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!