telaryn: (Leia Return of the Jedi)
Which is fairly ironic, since I deliberately went to bed a little early last night. The alarm went off at 5 -- I briefly debated snoozing it, and decided that I shouldn't.

I flopped back on the pillow to stop the room from spinning -- I blinked, and it was 5:30.

Which meant there was no way to get Robin up, dressed, fed and to the bus, but there *was* sufficient time for us to do what we needed to do, and me to *drive* her to school.

So we did that. Got nearly to the corner when I realized that I didn't have enough gas to get to Gibbs and back. And, as per my usual routine, I'd only grabbed my keys.

Ended up "borrowing" three dollars in quarters off Robin.

It's officially been quite a morning. Part of me feels like I should just ctrl-alt-del the day, but I'm actually in a fairly good mood and feeling fairly energized. Not to mention, I've already showered.
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Writing on "Convicted" is going *really* well since I got back from the 3 day. I was beginning to worry about how tight a hold Jason had on the narrative, but he finally wound to a close, and now I'm in Diane's scene.

Loving it! It's actually really weird seeing people talk about NaNo prep and knowing that I'm only going to be participating in the loosest sense of the word. It's kind of like how strange last year ended up being -- I cranked out 50,000 words in 6-1/2 days, but because I was busy moving during the authentication period 2006 stands as a year that I signed up, but didn't officially "finish".

I think in the long run that's going to help, though. I'm shooting for between 80K and 100K words by the end of November. It's completely doable with the story I've got to tell -- the challenge has been reminding myself that it's *okay* to keep talking. I've got the space.
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Final 3 day thoughts --

It's weird how the farther you get away from a weekend, the harder it is to hold a coherent narrative thread. I find this to be true all the time with my convention trips. Real life gets between you and the experience and starts to confuse things.

Which I guess is how it's supposed to be.

[livejournal.com profile] crevette's posted pictures. As she says, you can definitely see the quality of our appearance deteriorating as the weekend wears on.

We do still manage to smile, though -- and surprisingly kept smiling even when the camera wasn't on us. I'd like to think it was because we were still enjoying ourselves, but there's probably some mysterious hormonal imbalance at work that causes a Joker-like reaction to events.

She also found a link to some of the local news coverage. The video gallery is definitely worth a look. Channel 10, the local CBS affiliate, fielded a 16 person team, plus their own squad of "walker stalkers".

Sunday morning started off with us colder than Saturday morning. Yes, I'd gone to bed wearing my long-sleeved shirt, but it really hadn't helped all that much.

Sunday was also the morning that we had to break camp, since we weren't coming back that evening. It all went fairly efficiently, with much amusement at the latent SCA skills that came into play.

I would find out later that [livejournal.com profile] crevette's glasses got bundled into my bedding and shoved into my suitcase. How they didn't end up twisted and broken beyond all recognition is still one of the great mysteries of the day.

Sunday was the shortest distance we had to walk -- and had cheering stations and pit stops set early in the distance. Our first cheering station was less than a mile away, and [livejournal.com profile] peacockharpy and [livejournal.com profile] columella were waiting with Starbucks! Sweet, sweet caffeine!

I did feel kind of bad for Jan, because we never did manage to get things coordinated for her, but she was good-natured about it.

Jan, as it turns out, didn't have tendonitis -- just a bad sprain. She and [livejournal.com profile] crevette were also sporting some kick-ass blisters, making the fact that they both finished that much more impressive.

I've also described Sunday elsewhere as the day that was measured in the distance between porta-potties. It was *so* true. Not only was the Starbucks we'd imbibed working on us, but I was having my usual issues with all the carbs and crap I'd been eating all weekend. Memo to the dude in charge of medical -- it's probably a good thing you didn't point out the *price* we'd have to pay when you were encouraging us to continue eating the potato chips and pretzels being provided. You would have had a revolt on your hands, assuming any of us could stay vertical long enough to reach you.

Plus, it took about three days for my body to realize that the amount of water I was sucking down did *not* have to be horded against some mysterious impending drought condition.

"Drink and pee and no IV!" (the actual chant of many of the staff).

Weather-wise, Sunday was very pleasant -- taking us through some really pretty residential neighborhoods. Crev and I did a lot of architectural dissection -- talking about house styles, what we liked, and what we didn't like.

