Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 3

Last night, I finally unpacked my 3-day bag. Yes, the Atlanta 3-day was 3 weeks ago. Don't worry, I did take out all of the clothes and threw them in the wash as soon as I got home! I walked past my bag several times a day, but didn't have the energy to put everything away. Nor, did I have the energy to put my thoughts and experiences together for my blog. Life doesn't always go as planned, and my 3-day didn't go as planned. If you know me, you know that I eat, breath and sleep SGK and when I couldn't walk, I was devastated. I walk for those who can't, and not walking on day 3, I was defeated, I felt I let down my team and more so, I let down all of my supporters. 

I'll start with the end. After an amazing Day 2, we all got back to camp, took showers and headed to stretch and dinner. I was feeling good, no blisters and ready for day 3! I have always bragged about the great food that is served in camp. Saturdays night dinner was less than thrilling, and I am not just saying that because I got sick. We all had dinner and stuck around for the beginning of the dance party. Everyone was tired so we headed back to our tents to settle down for bed. I couldn't sleep and wasn't feeling my best. I got up to look for a sprite or seltzer water. I couldn't find one and asked one of the crew members. Before they could find me a sprite, I was sick. I will spare you the details, other than I was up no less than fifteen times throwing up. Around 2 am, I realized I couldn't keep doing this. I sent one of my crew friends a text. About 30 min later she showed up at my tent. In a matter of moments she woke up a the med crew and had Amys husband up to assist me to the med tent. I spent the rest of the night with an IV and telling myself I'd be ready to walk.

I realized when I left the med tent, I wasn't going to be able to walk many miles if at all. I sent my team off and headed to the showers and to pack. I was exhausted and emotional. I put my bag on the gear truck and headed to find Ashley, my crew and savior. She arranged for a sweep van to pick me up and take me to the first pit stop. I got in the sweep van, my first sweep ride ever, and started crying all over again. Thankfully, I had amazing ladies who had me laughing by the time they got me to the pit stop. I managed to walk the 3 miles to the next pit stop with my team. Exhaustion was setting in, and I knew if I was going to walk later I needed to rest and get to lunch. I arrived at lunch and hopped on a coach bus for a nap. But there was no sleeping for me. About the time my team met me, I knew there was no way I could walk anymore. I called Mike to pick me up. The defeat that I felt at 4am was no where near the defeat I felt when I left my team and all of the walkers behind. 

Mike and I headed to Turner Field, where my family met us to cheer the walkers in to the finish. Being a cheerleader was something new for me, and sitting there cheering on walkers and telling them "Its all down hill from here" gave me a bit of my 3-day spirit back!
 I walked in with the team. We did it, and my amazing friends walked for me and finished strong for all of our supporters!
 I spent the next three days recovering from (apparent) food poisoning. I've yet to eat chicken since, and I have a feeling I'll never eat poultry again. But you know what, none of that matters and its taken me a while to come to terms, this is life and you can't control everything! No matter what, if I walked on day 3 or not, we raised awareness and made a huge impact on Atlanta. Along the lines of 6.5 million dollar impact! The impact to live in a world without breast cancer is all that matters and we succeed. One day it will be more than just 3 days, it will be every day.

Day 1 & 2 wrap up coming soon!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Final Thoughts

I remember my first 3-day walk three years ago, I had nerves, anxiety and apprehension  of the 60 miles that were ahead of me. Here we are, three years later and the nerves, anxiety and apprehension I once had are replaced by excitement. Susan G. Komen for the Cure had become part of who I am, and I wouldn't change a thing.

If this is your first 3-Day, try to put any nerves or anxiety behind you and know that the 3 days and 60 miles ahead of you will be life changing. You will not be alone at any point over the next 3 days. Don't be afraid to talk to other walkers and share stories.  A great place to chat with others is while you are in line at the port-a-potties. Change your socks often and have your friends and family at cheering stations. Don't worry if they can't make it to every stop, because there will be others cheering you on and giving you words of encouragement.  There is no such thing as a stranger. If you forgot something, don't be afraid to ask someone. Be sure you have tissues, because you'll need them. There is no shame in taking a ride on the sweep van! After, 3-days you will be tired, sore, you may have blisters, your feet and legs might ache, but remember, all of those aches and pains are just temporary and could never compare to the treatment a cancer patient has to endure. Take it all in and enjoy the in closing ceremonies with your supporters by your side!
I have enjoyed every second of this blog! A big thanks to my friends and 3-Day alumni.  especially, Amy and Erin for jumping in and helping me out. Thank you to my followers for taking the time to read my blog!

Here we go Atlanta, its that time!

Monday, October 17, 2011

After the Walk

This week as you are packing and getting ready for the walk, start thinking about the Sunday and Monday after the walk! In previous walks, when I get home Sunday night, the first thing I always want to do is to take a long bath. This weekend I made sure I was ready with Epsom salts for a long soak! In addition, I am stocked up on a few of my favorite snacks and easy meals to prepare for the following week. Hopefully, my house will stay clean which will help me relax next week.

