Over three days this November, I will be walking 60 miles in the Arizona Breast Cancer 3-Day. This walk will be much more than “just a walk” – it will be raising money to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust Breast Cancer Fund.

Over the next several months, I will be spending many, many, many hours in training (By the time the walk starts, I will have logged enough miles to take me from Phoenix to my hometown of Houston!

I have committed to raising $2,200 to participate in this walk. Please consider making a fully tax-deductible donation to help me achieve this goal. I’ll be doing all the walking...all you need to do is follow this link to my fundraising headquarters to submit your contribution.

You may know someone who has been affected by breast cancer and I would be proud to walk in her honor as well. Please feel free to send me an email or leave a comment with their name. I will create a ribbon just for them and attach it to my backpack.

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death for all women, and the leading cause of death in women between the ages of 40 and 55. Both its cause and the means for its cure remain undiscovered. I’m taking on this challenge to do something big that will help raise awareness and help in finding a cure.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that you’ll share in this incredible adventure with me. Please leave comments or email me (txaggie02@hotmail.com) if you have any questions.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Virtual Trainer 20 Weeks

Countdown: 20 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 15 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 4 miles Moderate walking
Friday 30 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 6 miles Easy walking
Sunday 4 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Cross Training

Cross Training can be a helpful addition to your 3-Day training program. It allows you to build muscle endurance while decreasing overuse injuries. Remember the 10% rule: you should increase your activity 10% each week in order to give your body time to recover between your training walks. It is possible to do too much, too soon. Pace yourself and pay attention to how your body feels at all times. While walking is the most important preparation, other types of training that will help increase your stamina and strengthen walking muscles include:

  • Elliptical Trainer
  • Bicycling
  • Stair Stepping
  • Rollerblading
  • Pilates

Strength training through resistive bands or low weights is also an important part of your training program because it can build muscle. Muscle increases your endurance and burns fat better than fat does. It need not be an extensive weight lifting program. Interval or circuit training (i.e. Curves classes) alternate aerobic activity with strength exercises. They can be an efficient complement to your training program.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Training Walk & Fundraiser

Last weekend I led two training walks. We walked four miles on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we had 12 people come out and Sunday there were 6. I enjoyed meeting other 3 Day walkers. I think I'm going to have a great group of people to train with. I hope everyone continues to come to the training walks.

Leap's will be donating 25% from last weekend's sales to my walk. Since our training walk group met up at Leap's I was able to kill two birds with one stone. I don't know the weekend's total yet. I've been super busy with work lately that I haven't made it back to pick up the donation. I hope to get it tomorrow morning.

Virtual Trainer 21 Weeks

Countdown: 21 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 4 miles Moderate walking
Friday 30 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 5 miles Easy walking
Sunday 4 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Nutrition for Weight Loss & Performance

Food is fuel and carbohydrates such as breads, pasta, cereal, fruits and vegetables are the primary source for your muscles during exercise. Protein such as cheese, meat and nuts provide long-term storage energy and help build muscle glycogen (sugar) stores. With your increased exercise you will be burning more calories and while now is not the time to go on any drastic diets, if you are overweight, it is a good time to begin following a healthy, well-balanced diet.

The key to weight loss is taking in fewer calories than you burn. Your training program will increase the number of calories that are used therefore, if you maintain your current caloric intake, you should experience some weight loss. Your goal should be weight loss of no more than 1 to 2 pounds per week. You do need to eat enough calories to support your increased activity, so listen to your body. If you are feeling weak and tired after a long walk, you may not be eating and drinking enough carbohydrates.

Remember that the addition of strength training during your cross training days will also help to burn fat tissue while building muscle tissue. Muscle burns more calories than fat, however, it also weighs more than fat. Do not weigh yourself more than one time per week. Instead, take notice of how your clothes fit and how you feel.

During training: Eat small amounts of carbohydrate every hour. The average person burns 100 calories/mile; this is equal to one small apple, 1/2 banana, 16 ounces of sports drink or 3/4 sports bar.