We also ran into some enthusiastic walker-stalkers -- the soccer team from St. Leo's college had set up along one of the brick-paved streets. They'd brought popsicles and water, and written encouraging messages to us in sidewalk chalk.

Then when we actually drew even with us, they turned on "Riding Dirty" (the hell?) and started a cheer routine for us. Tres bizarre.

Second cheering station was before lunch -- which was good. This one was very well attended, including [livejournal.com profile] akasha63, [livejournal.com profile] kapua23, and some of their brood. It was *so* good to see them, even if we could only stay for a few minutes (not only because of progress, but because the muscles start to seize up if you don't keep moving).

Any of you reading this that might be in one of the remaining walk cities (Dallas, Phoenix, Atlanta, or San Diego) *please* don't underestimate the effect your presence will have at a cheering station. You may not know anyone walking, or you may only get to spend a couple of minutes with people you *do* know walking -- but just by being there, you're helping keep those people going.

And if you can hand out popsicles or water or ice -- so much the better. Heaven never looked so good.

Lunch was at Crescent Lake Park -- a welcome break. We'd decided to take our time in the afternoon stretch. At our usual pace, we would have reached the finish line *hours* before closing ceremonies, necessitating us waiting.

Better to keep moving.

Funniest part of the afternoon had to have been getting overtaken by the Chicas walking through Snell Isle.

"The Chicas go marching one by one, hurrah! Hurrah!"

Tel *sniffs*: I smell Chicas.

Crev *picking up pace*: Must...go...faster...

Objects in mirror were *definitely* closer than they appeared. :)

We fell behind them and got ahead of them pretty consistently over the last few miles -- but the ultimate irony was that we walked across the finish line directly ahead of them. Almost as though they'd absorbed us at last.

We ended up only having to wait about an hour at the finish line -- during which time we made sure to line up for the last walker in. They make a big deal about the 3 Day not being a race, and to punctuate that the last walker is brought in each day with a great deal of cheering and fanfare.

At the finish line, she came in with a bike escort, a checkered flag, and roses. Very cool.

After waiting, we lined up again to walk to the closing ceremonies, where the tears and pride came again in full (and have been remarked on in other entries). The sick joke part of that hour or so was not that we had to walk to the closing ceremonies -- it was the half-mile we had to walk *after* closing ceremonies to get to the car! *facepalm*

I'm sure there's stuff I've missed in the telling, but that -- in a nutshell (consisting of three really long posts) -- is the weekend that culminated six months of training, stress and preparation.

It was well worth it.

Interestingly enough, I've already gotten an e-mail from the Komen Foundation offering me $30.00 off if I register now for next year.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! I think I'm going to let somebody else have the life-changing experiences next year.

Mustn't be greedy.
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telaryn: (Kiefer "Dude!" by miggy)
...otherwise known as "Look dude -- I know you're a local celebrity and all, but you're between me and my coffee."

It occurs to me that in chronicling my adventures I need to stop and acknowledge the contribution of the Brobdingnagian Bards in saving my ass.

See, when [livejournal.com profile] marcgunn and Andrew were down here in September, we got to talking about the issues one faces in trying to sleep in strange locales and questionable conditions. Andrew graciously shared his research into effective and easily transportable air mattresses, backed up by Marc's testimonial as to how effective said device was.

I bought as they recommended, and I am here to tell you that I likely would have been completely crippled without it (well, and the heavy doses of ibuprofen I was imbibing all weekend).

The reason I bring this all up here (aside from the thanking and all), is that Saturday really started around four o'clock in the morning *on* said air mattress.

It was one of the many internal dialogues [livejournal.com profile] telaryn has with herself on a daily basis.

"I'm cold. Really cold."

"You've got a long sleeved shirt, you know."

"Yeah, but it's in the suitcase. The suitcase sitting OUTSIDE the tent. In the cold."

"It's less than five feet -- just unzip the flap, stick your hand out and grab it. You can have it on and be back under the blanket in no time."

"I've gotta pee."

"Well...get up, put on the shirt, go do your business and come back."

"You mean trek out to the porta-potty? I don't have to go that badly." (see, the brainwashing hadn't fully taken by this point).

