Friday, September 28, 2007

Fall Friday

Boy it is cold out. We're not even to October and I can see my breath in the morning as I walk to the bus stop. It is already time to pull out the beanie caps and wool sweaters! I feel like I still need one last summer hurrah. Like one last sunny day where we take the 5:15 harbor tour and enjoy the sun on the back deck of the boat. Or maybe one last round of golf where you don't need a sweatshirt. Sadly, I think it is too late for that. Oh well, now I can put up my 2 trillion Halloween decorations that I have!

Little pleasures....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Pedometer Free

I took off my pedometer after the 3rd day of the 3Day and I haven't put it back on since. It is actually sitting on my dresser at home dead to the world (apparently the battery has passed). I still find myself counting my steps in my head when I'm walking to/from the bus and also reach down instinctively every now and then thinking it is still hooked to my pants. I guess that's what you get after wearing one for 24 weeks straight. I think I'll find something else to obsess over this winter. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Welcome Fall 2007

Wow, where did the summer go? Wasn't it just May and now we're sitting perched on the cusp of October? There is a crisp coolness to the air and today is the standard Seattle drizzly day that will now last until April. Remember when you were young and summers seemed to drag on forever? Probably because you were so excited at the prospect of a new school year. Now summer flies into fall which leaps into winter which races into spring and zooms back into summer. Seasons begin to blur together and years seem to go by at the blink of an eye.

Last night when I arrived home from work our front walk was covered in leaves. As I entered the house I ran to grab my hat and fuzzy slippers. It was cold! I had to turn on the heat! It isn't even October yet..........

Welcome fall.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Flying Honey Bucket

I just looked out my window to see a Honey Bucket flying through the air on the end of a crane rope. I sure hope no one was in there when they picked it up. And for those people below it, I hope it wasn't full!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Shaking My Head

On the bus this morning I saw something that made me so very upset, angry, sad, disgusted, and appalled. Every morning there is a gentleman who gets on the bus a few stops after me who is in a wheelchair. He's always very polite and thanks everyone who moves to back to make room for his chair as well as those who help him get strapped in.

He has a couple of stickers on the back of his chair like bumper stickers. One is a patriot D symbolizing Democrat. The other says "If you think education is expensive try ignorance". I've always noticed both of these and smiled every time I read them.

Today I noticed something horrific. Something that made anger well up inside me. Someone had tagged his stickers. Over the top of the D they had written in sharpie - gay. Over the other sticker they had written - west side.

My faith in humankind just dropped another notch.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I Have Anger

Back from San Fran and I have what appears to be a sinus issue - or perhaps a cold? Although I do know it is all in my head. I want to bite people's heads off. But I'll refrain.......for now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

San Francisco

Mom and I are currently in San Francisco. I'm here to speak at a conference and mom is here to shop apparently (although she mostly just talks me into buying things???). Yesterday we explored Fisherman's Wharf. This is my 4th year at this conference and I had never been down there. We took the cable car up and over the hill. The first place we went was Ghirardelli Square. Mmm..Chocolate!
Then we went to the Hyde St. Pier and checked out all of the cool old boats.
Then we walked on and found Jones St!
Chris's friend Phil now works for the Red and White fleet down here (he used to be a captain at Argosy!) so I had to get a picture of one of their boats to show the crew back in Seattle.
Then we went down to Pier 39 where all of the tourist shops are and found this insane array of Sea Lions. Boy were they smelly.
On the way back to our hotel we got off the cable car on Nob Hill. Mom wanted to go see the Mark Hopkins hotel where she and dad had stayed for a week about 15 years ago. We found the hotel and we were going to have cocktails at the Top of the Mark but they weren't open until 5pm. We might go back tomorrow, time permitting.
For dinner last night my friend Darrell (we've known each other since 1st grade) and his wife Jeanette picked us up at our hotel and took us to a wonderful restaurant on Embarcadero. Of course I've already forgotten the name.
What a wonderful day......

