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Running For More…

The personal blog and website of Kristen Cincotta

Posts Tagged ‘You’re Invited’

The Road to the 2015 Atlanta 3 Day Begins Here!

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

After a bit of a blogging hiatus while I figured out the whole “working mom” thing, I am thrilled to jump back into active blogging in order to announce that I’m walking in the 2015 3 Day for the Cure in Atlanta!

Ok, so “announce” is a bit of a dramatic word. Most of my friends and family have known that I’m walking again for quite some time now. But it’s been five years since my last 60 mile go around, so I felt like this sort of deserved it’s own “Tada!” moment. So officially, I will be walking 60 miles in 3 Days here in Atlanta in October!


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Kicking off my 2015 3 Day training with a stunning sunrise!


For those who aren’t familiar with the 3 Day, this 60 mile walk (spread across, yes, 3 days) benefits Susan G. Komen at the national level. That means that all of the money that is raised goes to fund breast cancer initiatives, and most importantly to me, cutting edge breast cancer research. While the majority of the money raised through local Race for the Cure events generally stays in the area where it was raised to fund community-level breast cancer programs, the 3 Day funds RESEARCH. As a scientist myself, I know the power of those dollars. And this year, I will again be helping to raise those dollars by walking a lot of miles – both during the event and in the next 16 weeks leading up to it.

I will be posting more in the future (hopefully A LOT more) about the fundraising side of this adventure. For tonight, though, I want to focus on two things: my training plans and my pitch to all of you to join me!

Training Plans – Running and Walking!

While it is certainly not required, it is very important to me to walk all 60 miles of the 3 Day in October. In order to do that, and to do it with a smile on my face, I will need to train. And that means walking, walking, walking.


With my teammate Mel during my first 3 Day in Atlanta in 2007.

With my teammate Mel during my first 3 Day in 2007.


I’m not going to lie – I’m predominantly a runner these days, so the idea of slowing down to log some walking miles isn’t super tempting. But, running and walking really do use different muscles. Plus, there are gear challenges with the 3 Day that aren’t really a factor with running, even at long distances (have you ever run with a fanny pack??). So walking some serious miles over the next 16 weeks is going to be crucial.

That being said, I LOVE running races. I probably “race” too often, but I can’t help it. I love the energy of it, even at small community 5Ks, and I don’t want to lose that over the next four months. I’m also hoping to run a half marathon early next year, if not before the end of this year. So that means that even as I log more walking miles than I care to think about right now, I still want to maintain at least some level of running fitness throughout this journey.

Over the last couple weeks, I’ve spent some time playing around with training plans, including the 16 week plan that the 3 Day coaches recommend. After a good amount of time with my calendar (and talking things through with my husband!), I’ve finally landed on a somewhat convoluted plan that I think will let me get in enough walking miles to be fit for the 3 Day while still running enough to make me happy. Here’s the basic gist of how it will all work:

  • The training plan I’m following covers 16 weeks, ending the weekend of the 3 Day (October 16-18th, for those keeping track at home).
  • I will be following a modified 10 week 10k running training plan for most of those 16 weeks. I’m going to repeat the last three weeks twice in order to get to the full 16 weeks.
  • Every other weekend, I will substitute my Saturday long run for the long Saturday/Sunday back-to-back long runs of the corresponding weekend on the official 16 week 3 Day training plan.

Note: Most running plans feature one weekend long run followed by a recovery day. On the 3 Day, we walk 20 miles on three consecutive days. As a result, the most important feature of 3 Day training is walking long miles on back to back days so that your body becomes acclimated to bouncing back quickly. So running weeks will be one long run, usually on Saturdays, and walking weeks will be long walks on both Saturdays AND Sundays.

  • Every fourth week, I will substitute my weekday runs for the corresponding weekday walks on the official 16 week 3 Day training plan.
  • As best as I can, I am going to try to fit in up to three cross training sessions as well (two strength sessions + yoga). Fingers crossed!
  • Oh, and in the interest of not re-aggravating my ITBS, I’m going to try to do some of my knee PT exercises twice a week.

So, most weeks will look like this:

  • Monday – short run +  strength
  • Tuesday – rest
  • Wednesday – optional short run + knee PT
  • Thursday – speed work
  • Friday – strength + knee PT
  • Saturday – long run/race or long walk
  • Sunday – long walk (if applicable) + yoga

And my full walking weeks will look like this:

  • Monday – short/medium walk + strength
  • Tuesday – rest
  • Wednesday – optional short run + knee PT
  • Thursday – short/medium walk
  • Friday – strength + knee PT
  • Saturday – long walk
  • Sunday – long walk + yoga

More or less. There are some weeks where I’ll have to get creative, but for the most part, that’s what I’m hoping to do. My mantra word for the second half of 2015 is EXECUTE. I am fully committed to executing this plan.


With my teammates at Closing in the 2010 Boston 3 Day.

With my teammates at Closing in the 2010 Boston 3 Day.


