Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Hydration & the Importance of Socks

If you didn't know by the scorching temperatures, its SUMMER!
I actually walked 4 miles tonight in 90 degree heat. It wasn't too bad. The most important thing you can do before braving the heat is to make sure you are hydrated. Drink water, and drink more water. Filling your water bottle with ice and put it in the freezer approx. 2 hours before a walk, this helps to keep the water cold and keep you cool during the walk. If your walking and you can feel your fingers swelling and getting tight, you are not hydrated. For more tips on proper hydration, check out Leanne the Walkers two posts: Dehydration Disaster & The Importance of Hydration. Also, check out 60 Miles post on the Heat!

Bottom line, keep yourself hydrated!

Now, socks. You want to make an investment here, trust me. Those cotton socks you may have are not going to be your friend. When your feet get hot, they start to sweat and without proper socks that absorb the sweat, next thing you know you have hot spots, that turn into blisters. These are not fun, and even when you have the most expensive, and best rated socks there are, if you don't change your socks enough, odds are you will develop blisters. There is a great slide show on how to prevent blisters and treat them on the 3-Day website. (don't let the pictures scare you!)

In 2008, the first year I walked, I changed my socks 3 to 4 times a day. I covered my feet with Vaseline or body glide (helps with the friction between foot-sock-shoe) each time, and I never had one blister. I was not so lucky in 2010. I changed my socks several times, made sure my feet were "lubricated" but I didn't listen to my feet on day 1. At the end of day one, I pulled my final pair of socks off and saw several hot spots. I knew they were there, but I wasn't listening. This could easily been fixed by applying band-aids or moleskin to protect those areas. I hobbled through the end of day 2, spent a good bit of time having a podiatrist pop my blisters, and by the end of day 3, I walked the last 5 miles in flip flops. If you don't want your feet to look like mine, be sure you invest in good socks, change them frequently, and make sure you use Vaseline and/or Body Glide. And guess what Atlanta Walkers? You have 21 weeks to find the right socks and what works for you!

I wear Balega International socks. Must running stores carry them (If you in Atlanta, check Big Peach or Phidippides.) These socks give me the perfect amount of padding/support on the bottom and ventilation at the top. I have never tried another sock that I liked as well as the Balega. Most are too thick for me. When you are fitted for your shoes, get a recommendation for a good sock, buy a pair and try them out. This is how I discovered my love for Balegas! Many of my walking buddies like Thorlos. Its up to you, but find out this summer during your training walks what you prefer. Please, please and please, do not wear a 100% cotton sock. You will hate yourself, I guarantee.
One more thing... stay away from the pedicures this summer! It may sound gross, but you need calluses that you build up during training. Try to take care of your feet and make sure that your heels don't crack by soaking them in Epsom salts and moisturized with foot lotion.  I personally prefer peppermint foot lotion after a long walk and a salt soak.

Remember, hydrate and invest in good socks!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Easy AND fun fundraising...yes, it's possible!

Hi there! I am another guest blogger along with Erin and am here to let you in on a fund raising event that has been a success for me the past two years and is a cinch to pull off. 

First, who am I? I'm Amy, I work with Crystal and have known her for 4 years now. I guess being one of the youngsters in our office, it was natural that we connected and became friends. I really lucked up,too. Crystal is wonderful! I really admired her when she did her first walk in 2008 and after hearing about it, seeing pictures and researching the Susan G. Komen foundation I took the plunge in 2010 and had the time of my life raising money to hopefully one day get rid of breast cancer for good. I'm excited about walking again with her in 2011! And my reason for going pink? Because I have no reason not to, simple as that. I do not have a direct connection at this time, but know handfuls of people who have. I am a woman, I have breasts, therefore, I walk! 

Crystal and I at the 2011 Atlanta Race for the Cure

Fundraising comes easy to some people. They have scores of people who donate generous amounts of money time after time and that $2,300 minimum is nothing. I'm not one of those people. I do have my donors who graciously donated, but not in high amounts(high amount being $100 or more per individual). And, that is perfectly fine, there is nothing wrong with that. The economy is down so people can't donate to things as they'd like so if we're going to commit to $2,300 then we need to get creative about how we raise the money. 

And, we shouldn't be dumping high amounts of money into events to raise money either. Why not use it to donate to ourselves if we're spending extravagant amounts? That would only be productive if we got back what we spent plus A LOT more. And, again, I'm not one of these people. And, again, not a problem!

