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, August 24, 2008

Virtual Trainer 12 Weeks

Countdown: 12 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:

Monday Rest
Tuesday 4 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 30 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 5 miles Moderate walking
Friday 45 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 12 miles Easy walking
Sunday 7 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Lateral Knee Pain

“I have a burning pain on the outside of my knee.”
“I hear a snapping sound on the outside of my knee.”
“I have pain on the lateral aspect of my knee every time I walk over 2 miles.”

If you have these symptoms you may have Iliotibial Band Syndrome. The iliotibial band is a layer of connective tissue. It begins at a muscle near the outer side of your hip, travels down the outer side of your thigh, crosses the outer side of the knee and attaches to the outer side of your upper shin bone (tibia).

How does it occur?
ITB syndrome occurs when this band repeatedly rubs over the bump of the thigh bone (femur) near the knee causing the band to be irritated. This condition can result from:

  1. Having a tight iliotibial band.
  2. Having tight muscles in your hip, pelvis or leg.
  3. Your legs not being the same length.
  4. Walking on sloped surfaces.
  5. Walking in shoes with a lot of wear on the outside of the heel.

How is it treated?
Treatment includes the following:

  1. Walking and cycling and other exacerbating activity should be avoided.
  2. Apply an ice pack over the lateral knee for 15-20 minutes 3 times a day for 3 days or ice massage your knee. Freeze water in a paper cup. Peel the top of the cup away to expose the ice and hold the bottom of the cup while you rub the ice over your knee for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen (do not take more that the recommended dose) for 3-7 days.
  4. Once the acute pain phase has decreased, start stretching exercises (see below). Stretches should be performed holding each position for 15 seconds, coming up to the starting position and repeating three times. If your symptoms do not improve, seek medical advice.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Training Summary

I had a really good training week this week. I didn't take a rest day since I took last Saturday off.

Monday 3 miles
Easy walking
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 6 miles
Easy walking
Thursday 5 miles Moderate walking
Friday 60 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 11 miles Easy walking
5 miles Easy walking
*This is planned for tomorrow but I should be able to walk 5 miles easily.

Virtual Trainer 13 Weeks

Countdown: 13 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 30 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 5 miles Moderate walking
Friday 45 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 11 miles Easy walking
Sunday 5 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Course Specific Training

Part of your training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day includes practicing conditions of the event.

It's a good idea for training walks to include hills of different grades, as well as walking on flat surfaces. This will help prepare you for any hills you may encounter on the event.

What is the climate expected to be? If it is cool and rainy, try out your rain gear ahead of time. Consider rubber covers for your walking shoes. Practice layering Coolmax or moisture wicking long sleeved shirts under your windbreaker or rain jacket. Take note of your hydration in cool temperatures. Weigh yourself before and after a walk to assess your rehydration status. Often you will not drink enough in cooler weather.

If the climate is expected to be hot, use your shorter training days or walk part of your long walks in the heat to increase your heat tolerance. Exercise at least twice a week in the heat during the last 8 weeks of training. Take extra safety precautions during heat training. Walk with a buddy and be sure to choose a course where you can rest in the shade. Carry your sunscreen with you and reapply it during long walks.

Pre-exercise hydration is very important. Drink at least 16 ounces of fluid 2 hours prior to exercise. Then carry extra water and sports drink with you. Your body requires extra energy to cool your core body temperature down. This can decrease your exercise endurance. Stop if you become fatigued, dizzy or lightheaded.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation

I just came back from Texas and had a good ole time. I got to visit with family and friends and do lots of shopping. I spent the first few days in Austin with my sister. She is expecting twins so I co-hosted a baby shower for her. I got in several good training walks while I was there too. Austin is hilly so this was even better training. Unfortunately I missed the 10 mile Saturday walk but I did a combined 9 miles or so on Friday while walking around the neighborhoods and the outlet mall. My sister's neighborhood has some really nice walking trails. Austin was also at least 15 degrees cooler than Phoenix so I didn't have to get up super early for the walks.

