My Walking Must Haves

susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog dr sheri productsAs the 2015 Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Series draws closer, I hope each of you have been following the suggested training schedule to get you ready for what will be one of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of your life. During my long training walks, I carry all of my essentials that I will use during my 60-mile journey. These are my absolute must haves:

  • Reusable water bottle so that I can hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
  • Sunscreen so that I don’t finish the day the same color as my bright pink shirt.
  • Vaseline® or BodyGlide® to avoid those nasty blisters.
  • 2 pairs of broken in walking or running shoes and an extra pair of socks.
  • Kleenex tissues for my nose during those brisk cool mornings and because, well, I’m a cry baby.
  • Ibuprofen (400 mg every 8 hours as needed) because baby, at the end of 20 miles this nearly 50 year-old body hurts!

While you’re pulling together your “must haves” list keep in mind that the 3-Day can be a time to relax, slow down, take in nature’s beauty, socialize with friends and generally just enjoy being alive. Enjoy the peace of blocking out the world during those moments when you walk alone. Lastly, seize the opportunity to enjoy feeling your body in motion, observe your environment, and to see that the world is much more than the details of your life.

Essential Tips for 3-Day Travelers

Making the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® your home away from home for three days requires some planning, and for many Komen 3-Day walkers and crew members, those plans include traveling from their hometown to their 3-Day® destination. If you’re thinking about making your way to an out-of-town 3-Day, read this post about why you should, then check out some quick tips below to make your travel a little easier.

Let Your Participant Center Guide You! – Travel information for every 3-Day event has been posted to the Participant Center (look for the Travel Info link under the “Prepare” menu), starting with basic information about Opening and Closing Ceremony locations and host hotels. As we get closer to the events, approximately 2 months out, more details will be added to this page, so check back to stay up to date. There’s also a great Travel FAQ.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog travel info

In Thursday, Out Monday – If you’re not local in your 3-Day city, we strongly recommend that you arrive into town early on the Thursday before your event, rather than flying in late at night. Day 1 starts very early on Friday morning, and you will definitely want to be well rested. Even if you’re driving into town rather than flying, we recommend arriving on Thursday to avoid making your Friday morning wake-up call even earlier than it will have to be already. Similarly, if you’re able to arrange your plans so that you can head home on Monday, rather than Sunday night, you won’t have to worry about rushing out of Closing Ceremony, tired and dirty, and racing to catch a flight on Sunday evening. The 3-Day host hotels have rooms available on both Thursday and Sunday nights for this very reason (but be sure to book early, because they do fill up!).

Consider Your Car Time – If you do need to leave your 3-Day to head home on Sunday, be sure to factor in drive time from the Closing Ceremony to the airport when you choose your flight time.

Packing Hacks – Looking for some creative ways to pack for camping? Check out this post.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog camping hacks yoga mat luggage

Borrow When You Can – If you’re traveling by plane or train, you’ll want be as conservative as possible with your packing. Who wants to haul a sleeping bag or air mattress halfway across the country? Reach out to friends or family members who live near where you’ll be walking and ask about borrowing these bulkier items.

Make Local Friends – Don’t know anyone in the city you’re traveling to? Social media makes it easy to connect with people in your destination city. Post to the 3-Day’s Facebook page, or the Facebook Event posting for whichever event you’re participating in, and make new friends that way! The Message Boards on your 3-Day Participant Center also have a sub-category for Out of Towners within every event’s board.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog travel info

The Insider’s Peek at the Twin Cities Route

In February of this year, we treated our readers to The Insider’s Peek at the 3-Day Route, where we gave you a detailed look at the planning, work and execution that goes into creating the routes for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® events. While that two-part Insider’s Peek was full of tasty details, it was still kind of broad in the sense that it didn’t explicitly address the particulars of any specific Komen 3-Day location.

Until now!

It seemed like a natural progression to go from an expansive overview of 3-Day® route-planning in general, to a more pinpointed look at each of the seven 3-Day events individually. So I’ve been picking the brains of the event planning team and local coaches, to get the skinny on what walkers can expect. Sharing this information early in the year will help walkers prepare for their events, train for what’s to come and have a few exciting high points to look forward to.

