16 Ways to Pass the Time While Walking in the 3-Day

For most Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers, it takes about 8 hours to walk the 20-mile route each day. In my years of walking, I’ve found that even the most dazzling conversationalists sometimes run out of things to talk about during those many hours of walking. Or perhaps sometimes they just need a playful diversion to keep them focused on something fun and positive, instead of focusing on how much their feet hurt or how badly they need a porta-potty.

To help you prepare for your 3-Day® adventure, here are some mirthful ways to pass the minutes and the miles:

The Games We Play

  • 20 Questions – Everyone knows this one. Can you guess the person, place or thing I’m thinking of by asking 20 or fewer yes/no questions?
  • Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon – This is a fun game for the particularly movie-savvy players. It’s based on the theory that Kevin Bacon is such a prolific actor, that he is connected every other actor in Hollywood by six links or less. To play, you pick an actor, and try to connect them, through movies/shows they’ve been in, to Kevin Bacon in six moves or less. For example: Bradley Cooper was in “He’s Just Not That Into You” with Jennifer Aniston, who was in “Picture Perfect” with Kevin Bacon. 2 moves. Boom.
  • The Movie/Actor Game – Another Hollywood-centric game, in this one, you try and see how long a chain you can make by connecting movies and actors who were in them. One person starts by naming a movie, the next person names an actor in that movie, then the next person names another movie that that actor was in, and so on. The round ends when someone is stumped on naming a new movie or actor.
  • Trivial Pursuit – One year, my teammates and I brought a stack of old Trivial Pursuit question cards and took turns reading the questions to each other. Before we knew it, other walkers around us were joining in on guessing answers. We’d even leave the cards at the pit stops when we were done, only to come across other walkers later in the day who had picked them up to join in the fun.
  • Would You Rather…? – This one’s pretty simple: come up with two scenarios (it works best if both are slightly unpleasant) and challenge each other to decide which scenario you’d rather choose. For example, would you rather have your head be the size of a watermelon or the size of a tennis ball?
  • Alphabet Games – Pick some topic or theme, and take turns naming items that match the theme, starting with each consecutive letter of the alphabet. Some of my favorite themes have been movie titles, band names, body parts, American cities/towns. There’s no limit to possible themes. Another alphabet game involves finding each letter of the alphabet on signs, license plates or even your fellow walkers’ t-shirts that you pass.
  • Presidential Checklist – I’d wager that every locale in America has something named after Washington or Lincoln. What about the other presidents? Taking into account duplicate names (your Adamses, Harrisons, Johnsons, Roosevelts and Bushes), there are 38 presidential last names. Can you spot them around town as you walk?
  • Name the Singer/Band – If you listen to music while you walk, or when you come across tunes being played at pit stops or cheering stations, this game challenges you to name the singer/band before the people around you. It’s like “Name That Tune,” with a twist.
  • Car-Spotting Games – What started out as the simple Slug Bug/Punch Buggy game (call out the Volkswagen Beetles and color before someone else does) has evolved into a plethora of car-spotting games (or it has with my family and friends, anyway). We try and beat each other calling out-of-state license plates, yellow cars, green cars, Jeeps (easily recognizable by their distinctive slotted front grill), Mustangs and more. You can add whatever layers you want to the game. Try adding a new element at every pit stop. Soon, you and your friends will be cracking up as you try to keep up remembering what you’re looking for.
  • Marry, Date, Dump – Name three people (they could be celebrities, people you know, even fictional characters). Your fellow players have to decide which one they’d date, which one they’d marry, and which one they’d dump. Hilarity ensues.
  • Two Truths and a Lie – You list three things about yourself: two of them are true and one is made up. Your teammates have to guess which “fact” you invented.
  • Orange Shirt Drinking Game – This is a game that’s 100% unique to the 3-Day, and helps keep you hydrated. It’s simple: every time you see an orange-shirted crew member (route safety, traffic control), take a drink of your water or sports drink. If it’s a particularly hot day, you could also add orange signs into the game.

Non-Game Ways to Pass Some Time

  • Talk in an accent – There very well could come the point when you’re feeling so exhausted/bored/goofy that you’ll find yourself carrying on your conversations in any variety of accents. It’s completely silly, and I wouldn’t even mention it if I hadn’t done it myself dozens of times.
  • Sing Songs – I challenge anyone to try breaking out “American Pie” or just about any TV theme song, and not see it quickly turn into a sing-along with everyone around you.
  • Stretch – You’re doing this anyway, right? But you actually can stretch while you’re walking. It won’t kill a whole lot of time, but it might be enough of a distraction to get you to the next pit stop.
  • Share Stories – This really goes without saying. So much of what makes the 3-Day so special are the stories that every single walker and crew member brings with them. As you stroll along, take the time to ask your fellow 3-Dayers to share their stories, and share yours with them.

