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.

3-Day Training Walk Leaders Answer the Question: Why Should I Come to a Training Walk?

You’ve started training for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®. Or maybe you haven’t started yet, but you’re definitely thinking about it, right? Some of you may assume you can handle your Komen 3-Day training all on your own, or in the company of one or two companions. But recently, a few of the 3-Day® coaches got to chatting about how walkers, especially new walkers, can benefit from coming to at least one official 3-Day training walk (and the more, the better!). Komen_3Day_Twin Cities 16 Week Training walk kick off_group walkingSo we reached out to some of our top training walk leaders from coast to coast to get their take on the question, “Why should I come to a 3-Day training walk?” Here’s what they had to say:

Cliff M. (San Diego 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – One of the reasons I have always felt it was important for a walker, especially a new walker, to attend at least one training walk is it gives them a chance to meet some of the repeat walkers and pick their brains for information as to what the walk is going to be like. Learn a little on why others have signed up to walk and why they keep coming back year after year. Gain some experience into how other people manage to fundraise. In all the years I’ve been doing this I have never seen a walker that had all the answers and didn’t learn something new at a training walk, even myself included. Each year presents me with one more reason to keep coming back.

Sherri H. (Philadelphia 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – There is so much knowledge that a new walker can gain from an experienced walker during a training walk. So many tips about training, gear, camp and the event and even fundraising. Probably the single most important thing that a walker could do to prepare for the 3-Day is go to at least one training walk–and while you’re there, ask lots of questions.Komen_3Day_june_michigan_training walk

Shawn M. (Twin Cities 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – I think it’s important to attend official training events because:

  • You get information from veteran walkers and crew members.
  • It’s way more fun to walk with a group than by yourself.
  • You can find teams to join and meet new friends you will know on event.
  • You can learn where everyone is buying the cute pink workout clothes this year…
  • You’ll get tips and tricks for training, on event, and fundraising

Beth N. (Michigan 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – Training walks are not only essential to making sure you enjoy your 3-Day weekend, not just endure it, but when you RSVP to a training walk, it gives you the commitment you might need to get out there and get your mileage in. Sometimes, when left to our own devices, we tend to put it off and those miles don’t always get walked. RSVPing to the training walks puts you in the “someone is waiting for me” mind frame that motivates you to get out there. They’re also a great way to meet more of your 3-Day family; most of the people you will meet on a training walk are veteran walkers and are a wealth of information that they’re always willing to share with those first-time walkers on training, fundraising, the event weekend, etc. komen_3day_tampa_team 211_walk and talk

Kat B. (Seattle 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – An official 3-Day training walk is a great way to meet your fellow walkers and make new friends while learning about what to expect on the 3-Day event (for new walkers). It’s also a perfect time for sharing ideas about fundraising, gear, packing, blisters, etc.

Debby R. (Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – Why come to a training walk?

  • It’s more fun to walk 10 miles with someone else.
  • You get tips on what to wear (shoes, socks, undergarments, hats with binder clips attached to the bills, etc.)
  • You get packing advice for the event.
  • You can brainstorm ideas for fundraisers.
  • You make new friends who become your “pink” family.

Terri V. (Philadelphia 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – It’s important to come out to at least one training walk because it’s a chance to meet other walkers to get tips and information you may need on the real 3-Day. Also, you can test out your walking gear, shoes, socks, backpacks etc. to make sure everything feels right and doesn’t cause you pain, so you are ready for walking 60 miles.

Dawn K. (Philadelphia 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – I feel it’s important for walkers to come out for training walks for many reasons: to meet fellow walkers, get ideas for fundraising, to get answers to questions from other walkers, but most importantly to get a small glimpse of what it’s like to walk longer distances. No matter if you’re a first-time walker or a repeat walker, your body is going to react differently to different conditions. As training walk leaders, our job is to ensure that we are giving the walkers tips on their training, showing them different terrains to walk, and answering any questions they may have. Training walks are the perfect opportunity for walkers to try out the things they think they’re going to be using on the event. If they can’t do a 10 or 12-mile training walk in this sports bra, or with this backpack or fanny pack, they definitely won’t want to do 20, 40, or 60 miles. Training walks are the time to find these things out. People think “we’re just walking,” which sounds easy. I’m here to say we are doing much more than just walking. Sixty miles in 3 days is HUGE! Without some training, this is very hard on our bodies.komen_3day_san diego training kick of tiki

Martin H. (San Diego 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – Here are a few “random thoughts”.

  • Walking on an organized training walk provides encouragement for first-time walkers.
  • Walking on an organized training walk offers opportunities to share fundraising ideas.
  • Walking on an organized training walk gives walkers a chance to try out gear they may want to wear on event.
  • Walking on an organized training walk affords the opportunity to meet new people.
  • Walking on an organized training walk introduces a single walker to the experience of walking in a group.
  • Walking on an organized training walk with others raises the awareness of our goal more than walking alone would.

Kim W. (Twin Cities 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – I feel it’s important to come to a few training walks because you can ask questions about the event/training from previous walkers/crew members, you won’t have to walk alone AND like myself, you may meet someone who turns into a lifelong friend.

Heather P. (Michigan 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – I think training walks are a great way to train, because it is pretty boring on your own and it is also a great way to meet other walkers. If you are a newbie, coming to a training walk gives you an opportunity to ask lots of questions whether they are related to training, fundraising or even the how the event works.Komen_3day_dallas fort worth_rainy training walk_team independence

Sheryl C. (Dallas/Fort Worth 3-Day Training Walk Leader) – Now that you’re signed up for the 3-Day, going to a training walk is THE one step you can take to make sure you accomplish all your goals. Think about how many great things you have done completely one your own, then think about what you have accomplished when others walk alongside you. Meet an army of other women and men with your same goals who will walk beside you to inspire you, motivate you, keep you accountable, and help you every step of the way. Not sure if you can do the fundraising? Share ideas and hook up with people doing fundraisers on a training walk. Not sure what to expect on the first day of your event? Talk to veteran walkers on a training walk. Not sure what to carry, how to train, what shoes to wear, how to pack, how to avoid injury, what to do for a blister or chafing? You’ll get it all on a training walk. The 3-Day community is out in force the entire 24-week training cycle. That means now!

 

These training walk leaders and many others are holding training walks every week, and you can find them all on the 3-Day website at The3Day.org/trainingwalks. We know that if you don’t leave near a 3-Day city you might not find any training walks in your area. If this is the case for you, contact the 3-Day coaches at 800-996-3DAY to find out how you can become a training walk leader, too!

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