Saturday, October 11, 2008

Washington DC, October 3-5, 2008

Saturday, August 2nd
This is my first ever blog and I just learned a valuable lesson that has nothing to do with my 3 day 60 mile journey. Write your blog in word first and then copy into your blog as you lose everything if you are timed out. Grrrrrrrrrrrr. I had written Aug 2-10th and lost it all.

Tracy FINALLY signed our team up late tonight. It's not like she has anything else to do. I mean how much time does a husband, 5 month old, 3 year old, two dogs and a cat take up? I'm not sure how she will find time to train. After she signed up the team, I was able to create my account. While setting up my account, I noticed that I could select to be a part of 24 or 16 week training plans. Tracy and I began to panic. What had we just done? Are we out of our minds (For those of you that know us, don't answer that)? We both did the math and realized we only had 9 weeks to train. Where was the 9 week training plan? Oh well, can't back out now. We chatted on-line with our friend Cris, who had participated in the walk last year. She gave us all kinds of great incite about the walk. Tracy and I agreed that training would start tomorrow. Needless to say, I still went to sleep very stressed that night.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:40 PM CT

Sunday, August 3rd
I started my training Sunday evening and learned my first valuable lesson about training for the walk. No matter what time it is in Texas in August it is still very hot! I walked at 7PM and thought I don't need a water bottle. Wrong, very very wrong! I wasn't sure that I would make it back to my house without falling out from heat exhaustion. I've never been thirstier in my life. I managed to walk 2.5 miles and live to tell about it. Lesson learned! I also learned in that 2.5 miles that I had to have new shoes. My right middle toe was killing me and for good reason. My right foot is a size 9 and my left foot is a size 8 so what do I do? I get a size 8.5. Makes since, right? Wrong, as I found out the next day.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:41 PM CT

Monday, August 4th
I woke up bright and early Monday morning at 5:15 am. This might be the first and last time I ever get up that early again. I walked 1.1 miles before getting ready and going to work. I came home at lunch that day as my dog Madison had to be let out of the house. She's not normally a house dog during the day but she has a bad knee and the vet said she was to be on bed rest. She is a very good house dog while I'm home but I've never left her longer than an hour or two alone and to top it off, my roof was being redone and I wasn't sure how she would react to the pounding on the roof? Madison is a Lab/Husky mix and hates loud noises, thunder, fireworks etc. I was just a wee bit nervous. I went home and took her on a short half mile walk. After work I went to a shoe store, Run On. Emily was so helpful and I learned things I hadn't known. She sized my feet, watched me walk and brought out 3 different shoes that were good for my feet. She explained to me that you should have about a half inch of room at the top of your shoe. Hmm, that might be my problem. My foot is a 9 and I'm wearing an 8.5. Wouldn't you know it, I needed a size 9.5 in the shoe I liked and it was out of stock. She told me she could get it for me by Wednesday. Didn't she know that my toe was killing me and I was still walking whether or not I had the right shoe? I only have 9 weeks to train. While I was there I did get new socks as well. My friend Cris had suggested a few brands that she liked. Socks are very important as the right socks will keep your feet dry. Yeah, right! Well turns out she was right. Wow they sure make a difference. I walked 3.35 miles that night and my toe was screaming at me all the way. In all I had walked 4.95 miles. That's a very long way from 20 miles. I'm still wondering what I've gotten myself into.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:42 PM CT

Tuesday, August 5th
I didn't get out of bed this morning to walk. Sleep sounded much better. I did come home again today for lunch as Madison was still inside. They were finishing up the roof today and then Madison would be reintroduced to the outside on Wednesday. We once again took our short half mile walk and I went back to work. That afternoon I got a call from Emily at Run On. Hallelujah! My shoes had come in a day early. Someone was looking out for me as I wasn't sure how I could possibly walk again with those 8.5 shoes. I went by and Emily had me try them on and walk around the store. She showed me how to tie a "runner's loop." This is a way of tying the top of your shoe that keeps your heel from sliding. I walked 4.72 miles in my brand new shoes. I thought my brand new shoes would solve all my problems. My right toe was feeling great as it had room to move around without hitting the top of the shoe. My left foot on the other hand wasn't doing so great. Maybe it was just the fact that the shoes were new but I had hot spots on the bottom of my foot and on my heel. Luckily no blisters! I wasn't sure what to think that night as now my right foot was happy but my left foot was mad. I went from one extreme to the other.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:43 PM CT

Wednesday, August 6th
Today, I decided to let my feet rest so I went to the gym after work and rode the bicycle for 45 minutes. I went 14.35 miles. Wow! Why can't we do the 3 day 60 mile bike instead? It sure would go a lot quicker!