Every week, I will try my best to post a recap of my training for the previous week. In the past, posting regular training recaps has really helped to keep me accountable and I expect that to be true again. I’m also hoping that when all of you see how hard I’m working to prepare for the 3 Day, you’ll be more motivated to help me reach my not insignificant fundraising goals. Wink,wink.

My Challenge to YOU

As all of us 3 Day veterans can attest, no one ever walks the 3 Day alone. Even if you start out alone, you are quickly absorbed into the pink bubble, surrounded by supportive “teammates”. As of right now, though, I don’t have any formal teammates, which is a first for me. I have a number of friends that I’ve met through the 3 Day who will also be walking in Atlanta (including some that I’ve never met before, despite “knowing” them online for five years!). So I know I won’t be alone. But I would love to have some official teammates as well.

Walking 60 miles in 3 days sounds like a huge feat. Raising $2300 in order to have that privilege can seem impossible. But I am here to tell you that it isn’t. I strongly believe that just about anyone can meet this challenge (and even if you don’t, your efforts in the attempt are still SO VALUABLE). My family members have recently become Fitbit-obsessed. I’m hoping that some of them kick it up a notch and take on the 3 Day with me. I also know a number of people who are on “get fit” kicks of their own. What better way to motivate yourselves than to take on the 3 Day?

Honestly, there are as many reasons to do the 3 Day as there are people who have walked it over the years. Whatever your reason, if you feel a pull in your heart to get involved, I strongly encourage you to do so. You will not regret it. The theme for the 3 Day this year is “Do Something Huge”. Make this your something huge.


My reason for walking, at the 2008 Atlanta 3 Day.

My reason for walking, at the 2008 Atlanta 3 Day.


If you choose to join me, the team I envision will be relatively informal. As a three time 3 Day vet, I can help answer any questions you may have and of course, we’ll celebrate together on the event in October. But your training will be up to you to execute (or not) as you wish, as will your fundraising. The primary focus of our team will be support and encouragement. This will be a 100% NO PRESSURE team.

I know a lot of people have expressed to me that they’re intrigued by the challenge that the 3 Day offers. Or that they’d love to do something, anything, to help in the fight against breast cancer. So this is your chance. Come walk with me in October. You can do it. I know you can.

If you would like to join my team, you can do so by clicking here. While you can sign up anytime between now and the event in October, I highly encourage you to register soon in order to give you ample time to fundraise and train. If you have any questions, you can shoot me an email here or tweet at me here. Or you can always just leave a comment on this blog post.

Thanks for joining me on this adventure! Whether you choose to walk with me or just to support from afar, we are all in this together. So thanks!

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While I am not kicking off my formal fundraising efforts just yet, my fundraising page is ready to accept donations. If you would like to make a donation in support of my efforts, you can do so by clicking on the link above or by using the widget in the left-hand corner of this page. Thanks!

You’re Invited: Bubbles and Bling, benefitting Komen Atlanta!

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hi Friends (or should I say Darlings)!

bubbles and blingOn Thursday, February 6th, the Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta Affiliate is hosting a brand new fundraising event and it would excellent to see as many of you there as possible!

This event, called “Bubbles and Bling” is a Breakfast at Tiffany’s inspired cocktail party featuring unique entertainment, an open bar, and hors d’oeuvres for everyone in attendance. There will also be a number of additional ways for you to support Komen Atlanta in all of the great work that they do here in Atlanta and as part of the larger network of Susan G. Komen for the Cure affiliates. Finally, one lucky attendee will find a one carat diamond hiding in the bottom of their glass of champagne (hence the “bubbles and bling” name)!

Interested? Excellent! Here are the critical details that you need to know:

Where: Mason Murer Fine Art- 199 Armour Drive, Atlanta, GA  30324
When: Thursday, February 6th from 7 pm – 10 pm (General Admission)
Tickets are $75 and include an open bar and hors d’oeuvres
Cocktail Attire

If you would like to learn more about this event, you can read more on the Komen Atlanta website, here. And if I’ve already convinced you to join me at this cocktail party, you can buy your tickets here.

See you there, Darlings!

Komen Atlanta Logo

 

You’re Invited: Upcoming Atlanta Track Club Events!

Sunday, January 5th, 2014

Back in November, I was honored to be asked to serve as one of the inaugural ambassadors for the Atlanta Track Club in 2014. To kick things off, I thought I’d share a quick post about a couple of upcoming ATC events that you may or may not be interested in!

Grand Prix Race Series Town Hall

When: January 6th, 6:00pm

Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Atlanta – Buckhead, 3342 Peachtree Rd NE, Atlanta, GA 30326

Back in late October or early November, the ATC quietly announced that they would be dropping their Grand Prix race series in 2014 in favor of a modified series geared more towards the top performing athletes. This announcement, coupled with some pretty large changes in the ATC race calendar for the year, was not particularly well-received by those of us who look forward to the challenge of completing the Grand Prix series each year. While the Grand Prix wasn’t the most well-known or well-attended ATC event, it was a great motivator for those of us non-elites looking to track our progress over time and to challenge ourselves with new, longer distances. Personally, I was pretty disappointed by the proposed changes.