Thursday, September 13, 2007

My 3Day Experience - Day 3

Sunday - 9/9/07 - Day3

Day 3 started with me jolting awake from a weird dream at around 4am. I dreamt that I woke up to find Susan packed and gone. When I left my tent I was standing in the middle of an empty field. Everyone was gone and I had missed day 3! Luckily it was a dream and I went back to sleep until I heard movement at around 5am. By that point I was ready to get up and get going! We packed up our duffel bags and tent, had breakfast, dropped our stuff off at the luggage truck and got in line for the bus.
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Day 3 started with a bus ride from Burien to Lincoln Park! It was such a welcome sight to be let off at the park where I'd done much of my personal training for this event. I knew every turn between there and Seacrest!
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We headed North along Beach Drive and took our time trying to enjoy our last day. We passed this clown playing a harp for her mother and were moved to stop and reflect.
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At the first Pit Stop I called Chris and found out that he and my parents were having breakfast at the Alki Cafe waiting for us to pass! I told them we'd be there in about 30-45 minutes and we hit the route again. We rounded the point (where I yelled to Kevin through his window) and started the trek towards the Alki business district. We kept talking about Starbucks and how wonderful it would be to have a latte to get us moving. We were in about 1/2 block of it when I spotted Chris in front of Starbucks! I skipped along that last bit and ran up to give him a huge Happy 1 year Anniversary hug! Mom and Dad were in Starbucks waiting in the huge line to get drinks for Melissa Dennis and I. Boy did that latte taste great! We stayed and hugged/laughed/cried/visited with them for a while and planned to meet again at the pit stop near Seacrest. I was totally energized from seeing them and getting to hug/smooch Chris! Shortly after that we ran into my friend Christy who came to watch us/cheer us on/take photos of us. She walked along with us from there to the next pit stop where once again my family was waiting!
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I was sad to say goodbye to my parents at that point, they had to head back to Wenatchee for a dinner party, but it was a good feeling knowing that we only had about 8 more miles to go! We took off for the Delridge Community Center where we had lunch and waited for the entire Hottie team for a group picture.
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Once all of that was taken care of we headed north on Delridge towards Spokane St and the First Ave South Bridge. I had never walked along that path before and it was quite an experience! Now I know how to go if I ever want to walk home from work. Shortly after we turned onto 1st Ave heading towards downtown we ran into the Parrot Club again for some Gatoritas! Yummilicious!
Our final pit stop of the event was at the Ivars Clam Bake are next to Safeco Field. Too bad the beer tent wasn't open!! We had 3 miles left and this is where the Hotties really showed what it meant to be a team. We had a few Hotties suffering injuries but we all took it upon ourselves to get them all to the end of the route (even if they had to stop and ice!).
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I had the pleasure of walking the last 3 miles with fellow Hottie Amy who was suffering from a bum knee. We walked slowly, and gingerly, and Barry followed behind us singing songs and leading us in the cadence. I'll never forget those last 3 miles. Everyone that saw us stopped to smile and say thanks. And then the most amazing thing happened. We were there. We turned right and entered a downhill slope into the Seattle Center where we were greeted by tons of cheering walkers and supporters. We all welled up with tears and slowly progressed to the holding area smiling, laughing, crying and waving. As we reached the top of the stairs leading into the holding area we heard a burst of cheers from our fellow Hotties who were already there. We slowly got Amy down the stairs and walked the final few feet to the finish area, laughing, crying and hugging some more.
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We made it! We gathered our t-shirts (they are so cute!), ate Popsicles, and began to say our preliminary goodbyes to our fellow Hotties. And then we got ready for the closing ceremonies.
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They lined all of the survivors up first - 4 fellow Hotties made their way over to the front. Then they lined up the rest of the walkers 5 by 5 and prepared us to head onto the field (Mercer Arena).
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And then we were there. Surrounded by the 2,400 other walkers with thousands of friends and family in the stands.
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And then.....and then it was over. And it was time to go back home, back to life, back to reality. Back to crossing the street and no one there to make sure you didn't get hit by a car. Back to walking down the street and people avoiding you rather than thanking you. Back to the healthy life that I am so thankful that I have.

