Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Letter From Monica--PLEASE READ!!!

Please take the time to read the following email from Monica (right in front wearing the grey shirt) I know it's long ... but it is worth it!  You will read her experience as a Boston walker.  I am so emotional reading her words.
It's why we walk.

Hello to Burt & the Gang -
Well, I returned from Boston last night and I feel great.  What an experience!  We had our ups and downs with the weather; but all in all, things were OK. 
Thanks, Burt, for the suggestion to stay at the host hotel in Framingham on Thursday night rather than drive in from Boston in the morning.  Getting up at 4:30 a.m. was early enough!
Opening ceremonies were beautiful.  We got there just in time to see the sun coming up, glistening over the lake.  Everyone was anxious, but invigorated; and the ceremony itself was touching.  The spokesperson (who I understand is new this year) was a fabulous speaker - Jenna and I were both in tears.
It wasn't too hot when we set out, but it warmed up rather quickly.  I made sure I was drinking plenty of water, so by the first DD, I needed to wait in the bathroom line.  (I decided not to do that again, since I lost SO much time on line and got to the first pit stop long after the gramwiches were gone)  It got pretty unbearable by late morning and I started to get a migraine.  I kept walking, but unfortunately, even with meds, I couldn't eat or drink because of the nausea, so I spiraled from there.  I got into a cooling bus just in time to find out the course was being closed.  (Although I know many people were unhappy with the decision, I was glad it was taken out of my hands.  I know so many of us were trying to trudge on in the heat because of our commitment and it was getting really dangerous.  The ambulances couldn't keep up with the need.)  Anyway, we sat in the bus for about an hour while the powers that be figured out the logistics of moving all the walkers, and the buses got authorization to move, etc. etc.  Still I could not eat or drink.  Well, by the time we finally got to the holding point for lunch (a big park in the middle of town) I was totally dehydrated.  I made lots of new friends in the Medical Tent while I got 2 bags of IV fluids and met a wonderful nurse who used acupressure to relieve my headache a bit.  (Word of advice to virgin 3Dayers - water is not the same as Gatorade, which I was avoiding because I really do not like it.  You need the Gatorade to keep the electrolytes in check so, even if you have to choke it down, drink it to avoid dehydration.  And, even if you think your drinking enough, drink more.)  Needless to say, I was redcarded and we were transported back to camp. (They need a button for that!)  We had a hotel room so I could get into a/c and by evening felt much better.  Kudos to those brave souls who stuck it out in tents with that heat!!!!
Saturday morning was much cooler with a misty drizzle as we headed out.  The crew held us at the first pit stop because of an anticipated lightning storm, so we wasted some time there and made great new friends on the cooling bus.  The thunder and lightning show was impressive, but I was glad we weren't on the route.  But how nice that people along the way opened their front porches and homes to protect the walkers!  Once it passed, we were on our way again.  Jenna was practically force-feeding me Gatorade, so I felt fine.  I needed a sweep van at some point because I was getting another headache from the heat, but this time a little time in a cooling bus with meds and I was OK to keep going. (Roberta, you were right.  The sweep vans are all part of the experience)  By late afternoon, the sun was so strong and the heat index was again above 100 degrees; so the route closed again, but this time only a few miles short of camp...and before the infamous hill that I've read so much about. (I found out later that the Medical Tents were actually busier and more people went to the hospital on Saturday than Friday!)  Jenna and I spent Saturday night at camp (even though we went back to the hotel to sleep) so we didn't miss the experience and camaraderie, which you know was so important to me. 
We started Sunday's walk in real rain which lasted about an hour or so.  A few miles in, we needed another sweep as Jenna developed bad pain in her heel.  We were a bit disappointed because we had been looking forward to walking Cambridge and that was cut short.  But she was taped up by the PTs in one Medical Tent and I got the same treatment in another, but we trudged along with pink and blue stripes up our legs.  Everyone was right - Day 3 is a beautiful walk through Cambridge and downtown Boston.  Like in the small towns we walked though, people were out in force to cheer us on, give us snacks, drinks, etc.  Lunch along the water was so nice and the weather was perfect at that point.  By the last 3.2 miles my feet were hurting and I was so tired.  But once we got close to the campus, there were more and more people along the way and you could hear the crowds cheering up ahead.  There was nothing like entering that track, hand in hand with my daughter, to the cheers of so many strangers.  I cried all the way and have goose bumps even now as I type just thinking about it.  Needless to say, the tears continued to flow at the closing ceremony which was just amazing.  As you know, I walked the 3Day in celebration of my 5 years out  and it was probably the most healing thing I could have done.
Thank you and my 'training group' for all your good wishes, support, and inside tips.  I will be forever grateful.
I'm giving my feet a bit of a rest, but please keep me posted on future training walks and, if I can join you in support, I will.  Good luck with your upcoming walk, Burt.  I hope it's a little bit cooler in Chicago than it was in Boston!  And happy walking to all of you in your 3Days...especially the newbies, like me.  It's a wonderful experience.
Take care - Monica
Amazing ... truly amazing.
I'm so proud of Monica and Jenna... and ALL THE BOSTON WALKERS!
Until now ... Atlanta was just a place ...
I can't wait!


  1. Tell Monica Thumper says "Thank you for that!"

  2. You know my motto - No shame in the sweep van! Thanks for posting!

  3. You got some cool friends Miss R.