So this past weekend I did the Avon 2 day 39.3 mile walk to raise awareness for Breast Cancer. Let’s just say it was more than an experience. I didn’t train for it at all and signed up a month before. Thankfully, I had many supporters who quickly helped me reach the obligatory $1,800 dollars to do the event and some who keep donating to this day. I have realized that there is a support system out there for me that is so big, and that was a huge thing that touched my heart from the beginning. As for training, it didn’t happen, at all. I run a lot, and I know it’s not the same, but I figured I would be able to survive. My roommate, who I’m officially naming DJ on my blog as of today, was also doing the walk with me. It was so great to have a friend there and everyone was so encouraging and friendly. It meant to much to see people cheering for us, even though they didn’t know us.
This was at 5:30 am at the opening ceremonies. It was pretty cold and we got dropped off at the site by DJ’s mom. Sadly, we waited on our feet for 2 hours for the opening ceremony to begin, which probably wasn’t the best idea to start off the day where we had to walk 26.2 miles. We arrived when they told us to be there and there were barely any other participants there, and we just had to wait, wait, wait. It was a great ceremony though and we were excited to start the walk.
Yup, still very dark, but we were ready to go!
They had these huge pillars that you were suppose to sign in the area where you did the walk. We obviously signed the ‘Los Angeles Walk’ area. I wrote a quick not to my mom amongst others notes and letters and words of encouragement. It was cool to see the other signed sections from other cities as well, which also made me realize how many other people had done the walk. It was great and encouraging to see everyone else that had completed it.
Finally the sun rose and the opening ceremonies started. We were ready to start walking at this point as we had been up for about three and half hours now.
The walk began and it was really nice to walk a lot of the same beach path that I normally run, it just takes a LOT longer to walk it. Also, I had forgotten my sunglasses, so I sprinted home, since our house was about .5 miles off the path we were taking and grabbed them along with a powerbar. I was SO tired once I rejoined DJ, and SO thankful I got them since we were going to be out on the path ALL day. People saw me sprinting back onto the path and gave me some weird looks.
I realized I hadn’t raced a race since my treacherous mile 8 experience in San Diego. When we reached it, I laughed and DJ told me that, “You know how hotels don’t have a floor 13? Well you just don’t ever have a mile 8” :) We laughed and talked a lot along the route and at this point we still felt fine. This was also the most scenic part of the route, along the bay and ocean and beautiful houses. It was still overcast and it was great weather.
A picture by mile 8. Yes, I don’t really know where we got the mardi gras beads and also the cape?! When did that happen?
Obviously I was really feeling good! :) It was fun to walk and talk and just joke around with DJ. I’m seriously SO glad she did it with me and so glad we did the walk together. I am SO proud of her!
At the lunch stop, DJ realized she had some pretty intense heel blisters. Um, like the worst I’ve ever seen! I don’t know how she walked with them so beat up! We made a quick trip to the medic and got her bandaged up, ate lunch and stopped overall for about 15 minutes. She changed her socks and we applied sunscreen and trekked on. There weren’t many pictures taken during this time because it was a pretty boring and weird residential area that wasn’t really exciting.
Nothing really happened between mile 9 and mile 17 besides lunch, and mile 17 is when we really started to go downhill. We had been walking for an incredibly long time and the path was getting hotter and hotter and more boring. We kept encouraging each other and just kept walking. I told her how to play mind games with herself and how we just kept getting closer. From mile 17 and on though, every step was constant pain. My back of my knees were hurting the most along with my feet. Other than that I was fine but both our feet hurt A LOT.
Here DJ is passing mile 17. Kind of happy? :) We both knew our feet were getting pretty messed up, but we didn’t want to stop because starting to make yourself go again was even more difficult.
YAY, less than 10 to go! Once we saw 17 I knew we could finish, I was just wondering how long it was going to take us. It felt like we had been walking all day long, which was pretty true, but this was when the pain really started to begin. We kept ourselves busy by quoting movies and talking about random things.
Nothing happened from mile 17 to mile 20. We got pretty delusional and were REALLY tired of walking and just wanted to be done. Once we saw mile 20 we were so excited, but we still had a long way to go and we didn’t really realize how we were going to do it. Our feet were KILLING US. Both of us had pain with every step and we just kept telling ourselves that every step we took was one step closer to the finish. Seeing mile 20 was a pretty exciting thing for us, but this was at the peak of the afternoon and it was really hot and the route was VERY boring and there were very few supporters along a few parts of the route.
Yea, this was about mile 24. At mile 24 we took a 5 minute break at the rest stop because DJ was getting a little light headed. Besides lunch that was the ONLY rest stop we stopped at, which I was pretty proud of. Obviously I didn’t want anything bad to happen to her and that is also where they were handing out the little crowns that you see on the top of my head. Weird, I don’t really remember wearing it. You might think this picture is a joke, but seriously, I felt like that. We were SO slow and just kept thinking about the finish. We kept getting passed by everyone and this is where we named ourselves Team Turtle. Walking that far is SO hard, being on your feet for that long really starts taking a toll on your mind and body. The back of my knees were killing me, and I had never had pain like that before. Right after our rest stop we also realized I had DRIED BIRD POOP on my shoulder. We have no idea how long it was there for. I started almost crying laughing. We were really delusional at this point.
FINALLY we walked into the park and saw the mile 26 sign. I have never been so happy in my life. Every step was so painful and we just wanted to be done for the day! We both tried not to think about what the next day held for us, but we only had .2 to go and just wanted to sit down.
DJ and I at the finish line for Day 1! Walked 26.2 miles, took 10.5 hours. Longest walk EVER.
See, DJ was a little tired after day 1. We realized when we were done that maybe training a little bit was important.
I was wearing a crown. Yes. Bizarre. Your mind starts to go after you are walking for ten and a half hours… okay?! :)
After we crossed the finish line, DJ’s mom came and picked us up and took us to walmart for our outfits for the next day. I swear I’m going to show up on Peopleinwalmart.com, I wore the crown and reeked of sweat and dirt and we both could barely walk. We picked up our outfit and two 20 lb. bags of ice. I knew it would be imperative for our recovery to take an ice-bath. We stopped at in and out on the way home and quick ate a burger.
I normally am NOT this hardcore, I never completely submerge most of my body, but I was deathly afraid of being sore the next day. I hopped in and let it burn for 15 minutes. After, I did feel SO much better but it was just mainly my feet that were hurting. Being in an ice-bath like that was pretty hardcore for me, but WAY more hardcore for DJ! She did it too and has never taken one before and doesn’t run or anything. I was SO incredibly impressed! It was much easier to move after and we basically just went straight to bed and I slept like a rock.
It was definitely a different sore than I was after the marathon. My legs were okay, minus the back of my knee which felt so incredibly tight. I think it’s because when you run, you are bending your knees and when you walk you don’t really move your legs as much. Also, my feet were killing me. I had a huge blister on my heel and also some snake toes are back to being really tore up. They were just so sore from having to be on my feet for that long and just walking. I can’t believe we finished it, seriously, it was so incredibly hard and I have a mad respect for walkers now.
Come back tomorrow for how we got through 13.1 on Day 2 with many more pictures! :)