Monday, January 31, 2011


It figures that after blogging last week about how great things are going this month I had to finish the month with a thud! This past week was to be an easy week with a shorter long run of 10 miles to give my body a break. What could go wrong?
I spent the week doing easy short runs on the roads. Thursday and Friday were too hectic with birthday party preparation to run. That also means I didn't do any stretching either! Oops! Wait, not just oops, more like DOH! I ran Saturday at the end of the day after all the party guests were gone, just an easy 3 around the hood. Sunday my left IT band felt a hair tight and was a bit worried about that for my planned 10 miles in the afternoon. You'd think this might prompt me to stretch some earlier in the day. Nope. I chose to snuggle on the couch with my jack russell terrier and a book. Really, who can resist a snuggle fest on a Sunday morning? Not me!
I met with the Carolina Trail Runner Meet Up group for two laps around Francis Beatty Park's mountain bike trails in the afternoon. First lap was great. The worry over the left IT band was for naught, felt completely fine. I didn't try to keep up with the fast guys on the first loop but did allow myself to push it a hair and was keeping a nice pace. Then we met back in the parking lot to pick up more members for a second lap. This time there was another runner that would be a back of the packer so I slowed down and stuck with her since I'd already done a lap at a good pace. A little over half way around the second loop I felt tightness in my right IT band. Crud! This is not cool. This trail system isn't the kind that I could hop off the trail easily and get back to my car so I pressed on. I stopped once to stretch and that seemed to make it happy for a bit. But I had to call it quits around 9.75 miles, about half a mile from the end of the loop. It was clear running any more at that point would be detrimental to my IT band. Fortunately the girl I was running with was nice enough to walk it in with me even though I offered for her to leave me. (Gotta love trail runners! Such an awesome bunch.)

Today my IT band feels sore. I've already stretched once and will do so again later. I'm dreading telling my PT tomorrow but I guess it's better that this happen while I still have PT available. (Good news about PT, I found out I have 20 sessions for this year so I'm still covered by insurance. Whew!) I'm guessing I'll need a few days off and may need to re-evaluate my goals.

Luckily I haven't signed up for any half marathons yet. I'm hoping to get my IT band happy again and alternate my long runs to look like this: week 1: 8-9 miles, week 2: 10-12, week 3: 13-14, then back to week one. I just want to stay healthy and be able to run. I need to stop dreaming of long miles. It is clear my body isn't ready for it. It may take another year to get there, if ever. It is better to keep it shorter if that means I get to run. It's so hard not to dream of the glory of long races. It's the ultras that get all the glory and coverage on the trail blogs and in the trail magazines. But I need to make myself immune to the lure and be happy with shorter and faster. It seems in road running it's mostly about the speed, at least it is with my road running friends. But on trails people focus on the distance not speed for glory. Time for me to look into the glory of speed again, but on the trails. I'd still like to pick a few half marathons for the year to do. But, I may look at the shorter local races again to put on my schedule and focus a bit more on speed vs long distance in my training.

I like fast and I like going long too so it's an inner battle I deal with. One of my wise trail buddies said last night when I told her I'd keep my long runs to 14 miles at the most, "14 miles is a good distance. Not too long but long enough to stretch the legs and clear the mind." She is correct and I will still have the energy plus time left to enjoy the day. Once you start to get past 14 miles it starts to eat up your day and energy. It's also depressing to have all the set backs so I may as well stay with what my body is comfortable with to keep my mental health in order as well.

If I start to get cocky and start dreaming of longer distances in the near future I need someone to smack me upside the head with reality! Please help keep me in line!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Good Month

I've had a great month so far and it isn't even close to over. I've gotten my mileage back up to 16 miles for my long run and my weekly over 25 miles. I'm hoping to have my final physical therapy session tomorrow since my body is holding up so well and also because insurance is no longer covering my visits. PT is an expensive venture when paying out of pocket. There goes our flexible spending account in the first month of the year!

I've been crocheting like a mad woman. I belong to this wonderful website, Ravelry, for knitters, crocheters, and yarnies. You can share your projects with the different forums, you can keep track of your friends' projects, and you can search for patterns. It really has added a lot of fuel to my crochet fire. I have discovered Tunisian crochet and am in love! I'm dying to get some more Tunisian projects started but I'm having to wait for my hooks to show up. The hooks are difficult to find locally so I'm having to order off the web, a few are special order as well. In the mean time I'll just work with what I've got.

