Monday, April 21, 2008

Avon Training & March of Dimes March for Babies Weekend

I can’t quite describe the weekend as a whirlwind but it was definitely a scheduling challenge.

Saturday morning I was out the door at 7:10 to walk 11.5 miles. About 4 miles into the walk I found a flaw with my walk route. Map My Run showed a through street between two apartment complexes which has been blocked by an 8’ high fence. I had to double back to and plot a new route around the road block and try to keep the mileage the same. When all was said and done I walked 11.78 miles on sidewalks over a number of “rolling hills”. Even thought I was walking alone for a mile or two I shared my walk route with a local high school’s fun run. I made a quick pit stop at Trader Joe’s to grab some turkey jerky for breakfast. I may have taken a wee bit too much time to stop and enjoy the spring flowers. My husband called to see were I was since I wasn’t back yet and obviously not keeping up 20 minute miles. All in all I had a very nice nearly 12 mile walk in just over 4 hours.

I made it home where the first thing I did was recalculate my route and distance. I took a quick shower before grabbing a sandwich and was out the door. I was off to help set up for the March of Dimes March for Babies the next day. I spent the next 6 hours folding 10 cases of incentive t-shirts which we were going to give away to walkers. Climbing in and out of a truck trailer is a great way of stretching out leg muscles. There was some talk of logistics for the next day which included many hopes for good walking weather for all of the walkers and for all of the volunteers.

Many of us had a sleepless night just hoping the rain would come through quickly or stall out and not come until Sunday night. The rain started just minutes before the alarm clock went off. Driving through the drizzle at the crack of dawn the hopes changed to just having a “Seattle rain” instead of the thunderstorms they were predicting. There was a see of purple volunteer t-shirts transferring food, t-shirts, and other goodies from trucks to their designated tents and tables. Then the rain started to really come down. Some of the purple shirts just ran faster and others were covered by rain coats. The march is rain or shine and we were preparing for our dedicated walkers and fund raisers either way. The closer we got to start time the harder the rain came down. Thunder and lighting caused a power surge and one of the adjacent building’s fire alarms went off. Three fire trucks came to check it out and reset the alarm when the all clear was given. Through all the rain and commotion the walkers came. We directed them to parking, to registration, and to the food tent. When walk time came we had to make the hard decision of not sending them out on the 4 mile course. Instead they walked around the block for a short ½ mile course. I greeted them congratulating them on finishing the entire course so quickly, welcoming them to our communal shower and to our new baby shower fund raiser. They appreciated the humor. They were there for a cause and they weren’t leaving before they marched for babies. They were going to stamp out premature births no mater how much it was raining.

All of the after march activities I had been arranging for months had to be canceled. I so appreciate Gunston Manor Band, Mad Science of DC, AKS Massage School, Sparky the Firefighting Dog, and McGruff the Crime Fighting Dog volunteering to come and entertain the walkers and volunteers. We thank My Gym, The Fun Bus, and Andy’s Parties for braving the weather before packing back up to go home. I especially want to thank Marty Kaplan who photographed the entire soggy event. We hope that each are willing to come back next year.

I would also like to thank my husband for all the time he spent watching the kids this weekend and for volunteering for one of the soggy check points with our Mannaheim friends. And special thanks to our friends at Mannaheim for all of your encouragement and for braving the weather to help when I needed you.

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