Feeling ecstatic after going sub-30 minutes at the 2013 Peachtree City 5k and notching my first Grand Prix point for finishing top 5 in my age group!

Feeling ecstatic after going sub-30 minutes for the first time at the 2013 Peachtree City 5K and notching my first Grand Prix points for finishing top 5 in my age group!

To their credit, the ATC, which prides itself on being a members’ organization, listened to their members and realized that while the old format of the Grand Prix needed upgrading and tweaking, the proposed replacement wasn’t going to satisfy their members’ needs either. For 2014, they have decided to forgo holding a race series at all while they work with their members, volunteers, board members, and other community members to redesign the Grand Prix into a series that works for the maximum number of members starting in 2015.

To that end, the ATC will be forming a task force of current members, former Grand Prix participants, staff, and board members that will be responsible for researching and developing the new series. As an important first step, the ATC is holding a town hall to allow members and other interested parties to share their thoughts on both the old series and the new series under development. If you are interested in weighing on the new race series, and especially if you’ve been an active participant in the past, I highly encourage you to come out to this meeting tomorrow night.

Please note that while there is no cost for participating in the town hall, the ATC did request that folks planning to attend let them know by last Friday (January 3rd) via email. However, I just emailed my RSVP in earlier this afternoon and I can’t imagine they will turn folks away at the door. Just to be on the safe side, though, if you are going to attend, please send a short RSVP email to feedback@atlantatrackclub.org.

ATC Annual Member’s Social

When: January 9th, 6:30pm

Where: The Foundry at Puritan Mill – 916 Joseph E. Lowery Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30318

Every January, the ATC holds their annual members’ social, a great place to mix and mingle with your fellow ATC members in non-running clothes! The event also doubles as a fundraiser for the ATC, helping them to fund a number of their events and activities throughout the coming year. We attended last year and had a ton of fun. The event featured great food, an open bar, an interesting speaker, and a silent auction where I was fortunate to win entries into four different ATC races throughout the year, including a complete team entry for the Relay Around the Park. With a new location and Meb Keflezighi as their featured speaker, this year promises to be EVEN better. This event also marks the start of the ATC’s 50th anniversary celebrations!

Tickets for this event are $20 each and can be purchased on the ATC website, here. Tickets are only available through midnight tonight (January 5th) so be sure to click over RIGHT NOW if you want to attend. Also, while the event is called the “members social”, it is open to non-members as well. The event starts at 6:30pm and Meb will be speaking at 7pm.


Blurry but having fun at last year's ATC Member Social!

Blurry but having fun at last year’s ATC Member Social!

Women on the Move Training Program

When: Starts January 25th or the Tuesday immediately following

Where: Various locations throughout Atlanta (click here for the list)

Throughout the year, the ATC holds a number of training groups to help people prepare for their goal races. The first of these training groups is the Women on the Move training program, a program I took part in back in 2011 when I was just getting started in running. From the ATC’s website:

The Atlanta Track Club’s Women on the Move Training Program is a women’s-only 5K training program that prepares walkers, run/walkers, and runners for the Atlanta Women’s 5K in March. The goal of the program is to provide a fun, motivating running environment that helps women start their journey towards health and fitness. The series begins in late-January at various locations throughout the metro Atlanta region.

The Women on the Move Training Program includes:
  • Guaranteed entry into the Atlanta Women’s 5K on March 29, 2014. 
  • 9-week training program with weekly group runs
  • Long-sleeve training team performance shirt
  • Two training seminars following group runs
  • Weekly training email updates

I LOVED this training group back when I did it. The coaches and my fellow trainees were all incredibly supportive and welcoming to runners of all levels. The seminars were informative and the atmosphere was laid-back. I loved having a “real” training plan to follow during the week and checking in with my “coaches” during our Saturday morning group runs. Taking part in this group was the first time that I truly felt like a real runner. I highly recommend it to any and all women looking to start (or re-start) a running habit that could last them a lifetime.

When you register for the program, you will select your weekly group meeting date and location. There are four groups that meet on Saturday mornings at various locations around the city, one group that meets on Tuesday mornings and one group that meets on Tuesday evenings. The cost for the training group is $75 which includes the $35 registration fee for the Atlanta Women’s 5k at the end of March. As an added bonus, if you are also an ATC member, you can save 15% off of your registration.

If you are interested in taking part in this training program, you can register on the ATC website, here. While the training group starts on January 25th (or the following Tuesday), you can still register up until February 8th.


With my Women on the Move training group following the 2011 Women's 5K!

With my Women on the Move training group following the 2011 Women’s 5K!

I hope that I’ve managed to entice you to take part in at least one of these great upcoming events. I’ve attended the member’s social and taken part in the Women on the Move training group in the past and wouldn’t recommend them to you if I didn’t 100% believe they are worth the time and money. Plus, the Grand Prix series has become my absolute favorite part of my ATC membership and I’m committed to making sure that whatever replaces it is just as good. If you share my enthusiasm, please consider making time for one (or two or all three!) of these great events!