One of the more exciting things to happen to me this month is that the local yarn shop has asked to teach a class on a Tunisian crochet neck warmer that I came up with on my own. So now I'm busy working another one up and writing the pattern down and trying to translate what I did so others can understand it. It's exciting and scary! I'm still such a newbie to crochet, especially Tunisian, but I'm pretty sure I can guide others through making my neck warmer. I enjoy teaching others to do things that I have a passion about. I used to love giving riding lessons back when I used to ride horses so, I'm hoping I'll really enjoy teaching others my pattern.

The most exciting thing for this month is yet to come. My little man turns 3 on Saturday! Crazy! I'd say the time has flown by but it really hasn't. His first two plus years were quite challenging but luckily he has outgrown his fussy years and has become a really fun toddler. Just in the past few months we've seen a huge change in his personality. I think a lot of what makes my little man happy is being independent and being able to communicate better. What a relief that his talking is finally starting to catch up a bit. At the ripe age of 3 he is finally starting to string two words together! The one thing I've really enjoyed is when I get dressed to run he finally recognizes what I'm planning on doing. Many times this leads to running warm up laps with him around the living room. Could I have a future trail runner on my hands? I hope so!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Project 333 Update

At the start of October 2010 I started a minimalist wardrobe project called Project 333. I was already minimizing the stuff in my home so, I was intrigued to see if I could use just 33 clothing items, shoes included, for 3 months. I never expected it to be a permanent change but I figured it would help me on my journey to having less stuff in my life. So I made my wardrobe list but changed a few rules to fit my needs. I was worried I wouldn't do well with my limited wardrobe but was excited to find out what would happen.

I really enjoyed participating in the project. It was so much easier to make a decision about what to wear for the day when you have so little to choose from. There were times I wished I could wear a different jacket or shoes but for the most part I was quite content. I learned to dress up plain T-shirts to work for special occasions and dress down nicer things for everyday. So now I know I don't need to have so many just in case type of outfits waiting in the wings taking up space. I also now know that I don't really get bored with my outfit choices and nobody else seems to notice that I wear the some things over and over. Heck, I don't remember what my son or husband wore yesterday so I'm pretty sure that others outside my home can't keep track of what I wear.

The project ended on Dec 31, 2010. On Jan 1st I didn't jump for joy that I had a larger wardrobe again. Though, I did wear a turtle neck and some shoes that weren't on my list that day but, I didn't drag out my stashed away clothing with wild abandon like I thought I would. It's been three days and I still have yet to sort through my wardrobe that is packed away. I'm not really in a hurry to put my wardrobe back together, it just doesn't seem important right now. I did go out and buy a new t-shirt on the 1st. I know it sounds crazy since I'm supposed to be minimizing but the project taught me what really works for me and what doesn't. I kept track of what I wore each day for about two months but let it fall to the wayside during the holidays. It turns out I really like to wear my Mossimo tissue tees and wanted at least one more long sleeve and short sleeve shirt. I only found a long sleeve that I liked so that is all I bought. No more buying unless I know I am going to love it and use it until it is in tatters.

Project 333 is going in for round two but I won't be joining them. I've learned what I needed to from the first round. What a person considers minimal is a personal decision. It can't be dictated by a set number. So I will continue on my minimalist journey on my own again having more knowledge about what works for me. I will be going through my wardrobe sometime this week and weeding out what I no longer need or want. I hope I can keep my wardrobe down to a smaller size, I'm thinking around 50 items, but for now I won't be attaching a set number to what I'm allowed to own. I'll be using the honor system to keep my wardrobe under control.

No longer concentrating solely on my wardrobe might help me to focus on minimizing elsewhere, whether it's reducing knick nacks, kitchen utensils, boxes packed away with memorabilia, junk drawers, computer and internet use I'm not sure yet. I'm excited to keep working towards my goal of buying and having less stuff in my life so I have more room, time, and money for the things that really matter to me in life.

If you're looking for a challenge in the new year this could be the one for you. Give it a try! You'd be surprised what you can learn from having a small wardrobe.

A list of minimal wardrobe projects:

The article , and blog, that got me started on my minimalist journey.

If you know of any other minimal fashion projects or any type of minimal lifestyle challenge let me know about them, please!