Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I did it! 

although i'm not fully recovered, overall, the 3-Day was an extremely challenging and gratifying experience. I have many people to thank in my journey over the 3 days.

First, many thanks to Chris and Ruthanne, who were kind enough to get out of bed at 4 AM on friday morning to drive me to the Museum of Science to get the shuttle bus to Nashua, NH, for the start of the walk. i think Chris was driving on auto-pilot, even a Dunkin' Donuts coffee didn't wake him up! I needed the Turbo Iced coffee and several donuts to jump start myself.

The walk started with Opening Ceremonies at the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua. Then we did a long lap around the mall to start the walk. At 7 AM, when they opened the course, the only thing open was Home Depot, and business there was already booming! It was misting, and our misty morning featured some beautiful wooded trails, including the picturesque Nashua River Rail Trail. We zigzagged back and forth between Nahsua, NH and Dunstable, MA a couple times before finally settling in Mass. The walk course was beautiful - lots of picturesque homes and fully-matured shade trees. And it was cool - much better than walking in 95 degree heat!

Along the way walkers were greeted by the 3-Day Youth Corp (Boston is the only city that has a Youth Corp - more about them later) with their kazoos, head-boppers, and smiles. On the way through one neighborhood (I'm not sure what town we were in at that point), there were some alpacas out to cheer us on! It started to rain around late morning, but the course was fairly sheltered due to all the trees, so we got out our rain gear and kept on walking. Along the way on the first day, we walked through Nashua, NH, Dunstable, Pepperell, Groton, and Ayer, MA, ending at Fort Devens. I finished all 22 miles of the first day's course around 2 PM. The rain started coming down in earnest, and they announced that we would be sleeping inside several buildings at Fort Devens, rather than in tents as originally planned. We were all extremely grateful!

On the 2nd day, I was up again at 5 AM and got onto the course around 7 AM. For some unknown jurisdictional reason, they bused us to a school. I'm guessing it was in Littleton, only because the Littleton police were stationed at several locations to help us cross at a couple intersections. again, we were walking through beautiful terrain, although it was fairly hilly. And going downhill after walking 22 miles the previous day was extremely painful. uphill wasn't as bad somehow, except that what goes up must come down. and down hurt. a lot. the temperature was moderate, and the sun even started to come out around midday as we walked through Littleton, Boxborough, Acton, Concord, and Lexington, ending at Minuteman Regional High School. I did not walk the whole course on Saturday, as at around mile 10, my left ankle, which had been throbbing painfully all morning, nearly gave out. I decided discretion was the better part of valor, and at the water stop at Mile 13, I got picked up by the Boobmobile (more on this later) and swept into camp. I wanted to keep walking, but i also wanted to be able to walk into closing ceremonies on sunday. i went to the medical tent, where the volunteer chiropractor, Dr. C, adjusted multiple body parts and showed me how to tape my feet so the pain in my ankle which radiated all the way up my legs (can you say, compensating? i thought you could.) wouldnt be so bad the next day.

Finally, on the third day, we woke to sunny blue skies. I started out from Minuteman Regional High School, telling myself i could do the final 15 miles, despite the pain my ankle and a large blister on my right heel that i discovered Saturday night. the blister didnt hurt until i took my shoe off. The route on Sunday passed through Lexington and into Arlington by way of the Minuteman Bike Path. as we passed Alewife T station, i gave serious thought pulling a Rosie and jumping on the Red Line to Kendall/MIT. but I toughed it out, and made it all the way through to MIT, the end of the line. the folks at the cheering station at Fresh Pond Mall were a huge boost, as were the people at Harvard Square. these perfect strangers cheering on people whom they didnt even know really helped me finish the last 3 miles on Sunday. there were kids with candy and stickers, and everywhere were people smiling and saying, "thanks for walking." it was great to be a part of something so huge and to feel like my effort was worth something. finally, last but not least, i need to thank mark behnke for coming to pick me up at MIT so i didnt have to schlepp my huge duffel bag (at least it had wheels) on the T to get home on sunday.

i mentioned the Boston 3-Day Youth Corp. Boston is the only city of the 12 where walks are being held that has a youth corp. Kids under age 15 are not allowed to walk. But these kids have been touched by breast cancer as much or more than many of us. There were 15 of them, ranging in age from around 7 to 14. and they became part of the crew. Although crew are not required to fundraise, the Youth Corp raised $20, 000. I thought that was pretty amazing. I talked to several of them, and they are pretty amazing kids! And let me tell you, they bake a mean chocolate chip cookie, which was one of the many services they provided. Nothing like a chocolate chip cookie when you need a little pick-me-up!

