Monday, June 7, 2010

Dena's Words

Here's a great summary of the weekend, quoted ::stolen:: from Dena

"This weekend I...
hung out with THE Biggest Loser
camped out in a hurricane
high-fived a biker in a pink tutu
discovered the joys of Second Dinner
yelled "pink balls" at least 10 times
showered in a truck
cheered for Tamara Habib as she shared her story with 4,000 people
walked 26.2 miles with minimal complaining
and raised, with your help, over $2,000 for the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer! Thanks everyone!!"

Thanks for sharing your story wish us Dena. Now you're famous too! ;)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Home and Showered

Since it was raining during the closing ceremony, there was no official blog/tweet/update, so I shall start from before.

I was in far too much pain to be able to continue past mile 3.7-ish today, so I spent some time with others in pain and hopped from station to station, taking in the scenery, enjoying other people's stories, and absorbing the beautiful day. Our great bus leader, Katie (who Lori introduced me to), dropped us off about 150 yards from the finish line, so we were able to take in the crowd and feel rewarded for our successes. It was very exciting to see so many faces cheering and supporting my accomplishment, it felt great. Even though I was unable to complete the 39.3, I am very proud of my official 13.1 + approx 3.7 (not including the extra random walking around during the ceremonies and during our time at the Wellness Village), so I'm damn proud!

I took a few snapshots at the end, and took in all the excitement.

The closing ceremony was a nice touch. Just before Tamara's speech, it began raining (with almost perfect predictions by Ginger Zee). It was almost a sign that the big man upstairs was feeling our pain and grieving for us, Tamara, and all the survivors. She delivered one hell of a speech, and as soon as she ended, the rain continued but the sun came out. It was a nice touch and brought a smile to my face.

I give a lot of credit to the survivors of this disease, and all cancerous diseases. It was very moving to see so many of them there, supporting the cause. Honestly, i can only imagine what they've all been through or are going through. The disease touches so many people, and I only hope that in my lifetime the Avon Foundation and other breast cancer research centers are able to find a cure and spread the word on how to prevent the disease.

I also had an interesting epiphany... Yes, this is the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, and with the Chicago walk being so large (3000-4000?) that so much is involved. At times I did feel like I was being herded, but from stepping foot into the host hotel, I felt that the whole experience was very personalized and the volunteers/crew/staff were there to continue the mission of finding a cure by helping us with our needs, and always with a smile. Yes, the fresh food was prepared for the masses and our gear was hauled around, but at no point did I feel like "just a number." I always felt like an individual and was constantly being thanked for doing so much for others. That says a lot about a fundraising event with so many people, don't you think? Every walker was there for someone else, but we were all there to support each other and the volunteers really made it happen. If any Avon volunteers read this, thank you.

And with my final words from the Walk weekend, I repeat myself and mention how blessed I am to feel this pain and how fortunate I am to be in the situation to be able to walk in support of others. Tomorrow morning when I wake up, I'm sure I'll have a few (PG-13) words with myself, but I'll know that the pain I'm feeling is appreciated by so many. Also, the funds my supporters, teammates and I raised are going towards that $7.7 million dollars the Chicago Walk brought in. I'll know that those four nagging blisters are minimal pain compared to those who are fighting, those who have fought, and those who have lost another due to the disease. I'll take four blisters any day.

Thank you to my supporters, friends, family and coworkers, who helped me reach my goal of $1800 to walk this weekend in support of breast cancer.

Update: I have a Garmin watch that I use for my training (with accurate tracking via satellites), and I was able to track the walk (until the battery died). If interested, here's 9 miles from Saturday's walk

Put it my best

Well troops, I did my best, I'm happy to been given the opportunity to participate, but I have more injuries than the number of fingers on my hand. And that is not something my body is used to.

Great weather today, and off to lunch.

So I'm sitting on the bus, and this great lady sits down. I apologize for "being rude" because it looks like I'm texting. We start chatting, and of course, Avon Walk always leads to stories... Next thing we know we're both tearing up and I'm almost to the point of no return. Those of you who know me, I get teary during during the National Anthem.

