Here’s Part 2 of the recap…I’m hoping that you’re finding these posts helpful if you’re walking soon or next year!
Guess, what? On Day 3, I changed back to my regular shoes. My feet were happy again and I made good time. I kept telling everyone, it’s gotta be the shoes. I really felt like no matter what was going on, nothing was going to stop me from doing ALL of my mileage on Day 3. Paula even said I had some pep in my step.
I talked about the amazing support of the community and the crew before. Below is a video, just a snippet of some of the support we received. Almost everywhere we walked, there were kids handing out candy and stickers, adults handing out water, gatorade and even popsicles. You CANNOT walk 60 miles in a vacuum and the support of the community as well as family and friends of different teams and participants truly helped. I cannot say thank you enough for the support I received from random “walker stalkers”, from the donors who donated to me and other participants, the countless texts, tweets and facebook comments. THANK YOU!
On the last day, I walked with many of the #3DayTweeps: Jay, Carole, Paula, Val and Julie. We helped each other to Keep Going. We were making great time but every time we stopped, I could feel it in my legs how hard it was. I did stretch as much as I could at every pit stop. The last couple of miles were even harder. It’s a good thing they had two pit stops in the last few miles…with the last pit stop one mile before Holding. Holding is the area, where you finish – where they scan your credentials one last time. We received our finisher t-shirt and a rose. This is the area we mill around, take our picture in front of the Day 3 banner, shop the New Balance tent and wait until we line up to march over to the closing ceremonies.
Around 4:30pm, we lined up. I had lost my #3DayTweeps by this time so I started conversations with people around me. I met a man from the Ocala area and he asked me why I walked, I told him about my grandmother and my friend. He started to tell me about his wife who passed away four years ago from breast cancer. He got all choked up and even thanked me for walking. Well, then it was all over because I started crying.
I also met a woman who is a five year survivor. She lives in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area. She was inspired last year when walkers walked right by her house. She said she immediately called her friend to ask her to join her. I met her friend who was walking alongside her. Stories like these are reasons why we walked.
First, the crew marched into closing ceremonies, then us walkers. After the walkers, came the survivors. We all raised our shoes to them…and then the waterworks again. Why didn’t I pack tissues? The closing ceremonies were amazing. Candy Coburn performed Pink Warrior again for us.
It was announced that the Susan G. Komen Tampa 3-Day for the Cure raised $4.5 million! What a huge accomplishment! It was so awesome to be in the company of so many amazing people…people who made $4.5 million possible, people who made this event possible.
Then, I went to go find my husband and found Paula, Val and Julie! How did that happen? It was awesome. We took a picture and hugged and I started crying. I couldn’t believe it was all over and was so happy and sad at the same time! I’m so blessed and honored to meet such wonderful people and walk with them.
I found my husband and walked the long walk back to our car. I actually had to tell him to slow down, he was walking too fast and that I had just walked tons! He was nice enough to pick up ALL of my bags for me.
Here are some of my thoughts in no particular order:
- I loved all of the support from walker stalkers, cheering stations and crew. The music was awesome, helped to keep us going and we danced every time we heard music. I wish I had brought iPod speakers, I can’t tell you how much it helped to hear some music and dance a little!
- It was kind of windy at night so I’m glad I packed a sweater and extra socks for sleeping.
- Pack everything by day in ziploc bags and set everything out you will need for each morning. Like I said, I didn’t set out my sunblock and forgot it.
- I used lots of BioFreeze on my thighs because of cramping. The medical tents have little sample packets of it if you need it.
- I needed but didn’t pack: tissues, some paper towels, wipes and a light to clip on the top of the inside of my tent. I used my headlamp at night inside my tent but it would have been nice to have something hanging.
- Showering around 8:40 pm was great because there was no lines. Showers close at 9pm.
- Don’t break what already works…I trained in both of my shoes but it seems like my 760s were better for wearing 3 days in a row. I feel like I wouldn’t have had to sweep if I had worn my main shoes all three days…it kills me to think about it!
- Very important to stretch at every stop…I found that it was much easier on Day 3 because as time went on, I got a lot better about it.
- Stretch a few times before going to bed after arriving back at camp.
- I iced my legs, knees and feet every night. While training, I had some shin pain and icing them really, really helped. You can get ice from the Medical tent when you get back into camp.
- Afterwards, I was a little sore but I’m happy to report that I had NO blisters.
- The mileage on the route cards don’t necessarily equal 60 but on Day 1, my iPhone app said that we walked more than 20 miles.
- Camp is huge and you walk all over, you walk all over pit stops and walk into parking lots and parks so it basically averages out to 60 miles.
If I can give someone just a few words of advice for completing the Komen 3-Day for the Cure, it would be:
- hydrate, follow the coaches’ guidance, one 16 oz. of gatorade and one 16 oz. of water needs to be consumed between each pit stop
- stretch at EVERY pit stop, at least, we stretched at stop lights too
- wear good shoes and socks, BodyGlide those feet up
- bring extra socks every day to change at lunch
- if you’re cramping up or are sore, use BioFreeze
These are tried and tried words of advice and they worked for me. I didn’t stretch as much as I should have on Friday and Friday night I could feel it. Good shoes that fit your feet well and BodyGlide helped me so much, I had NO blisters!
Again, I need to thank all of the wonderful people who sent me mail, tweeted, commented on Facebook, sent me texts and emails. All of the support helped just like the people at the cheering stations and the makeshift cheering stations. All of you helped me Keep Going. All of you kept me motivated and inspired. Before I started this journey, I didn’t even know that I could walk 1 mile much less the 52-55 miles I did walk.
It’s been an amazing experience and I have to especially thank my husband…He trained with me and we both loved it so much, we will walk regularly together now. He went into work early every day the week of the walk, so he could take the day off on Thursday to drive me over to Tampa early for an interview with a show called Daytime. He sent me numerous supportive texts and was excited for me each day as I got closer to finishing. He came over early on Sunday to pick up all of my gear, laptop bag, and so much stuff…he came over the holding with all of those bags to let me get my sandals out. He listened to all of my jabbering from my excitement during the three hour drive home. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive husband!
And the last thank you goes to Energizer, the presenting sponsor of the 2010 Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure series and my sponsor for the Komen Tampa 3-Day for the Cure. Thank you, thank you! Thank you to Energizer’s steadfast support of Komen for the Cure and its mission to end breast cancer forever! It’s an awesome thing to see, a company that supports a cause that is very important to me.
And don’t forget…the Arizona walk is this weekend and next weekend is San Diego! I hope you’ll follow the Arizona Keep Going Blogger, Cat, as well as the San Diego Keep Going Blogger, Rhea. I will personally be cheering them on from home via twitter. Also, I have a couple of more stories to share with you, other walkers stories in the next few weeks.
Disclosure: My participation in the 2010 Susan G. Komen Tampa 3-Day for the Cure was sponsored by Energizer.