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:43 PM CT

Thursday, August 7th
My shoes must be getting broken in as they feel so much better today than they did on Tuesday. Could also be that I learned that if you put Vaseline on your feet it helps reduce the friction. I wasn't so sure about this but I thought what the heck, I'll give it a try. It amazed me at how much it helped. I won't go on another walk without putting Vaseline on my feet. I walked 5 miles that night and felt great.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:44 PM CT

Friday, August 8th
I took Friday off from training. I thought my body and feet needed a well deserved rest. I took them out to eat for dinner. We went to Cristina's. It's a Mexican food restaurant. I then went home and crashed about 8:30. I woke up off and on to see the Opening Ceremony of the Olympics.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:45 PM CT

Saturday, August 9th
Today I wanted to try and walk a longer distance. I was aiming for 10 miles today and 8 tomorrow. I had planned to get up a 6:00am but I shut the alarm off when it started buzzing. I did make it up by 7:45am thanks to a friend that called figuring I was already up. I was thankful for the call as it woke me up enough to get out of bed and start walking. I walked 4.5 miles and I struggled all the way. My back had tightened up (which it does that sometimes). In the mail today I received my Walker's Handbook. It has some very helpful information, some of which I will share as I go along in my blog. The info that helped me on this day was stretch before, during and after your walk. I had always stretched a little before and a lot after but never during. So this evening when I walked I would stop and stretch. This makes such a huge difference. I walked another 4.7 miles that night for a total of 9.2. Not quite 10 but definitely more than I had walked in one day so far.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:45 PM CT

Sunday, August 10th
Today I woke up and was very tired and fighting off a headache. I worked on my donation request emails and got them sent out. Our team is very behind on our donations but liked our training we have no doubt that we can reach our goal. I left for my walk at about 6PM tonight. It wasn't as hot tonight as the clouds were out and it looked like rain. I walked 7.931.......KM? What? Where did the miles go? I'm not sure what happened but my pedometer got switched over to kilometers. I had no idea how far I had walked so I had to look up how to change KM to Miles. Rats, I only walked 5 miles, which wasn't bad considering my headache had turned into a migraine and I hadn't felt like walking in the first place. I came home, took my migraine medicine, stretched, rehydrated and ate some dinner. I feel much better now. So much better that I decided to write a blog so that I could share with everyone the journey I'm on as it's not just about showing up and walking 60 miles.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 10, 2008 @ 10:46 PM CT

Monday, August 11th
I feel so blessed and honored to have family, friends, co-workers, and business associates that have donated to my journey and I hope to have more blessings as this is a great cause. I am speechless. I have received emails that have touched me deeply as people share their own stories of how cancer has affected their lives and the lives of their loved ones and friends. Please continue to send the emails.

I took today off from training as that is what the 16 week training plan says to do for the 8th week countdown. It's good to have a plan so that I have something to judge where I am in regards to walking 20 miles a day for 3 days. The rest of the week is as follows:

Tuesday Walk 4 miles Wednesday 30 minutes of cross training Thursday Walk 5 miles Friday 45 minutess of cross training

And here is the part I'm not quite so sure about

Saturday Walk 15 miles Sunday Walk 11 miles

The 15 miles and 11 miles have me a little frightened and it makes me wonder what I have gotten myself into. However, I quickly put things into perspective when I remember the donations and emails I received today. These are minor details when you compare them to what my family and friends go through in their fight against cancer. My Uncle Tim has sat through the pain of chemo and radiation in his fight against Throat Cancer (I will be walking for his fight as well). He has told me about what he has gone through and I know that nothing he tells me can make me understand or feel just what he has been through. I think I can suck it up and walk 15 and 11 miles and when I get tired and want to quit I will remember his strength. I Love you Uncle Tim.

I was reading the handbook yesterday and came across a realization. I knew we would be sleeping in tents provided by the walk but I hadn't stopped to think what I would be sleeping in. I obviously need a sleeping bag and pillow but how silly am I going to look carrying them on an airplane. For those of you that don't know, I live in Texas and I'm walking in Washington DC. Luckily, Tracy has an extra sleeping bag that she will bring me. She lives in North Carolina and will be driving to DC. Kristin lives in Pennsylvania and will also be driving. They may be bringing more than just a sleeping bag for me, as apparently we need bug spray, plastic in case of rain, flashlight, etc. After all do you really think I'm going to pay extra to check two bags (I know that got several of you laughing!)

Another thing we have learned is that there are no outlets at camp so there will be no drying the hair. Tracy and I have decided to get our hair braided for the trip. We aren't sure yet if Kristin is going to go for this or not. No washing and drying and it will be out of our way. I'm not sure how either one of us will look as we've never had our hair all braided in little braids. I'll make sure and take plenty of pictures. Our friend Cris tells us we get to shower in a truck with 5 shower stalls and you have to wait in line for them. Oh and we get to use Porta Potties for 3 days. FUN FUN.

