Wednesday, February 16, 2011

So You Think You Wanna Do A 3-Day, eh?

Over the past few weeks I've been talking to a lot of people who are contemplating doing the SGK Breast Cancer 3-Day this year.  So I thought I'd create a little rundown of what you need to know if you're thinking of joining my (or anyone else's) team.  So here we go:

1.  It will change your life.  Being a part of something THAT big and THAT amazing is an incredible experience.

2.  It takes time.  That to me was the hardest part.  You don't walk 60 miles without training for it.  And training for it means you have to be willing to give up some family time.   It also means getting up early.  Here are the key things I learned about training:

- Make sure your family is supportive.  If you have a spouse, make sure they are on board and willing to pitch in with the things you're going to be too tired to do.  If you have kids, make sure they can be covered, and will be ok with you being around a little less for a while.  My husband and daughter were AMAZING.  But a 13 year old definitely requres less maintenance than a 3 year old does.

- Stick to the training schedule.  SGK lays out a 16 week or 24 week training schedule.  (I do the 24)  You have to BLOCK that time out on your calendar.  There's some flexibility on what days you do things, but plan for short walks 3 days during the week and long walks on Saturdays and Sundays.  Short Walks start at 45min-1hour (3 miles) and get longer as the event gets closer.  Long walks start around 2 hours and by the end take up the better part of your Saturday.  Saturday walks are longer than Sunday.  Click here to see the 24 week training schedule and make sure it's something that fits into your life.

- Proper shoes and clothes aren't negotiable.  More on that in a minute.

Now... if you miss a day, is it the end of the world?  Absolutely not.  But if your intentions are good and you are focused, you're going to be on schedule more than you're going to be off.  And you'll be fine.  And I'll be first to admit I did pretty much ZERO cross training on the schedule.  But I did at least 80% of those long weekend walks.  And I walked ALL 60 miles.

3.  It takes money. 

- There's a $90 registration fee (currently a $25 discount good through the end of the month, so let's make up our minds already!)

- There is a $2300 fundraising minimum.  This is a BIG, BOLD event.  It's meant for those who are dedicated to the belief that "Everyone Deserves A Lifetime."  Don't let the fundraising scare you.  Especially considering that you're thinking about this in February.  Plenty of time!  I'm looking at a late fall walk, so if you break it down it's less than $300 a month to raise.  Trust me, we're going to get it done.  EVERYONE on my team will meet their minimum and then some.

- In addition to the money raised for the cause, you'll need 2 pairs of good shoes, at least 6 pairs of athletic socks, 3 pairs of athletic pants, and a waist pack.  We'll do team shirts to walk in.  After you sign up, you're going to be telling everyone you know that you're doing this, and hopefully everyone you know is going to get you gift cards to Fleet Feet for your birthday / mother's day, etc.

*I have seed money for t-shirts.  We'll also sell t-shirts as a fundraiser this year.*

- Unfortunately, there's not a walk in Nashville.  (Yet?)  So there are also travel costs involved depending on where we decide to walk.

That's the 3 biggies.  I have learned a LOT from my first 3-Day last year, in Washington D.C.  And I can't wait to do it again!  The benefits far outweigh the downsides (like that 5:30am alarm on Saturday), and I LOVE that my daughter gets to see her mom doing something THIS cool. 

One other key thing I took in from last year's experience:  You have to be big and bold about TELLING people you're doing this.  If you don't tell them, they don't know, and they won't donate to you.  They may even donate to someone else.  I raised the majority of my money through Facebook.  No lie.  And then once I met my minumum (and then some!) I was able to donate my share of team fundraising activities to help my teammates meet theirs.  And the earlier you start with the fundraising, the sooner you'll meet your minium and be able to focus on the training part.  And that is a HUGE blessing.

Music City Spirit will be traveling to either Atlanta (October 21-23) or San Diego (November 18-20) this year.  The requirements to join the team are pretty simple:  You have to participate in team fundraisers in order to benefit from them, you have to represent Music City with pride, and you have to get along with me.  :-)

So... who's in?  And where are we going to go?

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