ATC New Logo

You’re Invited to the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

This weekend, October 6-7th, marks the 10th anniversary of the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer and while it’s too late now to register for this year’s event, I’m here to encourage you to head out for a few hours this weekend and do what my pink people do best: cheer each other on!

The Atlanta 2 Day, which markets itself as “the kinder and gentler breast cancer walk” is put on each year by a local Atlanta 501(c)(3) organization called It’s The Journey, Inc. It’s the Journey was founded in 2002 after the Avon Walk left the Atlanta area as a way of raising funds that will stay entirely within the local area, supporting Georgia breast cancer patients and breast health programs. Officially, the mission statement of It’s the Journey, Inc says:

It’s The Journey, Inc’s mission is to strengthen Georgia’s breast cancer community by raising money and awareness for local organizations that focus on breast cancer education, early detection, awareness and support services, as well as the unmet needs in the breast cancer community.

Over the past nine years, It’s The Journey, Inc has funded 169 grants totaling $8 million to various Georgia and Atlanta-area breast cancer programs and organizations. That’s a huge amount of money for a relatively small group to be investing in breast cancer programs in my adopted home city and I am sure that every single cent is very appreciated by their grantees. More impressively, to my knowledge, the vast majority (if not all) of that money was raised by the participants of the Atlanta 2-Day; I don’t know of any other major fundraisers that It’s The Journey does. So when I say that these 2-Day walkers deserve the support of the greater cancer advocacy community, I really, truly mean it.

As for the specifics, the Atlanta 2-Day Walk for Breast Cancer is modeled after endurance events like the Komen 3-Day for the Cure and the Avon walks. For this event, participants walk 30 miles over two days and “camp out” on Saturday night at their host hotel, which for 2012 is the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. Participants have the option of walking both days, or walking only Saturday (20 miles) or only Sunday (10 miles). As with other multi-day walks, walkers are asked to meet a fairly significant fundraising minimum just to participate. In this case, that means $1000 for 2 day walkers, $750 for Saturday-only walkers, and $500 for Sunday-only walkers. It really is an event that lets you choose exactly the right level of participation for you. They don’t call themselves the kinder, gentler breast cancer walk for nothing!

So, if you have a few free hours this weekend, I highly suggest that you come out and cheer on these walkers as they take on this challenge (perhaps after you’re done with the Making Strides event in the morning!). Opening Ceremonies will take place at 7am on Saturday morning, out on Peachtree Street in front of the Hard Rock Cafe. Following the conclusion of the ceremonies, the walkers will head out on the route. You can view the Saturday morning route here and the Saturday afternoon route here. In general, though, you’ll be able to find the walkers heading east towards Agnes Scott College in Decatur in the morning before turning back towards to downtown after lunch. Official cheering stations are planned throughout the day on Saturday and will probably be the best option for catching the walkers on the route:

  • Cheering Station 1: Fishburne Parking Deck, Emory University (free on Saturday), 1672 N Decatur Road, Atlanta, GA 30322 from 8:45am – 10:30am
  • Cheering Station 2: Downtown Decatur, at the intersection of Church Street and Sycamore Street from 10:00am – 12:30pm
  • Cheering Station 3: Candler Park Village, at the corner of McLendon Avenue and Clifton Road from 1:00pm – 4:00pm

In addition, you can cheer for the walkers as the return back to the Marriott Marquis after a long day of walking as well. The hotel is located at 265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30303. It’s The Journey asks that you cheer on the Courtland Street side of the hotel. They expect walkers to be returning between 2:30 and 5:30pm.

Sunday’s festivities will also kick off with Opening Ceremonies, this time at 7:30am in the Atrium Ballroom at the Marriott Marquis downtown. From there, the walkers will be walking north from their hotel up to Atlantic Station. Closing Ceremonies are planned for noon on Sunday at Atlantic Station. You can view the complete Sunday route here. There are no planned cheering stations on Sunday besides at Atlantic Station as the walkers are finishing.

In the past, I’ve expressed my hesitation in promoting and encouraging It’s The Journey, Inc and the Atlanta 2-Day. It really bothers me that It’s The Journey positions this great walk as a competitor to the 3-Day and other multi-day breast cancer walks, rather than as an additional walk. I thoroughly believe that there are plenty of passionate advocates that will fill up however many walks we need to have in order to raise enough money to finally cure cancer. There is no need for cancer organizations to compete with each other. If your organization is doing good work (and I think It’s The Journey ultimately is), people will take part in your events. I really wish It’s The Journey would figure that out and change their marketing going forward. Regardless of if they actually do make changes, the walkers that take part in the Atlanta 2 Day aren’t doing this walk to spite some other organization (I hope!). They’re doing it because they want to contribute to the fight against breast cancer. And seriously? $8 million dollars for local breast cancer centers and patient support programs? That’s AMAZING. These walkers deserve everyone’s respect and encouragement for their hard work. They’ve earned it, regardless of my feelings about how It’s The Journey chooses to promote their walk.

