Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 76: 2011 San Diego SGK 3-Day recap (Day 3)

Day 3! It was finally here! I woke up not-bright and early (4:30 am early), and walked over to the dining tent to eat. I'd pulled almost everything out of the tent already (including my sneakers!) and left it out while we ate.

Then, when we were sitting in the dining tent I heard the sound I'd been dreading hearing all weekend. Rain drops. My heart sank. And then I remembered my shoes. Sitting outside the tent, getting wet. I jumped up, hobbled back to the tent (keep in mind I hadn't had my blisters popped yet so was walking tenderly). Thankfully the thick plastic tarps that made up the dining tent roof amplified the rain, making it sound much worse than it was. My shoes were barely damp, and the rain let up, at least for the time being.

We packed up the rest of our gear and handed it off to a Gear and Tent crew member, then went to medical for one last round of physical therapy and a blister session. I had about half a dozen blisters lanced and wrapped. The medic I had that morning cautioned me that they would just fill up again (which I knew. Come on lady, I am a VETERAN 3-DAY WALKER HERE). I told her that was fine, just wrap them as tight as she could so I could get my foot in my shoe.

We lined up to get scanned out. The atmosphere was already a party. We were dancing in line, laughing, taking picture after picture and ready to kill the last leg of it. The physical therapist I had Sunday morning sucked. I would like to have nothing but good things to say about everyone on the event, but she was wretched. I told her my issue - 2 different leg lengths, the short one was really sore, and that I needed it massaged with bio-freeze for at least 10 minutes because I couldn't get in a good enough position to really work the knot out of it myself. She patted some bio-freeze on, half-assedly wrapped my calf with an ace bandage and sent me on my way. While we were still INSIDE CAMP the wrap came loose. After taking this picture I just took it off. I am still angry at that PT. Don't volunteer for this event, especially as a PT unless you're willing to work with people who are exhausted, sore and desperately trying to finish strong. Don't half-ass your job.

Anyway. On our way out of camp one of the SJPD officers stopped me, told me that he was so inspired by the way I pushed to get up that hill on day 2 and gave me a bracelet. He made me cry, and I am bummed I didn't take a picture with him. I hate that the SJPD doesn't have the funding to allow the San Jose cops to come down again next year. I'm so thankful Jeff and I are doing San Francisco next year and that the San Jose cops will be there. The San Diego cops are great too, but they're quite a bit more Stiff-Upper-Lippy than SJ. Regardless, I know I speak for many members of the 3-Day community when I say that the support of the police departments is amazing. These men and women are with us every step of the way, it's just as personal for them as it is for us, and they are one of the highlights of the event.

I was handed the "My Hero" flag before we got too far out of camp. I have been dying to be a flag-bearer. It is certainly no secret! I'm hoping to participate in opening and closing ceremonies in San Francisco next year carrying the "My Grandmother" flag. So getting to carry a flag, even just for a couple miles was a huge honor. Shortly after I took up the flag San Diego threw us a tiny loop and it started to rain again. Ponchos came out of bags for the first time all weekend, but smiles never wavered!  It rained for a mile or so, more drizzle than actual rain, then ponchos came off. I didn't want to throw it away and risk ACTUAL rain starting again, so we tucked them onto the straps of our CamelBaks.

My leg was giving me hell. We got to pit stop 2 and I went straight to medical where an AMAZING physical therapist worked on me for half an hour -- well after the "official" closing of the pit. She used The Stick on me and it was like hearing a choir of angels sing. I also had 1000 milligrams of Vicodin on board (thanks Mom!), and had my back iced and wrapped. The bad part of being at medical so long? The caboose showed up. The caboose is a 3-Day staff member who rides behind all the walkers. So when he gets to a pit or lunch he closes it up. It's for walker safety and to keep things on schedule. The caboose will also sweep you if you're straggling. So Janae and I were officially last walkers, and pretty early in the days. She was sore and in pain, I was fighting tears because the pain in my leg was excruciating. The caboose followed us for about a mile, keeping quiet. Then he started talking to me -- asked me about my 3-Day history, told me about his, asked how much money I'd raised. Then he told me "you've already done the important part. Why don't you girls sweep a few miles? It'll make the rest of your day better, and you'll finish strong."

Janae was about 30 yards ahead of me, and I didn't want to scream at her so I texted her (and I quote) "fuck it, let's sweep to pit 3." (yes, yes, texting on the route is forbidden blah blah) Janae heard her phone, read the text and turned around and gave me two thumbs up. We continued down the route about a quarter mile to where there was pit access and waited with a handful of other walkers for the next sweep van. We swept 3.5 miles to pit stop 3, passing the Day 3 hill on Juan Street (I have not conquered that beast yet, 2012 I'm coming for you!). It was far and away the best decision I made all weekend. We hopped out of the van, went to medical so Janae could have a blister looked at and so I could put a bag of ice on each ankle, knee and 2 on my back. After 20 minutes of laying around I noticed that my phone was missing. Never fear on the 3-Day though. I flagged down a crew captain and asked if they would radio sweep van H (I happened to notice the sticker when we were in it) to let them know I'd left my phone in the sweep van, and that it had a return address label stuck on it with my info. Only in 3-Dayville can you lose your phone and have it returned to you 20 minutes later.

When I'd packed my stuff up Sunday morning I hooked my flip flops to my camelbak, knowing I'd want to change into them at closing. While we were at the pit stop I changed my socks and left my shoes off for a few minutes. 53 miles of walking in 3 days was not kind to them. My feet (and the blisters attached to them) swelled up immediately. I think I mentioned that I switched to toe socks this year, and the prospect of working my swollen, blistered feet back into shoes was not appealing. I checked my route card and saw that we only had 5 miles to go from that pit. Then I told Janae I was finishing the walk in my flip-flops. Her feet were also swollen, so she cut the pinkies out of her shoes. These changes made such a difference! We practically skipped out of the pit stop!

The last 5 miles of the walk are electric. Everyone is giddy, there is a ton of cheer traffic and a lot of walker stalkers who are happy to give out "adult blister healers." Yes, there is a ton of booze on the route. Especially day 3. Cheers! That smile on my face is the most pain-free smile I'd rocked all weekend. Now that my feet were free of the nylon prison of my shoes I felt so good, and so did my blisters (despite the fact that now that they weren't constricted the were able to swell like crazy -- and I actually had one even pop on it's own while I was walking. Not my favorite feeling, but still relief!). We were super close to holding, and San Diego really goes all out for us. The community support is a huge part of the 3-Day. If you're just walking all day without anyone cheering you on it feels like 600 miles, not 60. We were about a half mile away from the lunch spot for day 3 when we passed a Chipotle. Somehow a hot burrito sounded better than a cold sandwich, so we elected to duck in and sit on a seat, not the ground while we ate. We were not the only walkers who made that decision! :) Who doesn't love Chipotle?

I am lucky to have such a huge pink family. I'd tweeted a couple times over the weekend that I needed support and encouragement, and Team Twitter came through in the best way! Every time I looked at my phone at a pit stop I was greeted with tons of texts filled with support and love. It made every step a little easier!

