WALKING FOR A CAUSE...AND SOMETIMES JUST BECAUSE

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Oh goody! It's SCHWAG!

Last year Roses, she of the funny-assed blog ACK! THBBT!, made several knit caps to kick off my fundraising efforts. Every stitch done by hand, and to quote myself from last year, “Roses is filled with Teh Funny. Sometimes her posts are very short, but nearly always make me snicker. When her sister was diagnosed with cancer she managed to inject a little funny into it...and thus was born the Lily Livered Sister's Cancer Hats.”

Cancer is a bitch, peoples, any kind of cancer.

This year Roses has donated 3 even more awesome hats. She sent them quite a while back, but I’ve been sitting on them, waiting for the perfect time (well, that and I have an emotional hard-on for the strawberry hat and hate giving it away, but I can be a grownup about it) and that time is now.



We’ve got schwag, my friends. Five reusable pink bags filled with pink goodies, and 3 of those bags will come with something extra, something incredibly special: a Roses’ Lily Livered Sister’s Cancer Hat.


Inside each Komen 3 Day bag (which is also a backpack, one of those funky new kinds with the strings for straps that all the cool kids are using now) is:

  • 2 pink Moleskine journals
  • 1 pack of 2 pink Komen gel pens
  • 1 3 Day Keychain
  • 1 tin of 3 Day Mints
  • 1 breast cancer bracelet
  • 1 pink Komen sweatband
  • 1 pair of hot pink shoelaces
  • 1 Komen mini-Maglite
  • 1 hot pink 4GB USB flash drive

You want the schwag, you know you do. And for this, we start from scratch. Anyone who donates to my Atlanta 3 Day Walk between now and October 25th—two days after the end of the walk—has a shot at a pretty spiffy hunk o’prizes. Cash value (minus Roses’ invaluable caps) is about $60 for each bag.

Here’s the thing, too… you guys have been really generous, and I’m just a tad over $750 shy of reaching my minimum for the walk. So as much as I’d like big donations, I also don’t want anyone to feel like they don’t have a shot…so with this one, it’s one entry per donation, minimum $5.

And as always, your donations are tax deductible.

It’s for the boobies, people, all for the boobies.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tackling that hill and those stairs again

This is kind of image heavy...click to biggify the pictures.

Today seemed a really good day to head back to San Francisco and tackle the two places I dreaded the most: the hill leading from Ocean's Beach past the Cliff House, and those stairs in Land's End.

I look thrilled, don't I? We were about a mile away from the hill, and I was so obviously looking forward to it.


I dunno.
It seemed a lot more intimidating on the Walk.
A lot more intimidating.


Partway up, we peeked over the wall to the beach below,
and this guy was having a good time playing in the waves.




Three quarters of the way up, and it wasn't bad at all. What I don't know is if that was because I had only walked about a mile instead of 9 before getting to the hill, if the walking sticks made the difference, or both.

Either way, the first thing I wanted to face again turned out to not be such a big deal.


Into Land's End...he's smiling because he hasn't seen The Stairs yet.


 The Stairs.
133 of them.
The Spouse Thingy wasn't thrilled, I don't think.

 Halfway up, looking back.
Oh, and you people who can run up these stairs. You suck. ;)

Almost to the top...

...and on the other side, on the way down to a spiffy path with nice views.

 Like this one...
 And this one...

Back down the stairs. Much easier than going up.

And on the way out, near the Cliff House, you get to see stuff like this.

All in all we did about seven miles today, most of it non-flat terrain that was pretty much what I wanted as a good training walk. I got inclines and declines and uneven paths to navigate. I got to try out my walking sticks, which I think worked pretty freaking well (and we'll see how I feel in the morning, since they worked my shoulders, too) and I got to show the Spouse Thingy Ocean Beach.

Places like this...this is why I love living out here.

There are a lot more pictures of today and the awesome scenery on Flickr [clicky clicky]

Sunday, September 25, 2011

And here I thought my Camelbak...

...was enough weight to carry on the Walk.

One of the 3 Day Walkers I follow on Twitter posted this today (last day of the DC walk--they raised SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS!)

I can't imagine doing a 3 Day with a full pack. Even a half pack.

Now I wonder what his story is...

Sunday, September 18, 2011

$&#@*( (@)(_))^%$### !!!

Max is definitely amused...
Today, I totally made up like 16 new swear words.

Even the cats were impressed.

Or maybe they were just amused because I smacked my still-very-sore big toe against the bathroom door.

I didn't cry, though. So. Go me, being all big-girl about it and chit...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Only 3.5 miles today

The low mileage was intentional. I headed for the outlet mall this afternoon intending it to be a short walk so that I can get used to using my camelbak again.

