Thursday, October 28, 2010

28 Days Later

Well, I've been on my Project 333 minimalist wardrobe journey for 28 days now. I was going to wait for a full month to report but I couldn't resist the 28 Days Later title so close to Halloween!

I fretted and worried over my choices for the first few weeks. The weather was up and down with temperatures and I just couldn't decide if I had too much short sleeve or too much long sleeve. Do I really need that third skirt? Or even any of them? Will I actually wear my tall boots? Two tank tops? I must have been nuts when I picked my choices!

I am happy to report that all the worry was over nothing. It did take me some time to get into the swing of things and stop second guessing and just make do with what I have. I have to say I feel more confident in the choices I make each day about my wardrobe. I feel like I radiate that confidence when interacting with others. I've managed to make pieces that I love but normally have saved for the right occasion work for everyday situations. That little bit makes me really happy! Even this morning my neighbor complimented me on how nice I looked as I was getting in the car to take my little monster to preschool.

I'm loving how easy it is to make a decision about what to wear. I even look forward to certain pieces getting laundered so I can wear them again. Who would have thought that with only 33 wardrobe items I would get excited about wearing some of them over and over? Right now my favorites are my cheap-o grey tee shirt and my wool shrug. I've only worn one out of my three skirts and my boots have yet to make an appearance but that will come with cooler temps. I'm thinking of pulling out my black boots with my black skirt for a knitting group tonight!

I've already gone through my packed away clothes and put some in my donation box. I hope that in two more months I'm willing to put some more in that box. I keep the wheels turning trying to decide what else in my life I can pare down to only what I need or truly adore. It really is such a liberating feeling. I wouldn't be surprised at this point if I have more running clothes than I do day to day clothes!

If you are interested in starting your own minimal journey there is a wealth of blogs out there that can help you get started. One big thing that has helped me is setting aside a box in my garage to put things in that I will donate. Having the box always available makes it easy if I come across something during my day that I decide I don't really need. That way there is no need to take the extra step to find a box or start a messy pile of things to donate. When the box is full I load it in my car and swing by Goodwill after I drop my little imp off at preschool and bring it back home to wait for more goodies to fill it with. Seems like no matter how much I've donated lately I can always find something else that needs to find a new home.

Some inspiring minimalist blogs:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Medoc Trail Marathon- I did it!

Oh man, where to begin?012

Kay and Michael both ran the marathon as well. This was Kay’s first, as well as my first, and Michael’s second. We were all set for a day of fun and we weren’t disappointed. The weather was perfect! Just chilly enough to make you shiver but not freeze. By the end of the race it was in the mid 60’s with a pleasant breeze.

Waiting for the045 race to start I met many wonderful people. There were two girls dressed as Girl Scouts. As they walked past me they gave me the title of Fraggle because of my hair. Everyone had trail names on their bibs. I made mine up since I’d never been given one by anybody but have now proudly adopted Fraggle as my official trail name! After that a women came up to me and we started to chat, her name was Twila. How cool! I have a friend from HS named Twyla so it was neat to meet another one. In fact there were two Twilas in the marathon.

Twila and I started the race together and turned out to be a nice match in pace. Around mile 3 we caught up with a guy named Tobias and grabbed on to him making our group a threesome. The three of us ran the first lap and a half together. It was nice to have conversation while settling in to the course for the morning.

Around the halfway mark my worst fears started to come true. My IT band was feeling tight. WTH? I haven’t had issues with it since February. My only guess of what went wrong was since there was a lot of flat and I was busy chatting and feeling good I got to over striding and heel striking and it took its toll after 13 miles. At this point our group started to spread out and leave one another. Twila's hip was hurting and I needed to speed up to relieve my IT band pain. I did get to see each of them on the third lap and at the finish. I was happy to have had their company.


