Saturday, October 31, 2009

Cheers and Cookies!

I feel a lot of pressure to make this the best blog posting yet!  The past 21 weeks have been leading up to this-the final blog!  It should be a doozie of a blog.  On top of some pretty spectacular stories to tell (you KNOW there was spectacle-at it’s finest), I had 72 hours to think about how I would share this journey with my faithful readers. 

There is so much to share; I am not sure where to begin.  I could tell you about the 4am start to Day 1, leading up to a moving Opening Ceremony and tearful start to Mile #1.  I could begin with the downpour during Day 1 lunch that sent Team New Kids from quite discouraged to hysterical laughter as every layer (and I do mean EVERY layer) of our clothing was saturated with cold rain.  There are stories of pitching tents (which, thanks to the aforementioned rain were pitched INSIDE), chair massages, 700 port-a-potties of which I used 675, Kim’s Energizer award, the nightly Freedom Hour, regular proclamations that Meredith needed to “Be a more tidy tent mate” and “We are NOT at the Sheraton,” and the elation that a perfectly placed CVS had both indoor plumbing and central heating.  But, those are all “you had to be there” kinds of moments.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Beginning...and The End

We did it! Team New Kids on the Walk completed the Atlanta 3-Day Event! 60 miles....CHECK!! Every member of our 6 member team completed every mile and it was a wonderful journey. The Atlanta event raised over $5.6 Million dollars and it was an honor to be part of this effort.

I will post a more detailed record of our journey over the weekend after enjoying a week of vacation. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos of our team at the opening ceremony and just moments after completing the Victory Walk.

Thanks for reading and for supporting Team New Kids!

Jenn L.

Monday, October 19, 2009

It's The Final Countdown!

This is it!  We have made it to walk week!  Kim sent out an email this morning that read:  “Happy Walk Week, Ladies!  Can you believe it is finally here?” and I wasn’t sure whether to cheer or puke!  We did it.  We completed 21 weeks of training, made it through 2 seasons, logged in excess of 400 miles each, and raised over $17,000 and a ton of awareness for Breast Cancer!  All that is left to do is take the bold steps to start the 60-mile journey.  My spirits are high and I am anxious to get to Atlanta so I can join the other New Kids and get this adventure underway. 

This week I received more support from two coworkers, Jennie Duval and Jenn Powell.  Both Jennie and Jenn (there have been as many as 5 versions of the name Jennifer in our office at one time-yes, it is terribly confusing) have been amazing cheerleaders for me.  I am honored to add them to the list of folks who have joined me in the fight to find a cure for Breast Cancer.

I will be recognizing all of you and honoring your loved ones during the walk in a very special way. Julianne Dunn and my mom have put their crafty skills to great use and created a pink ribbon bearing the name of every person who made a donation to the Komen Foundation and one for every person that you have honored with your donation and I have chosen to honor with my walk.  There are an impressive 85 ribbons on my Mickey Mouse hook and I will wear it proudly on my backpack throughout the walk.  I can’t wait for my fellow walkers to ask me about my ribbons.  I have 85 unique stories to share-and you KNOW I have the gift for gab and will tell them ALL ABOUT YOU!

Friday, October 16, 2009

It's Almost Here!

Oh my the 3-Day is fast approaching. A week from today we will be mostly through Day 1. I just received our training email for this week and it says:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 6 Miles
Wed: 30 minutes cross training
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 19.4 miles
Saturday: 18.9 Miles
Sunday: 15.8 Miles

Wow! You know it is close when they send you the daily mileage! As a friend pointed out it doesn't quite equal 60 miles. They count you walking around in camp because it is so large. I am starting to get a little worried about the weather. Right now the forecast is for highs in the mid-60s and raining all weekend. With all the rain that Atlanta has had, we are pretty saturated and I hope camp doesn't flood like it did last year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Suppressing My Inner Diva

10 days!  Just 10 days until we take the first steps on the 3-Day Breast Cancer journey!  10 days to get our heads and our feet in the game of 60 miles.  One more weekend of training, 8.5 days of work, 9 sleeps.  It’s not far off!

These days nearly everyone is asking me, “Are you ready?”  How the heck should I know?  I think I’m ready.  I’ve followed the formula for “readiness.”

  •  Raise $2300.  CHECK
  • Follow the provided training schedule.  CHECK 
  • Study the 50+ page, highly informative handbook.  CHECK
  •  Read the message boards to learn from experienced walkers.  CHECK
  • Read every Facebook posting from walkers who have participated in 2009 Boston, San Francisco, and Denver walks.  CHECK
  •  Medical check, online check-in, fulfill significant packing supply list, tent mate selection…all CHECK

Monday, October 5, 2009

Hot, Fresh, Oasis!