We finally wound our way into downtown, and the streets were now LINED with pink people. The last mile or so before holding is a NON-STOP cheering station. Hugs from strangers? Check. Five Hour Energy booth, handing out free samples? Check. People high-fiving you like it is their job? Double check. Janae and I were laughing giddily the whole time. I am so happy to have shared this experience with someone I love so much. I've been talking about it for years and having somebody to share it with made it so much better. Every 3-Day experience this year was phenomenal. Volunteering with my best friend who just happens to be my boyfriend in San Francisco was awesome. I made friends I will have for LIFE being a part of Team Twitter ATL and walking San Diego this year was beyond amazing. It was my best 3-Day year yet.

We finally (finally!) got to holding. I thought I would be in tears (given that it was the theme of my weekend!) but I was SO happy and proud of myself for doing ALL BUT 3.5 MILES OF THE WALK! that I just grinned non-stop.

I was so happy that I managed to find Jim and get a picture with him! Saying he was a highlight of the walks this year would be an understatement. I will link to Jim's Facebook and website later so you can read about his 3-Day story, it's an amazing one! He is a testament to the human spirit and to the 3-Day spirit.

3-Days, 60 miles and memories that will last a lifetime! We buzzed through holding, got our victory t-shirts and took a few pictures before closing ceremonies started.

It started to drizzle as we walked into closing, and as our survivors walked in darkness was falling. The rain, cold and twilight couldn't keep us quiet. Walkers, crew, staff and spectators alike cheered like our lives depended on it for our 533 survivors who participated (either as walkers or crew members). We also raised our shoes in their honor, one of my favorite 3-Day traditions. It's such a beautiful moment.

I listened to Sheri for the last time that year, she shared our fundraising numbers with us -- together the 4175 walkers and crew in San Diego raised 9.2 million dollars. The 2011 3-Day series had over 34,000 participants who raised a total of 74.5 million dollars for breast cancer research, treatment, prevention and eventual eradication. Saying I am honored to be a part of it is such an understatement. I am indebted to this event, and this community. It introduced me to the version of myself that I want to be -- am capable of becoming. And really, that's what this blog is all about.

Thank you for coming along with me on this extraordinary journey. It's a life-changer. :) I'll be back tomorrow with my last 3-Day recap for 2011 -- Day 4 and Beyond, AKA the post-3-Day Hangover.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Day 75: Sunday recap

It's been so long since I've written one of these that I forgot how. Lame.

Anyway. I am giving myself half a pass for the remainder of 2011. No, I will not sit on my ass the next 13 days. I will work out, even if it's just going for a long walk. I'm hitting Zumba tomorrow (and hopefully Wednesday or Thursday too).

And I'm keeping a better eye on what I eat. Not due to my vanity or desire to be thin but because of my desire to not feel like complete shit. I probably need to give up the ghost and realize that I have way more food issues than I like to admit to. Clearly there is the classic overweight person "addiction" to food, but I also have internal food issues, like eating too much grease or dairy or sugar or whatever makes me want to die for hours on end/spend far too much time in the smallest room of the house.

After eating pizza one day last week and paying for it all day I decided to just suck it up, bake some chicken and cook rice and steamed veggies. I lived on that for 2 days and was so much happier for it. I have always LOVED vegetables so it's not a punishment for me like it is for my boyfriend, and the chicken was perfectly tasty thanks to my good friend garlic salt.

So I've let myself "half" off the hook for the next two weeks. Because January 2-29 THIS is happening. No chocolate. No candy. No biscuits or cookies. No cake, donuts, or muffins. No pastries. No white bread. No chips. No fast food. No nutella, peanut butter or other naughty spreads. No ice cream. With my personal additions of no soda, no white rice (brown is okay), no "regular" pasta (again, whole wheat would be okay).

I need a holiday detox, and January seems like the perfect time to do it. That way Jeff and I can still celebrate our birthdays to the fullest extent (mine is February 4 and his is two days later) and hopefully I'll have less inches to show for it.

In a new feature of Sunday recaps, let's talk job searching! I got my license last month, then went to San Diego, so only started heavily job hunting a few weeks ago. I have sent out (no joke) 70+ resumes. I have 25 salons on my "to call" list. I've had one interview (that I didn't expect or frankly want a job offer from, but I did want the experience and for her to answer questions for me), one pre-interview at THE DREAM salon yesterday and I have an interview Wednesday at 1:00 at a third salon. I'm after something so particular -- a salon with a dedicated assistant program, a great location, and a product line that I believe in. DREAM salon had all that and I'm really hoping to get a call back for a working interview.

Job searching is hard. And sometimes depressing. And I often wonder (especially in such a looks driven industry) if I'm getting written off before I open my mouth because I'm overweight. It sucks. This is going to sound vain but whatever, I'm pretty. I've never thought otherwise. Sure I have ugly DAYS but overall, I'm pretty. I'm well dressed, my hair looks great and I'm confident. But I know that there is so much fat-phobia in the world and that salon owners can be extremely superficial. It makes me want to be able to change overnight and walk back into salons and be like "BIG MISTAKE. HUGE" a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. But alas, I am a fatty, not a prostitute with a heart of gold, so I can't just throw on some designer clothing and magically hide what I am. It takes work to change so fundamentally.

2012 is going to be THE year of hard work.

I hope you're enjoying my 3-Day recaps as much as I'm enjoying reliving that weekend! I'll be posting Day 3 tomorrow and Day 4/Post 3-Day Hangover notes soon after. And I'll be back with a Sunday recap on Christmas, I guess!

Love to you and yours from me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Day 72: 2011 San Diego SGK 3-Day recap (Day 2)

Somehow,  despite not going to bed until after 10:30 Friday night I managed to pop up wide awake at 4:45! What even. Happily that was 5 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. We ate and stopped by medical (and ran into my friend Lisa on the way! I was so happy to get to have breakfast with her). My toe socks were an amazing investment. No, I did not enjoy spending $13 PER PAIR on socks but it was well worth it. I'm really prone to blisters, and as any 3-Day walker knows, blisters are a result of friction. Toe socks BY DEFINITION eliminate friction between your toes. However I still had some blisters on my heels that needed attention at medical. I think next year I will be switching to walking sandals for that purpose. I had blisters lanced and drained on my left foot and a chain of second skin wrapped around my right heel.

We lined up with the masses to get out of camp and then after being scanned out were back on our way! And once again I am envious of those people who wind up at the very front of the pack. You just know they get up at like 3:30 and don't have blisters or any pain so don't need to go to medical, lol. They just eat and go sit at the front of the line to get scanned out. I'm also half convinced their legs are 14 feet long and they take huge strides to get back to camp at like 2 in the afternoon. Luckily we were pretty middle of the pack. I felt good but not great and knew it might be a loooong 20 miles.

After the skies had stayed gray and ominous all day on Friday it was a hugely welcome sight to see the sun shining on us pretty much all day Saturday! In 2010 San Diego was MISERABLE. It rained in a way I can only refer to as "biblically." If you know me AT ALL you know how important this cause is to me. I only started in 2009, but luckily it was beautiful and sunny and glorious that whole time. If 2010 had been my first walk I would have had to think about coming back a lot more. Coming back into camp on Day 2 of 2010 I looked more like I'd swam the last 3 miles and found my tent ON IT'S SIDE, with pretty much everything inside it soaking wet. I wrapped my pillow in a hefty bag, avoided the wet quadrant of my blanket and basically froze trying to sleep that night. It was bad. So this? This was a glorious sight. I swear you could almost hear the collective sigh of relief!