Post training walk: Consume carbohydrate-rich foods during 1 to 4 hours after your long walks to replace your muscle glycogen stores and prevent next day fatigue. Do not binge eat. In your training diary, add a column for calories consumed. Keep an estimate of your energy expenditure and gauge your intake appropriately.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Lots of Catching Up To Do

I've been so busy with work and fundraising and training that I haven't had a chance to post any 3 Day updates. I had two wine tasting events in the past two weeks. They were a lot of fun and the wine was very good. Thanks to everyone who came out.

This weekend I also had the Leap's fundraiser. I hosted a training walk and we met up this morning at Leap's. There was a great turn out for the training walk. I think we're going to have a fantastic group to train with this year.

Virtual Trainer 22 Weeks

Countdown: 22 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 4 miles Moderate walking
Friday 30 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 5 miles Easy walking
Sunday 3 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Blister Prevention and Care

The direct result of a friction rub, blisters can be caused by pressure in the shoe or moisture from perspiration. Staying well hydrated throughout the 3-Day is important for all aspects of an injury-free walk, and this includes blister prevention. Dehydration allows the skin to fold on itself and create a friction rub. Proper shoe and sock selection also is key to preventing blisters.

Hot spots are places on your feet where you feel tenderness, pressure, heat or pain. If you feel a hot spot during a training walk, stop and change your socks. Increase protection over that area by applying moleskin, 2nd Skin® or a bandage. Moleskin should not be removed until the end of the walk to prevent peeling off of the skin. Be sure there are no creases in the bandage, which could cause friction.

If you develop a blister, try not to pop it. Blisters are nature’s way of creating a protective cushion and protect the skin from infection. Small blisters should be covered with a square of second skin and bandaid or a corn pad. Do not leave second skin on overnight as it will dry out and can irritate the skin.

For large painful blisters, clean the blister with an alcohol pad and have a medical professional drain it with a sterile needle. Be sure to keep the open blister covered with antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. Benzoin liquid, Nuskin or “Toughskin” spray are sometimes used to “toughen” the skin at problem areas. Try this out before the 3-Day. Do not get a pedicure or try to remove calluses before the event or long training walks. Do not wear toe rings on your long walks. The heat may swell your toes and feet, decreasing their blood circulation.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Virtual Trainer

Countdown: 23 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 3 miles Moderate walking
Friday 30 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 4 miles Easy walking
Sunday 3 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Foot Care - Shoes and Socks

Proper shoe and sock selection before the event is key to keeping your feet healthy and preventing blisters and other problems with your feet. Buy shoes at the end of the day when your feet are a little swollen and ensure that your shoes are the correct size and fit the architecture of your foot. Have your foot measured for length and width for proper fit.

The Wonders of a Walking Shoe
As you train for the Breast Cancer 3-Day, you’ll want shoes designed specifically for walking. These shoes have:

  1. Thinner midsoles, because walkers apply less force than runners.
  2. A different center of pressure to allow for walkers’ straighter strike path.
  3. A smaller heel cleft angle since heel cleft changes relative to speed.

NewBalance_WW844WB New Balance is the Official Shoe of the Breast Cancer 3-Day. Their 844 and soon-to-be-introduced 845 Walking Shoes are great options for the event and also part of the Lace Up for the Cure® Collection benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Plan on getting two pairs for training and two pairs that have been broken-in four to six weeks in advance for the 3-Day itself.

Click here to find a New Balance Outfitter near you that can properly fit and recommend the perfect shoes for you!

Choosing the Right Socks
Choose a sock that pulls moisture away from your feet. Synthetic socks such as “Coolmax” or “Dryfit”, or wool socks are better than pure cotton for keeping your feet dry. Try wearing two socks or double-layered socks. Make sure that the socks fit well and don’t bunch up in any areas. Plan on changing to clean, dry socks halfway through the day. Plan on two pairs of clean, dry socks for each day of the event. If your socks are still wet, try foot powder or spraying your feet with antiperspirant.

