Avon Walk 2010 Recap
I did it! I completed the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer! Whew, all that training paid off. Actually, I didn’t even train as much as the recommended program suggested, but I wasn’t too concerned. I did get a bit nervous the day before the walk though. Oh and I had a LOT of anxiety about walking across the Golden Gate bridge twice! I convinced myself that I could just take the van across if I really couldn’t handle the heights. But I did ok both ways. Granted the first time we crossed it, it was so foggy you could barely tell we were on a bridge… And on the way back, I just looked down most of the time. My fear of heights comes and goes, but it wasn’t too bad.
Enough about that… The walk was amazing. I have to thank Asha for agreeing to walk with me, Hubby for supporting me throughout the whole process, J (Asha’s Hubby) for supporting her, K for training with me including an 18 mile walk back in May, and of course everyone who donated.
In the end, I raised nearly $2800 which is awesome!! The 2200 walkers in San Fran raised over $5.5 Million for the Avon Foundation for Women. How awesome is that?!?
Walk weekend came upon us quickly. We were staying at the host hotel which was nice because all the events Friday night were at that hotel. Asha and I had registered online so we just went downstairs to check everything out. I ended up buying a new shirt and pair of socks. The boys finished their registration and had a crew meeting.
After that we went out for a quick bite to eat. Hubby and I have three rules about eating on vacation
1. No hotel restaurants
2. No repeats
3. Nothing we can get at home
We broke rule 3 that night because Asha and I both wanted a salad but something more than just a garden salad. The boys wanted a beer, and we wanted something nearby. So we went to Cheesecake Factory. It fit the bill and our stomachs were happy with the fiber boost before our walk.
Saturday morning was an early one. Asha and I needed to get on the shuttle at 4:30 AM. We both showered the night before so our hair wouldn’t be wet. We packed our bags the night before as well. We had to bundle up because it was downright CHILLY in SF that week.
I wore dry-fit capri pants with a dry-fit v-neck pink shirt. Then I had a zip up fleece over that and a rain coat. I also wore a visor to keep the sun out of my eyes. Oh and I had a scarf, gloves, and fleece ear warmer on that morning too. I shed all my layers throughout the day at some point and bundled back up by the end of the walk. The fog in SF did crazy things to the temperature there!
In my backpack, I had a pair of sandals to put on at the end of the day, 2 pairs of clean socks (I changed socks at lunchtime), sunscreen, chapstick, my cell phone, my camera, medication (advil, lactaid, and TUMS) and my wallet with my ID, insurance, 1 credit card, and some cash.
I used my phone’s Cardio Trainer app (love that app!) to track our mileage as we walked. My phone died at mile marker 20 and it was reading 21.5 miles. All the walkers we talked to agreed that at the end of the day we walked more like 30 miles than 26.2 and the last few miles were all uphill. The route was pretty brutal (apparently it was a new route this year).
The route itself, while brutal, was a lot of fun. We started in Fort Mason and headed up through the Presidio to cross the GG bridge. Then we walked down the hill into Sausalito and continued east a few miles. We had lunch in Sausalito and then headed back the way we came. I was a bit disappointed that we were backtracking along the same route, but it was probably the only way back to the GG bridge. The halfway point was just before crossing the bridge and Asha and I were both feeling really good at that point.
After crossing the bridge again, we headed south towards GG park. We walked through parts of the park and then south into the Castro. We walked by some beautiful houses and churches on our way to Crocker Amazon park. That’s where we finished for the day.
Once we came into Wellness Village, we got in line for a massage and the boys got us food. We didn’t have much time until the last shuttle left for the hotel. At that point it was very cold again and I was glad they had mylar blankets for us and to be going back to the hotel to sleep in a real bed.
On Sunday it was a later start time, so we got the shuttle at 6:30AM. A went to medical to get a blister taken care of and I waited in line for breakfast. After we ate, we hit the road. We started by walking through a park (the name escapes me now). Thinking back on the walk, it all kind of blurs together. We had lunch at the park across from the painted ladies (think of the beginning of Full House).
Asha called it quits at that point because her knee was really starting to bother her but I kept trucking along for the last ~6 miles myself. At the next quick stop, I changed into flip flops. My toes had had enough and were cramping up. Plus I knew the rest of the walk because Hubby and I had done it previously. I knew it would be flat and flip flops would be fine.
On Saturday we actually sat down for about 30 minutes for lunch. However, I knew if I sat down with Asha it would be really hard for me to get up and do the rest myself. So I ate my lunch as I walked. We walked right by Union Sq and I have to admit I really wanted to just run up to our hotel room and get off my feet. But I kept on trucking.
We walked up market towards the Ferry Building then up the Embarcadero towards Fisherman’s Wharf. At around mile 12, Hubby met me for the last mile. I was glad to see him and was walking pretty slow at that point. There was one last hill to climb as entering Fort Mason again. Crossing the finish line was a great feeling. Asha met me just before then and walked across with me. Hubby had run ahead to take a pic of us crossing. My GPS held on all day Sunday and registered 13.9 miles.
After I was done, there were lots of hugs. Then I got in line for the chiropractor. My hips had been hurting the last few miles even after doing extra stretching the night before. She was able to make all the pain go away and I was almost as good as new!
After closing ceremonies, we grabbed a shuttle back to the hotel. Asha and I had scheduled 60 minute massages and we went straight to that. Then we drank some pink champagne to celebrate our accomplishment.
A lot of people were asking me how I was feeling on Monday. Honestly, I was ok. My muscles were glad that I did all that training and stretching! The massage really helped too! The only bad part was that my calves got burnt pretty bad. I put sunscreen on my arms and ears, but didn’t even think of my legs (duh) so I’m rocking a pretty sweet tan line now.
Overall, it was a great experience and I signed up to do it again next year! Not sure which city I’ll do it in… It’ll depend who agrees to walk with me. Any takers?