Tuesday, May 06, 2008

A partial team photo, end of day two.

We started off at 4:45 a.m. on Saturday. I sat on my front steps in the dark listening to the early morning sounds feeling the weather. It was going to be a beautiful day. At last! My first walk without rain! My bag was packed, sleeping bag aired out, and my socks were dry. I was ready to go.

Upon entering Opening Ceremonies you could feel the energy flowing through the air. 3800 walkers strong, we were ready to make our statement and begin the walk through DC. It's emotional, exciting and intense to be in a crowd of that many people all working and fighting for one cause. Each year I never fail to tear up as survivors give their stories and remind us why we spend months fundraising, training and finally walking for a cure.

The first days route took us past many of the monuments the city is famous for. It became hot and there were many hills. A few friends came out along the way to cheer me on and it made my day! I felt pretty good until lunchtime when the rest stop ran out of both water and Gatorade. I got a little nervous for a bit when I thought about being dehydrated and wandering around the city. It felt even hotter then. Finally, they were re-stocked at the next quick stop and can I just say, purple Gatorade rocks! It was quite possibly one of the best things I could drink. After 13 miles we hit the half marathon mark and headed into camp at Norwood Park in Bethesda, MD. Tired, dirty and ready to lay down, eat or simply sit under the stream of the shower I felt pretty done. I might have layed in my tent and dozed for a bit. It was a blur. This walk wore me out way more than others. I was in bed by 8:30. Sad, but true.

The second day dawned bright and early with the sounds of camp filling the air. The breakfast line was almost out of camp. After a hearty breakfast of everything you can think of of we headed out to tackle the last 13 miles. We moved at a fast clip and made good time. Once we hit lunch we were back in the city with the sun hitting our faces wondering where the heck Reese Witherspoon was in all this. We heard she was going to walk the last three miles and make a speech at Closing Ceremonies. Along the way we stopped to take more photos, passed the White House, and I gagged into a trashcan a few times feeling completely exhausted and I must admit, a bit like a wuss. This is typically a cake walk for me but this year I struggled and it bothered me. I just wanted it over with and I wanted my tub.

Suddenly, over the sea of walkers we could see the finish line. The bright pink arches were just ahead! I felt excited, a bit nervous and thrilled to have made it. This year was more than a walk for a cure but a journey for myself as well. I pushed myself to finish and I felt relieved that I made it. As I crossed the finish line I saw familiar faces of other walkers, friends, their families and then H & T.D. I waved to them and didn't even realize one main thing. H was not the one holding T.D., it was E. She was here!! What the? Shocked and excited beyond belief I just lost it and cried and hugged her as she held T.D. My best friend since I was T.D.'s age had flown in from LA to see me! It was incredible and all H's idea! Can you believe it? I still can't.

Home now and a few days later I can't believe the walk is over and that another year is done and gone. My fourth year and while it was different it was completely worth it. Thank you to everyone who has cheered me on in emails, phone calls, comments and more. The donations you sent helped to raise over 8.1 million dollars and counting. You too did an amazing job! THANK YOU!

*The last two photos taken by official Avon Press photographer, Candace Hoffman.

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  1. I'm so proud of you!

    I couldn't have done it now, but I REALLY couldn't have done it pregnant.

  2. Kristen3:48 PM

    What an accomplishment!! We knew you could do it. So glad the meds will bring you relief and that E was able to come.

  3. Congratulations! You should be so proud of yourself. A bunch of us ran a 5K two weekends ago & that was my first race (last year I did the 1K stroller walk so no big accomplishment there) so I was happy that I completed it. Awesome job on your race!!


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