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Making changes

July 24, 2009

After blogging here for 2 years, I’m making a change to a new URL. I have moved over almost all of my 3-day posts and will start blogging over there exclusively. All of my posts will be 3-day related.

I am working hard to get the blog settings the way I want them, but the content is there. I am excited to have the capability to post video because we received a Flip video camera for our wedding and I’m ready to start taking video of packing, training, and the walk itself!

I will continue posting wedding/marriage related posts and really anything that doesn’t fit under the 3-day heading at jarrodandleanne.wordpress.com. Please remember to update your readers to leannethewalker.blogspot.com. As always, please e-mail me or comment any topic ideas.

A Virtual Thank You Note

July 20, 2009

My mom and grandma taught me to never use a gift before writing a thank you note. We have written all but one thank you note for wedding gifts (one gift came in today and we finished writing notes this weekend). I feel strangely guilty not writing thank you notes immediately. I received two boxes today and don’t have anywhere to send a thank you note, so I’m writing a virtual thank you note to all.

On June 23rd, I wrote a post about an incredible e-mail I received. I’ve been anxiously awaiting my box ever since. I ask Jarrod everyday on my way home from work if anything has arrived. Today he said no but when I walked in the door one of the first things I saw was this:

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Jarrod knows I don’t like surprises that are suspected, but love reall surprises that are completely unknown. I was THRILLED to see that this package had both my maiden name and my married name on it; a sure sign it was from New Balance! I am not ashamed to say that I cried a little bit. I took a few minutes to find my camera and thank my sweet husband before settling on the floor to open the boxes. I am so humble and honored to have received these gifts.

I tore into the first box to find a box of New Balance walking shoes. Of course they are pink and covered in 3-day ribbons. A little more crying. What did I do to deserve this? I am so honored.

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If you know me or have ever seen me walk, you know I ADORE New Balance shoes. I’ve loved them for over a decade, but since I’ve started walking, I’d never spend money on anything but New Balance. After this, that’s ESPECIALLY true! After opening the first box, I started tearing into the second. More happiness fills my heart when I find an awesome 3-day shirt, wind pants, and a windbreaker. Each with the pink ribbon.

DSCN0385DSCN0387I am humbled and astonished to receive this gift. I have said this before, but it’s worth saying again – I do not walk to receive recognition. I did not write posts to get shoes. Honestly, I can barely believe that I was given these gifts. Everytime I wear them or see them in my closet, I will be thankful. Regardless, I will keep walking as long as I have feet until there is a cure. Thanks to the 3-day and New Balance, I’ll be walking in style. And thanks to Lucy, I’ll be walking with enthusiasm.

DSCN0388Please accept this as my sincere appreciation for the shoes, pants, shirt, and windbreaker. This gift is even more motivation to keep writing helpful blog posts and raising money and awareness for the Breast Cancer 3-day and Susan G. Komen for a Cure.

A New Day

July 17, 2009

Last night I had the pleasure of redesigning my blogs. I decided that this blog will be used primarily to write about my 3-day adventures. I will blog about tips for walkers, pleas for funds, and my personal experiences as they relate to the Breast Cancer 3-day. Over the past several months, this blog has received thousands of hits from walkers and friends as they prepare for their own 3-day adventure. I am so thankful that I have the opportunity to offer help and support to fellow walkers.

As always, if you have any questions or topic suggestions as they relate to the 3-day, please comment. I’d be more than happy to research and write on topics that walkers are interested in. As we approach the beginning of official 3-day season, I plan to blog about packing, purchasing, and training. A special treat, I soon hope to video blog. More on that later. 😉

If you’re interested in my life as a wife, please check out my former wedding blog: jarrodandleanne.wordpress.com. That blog also received a facelift. For posterity, I will not be deleting any old posts that do not fall under these categories, but will leave them out there for the world to read. Enjoy!

Do something that matters.

July 14, 2009
Check out these ladies on the video!

Check out these ladies on the video!

