Ready, Set, Walk!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I can't believe how fast the year is going! Last year when I was getting ready for the 3 day, I felt like I had all the time in the world to prepare. I was so wrong. November will be here before I know it. I'm heading out for my first walk of the year. I've set my goal today for four miles. My ankle isn't 100% but I went to see my foot guy again and now I have supports in my shoes. I can't train in the pair I have for too much longer since they (literally) have a lot of miles on them. New ones are definitely in order. 

I don't want to make the same mistakes I did last year; namely not training enough and not training on the same streets as the walk route (ie lots of hills and curbs, I may have to do a whole post on curbs!). I also didn't train with my fanny pack last year (BTW I hate the term fanny pack. Is there something better? Butt bag? I think I'll use that).

I used a small backpack last year and hardly carried anything in it. As a result, I wasn't prepared for the weight of all the stuff I lugged around during the walk. Having all of that weight on my lower back definitely changed my stride so this year I'm wearing my butt bag from the start. Mine is from Eddie Bauer and I love it because it holds A LOT. It has adjustable rubber bands on the sides to hold the water bottles in place. That doesn't seem important until the third time you bend over to tie your shoes and they fall out, rolling in everyone's way. Not that I'd know about that from experience. Ahem. This is what I'll be taking with me on training walks:

Two water bottles
Snacks (as the walk gets closer I carry a lot more food)
Lip balm with sunscreen
Wet wipes
Hand sanitizer
Camera (I'll start carrying the video camera too)
Hair ties
Cell phone
Nike Plus pedometer (for the iPod)
Business card case with debit card, ID and a little cash
Not pictured: toilet seat covers (for emergency porta potty stops)
Hat (either my wide brimmed straw or a ball cap)

I carry a lot more during the actual walk. My suggestion to first time walkers is to decide early on whether you want to use a backpack or butt bag and carry it from the get go.

I'm excited to be an online ambassador again this year. I'm happy to help newbie walkers any way I can. If you're in San Diego and want to train with me, let me know! There are other ambassadors all across the country.* We'll all be posting our progress and tips. We're here to help, support and encourage. If you have questions, please ask!

*Links to @the3day's profile on Twitter with all the other ambassadors.


  1. I did the walk 3 times. The last time (2006) is the only time I didn't finish and that irritated me to no end. But, it was a lack of time to properly train (which is why I have stopped participating) which meant I was not ready for the curbs. Oh yes, the curbs!! It was a mis-step off of one which started the blister which caused the t-band strain on leg #1 which begat the blister on leg #2 which...sent me into the sweeper van and off the course for good at the end of day 2 with a t-band strain developing on leg #2. I was a mess!!
    Finding the right butt bag is so crucial. Yes, you must train with *everything* you'll need for the walk. Test out socks, shoes, butt bag & fine tune the contents. I carried much less than you since I am a minimalist by nature, but everyone has to figure out what they can handle. For 20 miles. For 3 days :-)

    It will be fun following you on this journey! I miss it so, but will not make the mistake again of signing up without having the proper time to train. Might be another 4-5 years for me so I continue to live vicariously through other walkers.

  2. @ TFB - You're hilarious! I feel like your comment is one long inside joke because people who haven't walked before won't get it. I am a Girl Scout, always prepared. I'd rather have it and not need it as the saying goes. You can always volunteer!

  3. I hope I can go on some of your training walks one of these days. I haven't been out in a long time! Good luck Mel!

  4. Good luck with the walk. I'm actually a little sad that I don't get to do mine this year. I'll be 7 mos by then and that much walking would probably be bad.

  5. Do you carry extra socks, or a spare pair of shoes when you do the actual 3-day? I'm walking in Nov in AZ, and I know it's early to be planning what I'll carry, but I plan to follow your suggestion about getting used to carrying stuff *now*. :)

  6. @Charla- Definitely take more than one pair of socks. I didn't take two pairs of shoes last year and I won't make that mistake again. I made a packing list last year and posted it here:


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