Thursday, May 13, 2010

Train with it, walk with it.

If you talk to an experienced 3-day walker, one of the best pieces of advice they will give is, "train with everything that you plan on walking with." I completely agree with this advice, and with good reason:  what works for you (or the thousands of other walkers) might not work for me.  And just because it works while I walk my dog, doesn't mean it works at mile 18.

Case One: The Pack and Bottle

There is a split camp on the pack - to use a fanny-pack or a camelbak pack.  Both have their pros and cons.  Like a good newbie, before my first walk, I tired both.  The fanny pack rode up on my hips from the moment I set out.  Unfortunately, I was given "birthin' hips" and no matter how much I tried, the pack always ended up ... um ... right under the "girls."  Not comfy.

So I tried the camelbak.  Again I thank my genetics for a lovely attribute - I perspire.  (Well, lets be honest and less lady-like: I sweat, a lot.)  The camelback did not help with that problem, as my back quickly resembled a rain forest - humid, hot, and wet.  I also felt like I wasn't drinking enough with it on.  Not good either.

Then, I lucked out and found an awesome hand-held water bottle.  It was a constant reminder to "Drink!" plus, it had a little pocket for my chapstick and a tissue.  Awesome.

Then I decided to go against advice and try one of those draw-string gym bags - the kind a lot of people use to take their stuff into the shower.  It was comfortable, in didn't make me sweat, and it was just the right size.  Every training walk I went on I would wear it - from the 3-milers to the double whammy of 18/15.  Turns out, it was perfect.

Case Two: The Clothing

I must have tried a bazillion different shirt/shoe/sock/pant/undergarment combo's before I found the right one.  I took all the advice I could get - but again, "child-birthin' hips" got in the way.  Shirts rolled up, were too short, etc. etc.  Pants rode up, or were too hot.  Socks - oh lord, I could do a whole post on socks.  One day I thought I had hit the jackpot of a good clothing combo.  Then, 5 miles into a training walk, I almost had a mental breakdown (resembling The Shinning) due to rubbing that came from a tiny little tag that stuck out of the side seam.  Never. Again.

And one last thing before I digress: don't forget the underwear.  Right before the 2008 walk I found a perfect pair of dry-wicking undies.  Everyone on my last training walk swore by them!  Ummmm, yeah.  Did you see me at the mall ducking into the bathroom stall and changing them out at mile ONE?  Enough said.

Cases 3 - 8 Million

Every single one of the walkers who have come before you tell you the same advice because they have a story of their own.  I've heard from a woman whose pink costume turned her skin into a lovely shade of fuchsia, another who had an allergic reaction from her skin glide, and a guy who realized quickly how bad his shoes felt - on the morning of day one.

Don't be one of us.

Wear everything you plan to wear/use on the walk while you are training.
No exceptions.
The end.

PS - if you would like to try a new workout shirt come over to my other blog and enter to win a free Thriv natural performance shirt!  They get rave reviews.  Come enter here!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Top 5: Why you should be using the Message Boards

Since I officially started my training walks this past Saturday, it's time to start posting some more 3-day goodness!  Today you get 5 reasons why you should be using the 3-day message boards - especially if you haven't  started yet.

Just in case you don't obsessive check like I do know where it is, you can find the message boards by:

1) Logging into the Susan G. Komen 3-day for the Cure website
2) Hover over the grey "Participant Center" button at the top of the screen
3) Scroll down and click on "Message Board"

Here's a screen shot:
Now you know how to go there, let me tell you why to go there!

  • Inspiration.  We all have days when we just don't want to roll out of bed to take that 15 mile walk. "It's hot, it's early, it takes a long time."  Do you need a push?  Go to the message boards, read the stories of survivors or read the reasons why other participants walk or crew.  It will remind you why you are doing this, why it is important, and why you should just keep moving!
  • Connections.  Want to find someone to train with?  Want to find a team?  Want to find a person to fundraise with?  All can be found through the message board!  I have been lucky enough to find some great people that way for my walks and it made it so nice to see a familiar face while on the walk.  Even better is being able to meet someone you have chatted with a dozen times in person!
  • Fundraising.  My fellow walkers are brilliant.  They have wonderful fundraising ideas and resources - and to top it all off, they are willing to share!  From the most profitable event, to the easiest to put together, chances are there has been someone who has written about it on the boards.  And if not, just put out the call for information, and I can almost guarantee someone will get back to you within the day.
  • Training.  Blisters, clothing, fanny packs, oh my!  On the boards, there are walkers who have walked 5, 7, 11 times or more.  They can definitely lead you in the right direction for all of your training needs, and tell you things you never would have considered.  They know what the route might look like, they know the value of a good uncrustable.  They will help show you the way.
  • The 3-day Spirit.  There is something indescribable that goes along with joining the 3-day.  It's a feeling of camaraderie, of family.  You can get your first taste of it when you connect on the message boards.  I broke my foot 2 months before my first walk, and people I barely knew, from across the country were there to cheer me on and give advice.  Whether you are a walking vet or a newbie, a techie or not so much, they will welcome you with open arms - and trust me, you won't ever want to leave.
    Go forth now, and chat!

