Susan Heaney-Director of Avon Crusade, Me, Sandra Jordan-walking all 8 walks, Kathleen Walas-President of Avon Foundation.  Rehearsing for opening ceremonies.
April 26-27, 2003

It is Monday, morning, April 28- the morning after the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer- Washington, D.C.

My " stepped up" training probably began in January when I did my 1st long walk since the last Avon 3-Day in October 2002. This training walk was from house in Upland, CA to Pasadena, CA- along route 66. It is an annual walk I do with my daughter-in-law. It is about 32 miles!

The next major training was the L.A. Marathon in March. There were a couple of billboards on that route advertising the Avon Walks for 2003. That was pretty inspiring.

My husband Bob and I arrived in D.C. on Wednesday so we could be tourists for a couple of days before the event.

On Thursday evening, we met Deb for dinner. She is a survivor that I met last year when she walked in the San Diego, 2002, and then we met again at the D.C. Walk (she lives in D.C.). We have become e-mail friends and she represents to me what this experience is all about. Meeting new people and making connections.

Registration on Friday afternoon was quick and people were approaching me to buy bracelets. It is fun to sell the crystal bracelets that my daughter Ronda makes, but I’m not a very comfortable "salesperson"! In any case, selling them has become part of the whole experience.

As usual, the night before the walk started, I was so excited. I only slept about 2 ˝ hours. That’s not much when you have to walk over 26 miles! However, on Saturday morning the adrenaline was flowing and I had plenty of energy (the body sure is amazing!).

I was honored to participated in Opening Ceremonies and introduced Kathleen Walas, President of the Avon Foundation. The weather was drizzling, as it had been all night. Since that was one of the things I had no control over, my decision was whether to wear my full-on rain gear, my light weight poncho or heavy duty poncho! And I must say, it was a difficult decision since I did not know how bad the rain would get. But since Bob was on the route I figured he could always bring me something else- So it was an added bonus to know he was around in case of a rain emergency. He had fun putting up the pink signs on the route – even in the rain.

The route of this walk was beautiful- some hills, some flat, some city and some small towns. Some people complained about the hills, but I train in an area that is up or down! The rain continued on/off most of the day so I made the decision to stay with Bob at the hotel Saturday night. However, I did eat dinner at the event (it was tasty).

26 miles (which my pedometer registered at closer to 30 by the end of the day) is tiring. I arrived at camp about 5:00 p.m. and that is a long day of walking, starting at 7:30 a.m. Felt great, but tired. Sunday morning, I was ready to hit the road. It is amazing how the body recovers and I did sleep much better that evening.

Sunday was 13 miles (pedometer read 16), so there was plenty of time bored closing ceremonies at 4:00 p.m., which by the way, was in front of the Capitol- quite impressive!

Still, the greatest part about all of this, besides constantly pushing my body and raising money for the breast cancer cause, is all of the incredible people I met that want to make a difference. I often forget their names, but believe me, I remember everyone’s story and that is what I carry in my mind and in my heart.

What a background!!
What a background for our friends who funded the DC walk.  Yea for them!