Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Photos Are Up!

Joanne and Margie in Holding, about to participate in the Victory Walk to Closing Ceremonies
I have survived my first 3-Day for the Cure!  I am still sore, and I'm still a bit drained emotionally.  At the moment, I'm not sure if I will be doing it again next year, but I'm willing to bet that as my emotional tank re-fills, there is a good likelyhood that this will not be the last 3-Day Walk I do.

I am working on a write up of the entire event, which I will post here once I get it done.  In the meantime, you can enjoy the photos I took on the event that I put up on my Facebook page.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

One Day To Go!

Short and sweet as I'm madly packing. Tonight I drive down to San Diego and tomorrow morning I will join many, many others to walk 60-miles over three days. I'm humbled and honored to have the support of so many awesome family and friends! Just wanted to get one last huge shout out to all of you who have supported me with your kind words, your donations, your willingness to listen. A super special thank you to my Hubby, without whom none of this would have been possible. Since the forcast is calling for almost definite rain most of the weekend in San Diego, I leave you with the following inspirational quote: "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain!"

(11/17/10)
Fundraising: $25.00, Total: $4,525.
Training: 1 hour of water aerobics

(11/16/10)
Fundraising: $28.00, Total: $4,500.00

Saturday, November 13, 2010

1 Week To Go! - Thank YOU!!!

It's almost here! I can hardly believe it! I just yesterday printed my official credentials that I will use on the event. I laminated it and have it tucked away safely with my gear that I'm starting to put together to take with me.

Here's the amazing thing about all of this. YOU have helped me raise $4,472.00 to battle breast cancer. I was worried when I signed up for this that I fundraising would be hard. My friends and family made it painless and I feel so blessed to have such giving caring people in my life. That $4,472.00 will make a difference in the fight against breast cancer, especially when it gets combined with the millions that all of the other 3-day events this year have raised.

I am excited and nervous as this last week begins. I couldn't do this without all the support, both financial and emotional, that I've gotten from all of you. So a huge Thank you and giant round of applause for those of you who have taken this journey with me. We're almost there and I can't wait to report on the experience to all of you!

Friday, November 5, 2010

2 Weeks Out!

Wow! I've only got 14 days until this amazing event is actually here. I can hardly wait. And at the same time, I definitely need that time to get myself ready. I've come down with a terrible cold which has put my training on hold for right now, but better now than two weeks from now. I also need to pack. Anyone who knows me well, knows I obsess when I'm getting ready for a trip. There's so much more going on than a regular trip for this one that I really need to get that packing list finalized and put things together well in advance.

I did something a little impulsive back on October 25. I signed up to walk again next year! I was sort of waiting until after this year's event to make sure it was something I wanted to attempt again, but here I've gone and done it. It was prompted by the fact that a good friend of mine mentioned to me last night that she is definitely planning to walk with me next year. They have a promotion that if you sign up for the 2011 walk using the promotion code CURE2011, the registration fee is only $55 instead of $90 (a savings of $35) and they guarantee that is the best discount they will offer for the 2011 season. This promotion code is good for anyone who signs up between now and December 6th. So I'm all signed up and you can even join my team for next year if you are so inclined. The temporary URL for my 2011 page is http://www.the3day.org/goto/margie_dowens_2011 From there, click on "Register to Join Margie's Team" and use the promotion code to join me.

Here's a couple photos of my hat with the ribbon chain on it. There are still two more ribbons to be added before I go --- one of the many things I still need to do before the next two weeks are up. Thank you all so much for going with me on this journey.


Me in the hat 

My son modeling it for an overhead shot
(10/27/10)
Training: 2.5 miles in 42 minutes on treadmill, total miles: 284.5

(10/26/10)
Training: 4.0 miles on bike in 26 minutes and
1.5 miles in 27 minutes on treadmill, Total miles: 282.0

(10/24/10)
Training: 4.1 in 1 hour 27 minutes, Total miles: 280.5

(10/16/10)
Fundraising: $40.00, Total: $4,472.00
Training: 10.2 miles in 3 hours and 56 minutes, Total miles: 276.4

(10/15/10)
Training: 30 minutes on the stationary bike

(10/14/10)
Training: 42 minutes on the stationary bike
3.2 miles on the treadmill in 1 hour, Total miles: 266.2

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2 1/2 Weeks to Go - Spectator Information

All of the following information for spectators came from: http://www.the3day.org/site/PageServer?pagename=SD_Spectator

Go there for the latest information! 
----------------------------------------------
Before the Event

Getting ready for the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure® is a big job. Here are some ways to support your participant before the big day arrives.

Write a letter expressing your love and support to your walker, which we’ll deliver to him/her on the event.

Send letters to:
3-Day for the Cure
ATTN: INSERT NAME OF PARTICIPANT
P.O. Box 721237
San Diego, CA 92172

Envelopes only, please. No boxes or large packages. Mail must be postmarked no later than November 9 in order to ensure delivery at the 3-Day for the Cure Camp Post Office. Please note: This address is not the actual location of camp, but a PO Box for mail delivery only. Any mail that is not postmarked by the date above or retrieved by the participant by December 5 will be destroyed.

Organize a group to host your very own private cheering station. (Contact sroos@event360.com for more information.)

Organize a group of Camp Angels to assist participants with setting up and striking tents and unloading gear. (Contact aschwager@event360.com for more information.)

Send your participant sweet dreams with a personal note and a sweet treat delivered to their tent at camp. For a $10 donation, the staff of the Komen San Diego 3-Day for the Cure will hand-deliver a personal message from you (along with a small tin of mints) to a participant’s tent on the Saturday of the event, before bedtime. Follow this link for more information and to send a “Sweet Dreams” treat. This is only available for a limited time, so please make your “Sweet Dreams” treat donation by November 5th.

Help raise money. Ask your participant how you can get involved in her/his fundraising plan.

Join your participant on a training walk.

Opening Ceremony

The 3-Day for the Cure begins early Friday morning with the Opening Ceremony. When you arrive, take a moment to write the names of the people in your life who have lost their lives to breast cancer on the white ribbons we will provide. Those ribbons will be used to create a special memorial flag that will be raised during the ceremony.

This celebration is not just for participants. Friends and family are highly encouraged to attend, though please note that seating will not be available, so if you are unable to stand for 30-60 minutes, you may want to bring a folding chair. Please allow extra travel time due to expected traffic congestion at the site.

After the Opening Ceremony is over, participants will begin walking the 60-mile route and start a journey of a lifetime. It will be even more special if you are there to help send them off with smiles and encouragement.

Friday, November 19

Del Mar Fairgrounds
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Del Mar, CA 92104

Schedule for the Day:

4:00 a.m. - Crew members should arrive.
5:30 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. - Walkers should arrive.
6:30 a.m. - Opening Ceremony begins with community stretching.

Directions:

From Interstate 5, take the Via de la Valle exit and head west (a left turn from the freeway exit if you are northbound; a right turn if you are southbound). Take Via de la Valle to Jimmy Durante Boulevard and turn left. The Fairgrounds will be on your right. Please enter the main gate. Please enter main gate to drop off bags and park. Long Term Parking please proceed on Via de la Valle and enter West Entrance via Solana Gate.

Cheering Stations

Public cheering stations are a great way to show your support along the route to encourage walkers and let them know that you are with them every step of the way. Seeing familiar faces cheering them on can provide that extra burst of energy that gets them to take that next step or go the next mile. Create banners, hold up signs, bring some music and make some noise - anything to make them smile, get energized and keep walking.

Please note that only registered participants with a valid event credential should be walking on the 3-Day route and utilizing the 3-Day pit stops. We ask that all supporters and spectators gather at cheering stations in order to show their support, and do not walk the route or drive along the route.

Friday, November 19

10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
UCSD Scripps Institute of Oceanography
8580 La Jolla Shores Drive
San Diego, CA 92037

12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Taylor Library 4275 Cass Street
San Diego, CA 92109

Saturday, November 20

7:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
Robb Field - South
2525 Bacon Street
San Diego, CA 92107

9:30 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Robb Field - North
2525 Bacon Street
San Diego, CA 92107

10:45 a.m. - 3:15 p.m.
South Mission
2600 Mission Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92109

Sunday, November 21

8:15 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
San Diego Visitor Information
2688 E Mission Bay Dr.
San Diego, CA 92109

11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Reuben H. Fleet Space Theater
2150 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101

On some portions of the route you may find some areas that are deemed “quiet zones” which will be indicated by signage on the route. Please assist us in respecting our neighborhoods and communities during this time

Camp

Our campsite is meant to be a special place for your participants to relax, reflect and bond with the 3-Day community. To help us maintain a safe, secure and organized campsite for your loved ones, we ask that you respect our “no visitors” policy. Also, if you wish to call your walker or crew member on their cell phone, please do not call after 9:00 p.m. “lights out,” when camp is a quiet zone.