Also, since there are no outlets at camp it's going to be very difficult to keep a cell phone charged to communicate with the outside world for three days. In this day and age how do they expect us to live without cell phones? The handbook instructs that we are not allowed to use our cell phones anyway while we are actually walking as it could cause accidents. Those of you that know me from TU (that's the University of Tulsa) are thinking to yourselves that if anyone is going to have an accident talking on a cell phone it's probably me! Judy has already mentioned that she doesn't want to get a call from a DC hospital stating I've broken a leg. I'm going to do my best not to get hurt.

That's it for tonight. I'll be back tomorrow and will fill you in on just how Tracy, Kristin and I know each other. It's a long story but I'll try to keep it short.

by Catrina Gibson on Mon, Aug 11, 2008 @ 10:24 PM CT

Tuesday, August 12th
Today Tracy and I order Pink New Balance 768's part of the proceeds go to Breast Cancer. Here's the site if you want to check them out New Balance . These are the same ones I bought last Tuesday but they are special Breast Cancer Edition. The Handbook says you should have two pair of the same shoes. After all, if you find a pair that your feet like why would you want something different? That makes sense to me. We also ordered Cancer Awareness bracelets, 1 for Lung cancer, 1 for Ovarian cancer, and 1 for Breast Cancer.

I got home tonight, ate a snack and went on my walk about 6:30pm. The weather was beautiful, sort of. The temperature was 88, which is a drastic change from 100. However, it looked like rain. So I packed up my back pack. Oh yeah, forgot to tell you that you are suppose to train in what you will wear and carry on the 60 mile walk. I'll be carrying a backpack with water bottles, camera, first aid, snacks, etc. But most importantly a PONCHO as the walk will go on for 60 miles in the rain if it has too. So tonight I thought this might come in handy. Turns out the clouds moved on and it was just a really nice evening.

I had walked about a mile and a half and was walking along thinking how great the weather was, how good my feet and legs felt and how amazing it felt to be raising money for such a great cause. I was truly happy in the moment. It was in that moment that the urge overcame me to call my mom and tell her about the walk and as quick as it came it left as I know that I can't call her anymore. It's been 8 years since she passed but every now and then I get the urge to share something with her. It may be something happy in my life that I know she would be excited to hear or it may be something sad and I just want her to comfort me. It's that special thing that mom's have that no one else has and it doesn't stop just because they are no longer here. I sent a text to Tracy and told her about it. I told her that must be my mom's way of telling me that she knows that we are doing the walk for them and that she is proud of us. Tracy text me back, "I had a similar experience happen today." Right then and there everything just felt right to me. I knew they were both up their smiling down on their little girls and we were making them proud.

I finished my walk with a new sense of motivation and inspiration. I think I could have walked forever, except that my feet had actually begun to hurt a little bit. Tonight I wondered if my new found Vaseline trick actually worked or not. I think I came to the conclusion that it does still work and my problem was that I didn't have my shoes tight enough. My feet were moving around more than normal. I tightened them up about a half mile from home. I'll have to test that theory another night. The 8 week plan only called for 4 miles tonight but I went 5. I'm stubborn and like to do things my own way! Just ask my Dad and Sister (Smile)

I got home, stretched, showered and started my blog while my dinner cooked. Tonight was the dinner of Champion Walkers.... Corn on the cob! Yep, that's it corn on the cob. I love corn on the cob even more so if it's fresh out of the garden. This wasn't but it was still good. I had other options but none of them sounded very good at nine o'clock at night. I did take a break from my blog to eat it as I didn't want to get butter all over the keys. You have to have lots and lots of butter!

I know I told you that tonight I was going to explain how Tracy, Kristin and I know each other. I guess you will just have to stay tuned as it's time to go to bed or at least try. I find myself staying up watching the Olympics. Michael Phelps is unbelievable!

by Catrina Gibson on Tue, Aug 12, 2008 @ 10:08 PM CT

Friday, August 15th
I took a break from blogging. Ok so it wasn't really that I took a break, I was just too exhausted to come home and write anything. I tell you the Olympics are taking their toll on me. Just to catch you up on the training, on Wednesday I cross trained on the Elliptical for 30 min and lifted some light weights. I came home and crashed.

Thursday I came home to find my new pink Breast Cancer New Balance shoes had been delivered. That is the fastest I've ever received an online order. I was a little disappointed that the Breast Cancer logo wasn't very big. It's hard to see unless you are flat on the ground and looking at the side of my foot. I wore them that night on my walk to break them in. I walked 5.2 miles with ease, other than the small blister that I got in the same place as my other shoes. Tracy and I chatted that evening about the BIG walk on Saturday. We decided to take Friday off (we were suppose to cross train for 30 minutes) to get ourselves ready for the 15 miles on Saturday. I think it was a good plan. We are getting up bright and early and walking at the same time in the morning. That means I'm actually walking an hour earlier than she is. No Fair!