The *plan* when [livejournal.com profile] crevette and I had gone to bed Friday night had been to sleep until 6:30 am. We'd showered Friday night (who knew showering in a truck could be such a satisfying experience?!?!), and the trail didn't open until 7:30am. So basically we were looking at throwing on clothes, eating breakfast, washing face, brushing teeth and getting in line.

We could do that in an hour. No problem.

Of course what we *didn't* count on was first all the stadium lights coming on at 6am. Then the women who took that burst of illumination as a reason to get up. And make noise. And talk.

*sigh*

I was kinda grouchy in the beginning legs of the walk...losing the love and all that. [livejournal.com profile] crevette was very thoughtfully trying to find us space in the crowd where I could take my full walking stride and not step on the backs of peoples' shoes.

I got over it as we found a pace we could both live with.

Saturday was fun in many ways -- helped along considerably by the most perfect weather anyone undertaking this journey could have hoped for.

Saturday was the day that Crev and I followed a team of four women who were having way too much fun playing with the local plant life. Up to and including festooning themselves with said flora and fauna. We debated long and hard about whether or not to alert them as to how EFFING STUPID they were being, but once they started draping Spanish moss in their hair I decided that I couldn't stand it any longer.

I tapped one of them on the shoulder. "Excuse me? You're not from around here, are you?"

Her *brightly*: "Oh no -- we're from Phoenix!"

Me: "Oh really? Awesome. Um...you might want to let your friends know that Spanish moss is loaded with chiggers."

Her *blankly*: "What's Spanish moss?"

Me: That grey stuff they're putting in their hair. It's full of bugs that get under your skin and bite you from the inside out.

*cue warnings, shrieks and other girly noises*

People, just as a general rule of survival, you need to understand that this is Florida. If it's been on the ground for longer than a couple of minutes, odds are it has bugs in it.

Saturday was also the point where we really started to understand that some *evil* creature had been in charge of designing our route. How else can you explain going twenty-five miles without passing a single Starbucks? Under normal circumstances it is geographically impossible to travel twenty-five FEET without passing a Starbucks.

Luckily, we're Alphas. And Alphas are resourceful. [livejournal.com profile] harmonyfb chased us about ten miles down the route to deliver liquid energy...nearly taking out a handful of walkers as she turned into a driveway. :)

We continued on to lunch completely blissed out. One of the safety people lectured us that we were going to have to drink even more fluids to counter-act the effects of the caffeine.

Us? So not caring at that point.

[livejournal.com profile] harmonyfb and [livejournal.com profile] midlifeinfl also get the award for the coolest care package EVER! [livejournal.com profile] midlifeinfl downloaded Friday's episode of BSG to Little Tree's PSP, and Harmony brought it out to camp for me Saturday night.

I <3 technology. It was so surreal curling up in the tent with my show.

Saturday was also the day our friend with the sprained ankle ended up getting swept. One of the quirks of the walk is that a lot of times you kept going just by thinking about how much worse off everyone else is than you. J was actually too quiet at one point, and when questioned admitted that she was meditating on what women dealing with breast cancer undergo in treatment so she could convince herself that she was being a wimp.

Sounds a little loopy, yes, but at thirty-five miles or so, you take inspiration where you can find it. There's nothing like being passed by a woman in a wheelchair to convince you to get the hell over your little weeny muscle cramp.

To be continued...
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telaryn: (Stitch by miggy)
...or "I walked sixty miles and slept in a tent this weekend...what did *you* do?" :)

[livejournal.com profile] crevette and I realized early on that a lot of this weekend was going to involve fairly standard brainwashing techniques -- and damn if they didn't start right off at the opening ceremonies. All the elements were there...inspiring speeches, appropriately swelling music, heart-tugging examples of "why we fight".

And we fell for it. I have no idea how many tears fell between Crev and I in the brief thirty minutes or so that we were standing there. I know it was enough to make the more cynical side of my brain roll its eyes almost to critical sticking points.

And then they sent us on our way between a gauntlet of cheering spectators and volunteers to Celtic-style music that reminded me a lot of "Emerald Rose".

Well hell -- if they'd *asked* me what would get me pumped, inspired and moving, they couldn't have come up with a better music style. It almost made up for the fact that the first stretch of the first day was down the beach.

As in, walking on the sand. *facepalm* Luckily whoever sacrificed to the weather Gods for this weekend gave us a good soaking rain on *Thursday*...meaning that the sand was nice and packed, instead of the powder-fine disaster it would have been under ordinary circumstances.

