The Michigan 3-Day Coaches Talk About…The Michigan 3-Day Coaches!

They’re the helpful cheerleaders on the other end of the phone call or email when you have questions or concerns. They’re the smiling faces welcoming you and your teams at meet-ups and workshops and building up community excitement for the 3-Day. They’re the guiding hands leading the crew captains and teams to greatness. That’s right, they’re your Susan G. Komen 3-Day® coaches!

As we get ready to return to each of the seven splendid 3-Day locations, we wanted to take a minute to catch up with the coaches from each event. You’ve gotten to know them pretty well over the past couple of years on the 3-Day blog and this year, instead of letting them talk about themselves, I asked their fellow coaches to do it for them!

The Michigan coaches—Ann, Jennifer and Gina—are up first! Click here to see what we knew about them already. And keep reading to see what they had to say about each other.

(L-R) Gina, Jennifer, Ann

(L-R) Gina, Jennifer, Ann

Ann (Michigan Local Events Coach)

“I’d describe Ann as nerdy, smart, and so much fun to be around! She’s great at her job because she was involved with the Michigan 3-Day for years as a participant before becoming a coach so she knows this event inside and out. Last year I was staffing the Seattle 3-Day and Ann was walking. I offered to share my hotel room with her so she didn’t have to tent it. When I checked into the hotel I requested two beds but all that was available was a room with one king bed. But we just rolled with it! It was pretty funny and I think it was Saturday night when we shared chips and salsa in bed and managed to NOT spill any salsa.  Honestly, any time I am with Ann we have fun and laugh, a lot!” – Jennifer

“Ann is fun-loving, loyal, and compassionate. She has walked the walk and talked the talk. She has been a Michigan participant so she knows the community and is genuinely invested in this event.” – Gina

Jennifer (Michigan Participant Support Coach)

“I would describe Jennifer as spunky, thoughtful, and honest. Jennifer forms amazing relationships with the participants. She takes the time to get to know them, help them, and in turn, and they love Coach Jennifer!” – Gina

“Jennifer is absolutely dedicated to the participants. She will do everything she can to make sure they are having the time of their lives. We spend a whole bunch of time together leading up to the Michigan 3-Day and on-event (usually in a rented minivan) so there is a tendency for us to get a little slap-happy.  There is no shortage of shenanigans when we are set loose on the route!” – Ann

Gina (Michigan Crew & Volunteer Coordinator)

“Gina is always positive, her smile is infectious and her love for the crew is tremendous! I don’t get to see Gina on event as much as Jennifer, so I love those moments when we get to team up. Usually, it’s when we’re setting up or tearing down camp, so hilarity is always an option! Sometimes we steal her and take her out on the route with us so that she can join in the craziness.” – Ann

“How would I describe Gina? She is kind, caring and has a huge heart. Gina has a calmness under pressure that is perfect for this event and for working with the crew.  So many things can change on this event at the last minute and Gina just handles it, calmly and without showing any signs of being worried or stressed. Gina has moved around a bit and for a few years was a coach for a different city where we both live, so we have spent more than our fair share of time together on the route and most especially with Street Team Day.  We made a great team, she can handle a roll of tape like a pro!” – Jennifer

Do you know the Michigan coaches? How would you describe these fabulous ladies?

 

Michigan 3-Day—2016 Route Update!

Last year on the 3-Day® blog, we shared some detailed “Insider’s Peek at the Route” posts with you. We pulled the curtain back on the overall process of planning and executing a 60-mile route, and then got even more in-depth with each individual 3-Day walk’s route.

This year, we don’t need to dive quite so deep, since most of what we shared last year still applies. But we definitely wanted to keep you looped-in with the updates and changes that have been made to the 3-Day routes for 2016. We’re also bringing in members of the 3-Day Advisory Council to share their thoughts about the 2016 changes. These participants stand as the “voice” of the 3-Day community and their input has been instrumental in strengthening the communication and camaraderie between Komen and the 3-Day family, so we’re thrilled to have their insight here on our route updates.

So that’s what we have in store for you, starting with MICHIGAN.

Need a refresher about what the Michigan 3-Day route was like last year? Read our 2015 “Insider’s Peek” post here.