If you haven't already, and are able, plan to take Monday after the work off. Sleep in, relax and make a massage appointment for yourself! 

I am so ready for the Atlanta 3-Day!

Saturday, October 15, 2011


You thought I was packed didn't you? Have you checked the Atlanta weather? Tights or shorts, capri pants, gloves, heavy jacket? Pink has taken over my guest room! At this point I'm not sure what I will be wearing, which calls for a shopping trip to Target and REI. Don't worry husband, I left the tags on everything, and I am almost positive that half of it will be going back. I'm just trying to avoid a last minute frantic shopping trip Thursday night! Happy Packing everyone!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

3-Day Packing, pt. 2

Have you started to thinking about packing and what you are going to wear for the Atlanta 3-Day yet?  (Be sure to check the complete pack list) The one challenge that the Atlanta walk has is that October weather can be very unpredictable. We have trained all spring and summer in shorts and tanks, and now it looks like we will be trading them in for tights and under armor! Keep an eye on the forecast this week, so we can all be better prepared and avoid last minute frantic shopping trips!

A few tips on what and how to pack your bag!
Even though, we are not camping outdoors, I still plan to use the traditional 3-Day ziplock method! Ziplock method is simply putting everything in ziplock bags to protect your shoes, clothing, sleeping bag, etc. from getting wet from camping. Hopefully, we won't be worrying about gear getting wet, but using the ziplocks are a quick and easy way to find exactly what you need! I pack my clothes by day and label each bag.  Right now in each bag, I have tights, shorts, under armour, t-shirt, 3 pairs of socks (1 to put on and 2 new pairs for the pack) gloves, hot hands and an optional jacket and hat in another bag! My second pair of shoes go in a bag, so I can swap out my shoes and put the old ones in the bag after the switch. This helps, because if they are dirty or wet they won't harm the rest of my gear.
I also have found this method is useful in helping to make your trip to the shower truck easier! On Friday when you arrive at camp, you will pick up your bag, put your tent together, and then you will be ready for a shower. Grab you PJ bag, toiletry bag and shower shoes, throw them in your shower back pack, head to towel pick up and the shower truck! Then dirty clothes into the PJ bag and back to your tent!
One type of item that you should avoid packing is a hair dryer/flat iron/curlers! We may be camping "indoors", but this doesn't mean unlimited outlets! You also don't want to be that person blow drying your hair while others need to brush their teeth so they can get to bed. I know this sounds gross, but I don't wash my hair during the event. I have long thick hair, that takes 20+ minutes with a hair dryer, and I'm not one to air dry my hair. My hair goes in a bun and I wear a hat or the seamless wrap. After all, we're not walking to show off our hair styles!

Be sure you are prepared with a couple under armour shirts. Layers are key! Typically, I will wear a tank, under armor, t-shirt, shorts and gloves with a hot hand. If its really cold (45 degrees or below) you'll see me in tights with a jacket too! As the day goes on and temperatures climb I will take the under armor and/or tights off and throw it in my pack and tie my jacket to my pack. I've also been known to hand off layers to the husband or my parents if I see them at a cheering station to keep my pack light! Hopefully, we won't need this many layers and this won't be an issue! Previous years, we have walked past tons of shops we could make a quick stop and buy whatever we needed. With the new route, we might not have this option.

Even though, we are camping indoors, I'm still bringing my air mattress, sleeping bag and head lamp.  Don't forget to work on your tent decorations too! Erin wrote a great post about camp details!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

3-Day Packing, pt. 1

Meet my 3-Day bag. This is an old piece of luggage that I've had for at least 10 years. I won't care if it gets damaged, wet, the zipper breaks, or if the wheels finally fall off.
 You can use a nice piece of luggage, but I warn you, accidents and damage may happen, such as, a broken zipper or the fabric splitting. Did I mention that  the pink bag below was a borrowed piece of luggage? Imagine giving that back to your friend!
You may not be able to see it too well, but the bag ripped at its seams before we even left the hotel and had our luggage loaded. We ended up duct taping the bag so nothing would fall out.

Like I said before, when packing for the 3-Day, the number one thing you want is a bag on wheels. The duffel bags on wheels seem to work the best. You have extra pockets to stay organized and can fit more than you could with a regular suit case. You will want the mobility of the wheels. Your bag may seem light when you drop it off, but I can promise you that after walking 20 miles, it won't be so light!

Next thing, make sure your bag is identified with your name, contact information and walker id. Luggage tags are a great way to do this and will help you identify your bag as well. These are our team luggage tags from last year. We printed them on regular paper and laminated them at one of the office supply stores. The heavy duty laminate is almost indestructible and it worked perfectly! 
Another tip, take a picture of your luggage tag as one of your first photos on your camera. If you lose your camera during the route, this provides an easy way for the 3-Day crew to find you. I have heard many stories of walkers being reunited with their camera during and after the walk!