Chris was there! He came down and escorted me to pick up my bag and then off to the car. Since it was our 1 year anniversary (!!) we went home and shared the bottle of Leonetti we'd been saving since our wine wedding shower the July before. Chris had also made my favorite - crock pot sloppy joes! He is the best, but don't tell him it will go to his head.

This will probably not be my last post about my 3 Day experience. There is so much I want to share. Small stories that made a huge impact on me........

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My 3Day Experience - Day 2

Saturday 9/11/07 - Day2

Day two came bright and early. We were up at 5am to dress, eat and get ready to hit the road.

The course opened at 6:30am but we didn't hit the road until about 7am. Fellow Hotties were busy visiting the blister care center and medical tent and we wanted to make sure everyone was cleared to go. Hottie David was held at the medical tent for an irregular heart beat so we stood outside and sang him a song. We were sad but we had to leave without him.

We headed out along the streets of Burien towards SeaTac. At pit stop 2 along the 99 by the airport Hottie David caught up to us! He was released by the medics and had booked it to catch us.
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Next we continued south along the 99 almost to Chris and My favorite fly fishing shop. We then headed west past Highline Community College and our first Cheering Station of the day. Many friends and family were there to cheer us on. This really helped. Day 2 is by far the hardest day! After the cheering station I met Scooby Doo!
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We kept on going until we came to a steep hill that lead down into the Saltwater State Park where we were having lunch that day. Lunch was YUMMY YUMMY YUMMY (again, everything was yummy by that point) and we ate on a the shores of Puget Sound.
After a much needed break, and a change of socks, we hit the road again on our way to Des Moines. At one point we came across this amazing retirement community that had done up their front lawn in beautiful pink balloons.
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After the Grab & Go for the day (Grab & Go = Honey Buckets & water refills only - no food) we entered our second cheering station for the day where we came across this tree filled with the names of loved ones lost & loved ones still fighting (needless to say there were tears and laughter both).
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Luckily the cheering station boosted our spirits because we next encountered a giant hill. We started our Hottie Cadence and zoomed up the hill and into a beautiful neighborhood. We all took turns pointing out which of the mansions we would love to live in as we walked the roller coaster like road that wound through what we think was Normandy Park. We entered our second to last pit stop for the day and I discovered my first (and only!!!) blister of the 3 day. Oh, and Dennis & Melissa took a little snoozer!
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This is Barry - he's doing all 12 3 Day walks this year. (
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This is George - he's also doing all 12 3 Day walks this year! (
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We then headed off on our last 6 miles to camp. We came across the Parrot Head Club of Seattle who hydrated us with Gatoritas in true Jimmy Buffet style.
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By that point we were almost there and cadenced our way to camp! Once at camp we showered, had dinner, and settled in for the evening program. Other walkers got up on stage and told their stories (more tears and laughter), they held the finals for 3 Day Rockstar (yep, other walkers sang us song and they were awesome), and then they let us loose on the center of the dinner area for a 30 minute dance party. Now I know you're thinking, no way! After 45 miles of walking in 2 days they got up and dance?!?! But yep, we did, and it was a blast. Especially when they played "We Are Family" by Sister Sledge and I got to dance with all of my Hottie teammates. Melissa and Dennis had brought 300 glowing pink bracelets and passed them out to the crowd and we all forgot our aches and pains for a short while. And then, it was 9pm and LIGHTS OUT!

More to come.....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

My 3Day Experience - Day 1

Friday 9/7/07 - Day1 -

Alarm went off at 4am and I jolted awake. It was finally here. All of the training and fund raising was coming to a close. I hurried to get ready and pack up my hydration pack. Fellow Hottie Margo and her husband pulled up at 4:30 and we headed to Bellevue. Once we got there we were amazed. There were people everywhere. Dressed in pink, boas, tutus, etc. We unloaded and headed over to drop our bags at the transport area. Luckily the Hotties all had on our deely-bops so we were easy to spot. We all started to congregate and headed into the holding area to get a spot for the opening ceremonies.