Why the change?

There's some question about what made me so sick on Day Two of the SF 3 Day. Initially the Spouse Thingy thought it was the flu (or similar virus) but I still had an appetite and recovered within a few days. Then he wondered if I'd gotten a stealth mushroom at dinner on Day One; the meal was pasta and we asked about mushrooms, but were assured there were none. And it looked like typical marinara sauce, so I ate it.

I also at 2 meatballs, mixed vegetables, some kind of cucumber salad, and 2 bites of a brownie (and trust me, I wanted the whole thing, but I was kinda full by then.)

Me after a mushroom looks a lot like the flu. So he wonders if there was a mushroom base in the meatballs. Two friends who know me well enough have mused that the meatballs probably had soy filler, and I am very intolerant of soy.

But Murf had another theory, one the Spouse Thingy doesn't quite agree with because I was eating and drinking normally: dehydration complicated by being medicated for diabetes insipidus (I might not feel the thirst on the medication.) Since I do have diabetes insipidus, dehydration is something I really have to look out for. If I get dehydrated (well, like anyone else) my electrolytes go wonky, blood sodium shoots up, blood can run thicker, it feels like being run over by a truck, nausea can become a problem, as well as fever...

Looks like the flu.

I did drink while walking, but I may not have had enough. Looking back, I think I consumed about three bottles worth, which is only 48 ounces, but I also sucked down a can of Diet Coke at dinner and had around 6 more ounces of water later.

The thing is, we'll never really know if I was actually ill, if I was having an allergic reaction to something I ate, or if my electrolytes were out of whack, but of those three, I can control one of them in Atlanta.

I drink more when I wear the Camelbak. I think it's because the tube is right there bouncing around in front of me and I just naturally reach for it, whereas with bottles I wait until I feel thirst to reach back and grab one. So in hopes of increasing my water intake (and Gatorade, I gotta remember to drink Gatorade) I'm going to start using the Camelbak again.

I learned the last time I tried it, though, not to start out on a 15 mile walk with it.

So. 3.5 today, more tomorrow. I'll play it by ear over the weekend, and then take it to San Francisco next week.

Drink, pee, no IV...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Oy.

When Googling info about hills in a city you're going to walk in, it's never a happy thing to discover there's one known as "Cardiac Hill" and you'll likely be walking up it...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

In search of new places to walk

...and we found this little gem in Davis, about 10 miles from home:


The Davis Arboretum, about 4-5 miles of walking paths that wind through redwood trees, native plants, and water. Some of it is paved, some is dirt path, but it's a nice change from the outlet mall.

We only did about 2 miles of it, just to check it out. We might have explored further but it was hot, the Spouse Thingy is still nursing a sprained ankle, and I'm not quite 100% yet.) I did get a flu shot yesterday, hoping to hedge my bets against getting further cooties in Atlanta.)

We also walked around downtown Davis a little, and for flat terrain it's also a nice change. I could easily rack up 5-10 miles just wandering around there. Plus, it has the added bonus of dodging all those teenagers on bikes that attend UCD. And there are a lot of bikes zipping around Davis.

I can train on walking and flexibility. It's a win-win :)

Next week we're heading back for San Francisco, so that the Spouse Thingy can witness the glory of the hill leading up and past the Cliff House, and if that doesn't kill him, we might wander into Land's End and try to not get lost.

You may now start your betting pools on just how lost we will get...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I’m feeling the love, I really am. I appreciate the sentiments: it’s the cause, not the miles. At least for most of you it seems that way. One of you was apparently not thrilled. I got online yesterday morning and my donation total had dropped by $100. I’m not sure how, exactly, if someone called the SGK and asked for their donation back or if a credit card was suddenly declined, if someone was that ticked off or if it’s just One Of Those Things or what, but coincidentally or not, I also lost a follower at Thumper Thinks Out Loud.

To Whomever: sorry to disappoint you, but no one is more disappointed than I am. I looked forward to this walk more than a kid looks forward to Christmas. I expected more of myself and have played ‘what if’ in my head roughly 35.962 times since the Spouse Thingy packed up the tent and got us a ride back to our car. Other people got out there on day two and walked with harsh blisters, searing leg pain, crushing fatigue; what if I had just started out? Maybe I could have gutted it out. Maybe I’d have barfed a couple times along the way and then been ok? If I had just gone, I’d have been sick either way but the miles would have been walked.

You can’t beat me up any more than I’m beating myself up. I can’t help but feel like I let people down, and I let myself down. Whether it makes sense or not, I can’t help it.

But still…my apologies.

