trouble that was they pulled the bus as close to the road as possible. Then they drove the bus around in a circle so it was back in the bus area for a while and we waited while snarking the hispanic shopping network (selling colon cleanser) that apparently was the only thing we were allowed to watch.

We also spent time talking to the other walkers and told them about our plans for next weekend - LLT's head cook for a feast of 100. Oh yay joy. Luckily mysticsablewolf is coming. :)

Then they pulled the bus into camp so that the crew people could get on! LLT was kinda annoyed that they made people who were on crutches (including one who had broken her knee) walk across the street but moved the bus for the crew people. It would have been better if they had just moved the stupid bus in the first place.

We got to the lunch stop and I made sure that I saw LLT sitting down before I went and grabbed my lunch (which I never ate - turkey sandwhich, chips and cookie) then headed out. The timing was good and I was able to get out about 10:45 - I figured that was something that would help me finish.

Then I started walking, and walking, and walking. Why do I make this point after 3 days of walking you ask? Because the next stop was at the convention center - more than 3.8 miles away! I'm sorry but when someone who doesn't drink enough water based on their recommendations goes through two more than 16 oz bottles than they need to have at least a water stop somewhere in there.

I also spent a bit of time trying to get knee braces at a couple of pharmacies but they were all sold out (whoda thunk?).

The walk was pretty much straight down Connecticut Avenue until Dupont Circle then to Mass Avenue to the Convention center.

By the way, did you know there is a trapez school in the DC area? At least they were set up in the park by the Convention center this weekend.

From there we went to Freedom Plaza - where we had the fun of having to wait while they re-routed us. It seems that the National Equality March march from the White House to Congress screwed up or route (I'm so NOT surprised) by this - whoever decided both things should go by freedom plaza at the same time wasn't thinking.

So we spent time cheering the marchers and they returned the favor cheering us. Then we had to walk through the march to keep going. At that point they took us up 14th street to Constitution - and I realized that while it was a long walk it was still something where the end was in sight. Right up until they walked us up 17th Street to C Street. I got so excited when I saw someone carrying the Patience banner on C street that I made her hold up the banner so I could get a picture for LLT - at the time I thought it would be cool that I'd be following the banner into the holding area much like I'd followed it at the start. But then several more blocks of walking happened and they easily outdistanced me. Of course the stop at Starbucks for a flushie and to get LLT a Vanilla Chi didn't help. ;)

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Then we walked up 19th Street to H Street and over to 23rd Street (right past a quad of cheering College Students who were so loud I thought surely we were at the holding area and then wondered exactly how far away from the closing ceremonies they were going to be holding us - it turned out they were cheering something else going on in the quad and didn't even pay attention to us).

We walked straight down 23rd and into the holding area which was on the mall at the corner of 23rd and Constitution. The whole last bit of the way there all I could think about was finding LLT and seeing how she was doing. Plus, ya know, getting a hug for having finished the walk.

To my surprise when I got to the holding area there was LLT right in front! I thought "how sweet, she's waiting for me". No - the stupid bus took that long to get her there from lunch! They had to wait 45 mins behind the march and then the driver made a wrong turn and took them into Virginia. She literally got off the bus as I was walking down the final hill!

But this meant we did the coolest thing EVER - something I never expected would happen - we crossed the finish line together! Yep - we started the walk together and we finished it together - both of us limping and her on crutches. Then we got our t-shirts and roses and hobbled across the grass to find a place to sit.

We talked to mysticsablewolf and got confirmation that she was coming up next weekend. We so love her!

Then we got a text message from museclio and I decided that it was easier to talk to her than deal with messaging on LLT's phone. It turned out that they were on their way down to cheer us on.

We moved LLT to a chair on the sidewalk near where fredrich was going to pick us up since she was having real problems walking on the grass. And she spent some time telling me that apparently she was one of the biggest picture opportunities at the lunch stop - her and everyone else who was broken to the point that they had a cast or crutches! Actually the BIGGEST photo op was the 4 of them together - everyone wanted to have a picture of themselves with the 4 people who had to go to the hospital. :)

I think the only one who had more photos taken of him the entire weekend was this guy:

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Who has the goal of walking in all 16 Komen walks this year. His website is www.3day.me but apparently it's down at the moment but his name is Trever McGhee - go donate to him! He's apparently required to raise all the money from one walk before he can do the next and since the next walk is this weekend he can use all the help he can get! The total he needs to raise this year is $35K but his actual goal is $100K.

Anyway, then I left LLT alone while I went to go get our bags. Someone asked if she could help me find them and I said they were in the "E" line. She asked me what number to look for and I said "oh, there they are". Yes the colored duct tape helped again. :) The girl helped me to take the bags over to LLT and then we just stood/sat and waited for a while.

I was just about to head to the Port-a-castles when I heard webqatch shout "go Team Wench" so instead I hung out with them until fredrich showed up. Apparently it took him a while to figure out where the closing ceremonies were listed on the website.