The start of October brings 3 kinds of good news! 

1. It is Breast Cancer Awareness month!  PINK has arrived!  In the past 5 days, I’ve seen the power of pink on NFL players, Ellen has launched her Breast Cancer dunk tank, and my daily Yoplait yogurt has a pink fundraising lid!  It is inspiring to see such a visible effort in the fight to find a cure for this terrible disease.

2.  The New Kids on the Walk have reached the fundraising minimum for the 3-Day Breast Cancer Event!  If you didn’t see Kim’s big announcement, scroll down!!!  We are thrilled to have raised over $12,000 as a team.  We attribute our fundraising success to folks like Shawn Seuberling, Danielle White, and the LeCount Family, who all contributed to my efforts this week.  Shawn and Heidi LeCount have a Meredith College connection-I worked with both of them while I was earning my master’s degree.  Aside from being the most FUN family in Raleigh, Heidi and her wonderful husband Kevin and precious son Nathan support the MC efforts in the fight against breast cancer and I am proud to have them on my team as well.   In addition to loaning me their neighborhood for my first every 6-mile walk (I remember when 6 seemed like a long way) and their pup Addie for many miles in SC, Shawn and Danielle generously celebrated their birthdays by giving ME a card and donation.  Not a bad gig!

3.  We will walk this month!  When we started this journey in June, October seemed a million years away.  I can’t believe it is here already and in just 18 days, we will take the first of many steps on the 60-mile journey!   

This weekend I visited NC to attend the U2 concert at Carter-Finley Stadium.  Meredith was also in town for a high school reunion so we were able to share a 10-mile walk on Saturday.  It was wonderful to have a fellow New Kid team member for some great company and a much needed change of scenery among the streets of downtown Raleigh.   Mere and I both admitted to being a bit discouraged about Saturday’s walk.  What we needed was some motivation-something to keep us going when our feet were heavy and our attitudes were weary…what we needed was a doughnut!! We decided on a route that took us past the Peace St. Krispy Kreme at about mile #7.  We knew if we made it that far, we could enjoy a sugary boost and sail through the final 3 miles. 

We were on the search for doughnuts.  What we discovered was the secret to the obesity problem in America.  Look out Dr. Oz, Jenn and Mere have figured it out!  When we entered the KK, we were in awe at the oasis of doughy glazed jewels in the glass case in front of us.  THIS is what we had been working for!  Every step of the 7 miles had gotten us to this point…YES, YES, YES!

I was contemplating the impossible choice of the fall favorite pumpkin glazed vs. the sour cream glazed cake doughnut when I was interrupted by a KK staff member who asked if she could take my order.  Until that moment, I had forgotten anyone else was in the store and I would have swore that there were Anglican chants playing softly through the air. 

Can you take my order?  Yes.  I’ll have one of each.  No…stick with the sour cream glazed cake.  I confidently placed my order and when Meredith did the same (chocolate covered crème filled), the staff person asked if we would like a half dozen.  When I replied, “No thank you” she retaliated with “Three will be $3.23 and a half dozen is only $5.25.” (Yes, we ordered 3 but 1 was for Ben who was back at home.) When we responded that we only needed the 3, the woman repeated herself, with shock in her voice “But, a half dozen is only $5.25!”  As if it wasn’t evident from our attire and the 10-pound water filled pack on my back, I informed her that we had walked there and if we ate 6 doughnuts it would rather defeat the fitness benefits of a 10-mile walk.  Caution to others:  Do not make references to the possibly less than healthy content of a doughnut, while standing in a Krispy Kreme. 

I claimed that Meredith and I discovered the root of obesity in America.  Krispy Kreme doughnuts?  NO! Don’t blame the doughnuts, don’t ever blame the doughnuts!  It’s the failing economy that is to blame!  Due to the decline in spending among Americans, employees of Krispy Kreme have to seize any opportunity to bring in an extra dollar (or $2.02).  It’s simply a supply and demand issue.  Fewer folks visit the KK, so those of us who do are expected to take up the slack and buy a few extra.  I’m happy to bear my own load, but folks, you have to get out there and support the doughnut industry! 

This weekend I challenge you all to get outside, take a walk to the nearest KK (or any doughnut retailer but as a NC native, I remain loyal to the Krispy Kreme), and contribute to the demand! If we all do our part, those of us who have loyally supported the doughnut industry can walk away, hassle free, with 1 doughy treat-per visit.   Custard filled, blueberry cake, football shaped (for a limited time only), crullers, and chocolate covered with sprinkles are counting on YOU to help fight obesity-one doughnut at a time! 