The 3-day inspirational videos get me every time. I hate that I live in a city without a 3-day because I don’t have TV or radio commercials to smack me in the middle of my daily life and remind me why I’m walking. Thankfully, I follow the Breast Cancer 3-day on Facebook and Twitter and get the inside scoop. Today they posted the 3-day Inspirational video. It’s more than 12 minutes long, but it really encapsulates exactly what the 3-day experience is all about. I will walk as long as I have feet until there is a cure. If you can’t walk, donate. If you know someone who is fighting, beat, or lost their battle, donate for them. If you can’t relate to breast cancer because you’ve never known anyone with it, donate in thanksgiving that your life hasn’t been touched by this disease.

Watch the video and you’ll catch a glimpse as to why this is so important to me. I walk so that I will be there when my granddaughter walks down the aisle. I walk so that my children will grow up in a world where breast cancer is an old disease that no one gets anymore. I walk so that the 1 in 8 women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have a lifetime. I walk because it matters. Donate. It matters.

The Importance of Hydration

July 13, 2009

3day_ambassador_badgeHello 3-day walkers! I’m back from being a bride and have decided to write another ambassador post about the importance of hydration. Hopefully this is not new information for any of you, but it is so important that I thought I’d spend a whole post talking about how important drinking water and hydration drinks really is.

Thankfully I am a big water-drinker. I drink water all day, regardless of whether I’m walking or not. However, I do make a big effort to drink even more water when I’m walking. The temperature in this part of New Orleans is about that of the surface of the sun and the humidity is 99% on a dry day. Sometimes my schedule only allows me time to walk when the sun is high, making it VERY hot. So hot, in fact, that I’ve noticed that the tops of my shoulders are sweating. That’s intense.

My head knows the importance of drinking water on hot days, training or not. But this past Saturday I stumbled out of bed and realized that I better get walking quick or I’d never do it. I threw on clothes, put my contacts in, and grabbed the dog. 3.5 miles later in the blazing hot sun (you don’t think I got out of bed before 8am, do you!?!?) I was so hot and thirsty that I knew I was dehydrated. I drank several glasses of water and relaxed in the cool air conditioning before showering up and starting the day. All in all, I was fine. But after getting the shakes later in the day and starving even after lunch, I realized that I would not have made it 20 miles on the poor foundation I created that morning.

Drinking water is crucial for success on the 3-day. Everyone is different, so learn how much water your body needs while you are training so that you don’t have any dehydration problems on the walk itself. The 3-day officially recommends that you drink an extra 8 glasses of water in the 24 hours prior to exercise (which means you should be drinking 16 glasses of water pretty much everyday!), 2 glasses 2 hours prior to exercise, 4-5 ounces of fluid while walking, and continue after exercise. Remember that once you start exercising, you need to alternate between water and sports drink. (This information is all found here: http://www.the3day.org/site/DocServer/3Day_2009TrainingTip18Fluids_v01fp.pdf?docID=2458)

The 3-day also recommends that you should be using the restroom every 3-4 miles and that your urine should be light in color. (Conveniently, this is about how far apart the port-o-potties are on the 3-day!)  I know this isn’t pleasant to think about, but you will want to get to know your body really well BEFORE the walk. I have not found a way to determine the color of my urine in a port-o-potty, and those are the only options on the 3-day! This means that while you are training, you should be following a strict hydration pattern to determine if your body is getting (and retaining) enough liquid. If you can’t tolerate Gatorade, be sure to eat salty foods during and after a long training walk.

In my 3-day experience, it is irritating to stop at every pit-stop to go to the bathroom. I think port-o-potties are just as disgusting as the rest of you. But, the 3-day does an EXCELLENT job of having more than enough at every pit stop (except the first one on day one, but that’s not their fault!) and there are delicious snacks at every pit stop as well. Submit yourself to the fact that in order to stay healthy, you are going to have to stop at (nearly) every pit stop. Make sure that you are drinking enough water and sports drink to make that happen. Eat peanuts, chips, and pretzels on the walk in order to maintain hydration.

