Karena's 3-Day Walk in Seattle Recap


Karena’s 3-Day Walk in Seattle

A few weeks ago, a dear friend and long time sister here at Shrinking Jeans, Karena, completed an incredible event.  Along with new and old friends, she participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walk in Seattle to help fight breast cancer.  I am in awe of people who can walk 60 miles over the course of 3 days and I wanted to get Karena’s take on the 3-Day and let her share her story here.

Why the Susan G. Komen 3-Day?  I’ve always enjoyed long distance walking, and always wanted to take part in a huge event, something bigger than myself. I’ve loved supporting many of my beloved Shrinking Sisters through half and full marathons, but as a walker, I knew that really wasn’t for me. I promised myself that, if I ever moved back to the states , I’d take part in a 3-Day. It’s a great cause, and a huge challenge! Lo and behold, we moved back last October, and one of the very first things I did – before we even had furniture!! – was to sign up for the 3-Day in Seattle.

How did you decide your location? We moved to the beautiful Pacific Northwest just last year. Seattle was the closest walk to our new home. Easy choice 🙂

Image source: 3-day blog

Tell me about training?  How does one train to walk 60 miles in 3 days? The training for a long distance walk is a lot like training for a marathon. There were usually three mid-week walks of shorter lengths, a day or two of cross-training, and two longer walks on the weekends. I followed a 24 week plan that slowly built up the long weekend walks. These topped out at 18 miles. Luckily, you don’t have to walk 60 miles all at once! Just 20, three times over!

What was the most challenging aspect of training or the walk itself? The most challenging aspect of the training was the time it took away from my family on the weekend. This summer I spent between 4 and 6 hours each weekend day out on the trails, away from them. As for the walk itself, the most challenging part was day three in its entirety. Everyone told me day two is the hardest, that day three – with the finish line in sight – would be much easier. But for me it was a mental hurdle. I’d done two longs back to back all summer long. But three? Next time I’ll definitely work in a couple “three day weekends”, even if day three is relatively short, just for the mental boost it will give me.

Any tips on fundraising? None. But I could definitely use some tips from all of you! Asking for donations, even for such a great cause, is far out of my comfort zone. The training was easy compared to the fundraising of $2300!

Be honest, how bad were the blisters? Ha! Well, I got one whopper on the back of my heel at the end of day two. I’m certain that was part of the issue for me on day three as well. Thankfully, some friends I made along the way are blister experts! They fixed me up, and I was on my way again!

Where do you stay during the event?  Any packing/organization tips? Many people stay at camp. There is a literal sea of pink tents! But the group of women with whom I walked (Ann, included!) stayed in a nearby hotel, and I joined them. It was heavenly to collapse into a real bed at night! As for packing, I made the entire trip with nothing but a carry-on! My one tip would be to stash an extra bag in your carry-on, because you’re going to be collecting a lot of swag! I came home with t-shirts, buttons, chocolates, mementos… I had to play Tetris to make it all fit!

Would you do it again? Why or why not? I’m already signed up for the 3-Day in Seattle again next year! I loved the challenge, the vibe, the people… But most importantly, I’ll do it because now I know. I am quite lucky in that I don’t (or rather, didn’t) know anyone who has had to battle breast cancer. The Seattle 3-Day changed that. I walked amongst survivors. I listened to so many stories of loved ones facing this battle, and not all these stories had happy endings. Coming out of my comfort zone to fundraise is the least I can do. Walking with these wonderful, brave, selfless people is an honor.

Thank you so much, Karena, for sharing your 3-Day story with us!  Have any of you participated in the 3-Day?

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