While at Home

Capture the 3-Day in the news: While walkers are taking steps to end breast cancer, save any media coverage of the 3-Day. Aside from being a nice addition to your participant's 3-Day memorabilia, it will show his/her impact on the community.

Engage the kids in the cause: Since holding down the fort may include taking care of the kids, you can make this time meaningful by connecting them with the breast cancer cause.
  • Have them create signs or decorations if they are able to go to a cheering station.
  • Have them create a welcome home banner.
  • Give them journals so they can write or draw what they’ve been doing for three days.
  • Have them plan a welcome home meal or put together a care package with goodies, movies, comfy slippers, etc.
  • Use this as an opportunity to talk to your kids about community, helping others and making a difference in the world.
Closing Ceremony

After three days and 60 miles, participants will take a final and incredibly emotional victory walk into the Closing Ceremony. Friends, family and supporters should arrive at the Closing Ceremony site at least one hour early to get the best view of the program. We encourage you to carpool or take public transportation. Not only is it better for the planet, but it will help lessen traffic congestion for everyone.

All walkers and crew members should remain in the Participant Holding Area where they will receive a victory shirt, cheer on fellow walkers and crew members and celebrate one last time together before their dramatic victory walk. The Participant Holding Area is CLOSED to spectators. If you wish to meet with a participant before the Ceremony begins, please have them meet you at the Closing Ceremony site. All participants must return to the Holding Area no later than 4:00 p.m. in order to join the victory walk.

Don't forget to continue the spirit of kindness we'll be building on the 3-Daythroughout and beyond the Closing Ceremony!

Sunday, November 21
4:30 p.m.
Petco Park
100 Park Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92101

Friends and family are highly encouraged to attend, though please note that seating will not be available, so if you are unable to stand for 30-60 minutes, you may want to bring a folding chair.

Directions:
From the North - Take 5 South, exit Imperial Ave. OR exit 10th Ave. (both lead directly to the stadium).
From the North - Take 163 South, exit 10th Ave.
From the East - Take 94 West to F St. Turn left onto 14th Ave.
From the South - Take 5 North to B St. Turn left on 10th Ave. OR 5 North, exit J St.

Parking - Suggested parking lots are at 10th and J, Imperial and 14th (Ace and 5 Star) and J and 13th.

Ride the Trolley - The Metropolitan Transit System Trolley network is an attractive option for those traveling from the north, east or south. The Gaslamp Quarter (5th Avenue & Harbor Drive) and 12th & Imperial Trolley Stations are located within two blocks of PETCO Park.

Take the COASTER - The COASTER train is a convenient way to travel from North County. Santa Fe Depot is the nearest station, about 20 minutes to the ballpark. Exit train station heading east on Market to 10th Ave, Right on 10th Ave. Check out schedules online at GoNCTD.com or call 511 and say "COASTER" for information.

MTS Buses - MTS provides limited service on routes 3, 4, 5, 11 & 901.

For additional Trolley, bus (Breeze & MTS), COASTER train information, please visit www.sdmts.com.

Taxi Services:
Orange Cab: 619-223-5555
Yellow Cab: 619-444-4444

After the Event

Your participant has participated in two emotional celebrations, a challenging 60-mile journey and a life-changing experience in just three days. Now, it’s time to go back home. Here are some tips on how to help your walker make a smooth transition back to their daily routine.
  • Have a welcome home meal prepared and make it an evening of rest and relaxation.
  • Encourage your participant to share the 3-Day experience.
  • If you can’t attend the Closing Ceremony, be sure to ask how much money was raised!
  • Unpack, clean and put away gear.
  • Share the newspaper articles or news footage that you’ve collected over the weekend.
  • The following day, give your participant a massage or schedule a day of pampering at a spa.
  • In the days to come, help your participant write thank you notes.
  • Print pictures and assemble a scrapbook.
  • Help your participant plan a reunion party to keep in touch with other walkers.
Get ready to do it all over again! Maybe you’ll be joining the 3-Day in 2011!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ribbon Chain - 5 1/2 weeks out

So the other weekend I finally put together the ribbon chain I will wear during the remainder of my training and on the walk. It contains the names of all the people I have been asked to walk for. So far, there are 26 names on the ribbon chain. If you know of someone I should add who has survived a battle with breast cancer, who is currently battling breast cancer or who has lost their battle with breast cancer that you would like me to carry with me, please just email me their name. It does not matter if you have made a donation to the walk or not. These people and their connection with you are the reason I am walking.




(10/13/10)
Fundraising: $25.00 Total: $4,432.00

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Send Me a Letter of Encouragement

There’s nothing like a letter from a loved one to inspire me to keep going. You can write a letter to me, which Komen will deliver to me on the event at the 3-Day for the Cure Camp Post Office. I would LOVE to get mail from you!  Please be sure to have it postmarked by November 9th to ensure it gets to me!

Send letters to:
3-Day for the Cure PO
ATTN: MARGIE DOWENS
P.O. Box 721237
San Diego, CA 92172
 
Envelopes only, please. No boxes or large packages. Mail must be postmarked no later than November 9 in order to ensure delivery at the 3-Day for the Cure Camp Post Office. This address is not the actual location of camp, but a PO Box for mail delivery only.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

7 Weeks Out

Last Monday, I had the pleasure of getting to hear Nancy Brinker, the founder of Susan G. Komen, speak at a book signing event, promoting her new book, Promise Me.  She is an inspiring woman and a wonderful speaker.  I had her sign my copy of the book to both myself and my daughter.

I was once again reminded why I am doing this walk.  A few days ago, I got a rather large donation to honor a woman who recently lost her battle with breast cancer.  She left a husband and three small children behind (not to mention the countless extended family and friends she undoubtedly had).  I don't know this family personally, but I weep openly when I think of what they have endured.  This was not her first fight with breast cancer.  It was her third.  The emotions this situation stirred up for me have reinvigorated my sense of why I am doing this.

I did a longer walk on Sunday, and my foot started acting up again, but it was fine today when I did a shorter walk.  I will walk as much as I can on the event.  I can hardly believe that there are only 7 weeks to go!

(10/5/10)
Training: 3 miles in 1 hour on treadmill
Total miles to date: 263.1

(10/3/10)
Training 6.4 miles in 2 hours 27 minutes
Total miles to date: 260.1

(10/1/10)
Fundraising: $407 Total: $4,407.00

(9/30/10)
Training 5.4 miles on treadmill in 1 hour 37 minutes
Total miles to date: 253.7

(9/28/10)
Training 4.2 miles on treadmill in 1 hour 20 minutes
Total miles to date: 248.3

Saturday, September 25, 2010

8 Weeks Out

Wow. $4,000.00 reached today. Not only is there something very pleasing about that super nice round number, but this amount astounds me. When I signed up for this, I thought the struggle for me would be the fundraising. $2,300 seemed like such a large amount of money and while I hoped to raise more than that and set my sights higher than the minimum, I secretly wondered how much of the $2,300 would end up coming out of my own pocket. My friends and family have been so incredibly generous that the fundraising truly has been the easy part. $4,000 closer to a cure for breast cancer, all because back at the beginning of this year I signed up for this amazing journey.

I was able to walk again today, and had it not been close to 100 degrees out, I would have gone farther than my 4.4 miles. I'm hoping to get more walking in tomorrow. My foot is holding up just fine so far. I don't want to push it too hard, but it's so gratifying to be back out walking.

I picked up my sleeping bag today and started working on my packing list. I'm also working on the ribbon chain of all the names of the folks I am walking in honor of. I get misty eyed when I think of them. There are currently 26 names on my list. Most of them have survived one or more bouts of breast cancer, a handful have lost their battle, and a few are in the midst of the worst of it. I don't personally know most of them, but I personally know people who are their friends or relatives and my lack of first hand connection with them doesn't stop me from being brought to tears thinking about what they and their families have gone through or are going through.

My hope is that in my lifetime we can find a cure, so that I know my children and nephews and everyone are safe from having to face the fear and pain and loss cancer causes. My hope is that what we learn about breast cancer, translates into the ability to more effectively battle other types of cancer as well.

Eight weeks from today, I will have just finished day 2 of the 3-day walk. I'm really looking forward to this. Thank you for coming with me on my journey.

(9/24/10)
Fundraising: $310.00 Total: 4,000.00
Training: 4.4 miles in 1 hour 42 minutes
Total miles to date: 244.1 miles

(9/23/10)
Fundraising: $50.00 Total: 3,690.00

Saturday, September 18, 2010

9 Weeks Out

It's been a while since I posted, hasn't it?  The start of my son's school and my duties as PTA President have made the last few weeks a crazy busy time.  I did manage to get in to see my new doctor and while I like her MUCH better than my previous one, she was not interested in sending me to see a Podiatrist.  I'm a bit bummed by this, but am at the point where I'll just do what I can in the time I have left before the walk and do as much as I can of the walk when I get there.

