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.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Virtual Trainer 4 Weeks

Countdown: 4 Weeks

Your Training Schedule For This Week:
Monday Rest
Tuesday 3 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 45 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 6 miles Moderate walking
Friday 45 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 10 miles Easy walking
Sunday 8 miles Easy walking

Training Tip Of The Week: How To Handle The Heat

To help prepare for hot weather conditions that you may experience during the Breast Cancer 3-Day you must train under conditions similar to those of the event itself. It will be cool when the walk begins in the early morning but quickly heat up by the afternoon. For these reasons, you must include training walks during the hotter parts of the day. You also should vary your walking terrain to include sidewalks, trails, asphalt and hills. Conditions that mimic the actual Breast Cancer 3-Day will help your body adjust and be prepared for the event.

Carry a water bottle with you at all times to help you monitor how much fluid you are consuming. For long walks over 45 minutes add a sports drink as well. Hydration is key to keeping you cool. There will be trays of cold water at all of the pit stops along the route. Bring a bandana or two to dip in the ice water and wrap it on your head or neck. Do this at every pit stop.

The right apparel is a big factor in your enjoyment of the Breast Cancer 3-Day. That’s why it’s important to look for fabrics that will help keep you dry and comfortable during your journey.

NewBalance_shirt NewBalance_shorts

We recommend products like those in the New Balance Lace Up for the Cure® Collection that include the LIGHTNING DRY moisture transfer system or PHANTOM WAISTBAND™ technologies. LIGHTNING DRY features a superior fabric that removes moisture from your skin and transfers it to the outside layer where it can be quickly evaporated while the PHANTOM WAISTBAND™ uses invisible technology to eliminate painful irritations and chafing. With the right clothes, you’ll be able to walk 3 days and 60 miles in comfort and style!

Dress in layers so that you can remove clothing as the day becomes hotter. Apply sunscreen and carry it with you on your walks to reapply. Most importantly, pay close attention to your body and stop and rest in the shade if you get too hot or tired.

If you begin to get hot, do not push yourself. Rest at the pit stop and get fluids and a snack. If you need help getting to the next pit stop, signal a sweep vehicle to take you there. Take advantage of the air conditioned sweep vehicles to cool down and rest. Check in with medical at the pit station if you have any signs of dizziness, nausea, or chills. If you need to get off the route, there are buses that will take you to lunch to await the opening of camp. Once camp is open, you will be taken there by bus.

Once in camp, do not go immediately to the showers. Give your body time to rest and equilibrate. It is best to rest, get a snack and something to drink. Do not rest in your tent if it is too hot as you can overheat. Find a shady spot in camp and rest there. Once you are rested, then go to the showers.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

You Know You Are A 3 Day Walker If...

One of the message board polls is You Know You Are A 3 Day Walker If... (fill in the blank).

I thought these responses were cute:

- Everything in your closet is pink
Every street you drive down you say I've walked there
- When someone beeps their horn and you cheer
When you know exactly how far it is from your house to the gas station and how many times you have to walk back and forth to meet your training goal for the day
You dye your hear pink and wear silly costumes, to raise awareness
- You stare at your odometer in your car and are amazed at how far 16, 20, or even 60 miles is!! and then are proud at how far you've walked!!
You can say ONLY 12 miles today!!!
You're the only one to notice the NFL referees have pink ribbons on their shirts in October.
You look forward to the Port - A - Potties
When you wear out new shoes in just 6 weeks!
You caution a complete stranger dressed in business attire who is walking down the hall while talking on a cell phone to "please step off the route"
When men are wearing bras (& they are on the outside of their clothing)
You think that a pink feather boa is an acceptable head-dress and why are those people looking at me like I'm crazy.
You know who has the cleanest restrooms in town
You know at least 5 different routes to log 15 miles
You know the exact mileage between the park and Starbucks
You have named every duck in the park and all of their babies
You plan your vacations around the 3 Day training schedule
You take off your sneaker and sock and say, "ahhhhhhh"
You could qualify as a "Neighborhood Watch" person, since you've been by everyone's house over and over again.
You're willing to sleep in a tent, shower in a truck, eat supper in your pj's with thousands of strangers, have some kid hoist your leg over your head (p-t medic) and then go home and tell everyone how TOTALLY AWESOME your weekend was!
-When you tell someone "I only lost 2 toenails this year" and wonder why they look at you weird.
You are passionate about putting an end to breast cancer!!!

