Teena and the 3 Day Walk for the Cure Journal

3 day walk for the cure

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June 15, 2010, 1:30 am

Over my body’s protest, I will be walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure in August.  Bored with writing about blisters, mileage and routes,  I write stories; here’s my latest …

We’re walking around Lake Nokomis. Be at our house by 6pm. Kevin.

The text message was blunt – you’re walking; no excuses. My training partners, the Rockneys and the Schwarzbauers, are walking fanatics. Missed last week’s walk because of overtime; knew that wouldn’t fly this week. These people take their walking seriously – and their pledge to walk me into shape.

The gang shows up wearing pedometers, double-lined socks and regulation walking shorts. Sigh. They always look so put together – and I always look like the bottom of the laundry basket. Clothes aside, we are well suited in our walking styles and we step out in unison.

“This is a 10 mile day today, right?” Kevin asks. I nod as we head for the walking path. I’d learned to forward my weekly training schedule to everyone as my native Minnesotan friends knew every footpath in the tri-county area.

“I gotta step up the mileage,” I said, reluctantly – feeling my right tendon throb at the news.  “I should be doing 5-ish miles during the week and longer on weekends.”  The gang smiled as though I’d handed them a gift-wrapped box.  Great.

We rounded the west end of the lake, Kevin and Lois in lead; Liz and I in the back. Walking, I thought of the support I’ve found for this event.  Local buddies, family members, distant friends – some as far away as England and Australia – following my progress; it was humbling.

Have I gotten any better?  Do I feel ready for the 60 miles? I took stock. I still ache a lot and my left hip is now sore. The layers of fat haven’t melted off as I’d anticipated; I still have my chipmunk cheeks. Then, I had The Thought – the Very Important Thought, actually.

I remembered last weekend.  I’d walked to a friend’s house for an afternoon bar-b-que.  It was 3.5 miles and I did it easily. What amazed me? Me. I amazed myself as my first thought wasn’t to jump in the truck with Hubby and the relish tray but to meet him there on foot. That thought would never have crossed my mind pre – 3-Day Walk for the Cure; now a 3, 4 or 5 mile walk is not intimidating.

I am changing.

Not just my body, but my mindset.  I’m sore, sure – but that’s after a 10 mile walk.  My cheeks may still be umm … healthy, I think is the word, but I feel vital and energetic. I still eat chips. But fruit looks better. Wow.

Kevin’s voice breaks my revere. “That’s 3 times around; is that enough for today?”

I smile. “Let’s go around one more time.”


June 12, 2010, 4:46 am

Over my body’s protest, I will be walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure in August.  Bored with writing about blisters, mileage and routes,  I write stories; here’s my latest …

Got lost in my neighborhood.  Again.  Took a left onto Fairleaf Ave instead of a right; got half a mile down the road before I noticed. Really annoying. Hubby thinks I’m hopelessly navigationally challenged; it’s my theory however, that I just get distracted.

To keep from getting bored as I walk, I’ve started writing my stories in my head. That’s one thing I hadn’t counted on; the boredom that comes from walking for hours. I can’t always train with people and I’ve never believed it safe to wear headphones while walking. As the miles pile on, so do the hours it takes to complete a training walk. After the first mile, my mind drifts.  I’ve redecorated my dream home (it’s on an island in Fiji) and memorized the words to all the verses of the Star Spangled Banner. But mostly I think and I write.

Walking and thinking. Thinking and writing – no wonder I miss my turns; my head is always in another world. Gets me into trouble at times. I remember almost wrecking our truck and Airstream camper once. Hubby says I was distracted; I blame Shania Twain.

“…Any man of mine better be proud of me, even when I’m ugly he

still better love me…”

Picture me top-of-the-lungs singing as I haul our 19’ camper along interstate 95. Hubby, following on his motorcycle, calls on the CB.

“I’m getting low on gas; how’s the truck doing?”

I glance at the gauge. “I’m fine,” I said. “Got half a tank.” I crank the stereo back up.

“…I can be late for a date, that’s fine – but he better be on time…”

The CB crackles. “I’m stopping at the next exit for gas-you sure you don’t need any?”

I sigh and turn the radio off.  “I’m fine. The gauge is smack in the middle of the dial-I can read a dial you know,” I said irritably. Ah, the things that come back to haunt us. I turn the radio back on.

“…any man of MINE…better WALK THE LINE …better show me a TEASIN’ PLEASIN’, SQUEEZIN’ kind of time…”

Blink. Blink. I pause in mid-bellow. Blink. Blink. An amber light is blinking on the dashboard. I stare. And stare again. The gas gauge had red-lined well below empty. The gauge I had been monitoring?  Smack in the middle – as a temperature gauge should be. Distracted, I had been checking the temperature, not the gas gauge. I look at the passing exit sign. ‘Next Gas Station – 20 Miles’. Crap.

I yank the truck into the far right lane and slow to 45 miles an hour. I avoid eye contact as honking cars and 18 wheelers pass me. Blink. Blink. I drive hunched over, praying for a tailwind.  Made it to the exit that day – and on to my destination.

Never did finish that song, however.  Too distracting. Just don’t tell hubby.


June 7, 2010, 6:30 pm

Over my body’s protest, I will be walking the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure in August.  Bored with writing about blisters, mileage and routes,  I write stories; here’s my latest …

I have to pee. Tried to ignoring it, but it’s like a bad song; soon as you think of it, you can’t get it out of your head. I’m into mile 4 of my training walk, loaded down with all the gear I’ll be taking on my 3 day walk, including extra socks – by order of Coach Hubby, who insists I get used to carrying as I train.

“You’ll thank me later,” he said.

And he’s right (I just hate letting him KNOW he’s right). So I practice hydrating and test equipment as I train. Trying to ignore my bladder, I think of all the prep work going into this event – the walking routes; choosing the right shoes, shorts, hat; learning to pace, stretch, hydrate. Routine for marathon runners perhaps, but new for me.

All this prep work reminded me that you can do all the planning in the world for an event – and still unexpected things happen. Take my 10 day walk through the English Cotswolds. My co-walkers and I trained and mapped out routes for months. We meticulously planned clothes, day packs, emergency kits – we were ready for every contingency. We thought.

End of day one had us stopping at a B&B in a tiny English hamlet. Starved, we went out looking for food…and ran into our first cultural lesson; life (or lack thereof) in an English country village. Nothing was open. The village pub served beer but no food. We ordered a round of lager shandies (2/3 parts strong English lager; 1 part 7-Up) and munched on roast chicken crisps (potato chips) and beer nuts.

“The Cricket Club may be serving food,’ said the pub owner. “You’ll be wanting to give ‘em a try.”

Downing our pint, we trudged to the clubhouse at the end of the road. “Oh, not on Sunday, love; but we’ve got crisps for ya.” We looked at each other and shrugged; when in Rome…. Three rounds later we surveyed the table, littered with empty pint glasses, peanut shells and crisp bags.

“I think I feel sick,” said Liz. I agreed. We staggered back to our rooms, crawling up the narrow spiral staircase on hands and knees. What a way to start our journey, I thought as I passed out.

We learned a lot on that journey, I mused as I walked along Johnny Cake Ridge Road. The least of which was to flow with the unexpected. Thoughts of flowing and lager shandies brought me back to my present predicament; an overfull bladder. Noticing my next waypoint brought me within

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