So, with that, I say:

GO ATLANTA 2 DAY WALKERS!! TURN OUR CITY PINK THIS WEEKEND!!

You’re Invited to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer!

Friday, October 5th, 2012

It is officially Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which means there are pink events taking place all over the country. One of the biggest series of breast cancer awareness/fundraising events in the country is the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks. The first Making Strides walk step off this Saturday morning and they will continue every weekend throughout October. These walks raise a ton of money for the American Cancer Society and its breast cancer specific programs, which I think we can all agree is definitely a cause worth supporting!

About Making Strides Against Breast Cancer

Making Strides was started in 1984 by Massachusetts cancer survivor Margery Gould Rath, who wanted a way to celebrate her fellow survivors and to raise money for the American Cancer Society. Her first event, which Margery dubbed a “move-along-a-thon”, was held in Boston and featured 200 participants. The Boston Making Strides event continued to grow and in 1993, it was formally rebranded as the “American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”. Since then, more than 8 million walkers have taken part in Making Strides walks all over the country, raising more than $460 million dollars in the process.

Per their website, the funds raised by Making Strides are used by the American Cancer Society to fight breast cancer on four fronts:

  1. Helping people to stay well by taking steps to reduce their personal risk for breast cancer and getting the appropriate screening in order to catch breast cancer in its earliest stages when it is most treatable.
  2. Helping people fighting breast cancer today to get well by providing free information and services including transportation, lodging, wigs, support programs, financial assistance and more.
  3. Helping to find cures for breast cancer by investing in cutting edge cancer research.
  4. Fighting for all women through the ACS CAN Advocacy program that is working to ensure that all women have access to mammograms and to encourage lawmakers to pass laws related to the fight against breast cancer.

Each Making Strides walk ranges in distance from 3 to 5 miles and is generally free to take part in (some local events may have a nominal registration fee to cover costs). There are no fundraising minimums, and even those who can’t afford to make a donation to ACS are encouraged to come out and show their support for the Making Strides effort by taking part in these walks. And you can register even on the morning of the event, which means that there’s still time for you to get involved, even for the walks this weekend. So, given all of that, if you live in one of the cities hosting a walk, you pretty much have no excuses left for not at least trying to take part!

About the Atlanta Making Strides Events

This year, there will be not just one, but TWO Making Strides walks here in the Atlanta area:

  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Atlanta: This event is a 3.1 mile walk that will take place at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta on October 6th. Registration opens on the day of the event at 7:30am, or, if you’d prefer not to wait, you can register now online here. The walk itself starts at 9am. There is no registration fee for this event, so Atlanta friends, you better get out there and walk!
  • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Marietta: This event is a 3.1 mile run/walk that will take place at Glover Park on the Square in Marietta, GA on October 27th. Registration opens on the day of the event at 7am or, again, you can register now online here. This run/walk starts at 8am. It is free to register to walk this event and costs $25 if you plan to run.

Not only is this the first year that I can remember there being two Atlanta-area Making Strides events, but it’s also the first time that the event hasn’t conflicted with the Atlanta 3-Day for the Cure. I’ve always wanted to take part in a Making Strides race, but I’ve either been out walking or cheering on my fellow walkers at the 3 Day that weekend and couldn’t do both. I can’t make it to the Atlanta walk this weekend because of a family wedding (congrats Robyn and Colin!), but I’m going to try my hardest to make it up to the Marietta walk. Heck, maybe I’ll even run it. Who’s interested in joining me?

Of course, Making Strides walks aren’t just happening in Atlanta. There are also events in and around Boston, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New York/New Jersey, and San Diego, all during the month of October. Just click your city name of choice and you’ll been taking to a list of events for each region. You can also find general information about Making Strides on their main website, here, and on their FAQ page, here.

Much like the Race for the Cure events that Komen for the Cure puts on, I think Making Strides is an ideal event for all levels of breast cancer advocates. Whether this is your first pink walk or just a short breather in between your countless marathons and multi-day walks, this event is a chance to meet fellow advocates, support a great cause, and get some exercise in the process. And, with no registration fees, there’s no financial pressure to donate more than you’re comfortable giving. Really, what do you have to lose?

 

You’re Invited to The Young Survival Coalition’s Tour de Pink!

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

With Breast Cancer Awareness Month right around the corner, the number of “pink” events taking place here in Atlanta and all over the country is growing by the day! One series of events that kicks off this weekend is the Young Survival Coalition’s Tour de Pink bike rides to raise money for their outreach, education, and advocacy programs. I’m planning to attend the ride here in Atlanta this weekend as a spectator and I’m hoping that I can convince you to as well!

About the Young Survival Coalition

The Young Survival Coalition (or YSC) is, per their website, the premier global organization dedicated to the critical issues unique to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. YSC was founded in 1998 by three women who had all been diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 35. Recognizing the relative rarity of their situation and the unique issues facing young women with breast cancer, YSC was born. YSC is head-quartered in New York City and currently has affililiates in 30 cities across the United States.