When you first arrive at Stone Mountain, you will see several trucks lined up for you to drop your luggage off. You will know which truck, since it's printed on your credentials, which is normally based on tent location. It may look like mass early morning chaos, but it's really not! The crew are pros and you will be surprised at how easy you will find your bag after you complete day 1!
Next up, what you put in the bag!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

What about the Pack?

I've been asked a couple times in the past month about what type of waist pack to use during the 3-day event. Be sure to check out this post at the end for more information on waist packs. Meet my pack. I ordered it from in 2008. I keep thinking I will replace it with a newer and fancier one, but never get around to it! Besides this one is broken in!
Most important feature, is to have a waist pack with dual bottle holders. Water bottles should have a wide mouth and be easily refilled.
  • Extra Socks! Keep at least one extra pair with you if not two or three. If it rains, you will want extra dry socks. If we have high temperatures, again you will want additional socks.
  • Blister Care Kit (Band-aids, blister pads, mole skin, alcohol wipes and Neosporin) The Medical Tents will have all of these supplies as well but nice to have your own in case of emergency on the route.
  • Nail Clippers and Scissors
  • Vaseline and/or Body Glide: for your feet
  • Hand Sanitizer/Anti-bacterial wipes & Sunscreen
  • Poncho and other rain gear
  • Mylar Blanket: these can be used on a cold morning and as a blanket to sit on during lunch
  • KT Tape: I found this product last year when I was experiencing minor knee pain. I hear its great for shin splints, planters fasciitis, lower back pain and others!
  • BioFreeze: This product is also available at the Med Tent, I just have my own!
  • Hot Hands: For a cold morning,you can put these in your gloves or pockets to help keep you warm. (gloves not pictures)
  • Seamless Wrap: Perfect to use as an ear wrap in the morning, keep your hair out of your face and keep your hair dry if its raining.
  • Camera
  • Zip Lock Bags
I used the ziplock bags to keep everything organized and dry so I can easily accessed during the walk.  Don't worry about forgetting something. What you don't have your teammate or Med Tent will have for you! I am pretty sure I'm a known notorious over packer, I just think I'm extra prepared! Don't forget to check out the complete pack list for more packing essentials!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Atlanta 2-Day & New Research

This past weekend was the Atlanta 2-Day, in which my mom and Erins mom both participated. I am very proud of them for their fundraising efforts and (raising over $2,800 between the two of them!) and for walking every step of the 30 miles! I may have heard my mom say she was thinking about the 3-Day next year! Way to go Moms & Thank You!

If you have donated or completed a walk for Breast Cancer, you are part of the road to the Cure! If you haven't already heard, there is very a promising new study from the Penn State College of Medicine that was published last week.

In tissue culture dishes in the laboratory, 100 percent of the cancer cells are destroyed by the virus within seven days, with the majority of the cell death proteins activated on the fifth day. In another study, a fourth breast cancer derived cell line, which is the most aggressive, required three weeks to undergo cell death.

Read more on Penn States website. I hope you will continue to follow this research with me! Its an amazing feeling to be part of something this immense! (Right Mom & Cindy??)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Today, September 20th is Mike and I's 3rd wedding Anniversary! Its amazing how time flies, as it seems like we should only be celebrating our first anniversary! 

Today is a happy day for us, and a day to celebrate! However, there is another anniversary I look forward to celebrating soon, which is the end of cancer. Last week, I was asked if I would participate in the Opening Ceremonies of the Atlanta 3-Day next month and carry a Future Flag! The flag I was asked to carry is Anniversaries! This flag symbolizes future anniversaries in the world without breast cancer and our determination that there will be a cure for breast cancer in our lifetime. If I was asked to carry any flag, I would have accepted it without hesitation, but I don't think I could have been chosen for a more perfect one. Look for me this year, because I'll be on stage proudly carrying the Anniversary flag!

2010 Opening Ceremonies

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Hill Training

If you haven't been stalking the Spectator Info site to get a rough idea of where we'd be walking this year, you don't know that our walk is likely to have the majority of the miles ITP! (inside the perimeter, 285) This is a new course for the veteran Atlanta walkers, which is exciting! For those of you who are not Atlanta natives, you probably don't know how hilly Atlanta can be! I'd almost put money on it that we will see hills that don't compare to Cardiac Hill  or Colony Square Hill on day 3! Don't let the hills scare you, because you can do it.  

If you have been following the training plans and keeping up with your cross training, those hills will not bother you! 

In 2008, when I completed my first 3-day, I can tell you that I did not train with enough hills, and many of my training walks involved relatively flat courses. I remember really struggling on the final day. My knees were killing me, and day 3 was the day we walked through hilly downtown Atlanta.  The course included a couple ominous hills like "Cardiac Hill" and "Colony Square Hill". I remember thinking about a piece of advice my dad has given me for years as I approached each hill.  He'd say, "your body can do what the mind can visualize". To add to that, I remembered the first time I saw my mom's best friend Toni, when she was going through chemo. I visualized myself completing all 60 miles of the Atlanta 3-day Walk for the Cure, so Toni never had to see another chemo treatment. Thinking about her helped me as I pressed on for the CURE! 