Ok so here is how I know Tracy and Kristin. I worked at the University of Tulsa in the Athletic Dept. and was on a search committee to hire and Assistant Ticket Manager. We were conducting phone interviews and Tracy was one of them. The funny thing is I didn't think she sounded very good on the phone and I just wasn't sure we should bring her in for a formal interview! It's a good thing that other people liked her phone interview because I would never have had the opportunity to meet one of my best friends. Tracy and I hit it off from the start. We both like to have fun and be goofy girls. I can tell you several stories that would probably make you fall down laughing. Actually they are probably more of the kind of story that you had to be there to understand. Tracy ended up leaving us for greener pastures or so she thought. I can't even remember how many times she moved and changed jobs over the next 3 or 4 years. I do know however, that she met her husband at one of those stops and she asked me to be in her wedding. Guess what, that is where Kristin comes into the picture. Kristin was Tracy's maid of honor. They grew up together in Pennsylvania.

That's it for tonight. I can't wait until tomorrow to tell you how the 15 miles goes. I hope I'm still alive to blog about it. SMILE! I must go pack my backpack.

by Catrina Gibson on Fri, Aug 15, 2008 @ 9:37 PM CT

Sunday, August 17th
Well I can say I survived the 15 mile walk on Saturday and the 11 mile walk on Sunday. I got up at 4:15am Saturday and left my house at 5:00am. Tracy and I kept each other company text messaging back and forth. It made the walk a lot easier knowing I had my best friend right there beside me. OK, so maybe not right beside me but at least I knew she was going through pretty much the exact same thing I was.

The first mile went quickly but I can't say that about the rest of the walk. I headed out not really knowing where I was going to go. I had a pretty good idea but wasn't exactly sure what roads went all the way through. In fact I turned down a long dead end and had to turn around and go back. I was looking for a road that I knew went all the way through but never found it. Luckily I have GPS on my cell phone and it showed me where I was and what road I could catch that would take me where I wanted to go. I was basically trying to do a big square. When we hit the half way mark I was feeling pretty good but not long after that my feet started to let me know they were down there. I had taken two frozen bottles of water and two small bottles of G2. They made my backpack heavy but were well worth it as it's very important to stay hydrated.

I had turned my last corner and was heading back in the direction of my house and guess what, along the road I found a little coin purse. It had a pink heart on it and 10 dollars inside (If it happens to be yours just send me an email with a description of it and I'll get it returned to you).

Five hours later I finally made it home. The balls of my feet were screaming at me and I had one little blister on the side of my heel that had gotten worse. I guess the band aid I had put on it didn't help. I stretched, ate, drank, showered and then I took a nap. In fact I think I napped most of the day. I sat on my couch, rested my feet and watched the Olympics. Later that night I started to get a headache, one that stayed with me all night and into my walk on Sunday. I figured out that I was dehydrated and that you have to keep drinking even after you get back from your walks. Tracy said the same thing happened to her. Lesson Learned!

Sunday, I was up again at 4:15am and off to walk at 5:00am. This time when I headed out I knew exactly where I was headed and what to expect. Except for the headache I was feeling pretty good. I drank a bottle of water before I even started out. About 1.5 miles into the walk, I ran across a fox. Yes, that's right, a fox. I saw the silhouette walking across the road and I thought is that a fox? I'm from the country so I've seen a few in my days and know the difference between a fox and a dog. I stopped, not wanting to walk towards it anymore as I really wasn't sure what the fox would do. All I could do if it came towards me was throw my back pack at it! Luckily it saw me and ran off the other direction. I didn't text Tracy that one. I had to call her to tell her about it. A little bit later I get a text from Tracy, "Deer"! I'm still not sure if she was serious or making fun of me. SMILE

Half way through the walk I stopped and changed my socks. Our friend Cris (she walked last year), had suggested this little trick and what do you know, it does make a difference. My feet were doing much better today and I felt a lot better than yesterday. Maybe it was knowing that I only had to go 11 miles today that made it easier. I got back to my house in 3.5 hours and now had matching blisters on both my feet. At least they are on the side of my heels so they don't really hurt or bother me. I'm resting my feet again today and definitely drinking more water than yesterday. Our first big weekend of walks was complete.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 17, 2008 @ 3:11 PM CT

Sunday, August 17th (continued)
I confirmed with Tracy that she really did see deer. In fact she even took a picture. How coincidental that I see a fox and not two seconds later she sees deer!