After finishing my second lap I decided to keep pressing on, I was at 18 miles and had too much invested to stop. I devised m031y plan of walking even the smallest incline and running the flats, stopping to stretch when needed. I managed to make my way around the final lap. Around mile 23 things got really rough. I stopped to stretch and began to cry. I was so upset at what was happening. As I was crying I started to run. The crying quickly turned to anger and I started growling at myself to get my legs going. I knew the best way to relieve the pain was to run faster and to get done! At this point there wasn’t a soul around me so I just growled and yelled at myself that I could get it done. Around mile 24.5 I started singing an altered version of Dori the fish’s motto “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!” For the last mile and a half I sang, out loud, “Just keep running, just keep running.” At the 25 mile marker I did my best to run everything up hill, flat, and down hill. Screw the pain I’m getting this done now!

Upon reaching041 the grassy area near the start finish I just started to sob. I was elated, angry, and in pain. I used that anger to propel myself to the finish as fast as I could. I was so happy to see the smiling faces of my hubby, my son, and my friend Kay! I crossed the finish and gladly accepted my medal. The Race Director was handing them out and asked if I was okay. I told him yes, just emotional and my IT band really hurt. He offered me help. I thanked him but I told him I just needed to get to my family and friend waiting for me. My official time was 4:51:40, very close to the time of 4:50:00 I was hoping to beat. I am thrilled with that time considering the troubles I had.

I really enjoyed the three loop course. I had a chance037 to see the hubby and my son twice mid run. Each time I got hugs and kisses from my son which really helped. The trail near the end of the loop passes near the finish and you can’t really see the finish well but you can hear it. On my last pass by there I hear my son crying, another good motivation to get it done! Turns out he had taken a header off a picnic table, awesome!

Kay had an awesome finish. She was 4th female in the marathon, so impressed and proud of her! Sadly Michael had some stomach problems and walked most of the last lap. I almost caught up to him around mile 20 but didn’t get to ask him what was up since he ducked into the port-a-potty. He said he finished just so he could get his finisher’s surprise. It was worth it, a nice lightweight running vest with the race logo on it.

The ride home was long and I’m very sore today. My IT band feels better than it did after my first half marathon so I’m hoping a week off will do the trick. I’m still very emotional this morning. An overwhelming sense of pride mixed with disappointment at my body’s rebellion. I’ll get this worked out because I’m planning on heading back to Medoc next year to set a PR!

So, I had to come back to edit this post because I realized I hadn't talked about the awesomeness of the race. This was the best race ever! From the RD, volunteers, and fellow racers I've never met a better group of people. Not one bad apple in the bunch. Great atmosphere, great aid stations, great medals, shirts, finisher's surprise, etc. Each volunteer on course made an effort to talk to you, and not just a "looking good," a specific comment related to each individual runner. The RD's were going around taking pictures before and meeting everyone, they even were on course encouraging as well. At aid stations the volunteers were eager to help refill my bottle and do all they could to help especially at the end when they knew you were suffering. I recommend this race to anyone interested in running a trail marathon or race. You won't be disappointed, I promise!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Marathon Week Madness

So this week has not been the calm pre-marathon week that I envisioned.

We started Saturday off with a yard sale. We made lots of money and got rid of lots of stuff. Unfortunately early that morning while I was setting up my husband came outside and declared that our son wasn't feeling well. I abandoned my merchandising to take his temperature. He had a fever of 102 and eventually it spiked over 103 during the night. By the end of Sunday his fever seemed to be gone.

Monday there was no preschool due to the holiday, but that worked out fine since he hadn't been fever free for 24 hours by then. Sadly he was a pill all day, crying, whining, acting like a piece of velcro stuck to me. I tried to clean bathrooms and regretted that. Not a relaxing day at home to say the least.

Next day he woke up in a decent mood and no fever so I sent him to school. I went for a 3 mile run and came back to two voice mails, one from school to pick him up and another from the hubby saying that he had picked him up. So I made an appt with the pediatrician. He has been tested for strep and flu, both negative. He basically has a virus. Today he has a cough and his fever is spiking again. We got some cough medicine from the pediatrician tonight. So no school the rest of the week, which means very little relaxing for me.

There was one good thing that came from our second trip to the pediatrician. I found out that the nearby high school has a cross-country trail. Our ped runs there since he doesn't like roads but isn't a trail runner either. That will be so convenient for shorter runs or speed work! Sweet! Sometimes good things can come from a bad situation. I never would have thought to check there for a trail to run. I'm going to check it out tomorrow night for my last run of my taper, a whopping 2 miles.