Still.

Pacing was never an issue -- particularly in the beginning -- as 1700+ walkers just bunch up too damn close to walk with any kind of efficiency. Crev and I decided to breeze through the first pit stop in order to get ahead of the pack, which seemed to work well.

Friday was the hottest of the days that we walked -- but even it was less agony than we ever endured on the trail, walking under the Perky Bataan Death March Cheerleader. It was also weird experiencing the pit stop system -- there was a stop built in every three miles on average, where food, water, "sports drink" and medical attention were available.

And porta-potties. *snerk* Remember what I said about brainwashing? Well on Friday, we were normal (fairly), healthy, sane (reasonably) human beings going through the same sort of revulsion most normal, healthy and sane people go through at the thought of relieving yourself in a porta-potty.

Sunday? [livejournal.com profile] crevette will back me up -- I measured all sixteen miles we did on Sunday in the distance between porta-potties. "Porta-let HO!" was my fevered battle-cry at several points along the route. I guess it's a miracle Crev didn't trip me into the various bodies of water we walked next to -- Gods know she probably thought about it a couple of times.

Of course the fact that none of the *other* walkers tried to drown us when we broke into "Copa Cabana" walking along Coffeepot Bayou on Sunday is probably a miracle in and of itself. :) No choruses of "Afternoon Delight" were broken out -- we decided that it constituted cruel and unusual punishment on women who just by being there with us were really punishing themselves beyond all measure.

The hardest part of Friday was around the last three miles. We passed Bay Pines Hospital, and were crossing over a bridge. It was the hottest part of the day, and even though we knew there was a pit stop in our future, spirits were flagging. I had water and gatorade, but despite my obsessive socking away of snacks (I was the squirrel of our group), I'd managed to hit a null point. We were going on through sheer force of will...one foot in front of the other.

And then there was a pit stop. With obnoxiously perky people and tacky decorations. Food, shade, porta-potties...rest.

And stickers. Damn -- the lure of stickers never *does* go away. All of it together was enough to get us on to the finish line.

Ah the finish line -- there is nothing quite like coming into camp being cheered on once again by lines of volunteers telling you how incredible you are -- how awesome and beautiful you are.

I want a portable cheering section of my very own for my birthday.

The plan on hitting camp was to grab our gear and set up our tents first, since we got into camp about half an hour before dinner. Near the gear trucks we encountered something so profoundly beautiful [livejournal.com profile] crevette wept once again.

Girl Scouts. "Ma'am, if you'll just tell us where your site is, we'll set up your tent for you."

Now many of you may recall that Crev and I had a bet going -- if one of us had to get swept (ie, picked up by van), that person would be responsible for setting up the tent. I feel confident that had it been left to us, we could have puzzled it out.

Being told that we didn't have to was somewhat akin to having the God of your choice descend from on high, pat you on the head and say: "You win."

Dinner was quite the enjoyable relief, although we did encounter the first of what would turn out to be a disturbing number of women who were very blase' about the whole training aspect of getting ready for this weekend. One woman at dinner actually told us, "well, I only walk about two or three miles a day, but I'm on my feet all day at work, so I think I'll do fine."

When we saw her the next evening, *both* feet were swathed in ACE bandages.

Even the lovely woman we adopted for the weekend, who confessed that she'd never done more than eight miles at a stretch, ended up with what medical thought might be tendonitis (but at the very least was probably a mild sprain).

I think my heart softened towards our Perky Bataan Death March Cheerleader at that point -- just as she had predicted it would. Say what you will (and I did), she more than prepared us for the experience.

Of course the next day when we were set upon by PBDMC's "team" (the Chicas, aka the Chica-Collective, or the "Perky Mob"), the Jurassic Park quotes would fly fast and furious ("Must...go...faster...")

More later...
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telaryn: (FMA Quote)
Once upon a time I would have said I was selfish (once upon a time I would have been right). I give -- sometimes too much, sometimes not enough.

But I have to know you. You have to be real to me in some sort of personal way (and yes, LJ acquaintances count) in order for me to be able to give what is needed -- what I can. I can't get stressed about the plight of earthquake refugees in lesser Mongolia -- most days it feels like I barely have enough of me to go around to the people I've already committed my time and energy to.