Monday, August 18th
Countdown- 7 Weeks

Here is the training schedule for this week.
Monday- Off
Tuesday- 5 miles
Wednesday- 45 min. cross training
Thursday- 6 miles
Friday- 45 min. cross training

And get ready, here it comes, the big walk gets even bigger........

Saturday- 17 miles
Sunday- 13 miles

I felt pretty good today. My feet were feeling like they could walk again! Yesterday I was thinking to myself that I wasn't sure if I could ever walk that much again. But today I'm thinking, "That wasn't so bad, I think I can do that again." We will see what I'm saying after this next weekend.

I am going to go and buy a real thick pair of socks and see if they make a difference. I just keep thinking they will make my feet hotter but they are made of the dry wick material so maybe not. It's worth a try.

by Catrina Gibson on Mon, Aug 18, 2008 @ 8:07 PM CT

Tuesday, August 19th
I checked the weather before I left the office today and it wasn't looking like my walk was going to be a dry one. I thought this was going to be the day that the poncho would have to come out of the backpack. I got sprinkled on but that was it. I even got to see a very pretty rainbow. I thought about looking for the pot of gold but I think that would have been a much further walk than I intended on taking this evening.

So tonight I almost learned why you shouldn't use your cell phones while walking. Tracy sent me a text message and I was texting her back and not watching the sidewalk. The sidewalk was uneven and I stubbed my toe and almost fell down. Luckily I'm very skilled and just kept on walking and texting. I'm sure the vehicles that were driving by were laughing hysterically at me. Glad I could make their day.

Today's walk was supposed to be 5 miles but after a short walk with the dog it ended up 6.2. 5 miles is a piece of cake after walking 15 and 11 this past weekend.

Our Third Teammate, Kristin, has gotten energized and remotivated in the last couple of days. She hasn't really been into the walk even though it was her idea. She was just missing something and couldn't quite put her finger on it. You will have to check out her blog and Tracy's as well. You can get to them both by clicking the above button that says "J&S4EVER." It's amazing how different things come into our lives at just the right moment to give you a little extra motivation. God has his plan and it's in his time.

Oh and I have to give a shout out to Debbie. Happy Birthday!! It's her first Birthday as a mom. I'll keep her age to myself as I still want her to be my friend. SMILE.

by Catrina Gibson on Tue, Aug 19, 2008 @ 9:35 PM CT

Friday, August 22nd
Wednesday was a cross training day so I did the elliptical machine for 45 minutes. Thursday I went back to Run On shoe store and bought some thick socks for my 6 mile walk that night. I also got some Body Glide to try. They said it was better than Vaseline. I think the socks made a huge difference on my left foot not sure about my right foot but I guess I'll find out for sure on my 17 mile walk tomorrow.

I also put corn cushions where my blisters were to help keep them from getting worse and they seem to work well. My blisters are going away so tomorrow I have to do a better job of stopping if I feel my feet have hot spots. We have been told that you have to try different things out now so that you can figure out what works best for you.

Today was a 45 minute easy cross training day so I went at lunch and rode the bike. I've mapped out my 17 mile walk on Check out this site! It actually maps your walking route so at least I know where I'm going and how far. The only thing I don't know is if there are sidewalks everywhere I'm going! I've got my Gatorade, water, pretzels and peanuts all packed for the trip. I can't wait to see what Tracy and I come across this week. Last week was a fox for me and deer and a snake for Tracy. Wish us luck!

by Catrina Gibson on Fri, Aug 22, 2008 @ 8:56 PM CT

Sunday, August 24th
17 miles was a lot easier this week than the 15 miles last week. I think it was probably because we knew what to expect. My feet felt so much better and part of that might have been the thicker socks. My left foot felt great and the blister no more blisters. However, my right foot now has a blister. I can't win for losing. SMILE. My only other problem for the 17 miles was that my left calf got really tight.

13 miles on Sunday has proven to be the biggest test for me so far. I really didn't feel like getting out of bed and going on a walk. However, I knew that Tracy was counting on me to go so I went. I text her a message and told her that I really wished I was in bed and she text me back and say she did too but she knew I was counting on her. I guess that's what being a team is all about. We are there to keep each other motivated. It took me probably about an hour and a half into the walk before I finally woke up and had a little more motivation to finish. I knew if I could get through this walk it would be a big accomplishment. Tracy and I didn't mess around today. I think we were both just wanting to put this walk behind us. My feet were still feeling great today but I did have to stop and stretch my calf out fairly often. Not sure what I did differently this week to cause it to tighten up.

Tracy and I persevered today. We will have good days and bad days but we won't lose track of our goal or our cause. Today it felt great to know that Tracy and I had each other to lean on. One pushing the other and not letting each other quit or give up. Thanks Tracy!!!

Next week we get to back off the long walks on the weekend. It's also Football Kickoff or as some want to call it, Labor Day weekend. Tracy and I both have plans so we won't be walking together this week and will probably be rearranging the workout schedule to fit our plans.