The first leg of Day 2 took us past the across the bay neighbors that I mentioned last night -- Sea World! Janae and I made a couple of new friends (I am also convinced those people who finish very early in the day don't stop to take pictures with everyone/thing along the route -- I feel sorry for those people!). Sea World was less that 5 miles into Day 2 and I was already starting to feel "it" in my shorter leg, but as I kept telling myself, I was just sore. I knew nothing was seriously wrong with me and I would be fine, so I kept going. I really, really had the goal of all 60 miles in my head. I wanted it. I watched some of my best friends do it the month before, including my friend Allie of So I Had Cancer, Now What?. I wanted to do all 60 for me, for Allie (because my GOD girl has been through so much more than walking 60 miles), for my nana. . . but mostly for me.

Every day (at least on the San Diego route) there is a pretty good hill. Torrey Pines is obviously my everest, but the hill on Day 2 is pretty good too. Not as steep, but longer. We made our way up the hill as San Diego and San Jose PD rode their bikes alongside us (their legs must have been killing them by the end too!). I know that I'm a lucky fatty, I don't have anything seriously wrong with me health wise, but like I said about Torrey Pines it sucks to haul extra you up a hill. I get really ferklempt when they do the "putting the weight back on" challenge on The Biggest Loser because the contestants are always amazed they were carrying all that extra around and I totally feel that way. I know that when I lose weight I feel better and it is less work to just EXIST. I can't wait to feel a noticeable change in that way. Anyway, we got through that hill and were rewarded with some gorgeous views like this one. Oh, no big deal, just the ocean looking all gorgeous and inviting. ;)

After the Day 2 hill my leg was really giving me trouble. There is a noticeable discrepancy in the lengths of my legs. Close to an inch. It's a lingering side effect from a surgery I had when I was 11. Most people never notice it, but I always stand with my right leg to the side and slightly bent at the knee to balance myself out. However when I have on Uggs or Creepers (yes yes I used to be all up in the punk scene, lol!) if I take off my left shoe and leave the right one on I can swing my left leg pretty freely and it won't touch the ground (I'm a fun party trick). This NEVER really bothers me until I'm at the 3-Day. Basically I never put my body through the same kinds of physical rigors that I do when I'm walking 20+ miles a day. We got into Pit stop 2 a few minutes before it was scheduled to close and I hobbled to medical where a glorious physical therapist gave me a 10 minute massage with BioFreeze (liquid gold). I was still hurting but felt WORLDS better than I had before.

Janae was in a bit of pain too, but we egged each other on, saying "let's just get to the next pit stop." Lunch was really late on Day 2, around 14 miles in. So when we came to the top of a small incline and saw the swarms of people still at lunch we knew we'd be okay. We grabbed our food and sat down to eat. Less than five minutes later a member of lunch crew walked up to us and said "I'm a massage therapist, do you want a 2 minute shoulder massage?" Well yes, yes I did. It felt so great. We finished eating, changed our socks and went back on our way. Less than 6 miles to go back to camp! And if you're curious what direction we needed to turn, well. . .

Those 6 miles sucked. I was so sore. Day 2 is the hardest day because you don't have the exhilaration of Days 1 and 3. You're tired. You've put your body through it's paces and know you'll be doing it again the next day. Janae's pains were lessened by walking a little quicker than me, so she was a little bit ahead of me while I was feeling every step. I spent a good portion of those last 6 miles talking with Jesus. And my grandma. And thinking about my survivor sister Allie. The last mile and a half to camp there is no sweep access, so you make that decision and are stuck with it. I didn't hesitate when I saw the sign, but it was purely pride that decided it for me. I was on the verge of (okay, past the verge of) tears. I was mentally, physically and emotionally drained. I was cursing my sweet boyfriend for not being available and in my tent to hug me while I cried out everything I was feeling, I was pissed off at my stupid legs for being different lengths, I was pissed off at myself for not losing more weight before this walk because I KNOW I'd feel better with less of me. . . everything was coming to a head. One of the San Jose bike cops was riding alongside me. I was in the last handful of walkers. She told me that she knew I was in physical pain. It was obvious (limping is sexy). But then she told me that the last walker (who was only a quarter mile behind me) was walking for her sister and her mom. Both of whom were battling breast cancer. Earlier that day she'd gotten the call that her mom had died. The police officer looked at me and said "honey, I know you're hurting, but that poor girl is drowning in hurt." Really puts it in perspective, huh?

I kept crying (duh. You must know by now that this is a pattern). But it wasn't for me, it was for her. I can't imagine what she was feeling. So I sucked it up for the last half mile and got home! I couldn't believe that I'd walked ALL of another day. Over 40 miles down. I was SO damn proud. We took our picture by the 40 mile sign (and I like that you can just TELL from my grimace that I'm hurting!). The sign is pretty close to the entrance of camp. As we walked back towards the dining tent Janae and I both were on our phones with our moms. I called my mom to cry. I freaked her out quite a bit, even though I prefaced it all with "after I take a shower and eat I'll feel better but [insert all the tears]." I must have been more of a mess than I thought because she insisted I call her again AFTER the shower and getting to eat. I really did feel like a new person after that. I called her and was fine.

In the dining tent that night we heard from Jim Hillmann. I first met Jim last year in San Diego when he told me he was walking all 14 events in 2011. I was flummoxed. That was a commitment. He'd have to raise over $30,000. He'd have to fly to 13 events (San Francisco being his "home" event). But in true 3-Day fashion, Jim did it. He raised all the money, got to all the events and touched over 40,000 lives in 2011. He is a remarkable representative of the 3-Day. An ordinary person who decides they want to do something extraordinary, then doing it. I love Jim. I've gotten to see him a handful of times this year, and hearing about his journey always brings a smile to my face. When I stop and think about all the people that I wouldn't know without this event, it takes my breath away. Saying my life is better because of the 3-Day is a huge understatement. It defines me, and what a definition.

While I was in the shower truck earlier one of the bandaids I had on my heel flopped off and I was greeted with this sight. Yes, I am fairly certain that blister could support it's own zip code, and yes, my feet were crazy swollen. After we ate and listened to Jim's speech I laughed and told Janae I wanted to go to medical so they could look at this bad boy for me (even though I was pretty sure they'd tell me to come back in the morning for blisters), plus I needed to see a physical therapist again. Sure enough, after a PT massaged my leg for almost half an hour in the sports medicine tent I walked over to the blister tent and was told to return in the morning. Most of you are probably cringing at the size of these, but as long as they're not blisters in between my toes I can handle blisters. Lance them, wrap them tight and I'm set. So after getting turned away from blisters I went back to the tent, packed as much as I could so I wouldn't have to worry about as much of it Sunday morning and crawled into bed, cautiously optimistic about doing all of Day 3.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day 70: 2011 San Diego SGK 3-Day recap (Day 1)

(I was planning on putting Day 1 and Day 2 together into one post but once I got started writing this it became QUITE apparent that wasn't going to work! So here's day 1)

Finally after months of preparation we were finally there! My alarm went off at 4AM, we took quick showers and drove the 20 minutes to Del Mar Racetrack. We parked the car in long-term parking and took the "back way" into opening. That was a new experience even for me! I've always come in the front, but I have to say, long-term parking wasn't bad at all. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. We quickly headed over to the booth, where Janae and I both picked up one of these seamless head wraps (or buffs, as I'm told they're also called). Great purchase. Keeps your hair out of your eyes and ears warm during the cold early part of the day. I've been meaning to buy one the past couple years.