Use powders that are especially designed for feet. Cornstarch has a sugar base and may not be a good choice if you are prone to fungal infections or athlete’s foot. You also may try Glide or Vaseline to help prevent friction.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Training Walk Leader

I am going to be a Training Walk Leader. Woohoo! When I signed up to do the 3 Day I checked a little box on the registration form saying that I was interested in being a training walk leader. I didn't really know what that was at the time. Basically I will plan official training walks and serve as a safety monitor. I can plan as many or as few walks as I want and hold them wherever I want. I think training walks are a great way to meet other 3 Day walkers and find people to walk with so I don't have to walk by myself. I had my training walk leader training today via conference call. I learned a lot of good information about safety. There is a website called roadid.com where you can purchase an id bracelet with emergency contacts an medical info about yourself on it. If you carry a cell phone you should program an ICE (In Case of Emergencies) number in it and first response people will know to call your emergency contact. Hopefully there won't be any emergencies but you should always be prepared. The picture at the top of this post is the training walk leader legacy pin. If I organize 2 or more training walks I will get one of these pins and an orange safety bandanna. I plan to organize my first training walk this weekend.

Monday, June 2, 2008

My Virtual Personal Trainer

Each week for the next 24 weeks I will be receiving a personal training email from the 3 Day coaches. Here is the first one.

Countdown: 24 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday Rest
Thursday 3 miles Moderate walking
Friday 30 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 3 miles Easy walking
Sunday 3 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Your Training Program

Training for an endurance event like the 3-Day involves three things:

  • Developing muscular strength and endurance
  • Building cardiovascular fitness
  • Experimenting with exercise gear, diet and fluids

Muscular strength and endurance is exercise specific. Walking is not the same as running; your feet hit the ground further back on your heel with your toe higher in the air and then you roll farther off the toes with each stride. Runners may never develop the arch support or mid foot strength needed by a walker. Your brain needs to learn which muscles to use and your body needs to develop the strength to walk. Not just for one mile but for 20 miles. Nothing trains you better functionally for walking than walking itself.

Cardiovascular activity can be developed with any aerobic activity. Cross training has been included to decrease injury while building muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness. This can include cycling, swimming, rollerblading, pilates or any whole body physical activity.

Experimenting with walking shoes vs. running shoes, socks, waist packs, backpacks, shorts vs. tights, etc. is an essential part of training to prevent blisters, chafing and injury. Walking while drinking sports drink, practicing pre-event, on-event and post-event routines for diet and especially fluid management is very individual and may require trial and error.

Your suggested training program allows for all three components of training. Cross training to build your fitness, many long walks to experiment with equipment and diet, and, most importantly, a graduated increase in walking mileage. Note the moderate intensity training days where you can add periods of increased speed or hills to increase your endurance.

As you train, it is important to listen to your body. Often injuries, strains, or areas of inflammation may not show for 1-2 days after a training session.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Cake Walk or Cake for the Walk or Something Like That

My last Wilton cake decorating class was this week. I plan to sell slices of my final cake to raise money for my walk. Its chocolate so I think it will go over well.

Official Training Walk #2

I went on my second official training walk today. I met two other 3 Day walkers in Avondale and we walked 3 miles. It was another hot day in Arizona but after the sun started going down it was perfect walking weather. The other walkers were super nice. I will probably join their team if I don't hear back from my other potential teammates soon. They had some really good ideas and some great tips for the 3 Day. Both of them walked last year and they are back for more so it couldn't have been too bad. I hope to do many more training walks with these ladies. They were so nice and they are fun people to hang out with.

Training at Chase Field

I went to another Diamondbacks game this weekend. The Dbacks played the Washington Nationals. They finally got out of their slump. It was a great game and a very short 9 innings. The game was under 2 hours long. This was my first time to see our star pitcher Brandon Webb pitch in person. He is awesome and definitely worth of his Cy Young award. The Dbacks won 4-0. All 4 runs were homeruns. I was also able to get some training in by walking around Chase Field. It is nice to be able to walk around indoors while the temperature is 100+ degrees outside.

Official Training Kickoff

The Official 3 Day Training Kickoff was yesterday in Chandler. We met up at the New Balance store, signed in, did some stretching, and went on a nice 3 mile walk. After the walk there was a drawing for a $75 New Balance gift card. Unfortunately I didn't win. It would have been nice though. We were able to hang around for a while and meet other 3 Day walkers while we snacked on bagels and fruit. I met a few walkers but most were from the East Valley so I probably won't be able to train with them. Maybe I will see them again at the 3 Day in November though.