6 Week Countdown

Training Schedule
Monday Rest
Tuesday 5 miles easy walking
Wednesday 45 min cross training
Thursday 6 miles moderate walking
Friday 45 min cross training
Saturday 10 miles easy walking
Sunday 6 miles easy walking

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Aug 24, 2008 @ 7:16 PM CT

Tuesday, August 26th
Monday was supposed to be my day off from training. However, my yard had other ideas. I considered mowing the yard to be cross training as my grass had gotten so thick and tall from all the rain that it was not easy pushing the mower. Oh, and to top it off I got bit by fire ants. Guess I made them mad:(

Today I walked 6 miles. I know the plan was only for 5 but I needed to go to the Post Office so I killed two birds with 1 stone. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would walk to the post office 3 miles away. This must be what it was like in the old days when everyone walked everywhere.

On another note, I got whistled at by this kid (younger than me) hanging out his window and honked at by another car tonight. Boy, I must look really hot with my back pack, pony tail, ear phones and all sweaty! I'll have to try that again when I go out on the town one night.

by Catrina Gibson on Tue, Aug 26, 2008 @ 9:20 PM CT

Wednesday, September 3rd
Sorry I haven't updated my blog in a few days. I took some time and went to visit my family in Colorado and Kansas. I did, however, continue my training in the Mountains of Colorado and the Wind of Kansas. I was back in Kansas in the town where my mom grew up so it was extra special to be walking there. My family was very supportive of my training and helped me fit it in to the schedule. There is no way a person could complete this journey without the love and support of loved ones. A big Thank You to my family and friends.

This week is our big week for training.

5 Week Countdown
Thursday 6 miles
Friday 45 min Cross Training
Saturday 18 miles
Sunday 15 miles

If we can make it through this weekend it should be all downhill until the actual walk!

by Catrina Gibson on Wed, Sep 03, 2008 @ 8:46 PM CT

Sunday, September 7th
4 Weeks and counting down.

Training Schedule for the coming week
Monday Rest
Tuesday 5 miles
Wednesday 45 min of Cross Training
Thursday 6 Miles
Friday 45 min of Cross Training
Saturday 10 miles
Sunday 8 miles

This weekend was a big weekend of walking and I must say that I was unable to complete it all. I did manage to walk the 18 on Saturday and considering what occurred I felt really good after I was finished.

I was all alone on my walk that morning as Tracy, due to Hurricane Hanna's torrential rain, was unable to walk. I was 5 miles into my walk and feeling great and was enjoying myself. Then all of a sudden with no warning whatsoever my right knee decided that it needed to have a sharp pain shoot down my leg and not allow me to step normally without me screaming in pain. I couldn't for the life of me figure out what happened. I stretched every way possible I could think of and nothing helped. Every step hurt so bad that it brought tears to my eyes. I had planned to stop at Mc Donald's (about a mile away) for a breakfast snack and I told myself that if I could just get there then I could sit for a minute and maybe it would go away. I finally figured out that if I walked without bending my knee that it didn't hurt so that's what I did and made it to Mc Donald's. I rested and stretched but nothing helped. I wasn't ready to give up yet as I was determined to complete this longest walk yet. I was headed to my friend Debbie's house which was about 1.5 miles away. However, I had mapped out a longer way to get all my miles in and you know me, I'm very stubborn and persistent so I went the 3 miles to Debbie's continuing to walk with my leg straight and very slow. I'm sure several people looked at me and thought what is she doing!! Got to Debbie's and what do you know I stretched and walked around and the pain was gone. How weird! So I headed out from Debbie's praying that the excruciating pain did not return. It was feeling really good, however, I did take a few steps along the way that told me my knee was not totally back to normal. I got back, iced it and rested the rest of the day.

This morning I woke up and could tell my knee was stiff and sore. I knew Tracy was back walking with me this morning and I wanted to walk with her. I started out and went a mile and decided it was in my best interest to not go any further. My knee was just not right. I returned home, iced my knee and went back to bed. It was a difficult decision for me as I'm not one to back down from a challenge. However, it means more to me to finish the 3 day 60 mile walk with Tracy and Kristen than to walk 15 miles today.

I'm going to make an appointment to have my knee looked at. I have two bad knees (ACL's both reconstructed and 1 broken knee cap) and this one is the best one of the two. I might be overreacting but I have too much training to do to wait and see. This walk means so much to me and I will complete it no matter what.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Sep 07, 2008 @ 5:59 PM CT

Sunday, September 14th
This weekend I tried out some heel cups. Wow! What a difference they made. I no longer get blisters on my heels. I was beginning to give up hope of finding anything that would make them stop. I walked 10 miles on Saturday before Hurricane Ike brought the rain. We actually didn't get hit like they first thought we would so that was nice.