We waited in line what felt like FOREVER to take out picture at the opening ceremonies sign (yes, Janae is one of those impossibly beautiful girls who doesn't realize how gorgeous she is and therefore isn't a bitch about it (if I didn't love her I'd have to hate her) and I am a blob, lol). I don't know exactly time I'd have to get up and get to opening to get to do EVERYTHING and still get in a great position to get on the route early. Maybe next year we'll figure it out.

Then we filled out our "my personal goal for this weekend is..." stickers. Mine was to try my damnedest to walk all 60 miles. I'd never done even all of one single day before, and after being wildly inspired by one of my best friends (Allie, a 32 year old survivor) who walked EVERY STEP in Atlanta and gave herself stress fractures doing it I was determined to do as much as I could. I know it's not about doing all 60 miles. But still part of me wanted desperately to do all of one.

Despite waiting in lines at the booth and at the opening ceremonies sign AND the goal board we still got pretty close to the stage once they opened the gates and let us in the corral. I may have done some fast moving, lol. Here's a 3-Day pro tip: You want to be as close as you can to the front of the stage and as close to the middle as possible. I made that mistake my first year and have been trying not to every year since. 2012 I will get it right! The further back you are in the pack the harder it is to break free and go at your own pace.

We did some group stretching, heard from the local Komen affiliate and from the current 3-Day National Spokesperson, Dr. Sheri Phillips. I cried. I always cry at Opening. This year especially. I've been an online ambassador for the 3-Day this year, and between that and fundraising and this blog I've been thinking about my grandmother a lot. A whole lot. I miss her. In fact, this past Monday marked the 21 year anniversary of her death. My grandmother has been gone for three quarters of my life. What a sad number. Anyway. The sun wasn't quite out yet (and actually wasn't quite out all day on Day 1), but I still had my sunglasses on. No need for 3600 people to see me crying that early.

Then, we were off. We got through Pit Stop 1 pretty quickly, but since we were still in the middle of the pack we were stuck behind a lot of people. Pit Stop 2 is at the base of Torrey Pines State Reserve. Torrey Pines is my arch-nemesis. I walked it in 2009 because I didn't know any better. It killed my back for the rest of the day. I skipped it in 2010 because I had convinced myself I needed to. I decided 2011 was the year of NO EXCUSES. My feet felt great (thank you, toe socks and gold-bond foot powder!). We trucked up the hill.

Since this is a weight loss/fitness/full disclosure blog I'll be honest. It sucked. It sucked hauling my ass and all my extra ass up that hill, but I dug deep with every step and when we got to the top it was SWEET. RELIEF. All of this before the 8 mile mark. Other than being schwetty we were good after conquering the hill (MOUNTAIN). It doesn't hurt to have hot bike cops cheering you on, just saying.

Four miles later we headed into lunch -- the sign on Janae's CamelBak said "I am still _____ short but I'm waking because I can't walk away. Please help me make minimum!" We changed the number with a dry-erase marker as it went down. Janae was very, very short of her minimum and by the end of the weekend we were less than $200 away from it. Other walkers and spectators donated to us all weekend. Janae was really moved by it, she welled up any time anyone handed her cash or a check. The kindness displayed at the 3-Day is a remarkable testament to what's possible in the world. It's also why a 3-Day Hangover is the worst -- you're tired and all but what really sucks is that you've spent between 3 and 5 days in a pink bubble of kindness. The real world is not quite the same.

Lunch was at mile 11 on Day 1, from there we walked past the ocean (some of my favorite views!) and through business-y parts of town. The only thing that sucks about the San Diego walk is that it's so late in the year that the darkness really creeps up if you're a slower walker. Janae and I finished when it was pretty dark. But I'm SO PROUD of the fact that we did an entire day! Every single step, didn't look at a sweep van and didn't even think about it. We were exhausted, sweaty, gross rockstars.

We went to find our gear and had our tent set up by some fabulous girl scouts (thank you!), then walked over to the huge dining tent and went beast mode on our dinner. After 20.5 miles you are FAMISHED. Some of the sweet youth volunteers even offered to walk our phones over to the charging station and plugged them in for us. After eating we wandered over to 3-Day main street where we picked up our mail (I was hugely blessed with almost 2 dozen letters and cards from my friends and family and my 3-Day tweeps!) and legacy pins (3-Dayers LOVE flair) and picked up things we "needed" from the booth (toe socks and a t-shirt for me, lots more for Janae!).

We then went over to the shower trucks and took The Best Shower of My Life, swung by the medical tent to have blisters checked out (and I got my short leg worked on by a Physical Therapist -- it's really hard to have two different length legs), then back to the dining tent to grab our phones. My phone's battery sucks so I still needed to let it charge as long as possible, but Janae's was already fully charged. She went to bed and I stayed up past the "official" lights out talking with some volunteers and was rewarded with both a fully charged phone AND a fireworks show! Camp is on Mission Bay -- our across the bay neighbors are this little start up called SEA WORLD. Around 10:00 the sky lit up. What an amazing treat. Half an hour later I crawled into bed with a smile on my face.

Talk about a perfect day in a perfect place.

Day 70: Tues(not Sun)day recap


That was the sound of me falling so far off the wagon. I'm not pulling punches, I've been living it up Holiday Style.

Cookies? SURE.

Delicious, creamy baked mac and cheese? NO PROBLEM.

Working out? Less than five times since Thanksgiving.

I have nothing good to say about it except that my attitude about it is great. Tomorrow is another day. TODAY is another day. My body is reminding me that I can't really eat all the crap I want to without suffering (lactose intolerance is a bitch). I need to get back to eating turkey burgers and leaving the creamy sauces out of my life.

So I am. Starting today.

No screen cap of workouts scheduled today, because I need to take an hour or so and move my workouts around in iCal so I can get back on track. In the mean time, it's back to the shake weight and walking 2-3 miles a day, then back on the scheduled workouts and Zumba starting on Monday.

Life has ups and downs, but thanks to one of my favorite people I'm starting to remember that I have to occasionally put myself first.

I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow with my second 3-Day recap post. After I go for a little walk.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Day 66: the shame of not posting

I'll start this post off by saying it will not be an abbreviated Sunday recap, despite the fact that I skipped 3 of them. I will be posting a Sunday recap this Sunday as scheduled.

What I AM going to talk about is my 2011 San Diego 3-Day experience! I'm breaking this post up into 5 posts (Day 0, Days 1-3 (the actual event), and Day 4 & beyond). I'll be posting Day 0 today, Days 1 and 2 tomorrow and Days 3 and 4 Monday or Tuesday.

Here we go!