We'd thought about doing the closing ceremonies but there was just NO way that LLT needed to be walking across the grass anymore than she already had. She kept having issues with her crutches catching on the grass. Plus I was in serious pain and decided it was best for me to go home so we skipped them.

Anyway, frederich came, we loaded up the car and then headed for home. We hung out for a little bit then went to the Bonefish Grill to have an excellent dinner - and while we were there someone who had done the walk came in. :) We went over and talked to her as we were leaving.

Thus endith the Komen Walk report - next year we'll consider crewing. While I'd like to walk again someday I won't do it if I am in the same condition that I was in this year - really I felt guilty every time someone cheered me on considering that I only walked about 25 miles total. I kept telling people that yes I walked but I didn't do the whole 60. :(

The guilt is somewhat weird to me, since I keep telling myself what is important is raising the money and walking at least a bit of each day - not how far you walked. But there I am, not being happy with what I accomplished. Oh well...when we tell people that we're considering crewing they look at us and remind us that it's really not any easier at which point I remind them that kitchen crew for SCA events is what we do for fun - I think crewing is more suited to our personalities than walking is.

PS all of my Komen related pictures are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/orlacarey/sets/72157622421038219/

Oh - and I forgot to write - my favorite team name for the entire event was the one we saw right at the beginning. :) They were the Ta Ta Taaaaaaaaaas (okay really you have to say it just right)

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
kellfire
Oct. 13th, 2009 03:03 pm (UTC)
WTG!! And great write up :)
pinkribbonwench
Oct. 13th, 2009 04:57 pm (UTC)
Wonderful recap! I'm so glad you were able to begin and end together - that makes such a difference. Sorry I never saw you at Freedom Plaza - that was my Pit Stop that day. It was . . . interesting . . . with all of the equality marchers coming through. Most of them were wonderful, but there were the occasional people with entitlement issues who wouldn't understand why we couldn't provide food and water and portajohns for *them*, and accused us of being on a power trip or being prejudiced against gays. ::facepalm::

And yeah, walking is generally easier than crewing. There *are* some easy jobs, like the sweep vans or bus liaison, but most jobs are pretty intense. You can usually figure on being on your feet for at least 10 hours out of the day, with very few breaks to sit down. At the end of Day 1, I felt *exactly* as if I had walked 20 miles. Days 2 and 3 were just about as bad. Thank God for ibuprophen.

Still, congratulations! Don't sell yourself short - you managed to do more than most people ever imagine themselves doing. I'm proud of both of you!
faireraven
Oct. 13th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you for doing this! Go Team Wench! :)

You guys did a wonderful job! I've crewed the MS Challenge Walk for the last 7 years, and it's one hell of an effort to walk for two days, let alone three! You guys did more than most do! Very few manage to do the whole thing, so kudos to both of you not only for walking, but for all the fundraising!!!

25 miles is nothing to sneeze at, honey! You walked almost as much as a marathon!

Crewing is no easy job either... But I will say with crewing you're less likely to wind up with blisters. ;)

But you're still there from sunup (or earlier) to sundown in many cases... So it's a hell of a lot of work! But the walkers can't do what they do without the crew doing what they do! :)

*HUGS* Ya done good!
webqatch
Oct. 14th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
As has been said above, it's not about the mileage you didn't do, it's about everything that you did manage to accomplish.
  • Raised money: check! (over $2500, I might add)
  • Training: okay, so you now know that you didn't train enough or under all of the right conditions. So now you know how to do better in the future! Besides, what was the farthest you'd walked prior to a year ago? Hmmm?
  • Walking: You walked 25 miles, hon! ROCK THE HECK ON!! Might I point out that with the Avon Walk, there are a huge number of folks who only ever plan on doing 13 a day for the two days -- never even once considering doing more... and many don't make it to THAT goal. I find it difficult to believe that you're even in the bottom half of the walkers, mileage-wise.
  • Helping: So what you're saying is that you managed to walk your ass knee off, but still managed to help folks who didn't know a tent from a tint get theirs set up? And you provided entertainment and decorations to those in tents around you? And you packed well enough that you didn't need to utilize the support services' extra mylar blankets? (note: those tents really do stay a bit warmer with a second body inside... and your second body was at Medical.)
To make a long story short (too late), you did GREAT! If you choose to walk or crew or volunteer or just show up and cheer next year, what you did this year cannot be taken away. You did it, and I'm proud of you.

*HUGS*

webqatch
Oct. 14th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
p.s. See the username/icon... then click on the profile of that other username. ;-)
orlacarey
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:08 pm (UTC)
but..but...there's ALWAYS a "U" after "Q"...
webqatch
Oct. 15th, 2009 03:13 pm (UTC)
Therefore, I (or at least my username) is the exception that proves the rule.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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