I can never fall asleep the night before the first day of the walk. I'm not a great sleeper anyway but this just seems to push me over the edge on the insomnia front. But I also know I'm far from alone. I was text messaging my buddy Tommy Sablan (Little Tommy) earlier today and he said he never sleeps the night before either. So we've agreed to meet at the fairgrounds before dawn in a blurry eyed stupor and enjoy our sleep deprivation together. I'm carrying a Five Hour Energy Drink in my walking pack just in case I need that extra boost to make it up Torrey Pines on the first leg of our journey. The coffee is in the coffee maker, ready to go. I have all my clothes laid out... which involves a lot of layers this year because we are not expecting very warm weather over the next three days. I'm dreading the slight possibility of even light showers on Saturday but prepared for it none the less.
I think one of the best parts of the day for me, aside from the experience of walking, is meeting up with my CBS8 co-workers at the finish line. I've been at the station for eight and a half years now and they've really become like family to me. It's also been incredible to see the support from everyone at KFMB. I may be the one walking but the whole station is so supportive of the effort. I'm very lucky to be where I am.
I'm also rewarding myself with a little pampering at the end of the third day. I usually finish early and have discovered the sheer joy in taking a hot bath or shower before returning for the closing ceremony. I really think it's what enables me to show up for work the next day. Last year I got a room at the Hard Rock Hotel which is right across the street from the finish line at Petco Park. The staff spoiled me with a lovely platter of food and the shower was like ten minutes of heaven. My muscles were very thankful! I ended up spending the night in the room with my daughter, who was 12 at the time, and we sat up in bed eating chocolate and watching the American Music Awards. She's 13 now and loves the idea of making this a routine so we're all set for this Sunday night. But right now I'm focusing on tonight, the glass of red wine on the table beside me that I hope will help me fall asleep... and the thousands of wonderful people I will join in Del Mar in the morning.