The primary goal of YSC is to improve and increase both the quality and quantity of life for young breast cancer patients and survivors. To achieve this, YSC focuses its efforts on three fronts:

  1. Advocacy – YSC advocates for increased research attention focused on the unique issues facing young women with breast cancer, including higher mortality rates, body image issues, and survivorship questions about things such as fertility and early menopause. Through their “Reach Up and Speak Out” programs, YSC is working to empower and unite the voices in the young survivor community to shine a spotlight on a much needed area of increased research.
  2. Education – Breast cancer in young people is not the same as breast cancer in post-menopausal women. YSC provides educational information and leads seminars to help highlight these differences and educate young women with breast cancer so that they can make informed choices about their own care and treatment. Moreover, YSC dedicates considerable efforts to increasing awareness of breast cancer in younger women, emphasizing that this is not a disease that limits itself to older women.
  3. Community building and patient support – The community of young breast cancer survivors is relatively small, leading these women to often feel out of place or overlooked at traditional cancer patient support groups. YSC and its affiliates regularly host networking and social events as well as an annual conference specifically targeted at young cancer patients and survivors in order to help young women find and support each other through their cancer journeys and beyond.

About the Tour de Pink

The Tour de Pink is a series of bike rides at various locations across the country that serves a dual purpose as the YSC’s primary annual fundraiser and as a wonderful celebration of the YSC community. Or, as YSC Board President, founding member and three-time breast cancer survivor Lisa J. Frank puts it (much more artfully):

Tour de Pink was created to empower young women diagnosed with breast cancer. Our participants create an incredibly strong community that one wishes they could experience every day. Combine that with the inspiration everyone feels when they watch a young woman climb on a bike to reclaim her body after being diagnosed with breast cancer and you truly have the experience of a lifetime.

The Tour de Pink was first started in 2004 with just five riders, who rode 200 miles from the Boston suburbs to the NYU Cancer Institute in New York City. That inaugural event raised $26,000 for YSC; with more than 1400 riders expected to take part in at least one Tour de Pink ride in 2012, that number only promises to grow.

For the 2012 season, interested participants have the choice of a number of events depending on geographic location and riding ability. The two primary events in the Tour de Pink series are each three day, 200 mile long rides that are similar in nature to the Susan G. Komen 3 Day and Avon Breast Cancer Walks. Riders will ride a set distance each day and will “camp” together overnight in hotels. Riders who register for the entire weekend are challenged to raise a minimum of $2500 in order to participate (again, similar to the 3 Day or Avon). There is also a one day option for riders who prefer a shorter challenge. One day riders are asked to raise $250. The dates and locations for these Tour de Pink rides are:

Each of these events is limited to just 200 riders and I’m not sure if registration is still open for either of them. However, if you live along the route (you can double check the east coast route here and the west coast route here), please take some time to head out and cheer on these riders. Not only are they taking on a tremendous physical challenge, but they’ve also been working for months to raise lots and lots of money for a good cause. Give them a supportive car honk, pass out water bottles, whatever seems right for you. As a fellow endurance event participant, I can testify that community support goes such a long way!

In addition to these two multi-day events, there are two other single day Tour de Pink events that folks can take part in:

  • The Indoor Tour de Pink (Columbus, OH): If you live in or are willing to travel to Columbus, Ohio, you have the option of taking part in an indoor, two hour stationary bike team relay event on October 27th (so basically like a giant spin class where teammates take turns on the bikes). Participants in this event are asked to raise $125 for each half-hour that they plan to ride. If you are interested in taking part, you can register here. There was a similar event held in Seattle on September 23rd, which you can read about here.
  • The One Day Tour de Pink Atlanta: If you live in or are willing to travel to Atlanta (my neck of the woods!), you have the option of taking part in a single day, outside Tour de Pink bike ride (or simultaneous 5K family run/walk). For more details on this event, jump down to the next section.

Finally, if you can’t make it to any of these events and aren’t satisfied by just donating to YSC and really have to get on your bike, you can always register as a Virtual Rider for any of the above Tour de Pink events. More information on that can be found here.

About the Atlanta Tour de Pink Event

This coming weekend, over 600 riders, walkers, and runners will be taking over the northern suburbs of Atlanta and turning it pink in Atlanta’s only bike ride for breast cancer, the Tour de Pink. The festivities for this one day event kick off at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in northern Atlanta at 7:30am, with riders then heading out into the streets along four courses of various distances. Riders will take on either a 20 mile, 40 mile, 65 mile, or 100 mile course before returning to the Verizon Amphitheater for Closing Ceremonies. If running or walking is more your style, once the riders have begun their journeys, a smaller 5K run/walk will commence from the Amphitheater grounds as well. Throughout the day, there will be entertainment, food, and family friendly activities for supporters and participants to enjoy. The last riders are expected to finish around 5pm. You can find details on all of the days activities here.