On a positive note, this morning, I did a 4.5 mile walk and had almost no pain at all.  I'm encouraged by that and hope to be able to build up from there.  I really feel so wonderful when I am out walking and I have missed it.  It's so peaceful and gives me time to let my thoughts really do what they need to do so that by the time I'm done with the walk I feel more focused, renewed and ready to face the crazyness that is my life at the moment.  I do have to say that the fact that I am only 9 weeks away from the actual event has gotten me a bit frazzled.  I really need to pick up the last of my gear, get my packing list settled so that I'm not running around like a chicken with my head cut off at the last minute.

I also have had four more donations to my account in honor of my birthday earlier this month.  Instead of gifts, I asked people to spend what they would have spent on donations to Komen.  I'm still hoping that I can perhaps raise a bit more before November.

So nothing earth shattering to report and no super wise words.  Just that I'm keeping going with the cards I've been dealt and am really looking forward to experiencing the San Diego walk in just over 2 months.

(9/18/10)
Training: 4.5 miles in 1 hour 40 minutes
Total miles to date: 239.7 miles
(9/10/10)
Fundraising: $50.00 Total: 3,640.00
(9/2/10)
Fundraising: $70.00 Total: $3,590.00

Sunday, August 29, 2010

12 Weeks Out

I'm still not able to walk distances without pain.  I have an appointment to see a new doctor, and am hoping to get a referral to a podiatrist so we can try to see if a custom orthotic will help matters.  I'll report more once I've seen her.  (If you want to remind yourself why I'm switching docs, see my previous post about it here.)

Andy, Margie & Joanne at the S.D. Preview Expo
I also managed to get down to the San Deigo Preview Expo in mid August.  That was a ton of fun.  I got to meet up with my old High School buddy, Andrea, who walked last year and was instrumental in getting me to sign up this year.  My team-mate, a girlfriend I know from my dancing days, Joanne, also managed to make it down.  There were plenty of people to answer questions we had, awesome exhibits, and some very useful workshops.  I left feeling pretty positive and re-energized about the walk.

I still struggle with finding my enthusiasm while I'm not walking.  I am, of course, continuing to work out in the pool and on the stationary bike.  I'm hoping that getting in to see the new doctor will help me to get back out on the road, and even if I don't quite catch up on the training schedule, I'll be able to reignite my enthusiasm and passion.



Sunday, August 8, 2010

15 Weeks Out

Wow, this walk just gets closer and closer.  I'm still having issues with my foot and have not been walking.  I have been working out at the gym in the pool and am actually enjoying that.  I've had a rough week though.  The not walking and the foot pain has gotten me down.  I know what I need to do next, but I am worried that if that doesn't help me, that I may be stuck not walking much in November during the actual walk.  I cannot see what I can try after this next step, and that has me feeling a little boxed in, betrayed by my body and trapped.  I know that the important thing is the fundraising and raising awareness, but the fact of the matter is that as crazy as it may sound,  I truly WANT to walk 60-miles.

The super interesting thing is that I posted about this on my Facebook page, and got some great support from my friends and family.  One of the most touching posts was one my mom made.  For anyone who may not know, she is the main reason I am participating in the 3-day walk as an almost 9 year survivor of breast cancer.

"What you are experiencing is similar to feelings that breast cancer survivors have.  Life is going along and suddenly there is "something wrong" and the diagnosis.  Fear of the future and discouragement.  Then the treatment and pain and slow recovery.  As the person starts to get better, they do too much occasionally and suffer a setback.  There is always the fear of recurrence and frustration at the slowness of recovery.  Through determination, recovery comes along and they go on to live their lives, although perhaps in a different way. So, you will probably be able to do the walk, but keep the goal in mind.  Raising funds to help find a cure for cancer!  Even if you can't walk the whole way that doesn't negate the reason you are doing this, and the admiration we all have for you to even try.  Hang in there and it will get better.  I KNOW!"

So I will continue to work towards a foot that does not hurt and continue to raise funds and raise awareness.  I will do what I can when the walk gets here.  It will be what it is.  If my mom can battle cancer, this is the least I can do so other people don't have to face what she has gone through.

(8/5/10)
Training: 1 hour of water aerobics

(8/4/10)
Training: 40 laps in the pool and 1 hour of water aerobics

(8/3/10)
Training: 2.0 miles in 12 minutes on stationary bike
100 laps (2500 yards or 1.42 miles) in 1 hour in the pool

Sunday, August 1, 2010

16 Weeks Out

So I was hoping that I'd be able to start up normally with the 16 week training program and it's not looking like that is going to happen.  I did a 3.6 mile training walk yesterday and didn't have any pain during the walk.  However, later in the day, my heel started bothering me.  I iced and stretched and did everything I should.  This morning it felt better, so I decided to see if I could do a short walk.  I made just over two miles when it started hurting (and luckily I was near home) so I cut it short and headed home.  I'm going to probably spend a lot of time with ice on my foot today, and I may need to think about getting a custom orthotic.  I'm not thrilled about the cost, but if that's what it takes, then I'm willing to try it.

Time to go back to lots of swimming and bicycling for a bit.  I'm not a happy camper, but I'm trying to stay positive.  I don't want to make the injury flare up again, so here I am.  Wishing I had better news to share with you all, but this is what it is.

(8/1/10)
Training: 2.2 miles in 48 minutes
Total miles to date: 235.2 miles

(7/31/10)
Training: 3.6 miles in 1 hour 8 minutes
Total miles to date: 233 miles

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

18 & 17 Weeks Out

I'm still trying to figure out how to find the fire I had.  Perhaps it will come back as I walk more regularly again.  I need to work to find it again.  I need to get back in the habit of walking regularly.  I think this is my "57th mile" of my training journey.  I need to dig deep and reconnect with my inspiration for doing this in the first place.  I need to focus on the people I am walking for.  I need to focus on what my doing this walk is about for me.  I need to believe that I can get beyond my injury and actually do this walk.

More miles.  A little work towards this every day.  I'm thinking of what my mom faced when she was diagnosed and what she has dealt with since.  I'm thinking of other friends who have faced and beaten cancer. I'm thinking of those who were not so lucky and did not beat their cancer or who are currently losing thier battles.  Hope is why I'm doing this.  I have hope that we can save more lives and spare more families from feeling the fear of the unknown, and heartache of loss. 

I had a great 3 mile walk last Friday.  No pain, and it felt so good to be walking.  I'm hoping to start on the 16 week training schedule this upcoming week!

(7/23/10)
Training: 3 miles in 58 minutes on treadmill
Total miles to date: 229.4

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

19 Weeks Out

OK, I'm starting to panic a little with the countdown into teen numbers.  I know that 19 weeks is going to go by sooooo incredibly quickly!  This summer is slipping away!  The good news is that I only have one more physical therapy appointment and I am practically pain free.  The good news is that I've done a mile walk and while there were aches, there was NO PAIN!  The bad news is that I haven't yet tried anything longer than 1 mile, but that will come.

I'm feeling more positive this week than I did last week.  I've met my minimum and then some in my fundraising, although I'd still like to hit that $5000 mark.  My training involving actual walking of miles will start up again soon if all goes well.

So that's my brief update!  Hope you all are having a wonderful summer so far.

Friday, July 2, 2010

20 Weeks Out - I never expected it to be a walk in the park

Wow, 20 weeks from right now, I will have finished the first day of walking for the San Diego 3-Day for the Cure.  I'm excited about that, but I have a ways to go before I get there.

I'm trying to recapture the momentum I had before my plantar fascitis sidelined me.  My enthusiasm has flagged.  Even getting out to swim has been difficult for me.  I'm OK with being in this space right now.  This is part of the journey as much as the early excitement is.  I have no doubt that once my foot has recovered, once I have had a chance to catch my breath from the busy-ness of the end of the school year, that I will begin an upswing again. 

There may be other obstacles that I will face.  I say, bring it on!  I never expected this to be a walk a park.  I didn't know exactly what this year would bring for me, but I knew it would have ups and downs.  I'm keeping my eyes on where I want to go and working with where I am.  I'm so glad that I'm on this journey and so grateful for all of you who are my support and making it possible.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

21 Weeks Out (a Little Late)

My family took a trip last week and I didn't get around to doing my weekly Friday post about how things are going in the 3-day training and fund raising arena.  So, better late than never, here it is.

Training: I've been swimming, and had an almost pain free week last week.  I'm hoping this means that I will soon be back out on the road, walking again.  We'll see how that goes.  I'm planning to do another trial walk in the next couple days to see where my foot stands, so to speak.  I'm amazed that we are only just shy of 20 weeks out.

Since I'm just not in a very loquacious mood, I'm going to point you to some fabulous writing by one of the 3-day Ambassadors.  This is his take on what the 3-day is and I couldn't agree more with him.  I feel blessed to be a part of this amazing community of people who are working to bring positive change to the world.

