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.

A Big Life & Blog Update

August 9, 2017

Remember this vague post where I was talking about some BIG changes that were coming?? Well, I can finally spill the beans on what I've been working toward......

I am now a NASM Certified Personal Trainer!




Nearly six months of studying, lots of workouts sacrificed, lunch breaks and so many beautiful weekends spent studying has finally paid off! (It's so weird not to carry a backpack to work now!)

My test was Monday afternoon and when I tell you I studied ALL weekend, I am not exaggerating. (Okay, minus one hour to go get a quick lunch & some groceries on Saturday.) I even woke up early Monday and went right back to studying until I had to leave.

Almost two hours later, I walked out of the testing center crying happy tears, incredibly thankful and excited about where my life is heading. Even though not many people knew I was doing this until it happened, I can't say thank you enough for the sweet congratulations texts and messages across social media. It means the world.

I am still smiling and have to remind myself this is real. Health and fitness have become a huge passion of mine and I am so proud to be part of the NASM family and eager to get started doing something I truly love.

Now.....

What about the blog??



In case you're wondering where this little blog is headed, I can tell you that it's not going anywhere.. but it is morphing into a bigger and better outlet for all things health and fitness. (With a new look, too?) I cannot wait to bring you guys even more helpful posts as well as inspiration and motivation for leading a healthy life.

My list of post ideas (i.e. why you need to eat carbs) keeps growing by the day which is definitely not a bad thing. I am currently working on a post about foam rolling which was heavily requested by readers so look out for that very soon.

As always, if you have an idea or topic you want me to cover, don't hesitate to let me know! (Workout questions welcomed, too!) I am all "ears" and want to give you the tools necessary to get started and succeed. I'd love for you to connect with me on Instagram, too!

Cheers to new beginnings and getting in as many bike rides as possible, and starting a new book! :)

New Podcasts I Discovered

August 7, 2017

My new favorite way to pass the time when I'm making the 4.5 hour drive home to PA is listening to podcasts on my iPad. (I used to have the podcast app on my phone, but #storagealmostfull.)

Since I don't really have time to listen to podcasts any other time, the drive home and back is the perfect opportunity to listen and learn. I can usually get through several podcasts in that time and it makes the drive go a lot quicker.

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I still listen to the podcasts from this blog post, but I've been looking for a few more to add to my downloads list.... fitness-related and beyond.

There are definitely no shortage of podcasts out there, and I found six more that I immediately added to my list. Some I've already listened to a bunch, and some I literally just discovered and can't wait to listen to.

Here they are:

NPR's How I Built This - This is probably my favorite new podcast find and the one that started my quest for new podcasts. If you haven't heard of HIBT yet, the host (Guy) interviews entrepreneurs on how they got started. And there are some craaaazy stories! My absolute favorite episode is with the founder of TRX, Randy Hetrick. I had no idea he was a former SEAL and created TRX when he started using straps to work out on missions.

Mindbodygreen - I read articles every day on Mindbodygreen because they cover so many different health and wellness topics and they're full of great information. When I heard they finally jumped on the podcast train, I was so excited to listen in and have already crossed a lot of episodes off the downloads list. My favorite one so far is with

Bodybuilding.com - I've been reading articles on Bodybuilding.com ever since I started to get into fitness and never even thought to see if there was a podcast, too. Duh! Can't wait to check it out once life calms down a bit. Anyone else out there listen to it? What do you think?

Free Cookies - You guys may remember when I attended the Aim True workshop with Kathryn Budig last year (it was the most amazing day!). I still stalk follow her and she's had some pretty big life changes recently, including moving to NYC, divorcing her husband, and starting a podcast with ESPN contributor Kate Fagan. They talk about sports, lifestyle, wellness, and much more.

The LadyGang Podcast - I just literally discovered this podcast and can't wait to listen in. Each week, a celebrity joins the three hosts to talk about what life is really like in Hollywood. I think it'd be a fascinating podcast to listen to, especially when my mind needs a break lol

The Ultimate Health Podcast - I discovered this podcast because Kathryn Budig was on it recently. The hosts interview world-class experts on in the health and wellness community.. and tackle topics like cholesterol, the importance of carbs, and more. Hello, totally right up my alley! I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet, but it's at the top of my list for new (to me) podcasts to check out.


What are your favorite podcasts? Share with me in the comments so I can check 'em out!

Namaslay Box: A Monthly Care Package
That's Perfect for Yogis

August 2, 2017

The past couple of months, I've been having a lot of fun testing out all natural products and accessories for my yoga practice. (And so far, no skin issues!)

I don't know about you, but I tend to feel overwhelmed by all the products out there. And I'm sure not many of us have the time to really research products but - the good news is.... Namaslay Box does all the work for you.


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It's a monthly wellness yoga subscription box filled with products to nourish your mind, body, and soul.... something I've been working on more this year. All too often we forget to take time for ourselves but Namaslay Box is like a monthly care package. ;) Sign me up!
Every Namaslay Box comes with 5 to 7 items, as well as some extra goodies like positive affirmations, a simple yoga flow, and quick and easy vegetarian recipes (which I definitely need to try).

And bonus: unlike my Nordstrom order, I know when my box will arrive each month, ha!

(Editor's note: if you follow me on Twitter, you know that I'm still waiting for my #NSale order to arrive but the delivery date keeps being pushed back and UPS decided to stop scanning it at destinations.)

Anywho!

Here's what came in the latest box:


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Top Knot Chicago Hair Ties

I actually only use these elastic hair ties and also have a habit of losing them around the house so these are definitely a welcome sight. The middle one is a headband!

HumbleLove Sun Aromatherapy Spray

This aromatherapy spray is specifically designed to help motivate you and wake you up during those mornings where you just can't get out of bed. (Um, that's every day for me....) Funny side-note: the bottle says you can spray it on sluggish coworkers, haha! But seriously, can I??

HumbleLove Goodnight Moon Salve

This bedtime salve smells amazing! It's made with natural ingredients such as Vitamin E, beeswax, lavender oil, and is made to calm your mind and relax the tension brought on by everyday life. I think it's time I add this to my night time routine.

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Yoga Girl By Rachel Brathen

I admittedly have never heard of yogi Rachel Brathen, but I am super excited to get her book in my Namaslay Box! It's full of yoga sequences and simple recipes for a healthy lifestyle. Can't wait to dig in!

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Kind Bar (similar)

Real life: I ate this Kind Bar as soon as I finished shooting these photos. I'm not a fan of dark chocolate but love this bar. It almost felt like eating a dessert!

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Meet Matcha Organic Matcha Tea

I have seen so much about matcha and now I can finally try it! I mentioned here before I'm not a tea drinker, but this kind says you can add it to baked goods or smoothies. I'm definitely going to try it in a smoothie! It's considered to have 137 times more antioxidants than traditional green tea. Have you had it before? How do you like to use it?

Also - isn't the "Inhale joy, exhale love" card the cutest? I have it on my desk... such a cute reminder!

Yoga heals the soul.. and Namaslay Box is definitely the perfect addition!


Ready to Namaslay? Subscribe here and use code NMB10 to receive $5 off your monthly Namaslay Box subscription for life! Plus, enjoy free shipping in the U.S. and Canada!


I was gifted a Namaslay Box, however all opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting brands that support Naturally Me!