We’ll be publishing one of these location-specific peeks for every 2015 3-Day event (we kicked off the series with the Michigan peek a couple of weeks ago), and today, the Twin Cities 3-Day is in the spotlight. Here’s what the Event Planning Manager Kendra and Local Events Coach Stephanie had to say:

  • Will there be any major changes to the route from last year? Kendra shared, “No major changes to the route from 2014. However, walkers can expect a direction reversal on Day 2.” Stephanie added, “There’s also a new Closing Ceremony site this year.” (Click here for a recap of the 2014 Twin Cities event, including route highlights, as well as the 2014 Twin Cities Journey Map.)susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog twin cities 2015 route
  • What, if any, geographical challenges does the Twin Cities route present (i.e., are there hills? Sections with no shade? Portions of the route that sweep vans can’t access easily?) Stephanie, who you will often find joining local Twin Cities 3-Dayers for training walks, said, “The Twin Cities 3-Day route, for the most part, is pretty flat, but there are a few hills after lunch on Day 2 and again on Day 3 towards the end of the route. You will definitely want to include some hill training over the next few months.” But she’s extremely confident in her walkers’ abilities: “Nothing too major though that tough Twin Cities 3-Dayers can’t handle!” Kendra agreed on all points, and added, “We’ve experienced some hot 3-Day weekends in Minnesota over the last couple years, so walkers should come prepared with a hat and sunscreen and drink plenty of water throughout the weekend.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog twin cities 2015 route
  • Any specific highlights/locations that walkers can look forward to seeing along the way? From Stephanie: “Day 1 will take our walkers around some of the beautiful lakes that Minneapolis has to offer. They’ll pass by a favorite Twin Cities attraction, The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden – a great photo op! Here you’ll also find gorgeous views of the Minneapolis skylines and the Basilica of St. Mary.  Lunch is served in downtown Minneapolis at Loring Park and it’s always fun to see all the pink walking through the heart of the city.” Kendra continues, “Day 2 swaps the action of the city for the quietness of the suburbs. There are some great trails and neighborhoods to take in. Day 3 is a good mix of suburban and rural as walkers make their way into downtown St. Paul, for a Closing Ceremony on the shores of the Mississippi River.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog twin cities 2015 route
  • Any other information you can provide about the overall “essence” of the Twin Cities route? Stephanie and Kendra, who both live in the Twin Cities area, are quick to brag about their community: “The Twin Cities 3-Day has a reputation for having tremendous community support along our route, and we are very proud of this. It’s a great showcase of two vibrant metropolitan cities and the natural beauty that surround them.”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog twin cities 2015 route

The Bottom Line: Twin Cities walkers should plan on working a few hills into their training, and should prepare themselves as much as possible for walking in hot weather (and meanwhile, we’ll continue to keep our fingers crossed for a mild weekend forecast). Aside from that, they should be sure to free up lots of memory on their phones and cameras so that they can capture the picture-perfect beauty of the Twin Cities.

The Insider’s Take: Yes, Kendra and Stephanie, as the local experts on the Twin Cities route, are the ultimate insiders, but I’ve walked in the Twin Cities, and my biggest take-away was that it was the most naturally beautiful route I’ve seen. It seemed like we didn’t turn a corner without coming head-on with another gorgeous lake, park, or riverfront pathway (There were bald eagles along the Mississippi, people. Bald eagles!). Was it hot? Heck yeah it was, but there were also wonderful supporters around every corner handing out popsicles, frozen grapes or cool face wipes; and the Twin Cities 3-Day was where we discovered the Orange Shirt Drinking Game, a guaranteed way to stay hydrated. The route didn’t strike me as particularly hilly, especially compared to other 3-Day routes I’ve walked, but I could see how someone might be in for a shock if they didn’t do any training on hills.

Still have questions about the Twin Cities 3-Day route? Call your Twin Cities 3-Day coach Eileen at 800-996-3DAY (select option 8 for Twin Cities), or email twincitiescoaches@the3day.org.