What is the 3-Day? Jay Furr's Explanation

Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

22 Weeks Out

This has been a good week.  With the blessing of my physical therapist, I did a short walk, and there was pain, but not too bad at all.  Physical Therapy continues to improve my foot and I'm hoping that I might not be too far off from being pain free.  I just don't know.  I also officially joined our local gym and started working out in the pool.  Did an entire hour of swimming laps on Thursday and another half hour today.  It felt good and I could have gone longer both times. 

It's hard to read about the miles I should be logging walking when I get my training email every Friday.  I WANT to be out there with the rest of you, but I know this is the path I must take.  Patience, patience and more patience.  No sense getting back out there before I'm ready and ending up taking steps backwards.  Moving forward, however slowly, is my goal.

(06/18/10)
Training: 30 minutes of swimming

(06/17/10)
Training: 1 hour of swimming

(06/16/10)
Training: 0.9 miles in 13 minutes
Total miles to date: 226.4

Friday, June 11, 2010

23 Weeks Out

Another week gone by where I am sidelined.  Physical Therapy is going well and my pain is going down.  The good news for this week is that I have been given a green light to go ahead and try a short training walk.  I'm going to stay super close to home so if I start feeling the foot that I can easily come back.  I'll also make sure I stretch really well beforehand and afterwards.  We'll see how it goes.

Yesterday I went to my son's end of year picnic and helped keep tabs on over 60 1st graders.  My foot hurt a bit by the end of it, but by this morning I was feeling almost no pain.  That is a huge improvement.  Things are not going as quickly as I'd like, but I'm doing my best to be patient and not rush things.  The best thing is that they do seem to be improving.

I signed up for my 14 day free trial at the gym almost two weeks ago.  I have only been able to get one swim in so far due to a cold that has had me not very functional.  Once I am well, I'll sign up for a regular membership or maybe just sign up for lap swim at the community pool which will be open for summer starting in about a week.  I haven't decided yet.

All in all not too much to report.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

24 Weeks Out

I got a very special email yesterday.  It's the first email for the official 24 week training schedule that tells each participant how many miles they should aim to walk this upcoming week.  In 24 weeks, the San Diego event will be here and thousands of us will be walking for this awesome cause.

I have to admit that I'm struggling with my frustration at not being able to train at the moment.  I'm trying to focus my energy into my physical therapy instead.  It's definitely helping.  My pain level is already greatly decreased.  This week my gym workouts have been on hold as I've had a pretty bad cold on top of everything, but I'm trying hard not to let it get me down.  As a few folks have pointed out to me, with the walking I've done since January, I'm already a bit ahead on the training anyway, so hopefully, by the time I get back into it, it won't take me long to catch up to where I need to be.

This is an incredible test of my ability to just let things be what they are and to go with that rather than trying to change it or fight it.  I just keep telling myself that it is OK for me to do what I can and not to worry if that means that I don't quite make all 60 miles.  This is not easy for me, but I knew that this journey was not going to be easy.  I just didn't realize that some of the "not easy part" was going to have more to do with my feelings about things than it did with walking or fund raising.

So that's where I am right now.  On Monday, many others will be starting their first official week of training.  I will be continuing my journey and eventually hope to join them again.  Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories -- they have been encouraging and incredibly helpful.  I truly could not do this without all of you.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Plantar Fascitis Update

Well, this has been a crazy busy week.  End of school activities are taking up a lot of my time.  I found out our local Y isn't doing lap swim currently.  So I looked at local gyms and found one close by that has a great pool.  I signed up yesterday for a 14 day free trial and will upgrade to membership when that time is over.  The expense is not as bad as I thought it would be.  I'm heading out in a few minutes to get my first swim there in.  I'm really excited to get back to moving again as I've really "felt" this inactivity.  My mood was so much better when I walked almost every day.

On Friday I had my first physical therapy appointment.  My physical therapist is awesome and she's very positive and upbeat about my chances of making a full recovery and being able to do the walk.  There are no guarantees of course, but my case is very mild so the prognosis is really good.   She watched me walk, asked a bunch of questions, poked around on my foot and then started the therapy.  Heat for about 10 minutes, followed by some stretching and then strengthening.  At the end we used ice for 10 minutes and she wants me to do this routine at least once a day (if not twice) and ice as often as possible (every two hours or so) throughout the day.  She also recommended I try OTC orthotics as if they work for me then we don't have to go to custom orthotics which are much more expensive.  So I went to our local sporting goods store and picked up a pair of Superfeet orthotics.  I'm in the "getting used to them" stage at the moment.  I am not to walk without shoes on (which is a bit tough mentally as I can't stand wearing shoes in the house) and I am only allowed to wear my running shoes with the orthotics in them.

The piece of news I didn't want to hear (but I knew it was coming) was that I have to give up my tap class for now as well.  I am not allowed to engage in any activity that involves extended period of times on my feet -- and logically, pounding my foot into the floor is not going to help it heal.  As far as physical activity goes, I'm stuck with swimming and stationary bike.  I'm going to miss the tap recital and this is the second recital I'm missing for health reasons.  There will be other classes and other recitals, so it's really not that big of a deal, but it is disappointing.

So my advice to all of you out there reading this is PLEASE listen to your body while you are training.  Aches are normal.  Pain is not.  If you have any kind of persistent pain, the sooner you get it checked out and figure out what it is, the sooner you can get yourself healed up and back out there training.  I'm throwing myself into this new routine in hopes of keeping my stamina up so that when I do get back to walking I can kind of pick up where I left off.  At the moment I'm not as upbeat and positive as I normally try to be, but I am really determined to do what will get my body back into good working order.  The upbeat and positive will return, I have no doubt about it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Temporary Road Block

I'm bemoaning my inability to train right now.  I've been through a frustrating day.  My heel hasn't gotten much better, so I finally got in to see my doctor.  I do indeed have plantar fascitis (PF).  My doctor sent me to have an X-Ray and also gave me an referral for physical therapy next week.  It was a sucky meeting with her though, as she was NOT terribly supportive of me doing this walk.  She told me my case of PF was pretty mild, but she kept saying that she didn't think I'd be able to do the walk in November.  I've talked to several friends of mine who have dealt with PF and they all think that with the right physical therapy, perhaps an orthotic, really good shoes and really good stretching habits that there's no reason I won't be able to continue and do at least some of the walk.  I just think that doctors should encourage physical activity, not discourage it!  I'm not saying I want to walk despite the pain and do more damage to my foot.  I want to do things right.  I just don't get what her deal was.  I may be in the market for a new doctor.  I'll see how I feel about it in a few days when I've cooled down.

So here I am at a true road block.  I think there's construction on the other side of that road block and it's not getting finished anytime soon.  So, once I got home, had a good cry (You should know that I cry pretty easily.  I joked the other day that I will probably need to pack half my bag for the event with kleenex), yelled a little to get out some of my frustration at feeling like I'd been treated like an incompetent child, calmed down, and made my appointment for physical therapy, I started thinking about where to go until this road block is gone.  Well, what do we do when we find that our road is blocked?  We look for an alternate route, right?  Very rarely will a road block cause us to give up the idea of reaching our destination.

So tomorrow I'm planning to visit to our local Y and I'm going to sign myself up.  I'm going to start swimming there until my foot allows me to start doing training walks again.  I know it's not the same as training walks, but it'll keep me in shape and/or even get me in better shape while I'm waiting for a fully functional foot again.  If I don't get as much training in during the official training season as I'd like to because of this, so be it.  If I end up taking a sweep van during the walk and not walking the whole thing, so be it.  But I will be there at the event participating at whatever level I am capable of participating at.  It's not how I envisioned this year or the event going, but life is like that.  Things rarely work out entirely the way we expect them to.  I don't do well when my plans get all skewed (ask anyone who knows me well), but I do eventually reorient, regroup and keep going.

I know the important thing is raising the funds and raising awareness, but I'm telling you this "Passionate Pink" gal is not giving up on the walking part.  No way!  If sheer determination counts for anything I will be back out walking before you know it.  I promise you I will do this.  I also promise that I will do it while listening carefully to my body and ensuring that I stay safe. 

Eventually, almost all road blocks come down.  I'm counting on being able to get back on that road, hopefully sooner rather than later!

(05/19/10)
Fundraising: $500.00 Total: $3,520.00
Total miles to date: 225.5

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Speed Bumps

Speed bumps are something that are designed to slow traffic down.  Some were recently put in an area I travel frequently and I admit that I find them highly annoying.  They do slow everyone down, so I guess they are doing what they were designed to do.

I've hit a "speed bump" in my training.  I'm definitely finding it annoying.  My training was going along great, and then I did that long almost 9 mile walk and my left foot has been complaining ever since.  The heel now hurts when I walk any distance and from the best information I can get (without having gone to the doctor yet) it is very likely to be plantar fascitis.  I am starting by icing and using ibuprofin to reduce inflamation and I've also taken a break from walking distances for now.  I'm antsy as a result.  I know "real" training hasn't started yet, but I'm not happy about losing my momentum. 