The rest of my vacation I spent in Houston. It rained every day we were there. I still managed to get in some daily walks outside between downpours. The last day I walked around the mall before it opened because it rained most of the morning. This was the best walk though because it was cool inside the mall and they played music. I walked 6 miles or 3 times around the mall. Then I treated myself to a big soft pretzel and some shopping.

While I was in Texas I also discovered the New Balance outlet in Houston Premium Outlet Mall. I got a pair of New Balance 828 shoes. I loved these shoes so much that I went back and bought a second pair. Since they were running a $15 off special they were only $45 each so I couldn't pass them up. I saw the same shoes at the New Balance Chandler store for $100 so I think I got a pretty good deal. I also picked up two pink ribbon t-shirts. Since New Balance is a big supporter of the 3 Day I like to support them too.

Margaritaville Event

One of the Arizona 3 Day teams had a fundraiser on August 9th at Margaritaville in West Gate. They had a silent auction, raffle, and dinner. My friend Sandy and I went. It was so much fun. Margaritaville gets pretty crowded so we decided to get there early. We arrived at 5:00 pm and put our name on the waiting list. We were told there was a 15 minute wait but it was more like 30. But that gave us enough time to check out the silent auction and buy raffle tickets. The silent auction required the winner to be present at the end of the evening and we didn't want to wait around so we decided not to bid on anything. There were some great prizes though. I also got to chat with some of the ladies from the team hosting the fundraiser. I train with several of them so it was nice to see everyone when we weren't sweaty during long training walks. We also got to see the Pink Ribbon Tour which is a pink fire truck and a group of fire fighters who travel the country to promote breast cancer awareness. We finally got a table in the restaurant and enjoyed some Cheeseburgers in Paradise. Very yummy! On Monday, Sandy and I both found out that we won raffle prizes. We don't know what we won though. I will let you know what we won after I pick them up.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Expo

I'm a little behind on postings since I was on vacation. I attended the Arizona 3 Day Expo on August 9th. The Expo was held at the JW Marriott Resort in Northeast Phoenix. To kickoff the Expo there was a 10 mile walk starting at 5:00 am. I left my house at 3:45 am to pick up Martie so we could carpool over there. We got there in time to register and stretch. The walk was really nice. I think it gave me a little taste of what the 3 Day will be like. There were some Crew volunteers cheering us on and telling us where to go. Also some of the Bikers For Boobs crew was there to stop traffic for us. I think there were 300 walkers or so. I learned a few things to keep in mind for the 3 Day. First of all, with so many walkers there will surely be a back up when the daily walks start, especially if all walkers start at the same time so slow down and remember it is not a race. Second, don't stop at the first bathroom break. It seemed like 298 of the 300 walkers all stopped at the first pit stop (and there were probably only 2 stalls). Thankfully I didn't have to go. The second stop had much nicer bathrooms and there wasn't a line. Third, don't forget the sun screen. Luckily I didn't get burned but I got a little tan. Finally, Komen miles are longer than regular miles and the same was true for this "10 Mile" walk. I think I need to step up my training a little and walk a mile or two more than the recommended plan each day.

It was a wonderful walk and the Crew people were super nice. I didn't think there was going to be snacks along the way but about 2/3 through the walk there was a stop with pastries and water. It hit the spot.

The Expo started after the walk. The 3 Day sponsors were there handing out goodies and selling merchandise. Our first stop was at the cheering station table. Martie made a poster with our team name on it. They are going to take the posters to the cheering stations at the 3 Day.

Next we went around to the different outfitters and checked out the merchandise. Runner's Den had a special on socks. Any pair you could find in the bin was $5. I picked up a pair of Brooks socks and New Balance Double Layer socks. I love the double layer socks. They are wonderful. Next we stopped at the Chiropractor's table and grabbed a pair of free pick shoe laces. They are so adorable. We checked out the pink tents they will have at the 3 Day. We also ran into some of the people we've been training with and stopped to chat. We saw a "how to pack demo". The lady giving the demo was super organized and she had an awesome duffle bag. Since we were tired from getting up so early and the walk, we decided to skip the workshops and head home.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Virtual Trainer 14 Weeks