If you live in the Atlanta area, I highly encourage you to come out and support YSC and these awesome riders as they tackle the Tour de Pink. As with the other Tour de Pink events, these riders (and runners and walkers…) have each raised $125 just to participate in this ride. They are working hard to support a cause they believe in. Even if you can only spare an hour, please stop along the route or at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and cheer on these riders!

If I’ve managed to convince you to check out the Tour de Pink Atlanta this weekend, you can find directions to the race site here and a detailed schedule of events here. You can also download the courses here. For similar details for the East Coast, West Coast and Indoor events, please click on the links above.

Thanks for reading about this great cause and I’ll see you out there as I cheer on the Tour de Pink Atlanta riders!

Video of the 2011 Tour de Pink Atlanta, courtesy of the Young Survival Coalition

PS – Much like with the 3 Day or the AVON walks, registration for all of the Tour de Pink events begins months prior to the event dates. Keep your eyes open for a follow up blog post about how to register to take part in one these rides in 2013 sometime in mid-spring!

 

You’re Invited to Zoë’s Kitchen Spirit Night Benefiting Komen Atlanta!

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Please come out tonight between 5 and 8pm and help us raise money for the important community outreach and patient support work that Komen Atlanta does simply by eating dinner at Zoë’s Kitchen!

In honor of “Komen Spirit Night”, Zoë’s Kitchen will be donating a percentage of tonight’s sales from their North Buckhead, East Cobb, and Peachtree Battle locations to the Greater Atlanta Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Personally, I recommend that you visit the North Buckhead location (click for a map!) because that’s where I’ll be, along with my friend Julie, helping to spread the word about the great work that Komen Atlanta is doing in Atlanta and the surrounding communities.

So that’s it: have dinner with me and Julie tonight at Zoë’s Kitchen in North Buckhead between 5 and 8pm and a portion of the cost of your meal goes to support Komen Atlanta. What could be easier?

See you there! I hear the greek salad is fantastic!

 

You’re Invited to the 2nd Annual Bats-N-Rouge Drag Softball game!

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

One of my very favorite events from last year is back and I’m sure that it’s going to better than ever. If you have a few hours this Saturday, May 14th, I HIGHLY recommended that you try to make it down to Piedmont Park for the 2nd Annual Bats-N-Rouge Drag Softball game to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure!

As you may remember from last year, my friend Joel plays on the Pink Cadets softball team here in Atlanta, a team committed to more than just playing softball. As they state on their Facebook page, the Pink Cadets are a community of athletes who have come together to couple their passion for softball with their drive to combat Breast Cancer. Even though Breast Cancer is often thought to be a distinctly female cause, we are committed to heightening awareness among men and women and raising money to fight the cause. Branded in PINK, we have come to play ball against Breast Cancer, promising our grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, nieces, cousins, and friends a brighter tomorrow.

Sounds like a pretty great group, right?

As one of their primary fundraisers last year, the Pink Cadets hosted their fellow Hotlanta softball players and whole host of colorful characters from the Atlanta drag community in one of the most interesting softball tournaments that I’ve ever attended. I mean, just check out some of these pictures from last year’s Bats-N-Rouge tournament:

All together, the Pink Cadets raised $4300 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure last year and they’re looking to raise even more than that with this year’s tournament. If you would like to help support the Cadets, the Bats-N-Rouge 2 Drag Softball game will take place THIS Saturday, May 14th from 12-5pm at Piedmont Park here in Atlanta. While it is certainly free to attend, you are strongly encouraged to buy tickets in advance from one of the Cadets for just $5.00. To contact the Pink Cadets about buying tickets for yourself and your whole group of friends, you can email them at thepinkcadets@gmail.com or through the Facebook page for the event, which can be found here.

I cannot encourage you enough to try to stop by this fantastic event. I had an absolute blast watching the games last year plus the whole thing is in support of cause we can get behind – finding an for breast cancer!

PS – If you’d like to read more about the 2010 Bats-N-Rouge tournament, you can find that post here. Additional pictures from last year’s event can be found here.

Atlanta Race for the Cure!

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Tomorrow morning, 18,000 people will take to the streets of Atlanta for the local Race for the Cure – an event not to be missed!

The Race for the Cure is one of my absolute favorite events, for a number of reasons:

First, anyone can do it. Anyone. At it’s most basic, it’s a 5K race which I am quite looking forward to running. But you don’t have to be a runner to take part in the race. The majority of the participants choose to walk the 5K distance. That’s a squidge over 3 miles, for those who were wondering. If that sounds like a little too much for you, you can opt to walk the one mile route instead. And if that STILL sounds like more than you can handle on an early Saturday morning, you can Sleep in for the Cure instead! The event is open to men, women, kids, babies in strollers, people in wheelchairs – pretty much the only people that aren’t welcome are our four-legged friends (sorry, Shenanigans!).

Second, the time commitment is short. From start to finish, the whole event lasts about three hours. You’ll be getting home feeling very accomplished while most people are just finishing their morning coffee. If you can spare three hours tomorrow morning, definitely think about coming out and joining us!