Hopefully, resting, paying more attention to allowing my shoes to "recover" after a longer walk (i.e. switching from one pair to another on subsequent days -- this is why I bought three pairs!) will result in this pain going away.  If not, I'll be talking to my doctor and see the podiatrist if necessary.  I am determined to do this walk.  I will find a way to keep going.

My point is that while speed bumps may slow us down and annoy us and we often wish they didn't exist, they do not generally keep you from reaching your destination.  Recognize the speed bump for what it is, go with it, "slow down" and before you know it you will be back up to speed and will be able to continue your journey.

(05/08/10)
Fundraising: Total: $3,020.00
Training: 5 miles in 1 hour 55 minutes
Total miles to date: 225.5

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What a great couple weeks!

I completely forgot to mention that last week has had several milestones in it for my journey.  Two Fridays ago, I got a call from one of my girlfriends letting me know that she finally bit the bullet and signed up to join my team while she could still take advantage of the $25 discount on registration they were offering!  I cannot tell you how thrilled it makes me to know that my little team of one is now a team of two.  Besides being incredible that I get to do this walk with one of my most awesome friends, I also felt a great sense of accomplishment when I updated the "Team fundraising goal" to reflect what Joanne is hoping to raise!  Wow.  That's a lot of money we've agreed to come up with.  How cool is that???  Our team webpage (which I still haven't updated from the basic layout) can be found at http://www.the3day.org/goto/passionate_pink

Last week I broke the 200 mile mark in my training and today I broke the $3,000 mark in fundraising!  I spent 4 1/2 days at the State PTA convention and managed to get over 10 miles of walking in while I was up in Sacramento.  I was exhausted when I got back, so I took Monday and Tuesday off, but today I walked the kids to school and will walk again to pick them up.  Looking forward to trying another long training walk on Saturday and to helping Joanne get herself started with training and fundraising at some point this week!  Hope you all have a great one!

(05/05/10)
Fundraising: $25 Total: $3,020.00
Training: 4 miles in 1 hour 6 minutes
Total miles to date: 220.5

(05/02/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 1.5 miles
Total miles to date: 216.5

(05/01/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 4.2 miles
Total miles to date: 215.0

(04/30/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 1.7 miles
Total miles to date: 210.8

(04/29/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 2.5 miles
Total miles to date: 209.1

(04/28/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,995.00
Training: 0.7 miles in 10 minutes
Total miles to date: 206.6

(04/27/10)
Fundraising: $25 Total: $2,995.00
Training: Day Off
Total miles to date: 205.9



Sunday, April 25, 2010

Necessary, Possible and Impossible

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." - St. Francis of Assisi

A friend of mine recently posted this quote in a note he wrote on Facebook.  It struck me as perfect for the 3-day walkers and so I feel compelled to write a bit about it. Many people have indicated to me that walking 60 miles in 3 days would be impossible for them.  They cannot picture themselves doing it.  

What's necessary: To start, I had to take that leap of faith that the fundraising and the walking was possible for me.  I had to sign up.  I had to find good shoes (do NOT skimp on your shoes or socks.  They make it possible to do these long distance walks.)  I had to figure out a schedule to train.  I had to figure out what to do with my kids while training.  I had to get my husband to buy into this as he would be taking on a lot as my training gets more intense, not to mention he had to agree to the costs we would be taking on associated with the gear I need, fundraising, etc.

What's possible: I started this journey doing 2-3 mile walks.  When I started my training, that distance felt like the upper limit of what was possible for me.  I had moments of doubt and wondered what I'd gotten myself into.  The more I walk, the longer that distance has become.   Today, I walked my longest walk ever.  8.7 miles.  I also crossed the 200 mile mark in my overall mileage for my training.  I am now POSITIVE that 10 miles is totally possible for me, right now.  By November, my training needs to have taken me to where I not only can do 20 miles, but do it three days in a row.  I know that's possible.  I've got lots of time, lots of determination and so many people supporting me and cheering me on it makes me weep with joy at times.  You guys have no idea how much those tiny comments you make on Facebook and twitter and in person mean to me and how much they keep me going.

The next thing you know, it'll be November and I will be doing what some folks view as impossible.  So St Francis really had it right.  When you do what is possible, and stretch yourself more and more, you can eventually reach what may have initially seemed impossible.

That's how I see finding a cure as well.  The money raised helps to fund what is necessary and what is possible, and the longer we fund it, the more folks work on the problem, the more they stretch our knowledge and the more they stretch what we've tried, the closer they will get to what some see as impossible.  Before we know it, we'll be living in a world without breast cancer and then hopefully a world without ANY cancer. 

So keep doing what's necessary.  Keep doing what's possible.  The impossible will follow.

(04/25/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,970.00
Training: 8.7 miles 3 hour 21 minutes
Total miles to date: 205.9

(04/24/10)
Fundraising: $100 Total: $2,970.00
Training: 5.3 miles 1 hour 55 minutes
Total miles to date: 197.2

(04/22/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,870.00
Training: 4.8 miles 1 hour 36 minutes
Total miles to date: 191.9

(04/20/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,870.00
Training: 1 hour tap class
Total miles to date: 187.1



Saturday, April 17, 2010

What a Great Way to Wake up!

I have to say, seeing an email in my in-box that says "A donation was made on your behalf" makes me feel like I just won the lottery.  I'm like a kid at Christmas with those emails.  I can't wait to see who it's from!

I got two of those today!  I woke up to one sitting in my in-box and a second one was waiting for me after a long and wonderful day at my nephew's birthday party.  What an amazing group of friends and relatives I have.  It's a wonderful thing to wake up to another person who believes that there is hope to end cancer.  Another person who believes that there is a way to make that happen.  Another person who can "Imagine life without breast cancer."   I have a silicone bracelet that I wear with that saying on it.  I imagine it, then I get out and walk another 4 miles.  I think about more fundraising I can do and make another step towards making that fundraising happen.  I talk to another person about my walk.  I send out an update about my progress.  I ask my friends and family to pass my links on to their friends and family.  I raise the funds, so the researchers and doctors can work on finding that world we are imagining.  Imagining it is the start, but the hard work that comes after that is what is going to make it a reality some day.

I like waking up as part of a world that can imagine itself better.  I like even more being part of the hard work to make it actually happen.

(04/17/10)
Fundraising: $115 Total: $2,850.00
Training: 4.1 miles in 1 hour 26 minutes
Total miles to date: 180.9


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Walking 60-miles is Hard!

I've been reading a lot of blog posts from folks who are experienced 3-day Walkers.  Most of the time they are very upbeat, inspiring and motivating.  Recently, a few have been talking about just how hard walking the 60 miles is.  I am extremely happy I signed up in January so I'd have almost an entire year to train and get in shape for it.  I'm being told by experienced walkers that even those who train and do everything they are supposed to find the event daunting and difficult.  If you wish to get a glimpse of what I'm talking about, meander over to Leanne's blog and read her excellent post about the 57th mile.

I find hearing this kind of truth refreshing.  And a little scary.  And a challenge.  And I dread doing it.  And I'm excited to do it.  I would ALWAYS prefer to know just how hard something I'm signing up to do is going to be.   I think it prepares me better.  I know that the training is not just about getting my body ready, it's also about getting my mind, my heart and my spirit ready for this.  When I despair about trying to do more fundraising, on the days I need to get a walk in and don't really want to do it, it's blog posts like that, as much if not more than the solely positive upbeat ones that keep me on track to do just a little bit more.

And perhaps this topic isn't the right place to mention it as I probably just scared a bunch of you away, but maybe this kind of honesty about how tough this journey is going to be is EXACTLY where I should mention it.  I've signed up to Captain a 3-day team for the San Diego walk.  I am currently the only member of that team, so I'm hoping some of you reading this might consider joining me (a couple of you know who you are!)  Between April 12-23, you can get a $25 discount on the 3-day registration fee as long as you sign up to be on a team at the same time using the promotion code: GOTEAM    My team is called Passionate Pink.   If you wish to join it, go to my participant page: http://www.the3day.org/goto/margie_dowens and click on the button that says "Register to Join Margie's Team".  Don't forget to enter the promotion code during your sign up.

If you want more information about any of this, please email me at starwarsfangirl at yahoo dot com.  I know some of you out there are thinking about it.  Make it happen.  Be the change you want to see in the world!

(04/13/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,735.00
Training:2 miles in 41 minutes, 1 hour of tap class
Total miles to date: 176.8



Progress Update

(04/11/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,735.00
Training: 4.0 miles in 1 hour 26 minutes
Total miles to date: 174.8

(04/07/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,735.00
Training: 3.2 miles in 1 hour 7 minutes
Total miles to date: 170.8


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Break in Training. Why Do I Feel Guilty?