And that is why I have had two Pampered Chef parties to benefit the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure! I'm assuming most of you know are familiar with the brand and how it works. It's like Avon or Mary Kay, except it's high quality cooking/baking products. Check out My Party Page to check out the products and to order(my party closes Friday May 27).

My aunt and cousin in-law attended a party last year and realized I could host an event and receive a percentage of the total sales as a donation instead of hostess benefits. They connected me with my consultant and shortly after I had a party and earned around $200 AND the consultant donated items to the yard sale I held as a fundraiser. So, two birds with one stone, not bad! 

The thing about these parties is that I am usually a very busy person and the planning for this event is minimal. All I did was choose a date, choose a menu and send some invites. And, I spent next to nothing to host it. I did buy the ingredients to make dinner and dessert, but that's money I'd be spending anyway for food. And, it was simple ingredients. A lot of things you would probably already have. So, who could pass up a party when you get served dinner? You can also get a little fancy and do a theme. For me, it was fitting to have a pink lava cake for dessert(which was cooked using Pampered Chef products) and I hosted the party in May which is one of Pampered Chef's cancer awareness months and they feature pink products! And, a lot of my guests wore pink. But, the possibilities are endless. You could serve pink drinks, pink snacks, decorate your kitchen in pink, etc. etc. to really set the mood. It's very important you let people know that this is a fundraising event and you aren't getting regular hostess benefits(even though, your consultant may offer you some discounts on certain items). Some people are more inclined to buy products knowing that they are also contributing to a good cause. 

Also, you can also spend NOTHING to earn money. You can just have a catalog party. A catalog party is just that, you pass out catalogs and people just order that way. However, having the party is more fun. 

Another important thing to consider is asking the consultant if she can write the check directly to you. This way if you can get the money matched, then that $200 is $400. Some consultants may be able to do this, but others may not, you just have to ask and make sure you can get documentation they need. 

Following up and reminding everyone of your party and the amount of time they have to order is essential. Everyone is busy these days, so utilize your mass texting feature on your phone, send a few emails, create an event on Facebook and keep it updated. Also, sending a good old fashion hand-written invitation works as well!

Something else to consider if you have the time to commit would be to actually become a Pampered Chef consultant. This way you'd be earning your money yourself.

Finding a consultant is easy. If you visit the Pampered Chef website you can pull up a list of consultants in your area if you don't already know one or know someone who knows one. And, remember, the consultants may also be willing to donate a little extra money with the percentage you get from the total sales you do or they may help out in some other way(example, mine donated items for the yard sale). So, ask these things. Ask if they would like to help in any other way or know someone who might. This is just another networking opportunity so take advantage!

And those are my two cents on a fundraising event that anyone can do. It's a fun way to get family, friends(new and old) together to have dinner and desserts and to raise money for breast cancer awareness.

Til next time!

-Amy Hodges
2011 Atlanta 3-Day Walker

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


The past three days I have been on a mini-vacation. Vacation means you don't check your email, facebook, twitter, you get the idea. I somewhat obeyed that rule, I didn't check my work email! (ha!) Two major and exciting events occurred while on vacation. The first being, I had an email from Komen congratulating me for meeting my $2,300 fundraising minimum! I'm not going to let that stop me either, a minimum is just a minimum! Every dollar donated is the dollar that will get us to the cure! Team fundraisers are coming too! We will all be at $2,300 plus before long, I know it!

Second, the lovely Kristen Cincotta featured several 3-dayers on her blog today! I was honored and surprised! Thank you! Be sure you check out her new blog plus her blog features mentioned in her post! I always love to find a new blog to read, and I am constantly moved by our connections to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Thank you again Kristen!

Just a little complaint to my readers too, I check my stats, I know you are out there, a lot of you. So why only 12 followers and very few comments? Whats up with that? Unless, my dad is clicking on my blog 40+ times a day to humor me, I have readers out there, somewhere. So let me know who you are! 

I couldn't not post a vacation picture! This is who I spent the past 3 days with! If anyone could love the beach more than me, its the worlds best boxer, Anne!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Race for the Cure

Could this past weekend been more perfect for the Race for the Cure & Mothers Day? I personally cannot think of a better way to kick off Mothers Day weekend than with 18,000 friends all walking for the same cause! If you've never participated in a Race for the Cure, you need to!