New for 2016 – Missy, the Event Planning Manager for the Michigan 3-Day told me about some exciting updates. She shared that the Day 1 route will be “completely new” and will include a portion of the day spent along the east side of Walled Lake (some of you may remember that the route went along the west side of the lake in 2013). There will be all new route sites (pit stops, lunch) on Day 1, including a grab & go at the newly renovated Pavilion Shore Park, which Missy says, “has the most amazing view of the lake and will be an incredible photo op.”

In addition to the Day 1 changes, the out-and-back route from/to camp on Day 2 will be reversed from the last few years. Missy shared, “Reversing the route on Day 2 allows for cooler temperatures and additional shade during the Hines Park stretch, which has been challenging in the late afternoon.” She also said that many participants have given feedback about lunch being too early in the day on Day 2, so “reversing this day’s route opened up the opportunity to have lunch at a later mile marker.” Route highlights that walkers can look forward to include Walled Lake, Novi, Hines Park, Historic Northville and Plymouth (especially the pink fountain at Kellogg Park in Plymouth), Dearborn Historical Museum, and Ford World Headquarters.

In Their Words – Here’s what Gary and Beth, two of our 3-Day Advisory Council members, had to say about the 2016 Michigan updates:

Gary (8x Michigan participant—2016 Michigan lunch crew)11794640_10155853624685392_8180345660254597293_o“I really like the changes you have made to the route. I know the area for Day 1 and that walk route should be very well received. I also agree, as an early walker on the route, the lunch stop on Day 2 was too early, and I like that you have reversed the route and moved lunch further out. One of the favorite parts of the Michigan walk is definitely the town of Plymouth. The entire town seems to come out to root on the walkers!”

Beth (3-Day participant since 2002—2016 Michigan will be her 25th walk!)beth northman“I walk in the Michigan event every year since I’m a team captain in Michigan (the BC Babes) and also a training walk leader. Plus, I love, Love, LOVE the Michigan walk and the amazing support along the route. I’m excited about the changes. Each year they’ve ‘tweaked’ the route a little, and it seems like they’re making bigger changes this year which will be exciting to see. We do have patches each day where there’s not a lot of shade and walking through those parts earlier in the day and also having some lake views on Day 1 will be a welcome change. I’m glad Opening, Camp and Closing will be the same. Suburban Collection and Ford Headquarters are great places to hold these aspects of the Michigan walk.

“You can’t beat the Michigan 3 Day event. In addition to the best crew around we’ve got awesome community support for the entire 60 miles. Walking through the city of Plymouth on Saturday afternoon is always a highlight on the route. Hard to top the pink fountain and the hundreds of people cheering in Kellogg Park.

“I’m looking forward to celebrating the 150th 3-Day event this year in Michigan. In addition, the BC Babes are excited to celebrate for another reason—we’ll hit the $1,000,000.00 fundraising milestone with the 2016 walk!”

 

Keep an eye on the 3-Day blog in the coming weeks when we’ll continue sharing updates about all of the 2016 3-Day routes.

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I’ve Done This A Million Times: Training Advice For/From Veteran Walkers

Most walkers who are new to the 3-Day put a lot of focus on training their bodies for the challenge of walking 60 miles. The 3-Day provides all walkers with a number of training materials to help them prepare physically, including very thorough 16- and 24-week training schedules and a training handbook. For someone who is taking on the formidable goal of walking about 20 miles a day for 3 days in a row for the first time, this kind of detailed regimen is generally a good fit.

But what about walkers who’ve done the 3-Day before? Many of our veteran walkers have done the 3-Day five, ten, even 15 or more times already. Others, perhaps, are new to the 3-Day but have experienced other endurance events (marathons, triathalons, etc.) and don’t necessarily need to start their training from scratch.

We asked a few 3-Day vets to give us their thoughts on the best way to approach training if you’ve done the 3-Day before, or are already in great shape physically.