Take on those hills, because, you can do it! Your blisters will heal, the soreness in you knees will go away, you will recover from a 60 mile walk! Right now, cancer is in our world, and while I wholeheartedly believe we will live in a world without cancer very soon, today we are not there. Keep pressing on, the goal is in sight (another quote from the pops). Thanks to SGK for the Cure, we will see the day! Keep Pressing On!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Social Media at its Worst

In case you were wondering, my bra is pink, I like my purse on the chair, my shoe size is 7, I'm zero weeks, and I'm always craving heath bars. Now, when are we going to talk about the real issue, CANCER?
Its that time of year, again, where mysterious facebook status start to pop up leaving people questioning. Last year, there was a little bit of national attention from women posting the color of their bra as their facebook status. Then later in the year, we started to see "I like it on the floor." Translation, another message was sent around to women to post, where they like to put their purse. Another example, posting your shoe size, and most recently fictionally posting about how many weeks pregnant you are and the type candy you are craving. When the first post started about posting of bra colors, I did not participate and took the attitude, if it reminded one woman to do her monthly self breast exam, why not? But more recently, I have been unable to figure out how posting a status without definition will raise any kind of awareness about Breast Cancer.

When I first saw any of these trends, do you know what I did? I didn't think about Breast Cancer. Wasn't that supposedly the point of all of the aforementioned trends? There has not been one mention of cancer in any ones status, but isn't the point education for awareness? I have no problem with non-traditional marketing to get a message across, but what kind of message are we providing here? This "campaign" has provided little if any awareness and no monetary contribution to research that will find the cure or recognition to survivors. 

I believe that we will find the cure for cancer in my life time, and if you haven't noticed this is my passion! I want to be part of this movement, because I believe wholeheartedly that I can make a difference. Sunday evening, I saw one too many of my friends posting about a fake pregnancy and the candy they were craving. I updated my facebook status to the following:
Seriously people, fake pregnancies and candy have nothing to do with Breast Cancer Awareness. If you want to do something, how about making a donation to a cause or sign up to actually do a walk for the cause. Here are a few suggestions, and when you make that donation or sign up, we can talk., or
Immediately, I had friends on my side and even re-posting my status. Thankfully, I realized that I'm not the only one who feels this way. One friend even took it to the next step, and immediately made a donation. Not only did she make a donation, but she made the following post:
My birthday is a few days away and Breast Cancer Awareness Month is just around the corner. For my half-way-to-50 present this year, I'd love it if everyone could donate to Crystal Elster's team for this year's Atlanta 3-Day for the Cure! There's a 'Donations' link on her blog: Whether $5 or $500, it all helps!! ♥
I was taken aback and even shed a few tears. I have not seen or talked to Alicia since college and she left for the Peace Corps. We've just been those typical facebook friends! Her kindness and belief in the cause helped spread the word to her 600+ facebook friends was truly amazing. Thank you Alicia for making a difference and spreading the word!
If I have not convinced you of anything, you obviously have not read Bridgets story. Maybe facebook status should trend to how many months of chemo/radiation you've had to endure, the drugs you've had to take, your side effects, and even more importantly, the celebration of being a survivor. Education & Awareness, People, pass it on.

Monday, August 29, 2011

53 days

I am really not sure how we got here, but we are 53 days away from the Atlanta 3-Day! How exciting! When I first started this blog, I made a list of topics that I wanted to write about. I've managed to write about a few of those topics, and I've had a little help along the way from Erin & Amy; but somehow this summer has slipped away from me. But, I plan to make the most of my 3-Day wisdom in the next 52 days!

The Highlights:
Importance of a proper Shoe Fitting
Hydration & Socks
Bridget: A Journey you should know about 
The Garmin, How far have I walked?

For the Future:
Why you need duct tape
You know your a 3-Day'er if...
Being Prepared for Camp
Punching it Out-Attack those Hills!
3-Day Men
The Night Before 
Walker Stalkers, part 2
Making the world a little smaller, the 3-Day way!
Thank You

Finally, as we are all waiting for our route information to be posted, (September 2nd!!)  one address that has been posted in news letters, is where to send mail to the Atlanta 3-Day participants. 

3-Day for the Cure Post Office
12195 Highway 92
Suite 114-36
Woodstock, GA 30188

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bunco for the Cure

How is fundraising going for you? If you haven't met your $2,300 minimum here is a great idea for you, you just need a friend that knows how to play Bunco and is a regular Bunco player!

Our idea for a Bunco fundraiser came to us earlier in the year, when Amy and I's boss was talking about her monthly Bunco game in her neighborhood. We asked if she'd be interested in helping us out with a Bunco for the Cure night. I hate to even take credit for this idea, because these wonderful ladies took our idea and did all the work for us! Prizes were donated, food was prepared and the neighborhood club house was ours for the night. The whole neighborhood was invited and Amy and I were overwhelmed with the hospitality and sense of community we felt! We had over 50 people come out and support, which was amazing!