Later in the day, however, I got two more donations that more than made up for the lost one. The little notes of support have made me feel a whole lot better, too. And I'm starting to feel not so sick, which makes me a little less whiny, lets me have a little perspective...

Today is the first day since Saturday that I’ve felt mostly human. The world isn’t spinning and the vice grip has been taken off my skull. Max spent the greater part of the last three nights plastered next to me, trying to purr me into recovery, but he’s now lounging in the cubby by the fireplace and not attaching himself to my hip as I sit here, so I take it even he senses I feel a little better.

That means I should be able to get back out there and walk this weekend.

So.

Yeah. I am genuinely sorry to disappoint anyone, but I can’t change it. The only thing I can do is suck in a deep breath and start planning how I’ll train for the next 5 weeks, and then do it.

And if anyone so much as sneezes near me over the next month and a half, I may have to treat them to an atomic wedgy.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

At least I get another shot at it...

*cross posted to Thumper Thinks Out Loud...

The San Francisco 3 Day Walk did not go anywhere nearly as well as I expected.

Joette and I at o'dark-thirty
Day one was awesome; I slept well the night before, was excited to get up and get going, and with teammate Joette by my side started off at a decent clip and we kept the pace up for quite a while. My toe started bothering me and after a few miles of hills it hurt like hell, but not enough to stop.

I don’t think there was anything worth complaining about (well, other than “a hill already?” at the start of the walk) until we reached the base of the hill leading up from Ocean Beach to the Cliff House, and that wasn’t even complaining so much as it was Oh God, we have to made it up that thing. It’s a fairly steep incline and just keeps going and going and going. And that’s not really an overstatement—it’s a long assed climb and it’s where my foot started to scream. Just when you think it’s almost over—you’re nearing the Cliff House—you look forward and realize you’re really only about halfway.

It’s nearly a steady climb all the way to the parking lot where lunch was held, and I’m guessing it was about half a mile of steep (well, *I* think it’s steep) uphill. It was cold and breezy at the lunch stop, but the views more than made up for that…plus I got to see the Spouse Thingy there and he helped slap some Moleskin on a few blisters I was getting.

My nemesis...but I made it
From there we headed into Land’s End where I would face what I dreaded most: the stairs. These suckers seem to go on forever. And when you get to what you think is the top (looking from the bottom, you think it’s a lot of steps, but hey, there’s the end!) the stairs just kind of curve around and keep going for a bit. A lot of the walkers just breezed right up; I admit, it was hard. I’m not a stair person; stairs are why we bought a single story house.

But I did get up those damn stairs, and I thought that was the worst of it.

There were a few more WTF inclines, one especially cruel hill near the Presidio golf course. It wasn’t steep, but it went on for-freaking-ever, and after the climb to the Cliff House and lunch, and then Land’s End, it just seemed mean.

Yet, we made it.

I don’t remember anything else being too terribly difficult. I lost Joette at the second to the last pit stop and took off thinking I was following her, but it turned out to be someone else. We met back up at the last pit, where we thought we were done walking.

At Pit 5, we waited for the ferry. And we waited standing in line, after walking almost 19 miles, for over half an hour. Things tend to stiffen up when you stand like that after walking so long. Everyone did some stretching and sitting on the ground (which just makes your back sore) and some more stretching, but by the time the ferry was there we were all done. We’d been told all day that Pit 5 was the end, then we’d get on the ferry and go to camp.

While waiting for the ferry, I started feeling a little nauseated, but assumed that was because of a long day and then having to wait. It made sense. I was freaking tired by that point. I sometimes get queasy when I’m overly tired.

Once on the ferry, while heads were on tables and people tried to snooze, and other people tried to not hurl, someone went around to tell us that once we got off the ferry, we had 1.5 more miles to walk.

Now, that’s not a lot. Anyone of those walkers could do a mile and a half in their sleep. But after 19 and then standing around for half an hour, and then sitting on the ferry for another half hour…we were pissed off.

San Francisco from Treasure Island
The view from Treasure Island about halfway from the ferry to the camp almost made up for that.

Camp itself…cold, windy, and noisy as hell all night long. Treasure Island sounded fun and I was all kinds of excited about camp being there, but the reality was not so fun.

Still…it was a sight to behold, all those pink tents. The shower trucks had about an hour long wait, but it’s still the best shower anyone will ever have. The food was really good, and when I went to find out what the little gift icon was on my credentials, I discovered a few of y’all sent me chocolates. And that totally made my day.

Arriving at camp
So. I ate a really good dinner, the Spouse Thingy had gotten to camp before I did and had out tent set up and mattresses inflated, and we hung out until we decided we wanted to shower. That’s when things kinda started to go wrong. The steps into the men’s showers were placed on a patch of ground not quite level, and when he stepped off the bottom one, down he went, twisting his ankle.

