We made it through! I made it through! I woke up feeling really good on the morning of the walk. I had a small breakfast and made sure I was covered in sunblock. I went to bed at a good hour the night before. In addition, I took 2 days off (from training) prior to the walk, which helped me recoup my strength. I was excited and ready to go! I couldn’t wait to join up with the rest of the Moons & Spoons team. I had packed my items the night before, so we got ready in a fairly short amount of time. This is what I brought with me to the walk.
- Hand sanitizer
- Sun umbrella
It was 91 degrees Fahrenheit in Pasadena, California on the day of our walk. Yeeesh… The walk began at 10am. It was sweltering at 9am during check in. I could feel myself fading just a bit. There were very few shade spots as the sponsor tents and the event center stage was placed in the middle of an open field. You know, I have been to this venue before, but I hadn’t thought about the lack of shade. One of my friends asked how I was doing. With concern, she suggested that we move to the outskirts of the field where some trees and shade resided. We moved. It was such a good suggestion. I was so busy looking for our team mates to arrive that I wasn’t paying attention to my wavering energy levels. I was also very grateful for the sun umbrellas that we brought. I would not have made it through the walk if I didn’t have the umbrella.
Our hang out spot prior to the race kept us from overheating before the race. But unfortunately, we couldn’t hear everything that went on at center stage. However, we did get to hear the beautifully sung American Anthem which kicked off the walk. Despite the heat, it was a lovely day in Southern California.
I learned a lot doing this 5k. For sure, I learned that my body is not the same as it was prior to my major flare. My training which included endurance and strength building definitely helped me, but I could still feel a difference during the walk. I could feel the muscle fatigue set in much earlier than I had expected. I also needed water available to me throughout the entire walk. I know that lupus affects each person differently, but I wonder how my fellow lupies were feeling during the walk?
Some of my favorite aspects of the walk were seeing people from many walks of life joining together for one purpose—to cure lupus. It was fun to catch glimpses of the conversations that went on along the route. And it was also a great opportunity to catch up with my team mates—some of whom I haven’t seen in awhile. We had some nice conversations while everyone was chugging and sweating along. And I can’t believe how many steps/miles I covered that day—5 miles! I was so encouraged by all the other people walking the walk. I was especially motivated by my friends and family who supported me on this walk; they kept me going. I am so grateful.
I checked in with the team after the walk. And here’s the good news. I wasn’t the only one who was exhausted! Just about everyone else on the team was just as tuckered out. My DH and I just rested the rest of the day and caught up on some T.V. watching. We were ready for bed by nightfall. We went to bed before 9:00 p.m. (‘cause that sounds a lot better than we went to bed at 8:00 p.m. [not kidding]).
Here are some other things I learned from this walk.
- Scope out the venue and the route beforehand. If you have time and energy, go in person. If not, reach out to the event organizer to get more information about the location. And you can always scope it out via Google (Earth) maps. If I had done one of these things, I would have known ahead of time that there wasn’t going to be much shade available to us and planned for our team meeting and hang out place accordingly.
- Carry your own water. I decided to leave my bottle of water in the car because I didn’t want to carry it—to be weighed down. I did this because there would be water stations along the route, but I needed water well before the water station appeared on the route.
- It’s a good idea to bring a little one along for the walk. My 3-year-old cousin joined us for the walk, and she was a great walking partner. She kept me at a good pace and forced me to take it slow. I needed slow.
- Depending on the time of the race consider bringing along food for lunch. My DH and I were ready to eat lunch by the time we finished the race. We were pretty tired though. I had snacks in my bag, but I was too tired to eat them if that makes sense. But if we had planned in advance to picnic at the site, I think things would have been different.
- Bring a base camp person or two. Bring someone along who isn’t going to do the walk and can just hang out near center stage to catch anything our team might miss. It would also be helpful if this person could hang on to extra stuff like the future cooler that will hold our lunches.
What do you do when you are doing a 5k? What sort of extra supplies do you bring?