Soon we were all gathered and it began with a short stretch and then some inspirational words. The tears were already flowing when they released us two by two out onto the path. It was slow going at first but eventually the pack began to spread out. We had our first pit stop under I-90 somewhere. The lines for the Honey Buckets were LONG! After that we headed back onto the path and made our way to Mercer Island where we found the second pit stop.

They had the most amazing snack ever - graham crackers with peanut butter and jelly in the middle. And they were cold, and delicious.

After that it was the I-90 bridge across Lake Washington where cars were honking and people were yelling. A wall of pink as far as you could see.

We reached the end, crossed under, and headed south along the lake to the 3rd pit stop. We rested for a bit and then continued on south, winding along the lake to the first cheering station. Each cheering station was filled with kind generous souls that brought tears to our eyes and shouted words of thanks and encouragement. We continued on to Seward Park where we enjoyed lunch and gathered with many more of our Hottie Team mates (Susan, Stephanie and I had journeyed together the first day).

After lunch we hiked out of the park and continued on to the 4th pit stop, then the grab and go in Renton. After Renton we angled towards Tukwila where we passed another cheering station (more tears and thanks) and then we entered our last pit stop for the day in the parking lot of Denny's near Southcenter mall. We ate string cheese, got water and Gatorade, watched other walkers suffer with blisters and injuries and prepared ourselves for the last 3 miles to camp! And what a doozy of a 3 miles they were. First we started up a long slow climb out of Tukwila, following along the 509, heading towards Burien. We didn't think the hill would ever end, but after about 1.5 miles it finally did and we crested. We wound around down a hill and then back up where we finally made it to Moiser Fields in Burien, and CAMP! Hot, sweaty, tired and joyful, we gathered our belongings from the trucks we dropped them at earlier, grabbed a HOT PINK tent and found spot A-93.

We set up our tent (I roomed with Susan!), showered in a truck, and headed over to the mess tent for a yummy dinner of spaghetti (anything would have been yummy after 23+ miles). There was a guy playing Jimmy Buffet songs (dinner music). We continued to hydrate, stretch and visit into the night until it was lights out at 9pm.

More to come.......

Training Stats

As you may already know, for the last 24 weeks I've been keeping a spreadsheet to track my training leading up to the 3day. I wore a pedometer and logged my daily "steps" as well as my training "miles". Here are the final numbers:

Steps taken in 24 weeks - 2,692,831
Miles Trained - 711

I'm going to leave the pedometer off for a while now........

3 Days of Bliss

The 2007 Seattle Warming Hut Hotties!
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Allen, Nita, Courtney & Chris at Pit Stop #3 on Day 3!
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Happy 1st Anniversary!!
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Monday, September 10, 2007

60 Miles Are You Nuts?!

It is over. It was amazing. 3 Days of Walking. 3 Days of Cadence. 3 Days of Honey Buckets and Showering in a Truck. 3 Days of Stories - Stories of Survival - Stories of Loss - Stories of Hope. 3 Days of Eat, Drink, Pee. 3 Days I'll Never Forget.

I'll post more later. Right now I'm still in shock that it is over. I have pictures to post and stories to share, but for right now I'm just going to sit quietly and remember.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Pictures from Vacation

Oh Yeah, Big Fish!

Fishers Galore!

Ella LOVES the Lake!

I Married a Dork.

Big Al the Kiddies Pal - Master of the S'mores

Lake Antilon - Chris in the distance.

Again, Ella LOVES the Lake.

I think someone wants to tube - GRANDPA!

Kiki taking a ski.

Anderson Island Parade - All 15 minutes of it!

Chris with Dinner.

Sunset on the Island.
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