After tons of fundraising, last minute trips to Target and packing (and packing and packing and packing) Janae and I left town around 10AM on Thursday November 17. We made great time until we hit LA traffic, then stalled out completely. Between LA traffic and San Diego rush hour we sat for about 4 hours.

However we finally got to my cousin's house in San Diego around 7 PM. I haven't seen this particular cousin in over 15 years -- she moved back to Arkansas when I was still really young. I met her kids for the first time and her husband. It was really wonderful to catch up with her and so amazingly kind of them to let us crash with her Thursday night.

After a great homemade dinner we sorted out our stuff and rearranged what was coming with us (like my camel-bak -- I made ribbons with the names of my donors, survivors and in memory that I carried with me every step of the way, because I couldn't have done it without them) to the 3-Day and what would be staying in the car at long-term parking, got snuggled in around 10:00 and tried to get to sleep! No matter how many years it's been I still wind up feeling like it's Christmas eve -- I never think I'll be able to fall asleep and then before I know it I'm out.

I know this post is kinda short, but I'll see you tomorrow with Day 1 and Day 2! And Sunday with my Sunday recap and regularly scheduled #hotby30 posts. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 40: Sunday recap

Tapering is gorgeous. I never, never, never get to train as much as I want to. If I intend to run a marathon sometime in the next 2 years I really need to re-prioritize training when it's called for. The simple truth of the matter is that I'd really rather stay curled up in bed on the weekends than get up at 5:00 to workout. It does not help that Jeff has me in a death grip while we sleep on the weekends (although it does make me feel really special). I am so excited for things to calm down in the next year and see what having a routine does for me. The past month or so has been way, way out of my routine and even though I know my routine is going to change drastically in the next few weeks (yay, working, yay!) I also know that I will relax into it and be able to carve out dedicated training time. And theoretically in 5 and a half months when the ACTUAL training plan kicks in I'll have dropped a significant number of pounds. Less of me to carry around = easier training.

I feel like I've been making excuses for eating crappy. "I've been busy, no time, blah blah." True, but it's just as easy to run to the store and buy a lean cuisine or smart one as it is to run to taco bell or jack in the box. I KNOW I've been eating like shit. And more than ME knowing I've been eating like shit, my body knows I've been eating like shit. It's inexcusable, especially when I was just starting to see these fantastic results from Zumba. I told Jeff earlier to day that I really hope he enjoyed these last 2 weeks of eating like crap, because then we are both working out. He wants to lose about 115 pounds too, and I assure him he'd have a much easier time than me (damn male metabolism) but I know I will have to prove it to him. He's going to have to get in the training mindset too though, since in September 2012 he's going to become a 3-day walker himself.

In terms of flat out facts, I made half of my workouts. Half of my 27 miles, half of my Jillian workouts, only one Zumba class, did the shake weight twice (but will do it tonight!). I did play a few hours of Just Dance (which is rapidly turning into the Elaine-from-Seinfeld dance show, I'm terrible!). I like Just Dance but I recently discovered that there is ZUMBA FOR WII. Yes, it will be coming to live with me AS SOON as I get home from San Diego. I LOVED a couple weeks ago when I did Zumba 5 times (it was when I discovered my ab!), but at $5/class I can't justify it more than twice a week. I am hoping the Zumba for Wii game is as fun as going to Zumba, I'd totally play it every day if that's the case.

Next week!

If I don't hit all my workouts this week I am fired from life. Seriously. 3 rounds of No More Trouble Zones, 3 rounds of shake weight, 2 Zumba classes (it's not in the photo but I'm going tomorrow night with a friend, I hope!) and 5 miles? Girl please, that should be no problem. Then Thursday Janae and I will be heading down to San Diego!

I got new socks for the walk awhile ago. I'm switching to toe socks and praying that they really end my love affair with blisters. It would be nice to come home tired and sore but not out of commission for three weeks. I didn't budget any time off after San Diego and am hoping to only take a few days to recover.

This week is what I spend the rest of my year looking forward to. I am so ready to spend three days in that world and to share it with Janae, and to see my cousin who just moved back to the west coast from Arkansas. I'm not worried about anything but having a good time and being part of the global movement to end breast cancer.

If you'd like to get real-time updates from me while I set out on the journey of a lifetime for a third time (wow. Just wow.), feel free to follow me on twitter, although I will warn you I USE twitter and am probably annoying to some people, lol! I'm @kaaaaacie over there. :)

See you next Sunday, bloggity blog.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 36: Give and take, win and lose.

I didn't get around to posting on Sunday. I have reasons, but not excuses. After nearly nine months of dating Jeff finally met my dad and my sister. We all went to dinner Sunday night and by the time we got home I was beyond exhausted, then I intended to post Monday, and time just kept slipping away from me. I'm not going to do a belated Sunday recap, not officially anyway.

So in the last 10 days I have: eaten like shit. Worked out a few times but not enough. Been alternately sleep deprived and over-saturated with sleep. Again, this is not an excuse, but a reason. On Thursday, November 3 I took my cosmetology state board exam. I spent the days prior to it studying and the days after celebrating. California doesn't give you an actual score, just a pass or fail, so I can't say how well I did but WHO cares, I passed!

I hadn't slept the night before and then Jeff generously shared his cold so I spent the weekend sleeping and bumming around in ratty PJ's. I am in no way proud of what I didn't do for my fitness plan this week, but I realize that sometimes something else has to take temporary priority. Thankfully I've been able to jump back into it this week, I'm going to have to juggle to get back on schedule with my workouts but I figure by the end of November I'll be back to only one workout per day.

The 3-day is coming up next weekend! I've hit my minimum but have not yet hit my goal because I am now redirecting my fundraising efforts to my teammate Janae. She's still really short and I am working hard to help her get there too. I know we'll do it. If you would like to help in any way, Janae's fundraising website is here. EVERY donation helps.

I am in tunnel vision mode for the next week. Everything I am doing or thinking about is for the 3-day. "I need foot powder" "I have to get in a long training walk still" "I want to get everything clean and in order before I leave so it's clean and in order when I come home and can just REST." Despite that, I am still working on a second post for this week, plus I WILL be back on Sunday with the normal recap.

Having a Make It Work month. Aren't we all, aren't we always?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 26: Sunday recap

So it turns out I missed last week completely! Not entirely surprised given my travels, studying, fundraising and costuming! For those of you who care, I had a beautiful time in Atlanta and made friends I know I'll have for life. I've never known a group of people to touch my heart so quickly, especially my hosts. By the end of my trip I was ready to come home but definitely not ready to leave them behind. I'm sure I'll be back, hopefully soon and with Jeff in tow. I don't think we're built for entire weeks apart, we were both quite pathetic by day 4 of 6!

I took quite a few photos but haven't uploaded them yet -- this first one was taken by my friend Jay on lunch day 1 (yes my hair is that pink). The girls I worked with on lunch were AMAZING. By the end of day 1 we were laughing like old friends, and dancing to entertain the walkers for the rest of the weekend. Crewing a 3-day was completely different than walking one, but just as rewarding. I loved every minute of it.