Countdown: 14 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 30 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 5 miles Moderate walking
Friday 30 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 10 miles Easy walking
Sunday 6 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Medications

Exercise can potentiate the effects of medications and increase possible side effects. Discuss your current prescription and over-the-counter medications with your primary care physician, even if you take them only as needed. The following medications can be especially affected by a 60-mile walk.
Blood Pressure Medications: Diuretics (hydrochlorothiazide, lasix, furosemide) may cause electrolyte imbalances, dehydration and potentiate the risk for heat illness. Discuss stopping your diuretic, decreasing the dosage or changing the medication during the Breast Cancer 3-Day.
Anti-inflammatory Medication: May cause gastrointestinal irritation such as heartburn, diarrhea or even stomach bleeds. They also can cause kidney injury and lower leg swelling. The stress of exercise can increase these side effects. Do not exceed the recommended dosage of 2 tablets of ibuprofen (400 mg. every 8 hours) or 1 tablet of Naprosyn (225 mg. every 12 hours).
Diabetic Medication: Insulin and sulfonylureas, which increase insulin in the body, can increase the risk of lower blood sugars during and after exercise. Know the signs and symptoms of low blood sugar (shakiness, blurred vision, difficulty walking or problems concentrating). Be prepared for low blood sugar by carrying 15 grams of carbohydrate with you when you exercise (2 glucose tablets, 1 small box of raisins or 5 lifesavers). Test your blood sugar before and after exercise. If it is less than 100 mg/dl before exercising you may need to eat 15 grams of carbohydrate. Estimate an expenditure of 100 cal/mile and plan your medications and food accordingly. If you experience low blood sugar, talk to your doctor about changing your medication or food needs.
Diet pills or Energy pills: Most diet medications are stimulants that contain pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine and/or caffeine. Even “herbal” products may contain Ma Huang, ephedra or derivatives of caffeine such as guarana. These drugs will increase your heart rate, heart palpitations and dehydration. None of these medications have shown any long-term weight loss effect. Avoid taking these drugs while training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day.
Antibiotics: Certain antibiotics (Doxycycline; Minocycline, Tetracycline, Accutane) may increase your risk of sun sensitivity. Be sure to use extra sun block that has zinc oxide or titanium oxide as its active ingredient and also wear a wide brimmed hat.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

100 Days to Go!

I received an email today stating that phase I of the online check-in for the 3-Day is now open. This phase opens 100 days prior to the 3-Day. I can't believe there are only 100 days left. I am excited but also nervous. My training is going really well so I think I will be ready but 60 miles in 3 days definitely makes me nervous. I also have some fundraising left to do. I still need to raise around $500 to be able to walk. I have some fundraisers that I am planning for the next few months. I am doing a Pampered Chef catalog show in August. I am going to be auctioning off some donated art on Ebay. Martie is going to help me with this and we are going to split the donations. Our team is planning a kick ball tournament. I am looking forward to that. It sounds like so much fun! I also might be having a Bunco tournament. Martie is having a Bunco tournament later this month so if her's turns out well then I might have one too.

There is still a lot to raise and a lot of miles to walk but I will hopefully complete these goals in the next 100 days.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Training Walk Leader Gear

I finally got my Training Walk Leader orange bandanna and purple pin in the mail this week. You are supposed to get it after you lead two training walks but I didn't know I was supposed to specifically ask for it. I thought after I turned in two sets of sign-in sheets they would realize I did my two walks but it didn't work like that. I think I've lead 5 or 6 walks so far. I emailed the coordinator and told her I did my two walks and she mailed my stuff.


As a mentioned in a previous post, I went to a shoe fitting clinic 2 weeks ago. I purchased a new pair of shoes and I'm been breaking them in. Saturday was the first long walk I've worn them on. I honestly haven't noticed a huge difference but I think these shoes will hold up much longer than my other ones. All of the New Balance shoes I've owned have fit really well. However, they don't seem to last very long. I've gone through at least three pairs of shoes already this year. The lady who sold me these new shoes said they should last at least 6 months. Even with all of the miles I will be walking I believe her about these shoes. They seem better quality, more rigid, and more firm than my past pairs. If you buy New Balance shoes go for the higher numbered ones (800 or above). My past shoes were in the 400's and 500's. These new ones are 1040. It definitely makes a difference.