The medic wound up in the med tent getting his ankle taped up. It was “just” a sprain, but those suckers hurt. He said it was all right with the tape and only a problem when he was walking on it, so he felt like he was good to go for Day Two.

Mike the Medic builds a tent
Day Two we were up at 4:45 and dressed and headed for breakfast before 5. I hate morning, so I wasn’t surprised that my stomach was a little upset, but I approached the dining tent… and that’s when the world started to spin, the proverbial truck hit me, and I started feeling really nauseated. The Spouse Thingy sat down with a plate of food, and I had to get up and head for the port-a-potty, knowing he had to leave before I’d be able to get back.

No problem. I was sure the feeling would pass. It was morning, it always passes.

But then I barfed and it all escalated, so I headed for the med tent. They assumed it was dehydration—it’s what they see with walkers all the time, those who don’t drink enough on day one and wind up feeling like crap—and I was given some Zofram and they had me lie down and covered me up; everyone—including me—assumed on a few minutes the Zofram would work, they could pump some Gatorade in me, and I’d at least make the last ferry to for the walk.

Instead, I got worse, and they put me on a bus headed for the lunch area (camp closes after a certain time, no walkers are allowed to stay) and I hung out in the medical tent there until noonish. The Spouse Thingy was working there, so I at least was hanging out with someone familiar. After a while they got me to lie down and snooze until they had transportation for me back to camp.

So I knew Day Two was not happening, but I assumed with enough water and food and rest I would be good to go. I curled up in the tent and rested. I made myself drink and tried like hell to not hurl it all over the place. I ate half the lunch the Spouse Thingy got me before I left the lunch stop.

And I got worse.

This sea of pink is amazing in person
At about 3:30, after a whole lot of text messages checking up on me, he sent one saying he was going to get someone to bring him back to camp, and at 4:10 he was on his way. When he got there, he found someone to drive us all the way back to our car parked at the hotel in South San Francisco (she totally did not have to do that; she’s been driving people around since about 6 a.m. and I know she was dead tired—she was the one who took me from lunch back to the camp—but she seemed very happy to do it. And I wish I could remember her name, but I was too busy trying to not throw up in her car…)

Essentially, the Spouse Thingy red-carded me out of the walk.

No, I’m not annoyed. I know I wasn’t going to be able to walk on day three as sick as I was getting, and he knew another night sleeping in the wet cold was not a good idea for me, so he lost his last day of the SGK (and now won’t get his spiffy Victory Shirt) in order to get me home.

I feel a little (ok, a lot) pissed off about only doing one day. Logically, I know it’s not my fault, but there’s that little part that is just pissed off. I was so excited about doing it again, and to have to bow out for any reason…it ticks me off. It ticks me off because you guys donated a lot of money for me to walk 60 miles, and I only walked a little over 20. And I know most of you won’t roast me for it, but still…it bothers me.

So now I’m really glad I signed up for Atlanta. It feels like a chance to redo it all, and to do what I said I was going to do.

I am not done with this, not by a long shot. I owe these people a few more miles...

Onward to Atlanta

Monday, September 5, 2011

Wow...

All those names... and right after I took the picture and got online to upload it, there were two more waiting for me that have now been added (and you might note I left a letter off one name but that's been fixed...)

It's too many names, doods.

It's heartbreaking so see so many, and know that it's just a few.

I still have to put all the names on the cape and on a backup shirt...but I needed to take a moment to breathe deep and swallow the lump in my throat.

And for those who knew Sue Jackson, please understand why I'm carrying her name. She mattered to so many in the cat blogosphere, and in Max's apt words, "Cancer is such a bitch."

Any cancer.

Today's Toe Report:

Very sore.
Slightly swollen.

BUT

As long as I don't try to actively flex my toe while bearing weight, it doesn't HURT. It pops some (but it always does that) and isn't pretty, but it's only lotsa kinds of sore, and I deal with that on a daily basis over the rest of my body.

So.

We shall rate this on a scale of 1 to 10 squarely as No Big Deal, and move on from it.

FOUR MORE DAYS!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

I'm 99% sure that

I.
Broke.
My.
Toe.

Srsly.

1 family sized can of cream of chicken soup
1 brainless placement of it in the shopping cart
1 nanosecond of inattention

That's all it took for it to slam into my big toe, and trust me, those suckers hurt when they hit a body part. It landed with a sickening thud, a couple people around my cringed and sucked in air, a guy stocking shelves was all, Are you all right? Really? Are you all right?

=sigh=

Yeah, I'm all right.

It won't keep me from walking.

But damn.

Now?