I snapped this picture during the closing ceremony. I've always gotten emotional during closing. But this year, knowing and loving two of the women in the survivor's circle REALLY got to me. I am so glad I was in the perfect position to snap this picture. Allie and Casondra started out just being my teammates and by the end of the weekend became part of my family. Neither of them carried the LOVE flag (Allie carried COURAGE while Sandy was responsible for HOPE) but I am so glad it was behind them. This will be framed in my home for a long long time.

I can't wait for San Diego in a few weeks to get back into that world. I hope that one day I can work for Susan G. Komen, or find something else that brings me half the joy that this does. I'm still $860 short of the minimum to walk in San Diego, by the way. If any of you would like to contribute please feel free to make your donations here. Every donation counts, no matter how small. It will all be a part of one creating a world without breast cancer.

Now, onto me talking about food and working out for a few paragraphs. Like I said, the week I left was busy and not in the working out way. I can't even remember what I ate before leaving, and I do know that while I was in Atlanta I didn't actually eat that well, lol. Tommy and Pam (my gracious hosts) wanted to make sure I got a taste of the south before heading back to California and BOY did I. Cracker Barrel, Chick-fil-A, Waffle House and general deliciousness. I will say in my defense that traveling is TIRING and the whole time I was on the actual event was filled with a lot of physical labor. When I pulled on my jeans Monday morning they felt looser (I'd been wearing yoga pants during the event. Walker or not I wasn't going to spend all day in jeans there), so I felt better about that!

This week I was crazy busy, but part of that was going to Zumba not once or twice this week but FIVE times. I went to every class to promote a fundraiser I had on Saturday. My Zumba instructor graciously co-hosted Zumba for Bazoombas, which went well considering it was put together very quickly. I wish there were more people there, but I understand that couldn't always be the case. I won't lie, sometimes it's discouraging to put your heart and soul into something and want it to be HUGE and it's just not. I emailed my local paper and they did a small piece and advertised it in all the Zumba classes for a week, plus Facebook, and it just didn't get the reception I wanted. However I got in five quality Zumba classes when I normally only get one or two, so I guess it's all the same.

This week also brought a couple of non-scale victories - Wednesday night I was driving home from working out and realized that OMG I HAVE AN AB. Just the one, and still buried under some chub but whatever, I have an ab. Then last night before Jeff and I went to bed he said he could really tell that I looked and felt different, especially when he was hugging up on me. Arguably he would be a better judge than anyone since he both sees and touches me more than anyone else. I went to a good friend's baby shower Saturday and thanks to the magic of Facebook the pictures are already up and I am happy to report that my face looks thinner. Thank goodness, I was starting to feel like a basketball head.

The week ahead:

It's the big week! 45 miles total this week including the elusive 18-15! Then after that it's time to taper for San Diego. I am really hoping to hit all of them, especially the 18-15 turn around. I know I'll be tired but I need to do it. I'm supposed to move ahead to No More Trouble Zones this week, but will probably only get there on Friday. I need to double up on the 30-Day Shred a few more times before moving on (I really want to complete the program and I missed quite a few days with my trip). I think I might also throw another Zumba class every week into the mix. It's really changing my entire body, especially my core. My Zumba instructor also does bootcamps, so it's thinking way ahead but I might sign up for one after my feet heal from San Diego. It's worth 4 weeks of hell to see big changes, and I have a dress in mind for New Years Eve that I'd LOVE to make two sizes smaller than I am right now.

I'm HOPING to post mid-week with some goals, but this is also my last extremely hectic week (then I go down to slightly less hectic, then after San Diego I have a degree of calm to look forward to!), so no promises. ;)

Have a great week, readers!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

it's 6:54 AM and we're on our way to the lunch location for day 3. We'll be setting up, serving walkers and dancing here and there (didn't you hear? Lunch crew provides a meal AND a show!).

It is rare for me to feel like I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. I get that feeling 3 days at a time when I'm in this world.

My team is made up of incredible men and women who I am now lucky enough to call members of my 3-day family. This is worth the sleeping on an air mattress, the long days, the sore backs, the logistical nightmares. Every negative is replaced by a much bigger positive.

Everything is perfect here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 12: Sunday recap

Holy busy week! To say that the last week was non-stop would be a huge understatement. As far as working out I made 22 of 27 miles. Not bad considering. I missed 2 days of the 30 Day Shred (3 if I don't do it tonight before bed but I am putting 2 here so I get off my ass and workout after writing this and sending a few more important emails). I got in 4 off schedule workouts early in the week, playing tennis and volleyball Monday and Tuesday and then Zumba Monday and Wednesday. I think I am totally addicted to Zumba. It's hilarious because I have approximately 5% rhythm to 95% jumping around like an idiot, but it is SO FUN. Highly recommended! Shake weight continues to be my biggest success, it's so easy to fit in 10 quick minutes and I start feeling the burn a few minutes before the end. I wish I was seeing results already, but I've always found it difficult to see it in myself until I look at two pictures side by side and my face is more oval than round all the sudden.

During the early part of week I ate really well, kept my calories within a good range, even after eating celebratory pizza Wednesday after getting some great news. I am trying really hard to remember that healthy living is a balance. I can't expect to be under on calories and spend hours a day working out EVERY day. It's just not natural or possible. I can only get up and do my best every day. To that end, I'm not saying I ate super well all weekend - I really like having comfort food with Jeff. We ate crappy things, but in moderation. Friday we walked to Olive Garden for lunch and weren't STARVING by dinner time so to avoid overeating late at night we each ate a Lunchable. Yeah, that one. The turkey/cheese/cracker situation. We were at Target before we went to a movie so the Lunchables were a perfect idea. Best food ever? No. But from a calorie standpoint Olive Garden+Lunchables meant a non-complete fail. And as for the movie? GO SEE 50/50. RIGHT NOW. STOP READING. Seriously, it was excellent.

Today was another story, however. I had a 3-Day fundraiser today (Bowling for Boobs!) and Jeff and I were making treat bags late last night. Including brownie bites. OM NOM NOM. I think like 3 fell in my mouth. It was the weirdest thing. And since it was a fundraising day and I am my mother's daughter I was doing 50 things last minute this morning, so time to prepare something to eat? NOPE. We grabbed Chipotle before we went to the bowling alley. Half my calories for the entire day? Gone. And then in the car on the way home I had a couple more brownie bites. Then we threw on an extra 560 calories in the form of Coney Island dogs and tots at Sonic. Yeah, writing this just solidified that I will be doing the 30 Day Shred before I go to bed. And drinking a gallon of water. Overall though I'm really happy with it. Perfect? No. Good? Yes.

We need a new scale, so I'm basing weight loss on how clothing feels right now. I'm guessing I'm hanging around 12 pounds. The jeans that were not coming over my behind now fit, but not as well as I'd like. So I'm really paying attention to my water intake. I know I'm not drinking enough, and I know that I need to get rid of some of the bloat that's happening around my midsection.

The week ahead:

So as you can see, not a lot is going to go down this week. It's still all in the calendar, but Wednesday morning I will be heading to Georgia to crew the Atlanta 3-Day! I am so excited to see a new state and to spend time with my wonderful teammates and pink warriors! I'm getting in some solid working out tomorrow and Tuesday, including Zumba tomorrow night where I'll be talking with my Zumba instructor about an upcoming fundraiser -- Zumba for Bazoombas (yeah, that's happening). Between Atlanta, Halloween, a big personal event early in November and then the San Diego 3-Day, closely followed by the winter holidays I realized I basically have no free time for the next 10 weeks. And I am okay with that.