That said, this weekend I got a huge lesson in something I can't remember ever experiencing -- the feeling of being part of something much, much bigger than me and my life.

It was incredible.

I've bitched long and loud in this very LJ about the various aches, pains and frustrations I've racked up in the past six months of training for this event. I think I've encountered just about every normal physical challenge a reasonably healthy female can in learning how to walk long distances. I've done things I'd never thought I'd do -- done things I swore I would never do...all in pursuit of this then-nebulous challenge I'd set for myself.

Because I *did* set it for myself. All my joking to [livejournal.com profile] crevette aside, nobody kept me going back week after week except me. Nobody got my ass out to Sand Key Beach last Friday but me (with a welcome assist from [livejournal.com profile] majorthom_4321's chauffeuring skills).

I kept myself in this to the end, so it's weirding me out that at some point it stopped being about me and started being about the cause. About doing something important.

About making a difference in a very real and tangible way.

Let me clue you in to the way my brain works -- every time one of you clicked on that donation page, the two of us were signing a contract. You gave what you could, and in trade it was my responsibility to give what *I* could back.

And this weekend I got to see the people that all of us agreed to help. Not just the survivors or the patients or the names of the ones that lost their fight.

I got to see the mothers standing on the street corners with their daughters...tiny girls who don't even know the word cancer. All they knew was what their mothers were telling them -- that these people were walking to help make their future a little brighter...a little less shadowed with the spectre of something "bad".

It changes you being a part of something like that.

Robin came to the closing ceremonies (again, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] majorthom_4321 and his chauffeuring). I didn't realize until we were there how important it would end up being that she was there. She's old enough to understand the concept of breast cancer -- not only has she seen its effects dramatized in shows like "Designing Women", a close member of her family has recently undergone treatment (may still be for all I know) for the disease.

She needed to see that there are ways to face this, that it didn't need to be something that you laid down and gave up in the face of. She needed to see the faces of the survivors...needed to see that these are vital, beautiful women who fought back and won. As she gets older, and starts her own self-exams, maybe it will be more real to her -- and not just something embarrassing that Mom and her doctors insist that she do every month.

And maybe as she gets older she won't shrink from the challenge when it's her turn to be a part of something greater than herself.
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telaryn: (Piratepuff -- Jack Sparrow)
I don't have to drink Gatorade anymore if I don't want to.

Ever.

Heh.

Sometimes it really *is* the little things.
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Wow.

12/10/06 17:34
telaryn: (Baddest Bitch)
In a few hours it begins.

I will start probably the biggest physical challenge of my life -- walking sixty miles over the course of three days.

Many of the people reading this helped make this possible through their donations. Without you guys here on LJ donating whatever you had to give, I wouldn't be doing this.

And yes, you can consider that a good thing. :)

I have learned a hell of a lot about myself and my body over the past five months or so. Gah -- only five? It seems like I've given up the bulk of the year to getting ready for this thing. In that time I've run up against far less drastic obstacles than [livejournal.com profile] crevette, but I've definitely had my share. Hypoglycemia, whatever the low salt condition is, heat exhaustion, mental collapse, muscle cramps...I think the only thing I really haven't had to deal with is dehydration.

I will admit that I will welcome the luxury of once again being able to say "screw it" to strenuous exercise if I'm dealing with my period. Feminine supplies on the trail? So. Not. Fun.

[livejournal.com profile] crevette posted something on her LJ that she got in the mail. It lists a lot of the worries you get the night before the big event.

I think I've had most of them in the past forty-eight hours or so. Knowing I'm not the only one helps a lot.

But I'm almost at the point where it really doesn't matter anymore. I'm either ready or I'm not. I've either packed enough or I haven't. I didn't get a haircut, but I have a hat.

The one thing I know I'm going to struggle with is the attitude towards being "swept" (aka, not being able to finish).

I want to finish. I want to finish very badly. This is something nobody who's known me longer than five years would have ever pointed to me and said "you will do this some day".

I won't be stupid -- I *promise* -- but is it so bad that I really want to prove them wrong? Prove to myself that I can actually set myself a challenge on this magnitude, meet and master it?

Guess we'll find out tomorrow.
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telaryn: (Girl Power)
...in the midst of our usual angst, chaos and snark fest to say:

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!


Yes, it's true, as of this morning I am *officially* over my donation goal!

$2,355.00. Damn.