If you have never played Bunco before,  there is no need worry, because it is an easy dice game based on chance & luck, and you will pick up fast! We got lucky to be with several experienced Bunco players. It was key to have someone explain the game and an experienced player at each table to help and keep score. But trust me, you catch on quick.
I just love seeing a room filled with Pink People!

Bunco served as a great fund raising event, because it gave everyone the chance to interact. We only knew our boss and her husband, another co-worker and of course my husband, Mike. Part of playing Bunco involves you moving tables when you win/lose (depending on if you're at the head table) and you really get the chance to play with almost every player if you have a large crowd. It's a time for people to ask you specific questions and get to know a little more about the SGK 3-Day and why you're doing it. You may even be able to pull off a little recruiting when you explain how things work. And, reassure once again that 60 miles is nothing! Plus raising $2,300 is easier than it sounds!
A Big Thank You to all who came out and supported us, we were able to raise over $600 and with a corporate match over $1200 for the CURE!
Clean Up Crew! Notice the pink shirt :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A journey you should know about...

If I didn't have a personal connection to take a stand against breast cancer, reading Bridget's story would be all I needed. I first talked about Bridget a few months ago when I volunteered for a 3-Day Get Started Meeting. The info session introduced to two new personal stories this year, that got my attention. One of those stories was about Bridget, a 27 year old woman who has been battling metastatic breast cancer since she was 21. Bridget and I are the same age. Cancer does not age discriminate. Cancer does not discriminate, period. She has no family history of breast cancer, and makes me ask, why her? Why not me? This could be me or any one of my friends.

I hadn't seen Bridget around much in the blog-twitter-sphere in the past months, and last week I found out why. A Huge Blow. I read Bridget's blog Friday night with tears in my eyes. Bridges blog, is a blog that needs to be read and publicized. Friends, I walk for my grandmother, my mom, for Toni, for my sisters, for our future and Bridget. This year and for the future, Bridget's name will be added to my pack. Hugs to you Bridget, and many thoughts and prayers coming your way.

If you didn't click the links above, add Bridget's blog to your reader and your thoughts:

Monday, August 1, 2011

How far have I walked?

As we are approaching the 2011 Atlanta 3-Day, our training plan mileage is climbing.  By now you've probably found a few walking routes and you know the mileage. With those miles increasing, I know the repetition of routes are getting pretty boring. I've been there! In the past, I used to plan out routes using Google Pedometer. It works, but it takes a little bit of time, you have to remember the route, and sometimes  your route changes mid-walk and your left to estimate your miles. Not that this is a bad thing, but there is a way to take out the guess work, allows for route planning, and gives you the ability to just walk. Meet the GPS watch! 
 I own the Garmin Forerunner 305. (Best Christmas present ever!) There are several different models of this watch, and several other brands you can check out at your local running store or sporting goods store. This watch is my insurance when I walk and has made a huge difference with training walks. While training this year, I can tell you I am getting extra  mileage in, and often if I am without my watch, even on those usual routes, I feel lost. 

After walks I download my stats. I am able to see my route, and can even sync it with Google Maps. I can also see that I am staying with Komen's recommendations for mileage time and pace.
 On Sunday, my teammate and friend, Amy & I walked 12.03 miles in 3 hours and 46 minutes. Our average pace was 18:49 minutes per mile with an average speed of 3.2mph. We burned 733 calories, and as you can tell from the chart, we had a pretty hilly walk towards the end!
If you do best by mapping out a route instead of using a watch, go for it and keep it up! The gps watch just takes out the guess work and allows you to walk with assurance that you are getting those miles.

Happy Training! 


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Walker Stalkers

I had a friend email me after my last blog post and ask: who are Walker Stalkers?  I wanted to reply, Dear Friend, this is my 3rd 3-Day walk and you don't know? Instead, I replied back, Thanks for my next blog post!

Walker Stalkers are hands down amazing.  A Walker Stalker is anyone who is just as dedicated to the cause as a walker and comes out to show their support. They show up rain or shine and always have a smile on their face, and sometimes they have a few surprises! You will see walker stalkers multiple times during the day and they are not just at cheering stations. If there weren't walker stalkers, I don't think the 3-Day event would be the same! 

Walker Stalkers come equipped in their finest Pink with homemade signs, costumes,  and decked out cars!
Walker Stalkers often provide good opportunities for photo ops along the route!
These Walker Stalkers will bring you to tears! A whole elementary school with signs and decked out in pink  cheering us on! It always amazes me how the community comes together!
Between the Coffee Kids or our Day #3 Buckhead Bartender, I'm not sure which stalker we look forward to more! I'm kidding there is no competition between these two!