Have an amazing week, readers! Wish me luck in Atlanta! My next Sunday recap will probably be on Tuesday the 25th, but it will be peppered with photos from what I am sure will be an amazing weekend.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 5: Sunday recap.

Recapping the last week. 3-Day mileage: I was due for 41. LOLNOPE. I hit 25, which was about what I expected this week. Without getting too far into my personal life I split my time about 50/50 with my parents/sister and my boyfriend. This makes for pretty hectic weeks, I kind of never feel like I'm in one place. I'm either packing or cleaning up to leave or unpacking. Honestly it's borderline ridiculous, but for a variety of reasons I'm not ready to 100% live with Jeff. The latter part of this week was particularly hectic and Thursday/Friday/Saturday were non-stop. I got in 22 miles in the early part of the week and 3 when I got back to "my" house tonight. Meaning none all weekend. 

I also doubled up workouts earlier in the week. On Tuesday and Wednesday I did the 30 Day Shred twice so if I do it tonight before bed (questionable) I'll only have skipped one. Overall I am pretty pleased with that. I wish I'd gotten closer to my mileage goal. I usually try to walk when I'm at Jeff's but this weekend it was just out of the question. I even brought my Shake Weight hoping I'd have a few free minutes before we got going in the morning, but it doesn't really work out since I take longer to get ready (I'm high maintenance) so I shower and at least start to blow my hair dry before I wake him up and he STILL winds up sitting around for at least 10 minutes while I finish my makeup. Hell we were so busy that it took two days to get through Project Runway (thank you, Mood), fitting in 4 hours of walking wasn't going to happen. However I did make time this morning to play with Jeff's niece Joy who has recently been christened "my BFF" by her parents.

Can you blame me? Cutest kid of life, right? I also take special pride in her dancing around excitedly to pop punk. Start 'em young.

In complete fail news, I forgot (completely) that I wasn't going to drink beer. What the hell?! First I got a Stella to drown my sorrows in after my Phillies lost Friday night, but wound up being so down about it that I went to bed shortly after we got home from the pizzeria we watched in (it was bad. I cried in public. I have never been as invested in a team as I was in the 2011 Phillies, and I believed in my heart that they would go all the way this year. By all accounts they SHOULD have gone all the way). Then on Saturday at my friend Brian's surprise 30th birthday I had 3 beers. Didn't even think about it until I was halfway through the third. What. The. Heck. Whatever, it was still delicious.

The week ahead:

Only 27 miles! That is so do-able! I bet I will get it done Thursday! Maybe by Wednesday if I really push it. Although I am counting on a couple rounds of Zumba and tennis in the mix as well. So yeah, I'll shoot for 5/day Monday-Thursday and then see if I can convince Jeff to take another "quick 7 mile stroll" with me Saturday. I'm going to continue Shake Weight-ing, and may purchase another one (to leave at Jeff's, plus I believe the newer Shake Weights come with a new/different DVD workout. I am all for different DVD workouts, to keep things interesting and to possibly convince myself to do twice the working out). Midweek I am scheduled to progress to level 2 of the 30 Day Shred, which if I recall correctly had a certain exercise that had my jaw on the floor when I did it last time. Or maybe it wasn't my jaw on the floor so much as one of those exercise you can only do if you're yelling primally. Either way, that should be fun!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Why I walk.

I have put off writing this post for years. Literally. I don't relish writing about things I couldn't change, yet still hate. I am emotional to the point of hilarity. I cry over commercials, I cry on the heels of a smile, I cry. Period. It's 12:41 and I've cried twice today (granted for very legitimate reasons, but still). So I don't often dwell on this. But to help people understand, and for posterity's sake, here is the Why I Walk post.

In 1990 I was 7 years old. On March 18, I lost my paternal grandfather after he suffered a massive stroke on his way to the grocery store 18 days earlier. He managed to pull into the parking lot of a restaurant and put the car in park before losing consciousness. I wish I was being overly flowery when I say that my world was turned upside down. I've been blessed with an incredibly vivid memory for certain details and dates in my life. I remember the pain radiating from my mother for those two and a half weeks. The youngest of five, she was incredibly close to both her parents. For over 30 years she's worked in the hospital where both her parents took their last breaths. I remember the sofa my sister and I were sitting on was incredibly hot. I remember that version of my father - barrel chested, thick beard, all of his hair still raven black and not thinning. My eyes kept darting back and forth between Dad of my left and the TV set to the right. His eyes were trained on the TV but he wasn't seeing or hearing it. He was listening to what was going on behind him. I remember seeing the coils of the phone cord stretched from the kitchen around the corner to the dining room, and I remember hearing Mom choke back sobs. I knew. I don't know how I became that little person who knew things, but I spent a lot of time hanging around all my aunts and grandmas being seen and not heard. A kid can pick up a lot of information and cues that way. And being freakishly linked to my mother from the zygomatic stage didn't hurt either. So I knew. I wasn't going to see Papa come walking in the front door again, fedora perched atop his head and pipe in hand. I wasn't going to be swung through the air, one of his hands gripping my wrist and the other on my ankle playing Airplane. I'd never been to a funeral, but a few days later I learned I didn't like it one bit.

Life returned to sort of normal. My sister and I finished our school years (first and second grades). Dad worked. Mom worked (a little - she'd taken six years off completely when we were babies and went back to the hospital part time when I was 6). I still spent most afternoons at Nana and Papa's, only now it was just Nana's. I was incredibly fortunate to live less than five minutes away from both sets of my grandparents. Nana and Papa were my mom's parents. Grandma Betty and Granddad were dad's. I didn't know it at the time, but in 1990 my Grandma Betty was fighting breast cancer for the second time in her life. How do you explain cancer to a 7 year old? How would you have done it 20 years ago? Cancer was still a dirty word, let alone breast cancer. She'd had a double mastectomy that year, something I didn't learn until over 10 years later. I knew my Grandma Betty was sick, and that we couldn't climb all over her, but honestly, both my grandmothers had always been more frail than their husbands. Raising children and grandchildren while your husband goes to work can wear on a woman, even if she is incredibly strong. Visits to Grandma Betty and Granddad's were quieter, more subdued than they'd been in the past. Grown ups spoke in hushed, urgent tones (sidebar, do adults not think little people can pick up on tone? I think being left with the sinking feeling that something is wrong but nobody TELLING you what it is is worse than knowing. But I've always been the person to choose bad news first in an "I have good news and I have bad news" situation).

Sometime that winter, my dad went to Australia on business. He traveled internationally and across the states for a good portion of my formative years. Gone for six months, home for a few days at Christmas and then gone again. My parents were early adopters of the HUGE camcorders. It was the only way Dad got to experience birthdays and other milestones some years. I don't know how long he was supposed to be gone this trip, but assume he was due home for Christmas. In the years of travel he never missed a chance to put together a My Little Pony castle and eat Santa's cookies. I was part of a group performing Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer at a city council meeting two weeks before Christmas and I was BESIDE myself with excitement. After my star turn Mom dutifully shuttled me to Nana's, then to Grandma Betty and Granddad's so I could show off my fabulous outfit and gap where a tooth had been days earlier.