Legacy Pins

Legacy Pins are a big deal for the 3 Day. I previously blogged about my Training Walk Leader Legacy Pin. Here are the other Legacy Pins available.

Team Captain Legacy Pin Team Captain
Will be mailed along with a Team Captain Handbook approximately four weeks after registering as a team captain.
Crew Captain Legacy Pin Crew Captain
Will be available from your Crew & Volunteer Coordinator when you attend your next Crew Captain Meeting.
Crew Coach Legacy Pin Crew Coach
Will be available from your Crew & Volunteer Coordinator when you attend your next Crew Captain Meeting.
Training Walk Leader Legacy Pin Training Walk Leader
Will be mailed to you approximately two weeks after you are trained as a training walk leader and have posted your first training walk.
Top Fundraiser Legacy Pin Top Individual Fundraiser
Awarded on-event to the top individual fundraiser (walker and crew member) in each 3-Day location. Note: Fundraising totals are calculated one week prior to your event.
Multi-Event Legacy Pin Multi-Event Participant
Awarded on-event to those who participate (walk or crew) in more than six different 3-Days in 2008.
Largest Team Legacy Team Largest Team
Awarded on-event to the members of the largest team in each 3-Day location.
Top Team Legacy Pin Top Team (Fundraising)
Awarded on-event to the team who raises the most money overall, as well as the team who raises the most money per member, in each 3-Day location. Note: Fundraising totals are calculated one week prior to your event.
Power Team Legacy Pin Power Team
Awarded on-event to each walker of any team that averages $3,200 raised per walker. Your team must meet this fundraising goal 30 days before your 3-Day in order to qualify for this pin.
$3000 Legacy Pin $3,000 Fundraiser
Awarded on-event to any participant who has raised between $3,000 - $4,999 for that 3-Day location. Note: Fundraising totals are calculated one week prior to your event.
$5000 Legacy Pin $5,000 Fundraiser
Awarded on-event to any participant who has raised between $5,000 - $9,999 for that 3-Day location. Note: Fundraising totals are calculated one week prior to your event.
$10000 Legacy Pin $10,000 Fundraiser
Awarded on-event to any participant who has raised between $10,000 - $14,999 for that 3-Day location. Note: Fundraising totals are calculated one week prior to your event.
$15000 Legacy Pin $15,000 Fundraiser
Awarded on-event to any participant who has raised $15,000 or more for that 3-Day location. Note: Fundraising totals are calculated one week prior to your event.
3-Peat Legacy Pin 3-Peat in ’09
Awarded on-event in the 3-Day Café to any participant who registers for a 2009 3-Day.
Sagged Legacy Pin Sagged and proud
There’s no shame in having to take the bus to camp! This pin is awarded on-event to those participants who have been transported to camp via SAG bus.
Relocation Legacy Pin I survived a relocation
Sometimes Mother Nature doesn't cooperate. This pin will be awarded to all 3-Day participants who continue to smile and enjoy the 3-Day experience even when they have to relocate camp indoors due to weather.
Tent Decorating Legacy Pin Tent Decorating
Awarded on-event to the best decorated tent in each tent section (as determined by the Gear & Tent Crew).
Rock Star Legacy Pin Rock Star
Awarded on-event to the three finalists in the “3-Day Rock Star” karaoke contest.
Last Walker Legacy Pin Last Walker
Awarded on-event to the last walker arriving into camp each day.
Ceremonies Legacy Pin Ceremonies
Awarded on-event to those who participate as flag-bearers in the Opening or Closing Ceremonies.
Survivor Circle Legacy Pin Survivor Circle
Awarded on-event to those who participate in the Survivor Circle during Opening or Closing Ceremonies.

Major Gear Score Today

After our 10 mile walk this morning I went to a clinic at Foot Solutions. Several veteran 3 Day Walkers were hosting the clinic where first timers could ask questions. It was great and I appreciate all the advice. Foot Solutions was also having a fabulous sale! They were offering 25% off everything in the store to 3 Day walkers as well as $5 Thorlo socks (regularly $12.99) and special clearance shoes 30% to 70% off. I picked up 3 pairs of Thorlos. I've heard wonderful things about these socks from other walkers. I can't wait to try them out.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wal-Mart Fundraiser

My team scheduled a canning fundraiser at Wal-Mart about a month ago just in case we hadn't met our goal. Thankfully we all either met our goal or we were really close so there wasn't a lot riding on this fundraiser. We claimed our space in front of Wal-Mart (at least 15 feet away from the entrance) and set up our table, chairs, and sign. Selena, Martie, Melissa and I all came out to raise money and support Breast Cancer Awareness. We handed out pamplets, bracelets, beads, and stickers. We came away with $11 dollars and 1 dozen donuts and some sodas after 2 hours. We probably could have done better if we were more outgoing but we were exhausted after the 18 mile walk on Saturday and part of the 15 mile Sunday walk. It was fun hanging out with my teammates though. I am looking forward to hanging out with them some more on the 3 Day.