Third, it’s more than just a race. There is a terrific festival like energy around the whole event. There is a Survivor Breakfast at 7:30am, a post-race Expo area with a performance stage and tons of vendors, and even a Kids Area for the little ones. The whole community rallies together at the Race for the Cure to really show our support for not just our survivors but for anyone that has been touched by breast cancer. There is an amazing feeling of hope and determination that permeates the Race for the Cure. You definitely want to be a part of it.

Fourth, there is no fundraising minimum. Which is not to say that you shouldn’t fund raise or donate (*hint hint*). You absolutely should. But unlike the 3 Day, which has a hefty fundraising minimum that scares off a lot of potential walkers, there is no pressure here. Raise exactly as much money as you can and that is good enough. Every penny counts! Oh, and if you haven’t registered yet, you still have plenty of time to get into the fundraising game. Donations are accepted until May 31st!

Race for the Cure 2010

And finally, the Race for the Cure REALLY makes an impact. The Komen Atlanta folks are expecting at least 18,000 people tomorrow. That’s 18,000 people raising money for this great cause, working together to make the future brighter for those with breast cancer. As of right now, the Atlanta Race for the Cure has already raised 1.49 million dollars. That’s MILLION. The goal for the event is $2 million and with all of the last minute registrations that come in every year, that number is completely within reach. And here’s the best part: all of that money will stay right here in Atlanta where it can do the most good!

So hopefully, I’ve convinced you all to come out to Atlantic Station tomorrow morning and join me, my husband and the rest of my Team Twitter teammates for this amazing event!  If you are interested in joining us, the race day details can be found here. Race day registration is $35 for adults and $20 for children. Registration and number pick up starts at 6:45am, so plan to be there early. The 1 Mile Walk starts at 7:45am and the 5K Run/Walk starts at 8:30am. For directions to race site at Atlantic Station, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

If you would like to meet up with Team Twitter tomorrow morning, we will be assembling in front of the Victoria’s Secret/Nine West store fronts at 18th Street and East District Ave starting around 7:00am. (For a map the area, please click here.) Post race, we will all be meeting around the Kids Zone in the Expo area before heading to a team victory brunch at West Egg Cafe around 10am. We’re looking forward to reconnecting with old friends, putting the faces with the names of our new friends and just generally enjoying what promises to be a great morning!

Meeting Team Twitter captain Julie for the first time at the 2010 Race for the Cure

If you would like support me in the Atlanta Race for the Cure, you can make a donation through my personal page, here or by clicking the Race for the Cure logo on the left hand side of the page. Thanks!

If you would like to see more pictures from recent Race for the Cure events, you can find them on the Photo Albums page.

I’ve got my sneakers all ready to race! See you at the Race!

P.S. -I totally forgot! I also LOVE the Atlanta Race for the Cure because it is always Mother’s Day weekend. Having watched my own mom fight breast cancer over the last few years just makes this the absolute best way for me to honor her on Mother’s Day weekend. If I can’t be with her, then at least I can fight for her!

You’re Invited to the Stand Up To Cancer Telethon!

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Okay, so I can’t really invite you to attend the Stand Up To Cancer telethon.  But I can encourage everyone to stay home tonight in your comfiest pair of sweatpants and watch the telethon along with me!

The Stand Up To Cancer telethon is a major fundraising initiative for the charitable program of the same name.  The money raised by the SU2C telethon will be used to fund collaborative, rather than competitive, cancer research in an attempt to bring the most promising findings to the public as soon as possible.  SU2C does this by focusing their research dollars in two ways:

Dream Team grants, which are awarded to multi-institutional groups of scientists who work collaboratively, rather than competitively, to develop new treatments quickly in order to save lives now. You can learn more about SU2C’s first five Dream Teams here.

Innovative Research grants, which support groundbreaking cancer research projects that are high-risk but could also be high-impact and have the potential to significantly affect patient care.  To learn more about the first recipients of SU2C’s Innovative Research Grants, click here.

Through these two avenues of support, the SU2C program aims to bring scientists together to work on cancer research with the greatest likelihood of directly helping patients and their families as soon as possible.  Unlike many organizations, SU2C doesn’t limit itself to just one type of cancer.  Instead, SU2C recognizes that every one of us will be touched by cancer in some way and therefore aims to fund research that could potentially impact how multiple types of cancer are treated in order to benefit as many people as possible.   In short, it’s a great program and one highly deserving of your support!

The Stand Up To Cancer telethon will air tonight, September 10th at 8pm EST/PST and 7pm CMT.  You can find the telethon on all three of the main networks as well as a number of cable networks.  

If you would like to donate to Stand Up To Cancer, you can do so here.  Or, if you want the chance to talk to your favorite celebrity, you can wait until tonight and call in live.  To learn more about Stand Up To Cancer, please click here.

Please note that I got a lot of this information from the Stand Up to Cancer website and their Wikipedia page, as well as from my own knowledge of the organization.

Search Amazon.com for Stand Up to Cancer CD