Thursday, September 29, 2011

Day One of the 3-Day: Wet!

So, the opening ceremony was over, and we moved through "cattle chutes" to start the walk, getting our 3-Day ID scanned as we left the chute. This event had impressive organization and safety consciousness. The weather was still dry, but that would change - oh, how that would change! In any type of endurance event I have trained for, one of the things that is emphasized is to train in all types of conditions: hot and cold, wet and dry, hilly and flat. Well, forget about cold, and as it turned out, I only had a couple of times training in rain, the most notable of which was a nice hike up Cold Mountain. Today would make up for that. Our route was 17 miles, and criss-crossed Washington, DC, ending up eventually in Maryland. Most of the time, I had no idea where we were, although I know we went through the government area, Georgetown, and Adams-Morgan. Much of the time, I walked by myself. Other times, I struck up conversations with people and walked with them for a little ways. The most difficult part, other than the rain, was the constant stopping for traffic lights and when people got bunched up.

The support on the walk was fantastic! We had a number of vans patrolling for stragglers or people who could not walk anymore. They cheered for us every time they went by. Each had a decoration theme. I loved this one! So funny!

We are going by the lovely Botanical Gardens here, just a mile or so from the start of the walk.
Is Minnie Mouse cheering us on? She is sporting pink.
This is me with our Capital in the background. Too bad Congress can't get along as well and as cooperatively as everyone did on this walk. I later got a pink lei, but didn't have it yet to compliment my green shirt from last year's Seattle Half-Marathon.
This was the first porta-potty stop. It was drizzling and cool. The lines were long, probably the longest toilet lines of the whole three days because people were still clustered. Note the copious amounts of pink!
These two ladies from Florida sported really cool pink flamingos. I can't imagine how soggy these got later in the day!
Shortly after seeing the Washington Monument, the drizzle became a steady rain, and I took no more pictures for the walk except a few, sneaking the camera out of its plastic bag for as briefly as I could.
Lunch was memorable! We sat on the ground in a driving rain, trying to keep our sandwich and chips dry. I bolted my food and started walking again. I heard no complaining, from me or from anyone else.
Most people walked in some type of rain gear, including the disposable rain jackets that they gave us. I tried the rain gear for a while, but got too hot, although I ended my walk for the day putting the poncho back on again.
At some point after lunch, I changed my socks to a dry pair. They were soaked within half a mile. Eventually I stopped at a bus stop to put on moleskin on a couple of "hot spots," and wrang the water out of my socks. I got a good half cup out of each pair.

I risked one last photo in the rain to capture the National Cathedral, which I had never seen before. It was recently damaged by our earthquake.
A few miles after this point, somewhere in Maryland, our 17 miles was over for the day, and we caught a 20 minute bus ride to camp, the rain still beating down. I was not looking forward to putting up my tent in the rain.

1 comment:

TNTcoach Ken said...

Rain, rain go away! Keep up the great work!