From [livejournal.com profile] tesserae_ (my first donation) to [livejournal.com profile] elfgirl and [livejournal.com profile] dwivian (the ones that shot me over the top) and everyone in between, the generosity of friends and lurkers has been truly, truly inspiring.

Some particular thanks are in order, however, because some people just plain rocked throughout all of this:

1. [livejournal.com profile] ginmar. I know she hates being praised, but people let me tell you -- she repeatedly turned that massive f-list of hers on to my donation page, and from the $5.00 donors on up, they kept that red line steadily rising. *Definitely* saved me a whole lot of stress.

2. [livejournal.com profile] rachelcaine. Again with using the powers for awesome! In addition to donating herself, Rachel promoted me in her newsletter, resulting in some fairly sizeable donations.

Now go buy her latest book -- "Firestorm"! Best thank you I can think of for her.

3. [livejournal.com profile] crevette. My dearest friend and fellow Alpha not only promoted me on her LJ, she repeatedly encouraged people who wanted to donate to her to give to me instead (once she made her goal). In addition, her determination and dedication to training for this thing has really kept me going, when I would have wimped out months ago (or probably not even signed up in the first place).

Love you, sweets! *smooch*

4. My family -- both those who donated, and those who dealt with my repeated weekend absences trying to get in shape for this thing. We may have our stresses and our differences, but they've really risen to the occasion.

And I do love them...even when they're driving me insane.

I know other people promoted me, and I greatly appreciate it. Every single mention on anyone's LJ landed me a minimum of two donations, so you all deserve major congrats!

Thanks again to everyone who donated -- large and small. Even if all you could give was $5.00 -- I promise you, I wouldn't have made it without that $5.00. I'll be shifting through the donation information to try and assemble names, etc. for a proper set of thank yous -- but in the meantime, here's a prezzie I whipped up!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting


Feel free to download and put on your LJ, your website, wherever. You earned it!

Now all eyes turn towards the walk, starting October 13th. Have no fear that I'm going to wimp out now -- aside from the fact I'm honor-bound to hold up my end of the bargain, I just spent $80.00 on a brand new pair of shoes! *facepalm*
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Anyone still wishing to donate, absolutely can. Click on either (or both) of the following links to do *your* part:

Telaryn's Donation Page

Crevette's Donation Page
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telaryn: (River Sexy)
...for a "3 Day Walk" fundraising note.

Can anybody spare a quick $5.00?

My total in and counted is $2005.00.

I got a $100.00 check the day I left for D*Con that will go in the mail tomorrow.

[livejournal.com profile] elfgirl and [livejournal.com profile] dwivian donated $90.00 at the convention.

This leaves me only $5.00 from goal.

I should qualify that I've got more than enough donation requests out there to make it before the deadline, and you guys have been *incredible* about ponying up (and the more wonderful you people have been, the more I've been inspired to keep working!)...

...it would just be really cool to be able to make it today and have it done. :)

To help, click here.
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telaryn: (Blah blah foxes)
Or is it that I'm sneezing, coughing, my pack is still soaked and my shoes are ever-so-worrisomely damp?

Either way...texting [livejournal.com profile] crevette as to my overall lameness (intelligence?) and back to bed.
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*slosh*

26/8/06 17:03
telaryn: (Faith Tomboy by Nyxie)
Okay, so based on this morning's Bay News 9 Weather on the Nines report, I was splitting some fine, fine hairs when I decided to pile into the car and drive down to the training walk this morning.

I do not regret this decision. I actually got eight hours of sleep last night -- no meager accomplishment when your wake-up time is 4:30 in the freakin' morning!

I also indulged in more food than was probably intelligent last night, all with an eye towards "well, I'm going to do sixteen miles tomorrow, so it's all good."

Bloody hell if I was letting *that* sit on my hips until D*Con.

But anyway, I got down to Pinellas Park with about fifteen other women, most of whom I think are afraid of our walk-leader (aka, the "Perky Cheerleader From Hell"). We stood around in the light, cool, drizzle and groused about how it wasn't smart to be there, and what we really needed to do was verify that PCfH wasn't going to show and then go back to bed.

Hah. Like PCfH would be stopped by a little rain. All the heavy lightning was in north county and likely to stay there. What's a little rain?

