My Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day Experience

August 31, 2017

It's only been four days since I was in Philadelphia for the  Susan G. Komen 3-Day® and I am still smiling when I think of the amazing time I had.

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To say that it was a fun experience is a total understatement. For those of you that followed along across my social media channels - thank you! If you missed anything, hopefully this post will help you get an idea of what a 3-Day event is like.

I can sum it up pretty quickly: an experience unlike any other! However, I can't not share some of my favorite memories, photos, and perhaps the most important... some things I learned from my first 3-Day event.

Friday

The Opening Ceremony was an emotional kick-off to the 3-Day and one of the events of the weekend I won't forget. Men and women shared why they were walking and to hear their stories was so inspiring.

The route was through several neighborhoods and there were SO many residents that had cheering stations along the way. Some even had music playing which really put a pep in my step!

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We also walked through Bra Street. (Um, can I live here? Seriously.) I saw photos of this from past events and let me tell you the pictures don't do it justice. The street was lined with bras, music was blastin', and it was just one big party. Let's do it again!

Saturday

In my opinion this was the toughest day to walk. Friday I pretty much power walked because I was so excited and everyone's energy just made my feet go faster. However, by Saturday afternoon, my feet and calves hurt so bad I had to head back to camp early... even after much debate. As much as I wanted to finish the full route, I decided to rest up in hopes of being able to walk all day Sunday.

Needless to day, the one lesson I was reminded of on this particular day was to listen to my body. Walking 20 miles a day for three days isn't easy and by the middle of the day, my body had had enough. Sometimes it's best to rest and recharge so you can come back stronger. (And avoid injury.)

Sunday

Sunday's route was all through downtown Philly and it was so cool! I haven't been to Philly in over 10 years so it was fun to play tourist. We walked through the Philadelphia Zoo, Kelly Street, the Rocky steps, and we even passed an Eagles practice! (I wish I had my terrible towel to wave, ha!)

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I've never given so many high-fives in my life than I did over the course of these three days, but let's just say I still want to high-five everyone I pass!

What I Learned


Since it was my first 3-Day experience, I really wasn't sure what to expect. Of course I had an idea by seeing posts from 3-Day events in other cities, but until you actually live it yourself, ya just don't fully know. Ya know?

I learned a lot, especially in my first day, so of course I'm sharing 'em all with you!

Blister protection = essential. I got a lot of advice from walkers who have done several 3-Day events and they recommended seamless socks, friction block, as well as switching out your socks halfway throughout the day. I was also told to try rubbing vaseline all over your feet before putting socks on (even just to bed if you already have blisters like I did) and I'm still shocked at how well it worked! Who knew?!

Slides over flip flops. I realized this the very first night as I was hanging out at camp, barely able to walk because my feet hurt. Flip flops are fine for showering - but bring slides to wear in the evening when you are eating dinner and enjoying camp festivities. (These slides are my favorite!) I even had a fellow walker give me the same advice when she saw me limping, haha!

Use the Medical Crew. I am not exaggerating when I say I was in the medical tent 2-3 times a day. They are there to help! And not just in a case of emergency. They also treat blisters and roll out tight muscles which was SO helpful for me!

Fun fact: my first night I met Vicky because she rolled out my very tight calves. After that, I saw her three times a day (in the morning before breakfast, at lunch, and in the evening at camp) so she could loosen my calf muscles. She was great! We became BFF's real fast. ;)

Airplane Mode. I don't know about you, but I love taking photos. And I knew I'd be taking tons of photos all three days as I was walking which can drain your battery very quickly. Thank goodness for airplane mode! It conserves your battery and you can still snap photos! That really helped my battery last all day until I could get to camp to recharge.

You're Never Alone. Even though I was a solo walker, I met so many people along the way that were eager to add another person to their group. It was awesome! We walked, talked, and shared stories, laughs, and sunscreen. There is even a solo walkers area where people can meet on the first day to get to know each other. I certainly never felt alone!

Use the sweep vans. Much like the medical crew, the sweep vans are incredibly helpful when you need a break from walking. I loved that each one had a different theme, too. Two of my favorites were the S.S. Nauti-Girl and America the Boob-iful. lol!

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I had a great three days walking, seeing Philadelphia sights, and meeting people, but I will never forget their stories and spirit.... long after my blisters heal. In just three days, 60 miles, and over 124,000 steps, I met breast cancer survivors, those still fighting each day, women who lost friends, men who lost their mom or wife, and many more. It was really eye-opening for me because I realized just how much breast cancer affects everyone. Overall, the event had 400 walkers and $1.1M was raised. That's quite a big step closer in the fight against breast cancer!