i have one more donor to thank: my best friend from high school, Deana Thoreson Hart! Thanks, Dee!

overall, the Boston 3-day walkers raised $3.7 million. I personally raised $5,306. There were around 1,300 people walking, and around 290 crew, including the Youth Corp. It was a very moving and rewarding experience. I'm already thinking about doing it next year. and maybe recruiting some others to walk with me.

one more person i want to mention, whose attitude towards vb helped me on the walk. thanks, hilary, for teaching me the "small, obtainable goals" theory of volleyball and life. it applies to walking too: i just kept telling myself, you can make it two miles to the next pit stop. and once i got there, i did it all over again. 20 miles a day is not so daunting when you break it up.

i couldn't have raised the money, nor trained, nor walked as many miles as i did without all of your help and support! thanks again!

more news next year on this KBS station.

p.s. - the boobmobile was one of the sweep vans. the driver and co-pilot had attached fake boobs (all races and sizes) to the outside of the van with fishing wire. each sweep van had a different theme - one was "3-Day Walkers Rock" and one was pirates, and one was the beach. the boobmobile got the most raised eyebrows and pointing fingers, by far!

p.p.s. - if you are reading this and haven't donated, it's not too late. Use the link on the top left of my blog! Donations will still be counted for one month following the walk.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

T-minus 6 days... 

Hi everyone! Only 6 days to go until the walk starts - I can't believe it's almost here.

A fundraising update: I've raised $5,256 of my $6,000 goal.

Thanks to the following who've donated since my last post:

It's not too late to donate, everyone! Please help me get to my goal of $6,000!

They've announced the cheering stations for the walk. The information is given below. Please come out and support me and the rest of the Boston walkers! It really makes a difference to hear people cheering you on, especially on the last half of any given day.

Opening Ceremonies - Friday, July 8, 6:30 am

Pheasant Lane Mall, 310 Daniel Webster Highway, Nashua, NH 03060

Day One - Friday, July 8

11:30 am - 2:30 pm, Pepperell Town Center, Main St. (in between Nashua River & Groton St.)Pepperell, MA 01463. Limited public parking. Please cheer on grass section between Nashua River Rail Trail and Main St. Please drive slow with passing walkers. Day 1 Mile Marker: 11.8

2:00 pm - 6:00 pm, 141 Washington St, Ayer, MA 01432. Please park in large main parking lot of Ayer High School and cheer on shaded grass hills in between HS bus drop/parking lot and Washington St. VERY LARGE SITE - please drive slow with passing walkers. Day 1 Mile Marker: 19.8

Day Two - Saturday, July 9

9:00 am - 1:00 pm, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, 472 Massachusetts Avenue, Acton, MA 01720. Please park in rear parking lot of church off of Prospect St and cheer in grass section & roundabout in front of church on Mass Ave. NB: They say to get in the center of the roundabout to cheer - as a traffic engineer, I would recommend strongly that you NOT do this! It's not safe! LARGE SITE - please drive slow with passing walkers. Day 2 Mile Marker: 7.5

10:30 am - 2:30 pm, Concord Road Soccer Field, Concord Road (in between Ice House Pond & Woodlawn Cemetery), Acton, MA 01720. Please park in dirt lot off of Concord Rd and cheer along grass field in front of sidewalk. LARGE SITE- please drive slow with passing walkers. Day 2 Mile Marker: 10.4

Day Three - Sunday, July 10

10:00 am - 2:00 pm, Fresh Pond Mall, 185 Alewife Brook Parkway, Cambridge, MA 02138. Please park in parking lot to the right of the mall and cheer on grass section in between lot and parkway. Please drive slow with passing walkers. Day 3 Mile Marker: 10.2

11:00 am - 3:00 pm, JFK Park, Memorial Drive & JFK St, Cambridge, MA 02139. Memorial Drive from Western Ave to Mt Auburn St is closed to all vehicles on Sundays. Please take Red Line T and/or find public parking in Harvard Square and walk to Memorial Drive via JFK St. VERY LARGE SITE. Day 3 Mile Marker: 12.5

Closing Ceremonies - Sunday, July 10

4:30 pm, MIT, Briggs Field, Vassar Street, Cambridge, MA 02139. Spectators should arrive one hour early.

I thank you all for your support.

More news later on this KBS station.

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