18/15 and "I DIDN'T DIE!"

I completed 18 miles Saturday and 15 miles Sunday and I didn't die! Woohoo! Surprisingly I wasn't sore the next day either (maybe a little stiff though). My motivation for the weekend was that I really wanted to complete my milestone badge. When I registered for the 3 Day I was given a badge holder, a card, and a sheet of stickers. Each sticker represents either a training, fundraising, or event milestone. When you set up your fundraising website you can give yourself a sticker. When you complete a 10 mile training walk you can give yourself a sticker. There are 16 total milestone stickers. The last one I needed was the 18/15 back-to-back. I was determined to finish the miles this weekend because I didn't want to do it again another weekend. I did it but just barely. I scheduled the training walks this weekend and planned the routes. There were 7 walkers on Saturday. Two left after the first 9 mile loop. The rest of us continued. When we got back to the park we had only done 17 miles. Two of the walkers stopped there but I really wanted to finish all 18 so three of us took a "victory lap" around the park for the last mile. I got up bright and early again on Sunday. I was a little sore but after walking it off the soreness went away. We had 4 returners for Sunday's walk and one addition. The other walkers had other obligations Sunday afternoon so we only finished 9 miles as a group. I walked 3 miles more around the park but had to go to my team's fundraiser at Wal-Mart. Sunday evening I decided to walk my dog for the last 3 miles. We barely walked 100 yards when a loose dog ran over and attacked my poor dog. She got bit on the lip and was bleeding a little and shaken up so I had to take her home. She is fine thank goodness. I finished the miles while talking to my friend Lauren but don't tell the safety crew because we're not supposed to talk on the phone while walking. Oops!

This is me after walking 18/15 back-to-back

This is my Milestone Badge. The pink 3 Day pin is the 2008 walker pin, the purple pin is the training walk leader pin, the pink stickers are milestone stickers, and the black stickers with hearts represent who I am walking for. The green heart is for a grandparent, the purple heart is for a friend, and the yellow heart is for other relative.

Putting the last sticker on

My completed milestone badge

Virtual Trainer 5 Weeks

Countdown: 5 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:

Monday Rest
Tuesday 5 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 45 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 6 miles Moderate walking
Friday 45 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 18 miles Easy walking
Sunday 15 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Lymphedema

Lymphedema is an accumulation of lymphatic fluid in tissue and presents as swelling to the upper extremity. It typically occurs after breast cancer treatments where lymph nodes or vessels are damaged or removed. It can develop at any time - weeks, months, or even years later. Stressful conditions, such as an increase in exercise can cause it to occur.

Signs can include a full/heavy sensation in the arm, skin feeling tight, hand or elbow pain, skin discoloration, decreased hand or wrist flexibility, difficulty fitting into clothing in one specific area or ring/watch/bracelet tightness. Swelling may develop at any part of the extremity. Seek medical attention as soon as you notice any of these symptoms.

Skin care is important to decrease the risk of infection. If you notice redness, warmth, swelling or tenderness to the skin, seek medical care at once. This is even more important if you have diabetes. Tips for skin care include:

  • Keep skin moisturized and clean. Moisturize frequently and do not use harsh soaps.
  • Take frequent breaks and rest when doing vigorous activities, especially if your arm feels tired, heavy or achy.
  • Use an electric razor instead of a safety razor.
  • Use insect repellants that do not dry the skin. Avoid those that contain a significant amount of alcohol.
  • Use sunscreen with SPF factor 15 or higher. Reapply often.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to insect bites, cuts or abrasions (as long as you are not allergic).
  • Rest your arm in an elevated position, but do not hold it up for a long time without support so that your muscles will not get tired.
  • If you have arm swelling, wear compression bandages or garments and glove as instructed by your health care provider. Bring one or two spare sets with you on the 3-Day.
  • If you have a history of infections, use antibiotics as directed by your personal physician.
  • Don’t carry heavy objects or wear heavy shoulder bags on your affected side.
  • Don’t wear your watch or jewelry on your affected side.
  • Don’t wear clothing that restricts movement or has tight sleeves.
  • Don’t smoke or drink too much alcohol.
  • Don’t get manicures that cut or overstress the skin around the nails.
  • Don’t permit blood pressure testing or any type of puncture (injection, IVs, drawing of blood or vaccinations) to your affected arm.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My Training Walk Story

