Some of you may or may not know that in just 16 days, I’ll be walking in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. This 2 day event begins and ends at Chicago’s historic Solider Field. Starting around 7am Saturday, June 1st, well begin our journey of 26.2 miles. Our course snaking through the lakefront and streets of Chicago. I’m hoping for a great day! Praying for no blisters and decent weather! Our journey will end on Saturday, probably, for most people (myself included) around 6-6:30pm on the north side at Horner Park. They serve us dinner, we retire, wherever we’ve chose, for the evening with a hot shower, more water and hopefully a good nights sleep. We’ll get up and start all over again Sunday morning. More of the same..we’ll start our journey from Horner park in the morning to end up back at Solider Field for closing ceremonies and finally back home.
I’m no stranger to this. This will be my 3rd year walking. I remember when I first decided to do this, someone asked me, why on earth would you put yourself through all that! To which I kindly replied with a little chuckle and said, because I can. The minor aches and pains (which, trust me feel like I’m falling apart by the end of day two) I experience are NOTHING compared to what some cancer patients must go through. If I can raise the required $1,800 and go above and beyond that through the extreme generosity of my friends and family, then ya know what? Two days of my time and energy are above and beyond worth it!
Some advanced preparations…shoes and socks! I mean, these two things, along with human energy and perseverance, will carry you 39.3 miles! I purchased a poly blend sock…cotton is not recommended because, as ‘they’ say, cotton=rotten. Nothing too fancy or expensive…I think I purchased them at Kohl’s. Trial and error with this one. Shoes…oh, shoes…the first year I did this, I got all fancy smachy and bought $100 running shoes from a running store. Got blisters 4 miles into the 39.3. Wasn’t impressed. The second year, wore my already broken in jimmies that I had been wearing for about 2-3 weeks prior to the big walk. Didn’t end up getting blisters til around mile 20-21. Much better! Yes, I said much better about getting blisters. The fun part comes, and I apologize for those with weak stomachs, when you have to pop them! LOL!! I laugh as I write that…last year, when I woke up Sunday morning, I popped this huge blister that had formed on the ball of my left foot. Let’s just say, it’s a good thing I had a towel handy…LOLOLOL!!! Ever see Buckingham Fountain?
Another essential is a Camelbak. Basically a backpack that holds water/Gatorade. You’ll want to do Gatorade every other ‘rest stop’. Every couple of miles, they have rest stops which allow you to use the restroom, fill up on water/snacks and take care of any medical issues (although the medics are only at every other rest stop). The hint to getting in and getting out (there are HUGE crowds of walkers) is to hit the water fill up first..go to the end of the tables, there’s less people…and use the port o pots on the end. Everyone seems to hit the pots at the front (makes sense to a certain extent…less walking!), but I choose to use the ones on the end…less people and quicker in and out. Rest stop over and done, keep walking.
It’s quite a long first day. Stretching at stop lights is majorly important. I find, of course, it’s MUCH easier to stretch at the first couple of stops…after a while of walking, it gets harder and harder to squat down..for obvious reasons.
All in all, I’m pretty excited. Praying for great weather (a nice 70-80 degree day would be perfect!) and no rain! So, if you see a sea of pink over the weekend of June 1st-2nd, look for the tall chick with flaming pink hair (yes, that will be me and it IS my own hair that has been bleached and dyed pink..I’m serious man!) yell out good job, thank you or some other encouraging words. They don’t go unheard and are appreciated more then you’ll ever know!
Thanks for reading!