We made it up that hill and on to the next challenge. A 2nd go at the Golden Gate:
Breakfast was a formal occasion:
I couldn't believe how well I had recovered from the previous day. I'd protected my blisters really carefully and stretched a lot. My feet, which the previous evening were all cramped and painful were absolutely fine. Nathalie felt good too.
The 2nd day took us through the city. Early in the walk we broke away from the crowd to go into a Pete's. Nathalie was excited to have a great cup of coffee. I was all happy to use a bathroom that had a flush toilet and running water in which I could wash my hands. It's the little things, I guess!
We met up with a cheering friend from the day before:
This is the two of us with Pepper. Pepper spent the entire walk blasting "I Will Survive", singing and dancing along, and yelling out encouragement to everyone. We loved Pepper! She was so cool.
And I made a new friend. Meet Toni.
On we walked. And on, and on. My those last few miles went slowly! At about mile 10, I got a sudden, very sharp pain in my blistered toe - and then it kept vibrating; it felt like an electric shock. Very weird. I couldn't walk on it so I ended up limping my way to the last quick stop. Where Brian was waiting for us again, ready to do the last mile along with us. I so love this guy! Nathalie's husband met us a short while later; here are the two of them early on day one:
It was pretty gross - and I could tell it would be even before I removed my sock. I won't go into detail - the picture is enough, but it was only one of about 5 really good-sized blisters. Ruby in the medical tent took good care of me though, and she had me cleaned and bandaged up in no time!
I couldn't fit my foot back into my sneaker so I just limped around with my bandaged foot looking much more wounded and dramatic than I actually felt.
As expected, the closing ceremony was great. It alternated between inspiring, funny and very sad. I'm sorry I have no pictures to post of that; my card was full. But it was cool, and moving, and Avon sure does a great job of making us feel like winners. They did a great job the entire weekend; it's not easy organizing and tending to 2400 plus walkers and they did it effectively, efficiently, and with incredibly good humor. Everyone on the crew was awesome.
After the closing ceremony we drove home to San Jose where I showered, had some pizza, and parked my tired butt on the reclining part of the couch and didn't move for the rest of the evening. If I hadn't had to go to work on Monday I probably would have stayed there for 24 hours.
But Monday came and off to work I went. Feeling fine. And tired. And happy. I don't know if I'll do this again, but Brian told me he thinks everyone should do something like this at least once in their life (he has done the AIDS ride from SF to LA 3 times), and I agree. If you can't do it for physical reasons, then volunteer to work the event; there's something for everyone. Just find something you really care about and give it your time and energy for a while. You'll be glad you did!