After mooooving out of the bull pen, we headed out of Del Mar and walked through the neighborhood. We became experts at scouting at bathrooms off the beaten path. This became increasingly important when we realized that a wait at the Port-a-Potties could waste 30 minutes and potentially cause a very embarrassing accident! We were soon on our way to Torrey Pines. Torrey Pines could be considered my arch-nemesis. The Torrey Pines hill is well known for being steep…and long. Have I mentioned that I have exercise-induced Asthma? Actually, it should be correctly diagnoses as incline-induced asthma. I only feel it on the way up a hill. Flat ground is my friend. Just as we all develop coping skills to deal with our “issues”, I have developed mine. On a hill, I am very focused….I don’t talk….I only step and breath or maybe that is step and wheeze…and Lord help anyone that gets in my way. I heard several times from my teammates…..”Do you want to stop?” Nope…..keep going…. “Did you bring an inhaler? “ Nope…what do I look like….a nurse? Oh yeah……I am. But we know from past experience that on the 13.5 mile train walk, I was also the one that forgot the sunscreen, a hat and to drink consistently. This would be the embarrassing day that I almost passed out on the way to the car. So is it any surprise that I forgot the inhaler? Nope! Did I make it up the hill? Yep! Every day…and in the same manner….walk and wheeze all the way, baby!
I could have done the over-40 white woman dance at the top but I was surrounded by 4000 of my best friends and my hips can become a lethal weapon when not controlled effectively. I have to say that there is something powerful about seeing a solid line of people in front of you and behind you. It was amazing. Even more amazing were the people on the side lines….everywhere…and many of them for the full three days. We picked up chocolate, Twizzlers, mints and other tasty treats from the ever present community members that cheered us on. People of all ages and cultures were out in packs – we affectionately called them the Walker Stalkers. God love them! They yelled, whooped and overall kept the mood happy and light.
We stopped for lunch at La Jolla Shores…11.5 miles in. A quick sandwich and change of socks and we were back on the trail to see the Seals, the community of Bird Rock and eventually….the camp. As we drew close, one of our 3Day crossing guards let us know that we were within 2 miles of being done. I cheerfully stated…”Well, heck….let’s just run it!” Eight faces turned towards me in disbelief! I wish I would have had a camera!