Elaine – 9x walker
Team – GET YOUR PiNK ON (10 team members, all veteran walkers)
Walking in San Diego in 2016

Elaine (left) with her teammates

Elaine (left) with her teammates

Elaine says, “I walk almost every day, a minimum of 3 miles year round.” She also does water aerobics and rides her bike. Elaine and many of her teammates live in San Diego, and train together when they can. “We generally try to walk all year and living in San Diego allows us to do that.” She does have teammates who live elsewhere, and Elaine send emails periodically to check in with them, but adds, “Since most are veterans, they really know what it takes to get ready.” A few teammates who live in hot climates like to do their training very early in the morning, or indoors on treadmills. Elaine shares, “I have worked weekends my whole life, so needless to say the first year was intimidating when I got the 24-week training schedule.  When I have days off during the week and everyone else is working, I will pack a lunch, my beach chair, do a 9-mile walk then hang out at the beach.  I have tried walking more than 9 miles by myself…but just do not enjoy it much.”

The bottom line: Keep moving all year! If you’re able to walk short distances consistently throughout the year, you’ll be more prepared for the longer mileages when you get to event time.

 

Pala – 21x walker
Team – Walking With Purpose (2 team members)
Walking in Michigan, Twin Cities, Atlanta and San Diego in 2016

The 24-week training schedule for Michigan begins in late February. "Yep, I'm out there!" Pala says.

The 24-week training schedule for Michigan begins in late February. “Yep, I’m out there!” Pala says.

In spite of her prolific 3-Day resume, Pala—who walked all seven 3-Days in 2015—is “old school” with her training. “I do my best to follow the 24-week training program as far as mileage per week.  My walking days usually differ from the schedule but by week’s end my mileage is there.” Pala lives in Michigan and attends the 3-Day’s official training kick-off event, but doesn’t usually come to any official 3-Day training walks aside from that. “I fit my walks into my schedule around other commitments.” One might assume that, after completing the 3-Day so many times, Pala would allow herself to coast a little bit through the training schedule. Not so. “In my opinion, in order to enjoy, not just endure, the 3-Day weekend, training is probably the most essential element for a successful walk. Walk those sidewalks, step up and down those curbs.  Incorporating different terrains, inclines/hills, and weather conditions during training conditions you for the weekend’s successful (s)miles.” Pala, who lives with her husband Tom (a long-time crew member), adds a special shout-out to a particular group of her fellow walkers: “Kudos must be shared with the walkers who work full time, have families to care for and yet manage to fit in training. The first year I walked and realized the time commitment needed for the long training walks, it amazed me to think of those with full time jobs (I was working only part-time), those with families and the associated responsibilities. It is just the two of us and we can eat whenever, skip household chores, and only had grandchild obligations (by choice) twice per week. To me, these full time workers stand out and have my utmost admiration.  Those workers with families even more so.  I am sure some sacrifices have been made by all.”

The bottom line: Even an experienced 3-Day pro can benefit from following the full training regimen, if their schedule allows it.

 

Carrie – 1x walker
Team – Boobilicious (5 members – 2 long-time vets, 2 “sophomores,” 1 newbie)
Walking in the Twin Cities in 2016

Carrie (right) and her team captain Beth

Carrie (right) and her team captain Beth

Carrie is not a long-time walker. In fact, she’s coming back for just the second time this year. But as a regular CrossFit participant, she’s already in great shape. “While I feel like I am always in training and keep up with my physical fitness, I start officially training for the 3-Day right around Mother’s Day. In the early weeks I like to get in 1-2 walks that are around 5 miles. My first 10-mile walk is typically around the 4th of July. Then I hit it hard with 3-4 walks a week, including at least one long walk on the weekend. I don’t follow a strict training program, but fit the walking in with my regular CrossFit training.” Carrie, who lives in the Twin Cities, is a fan of the 3-Day training walks in her area. “I prefer to attend the official walks instead of walking on my own. It is fun and inspiring to meet other walkers; we share training tips, fundraising ideas, and just get to know each other.” Carrie encourages her fellow walkers to trust themselves and their instincts when it comes to 3-Day prep. “Everyone has their own philosophy on training: one of my team members is diligent in her training program while another doesn’t train at all. I think it is critical for each person to understand, and be honest with, their current fitness level. For me, it was important to try out my gear, especially my shoes, socks and underwear (yes, it is really important to test out your underwear!). I learned very quickly that a bad pair of socks leads to lots of blisters. I also decided that I didn’t need to walk every day for training if I was doing my standard CrossFit, but I wanted to get some longer (15+) walks in to just get a feel for what it will be like.”

The bottom line: Being in good shape when you approach the 3-Day is a great start, but it’s still important to put in the miles with walk training too.