Interested in being a Walker Stalker? Keep watching the Spectator Information for cheering stations and route information to be posted. Ever thought you might want to walk in a 3-Day event? This is a perfect way to get an idea of what the 3-Day Event is all about!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The 3-Day Kick Off

If you have been under a rock didn't know, this weekend was the official kick-off of the 3-Day season in Boston. My original plan was to see a little bit of Boston while being a Walker Stalker, however those plans didn't exactly work out. Luckily, I've had other ways to keep up with the Boston 3-Day happenings via Facebook and Twitter. I've been glued to my computer and phone this weekend watching the Boston walk. Way to go Boston walkers! You walked through extreme heat, rain, lightning & re-locations without complaint! You all rock, and we are that much closer to a cure because of you! 

Virtual 2011 Boston 3-Day for the Cure

This video is from Opening Ceremonies, a great way to introduce us to Dr. Sheri Phillips, the 3-Day national spokesperson & a little surprise for walkers! (Hope I'm not giving anything away!)

With heat index temps over 100 degrees, Day 1 was cut short. Buses were available to help cool walkers down!
Justin Bieber came to cheer walkers on!
I think these were a great investment considering the heat + rain!
Not only was the heat index over 100, but storms decided to roll in Saturday morning. I don't think that held anyone back!
Meet Dan, this is his 22nd 3-day event! Amazing!
Wouldn't be a 3-Day event without a marriage proposal, right? How Sweet!

During closing ceremonies,  it was announced that Boston walkers raised 4.8 million dollars! Thank you all for braving the extreme weather and making this years Boston event a huge success! 
Atlanta 3-day, hurry up and get here please! Maybe next year I will just have to sign up for a second event?? Or crew?

Cleavland, Ohio you're next. I'll be virtually stalking you as well.

(All photos from The 3-day)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

How Can I Help?

I always get a lot of questions about how to participate during the 3-Day event if  you live too far away to cheer on walkers. Well, there is a way! Each walk has their own post office that receives mail for walkers and crew leading up to the event. I can tell you from past experiences, receiving mail is a huge boost of confidence and support! A letter, card, gift card for restaurants along the route, or even colored pictures are great.  They are all greatly appreciated! Hey Walkers, don't forget to check your mailbox!

Check out the Spectator Information page for information for each city.
Boston:  Deadline July 12th (sorry I am late on posting this!)
Cleveland:  Deadline July 19th
Chicago:  Deadline July 26th
Michigan:  Deadline August 2nd
Twin Cities:  Deadline August 9th
San Francisco Bay:  Deadline August 30th
Seattle:  Deadline September 6th
Washington D.C.:  Deadline TBD
Philadelphia:  Deadline TBD
Atlanta:  Deadline TBD
Tampa Bay:  Deadline TBD
Dallas/Fort Worth:  Deadline TBD
Arizona:  Deadline TBD
San Diego:  Deadline TBD

Be sure to follow the directions:  Envelopes only, please. No boxes or large packages. Mail must be postmarked no later than the deadline in order to ensure delivery at the 3-Day Camp Post Office. Please note:  This address is not the actual location of camp, but a PO Box for mail delivery only. Any mail that is not received by the 3-Day by the date above or retrieved by the participant after the event will be destroyed. 

In addition, there is a Sweet Dreams treat you can send to a participant: Send your participant sweet dreams with a personal note and a sweet treat. For a $10 donation, you can send a personal message, along with a chocolate treat, to your participant at camp. Follow this link for more information and to send a “Sweet Dreams” treat. This is only available for a limited time, so please make your “Sweet Dreams” treat donation by the deadline on each event page.

If you can't be at the event to cheer a walker on, you can still show your support in several ways. I hope you all will consider sending anyone you know who is participating a little something! I will keep this page updated as new spectator information becomes available.  

What would a post be with out a photo or two! 


Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Morning Motivation

I had a little bit of a difficult time coming up with this post because I'm still a bit of a follower when it comes to preparation for the 3-Day. Basically, just tell me what works best and I'll do it. Crystal and Erin...they are the logistics gurus. They can prepare you for anything! Even non 3-Day related. So, ladies, thank you for that. Your knowledge certainly has taught me some things. I think I've wised up in my old age and I've come to learn that preparation is essential. Over preparing sometimes is good,too. I make lists, I check them off and I think of ALL possibilities when preparing for an event. And while coming up with this blog I thought I'd tell you a little about a very essential item you need for the 3-Day and that probably should be packed right along with your snacks and other necessities in your pack during training walks, but probably has not been on any of your lists.

I'm talking about your drive, passion and determination to get rid of cancer. FOR GOOD.