This is the 5th year my family & I have participated in the Atlanta Race for the Cure and the 3rd year in a row that we have walked with Toni. Check out her jersey in the photos below. That purple 06 stands for her 6th birthday, aka CANCER FREE! It was a pleasure, as always to walk with my mom, her bff  Toni and so many friends for 3.1 miles. Looking forward to next years walk and to see Toni wearing her 07 jersey!

fyi, picture overload ahead!
Happy Mothers Day!!
Toni, our 6 Year Survivor right there!
 2011 Atlanta 3-Day walkers!
Runner right here... 27 min, not bad for someone who the day before replaced an exhaust manifold aka hard intensive manual labor. The only reason I mention that is... I heard "there is no way I'm running tomorrow." He ran, I enjoyed my social time!

Friday, May 6, 2011

24 Weeks!!

Its that time! I was excited to this this in my email this morning. If you haven't started training,  now is the time to start! Starting the 24 week countdown & the Atlanta Race for the Cure this weekend, I'm getting pretty excited!

The3Day.org Participant Center Komen.org
Virtual Personal Trainer Sponsored by New Balance
Countdown: 24 Weeks
Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® would like to thank New Balance, the official training partner of the 3-Day for the Cure, for sponsoring the Virtual Personal Trainer.

Your 24-Week Training Schedule for This Week
Monday   Rest    
Tuesday   3 miles   Easy walking
Wednesday          Rest    
Thursday   3 miles   Moderate walking
Friday   30 minutes   Easy cross-training
Saturday   3 miles   Easy walking
Sunday   3 miles   Easy walking
Tough Warrior Princesses shim New Balance Training CornerThere’s nothing like the enthusiasm and encouragement of a team to keep you motivated. We here at New Balance salute you for joining the team of more than 50,000 supporters who will be participating throughout 2011 in the fourteen different
Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure events across the United States. Deb Studebaker, a multi-year veteran of the 3-Day for the Cure, knows how to keep the motivation amongst her team. The motivation of the Boston-based Tough Warrior Princesses is contagious. Together, New Balance and Susan G. Komen for the Cure® are making excellent happen.
Skip to Your Fundraising Step of the Week: Fundraise with Facebook

Training Tip of the Week: Your Training Program
Training for an endurance event like the 3-Day involves three things:
  • Developing muscular strength and endurance
  • Building cardiovascular fitness
  • Experimenting with exercise gear, diet and fluids
Muscular strength and endurance is exercise specific. Walking is not the same as running; your feet hit the ground further back on your heel with your toe higher in the air and then you roll farther off the toes with each stride. Runners may never develop the arch support or mid foot strength needed by a walker. Your brain needs to learn which muscles to use and your body needs to develop the strength to walk. Not just for one mile but for 20 miles. Nothing trains you better functionally for walking than walking itself.

Cardiovascular activity can be developed with any aerobic activity. Cross-training has been included to decrease injury while building muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness. This can include cycling, swimming, rollerblading, Pilates or any whole body physical activity.

Experimenting with walking shoes vs. running shoes, socks, waistpacks, backpacks, shorts vs. tights, etc. is an essential part of training to prevent blisters, chafing and injury. Walking while drinking sports drink, practicing pre-event, on-event and post-event routines for diet and especially fluid management is very individual and may require trial and error.

Your suggested training program allows for all three components of training. Cross-training to build your fitness, many long walks to experiment with equipment and diet, and, most importantly, a graduated increase in walking mileage. Note the moderate intensity training days where you can add periods of increased speed or hills to increase your endurance.

As you train, it is important to listen to your body. Often injuries, strains or areas of inflammation may not show up for 1-2 days after a training session. This program is only a guide, try to do as much as you can, but please do so safely.
Your Fundraising Step of the Week: Fundraise With Facebook Now that you’ve installed the 3-Day Facebook application, don’t stop there! Update your Facebook status each week with a new message about your fundraising and training progress. Designate “Facebook Fundraising Friday” - every week on Friday, include a link to your personal fundraising webpage in your Facebook status.

Log in to your Facebook page right now.

NOTE: Each 3-Day participant is solely responsible for all fundraising efforts in connection with his or her participation in the 3-Day for the Cure, including compliance with all applicable laws. Before fundraising, be sure that your fundraising idea or event complies with all applicable rules and laws.

NOTE: The health, safety and training information provided to you in connection with your participation in the 3-Day is not intended to replace or be construed as medical advice and any such information is not a substitute for seeking medical advice or treatment from your medical provider. Before starting any exercise program or following any recommendations, advice or other instructions regarding training for the 3-Day for the Cure, you should first consult a physician and have a physical examination.
pink ribbon Breast Health Fact: More than 458,000 people worldwide die from breast cancer each year.