    Thursday, April 15, 2010

    Go, Team, Go!

    I'm back!  Round 3, baby!

    Back for more Susan G. Komen 3-day for a Cure goodness.
    Back to walk, walk, walk.
    Back to rock the pink like no other.
    Back to see 60 miles of the DC area.
    Back to camp in a tent, shower in a truck, and get blisters on my feet.
    Back to cry some and smile some more.


    But this time, I'm bringing some of you with me!

    I have started a team, and I'd love for you to join!  I can promise you it will be an experience you won't soon forget.  And I'll be there with you the whole way - walking, fundraising, and cheering you on.

    Don't you want random people clapping for you on the side of the street?

    Don't you want to see the sights?

    Don't you want to join the crowd? :D

    ***Pssst, don't tell anyone, but I have a super secret code you can use to get a $25 discount on registration, just for joining my team!  If you sign up by April 23rd, use the code GOTEAM.***

    Alright, I admit it, you can use that code to join any team, but my team will be super cool.  ;)

    Come visit me (I'm lonely now, but not for long) at the team page, and click "register to join team."

    Then the fun will really begin!

    Tuesday, November 3, 2009

    Pink Package Winners!

    We have some winners!!!
    You all did so great doing "pink" things!  I couldn't choose just one.  So I choose the wimpy way out and let the computer pick the winners for me:

    Random Integer Generator

    Here are your random numbers:
    10 8 5 6 1
    Timestamp: 2009-11-03 20:45:52 UTC

    That means that are lucky winners are: Elizabeth, Lindsay, Linda, Faren, and Meghan!  (Elizabeth, I need your contact info so I can send you your prize!)  I will be contacting the rest of you through facebook or twitter this week.  Congratulations, and thanks for spreading the word and awareness!

    Tuesday, October 20, 2009

    Talk to me Tuesday (Melanie Sheridan)

    Oh my gosh. So, apparently, if you walk the whole 60 miles, your feet might get a little swollen. Or a lot swollen. So swollen, in fact, that you can't put on anything but flip flops for a week! I guess that was the upside to not being able to do all of the miles last year, huh?

    And speaking of not being able to do all 60 miles: Hey, Philly - YOU ROCK! You all couldn't do the whole route, but man did you show some brotherly love! Congratulations!

    Anyway, now that I am thourogly recovered from the walk (well enough to get a pedicure soon) it's time to feature another 3-day-er! This time we get to hear from Melanie Sheridan. Melanie is a fellow 3-day online ambassador, posting at her fantastic blog: Mel, A Dramatic Mommy.
    Last year, Melanie volunteered during the walk, while her mother was a walker. This year, she is joining her mom, a 9-time participant, to walk in the San Diego 3-day.

    Q1: Why did you join the 3-day?

    Melanie says:
    My mom decided to do the 3-Day back in 2000. I thought she was crazy! But, as she became more involved, so did I. I've spent the last few years cheering her on all weekend long. Last year, I volunteered and got to hand out the T-shirts and roses as the walkers crossed the finish line. It was amazing! Now that I'm a stay at home mom, I decided this was my year to move from the sidelines to participant.

    Every year that I've cheered and supported the walkers, I've seen so many people walking in honor of someone they've lost. I see families on the sidelines holding signs that read, "thank you." This year I decided I wanted to do more than cheer. I literally wanted to walk the walk.

    This is a cause that has become very important to me, especially after losing my Godmother to breast cancer.

    Melanie, cheering on the walkers!

    Q2: Will you describe some of you 3-day experience for us?

    Melanie says:
    Last year, when I volunteered, there were so many touching moments. I remember when one team crossed the finish they all waited for one woman to get her pink survivor shirt and cheered for her as she held it up. One minute she was high-fiving and laughing, the next she was sobbing and everyone gathered in a group hug. I also remember one woman taking some of the candy and gum I was handing out. Because of the way she was dressed, I thought she was someoneon the walk route, taking advantage of all the free stuff. I wondered if she was homeless. The next day, as I handed out shirts, they announced that the last walker was headed in. It was her.

    My mom says for her, the walk is like a religious experience. Being there, feeling the energy, I can see her point. I laugh and cry every single year. I definitely think the walk is something everyone should experience, either as a walker, crew or volunteer.

    Melanie and her mom, in front of the remembrance tents.

    Q3: How have you contributed to the cause?

    Melanie says:
    I’ve made it a point to take my son with me when I’ve been cheering. He knows a little about what breast cancer is and why people are walking. Spending that time with him has been amazing. He’s learning empathy, the spirit of giving and giving back to the community.

    Melanie's son passing out goodies for walkers - so cute!

    Q4: What is your best training advice?

    Melanie says:
    Don’t push yourself. Follow the training guidelines but realize they’re only a suggestion. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t follow it to the letter.

    Q5: What is your best fundraising advice?

    Melanie says:
    Be a pest! I don’t like to ask for help so I haven’t been as vocal about the fundraising as I should be. This isn’t about me. Speak up and don’t be afraid to ask everyone for donations.