So she showed up. And told us that since she needed to hit the bathroom in the Wal-Mart anyway, she would "leave it up to us" whether we wanted to have the walk or bail.

We'd pretty much decided to bail, even though no one really wanted to be the first to admit it, when a woman pulled into the parking lot. She lived in Wimauma, and was walking in the Chicago walk in less than two weeks.

Wimauma is approximately an hour away. Which means that she got up even earlier than *we* did.

Shame is an incredible motivator.

In all honesty, for the first fourteen and a quarter miles, the walk was *glorious*. Light drizzle, quickly stopped. Overcast, almost zero humidity, cool breeze, feels like temp of 85.

If they were all like this, sixty miles wouldn't be a lick of problem. I hung back on the pace for most the trek, walking with the stragglers until I was sure I wasn't going to have any unexpected problems.

Caught a fresh burst of energy after the last pit stop, and was doing fairly consistent 15-18 minute miles on the way back. Then I stopped at the last pit stop (if you don't pee at *every* pit stop, you're insufficiently hydrated).

After the last pit stop is the long bridge across the intercoastal. In full sun, this is hell. Today? It was actually pretty pleasant.

And then we heard the hissing noise. It sounded at first like approaching bicyclers. Then PCfH risks a look over her shoulder.

"Um, I don't want to alarm you guys, but we're being chased."

So the two of us walking with her look over our shoulder to see the leading edge of a black-cloud thunderstorm heading straight for us.

Crap.

Now I was walking fast (for me), but at fifteen and a quarter miles, running is no longer an option.

So I got caught. We all got caught. By the time I hit the top of the last overpass I was walking in ankle-deep water, I was so caught.

I could feel the second my shoes and socks gave up the wicking ghost. One moment we were still warm and dry, if a little heavy from the building water -- the next, it was like somebody had poured a ton of cold water into my shoe.

I panicked a little at this point, thinking "Oh Fuck NO" about the possibility of crippling blisters. They tell you and tell you that getting your feet wet is the fastest way to end up with blisters and screw the training schedule -- if I'm too blistered to work D*Con, I'm screwed!

Then I calm down, logically think it through, and realize that the worst threat of blisters is probably once the "getting wet" process stops and shifts to simply "being wet".

Not really a problem in the time I have left.

By the time I reached the finish line, the rain was pounding on my clothes so hard that soap suds were showing up on my pants legs. Water was actually pooling in pockets of clothes, and I was realizing that even though having my cell phone in my pocket was a *bad* idea, there was really nowhere else I could safely shift it at that point.

Hit the finish line, dove into my car, and FIRST THING (even before I grabbed my towel) stripped off the soaking wet shoes and socks. Now, hours later, I have a couple of raw spots on the tops of my feet, but no signs of blisters. *crosses fingers*

My shoes are still soaked. I'm going to have to see if they can survive a tumble in the dryer if I have any hope of walking tomorrow.

In other weather-related news, another year, another D*Con, another "catastrophic storm" threatening. Fuck you, Ernesto, and the tropical wave you rode in on.
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telaryn: (Jack Bauer LotR)
Another fourteen miles today, and no real nap following. This is both good and bad -- good because staying up and moving around is actually keeping my feet and ankles from stiffening up.

Bad because HOLY FUCK AM I TIRED!!!! *headdesk*

Did really well today -- I averaged eighteen minute miles up until the 11.5 mark. At that point, the woman walking with me spotted a black snake by the side of the road. She jumped, screamed and grabbed me.

My heart rate *SPIKED*. Quickly over, no danger, but about a quarter mile later I got *really* tired and disturbingly dizzy. It passed in about a half-mile, but I never really got back 100% up to speed.

Still -- I'm very pleased.

I also wanted to thank those people that have donated recently -- [livejournal.com profile] feorlen and [livejournal.com profile] beeber2. [livejournal.com profile] ivyfree, I *think* your donation was credited today, but I haven't got any confirmation notices from the website yet.

(I know I owe organized thanks to a bunch of you ([livejournal.com profile] gilmoure, [livejournal.com profile] peacockharpy, et. al) -- your efforts are greatly appreciated, and I will get my ass in gear and thank you properly soon.

For any of the rest of you that haven't donated yet and are interested in doing so, click here: Telaryn's Donation Page.

I need a pink ribbon icon for these posts.
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Telaryn

September 2015

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