It seems like everyone training for the 3 Day has some weird training walk story. Melissa has several. She's had water balloons thrown at her, beer cans thrown at her, and she's been bitten by a dog. She also trains in a ghetto neighborhood so that might explain some of it. Martie has had a stranger stop and offer her a ride because they didn't realize that she wanted to walk. Well I finally have a story to tell today. Remember in my garage sale post how I mentioned that the community sign was stolen? Well I found it today while I was walking around my neighborhood. Totally random since my neighborhood is 10 miles from Martie's and we live in the fifth largest city in the US. That sign could have gone anywhere. At first I saw it and didn't think much of it. Then I looked again and realized it was a professionally made sign. Most individuals having a yard sale don't have professional signs. I called Martie and asked what the name of her community is. Sure enough it was their sign. I "stole" it back for them. I can't believe someone would steal a garage sale sign but at least they have it back for next year.

Garage Sale

After the Bunco party I met my fundraising goal but my teammate Melissa was still about $800 short. We had a garage sale yesterday at Martie's house to help Melissa raise some more. It was the community garage sale weekend so that helped bring more traffic through (although the sign was stolen and later found but that will be a separate blog story). We got a ton of stuff donated. Most of it came from Martie's family. There was a steady flow of customers for the first hour or so and then it started to slow down. That was probably about the time the sign was stolen because there was a dramatic reduction in number of customers. We also found out that with garage sales it doesn't matter if the money is going to charity people only want a good deal. Martie tried to price individual items but I think that scared customers off. Finally we just asked people to make us an offer. By noon the customer stream was non-existent so we decided to pick up and eat some Taco Bell. The remaining items (and there was a lot) went to other charities. The clothes and shoes went to Martie's church because they give it to homeless people. The other items were donated to the VA because they were having their pick up on Monday. We ended up raising $200 but I thought for sure with all the stuff we had we could make at least double that. Martie's dad ended up stopping by and he asked Melissa how much more she needed and she said $600. Martie's dad ended up donating the rest. What a super guy!

We were supposed to have a canning fundraiser next weekend at Wal-Mart but since we've all reached our goal I don't know if we're still going to do it. Especially since next weekend's training is the BIG ONE (18 miles on Saturday and 15 miles on Sunday)!

Virtual Trainer 6 Weeks

Countdown: 6 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:

Monday Rest
Tuesday 5 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 45 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 6 miles Moderate walking
Friday 45 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 10 miles Easy walking
Sunday 6 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Heel Pain

“Whenever I put pressure down on my heel, I get a severe, sharp pain under my heel.”
“It’s like the bottom of my heel is bruised.”
“My feet hurt so bad in the morning I have to walk on my tiptoes.”
“My flat feet never bothered me until I started to increase my walking.”

If these are your symptoms you may have developed plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammation of a ligament between the ball of the foot and the heel. It can occur from:

  1. Increased walking (especially on asphalt or concrete)
  2. Prolonged standing
  3. Gaining weight
  4. Poorly fitted shoes

The pain occurs because you are stretching the plantar fascia. The pain usually lessens with more walking, but it may occur again after periods of rest. Walkers may get plantar fasciitis when they change their workout and increase their mileage and frequency of workouts. It also can occur with a change in exercise surface or terrain, or if your shoes are worn out and don’t provide enough cushion for your heels. If the arches of your feet are abnormally high or low, you are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than if your arches are normal.

How is it treated?

  1. Give your painful heels lots of rest. You may need to stay completely off your feet for several days when the pain is severe.
  2. Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen for 7 days may help (DO NOT take more than the recommended dose).
  3. Roll a frozen water bottle over the sole of your foot for 5 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
  4. Try to cushion your foot. Wear comfortable supporting athletic shoes, even at work, for a while. Cushion the heel with heel cups or insoles. They are most helpful if you are overweight or elderly. Wear an over-the-counter full-length orthotic sole supports (eg. Spenco or Superfeet). These can be particularly helpful if you have flat feet or high arches.
  5. Most importantly, start Achilles tendon stretches as demonstrated below. Stretch, stretch, stretch. (See below). If the pain persists despite this treatment, seek medical advice.

heel pain stretches

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: Ask your yoga instructor or personal trainer for a donated class
Invite your friends to attend a special yoga/aerobics/step class donated by a trainer. Their admission fee of $20 payable to the Breast Cancer 3-Day becomes a donation, and the trainer gets the chance to build their client base. It’s a win-win for all.

