Monday, August 31, 2009


Welcome September!  Whew-August flew by so fast.  I hit a lot of milestones in August.  I reached my fundraising goal, had 4 Saturday walks of over 10 miles (including a 15 this weekend!!), found the perfect shirt for the event-and bought 3 of them, and on Sunday completed #300 of my training miles!

My fundraising thermometer continues to go Up, Up, Up!  This week I received a donation from Jeanne Whisnant, a former co-worker and fellow Parrothead.  Jeanne has worked with the Relay for Life at Johnston Community College for a few years so she knows what it’s like to walk, and walk, and walk for a worthy cause.  I also had a donation from Carie Goral Hertzberg (I’m certain Carie and I have walked 60+ miles around the Walt Disney World parks) who donated on behalf of her Aunt Mary.   Carie added Rhode Island to the map!  (See the updated map at A surprise sponsorship came from my folks who made a donation to the Komen Foundation as well as a donation to the New Shoe Fund!!  It’s time for me to purchase a 2nd pair of shoes-the ones that I will use for the actual event.  Thanks to Joe and Linda for the sneaker fund.  They are ordered and on the way!

A special shout out to Shana who joined me this week for my Tuesday walk.  It was a wonderful treat to share the 5 miles with a friend and she was a champ-barely breaking a sweat in the 100% humidity!  Thanks for the company, Shana!

Since I began preparing for the Breast Cancer 3-Day, my training process has been the talk of the town!  I’m sure this is due partly to the fact that, prior to this, I wasn’t the most “active” person (GASP! SHOCK!) so it’s a clear diversion from my norm.  I’m equally sure it’s because my life is an open book and I tell anyone who will listen what I am up to.  “Hey Jenn!  How’s it going?” is never a rhetorical greeting for me.  You ask-I’ll tell. 

I can only believe that folks have a genuine interest in the training and preparation process.  Why else would they ask?  Like I tell my students, if you have a question, speak up!  You never know how many other folks may have the same question but are just too shy to ask.  For all you shy folks-here is the 411 on my preparation for the Breast Cancer 3-Day. 

1.  Where do I get the ideas for my blogs?   I think about the weekly blog content while I am on my walks.  Most weeks something happens or I have an experience that just must be shared with you all!  There are some weeks when I sit down on Monday evening to write and have no idea what may flow from my fingertips.  Sometimes the blog takes a wide turn from its intended content.  For example, all week I was planning for this entry to be about College Football and the return of new fall television programming-these are two obstacles that may cause my training to suffer!  How, then, did I get to this FAQ entry? I have no idea.

2.  What am I worried about for the actual event?  I am not sure exactly what to expect so it’s hard to identify a worry or concern.  Today, someone from the Denver event posted a blog on the 3-Day Facebook group.  From the description it looks like they blogged about each of the days of the walk last weekend.  I haven’t read it.  I’m not sure if I can.  It may ruin the magic-or it may scare me to death!  Here it is in case you want to look-let me know what you find out.  I have read enough of the message boards on our 3-Day site to know that one of my concerns, FOOD, What will we eat? How often?  Will there be Diet Coke?  Will there be lots of Diet Coke?  is no longer a concern.  Check this out from a 2008 Atlanta walker (note the beverage bar on Day 2 and that there are dessert offerings for 2 meals each day-I’ll be just fine!):

Day 1 Lunch  Chicken Breast and White Cheddar on a Whole Wheat Kaiser Bun Served with apple, Baked Lays potato chips, and Vienna finger cookie

Dinner  Meat or Meatless Meatballs *Spaghetti Pasta with Marinara Sauce* Capri Vegetable Blend  * Salad Bar * Garlic Bread * Assorted Brownies

Day 2 Breakfast *Scrambled Eggs with Cheese * Bacon * Roasted Hashbrown Potatoes* Buttermilk Biscuits with Honey & Butter * Hot Oatmeal & Toppings* Cold Cereal, Pastries, Fruit & Yogurt * Beverage Bar

Dinner *Chicken or Vegan Cutlet Piccata * Garden Vegetable Pilaf *Steamed Broccoli Spears * Parmesan Breadsticks *Salad Bar * Strawberry Cream Cake

3.  How do I find the time to walk? I addressed this a bit a few blogs back.  It’s tough.  At first, even the long weekend walks only took a couple hours.  These days it’s a major commitment.  I walked for over 13 hours this week.  Tuesday and Thursday walks can still be sandwiched in between dinner and bedtime or right after work before dinner.  Saturday and Sunday walks are a bit tougher.  I think we are all getting up early to get the walk done before 1. The sun gets too brutal and; 2.  College Gameday comes on!!  (More about that next week)   It’s not too bad.  I’m always done before lunch so I have plenty of weekend to enjoy.

