It’s Avon Time Again ….

27 06 2008

Ok – so I’m behind on my blogging … sue me! I’ll get on it when I get back.

Avon Walk For Breast Cancer is up in the Rocky Mountains this year. For the last handful of years I’ve done this event it’s been locally in Denver … meaning I can actually take care of my life all the way through event eve, go home, pack, sleep, and spend one night with the folks at Clemet (sp) Park. After the closing at Washington Park, I’m about 10 minutes to my house wherein I can go home and die after getting the riot act barked at me by Bailey. This year, we’re up in Keystone … which means I’m typing this as I’m waiting for Wackie Jackie to come and get me. Instead of trying to afford a hotel room up there, we’ll be camping out in her truck at the load up area and then I’ll probably camp with the folks at wherever the Wellness Village is.

Anyone who knows Colorado in the summertime knows that the mountains can go from heat to snow without really thinking about it. Also – Jackie and I’ll be driving back down after closing at 4p … so if I get home by Tuesday, we’ll be lucky!

I first crewed Avon because I didn’t think I could fundraise the $1,800 necessary. A really dear friend had just died of breast cancer … her father had died of breast cancer … and I’d always coached her along. I’m better crewing than being a part of something huge like an event like this … I realize now that it’s because I’m a smidge competitive. A couple of years ago, a photo was taken of me with Tiki over my head and my arms were HUGE … that’s part of what got me back exercising.

Tiki?

I got wrangled into crew leading because I pretty much became a go-to person at my first kick off only because I figured out where things were. Ok – my crew is a Quick Stop both days … For those of us who do races, it’s like a glorified water stop. Rest Stops include medical folks, snacks and the like. A Quick Stop is to fill up water bottles with Gatorade, use one of my delightful Blue Palaces, and for a Crew Leader like me to see if folks are really in good enough shape to continue on. I’m at around mile 10 on day one (which, ironically, is my favorite 1/2 marathon mile) and around 8 on day two. 

Walkers can do as much as they feel capable of doing — can do a mile, take the shuttle to the Wellness Village and hang out for the day if they so choose. The marathon this year is split in two with the Wellness Village in the middle. Walk 1/2 to the Wellness Village … want to do the full? Take a shuttle to Breckenridge and walk back to the Wellness Village. The 1/2 for the second day will have folks walking from the Wellness Village to Breckenridge.

My site kind of evolved from my finding Tiki stuff at the Big Lots near my house. There is *no* budget for anything with Avon (including our having to go up to Keystone a day early). Big Lots is a nice cheap overstock place for party supplies. Anyway – the second year, I found a Tiki Idol Doll thing who didn’t make it through the first year … HOWEVER I found his ‘cousin’ the second year. Tiki 1 made it through the freak hail storm (“Why didn’t Tiki protect us???” “AH … TIKI TRY TO PROTECT WALKERS … BUT TIKI HAVE GIRLFRIEND, MOTHER NATURE, WHO GOT JEALOUS OF ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS AND GUYS WALKING. WE GOT FIXED IT NOW!) … Tiki 2 has had no problems.

Miss Bailey Supervising

Bailey isn’t usually thrilled with my being gone for Avon. Gina moved but will be coming in to keep care of the Princess of the Universe. She knew something was up when I was up in my attic yesterday pulling down the boxes of supplies. It takes a lot of supplies actually to pull off the Tiki Surf Shack. Previous years we’ve been in a school or hospital parking lot, so we’ve not had to carry things very far. This year we’re all on a bike path, so I’ve got to make sure the boxes are light enough to be carried with ease.

Previously, I’ve pretty much taken charge of making sure I’ve got everything because I’ve not really had a stable crew. Let’s face it, people sign up … don’t have to fundraise … then realize it’s either work or something better comes along. My first year, I had a feeling I was going to lose the 2 people on my crew and did. I was really fortunate to have a gal named Chris P. moved to my crew and she’s been my right hand gal ever since!

This year, I’ve been swamped with my own racing and other stuff, so I sent out brief crew notes … and my girls all stepped up. The cardboard boxes are from one of the new gals who works at Coors … they’re full of those handi-wipe things! She got one of her distributors to donate them and drop ship them to my house. They’ve been in my hallway for a month!

 The Surf ShackThere are inflatables, signs, flowers, grass skirts, signs, a surf board, mats, and all sorts of stuff that make up the Surf Shack. I’m more than happy to loan any of it if anyone is doing a water stop for a local race. The green bag is my own gear – sleeping bag, pad, enough clothes to choke a horse because of the different weather requirements.  We’ve got to bring it all!

I came close to not doing it this year because of the move to altitude and knowing how people train (or more pointedly don’t). This isn’t a race by any means, but still it’s at altitude in the summer. My dear buddy Chip can talk me into just about anything … and he did it when I was in the middle of a really good five miler at Washington Park … Chip’s a jackrabbit runner with a red afro!  Then it turned out my crew from last year said “LIS SHEPARD’S TEAM” … then walkers have been writing about how much they loved the energy and stop of the Tiki Mama and wanted to know if TIKI WAS COMING BACK …

As the song goes — Here I go again on my own … going down the only road I’ve ever known … well kinda! Helping people one step at a time!

Anyway – I think Jackie might be downstairs … so it’s time to motor!!!

Let’s hope it doesn’t snow!!!

Dizzy Ms. Lizzy … aka TIKI MAMA

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