The visit was short, subdued and honestly I was a little bored. I remember hugging goodbye more clearly than anything else. In hindsight I know it's because I wish instead of hugging quickly I wish I'd held tightly. I wish I'd climbed into her lap and sat quietly while she told me things she was supposed to have decades to share. I wish I'd told her that even though my sister and I weren't allowed to be quite as rambunctious at her house as we were at our other Nana's that I still loved spending time there. And that her grilled cheese sandwich would go down in history as my FAVORITE food, as well as one that nobody else could come close to. I wish I'd had the chance to tell her that the dog she and Granddad owned was a mean little bastard that snapped and snipped at me EVERY chance he got and that I wish they'd gotten a bigger, sillier, more playful dog that would tolerate kids better. I wish I'd had the chance to tell her that the sounds of several large clocks in a small space chiming every hour was something that I'd always associate with her home.

My Grandma Betty died late the next morning. My poor daddy was in Australia when his mom died. He got a flight out the next night, and when he walked through our front door after spending the better part of 24 hours on a plane I saw my father really cry for the first time in my life. Grandma Betty was 58 years old when she died. If she were alive today she would be 79. My mom's parents were older. It didn't hurt less to lose them, but they were both 76 when they passed away, five years apart. Grandma Betty was 58. When Granddad died seven months later of a massive heart attack he was only 60. I feel robbed. I have always felt robbed. It's not unreasonable to think that they could both still be alive and active today, especially my grandma. The advances made in breast cancer treatment in the last 21 years have been remarkable. She could have seen me get my license, go to prom, graduate, could know me as an adult. Could be my confidant. Could commiserate with me when my dad gets to be a little too much to handle (often. Very very often). I had four amazing aunts step into the role of substitute grandmothers with ease and grace, but they were already REAL grandmothers to their own grandkids. Running through a front door shouting "hi, Grandma!" was something I didn't get to do enough.

My Granddad and Grandma Betty

I walk for my Grandmother. I walk because my chances of breast cancer are increased by sharing a bloodline with a woman I barely got to know. I walk because I have faith - in God and in science. I think God took my grandmother out of my life to GIVE me renewed life. Walking in my first 3-Day changed my life from the inside out. I mean it when I literally wouldn't recognize the girl I was before I joined the 3-Day family. And I know that in my life time we're going to find a cure from breast cancer. And all cancers. Being a part of that is the best thing about me. Period. I can't think of a better way to honor the woman I wish I still knew, the beautiful women I've known since then who have bravely and valiantly fought this horrible disease, the men and women fighting right now and that so one day, my daughters will never have to worry about breast cancer, and just wonder why the hell there are so many pictures of their mom with pink hair.

If you would like to make a contribution to my 3-Day walk, please go here. Your donations are tax deductible and many companies offer matching gifts for donations, doubling your contributions. Every dollar counts and is appreciated.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 1.

Welcome to Project: Hot by 30. I'm Kacie. This blog is pretty straight forward. I'm going to be 30 on February 4, 2013. And I'm vain. So I'd like to be hot. By the time I'm 30. So I have 487 days to change my life. I've been overweight since I was 12. I had surgery that knocked me on my ass for a solid six months and a mom that cooks amazing, delicious, decadent food. It was a fatal combination. But I'm not here to bitch and moan about why I'm fat. Not today at least. I expect sometime in the next few months I'll get to that.

I know that I am capable of losing all the weight. Even though I have a lot to lose. Spoiler alert: the number has 3 digits! I'm really dying to waltz into any store in the mall and buy something off the rack. And not pay the fat tax! You guys know about the fat tax, right? That cute cardigan at Target that's only $17.99. Unless you need an XXL. Then it's $19.99. Fatty.

I want to not carry around an extra person when I'm walking in the 3-Day. 60 miles is difficult enough, let alone when you've got all that extra weight on your back (and front, and legs, and feet). And that is something I'm not willing to give up, but as I told my wonderful boyfriend last month "I can't put my body through it again next year if I haven't lost a huge chunk of this weight."

I want to not be "the funny fat girl." Do any of you know how EXHAUSTING it is to have to be funny ALL THE TIME? Because unfunny fat girls are just depressing to the rest of the world. Guess what? Funny fat girls are depressing to themselves a lot of the time. Tears of a clown, baby.

One last fat discrimination anecdote before I move on. The absolute discrimination. I've been passed over for jobs that I was more qualified and more experienced and more talented for. The girl who got the job? A waif. I have no problem with losing out on a job to someone better qualified, but losing out on a job solely because of my size? Oh, that was a blow.

However, I don't intend for this to be a political blog, or a pity party blog. It's not a LiveJournal. So moving on, here is the plan: changing my diet. This should not be a huge issue right now. I'm borderline lactose intolerant, so most of the dairy is already out the window. I'm in training for the 3-Day, so I get up early and walk quite a few days a week. On those days I have a Luna bar for breakfast and usually another for a snack in the mid morning. Then a LeanCuisine for lunch and (my favorite) whatever I want for dinner (within reason. I still stay away from the dairy most nights.) I've temporarily broken up with beer, which I hate. I prefer beer, but vodka tonic is a better option. And they make diet tonic water! Amazing!

The second part of the plan: I have all my workouts scheduled through June 2012. Did I mention that I can be extremely Type A? Because I can. And I don't just want to be thin. I want to be strong. I want to be an athlete again. So to that end, I'm working out. Hard. Go big or go home, right? Here's what this week looks like for me:

Hey, my student loan payment was due yesterday! Whoops. Tomorrow will have to do. The darker pink is my 3-Day training schedule. I am not always able to do the long training walks on the weekend, so I try to add miles during the week and hope for the best. I'll get into the 3-Day lifestyle next week. The training plan also calls for 2 days a week of cross training. The lighter pink is my workout schedule. I have MANY things scheduled between now and June. Yoga, Kettle Bells, Couch to 5K, and more. So today Zumba and Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred DVD more than covered my 45 minutes of cross training. I've also been doing (don't laugh) the Shake Weight workout every day. It's a quick 10 minute workout that DOES make a difference. I'm planning on wearing a wedding dress sometime in the future and I want my arms to look fantastic. 

My amazing friend Bonnie and I have been "playing" for the past few weeks - tennis, volleyball, zumba -- everything that's not a scary workout has been fun with Bonnie. We laugh at how ridiculously bad we are at things (or how the Zumba moves remind us of Ronnie from Jersey Shore), we sweat and burn calories.

I'll be screencapping my week and sharing it with you every Sunday, as well as recapping my previous week's workouts. I do NOT expect to hit every workout, but I will be doing my damnedest. Also I'll be posting before photos next week. Again, because I'm vain. I haven't done my roots in a while and don't have a cute progress photo outfit picked out. Like I said, vain.

So. There we are. 487 days to get down to the goal weight of 170 (yes, 170. I am a rather tall young woman). In the next 487 days I expect to laugh, cry, freak out, get stronger, have weak days, run races - from 5K up to half marathon (then a full marathon in my 30th year!), make a difference and become the best version of me. Feel free to come along for the ride.