Today was walk day, the JDRF walk to cure diabetes in honor of my nephew Cash. Mother Nature donated a picture perfect day for our cause, sunny, breezy and beautiful. This was our first charity walk, I admit that I was a bit nervous about the logistics like traffic, arriving too late, parking and bathrooms (I have bathroom anxiety, surprise surprise.)
But as usual, I worried for nothing. We got to the specified parking garage at 8:15am, snagged one of the free spaces and strolled over to Centennial Olympic Park in plenty of time to sign in, grab a T-shirt and yes, use the bathroom. We even had time to take a lovely walk around the park. This is the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Remember when the US Women's Gymnastics Team won the gold? That was awesome! It was such a perfect site to hold a charity walk.
Here's the photo tour...
They have an area with these marble markers on which the names of each and every medal winning team members name is engraved. Any of those names look familiar?
The future of flying coach!
The last time Rob and I were at the park, it was in summer of 2000, we weren't even engaged yet, nor did we know that within a year, we'd be moving to metro Atlanta. Rob had flown over from England to work in the US office of the company he had been working for. We hadn't seen each other since Easter and he flew me down for the weekend. It was a hot hot humid day and we sat by the fountains and ate slush. I snapped a photo of Rob (ON FILM!) sitting on a a bench. It's in a purple frame in our family room.
Here is Rob on the exact same bench 11 years later. Sort of a full circle day for us, wouldn't you say?
Now on to the walk. We got a crappy start spot way at the back of the crowd because (and here is where the bathroom issues come in to play) I have the bladder of a 90 year old woman who has the bladder the size of a walnut, so I had to wait until the very last minute to go again because I did not want to uncomfortable during the walk.
We got caught in a huge bunch of people who basically just stood there stuffing their faces with chicken biscuits instead of moving. We started weaving our way through and within the first mile we had made up a huge amount of time and left about 3/4 of the walkers in our dust.
Here we are at the last quarter mile. I know it wasn't a "race" but there were way to many lollygaggers for my taste. I wanted to challenge myself. I wanted to finish the walk as far under an hour as I possibly could.
I was running toward the finish line when the traffic cop stopped the flow of the walk to let some cars pass. ARRRGH! I would have finished under 50 minutes if I had made that intersection.
The cop finally let us pass and I took off running again. Talk about a last burst, the endorphins really kicked in and pushed me onward.
I crossed the finish line in 51:25, but actual moving time was 47:47, but those intersections cut into my finish time. Didn't you know that I'm insanely competitive? It's one of my uglier traits that I work really hard to keep under wraps.
Here is the walk course map from my Garmin GPS watch...
I DID IT! And I would do it again, it was a great day. We raised 160% of our goal thanks to the generous spirit of some of you beautiful blog readers and my family and friends. My nephew Cash facebooked me a heartfelt thanks that brought me to tears! But above and beyond, this event was a real shot in the arm (see what I did there?) for me to get excited about fitness again. I hope I can keep the momentum rolling.
We didn't stay and partake of the food, beverages and post walk entertainment, I wanted to get home to Tally. I did make us an amazing lunch when we got home, toasty chicken and cheese on cinnamon Ezekiel bread, half a honeycrisp apple and a cup of hot, steamy, creamy tomato soup!
There is still plenty of time in 2011 to sign up for a charity walk, if you can make the time, it really is a worthwhile way to spend a weekend morning.