Anyway, we shared a few moments, a few stories, learned that we're connected through my profession and her husband's trade. Small small world. Here she is:

Anyway, arrived at lunch. Still nice out, and in pain :/

That's all for now. Next up: closing ceremony!

The scenery

I had to...


Wind tunnel, rushing river and the floor

Well, last night was relaxing.. Massage, brushing teeth, and off to bed.

Or so we thought.

Mother nature (MN) had a different plan. So Jess and I get into our tent, about ready to sleep (over the sounds of EVERYONE talking), and rest. 5 minutes later, MN opened up the skies and threw in the wind. Dena's tent went flying, ours began dripping, Emily and Reba's tent filled up, and we high tailed it out of there. And I think MN took my ear plugs too.

Tamara made 2 trips to pick all 8 of us up, and we slept on her parents' floor, and eventually made it to sleep ( )

Oh MN... We were not friends yesterday.

So Tam finally rolls around, we're up, changed, back at the Wellness Village, and ready for day 2. We'll see how far I can make it... My shins have returned to pain city, and my calves/back of my knees/hamstrings are STILL very unhappy with me :)

Closing ceremony today, great weather, and some more fun.



Saturday, June 5, 2010

Last Push & Wellness

Well, we did make it to 13.1... And it was a trip. We tried to find a bus that would put us near our cheering squad, but it was too complicated.

The bus ride around town actually did damage, as my calves/knees/hamstrings were less than pleased with me. OUCH.

We made it to the finish line, almost at a crawl, but we walked proud. see us here!

These great young boy scouts helped us find our bags and set up our tents. How nice and refreshing!

We decided to shower (in a truck) and it was just like being back at Alpha Gamma Delta... Except fun!!!!!

We've signed up for massages, dinner is soon, and we're at the "spa zone" for some vibrating chairs and feet "homedics."

That's all for now, but I made it 3 miles over my goal, through rain, sun, humidity, great snacks, and good company.

That's all until later!

I made it! 13.1!

Well, it sure felt great to get to the 13.1 mile and half way point! Half marathon in the books!

The pain was getting pretty bad the closer we got, but it felt great to smile ( ). We're checking out the other rest stops and hopefully making our way to 24.1 where Habib and family will be.

Feet hurt, back of knees are screaming at me, but I've enjoyed the journey so far. I'm proud to support the cause and help find a cure for this disease.

4:45am was quite a long time ago, and its just about 10 hours from then, but we still have a ways to go.

Thanks for reading, and hope you're doing something today to make a difference.

Ciao for now.


ressting my feet and sunchips

So finally made it!

And, there are a few things in life that makes everything better: Original Sun Chips. Ok wait... Back to the Avon Walk.

Been good so far. Its easily mentally, which helps w/the physical pain.

Socks got pretty wet, so I'll be changing those soon.

Again, I feel so fortunate so have the ability to be in this pain knowing how fortunate I really am.

Good group of girls, so that helps too. We're on a mission to get to that 13.1!!!!!

All the cheer stations are so awesome too. They're so supportive and the smiles are endles.

Also, there are a few things today that could really irritate me: humidity. Its been brought, and with a vengence!!!!! Argh!

Ciao for now. Follow my tweets: @prnewman

Peace from mile 10

mile 9-ish

Ok all... Pain is left knee, right foot. But we're going strong. Walking with Reba and Dena. Lunch is at mile 10. Getting I just tweeted, i feel blessed to have the ability to walk.

Thanks for reading, more at lunch.

walking it out

Well, been walking for 2 hours, around mile 5, feeling mostly good. Tamara spoke really well this morning, and we had a great turnout from the team. Special guest was winner, Michale V from season 9 of the Biggest Loser. He looks great! We started the walk and I'm doing my thing and I look to my right... And I LITERALLY almost walked into him! I introduced myself, took a pic, and walked of.

Its humid, cloudy, but I'm having fun. I've also prepared for every natural disaster and stored it in my fanny pack...

Hehe ;)

Oooh hitting mile 5!!!

Ciao for now

Friday, June 4, 2010

Getting ready for the Avon Walk!

If you're seeing this, thanks for stopping by. Tomorrow kicks off Chicago's 2-day Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Stay tuned for stories from the weekend!

Follow me on Twitter: prnewman

Thanks for your support!