What fun ways have you found to pass the time while you walk?

12 Things 3-Day Walkers Have to Explain to Outsiders

Anyone who’s been part of the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® understands that some aspects of the Komen 3-Day world may seem crazy or confusing to an outsider. Be patient. A little explanation gives these non- 3-Day® folks a glimpse into this pink world.

  1. What Connects Us – First things first: you don’t have to have a direct connection with breast cancer to be part of the 3-Day (though for thousands of folks, those personal connections have been their biggest reasons for participating). The fact is, 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime, so if a walker doesn’t know someone now who has been affected, chances are very good that they will some day; she may even be the one. We walk now to battle against that inevitability. Aside from that, the life-changing experience of the 3-Day is powerful enough to draw in just about anyone, regardless of their personal connection with breast cancer.
  2. Walking is a full-time job – Yes, we really do walk for three days in a row. No, it’s not non-stop, around-the-clock walking, but 20 miles a day takes around 8-10 hours for most people, so it’s pretty much all we’re doing for those three days.
  3. “Yeah, but it’s just walking, right?” – This might be the question that ruffles my feathers more than anything. “Hey, well-meaning but misguided friend, would you like to come out and take a 60-mile stroll with me, and then tell me, ‘It’s just walking?’”susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog
  4. The Long Way – Speaking of extra walking, your friends may scratch their heads as to why you purposely park in the farthest possible spot at the mall, but you know the value of squeezing in some training wherever you can.
  5. Taking Care of Business – The thought of spending three days with porta-potties as the primary “facilities” might horrify some outsiders. You can assure them that the 3-Day’s temporary commodes are some of the nicest and cleanest portable lavatories there are. It’s a direct result of 3-Day walkers being courteous and hygienic when leaving their little plastic chambers, knowing that one of their fellow walkers isn’t far behind. The “bottom” line is: 3-Day people take care of each other, even whilst taking care of business.
  6. Sweeping Has Nothing to Do With Brooms – Some of your outsider friends might be concerned about what will happen to you if you get hurt while walking or can’t continue for some other reason. Explaining the concept of our helpful and creatively-themed fleet of Sweep vans will put them at ease and entertain them all at once.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog
  7. The Wonders of the 3-Day Camp – Yep. We sleep in tents, shower in semi-trucks and have an all-out dance party on Saturday night. Best home away from home ever.
  8. World’s Greatest Snack? – Two graham crackers. Peanut butter. Grape jelly. (Option: serve cold.) Come to think of it, you can skip trying to explain this one, as it defies description.
  9. Dieters Beware – I’ve had many people say to me, “You’re walking 60 miles? You must lose so much weight that weekend!” Uh, no. First of all, while walking is great exercise and the months spent training for the 3-Day can dramatically improve your overall health, losing weight on the 3-Day weekend itself should not be your goal. If there’s one thing that 3-Day walkers are, it’s well fed. Aside from the food provided at the 5-6 official route stops each day, there are also seemingly endless piles of candy, popsicles, cookies and brownies, and more, supplied by supporters all along the route. Many 3-Day walkers refer to the whole thing as the 60-Mile Buffet Line.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog
  10. You Know You’ve Totally Done This – You’re out on the sidewalk, a car honks its horn. What do you do? If you said, “Put my arms up and wave my fingers and/or give a thumbs up,” you might need to explain your behavior to an outsider.
  11. 3-peating – For some walkers, the 3-Day is a bucket list item to check off, but for many, once is just not enough. Over half of all 2015 3-Day walkers have walked at least once before and more incredibly, over 400 participants have been doing the 3-Day for 10+ years. Experiencing the magic of the 3-Day and continuing making an impact in the fight against breast cancer are powerful motivations for 3-peating.
  12. “When Will You Stop Walking?” – My answer when I get this question? When we don’t need to walk anymore, and not a day sooner.susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog

 

Do you know what the best way is to explain the 3-Day to an outsider? Invite them to walk with you! Registration is still open for all 2015 events at The3Day.org/Register.