Sunday I slept in for a change and woke up on my own about 8am. I fixed breakfast and headed out for my 8 miles at about 10am. It was such a beautiful day. The sun was shining and it wasn't all that humid. Only downfall was the wind. It was blowing a little more than usual. I had a nice relaxing walk and even got another mile in while I mowed my yard. I got tired before I could edge it so it still doesn't look great but at least it has been mowed.

On to the knee, I went to the Dr. this week and am scheduled for an MRI. The x-ray that was taken only showed that my cartilage on the inside of my knee is thinning. The MRI will show what is going on with my knee. He thinks it's probably one of two things, torn meniscus or floating cartilage. My knee isn't hurting or causing me any pain so I'm continuing my training as if nothing is wrong.

We are three weeks out and so ready for the actual walk. Walking alone is starting to wear on me and those extra long walks aren't as enjoyable as they were when we first started.

Three week training
Mon. Rest
Tues. 6 miles
Wed. 45 min Cross Train
Thurs. 6 miles
Fri. 45 min Cross Train
Sat. 18 miles
Sun. 8 miles

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Sep 14, 2008 @ 6:03 PM CT

8 years ago today
I've been struggling for the past couple of weeks with writing a follow-up email to send out to everyone updating them on my walk progress. This morning I woke up and knew this was the day.

You see I woke up and the first thing that I remembered was that my mom passed away on this day 8 years earlier of ovarian cancer. It's one of those days you wish you could forget but can't because it was a life altering day that you will remember for the rest of your life whether you want to or not. I still relive a lot of what happened that last day and I do remember my mom was finally at peace. The cancer could cause her no more pain and for that I was thankful but I still wish I had her back.

Today I wanted to let everyone know that I was taking a stand against cancer so that no one has to have days like today. I need everyone to stand up with me and fight not just today but every day until we find a cure. Tracy and I plan to continue our fight against cancer, this walk is just the beginning. J&S4EVER.

by Catrina Gibson on Tue, Sep 16, 2008 @ 9:26 PM CT

Two Weeks to go!
I walked my first 20 miles on Saturday morning. I was about 1.5 miles from being finished and I was wanting to cross the street as I had ran out of sidewalk on my side. I tried to cross a few times but the traffic wouldn't let me so I told myself, "just stay here maybe you will find a Twenty." Guess what, I did find a Twenty. What are the odds of that? I sure wish I had thought I would find a Hundred!! In total on my walks I have now found $29.25.

Actually didn't feel too bad when I was finished. I think back to that first Saturday that Tracy and I walked 15 miles for the first time and I thought my feet were going to fall off. Boy have we come a long way in 7 weeks! We have been very dedicated to our training and it has definitely paid off. Of course the real test will be in about two weeks.

Two Week Count Down
Mon. Rest
Tue. 4 Miles
Wed. 45min cross training
Thurs. 5 Miles
Fri. 45min cross training
Sat. 10 miles
Sun. 8 miles

It will be a very nice week as 10 miles is a cake walk for us now. Thanks to everyone for all your support while we have fund raised and trained.

by Catrina Gibson on Sun, Sep 21, 2008 @ 7:31 PM CT

DC Here we come!
Hard to believe but we are 4 days out from the actual walk. I'm excited and anxious. Our friend Cris has given us so much incite and advice and prepared us the best that she can. I just can't wait to finally be walking with Tracy and Kristin. All of our hard work and dedication will be put to the test. I know we will do great! We've already accomplished so much.

We found out today what our path will be. They don't give you too much detail though for our safety. We don't even know the exact location of where we will be camping. We do however know that the first day will be about 22 miles, day two about 22.5, and day three 15. On day three we will be walking in DC by the Capital and other monuments. How fun and memorable to finish up there!

Keep us in your prayers as we continue our journey to DC.

by Catrina Gibson on Mon, Sep 29, 2008 @ 9:21 PM CT

DC Arrival
Thursday I flew to DC. The flight was great and my luggage made it. Yes I paid $15 to check my bag! I took a hotel shuttle from the airport and arrived there before Tracy or Kristin. I got us all checked in and it wasn't long before Tracy got there. It was so good to see her and talk to her in person instead of texting and sending photos. Kristin finally arrived after a few wrong turns in the DC area.

We were waiting for the afternoon UPS deliveries as our shirts were suppose to be delivered. While we did that we repacked our suitcases and made sure we were organized. Good thing we did that when we did as the rest of the evening turned into a road trip to find our shirts. Tracy's Husband tracked them down to the UPS in Laurel, MD about 45 min. away. They had been shipped Two Day and not One Day. Not knowing whether we could get them or not we headed out on a mission. To see that fun trip please visit search for the shirts.

by Catrina Gibson on Sat, Oct 11, 2008 @ 3:16 PM CT

Day 1
With only 4.5 hours of sleep we were up and moving. Today wasn't only Day 1, it was my birthday too! I was very excited to get this walk started. Finally after all the training and preparation it was time to begin.