Now, I do not question anyone who is doing the 3-Day(walker, crew, supporter alike) about their heart, drive and passion. You signed up for this for a reason and you have to be a really committed person to devote so much of your time for about a year or more to be a participant in this event. So, I take every walker, crew member and supporter seriously about their efforts. But, I do know that life is also happening with all us during the months before these events. We can't focus 100% on the 3-Day 100% of the time(and, I'm talking about the training walks and fund raising event part). And, honestly, I don't think we need to all of the time because burn out will happen pretty quickly. However, even when we aren't fund raising or training, we can't lose sight of our end goal and maybe each day we need to devote some thoughts of who we are walking for so we don't lose sight of what we are really trying to achieve. And, we should also realize we can support people just by encouraging words, wearing pink and just being there for someone. Sometimes we do need others to bring things into perspective for us so we see clearly again and refresh our motivation to get out there and do what we came to do which actually isn't walking all 60 miles or raising $2,300... it's helping find a cure for cancer and supporting those who are having to face all those battles that come along with it. And, there are some people who can't lose sight because cancer is in front of them every single day. I consider myself fortunate in that my biggest worry the majority of the time is raising $2,300 which if you look at the big picture isn't a big deal at all.

This post is for the people who have worked hard with training and fund raising and maybe need to take a moment and think about what we are really trying to achieve when we sign up for the 3-Day. I don't doubt that you are keeping the 'why' you're doing all of this in your mind, but maybe you need to refresh and re-energize. Realize that fund raising events may not go perfect and that walks maybe a little hard for you, but in the end, it's not about you achieving those things(raising $2,300 and walking exactly 60 miles), but you chose to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself and that you're part of a movement that is going strong and will one day end breast cancer for good. And, even though raising $2,300 and walking 60 miles in three days is pretty much amazing in itself, we should all realize that we're doing it for the ultimate goal of completely wiping out breast cancer. THAT is your goal, that is what you should be working towards(or, walking towards maybe? :))


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Warm Weather Training Tips

Was it this hot last summer? If it was, my memory was erased from all the cold weather earlier on in the year! With the temperatures and heat index climbing this summer we all need to take extra precautions to stay safe! Here are a few tips that have worked for me!


First things First, Mom & Justin... I am talking directly to you here. Listen to what I have to say, because I will not be picking you up off the ground when you fall over from dehydration. I may or may not be serious here! Walking without water, or thinking a Dasani water bottle is enough, its not. Bottom line, if you're not having to make a pit stop every 3-4 miles, your not drinking enough water. If your urine is not clear, your not drinking enough water. With that being said...

Drink, drink and drink more water! At one time, I had a hard time drinking enough water before and during walks, I'd find my fingers swelling and feeling uncomfortable. I started setting goals for myself. Drink a liter of water before lunch, a liter after lunch, a liter while walking and another before bed. Walking while hydrated will make a huge difference in your performance. When LaCroix was a sponsor for the 2008 walks, I became hooked on sparkling water. I hear it's an acquired taste for some, but it definitely helps break up the monotony taste of water!

The night before a long walk, my trick is to freeze one of my water bottles. I fill it  75% with water and leave it with the cap off in the freezer. In addition, I put a 12oz Gatoraide in the freezer. Before the walk, I fill one waterbottle with ice water, the frozen bottle filled with water and the gatoraide in a coozy, which goes in my pack. Your water will stay colder for longer and around the time you hit 8 to 10 miles, pull out the gatoraide and you will have a nice slushy and an added boost!

Plan Your Walk
When I think of training walks, I think walking after work and Saturday & Sunday mornings. If you work full time like me, walking after work is a great option. Well, that was until we saw the heat index soar above 100! Walking at 5pm was no longer safe and waiting too late in the evening limits how long and far you can go. What about walking before work? I know what you thinking, crazy talk! I'm the first person to tell you, I value that sleep before work and many mornings I am pushing my  snooze limits. Granted my first before work walk was just this morning, but it is quickly going to become a weekly routine. Best parts, its cool and I have free time in the evenings again, did I mention I was energized for work? I will keep you posted of my progress with these early morning walks!

Weekend walks: I like to start them when the sun comes up, just like my new found before work walks! Starting them early gives you the benefit of cooler weather, and a longer time frame to get those miles in before the heat takes over! Be sure to apply your sunscreen before you head out too!

Plan Your Route
When I plan a route, I look for restrooms every 3-5 miles and a good snack stop. In the past McDonalds, Starbucks and Chick-Fli-a have been the winners. Take time when you are at a rest stop, enjoy the air conditioning, clean restrooms and re-fill those waterbottles with ice water and Gartoraide. Take advantage of snacking options too! Sometimes the protein bar I have packed isn't going to cut it or I don't have a taste for the one I packed. But a chicken biscuit or an order of hash-browns will satisfy me and boost my energy to get back out in the heat and finish! Oh, and Starbucks has the best tasting ice water!