Just in case you missed it, you can read about why I walked in the 3-Day here - and if you're walking in an upcoming 3-Day, check out my training schedule and packing list!

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If you're looking into participating in the 3-Day yourself, I'm giving you a virtual high-five! The Susan G. Komen 3-Day schedule for 2018 is already online - I'd love for you to join in on the fight against breast cancer!


This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, however all opinions are my own.

How I'm Training for the
Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day

August 16, 2017

Next weekend, I'll finally be walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®! Can you believe it? (If you missed my post on why I'm walking, you can check it out here!) I'm so excited to join in the fight against breast cancer and experience my first 3-Day walk.

Since I last filled you guys in, I've made a list of things I need to tackle before I head to Philly, gathered up all the pink I can find in my closet, as well as some other important items that I'll highlight below.

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Perhaps the most important preparation I've been doing has been my training. After all, walking 60 miles in three days is more continuous activity than my body is used to and I plan on walking every single mile!

Keep on reading to find out how I've been getting ready for the Susan G. Komen Philadelphia 3-Day!

How I'm Training

 

1. Increasing cardio - Even though we will just be walking, 60 miles adds up! I'm making sure that I increase my cardiovascular activity to be able to tackle any hills as well as a full day of walking. I don't think I'll have to worry about reaching my 10,000 step goal each day!

2. Regular workouts - When was the last time you walked 60 miles in three days? I'd say it would be pretty difficult without any regular workouts and training. Anyone who has done a marathon will tell you they had a daily schedule of mileage goals they needed to meet in order to condition their body to be able to run for 26.2 miles. The same applies here (but to a lesser extent, of course). My daily workouts will only help my endurance!

3. Foam rolling - I'll have a full post on foam rolling soon but the biggest advantage to foam rolling is that it speeds up our muscle recovery. And since I'm training for the 3-Day in addition to my regular workout schedule, it's a very important tool. No injuries welcome here! Bonus points for stretching, too.

4. Walking outside - I always love going for walks outside, but since we'll be walking though out the Philly streets, it's important to get used to paying attention to stop signs, crosswalks and traffic. I'll try not to take too many photos along the way, too. ;)

5. Staying hydrated - One of my biggest goals this year has been to drink my 8-9 glasses of water a day... even if I'm sitting at my desk. Dehydration increases heart rate which, as you can imagine, doesn't usually end well if you're out in the summer heat walking all day.

Bonus: if you don't know where to start, Susan G. Komen provides both a 16-week training program as well as a 24-week training program which makes it super easy to start and stay on track!

My #PHL3Day Packing List


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You guys know I love my lists! Luckily, when you log in to The3day.org - there's a handy packing list that I've already printed out - yay for not having to write everything down myself! (And run the risk of forgetting something important...)

Luckily, since it's still summer I don't need any layers or bulky clothes so I can pack light. Or, can I? Here are a few must-haves for me:

1. 3-Day Gear - I love a good excuse to wear pink, so I'm definitely ready to roll with my new t-shirts! And they'll be a perfect reminder of my experience for years to come. I will always wear them with pride!

2. Sleeping bag - camping is one of my favorite things, so I was super excited to finally have a need for my own sleeping bag and can't wait to go out this weekend to buy my own. No more borrowing from Mom & Dad!

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3. Notebook - I've always been big on journaling and (in addition to taking photos), I want to remember this special weekend as I live it. Even if I write down a few thoughts when we have free time, I want to remember this weekend for years to come!

4. Water Bottle - (see training tip #5 ;) Not only will it be helpful when I'm walking - but I can also make sure I stay hydrated before bed so I can wake up ready to tackle 20 more miles!

Of course, I'll be packing all the other essentials including: SPF, lots of socks, hats, blister block, and sunglasses. Do ya think I can keep my bag under 35 pounds? ;)

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Want to join me in walking 60 miles and making an impact in the fight against breast cancer? You can register at The3Day.org. Be sure to use code ALISSA10 for $10 off registration for the Philadelphia event!

If you haven't already, be sure to follow me on Instagram for live updates of the #PHL3Day!

I am also fundraising up until the event and would love it if you'd donate directly on my page. It's super quick and easy - and every dollar helps in the fight against breast cancer!


All items pictured are c/o Susan G. Komen.
 This post is sponsored by Susan G. Komen on behalf of Fit Approach, however all opinions are my own.