Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Michigan Takeaways

                                                                      This is a sponsored post. All thoughts, opinions and photos and my own.
I recently took part in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Michigan, and let me begin by saying the experience was so much more than I thought it would be. In just three days you will walk 60 miles, meet so many different people from all over, hear a variety of stories, and make lasting friendships. For those of you thinking about participating in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day® I highly recommend it – yes it’s hard, but you have no idea what you are capable of until you put your body to the test for such an amazing cause.  Here are some of my tips that will help you survive the Susan G. Komen 3-Day®.

1. Honestly, this is not a beauty pageant – you\’ll be walking a TON of miles and you\’ll want to be comfortable. To see what I wore check out my 3-Day gear here.
2. Bring sunglasses, and a hat.
3. Shoes should be a half size bigger.  This is super important – basically you’re feet are going to swell up, and you’ll be so thankful to have that extra wiggle room!

4. Hydrate!! I cannot stress this enough, I heard horror stories of people getting dehydrated, UTIs and more – so keep yourself hydrated. One of the medical crew member told me that if I am not using the bathroom at EVERY pit stop I am not properly hydrating myself. Pit stops are about every 3 miles or a little over.

5. Gatorade. While this falls under hydrating I thought I would give some tips with it – I watered my Gatorade down and was drinking it every other pit.
6. Sun Block. You definitely don’t want to get burnt.
7. Take part in training walks. They’re a great way to meet others who will be going through the journey, as well as help you prepare. You may think 20 miles a day is no big deal, in reality it is a big deal and properly training makes a huge difference in your experience.  I also highly recommend cross-training and not just walking, for me biking really helped me strengthen my legs. Also yoga is GREAT for learning some amazing stretches. 24 Week Training Plan or 16 Week Training Plan.
8. Go at your own speed. It’s not a race so go at your own pace.

9. Sweep. I didn’t sweep, however it’s okay if you need to – listen to your body and sweep when it’s necessary. People drive around in decorated vans along the route, if you can’t do it anymore, need a break etc they’re there to sweep you up.

10. Find buddies to walk with.  I joined this walk as a “solo walker”, but in all honesty you’re only alone if you want to be.  Before and after opening ceremony you can meet fellow solo walkers at the solo walker flag – easy way to get walking buddies! You can also start walking and see who is in your pace, talk to people everyone wants to talk to you and hear what you have to say.
After lunch on day one I met two amazing girls who had met each other in another city as solo walkers – we’re now all 3-Day besties and I can honestly say I would not of made it through day two without them. 
The girls I met have done a few walks before, this was my first and Day two was brutal for all three of us. My pace got increasingly slower, the blisters were kicking in, they were getting heat rash, but we POWERED each other through it, and really became each others cheerleaders to get back to camp (where we used the massage chairs for 45 minutes haha). My 3-Day besties and I are discussing doing the 3-Day in Philly next year, as well as meeting up for races in other states. One girl is from Denver and I will be heading out there Memorial weekend to do Bolder Boulder with her, so you definitely can create ever lasting friendships.
11. DO NOT get a pedicure before the event. I highly recommend allowing your calluses to build up for 3-4 months before the event; it’ll help reduce the amount of blisters you get.
12. Blisters. Don’t wait for a blister to popup – if you feel a hot spot use moleskin right away to prevent it.
13. NO new shoes. Make sure your shoes are worn in.  I brought two pairs of shoes one of my pairs was Mizuno (size 7.5) and the other was Saloman (size 7.5). I never wore my Mizuno’s as the Saloman’s were super comfortable for me (they’re my favorite to run in). I wear a 6.5/7 shoe so I definitely made sure to size up!
14. Try the Graham Slams! Peanut butter and jelly sandwiched between two thick graham crackers…. Sooooooooo gooooood!!!

15. Bring external battery chargers – you will have limited access to charging your phone.

16. Keep your phone in airplane mode to preserve battery.

17. Stretch BEFORE walking and anytime you have to stop at a crosswalk. Curb stretches are great and I would highly recommend learning some simple yoga poses that will help keep your body loose.

18. The mac and cheese at dinner is so good – make sure you get some!

19. Seamless socks – not having a seam rubbing against your toes makes a big difference and may even help preserve toenails.

20. Flip flop. They’re great for walking around camp, but you will also want them on day three at closing ceremony (you hold a shoe in the air).
21. Believe in yourself! You and your body are capable of amazing things, you can do it! While walking Day 2 (remember this day was brutal for me), I met Karrie – who is a breast cancer survivor, recently lost her BFF to breast cancer and recently found out she has cancer again (not breast – I just don’t want to get personal about her condition) – I broke down talking to her. We walked about 7 miles with her and I really appreciated every minute with her. Day three she saw me and came up to me and gave me a huge hug – so you truly never know who you will meet and what kind of impact the experience will make. 
You can still sign up for Atlanta, Seattle (I heard AMAZING things about this walk), Dallas/Fort Worth and San Diego (last walk and I heard it’s a crazy fun party along the OCEAN – yes please!!). Use ERICA10 to get $10 off your registration!!

Overall experience:

Opening Ceremony: Bring tissues; you’ll need them because the water works will fly. Very emotional. The stories you will hear, and people you will meet will just leave you completely speechless.

After the walk: Use the massage chairs, trust me they’re AMAZING and will make you feel so good. The trail mix bar was so neat, and definitely wish it would have been there day 2 and not just day 1.

Closing Ceremony:  When the survivor’s walk out you will cry, it’s emotional and will pull on your heartstrings. There were people that I saw repeatedly and talked to throughout the journey so when I saw them walk into the survivor circle a strong emotion came over me.

If you decide to do Michigan next year you will definitely see me crewing!!!

12 Comments on “Susan G. Komen 3-Day® Michigan Takeaways

  1. Your post alone brought on the tears so I can only imagine how emotional the event is. It sounds like such an amazing experience and that's so awesome you built lasting friendships along the way! Thanks for the tips – socks seem to be a hot topic for 3-Day events :-).XOXO


  2. I'm with Nicci – your post brought me to tears. What an inspiring, emotional experience. Just imagining what cancer survivors have gone through makes this endurance event and the opportunity to connect with fellow walkers all that more powerful and inspiring. Great tip about the pedicure, too – I never would have thought about that!


  3. What an amazing recap, I feel like I was right there with you the whole time. I can only imagine what an emotional and beautiful experience you must have had. Thanks so much for sharing….also….always yes to mac n cheese! 🙂


  4. We're so glad you came out and had an amazing time! Thank you for helping us spread the word about the 3-Day 🙂


  5. I am so proud of you. Breast cancer has taken or tried to take several people in my life. And it is my sorority philanthropy.


  6. You are so amazing! Thank you for sharing your experience and all of these amazing tips!


  7. It was so emotional hearing peoples stories, but I made a ton of friends along the way so all in all it was such an amazing experience paired with a lot of emotions.


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