We boarded a bus about 5:30am that would take us to Potomac Mills Mall where the Opening Ceremonies and walk would begin. We met our other tent-mate Gale. She was awesome from the moment we met her. We couldn't have found a better person to walk with us.

We finally got to start walking about 8:30am and made it to camp about 5:30 I think. We were happy to see the field of pink tents. We were tired, hungry and a little sore. We unpacked, ate, showered and crashed. We fell asleep praying that we would feel like getting up in the morning.

by Catrina Gibson on Sat, Oct 11, 2008 @ 4:07 PM CT

Day 2
So the alarm went off at 5:00am and the plan was to get an early start. However, none of us seem to have the energy to get up. We eventually got up at 6:30am, ate breakfast and were off by 7:30ish. I was a little stiff when I woke up but after walking around camp a bit I felt pretty good and knew that I could get through day 2.

I felt so much better at the end of day 2 than day 1. Maybe sleep was all I needed. We made it back to camp, ate, showered and even walked around some of the vendor tents (camp store, new balance, camp post office etc). We also visited the Remembrance Tent where we wrote about why we walk. Also hanging in the tent were photos of past walkers that had lost their lives to Cancer. One was especially touching as she passed away in June 2008 and was going to be walking with us.

by Catrina Gibson on Sat, Oct 11, 2008 @ 4:08 PM CT

Day 3
Today we had to get up early 5:00am as this was the day we had to tear down the tent, repack our belongings, and get on a bus into DC. I think it was a little easier to get up today as we were excited that this was the last day and we would complete the walk.

We got into DC and about a mile into the walk we were faced with the largest hill (Tracy called it a mountain!). It was one of those hills that once you started you don't stop or you might not make it. So off we went and didn't look back. That hill proved to be the most challenging part of the walk. After that it was pretty much downhill the rest of the day. We walked behind the White House, saw the Washington Monument from a distance as well as the capital, walked right in front of Union Station and finished up by walking through China Town.

To see and cross the finish line was an emotional experience. I wasn't quite sure how I would feel or react. The minute you crossed you were bombarded with people clapping, smiling, and cheering for you. It brought tears to my eyes. I had completed my walk for mom, survivors, lives lost and for me. It's a feeling I can't even express in words.

by Catrina Gibson on Sat, Oct 11, 2008 @ 4:10 PM CT

The Experience
The 3 Day 60 mile walk has been a truly amazing experience. The walk has brought me closer to a friend, enabled me to honor my mother, and allowed me to take a stand against cancer. I couldn't have completed this walk without the love and support of my family and friends. Thank You for allowing me to take this journey. u>Training - Training was the key to a successful walk. My feet, body and mind were ready for the walk. Anyone can do this walk if they put in the time to train and put miles on their feet.

Camp - The most touching part of camp was the celebration of the last walker back to camp. We didn't celebrate the first person, we celebrated the last when all the camp family was back together. They would make an announcement to surround the flag pole. The last person to camp walked in and raised the camp flag as we cheered them on. The last person to camp was a woman walking with two walking sticks. I admire her courage and perseverance.

Volunteer Crew - I cannot say enough about the volunteer crew of the 3 day. They cheered us on at every corner and stop. They gave us energy and kept us going. Just when you started thinking you were tired they would be there to lift you up and send you on your way. I enjoyed them so much that they have encouraged me to be a volunteer next year. I'm excited and can't wait.

Cheer Stations and Community - I never realized before that people honking and cheering for you could make you feel so good. People we didn't know kept telling us "Thank you for walking" and giving us candy. They made signs, played music, honked and waved. I looked forward to the cheer stations. The encouragement and cheers they gave me put a smile on my face from ear to ear. They all reminded me that what I was doing was a BIG thing.

Survivors - During closing ceremonies the Breast Cancer survivors all in pink shirts walked in as one group. It touched me to think that after all they had been through they still found the courage and strength to walk. There is no excuse for me to ever think I can't walk 3 days and 60 miles.

Fellow Walkers - My hat goes off to my fellow walkers. Looking at some of them as the days went on you could tell that some of them were hurting. I saw feet covered with blisters and bandages, knees taped, a walking boot, and an air cast. The spirit of the walk was in them and they would not give up.

In closing I just want to say that this isn't the end of my journey, it's the beginning of the end of cancer and I am going to continue to walk and raise money. Tracy and I have already started to think about next year and where we want to walk.

by Catrina Gibson on Sat, Oct 11, 2008 @ 4:41 PM CT