So this weekend was crazy.  We had friends visit from San Francisco on Saturday and the house was an immense disaster.  I worked tirelessly on Friday and again on Saturday to get the house in order and then make homemade Enchiladas for everyone.  I had hoped to at least get an hour walk in, but ran out of time and didn't do any walking at all on Saturday.  Sunday was Easter, and we celebrated with my brother and his family.  The egg hunt was awesome and the game of hide and seek the kids played afterwards was even cuter.  We couldn't initially figure out why there were three kids who were "it" and only one kid hiding.  Then we heard one of the kids who was "it" say "Let's go find that egg!"  Definitely made me smile.  Again, I did not get a walk in.  Monday, my son woke up running a fever of 103 and I spent most of the day taking care of him and hoping that neither I nor my daughter or husband would catch whatever he has.   I was not feeling so good by the time Frank got home and once again, no walk.

OK, it's only 3 days of training I've missed, and technically the 24-week training schedule hasn't even started for my event in November --- it starts in June.  So why do I feel just a little bit guilty that I missed walking at least one of those three days?  I know that part of it is that I need to walk.  I feel better when I get walks in, and I know how far I need to go still in my training.  I also know that part of it is that I feel like I'm letting down my supporters when I don't keep up with what I've decided should be my training schedule currently.  And I get the feeling that I'm letting down all the families out there touched by breast cancer.  I've made a comittment and need to stick to it.  That's the kind of personality I have.  If I agree to do something, I generally do it wholeheartedly and full out.

At the same time, I also know that life gets in the way of training, which is why I only feel a little bit guilty that I missed these last three days.  I know this is not the last time that I will skip a scheduled training walk and that it is totally OK to allow life to get in the way of our schedule.

I am happy to report that my son is feeling a bit better today and so am I.  I'm hoping to do at least a short walk when my hubby gets home from work.

(04/06/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,735.00
Training: 2.8 miles in 1 hour 1 minute
Total miles to date:167.6

Progress Update

(04/02/10)
Fundraising: $10 Total: $2,735.00
Training: 2.9 miles in 1 hour 3 minutes
Total miles to date: 164.9

(04/01/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 2.3 miles in 55 minutes
Total miles to date: 162

(03/31/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 3.1 miles in 1 hour 12 minutes
Total miles to date: 159.7

(03/30/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: Cross Training - Tap Class, 1 hour
Total miles to date: 156.6

(03/28/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: Snow Tubing, 1 hour 30 minutes
Total miles to date: 156.6

(03/27/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 5.1 miles in 2 hour 1 minutes
Total miles to date: 156.6

Friday, March 26, 2010

Why Do We Walk

I was talking with a mom who I volunteer with in my son's class. She asked me about the lanyard I've taken to wearing around my neck on a regular basis and I mentioned that I'd signed up to do a 60-mile walk in 3 days in November to raise funds and awareness for breast cancer. "You're crazy!" was her response. I smiled a big smile. "Yes, you're right," I replied. It is a bit crazy, but it's such a good kind of crazy. Normal people do not pledge to raise at least $2,300 to have the privilege of walking 60 miles in 3 days. Normal people do not want to walk 60 miles in 3 days. But we all know that 3-day walkers are not quite normal. I am proud to say that I am not quite normal and just a little crazy --- in what I think is a very good kind of way.

I was also recently talking with a friend of mine who is on the verge of signing up to walk with me in November (she's just a bit of the right kind of crazy too). She was asking me what her "story" should be as she's concerned that fundraising won't go well because she is lucky enough to have NO ONE in her inner circle of family and friends who have yet been touched by breast cancer. Not that she doesn't know a few folks who have faced it, just that she can't immediately point to "the" person who she is walking for.

My advice to her was to just dig deep and look at why she is signing up and be honest about why she is doing this. Why is she choosing this instead of some other walk/run/event? I know in talking with her a big part of her motivation is to get herself in shape. That's part of my motivation too. Both of us are not so good at taking care of ourselves just for our own sake. It helps to have an external motivator to get you moving on a regular basis when that is not something you're in the habit of doing. I can't tell you how many weekend mornings I've woken up and NOT wanted to go on my walk, but made myself get out there and do it anyway. I have yet to regret making myself do it. The walks almost always make me feel good. I have more energy since I started walking on a regular basis and I certainly can walk farther than I did when I first signed up.

She likes the idea of the challenge of it. She likes that it's doing something bigger than herself. She likes the idea that she won't have to do this journey alone, since I'm already signed up. She LOVES the color pink and can't wait to deck herself and her house out in more pink in the name of the cause. She does know people who have faced this monster. She undoubtedly has many more reasons in her head why she is signing up to walk that I haven't heard yet. I really hope that she takes the plunge soon.

As I was walking this morning I was moved to tears thinking about what my mom and other breast cancer survivors have been through. When you're out walking so often, you do a lot of thinking. I can't help but think about the fact that I may have to face it myself some day. I don't want to. I desperately don't want my daughter to ever have to face it. I don't want any of my girlfriends, Aunts, cousins, my husband, male-friends, brothers, Uncles, my kids' friends, my acquaintances or people I don't even know facing this. No one. I don't want anyone to have to face this. Ultimately, that is why *I* walk. I have a feeling I will sign up to do this again next year! (and the year after that, and the year after that...)

Every person has their own story. Every person has their own motivation and there are not any bad reasons for deciding to do something this big and crazy and full of hope. To quote one of my favorite children's authors: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." -The Lorax

Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 3.9 miles in 1 hour 15 minutes
Total miles to date: 151.5

Progress Update

(03/24/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 5.9 in 2 hour 20 min
Total miles to date: 147.6

(03/23/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 1 hour Tap Class
Total miles to date: 141.7

(03/21/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 4.1 miles in 1 hours 35 minutes
Total miles to date: 141.7

(03/20/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 7.5 miles in 2 hours 44 minutes
Total miles to date: 137.6

(03/19/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 3.7 miles in 1 hour 17 minutes
Total miles to date: 130.1

(03/18/10)
Cross Training, 1 hour of yard work

(03/17/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,725.00
Training: 2.3 miles in 46 minutes
Total miles to date: 126.4

(03/15/10)
Fundraising: $50.00 Total: $2,725.00
Training: Sick Day Off
Total miles to date: 126.4

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Surprise

I guess my post about down time was somewhat prophetic. I seem to have come down with a mild cold, but enough that I don't have any extra energy for working out yesterday or today. My daughter kindly shared her cold with me.

So I'm going to take my own advice and take the down time. I may catch up on some reading I've been wanting to do, or if I'm lucky, sleeping!

I got a wonderful surprise yesterday that the daughter of one of the people who has donated to my walk saw the thank you note and business card that I sent to her mother and was inspired to donate to my walk as well. That's so amazing to me. It also makes me think that I should ask for folks to pass my page on to people they know as part of my fundraising strategy. You just never know who is going to be willing to support this amazing cause!

(03/12/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,675.00
Training: Sick Day Off
Total miles to date: 126.4
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(03/11/10)
Fundraising: $85.00 Total: $2,675.00
Training: Sick Day Off
Total miles to date: 126.4

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Down Time (03/10/10)

Everyone needs down time. The last couple weeks were exceptionally busy for me and had some rough emotional moments. I had days I didn't want to work out, but I did that anyway. I didn't want to think about fundraising and I didn't. The nice thing about having until November to reach my goal, is I can take some time off to recharge and work my energy back up and then tackle it again refreshed and renewed.

Breaks are important. No one sets off in the morning on the 3-day walk and just walks all the way through. There are rest stops (I hear) about every 3 miles, where you can get snacks, refill your drinks, take a quick break, stretch and refresh yourself before continuing on. There's a lunch stop along the way. Very few of us could walk 20 miles in a single day at one go. Three miles is not as far as you might think and broken in to 3 mile legs, I know this walk it totally doable. My own experience has shown that even a 5 minute break makes a huge difference in how far I can go. When you take the time to stop, rest and refresh, you can do more, go farther and make a bigger difference.

So here's to breaks! Be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to take down time. It will ultimately get you further than you could otherwise.

Fundraising: Total: $2,590.00
Training: 4.0 miles in 1 hour 32 min
Total miles to date: 126.4
---------------------------------
(03/09/10)
Fundraising: $150.00 Total: $2,590.00
Training: 2 miles in 45 min., 1 hour tap class
Total miles to date: 122.4
-----------------------------------
(03/08/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: Cross-training, Ellipitical, 0.8 miles in 30 minutes
Total miles to date: 120.4

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Not the Best of Moods (03/07/10)

I haven't been in the best of moods since attending the funeral yesterday for one of my high school buddies. She passed from sleep apnea at far too young an age. Today I've felt lackluster and have had a tough time getting myself motivated to do much. I did get out for a walk (a shorter one than I would normally do on a weekend), and that actually improved my mood a bit. I'm thankful for that.

I know that I need to just do what I need to do to take care of myself and I will find a better mood in a day or two.

Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: 3.6 miles in 1 hour 20 min
Total miles to date: 119.6

(03/06/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: 6.6 miles in 2 hour 20 min
Total miles to date: 116.0

Friday, March 5, 2010

Life is Fragile (03/05/10)

I found out today that a friend of mine passed away at the beginning of this week. She was my age and I knew her from High School. We'd lost touch over the years and in the last year found each other again on Facebook. It was a joy to catch up with her. I don't have the details on what happened or what she died from yet, but it certainly came as a shock and a blow and I am planning to attend her funeral tomorrow. During my walk today, I spent a good deal of time remembering her, wiping tears away and sending positive thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.

The years that we spent apart did not diminish my love for Angelissa. She had a kind and giving spirit and we both shared a passion for music. I fondly remember listening to her play the piano at school or at my house when we were teens. I remember her singing and her beautiful smile. I know that her spirit is still making music somewhere.

Life is fragile. She died far too young. Give someone you love and care about a big hug, a kind word and a kind deed. We never know how long we have.

Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: 3.8 miles in 1 hour 30 min
Total miles to date: 109.4

Progress Update

(03/04/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: 0.8 miles on the elliptical in 30 min
Total miles to date: 105.6

(03/03/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: 3.8 miles in 1 hour 30 min
Total miles to date: 104.8

(03/02/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: Cross-training: 1 hour of tap class
Total miles to date: 101.0

(02/28/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: 5.3 miles in 2 hours
Total miles to date: 101.0

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Motivation! (02/27/10)

A friend of mine posted on Facebook today that she was having trouble staying motivated to keep going on a new walking regimen that she's started. I sort of tongue in cheek mentioned that I find it hard to stay motivated to do exercise normally, but that ever since I signed up for the 3-day walk, I've been hyper-motivated to get my walking and cross-training in. I feel badly on days when I don't get around to doing it if it's not my regularly scheduled "off" day. I suggested to her that she join me and sign up for the 3-day and she would find incredible motivation to keep going. I didn't expect her to say what she did in her reply. She said that she has actually been thinking about it. She may see if her sister wants to join us too. I of course mentioned to her that from now until March 9 there is a $25 discount on the registration fee for the walk. This is the third person I've got thinking about joining me. I love that this is infectious! I'd love to be able to take my friends on this journey with me, but whether they join me or not, they are thinking about it. If not this year, then perhaps next year.

There is something about this event that really is so incredibly motivating. I'm motivated to raise the funds. I'm motivated to keep walking. I'm motivated to talk to people about breast cancer and keep this cause out in the open. Somehow it's the bigness of the event. It's the feeling like you're making more than a little difference. It's not wanting to let your supporters down. It's realizing that walking 60-miles in three days is nothing compared to what those who face breast cancer and their families go through. The motivation is incredible. The feeling of accomplishment you get with each mile logged (and clearly I'm one of these people who tracks every mile) is amazing.

I walked in pouring rain again today. It was literally raining so hard for one five minute stretch at the beginning of my walk that it felt like tiny rocks were falling on my head. The parts of me not covered by my rain poncho (legs and feet) were soaked through in seconds. It was cold. It was startling how quickly it came on and I briefly thought about turning around, heading home, and waiting for it to pass. Then that motivation kicked in. It changes your mindset. Two month ago, if someone had told me I'd be happily walking in pouring rain while my feet got soaked, I'd have looked at them like they were nuts. When you view it as a challenge to rise above, rather than an uncomfortable annoyance, it becomes easy to keep going. A few minutes after it started pouring, my cell phone started ringing. I stopped walking and answered. It was my loving husband checking on me to see if I wanted him to come pick me up. Luckily, by then, that motivation was there and I happily thanked him for his offer and told him as I was already as wet as I was going to get, that I would keep going. I quite enjoyed my walk this morning.

Thank you for this motivation, 3-day!

Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: 4.5 miles in 1 hour 40 min
Total miles to date: 95.7

Status Updates

(02/26/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: cross training 30 min of step aerobics
Total miles to date: 91.2

(02/25/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,440.00
Training: 3.2 miles in 1 hour 5 min
Total miles to date: 91.2

(02/24/10)
Fundraising: $35.00 Total: $2,440.00
Training: Day Off
Total miles to date: 88.0

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Official!!! (02/23/10)

So it's official!!! I have, as of today, raised enough to walk in the Susan G. Komen 3-day walk for the cure in November. All of you made that possible! I am not stopping at this minimum though. I'm not a "do the minimum" type of person, so I'm aiming for $5,000.00. If I reach that and have time left, I will keep going. I want to make a difference and I want to do it big!

Fundraising: $150.00 Total: $2,405.00
Training: 3.3 miles in 1 hour 20 min, 1 hour of tap class
Total miles to date: 88.0

(02/22/10)
Fundraising: $50.00 Total: $2,255.00
Training: Day Off
Total miles to date: 84.7

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hallmark of a 3-day Walker (02/21/10)

I looked at the sky this morning before I headed out for my walk and I thought, "It could rain," but I decided not to take the rain poncho with me because I didn't think rain was that likely. I watched the clouds as I walked my longest walk yet. Some were dark and foreboding, parts of the sky were blue and the sun peeked through on occasion. I couldn't really predict what might happen while I was out. Did the threat of a little rain deter me? Most definitely not. I think this is one of the hallmarks of 3-day walkers. The unknown, the uncomfortable, the untried or the unusual don't deter us. We do not back down from a challenge. I want to reach this goal. I want to stop this disease. I'm not going to let a little rain stop me.

About an hour and a half into my walk it began to sprinkle. Then it really began to rain. I was at a point in my walk where I could have been at home in 5 minutes, and I chose to keep going instead. I actually kind of enjoyed walking in the rain. The only uncomfortable part was that my shoes were getting wet. The rest of it didn't bug me. There's something refreshing and wonderful about the rain falling on you when you are not "worried" about being wet.

So for all you 3-day walkers out there, don't let things deter you. It's not always easy. It's definitely not always comfortable. The walking, the fundraising, the weather are all challenging in their own ways --- for instance, I'm NOT looking forward to walking during the hot summer days in Sunny S. CA. I won't let it stop me though. Keep going, find ways to make it more comfortable for yourself and keep your eyes on why you are doing this. We are all "being the change we want to see in the world", and that is an amazingly wonderful thing.

Fundraising: Total: $2,205.00
Training: 5.8 miles in 2 hours
Total miles to date: 84.7

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Broke the 5 mile mark! (02/20/10)

This morning, I finally walked more than 5 miles in a single walk! It felt good and seemed kind of like the 3 mile walk did when I first started. I guess I'm getting better at this. It's nice to feel the progress.

Fundraising: Total: $2,205.00
Training: 5.3 miles in 1 hour 45 min
Total miles to date: 78.9

Status Update (02/19/10)

Just a post to update my stats for the last couple days!

(02/19/10)
Fundraising: $100.00 Total: $2,205.00
Training: 4.5 miles in 1 hour 40 min
Total miles to date: 73.6


(02/17/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,105.00
Training: 2.2 miles in 55 min
Total miles to date: 69.1

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Support (02/16/10)

I am not making this journey alone. Not by a long shot. I remember when I first seriously considered doing this walk, I wasn't sure how my husband was going to react. Let's face it. It's a commitment for me, but it's also a commitment for him. He ends up watching the kids a lot when I walk, and that will be worse as I do longer walks on the weekends. He puts up with me spending time on projects related to this walk instead of getting as much done around the house as I might. Luckily, he was excited that I wanted to do this, and has been nothing but supportive and I truly appreciate it. He is the best husband a girl could want! I couldn't do this without his support.

But he is not the only one supporting my adventure. I have a couple babysitters lined up who are ready to watch my kids (free) if I need to walk during the day when my husband is at work. Of course, everyone who has donated to me is supporting this journey in a way that fills me with amazement, and lots of people are just providing encouragement, kind words, asking me how it's going --- all of that is support that keeps me doing my training walks and aiming to raise more for this cause. Those words make a huge difference and knowing people are out there following my journey on this blog keeps me wanting to do more, to train harder, and to keep going on my fundraising.

I'm just getting my feet wet on the message boards, and I've only had to talk to coaches once so far, but the community that makes up those who are involved in the 3-day walk is outrageously supportive as well. I look forward to tapping thier knowledge and experience as I get further into this process.

I was talking with a good friend today about the walk and she commented on how amazingly I am doing on my fundraising. Once again, I was reminded how in awe of my friends and family I am. We are in a recession. Times are tough, and it has taken me only a month to almost have the amount needed to participate in this walk. I wish I could express better how this makes me feel. It's an incredible feeling.

You all are my support. You all are helping me take each step I take. You all are fighting to see an end to this disease. Thank you so much for being there for me. YOU are amazing!