    Alright, folks - do Melanie a favor, as a thanks for her 3-day posts, and give the lady a donation! Any little bit helps, I'm sure she would love your help so that she can, as she says, "Walk the Walk!"

    Wednesday, October 14, 2009

    DC 3-Day Top 10!

    Here is my Washington, DC 2009 3-Day top ten "Things I'm Thankful For" list!

    10. I'm thankful for these bright pink balloons that introduce you to the 3-day spirit at Opening Ceremonies. I definitely heeded the advice and took my time while savoring the experience.

    9. I'm thankful the bright pink tent protected us from the wind and the rain. (We'll work on the cold next year!)

    8. I'm thankful for friends who not only cheer me on, but stand in the rain on a Bethesda street corner to cheer on all the other walkers too! (The other side of my Meghan's sign had a more generic thank you to all walkers. And her and her husband, Gabe, cheered for you in pink!)

    7. I'm so thankful for new friends (like Amy) who can, literally, pull you through! Ms. Ohio from Ms. America's Tata's really helped me get to the finish.

    6. I'm thankful for all the love. For the people showing other people - almost strangers - that they care. It renews your faith in mankind.

    5. I'm thankful for opening and closing ceremonies. They are incredibly inspiring and bookend all that 3-Day goodness in the perfect way.

    4. I'm thankful for survivors. They give you courage and motivation and determination when you thought you had none left. (In case you didn't know, at closing we all lift one shoe to salute the survivors who did the hard work and participated in this event with us.)


    3. I'm thankful for DC! These were only two shots at closing of the Lincoln and the Washington Monument - we had tons of other fantastic views. The Capital building, the Potomac River, The White House - all of it was great!


    2. I'm thankful for crew! It helps you forget about your aching bones and painful blisters when you see a man in a kilt dancing on a motorcycle, or a girl with a cone on her head, or a man cheering to save second base. Yes, it really really helps!

    I'm thankful I'm done! Okay, okay, I'm only kidding.

    My real #1 is thanks to all of you. My supporters and donators. I couldn't have made it without you! DC raised over 5.5 million to fight breast cancer - and you were a huge part of that. (And a big shout out to my family who were invaluable in my 3-day pursuit. I love you all!)

    See you next year! 2010, baby!

    Wednesday, October 7, 2009

    Talk To Me Tuesday (Alverna Bresette)

    I'm so excited, I can hardly contain myself! The DC walk - MY walk - is this weekend!!! I am in the midst of packing and worrying and gearing up, and I just can't wait. I have to thank so many of you - family, friends, and well-wishers - for helping me get to my goal!

    Meanwhile, there are plenty of walkers - just like my 3-day friend, Alverna Bresette - who need your help to make it to goal. These walkers desperatly want to participate in their walks in the coming weeks, but they need your help. Please read Alverna's interview, and look her up on the 3-day website if you can help!

    Q1: What is your connection to Breast Cancer?

    Alverna says:
    I am a 6 year survivor. My cancer was found early and was very small. Neither I, nor the doctors, could feel it. I was fortunate and luck was on my side. Through this experience I have talked people into having mammograms, just to be safe. Hopefully, I have gotten across to my daughter to fight for something you believe in.

    I just recently found out my grandmother had died of breast cancer in 1940. My cousin was diagnosed last year, and I have lost friends to the disease.

    Q2: Tell us about your 3-day experience.

    Alverna says:
    I was a walker in San Diego '06, San Diego '07, Washington DC '08, and will walk in San Diego '09. I think the first year was exciting, maybe because it was new. That year, my daughter and I had both seen it advertised, then discussed it, and decided it would be a great contribution to the cause. The support was unbelievable. I was amazed at the people gathered to cheer you on while you were walking. The 3Day family itself is hard to beat, crew, fellow walkers, support, etc. Always a kind word.

    Alverna and her daughter, all dressed in pink!

    Q3: What have you learned from the 3-day and why do you keep coming back?

    Alverna says:
    I've learned a lot. How many people have been affected by this disease. How much can be raised if everyone puts forth some effort in something they believe in. How I can really do something if I set my mind to it. A personal satisfaction, that I did it! To me the 3Day is addictive...I walk because I can. Each person, in their heart, knows what it is that they want to do for something. If this is what you believe in, then by all means, do it.

    Alverna and her beautiful training buddies!

    Q4: What is your best fundraising and/or training advice?

    Alverna says:
    For fundraising, put your heart into it and don't be afraid to ask. All they can say is no.

    For training, I want to give credit to my husband and my 2 Black Russian Terriers. Without them I would not have the will power to get out and train. I mostly walk as I am out in a very small community in a National Forest. My husband knows just the right amount to "push" me...come on, you can do it. And of course the dogs are always up to the task!

    Alverna supports fellow walkers (she supported me last year and this year) and I would love it if you all could pay her back the favor! She is a survivor, to be sure. Thank you, Alverna.

    To the rest of my fellow DC walkers - LETS DO THIS!!!

    PS - make sure you check out the giveaway if you haven't yet! Just for spreading breast cancer awareness this month, we are giving away 5 pink goodie-filled packages!