Another sad point to the week, I am getting a bit of what my son has. My sinuses feel clogged and I've got a scratchy throat. As long as it stays away from my chest I'll be fine. I'm running this marathon come hell or high water. I've dreamed of running a marathon for 8 years now. I'm two days away from fulfilling that dream, there is no stopping me!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Project 333- a minimalist wardrobe challenge

Today I embark on my first minimalist fashion challenge with Project 333. Here is the basic outline of what it is if you don't feel like clicking on the link:

  • Pick 33 fashion items including clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories, outerwear to use as your wardrobe Oct 1- Dec 31.
  • What's not included in those 33: undergarments, workout clothes(thank goodness), wedding ring, in home loungewear.

My own adjustments to the rules:

  • I'm not counting jewelry and accessories in my 33 because of two reasons: 1) I have a toddler so accessories and jewelery are liabilities on a day to day basis. The only time I can wear them is when I'm out and about without him, which is rare. Chances are I won't even use any in the next 3 months. 2) I feel jewelery and accessories help to make a minimal wardrobe possible. They are what adds umph to a basic wardrobe without taking up a lot of space.
  • I'm not counting my purse because for me it's a utilitarian piece, it's like asking a man to not carry a wallet or money clip. My purse is small and I tend to have to alternate it with a diaper bag. It literally holds my coin purse, a folded shopping bag (courtesy of my pal Tara), a pen, and sometimes my phone (all things I can't leave home without.)

You may ask why do this? What can you expect to get out of such an experience? Good questions.

First, I like a challenge.

Second, lately I have been working on going minimal in my life. I'm tired of too much stuff in my home and life. I've been slowly cleaning out the house and this will help me to make some final decisions on my wardrobe. At the end I don't expect to stick with just these 33 fashion items. I suspect I'll greet some old favorites with fervor and be able to let go of others that I forgot about. My vintage clothes that only get worn on special occasions probably will stay since I'm passionate about those clothes and they are my wardrobe gems. I hope to get rid of the silly guilt I feel when I look at clothes I rarely wear. I hope to spend less time figuring out what to wear and spend more time experiencing life. I'm sure my heart will still go pitter patter when I walk through Anthropologies but I will learn to think my purchases out more thoroughly.

Life is about experiences not things. As much as I hate to admit it, I got sucked into acquiring things to a certain extent. These things started to control my life; bigger house to fit all my things, having to clean around them, worry over my spawn destroying my precious things, etc. It's time to let go of things and be free. It has been tough, there was a lot of unfounded fear upon letting things go to start with. Now that I've let so much go those unfounded fears were replaced with a sense of freedom, accomplishment and clarity. During the process of picking my 33 things I managed to weed out even more clothes to give away, yay for me!

Here is the part you've all been waiting for, my list of 33 wardrobe items:

  1. CK skinny blue jeans
  2. BKE bootcut jeans
  3. BKE black skinny jeans waiting to be purchased on Monday
  4. Grey Gap Skirt
  5. Long Brown Skirt
  6. Black Skirt
  7. Grey Short Sleeve Tee
  8. Black Short Sleeve Tee
  9. Plum Tank
  10. Grey Tank
  11. Long Sleeve Grey Tee
  12. Long Sleeve Brown Tee
  13. Long Sleeve Green Tee
  14. Brobee Tee Shirt
  15. INC Pullover Tissue Hoodie
  16. Big Grey Sweater
  17. Pink Sweater
  18. Olive Sweater
  19. Wool Shrug
  20. Cotton Shrug
  21. Knit Poncho
  22. Grey Cord Jacket
  23. Pink Northface Jacket
  24. Long Black Gap Coat
  25. Dansko Mary Jane Clogs
  26. DKNY Grey Felt Mary Janes
  27. Black Boots
  28. Brown Boots
  29. John Fluevog Wing Tips
  30. Grey Stripe 3/4 Sleeve Sweater
  31. Grey Leggings
  32. Striped A Line Mod Dress
  33. Black 3/4 Length Tux Style Jacket

We will be having a yard sale next week as part of our clearing out the crap experience. I'm sure I'll have a bit to share about that experience since I've never done one.