Supervixen never ceases to amaze me. She just called me from the airport, ready to board a plane to New York, her voice leaping like a dolphin in the surf. This weekend she will be walking in the Avon Breast Cancer Two-Day Walk through the city, a marathon on Saturday followed by a half-marathon on Sunday. Saturday night she will sleep in a tent city on Randall's Island Park.
Since May she has been walking nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. Her job at Delta starts at 3:30a which pretty much excluded getting a walk in during the cooler pre-dawn hours. Instead, she went when she got off work. The fact that she did most of her miles in the early afternoons of the bone-puddling Florida summer astounds me. One past Saturday, she planned to start a 16-miler at three in the afternoon. Temperature: 98°. Humidity: 70%, at least. Concerned about heat stroke, I gave her a detailed route that I used for my long runs that is mostly shady.
"Oh forget it," she said. "It's too convoluted. I'm just going to do my four-mile loop a few times."
I know about the four-mile loop. No shade. Busy streets. "Are you sure?"
"Don't worry. I'll be fine."
And of course, she was.
Vix has hooked up with a fellow walker on who lives on the coast. Together they do their long walks -- one week in town, the next at the beach. A few weeks ago they did their big double -- 20 miles on Saturday, 10 on Sunday. She completed that without a problem. Since then, they've done a 21-miler and a few shorter ones. New York will be a breeze.
However, there is the concern about her kidney.
After one of her walks several weeks ago, she called me in to the bathroom and pointed in to the toilet. "What do you think that means?"
It looked like someone had poured a cup of coffee in to the bowl.
"It means that you're going to the doctor on Monday."
A few visits and tests (including a CAT scan and a cystoscopy) later, she learned she has a kidney stone. "If this screws New York," she said, "I'll be pissed."
After another nervous visit, she received the all-clear to go ahead and travel and do the walk. She goes nowhere without a 96-ounce jug of water to sip from constantly. The pain has been dull and nagging with spikes of intensity, but she hasn't felt anything for the past few days. Or so she says.
Besides the physical accomplishments, she has demolished her fundraising goals. The walk requires everyone to raise at least $1800. She raised that pretty early on, has now raised $3053.00, and the money keeps pouring in.
This morning was one of the rare ones when our alarms went off at the same time. We danced around each other in the bathroom, and I double-checked that she had packed everything.
"Are you going to be OK with all this?" I said, looking at her frame pack, sleeping bag and carry-on. "Have you got everything?"
"I'm fine, I'm fine," she said. "And if I need anything, I'm in my city. I'll pick it up there."
I rushed out the door to work. As the door closed, I thought I heard her shout something. I opened it back up. "What?"
"I love you." She never says that, expecting it to be felt yet silent.
"I love you, too. I know you'll have a great time."
RunningHammer raced me to the car, drew a happy face in the dew-covered window and raced back in to the house, trailing a string of ByeDaddyIloveyouDaddyHaveagreatdayatworks behind him like the tail of a kite.
I won't see her until Monday, but hearing her so incredibly excited and stoked for something more than makes up for the absence.
Update: Supervixen finished the 26.2-mile walk in 7:20, maintaining an average pace of around 15:30 miles. Actually, since she said it took about an hour to go the first mile because of the bottleneck at the starting line, she must have really been cooking for part of it. Her back felt fine the whole way, and she said it has been an unforgettable experience.