Editorial Note:  Before I move on, I have to point out a few connections that I realized as I was writing this blog.  1. Shawn and Heidi donated to my fundraiser this week.  I met them both at Meredith College. 2.  Meredith is my teammate, and walking partner this week, who is named after Meredith College-though she did not attend.  3. Meredith and I visited Krispy Kreme. Shawn's mom works for the KK home office in Winston-Salem.  STRANGE??

There is a new face on my 3-Day page.   This week, I am spotlighting Jamia Clark. Ms. Jamia is the late grandmother of my friend, Mandie Thacker.  Mandie made a donation to my walk in honor of her grandma.  Mandie had this to say about her grandmother: 

She was a breast cancer survivor who had a mastectomy of the affected breast in 1994. She was an amazing woman who fought and won the fight against this disease. She suffered so much in her life, living with diabetes and congestive heart failure and surviving a triple bypass and dialysis three times a week for over 5 years. She never complained, never lost faith, and never lost her amazing smile.

I never met Jamia but I see traits of her in Mandie who, like her grandmother, is a faithful person who finds the positive in any situation. I am happy to share Jamia’s story and photo on my page at:

This week I was on the injured roster for a few days.  Shin splints are to blame!  I only logged 16 miles and 33,675 steps.  The rest was well worth it because I am back to feeling 100%! 

Grand Totals:  Miles= 440 Steps= 861,021  Doughnuts consumed=1

Happy Stepping!


Friday, October 2, 2009

Only 21 Days Away and GOOD NEWS is Coming Your Way!!

We are THRILLED to report the best news that we have had since we all set forth on this journey

………........................wait for it…........................………

We are proud to announce that ALL members of Team New Kids on the Walk have now reached our minimum required fundraising goal!

HUGE Thank Yous to each of your who helped us reach our goal! This means we all get to walk and no longer have to worry about the fundraising side of this challenge. This does NOT mean we are no longer accepting financial support. We will absolutely continue to accept contributions that will go toward saving lives and curing cancer! After all, that is what this is all about!

We are clearly in the home stretch of our training for the 3 Day! We have now hit our peak distance and now taper off a bit from here till the actual event. We are quickly approaching the postmark deadline for any FAN MAIL that you may want to send us as we walk. Any words of encouragement will be greatly appreciated throughout the 60 miles! A brief reminder:

Write a letter expressing your love and support to your walker. Send it to our P.O. Box, and we'll collect the letters and deliver to them on the event at the Breast Cancer 3-Day camp. Send letters to:

Breast Cancer 3-Day Post Office
880 Marietta Hwy. Suite 630

Roswell, GA 30075

Envelopes only, please. No boxes or large packages. Mail must be postmarked no later than October 13th in order to ensure delivery. Any mail that is not retrieved by the participant by November 6th will be destroyed.

The 3 Day org has also released the Spectator Information for the Atlanta 3 Day. All of the materials we received when we first signed up for this crazy adventure always mentioned that spectator information would be released close to the date of our walk. Now that this info has been released it is another reminder that our time has arrived! If you are in the Atlanta area (or in the cases of Mama Smith and Mama Latino are flying in especifically for this), here is the info you will need in order to come join us for opening or closing ceremonies or to come cheer us on at a Cheering station! PS: Costumes and Signs are welcomed and ENCOURAGED at all cheering stations!

Friday, October 23

7:30 am: Opening Ceremony

Lake Lanier Islands
7000 Holiday Rd.
Lake Lanier Islands
, GA 30518

8:45 am - 10:45 am: Cheering Station
Downtown Buford
89 Main St.
Buford, GA 30518

12:00 pm - 5:00 pm: Cheering Station
Suwanee Station
Station Center Blvd.

Suwanee, GA 30024

Saturday, October 24

9:15 am - 12:00 pm: Cheering Station
Oreck Vacuums Store & Plaza
5005 Peachtree Pkwy
Norcross, GA 30092

11:30 am - 6:00 pm: Cheering Station
Duluth Monarch School

3057 Main St.
Duluth, GA 30096

Sunday, October 25

7:45 am - 9:30 am: Cheering Station
4950 Peachtree Industrial Blvd.
Chamblee, GA 30341

10:45 am - 1:30 pm: Cheering Station
Atlantic Stations
171 17th St.
Atlanta, GA 30363

5:30 pm: Closing Ceremony

Turner Field
755 Hank Aaron Dr. SW
, GA 30315

We hope to see you all out there along the trail!

With Love, Hope and LOTS of Walking! Happy Stepping! Happy Walking!

Team New Kids on the Walk