May Meet-up Round-up

We’re just days from officially welcoming summer, and we’ll fondly bid adieu to a busy spring, where the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® local coaches hosted dozens of get-togethers for Komen 3-Day walkers and crew. Check out the highlights of May’s 3-Day® meet-ups:

Michigan

May in Michigan was full of training walks. Michigan team BC Babes hosted a walk on May 2, and on May 16, many 3-Day walkers (including a particularly silly Coach Ann) came together for the Detroit Race for the Cure®. Groups also hit the Metroparks in Milford and White Lake to get their walk on, and when Michiganders weren’t walking, they were eating at meet-ups for new walkers in Utica and Ann Arbor. Missed the festivities in May? Coach Ann says, “Come join the fun in June!”susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may michigan susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may michigan

 Twin Cities

Saturday, May 2 marked the Twin Cities 16-Week Training Kick-off. Walkers enjoyed a 3-mile training walk complete with a pit stop manned by Twin Cities coaches Eileen and Stephanie. Following the training walk, walkers and crew enjoyed a training workshop led by Gear Running.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may twin cities susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may twin cities

Seattle

Coach Aubrey held a friendly Walk & Talk on May 6 at Green Lake Park in Seattle where she welcomed two first-time walkers. On May 16, even more Seattle 3-Day walkers came out to a Get Trained Workshop at Road Runner Sports in Kent. The folks at Road Runner provided advice about shoes and apparel, helpful discounts and even some delicious pizza.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may seattlesusan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may seattle

A special highlight for Seattle 3-Day participants was Mariners Night Out on May 15. Walkers, crew members and families were among the 40,000 fans in the stadium that night (it was Fedora Hat Night, a fun and photo-friendly bonus for everyone) and the 3-Day party was easily recognizable in their special pink shirts. They even got some love with a shout-out on the jumbo screen!Mariners Photo Recap

Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Race for the Cure® took place on Mother’s Day, and many Philly 3-Day walkers took advantage of the opportunity to support Susan G. Komen® and get a training walk in at the same time! The 3-Day also had a booth set up where they shared info about the upcoming 3-Day.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may philadelphia susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may philadelphia

Dallas/Fort Worth

Because the actual 24-week training schedule would’ve started on Memorial Day weekend, the Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day got creative and held two “24-Week” Training Kick-off Events, actually on weeks 25 and 23. The first was on May 16 at the New Balance store in Dallas, where 35 people attended the training walk helmed by Boxing Babes team captain and training walk leader, Bernadette.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may dallas fort worth The second Training Kick-off was on May 30. With the torrential rain that May brought to Texas, Coach Gayla worried that folks would have to row a boat to this event. But luckily, when 24 determined walkers arrived at the Fort Worth event, the rain miraculously stopped and everyone enjoyed a 3-mile stroll led by training walk leader Wendy. Gayla says, “I was grateful so many people braved the rain and joined us.” Most people were fitted for shoes after the walk, and Bill from New Balance shared the importance of proper shoe fit, giving everyone quite a lesson on podiatry. susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may dallas fort worth susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may dallas fort worthOn May 21, there was a Get Trained workshop at RunOn! in Richardson. Lots of new walkers were there, craving more information, and after the workshop, the walkers went on a short 3-mile walk around the neighborhood. New and veteran walkers shared not only information about the 3-Day, but also loads of laughs.

San Diego

The San Diego 3-Day’s big event in May was a festive reunion held on May 2. The reunion was at Bonita Cove Park (San Diego’s Day 2 lunch location). The event began with a training walk that over 30 walkers attended, and the party that followed had over twice as many walkers and crew members show up; there were even a couple of participants who came all the way from northern California.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may san diego  susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may san diego

Attendees enjoyed 3-Day mac & cheese and yummy grahamwhiches. They also had a contest to see who could pop up a pink tent the fastest, and then another to see who could take it down first. The weather was perfect and everyone had a great time.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may san diego

Coach Kim met a fun group (including one gnarly photobomber, known as the Cardiff Kook) on May 16 for a Walk & Talk in Cardiff.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may san diego

BONUS Meet-up – Chicagoland

Michigan and Twin Cities coaches Jennifer and Eileen live in the Chicago area, and can often be found meeting up with other area walkers. They hosted a Walk & Talk in Glenview on Saturday, May 16 where they were joined by veteran walker Doris and newbie walker Tressa.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training meet-up 2015 may chicago