Friday, October 3, 2008


The Bunco fundraiser was so much fun! Melissa and I raised $500 to split between us. We had 24 people come and everyone won at least one prize. We had over $1000 in prizes donated including artwork, jewelry, restaurant gift certificates, personal training sessions, Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, t-shirts, and much more.

SMS rentals let us borrow card tables, chairs and a margarita/daiquiris machine. I've never used a margarita machine so it was a learning experience. Now that I know how they work I want one for every party!

Here is the cake I made. It is a strawberry mirror cake. It was so delicious. It has a thin layer of strawberry Jell-o on top.

This was the cake I made for Martie's Bunco party. It is very similar but no mirror on top.

Still Going Strong

I'm almost finished with week 7 count down and I'm still going strong. I've been so blessed to not experience any injuries yet. Knock on wood! This weekend will definitely be a big test with 17 miles on Saturday and 13 miles on Sunday. I'm scared but I will let you know how it turns out. I signed up for two official training walks so that should motivate me to get out of bed both days. If you are training for the 3 Day and need motivation or if you are thinking about doing the 3 Day next year I definitely recommend participating in the official training walks or becoming a training walk leader. I don't think I would have done half the walks if I had to do them by myself.

In other news my medical form has been reviewed and cleared so I am now able to complete the final phase of check-in. It looks like I really am going to do this walk.

Virtual Trainer 7 Weeks

Countdown: 7 Weeks

Your Training Schedule for This Week:

Monday Rest
Tuesday 5 miles Easy walking
Wednesday 45 minutes Moderate cross-training
Thursday 6 miles Moderate walking
Friday 45 minutes Easy cross-training
Saturday 17 miles Easy walking
Sunday 13 miles Easy walking

Training Tip of the Week: Fluids

Recent scientific research has underscored the benefit of remaining well hydrated before, during and following physical activity. Hyponatremia (low sodium) is a rare but serious condition that can cause weakness, cramps, swollen hands and feet, confusion, and even seizures. To decrease your risk of hyponatremia you must replace fluids lost through exercise and consume food with salt. Maintaining fluid balance takes a concerted effort on your part in modifying your drinking behavior throughout your training day. The goal for fluid intake during exercise should be to fully replace fluids and salt lost through sweating. The physiological and performance benefits of doing so are well documented.

The best way to estimate the amount of fluid you are losing through sweating is to weigh yourself before and after exercise. You should drink at least one pint (2 glasses or 16 ounces) of fluid for every pound of weight lost due to sweating. If you weigh more after your training session, you may have drank too much fluid. Another way to estimate your hydration status is to monitor your urine output in terms of frequency and color. If you are urinating a small amount of dark-colored urine, then you need to increase your fluid intake.

Rapid and complete rehydration following exercise requires the consumption of a volume of fluid and salt that is equal to that which was lost as sweat. The fluids that taste good and have some amount of salt in them tend to be consumed more rapidly. It has been shown that athletes who include a cold sports drink during their activity will drink more fluid. Eating foods that contain salt decreases your risk of overdiluting your fluids. Your fluid replacement needs may vary based on the weather conditions, terrain and your training level. Drinking when you are thirsty is the scientifically supported method to use which takes this into account. However, for participants who may find it easier, here are some fluid replacement guidelines to follow under normal conditions:

Pre-training walk/Pre-event:

  • Drink an extra 8 glasses (64 ounces or 2 quarts) of fluid during the 24 hours before a long training walk or the event.
  • Drink 2 glasses (16 ounces or 1 pint) of fluid 2 hours before exercise. This will allow time to excrete the excess fluid prior to walking.
  • Remember, in hot or humid weather you may need to drink more fluids.
  • If you are walking at a slower pace, you may not need to drink as much.

During your walk: Monitor your fluid intake. Drink when thirsty. Your urine should be dilute and you should be urinating frequently. Try to consume 4-5 ounces of fluid per mile (1-2 standard water bottles per hour). This should include water and sports drink.

Post-Walk: Drink a combination of water and sports drink and consume food with some salt after exercising greater than 1 hour.