Fundraising: Total: $2,105.00
Training: 3.6 miles in 1 hour 12 min
Total miles to date: 66.9

(02/15/10) Day off

Sunday, February 14, 2010

60 Miles!!! (02/14/10)

Today, I passed 60 miles in my training. I have trained on 24 days since I signed up. I have spent just shy of 29 hours walking or using the elliptical to get 63.3 miles under my belt. 60 miles is a long way and it's a bit daunting to think about doing that kind of mileage in 3 days. But I wouldn't have signed up to do this if I were easily daunted. I have noticed that as I have gradually increased my walking distance, it is getting easier to do the longer distance. My recovery is faster. I don't get as tired doing it.

I've had a couple people ask me "How are you ever going to walk 60-miles in three days?" My answer has always been, "One step at a time." I am feeling rather ecstatic about reaching this 60-mile mark in my training. I now have empirical experience of just how far 60-miles is, and instead of feeling daunted, it feels more doable than ever! Every step that I take in my training gets me closer to my goal.

Fundraising: Total: $2,105.00
Training: 4.7 miles in 1 hour 45 min
Total miles to date: 63.3

(02/13/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,105.00
Training: 4.2 miles in 1 hour 30 min
Total miles to date: 58.6

Friday, February 12, 2010

Just Progress Updates (02/12/10)

Crazy busy, so here's just a progress update for the last couple days.

Fundraising: Total: $2,105.00
Training: 1.0 miles in 35 minutes on the elliptical
Total miles to date: 54.4

(02/11/10)
Fundraising: Total: $2,105.00
Training: 2.4 miles in 55 minutes
Total miles to date: 53.4

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One Month and Above and Beyond (02/10/10)

One month ago today, I made a huge commitment. I signed up to do this 60-mile walk. I never in my wildest dreams believed that I would be within $95 of the $2,300.00 I needed to be able to participate in the walk in just a single month. (I got an email from a friend that a paper check for $100 has been sent in, which will put me at $2,205.00 once it hits my account). I am humbled by all of my supporters. All I'm doing is walking. It brings tears to my eyes how easy the first part of this fundraising has been.

I am not stopping at the minimum, however. Anyone who knows me, knows that I rarely, if ever, do anything without going above and beyond the minimum requirement. I'm looking at business sponsorship, maybe a giant yard-sale, perhaps some jewelry making and a few other things to continue to raise as much as I possibly can for this cause.

I started gently back into walking today after having taken off 3 days (although yesterday, I did go to my tap class, so that can count as a cross-training day). I walked to and from my son's school when picking him up. My foot did not give me more than a single twinge during the entire walk, so I'm pretty pleased about that. I didn't go far, but it felt good to be back out there and walking again.

Fundraising: $50.00 Total: $2,105.00
Training: 2.4 miles in 55 minutes
Total miles to date: 51.0

Sunday, February 7, 2010

School of Feet (02/07/10)

Have you ever spent a lot of time thinking about your feet? About your shoes? About walking in general? I know I certainly hadn't until I started training for this walk. I got more of an education this weekend as well. After yesterday's walk in the rain, I was actually feeling a little bit of a stabbing pain in my right foot. I soaked them in the foot spa. It wasn't persistent after that, but every once in a while it would hurt when I stepped on it. I started worrying about a possible injury and got online to see if I should be concerned about the symptoms. They fit pretty well with a stress fracture and the description of how you generally get a stress fracture in your foot fit with my increased walking and/or tap class. If this is what my problem was, I would have to stop both tap and my walking for 6-8 weeks to allow it to heal.

I got a bit stressed out at that point. I feel such a drive to do this and I couldn't imagine stopping my training. I got momentarily depressed. Then I started trying to figure out what I COULD do if I wasn't allowed to walk distances on my foot? Swimming! One of my first loves, as far as exercise is concerned. I quickly looked up our local YMCA and found out that for a pretty reasonable fee, I could start swimming laps to keep up with at least a cardio workout AND they have child care that is part of the membership. Phew, at least I could keep going with something.

So this morning I headed in to urgent care to get my foot checked out. The doctor took a look at my foot, poked around, checked for pain in other places on my foot and then taught me something new about my feet. One of my toes is what they call a "hammer toe". The first "knuckle" pokes up instead of lying relatively flat. It's only slight, but it is enough to cause stress in the rest of my foot and he believes that this is what is causing my problem. He said I should rest it and take an anti-inflammatory, but that it shouldn't take long for the pain to subside and I can (gently) resume training once the pain is gone. He reiterated that I need to make sure I'm walking in supportive and well fitted shoes. If it gets worse or doesn't go away, I need to see my regular doctor.

So disaster averted, but needless to say, I didn't train at all today. I won't be pushing myself too hard in the near future and I won't train again in my old shoes at all.

Fundraising: Total: $2,055.00
Training: Day off
Total miles to date: 48.6

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Walking in the Rain (02/06/10)

Took my first walk in the rain today. When I woke up it was pouring, but by the time I had eaten and gotten dressed for my walk, the rain had slowed quite a bit. I debated as to whether I should go out in it or go to the local mall to do my walk, and eventually decided the rain couldn't be that bad. I put on my old shoes (I'm not ready to subject my brand new expensive shoes to the wet just yet) and a thin plastic rain poncho and headed out. Most of the time I was out there, it was just sprinkling and spitting. There was a 10 minute downpour, complete with pretty strong wind and I loved every minute of it. As a matter of fact, when it stopped and went back to mild sprinkles I was a bit disappointed.

I don't know why I hesitated to go out in the rain. I had forgotten that when I did a study abroad in Glasgow, Scotland when I was in college that it rained most days there. I walked to the university every day, and umbrellas are pretty useless because of the wind. So I had gotten quite used to bundling up, having good shoes that kept my feet dry and just walking there no matter what the weather was like. I found today's walk invigorating and refreshing. It made me think about the fact that we drive everywhere in our culture. We don't walk. We don't experience the rain or the trees or the ground or the clouds or the mountains in our everyday life. There's something not quite right about that. I'm grateful to have had the opportunity today to have been reminded how nice it can be to experience the elements on an ordinary day.

Fundraising: Total: $2,055.00
Training: 3.9 miles in 1 hour 40 minutes
Total miles to date: 48.6

(02/05/10)

Fundraising: Total: $2,055.00
Training: 0.9 miles on the elliptical in 30 minutes
Total miles to date: 44.7

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Empowerment (02/04/10)

I split my walk up again today. I put the kids in the stroller and walked to my son's school and then took the "long way" home with my daughter. After my husband got home from work, I did another half hour walk to finish my workout. I'm tired, but it doesn't feel like I did a 4 mile walk all at once. There really is something to this stopping and taking a break.

I'm still tossing fundraising ideas around in my head and need to decide on a few to get things moving again on that front. I am in awe that I'm as far along as I am less than a month after signing up to do the walk. My friends and family are truly amazing!

I am also marveling at how internally "driven" about this event I've become. There is a sense of empowerment you get when you take something like this on. There's a small part of me that says, *I* am finding a cure for this disease. I don't quite understand it, because of course, logically, I'm not the one stopping this disease, and I don't even know how long it might take for anyone to get to that point. The skeptic in me asks, is it even possible to find a cure? All I'm doing is walking, raising awareness, and raising funds that will go to the folks who are most likely to help find better treatments/prevention and some day a cure.

I think it's the Hope that doing something like this gives you though that makes you feel a little like a super hero. Being part of something so much bigger than yourself. Having a belief that we CAN beat this. Having a belief that a solution is out there. Seeing other people around you who also have that vision and that Hope and that commitment.

I knew when I took this on that I had signed up for something amazing. It's impossible for me to express in words just how amazing a process this has been so far, and I've only barely started down this road.

Fundraising: Total: $2,055.00
Training: 4.1 miles in 1 hour 25 minutes
Total miles to date: 43.8

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Cross Training (02/03/10)

I like cross-training days. The time committment isn't as harsh and the physical committment isn't as harsh either. There are some of these days when I think, but I WANT to go do a walk today! I know the cross-training days and the days off are important; as important as the walk days really. Like most things in life, you have to pace yourself. This is not always my strong suit. I have a tendency to want to get to the end, and get things done. This is really a great excersize for me to BE more in the process. To have the process be the goal. To be patient and enjoy the down days and know that they will get me to the end of this journey as surely as the walking will.

Fundraising: $50.00 Total: $2,055.00
Training: 0.9 miles on the elliptical in 30 minutes
Total miles to date: 39.7

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Socks Make a Difference (02/02/10)

I tried something new for my walk today. I walked the mile to my son's school to pick him up, had to stop and sit for about 5 minutes and then walked the mile back. Once I was home, I left the kids with my hubby and then headed out again. I found that having those two small breaks made a very large difference in how I felt by the end. I probably would have tried to break the 5 mile barrier today, except for two things. 1) I forgot to put on my "walking socks" and wore regular cotton ones. By the time I got home, I was feeling like there was a blister waiting to form on my right baby toe. 2) I remembered that I have tap class tonight and decided to try to save some of my energy for that. I will not forget my walking socks again!

Fundraising: Total: $2,005.00
Training: 4.3 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes, 1 hour of tap class
Total miles to date: 38.8