I also purchased some new socks this week. I tried the Thorlos but I thought they were too think and my feet didn't "breathe" well in them. I purchased some Champion socks instead. They have the CoolMax technology that helps keep your feet dry and cool. They are also cushioned on the bottom and around the toes. I wore them for both my 8 mile Saturday walk and 6 mile Sunday walk (different pairs) and I really like them so far. Other socks I've tried are Danskin (which I also like), Hanes Cotton Crews (they are ok but the cushion wears after a few washings), and Hanes CoolMax (too thin). Shoes and socks are the most important gear for the 3 Day so it is important to try out different kinds and find out what works the best for you.

If you are a 3 Day walker let me know what kinds of shoes and socks you like to wear.

A Successful Week

Week 16 is officially complete! I think I did very well with my training this week. I almost stuck with the schedule.

Here is the recommended schedule:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 15 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 5 miles Moderate walking
Friday 30 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 8 miles Easy walking
Sunday 6 miles Easy walking

This is what I actually accomplished:
Monday Step & Sculpt Class (step 45 min, sculpt 15 min)
Tuesday Rest
Wednesday Walk 3 miles, Step Class (step 45 min)
Thursday Step & Abs Class (step 45 min, abs 15 min)
Friday Walk 4 miles
Saturday Walk 8 miles
Sunday Walk 6 miles

I am addicted to step aerobics. I should swap some of that time for walking but overall it wasn't too shabby. I have noticed my endurance increasing lately too. Unfortunately during Saturday's walk I got some minor blisters and shin splints. It didn't stop me from walking on Sunday so it wasn't too bad.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Virtual Trainer 15 Weeks

Countdown: 15 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 15 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 5 miles Moderate walking
Friday 30 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 10 miles Easy walking
Sunday 6 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Pregnancy

Walking is a great exercise for you to continue with during pregnancy. Studies have shown that continuing to exercise during all three trimesters of pregnancy can improve your sense of well-being, decrease your risk of postpartum obesity, and decrease your recovery time after delivery. Some studies have shown shorter labor times, lower caesarean rates and children with higher neuro-developmental scores at 1 and 5 years of age in mothers who exercised during their pregnancy.

Having said all of this, remember that you must have a written letter of clearance from your obstetrician prior to participating in the Breast Cancer 3-Day during your pregnancy. Most normal, uncomplicated pregnancies will have no contraindication to walking. If you have never exercised, or are not a walker, now is not the time to train for a long walk.

There are several changes that occur to your body during pregnancy and a few tips to remember. Pregnancy increases your metabolic rate and you will burn an extra 300 kcal/day. This means that you will fatigue quicker than you did previously. It also is easier for your body to overheat. Be sure to walk early in the morning or late afternoon. If you are feeling hot, stop and rest in a cool place. Heat exhaustion and dehydration can stimulate premature labor. Listen to your body and don’t push yourself to the point of fatigue.

In addition, as you progress through your pregnancy there is an increase in the hormone relaxin. This hormone increases your flexibility to help your pelvis during labor. However, you can also overextend your joints while stretching or overstriding. Be sure to shorten your stride during walking and be careful not to overstretch.

Discuss your walking plan with your obstetrician. Have realistic goals of your participation in the Breast Cancer 3-Day. A successful event does not have to include walking all 60 miles.

Click here to search for a Breast Cancer 3-Day training walk near you. Visit one of our 3-Day outfitters for great discounts on shoes and apparel.

Fundraising Tip of the Week: Corporate Matching
Take advantage of corporate matching gifts programs. Many of your donors may work for companies that have a program like this - their donation could double simply by filling out a form from their Human Resources department and following the steps to submit a matching gift (go to http://www.the3day.org/, Donate Now > Information for Donors > About Matching Gifts for further information).