What to Wear

My 3-day gear has become a little bit of an investment. In 2008, I found what worked and what didn't work, and it wasn't cheap. I love Target, an normally you can't go wrong, but... I am not a fan of Targets C9 gear. While cost effective, C9 shorts do not wick away the sweat and the tanks always found a way to rub me the wrong way. (Remember this is just my opinion!) You want to make sure your clothing is snug but not too tight. When you wear clothes that are too tight or  even too lose, it will cause friction that can result in chafing. I've invested in  Nike shorts, and haven't looked back since! In addition, I've seen many 3-day walkers wearing compression shorts underneath their shorts to prevent potential friction. In addition to Nike shorts, I prefer either Under Armour or Champion tanks without the built in bra. Now to a sports bra, avoid cotton at all costs and make sure its comfortable! Cotton will not wick away your sweat and will cause friction, which results in chafing.  I think I've already professed my love for Balega socks, no need to revisit! You will thank me for this tip, change your socks every 8-10 miles or more depending on the heat. Again, these are just a few tips of what I have found that works for me by trial an error! I still have all of the gear that didn't pass the test and I wear them on the short 2-5 mile walks, so it has not been a total loss!

Last weekend on the first long walk for the team, I had a team member that experienced a chafing issue, that actually cut her walk short. The extreme heat and improper gear was top blame and we were on the trail without our prevention tricks.  Since the location was on her leg, this could have been prevented by compression shorts and body glide or Vaseline. Applying, glide to areas that are prone to rubbing during a walk is key. This means between your legs, waist and arm area. Be sure your glide is with you during walks so that you are not caught far from home in an tough spot. Remember, if you feel a hot spot or something doesn't feel right when walking, stop and take a moment to reapply. We will be better prepared for the next walk!

One last tip, fabric softener will remove the wicking qualities from your gear! Be sure you are washing your walking cloths separate! (This is probably a good idea anyway!)

The Pack
It is key that you figure out what works for you before the event. I use the pack from the 3-day Shop, but most of my teammates use a Northface pack or a MoutainSmith. I've seen Camelbacks and backpacks, but remember the key is to find what works for you that will hold all of your necessities. At all times my pack includes, 2 waterbottles, 1 to 2 pairs of socks, (depending on mileage include more socks!) glide/Vaseline, blister kit with nail clippers, bandaids and neosporin, extra ziplock bags, cash & id, KT Tape ( I will talk about this product more later) protein bars/energy gel blast and my frozen gatoraide. If the weather looks iffy, I always include a poncho. I used to hate to wear a pack, and I'd carry my water bottles with me instead. The pack frees up your hands and allows you to plan ahead!

My last step before I head out on a walk is to Vaseline my feet! Just like with applying glide, this will prevent your sock from causing friction and developing blisters! Plan to reapply later! I've had a few nasty blisters in my time and learned my lesson! 

I hope some of these tips will help you prepare for the next couple of months of warm weather training and lead up to your walk! Be Safe & Happy Walking!

Monday, June 27, 2011

All in the Details

If you've never participated in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure you don't really know what to expect when it comes to the 3 Day camp. For me, it was the sea of pink tents and shower trucks (well stocked with HOT water) that surprised me the most.

One detail that I hadn't really th
ought about much before my first event (Atlanta 2008) was tent decorations. I had so much to think about like planning for poor weather and traveling from Arkansas for the walk that I didn't really think much about decorating until the last minute.

Why Decorate?

There are a few reasons to consider decorating your tent. One, there is a prize for the best decorations. Second, its a fun way to represent your team at camp. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it will help you find your tent in a sea of identical tents. If you uniquely decorate your tent it will greatly lessen your chance of returning to the wrong tent after a 2 am bathroom break. Your startled tent neighbors will thank you.

How to Decorate

When it comes to decorate your tent, the sky really is the limit. Something as little and as simple as attaching a glow stick or as big and complex as an over-sized stuffed bra will do the job. Start thinking now and be creative! maybe you'll win something. Just remember, you have to pack your supplies into your gear bag taking care to stay under your weight limit.

In 2008, I asked my mom to help us with decorations. My request was for it to have something reflective on it (to make it easie
r to be seen with our flashlight) and to use Florida State colors because Crystal is a big fan. This is what she made us!

(a far away shot...and yes I kno
w I look grumpy, this was after 40 miles and I was in a bit of pain). Here is an up close shot.

She used her hands as tracers and wrote on them "the journey is always shorter with friends by your side". I can't agree more!

Fast forward two years. For the
2010 3 Day I decided to make the decorations myself. We had 4 people on our team so I needed to make decorations for two tents. I decided to elaborate on our team name "My Racky Freedom". I found some camouflage fabric and added some pink and reflective touches to it. There was no mistaking who the occupants of these tents were!

The last example I have for you comes from the 2010 Twin Cities 3 Day. My Little Rock walking buddy traveled to that walk to participate with her mom and a family friend. She's very crafty and was able to create this awesome decoration. I think it speaks for itself. Erin is a military spouse and is now living in Germany and I miss them very much! Love you guys!

Some things to remember about decorating: have fun with it! Pack light and don't stress too much about it. And remember that duct tape and clothes pins are your friend (although that rule definitely applies to more at the 3 Day than just decorating).

Have any decorating questions? Comment below, I'd be happy to help!
I hope you are having a great summer!