While you might know all of this in theory, it is important to put it into practice. Train in the heat, just be sure to drink lots of water before, during and after. (And don’t forget sunblock!!) Also, if you’re looking for a healthier option than Gatorade, try G2. (If only I were famous and for the mere mention of products would get a truckload!)

I have decided to continue 3-day blogging over here. As I continue to train, I’m sure I’ll come up with more things to write about. As always, please feel free to e-mail or comment questions!

Brief Update

July 12, 2009

An update of the update…I added pictures!

I don’t have pictures right now, but will post some soon… After a delightful night in Dallas at a gorgeous hotel (one that I have ALWAYS wanted to stay in) Jarrod and I hit the road to come home. We left with a car FULL of presence and wedding stuff and drove straight to Slidell. We arrived home to two sweet kitties at about 9pm on Sunday evening. We spent a few hours opening presents and unpacking before completely crashing. On Monday we woke up and went grocery shopping at Walmart. We were out of EVERYTHING, so it was essential. 🙂 Then we packed up and headed to New Orleans to continue our honeymoon. We arrived a little to early to check in, so we left our luggage and went shopping! We got some great kitchen stuff, had a slice of pizza, and enjoyed the city. It was rainy, which was actually nice. Not too hot.

DSCN0318Our hotel was gorgeous. We had a huge room with a separate living/dining and full kitchen. We slowly got ready for our first dinner in the city. Dinner was at Luke. I took pictures of our meals because they were incredible. We ordered DSCN0322french fries as an appetizer and they were heavenly. I had a ravioliDSCN0323 and Jarrod had shrimp. Jarrod always has shrimp. DSCN0324🙂 For dessert we took vanilla cakeDSCN0326 and coffee ice creamDSCN0325 back to the room to enjoy their later. We dropped the desserts and left again to enjoy the city a little more. Dinner didn’t take long at all, so we still had a few hours before we were ready to go to bed. So we went to Pat O’Briens.DSCN0329 We enjoy it there, although since I’d just been to Pete’s, it wasn’t as good as it normally is… We requested “Livin’ On a Prayer” in honor of our recent marriage and everyone was excited about that. We were still in bed by 11pm. 🙂

Tuesday we vowed to not leave the hotel until lunch. I woke up and watched the Bachelorette on my computer and Jarrod read Harry Potter. Delightful morning!! We headed out before lunch to the other side of New Orleans. We ate at Pascal’s Manale, as recommended by Alex Guarnaschelli on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Jarrod did have the barbecue shrimpDSCN0339 that was recommended, but the best thing WE ate there was this amazing fried cheese. We love cheese and this mozzarella was so fresh and fried just for us. INCREDIBLE! DSCN0335

After our meal, we parked the car and wandered around a gorgeous side of town. We went to a beautiful and HUGE bookstore and spent time just wandering around looking at books. It was leisurely and relaxing. After our walk, we headed back to the hotel to relax and clean up before dinner.

We ate at Bacco, where a friend of ours works. DSCN0345Hands down the best food and service we received all weekend. Jarrod ate some very messy shrimp, but I’ve never seen him that happy about food before, and we LOVE food. DSCN0341I had pot roast with mashed potatoes that made me really happy also. We got bread pudding and lemon icebox cake for dessert back in the hotel. We were home in time to watch Chopped, which we love.

All in all, the time we spent together was necessary and meaningful. We are so thankful for the friends that helped make it possible. Jarrod kept staring at me smiling and saying how beautiful I am and how happy he is that we’re married. How lucky am I?

Now we are getting settled in our new place and getting back into the swing of work. Thankfully, we both came back to jobs that we love and enjoy. We are spending time hanging pictures, making great food together, and figuring out how to be married. Life is good.

Be the Match

July 10, 2009

I read this on a blog that I follow and could not say it better myself. Read Heather’s thoughts on “Be The Match” and then sign up at www.bethematch.com. It takes about 15 minutes to sign up, but it could save someone’s life…Totally worth 15 minutes.