The First-Timers’ Guide to the 3-Day: Saying Yes, Part 3 of 3

The First-Timers’ Guide to the 3-Day is a series featuring blog posts from three brand new Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers (Crystal, Sheilla and Jodie). We met the First-Timers earlier this month, and now they’re back to tell us about how they got involved with the Komen 3-Day, and what compelled them to finally say yes and sign up to walk for the first time. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our other two First-Timers’ stories; Sheilla’s is here, and Jodie’s here.

Crystal (Michigan 3-Day)susan g. komen 3-day breast cancer walk blog first timers guide crystal

In the grand scheme of things, my life has been what my teenage daughter would refer to as “fluffy.” I grew up in a beautiful suburb and had family vacations where I got to spend quality time with my best friend in the whole world, my grandma. I have a sister whom I cherish with my whole heart. I have two beautiful children. Even though I lost my grandma in 2000 (just months before my daughter was born), all I can think about is how blessed I am to be surrounded by healthy, beautiful women. Breast cancer, fortunately, has not touched my family at all, and I count my blessings every day.  As the mother of an extraordinarily talented soon-to-be lawyer daughter, I want her to live in a world where breast cancer doesn’t exist.

When I was pregnant with my son, on bed rest, a commercial came on for the 3-Day®. I remember stopping in my tracks to watch it, and made a mental note to do that “one day.”

I’m sure you other moms out there can relate to how “one day” can easily turn into a decade without blinking an eye. I’ve dealt with many health problems, resulting in a hysterectomy this past February, but in the 7 years, as I dealt with issue after issue, unknown masses and scary, sleepless nights filled with worry, I made a promise to myself sitting in my doctor’s office that my “one day” would be this year.

I’ve never been one to take a risk or a chance, and certainly not one to ever do anything for myself. I’m selfless, I give all of my time to others. But participating in the 3-Day is something I wanted, a hunger deep within me. Once the decision was made that 2015 would be my year to walk, I didn’t discuss it with anyone, I just signed up on a sunny afternoon in December. I have many reservations about walking: that I’m not fit enough, or strong enough, or ready to do whatever crazy thing I’ve gotten myself into. But I figure I will go in it open-minded and expect nothing, and when I cross that finish line, I know deep within my heart and soul, not only will my grandma be with me in spirit, but I will come out changed forever.

I’ve learned something in my 38 years on this amazing planet: when you decide to make a difference for no other reason than to make a difference, not only do good things happen, but you become someone else and thankfully you can never go back. Life is a beautifully amazing journey, and I am so thankful I can make a difference.



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

Six Things to Remember When an Injury Interrupts Your Training

Around this time of year, the air is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and the natural result of these changes is that Susan G. Komen 3-Day® walkers are coming out of hibernation and diving into their Komen 3-Day training with vigor and enthusiasm.

So when an injury comes along—anything from shin splints to plantar fasciitis to back trouble—and takes you out of your 3-Day® training schedule, it can really hinder your momentum and leave you feeling frustrated. Keep reading for some advice on what to do when an injury sidelines you in the training game:

Don’t ignore the problem – You feel something. Maybe just a little twinge in your hip, or a dull throb on the bottom of your foot. And many of you (like me) will think, “It’s nothing, I can walk through it.” In some cases, it will be nothing, but if you start to feel something that just isn’t right, don’t ignore it. Be diligent about stretching, use ice and/or ibuprofen for the problem areas, and if those extra measures don’t work, don’t delay in seeing a doctor. A little bit of extra caution now will pay dividends when you’re healthy and whole for the 3-Day.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

Keep in mind why you’re here – The 3-Day is an inspiring and challenging athletic endeavor (let’s face it; walking 60 miles in 3 days is physically way beyond what most people would attempt), but the walking is only part of the reason why the 3-Day exists. The awareness that you’re creating, not to mention the fundraising you’re doing are making the real impact in the fight against breast cancer.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

Double down on fundraising – And speaking of fundraising, if you get hurt while training and have to take a break for a few days or even weeks, take heart in the fact that the money you’re raising can’t be affected by physical injury. Use your down time to send out another fundraising email or plan a fundraising event. If you’re feeling especially dramatic, you could even use the injury as a backdrop for a money-raising gimmick (“The doctor says I have to stay off my feet for 10 days; who will donate $20 for each day?”)

Cross train however you can – Even if you can’t walk, you don’t have to be still. Cross-training is a way to incorporate non-walking activities into your regimen, and there are all kinds of cross training tactics you can try while your injury heals. Swimming, for example, is a great option in the warming weather, and is particularly gentle on joints and muscles.

Don’t rush back – If you’re recovering from a walking-related ailment—particularly if it was something caused by overuse, or a traumatic injury—ease back into your training slowly. I know, you’re excited and eager to get back out there, but to reiterate what was said above, a little patience and restraint will benefit you greatly when you’re able to cross the finish line on Day 3 on your own two feet.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

60 miles is a goal, not a requirement – The frustrating truth is that sometimes injuries do get the best of us, and all the rest, stretching and patience in the world may not leave you equipped to walk 60 miles. That’s okay. Walking every step of those 60 miles should be your objective, but remember that it is in no way an obligation. You’ll get out there and walk as much or as little as you will, and we will be there to support you across every inch—whether you’re on foot, under the care of our outstanding medical crews, or carried the distance by the amazing bus and sweep teams.susan g. komen 3-Day breast cancer walk blog training injury

We’d love nothing more than for every one of our walkers to make it through their training completely unscathed, but if an injury does sneak through, we have no doubt that any one of you will weather the obstacle like the rock stars that you are.