4.  How are my Feet? Legs? Knees?  People ask me about the wear and tear on my body every day-everyone is so caring (or maybe I’m looking a bit worse for wear these days).  I hate to brag too much here but I will knock on wood and risk it.  I haven’t had much trouble with blisters.  I had one the first week (stinking Brooks shoes) and got one the weekend I did 13 miles on Saturday.  Not bad for 3 months of training!  I have built up some lovely calluses and I think they are saving my feet, even if they are frightening the folks at my nail salon. My cross training of step aerobics and cycling help build up my muscles and my tolerance for sweat dripping in my eyes.  As a result, my legs/knees/previously broken ankle feel great! Okay, maybe not great after mile 9 or so, but I do find that I can recover more quickly than I used to. The first time I did 10 miles on a Saturday I came home and crashed on the couch for 2 hours! This weekend, after 15 on Saturday, I only rested for 20 minutes before getting ready for a shopping spree with Mary Grace. 

6.  If you are drinking all that water, where do you…go?  I will not elaborate on this publicly, but, here is a list of some of the interesting pit stops I have made (so far)

  •  Porta-potty at an abandoned construction site
  • CVS on Clemson Rd (This location has the best air conditioning + they have a selection of candies in the ladies room!  This week it was cow tails-Yummo!)
  • A wooded area in Lake Carolina that was clearly marked with a No Trespassing sign (this is how I lost my sunglasses-what a day!)
  • Walgreens on Hardscrabble Rd
  • CVS (1 visit) and Panera (2 visits) in Atlanta (all in 1 walk!  It was my first with a CamelBak and Meredith was very patient with me)
  • Carolina Coffee in Lake Carolina
  • Legitimate, provided facilities at Riverwalk in Cola and the trail in Fayetteville
  • Publix on Hardscrabble Rd
  • Bunkie’s House
  • CVS in Decatur
*As you can tell, CVS is the leader in convenience and cleanliness!

7.  What’s in the backpack?  Oh the gear!!  The 3-Day coaches and previous walkers have been great about listing suggested items to pack and carry.  I think I’ll share that closer to time for me to actually start packing for the event.  These days I’m carrying only the essentials:

  1. Water.  Water is heavy, by the way.  The CamelBak (see my lime green Mule model pictured) will hold 100 oz of water. For a weekend walk I fill it about ¾ full. 
  2. Supplemental Fluid w/Electrolytes.  Water is not enough!  We learned at the 3-Day expo (and you can see evidence in Meredith’s blog) that you must replace your lost electrolytes.  For any walk over 10 miles I carry a Nuun Water or Sugar Free Powerade.  A few sips really can take your energy from 0 to 10…okay, 0 to 5, but that is usually all you need to get home. 
  3. iPod and headphones. Contraband on the actual walk but a necessity for all solo training. 
  4. Extra socks.  Sometimes you need them.  The sprinklers are to blame.
  5. $10 and my ID.  This was inspired by Kim.  You never know when you might get too far from home and get lost, or injured, or have to give up (on the 3-Day there will be sweeper vans for this; no sweeper vans on the training walks).  Since I walk alone, I carry a $10, my ID, and the phone number to a local cab company.  Thank you, Safety Sue.
  6. Snacks!!  For any walk over 10 miles I pack a protein bar and piece of fruit.  I have learned that a shady spot and a few apple slices can really put the pep back in my step.
  7. Wet wipes.  I originally starting packing these because in the heat of July, it was nice to have a refreshing wipe for my face and hands.  I have since found that they are also handy for wiping an otherwise sketchy porta-potty seat at an abandoned construction site (see question 6).
  8. Sweat towel.  This usually starts in my bag but ends up draped over my shoulder straps for easy and frequent use.
  9. Plastic poop bags.  Lots of plastic poop bags.
  10. Other assorted items:  cell phone (to call the cab); gum; sunglasses on a strap; pedometer always hooked to my hip; and a map of my route

8.  How much weight have I lost from walking?  This is hard to answer.  I started training for the walk about 5 months into a personal weight loss effort.  The walking has definitely boosted my efforts!  In order to fit in the suggested 4 days of training per week I eliminated 3 days of 30-minute at home workouts with Jillian Michels as well as 3 runs of 2-4 miles per week.  Walking is so much easier-and I don’t miss Jillian screaming at me at all!  I have lost 54 lbs since January and I do appreciate everyone noticing!

There’s the run down of the questions you most frequently ask. Let’s not let the blog end here! I can only offer the perspective of one person.  I’m certain that Kim, Meredith, Jenn D, and Michelle have varying perspectives on many of these issues and likely get questions from folks about other things too.  Chime in Ladies!!

I have been looking forward to the training for this week!  The Tuesday Thursday walks are boosted by a mile or two but the weekend walks are abbreviated-likely because of the Labor Day holiday.  I’ll be in Raleigh cheering for the Wolfpack and enjoying the long weekend.  I will enjoy the change of scenery for an easy 8-mile Saturday and 6-mile Sunday. 

Wherever the weekend takes you, Happy Stepping!


Miles/Steps this week:  138/64,382      Miles/Steps total: 300/594,914


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