Previously, I discussed my thought process as I curated my ultimate gym bag. Everything I would need short of picking which outfit to wear is already packed and ready to go in my Fitness Quest Duffle Bag of Holding! Throughout this process, I even pitched two pairs of old running shoes (including my beloved runDisney first edition Mickeys)!! When the treads vanish, it’s time to thank them profusely, and then channel your inner Queen Elsa and let them go… (let them go… they’re no good for running any more…)
Part of the therapy providing by tidying up, is confronting underlying issues. When I started running in 2009, it opened up a new perspective on fitness for me. The only person I needed to compete with greeted me in the bathroom each morning when I looked in the mirror. I would keep a simple playlist and head out the door. Often, I didn’t have a set mileage agenda or a pace to worry about, I just focused on getting out the door.
Later, when racing came into the picture, I started making friends who ran while others started because I did. It wasn’t until later on, that I realized that there was a dynamic shift: I stopped competing with myself and attempted to compete with others. After a while, I stopped liking the runner I was due to constant comparisons, negative attitudes, and unfortunately spending way too much money. I no longer enjoyed the sport because every time I attended a race, I always came back with a negative takeaway despite all the wonderful things that happened. Other runners ruined the sport for me. This initiated a domino effect, zapping my motivation to train and leading to participate in races purely out of obligation as they were paid for.
Searching hard for my passion for running again through my favorite things.
Remembering Why I Ran
Throughout the closet auditing process, I had a difficult time paring down my race shirts. While I parted with some t-shirts, I kept most of the technical shirts as well as all the nicer items which currently do not fit. My goal is that I will return to my desired healthy weight (or collect enough to make a lightweight tech shirt blanket). To avoid having to drop money on investing more clothes, I am hanging onto my slimmer clothing, neatly packed away. The outfit pictured is a reminder of what I previously achieved, and motivation to do it again.
- Athleta Racerback Tank – I ran the Disney Wine & Dine Half in it and it was a 32C.
- lululemon athletica SeaWheeze edition shorts – Due to scheduling issues, I ended up having to be on call the weekend of this race, but they’re still the best construction and design.
- Nike Women’s Marathon Rain Jacket – from my first half marathon in San Francisco in 2010.
- Sunglasses – belonged to my late Uncle Richard; given to me by my aunt.
- Purple Headband – a present from Leanne in Australia
- Rubber bracelet with Jamaican flag – from the time I interpreted for the Jamaican National Track & Field team while in Japan.
- Brooks Ravenna Running Shoes with custom inserts
- Garmin & Nike+ Equipment
- Running belt
- Running calendar
- Massage items for recovery
- Gel Packs and Nuun Drink Tablets
I noticed that I tend to inventory my items by the financial expenditure, but this time around, I went with emotional investment. Employing the KonMari concept of holding each item and seeing if it sparks joy, the pieces which had a special stories lingered in my hands longer as I recounted the memories. Surprisingly, many of the bigger ticket items while joy inducing, were pushed further down in the ranking purely because there was a lack of emotional attachment.
My Garmin running watch is a prime example as it’s the most expensive item on the list, but it doesn’t stay on and there were times with data loss at my big races. Currently, I can’t afford to replace it nor can I justify purchasing something to replace it when I am not regularly running. When it becomes a critical need, I will invest in a simpler watch which better fits my wrist. What I’ve learned about wearable tech is that a “one size fits most” model is very subjective, and next time I will make an effort to try on the item I want to invest in. (Though, I think that my next wearable tech investment will be an Apple Watch Sport because I hate wearing foot pods and heart rate monitor chest straps.)
Reviewing Running Goals
With concern to running, I just want to be able to love it again. I got burnt out on going to pricy races and listening to far too many people gripe about how dissatisfied they are with the amenities, but don’t bother taking their hats off or keeping quiet during The National Anthem. All the money I would spend on racing will go toward improving my life. I have some ideas, but I really need to hunker down and etch out training plan. My goal is to resume training, so I can earn a copy of the Run Fast East Slow cookbook by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecki by autumn 2016.
I doubt that the content will change in my Runner’s World Complete Guide to Training as I run smack into 2016, so I am not opposed to simply utilizing the manual instead of purchasing the 2016 edition. I tend to avoid writing in any magazines or books, but I may flag pages that I will regularly reference.
- Find local places to run which are safe and pedestrian-friendly.
- Do not register for any races in 2016.
- Do not spend money on clothes until back to size 6 (save money to spend when goal weight is achieved as I have clothes in multiple sizes including sports bras and compression items).
- Attend local free events and clinics at running shops.
- Select a training plan which schedules runs no more than three days a week.
- Research recipes which provide good fuel without lower sugar (wean off the gel packs and gummies).
- Focus on shorter distances (5K-10K).
- Avoid the treadmill when possible, get some fresh air.
When I wrote a very similar piece last year, I was more frustrated than I am now. Stepping away from running is what was necessary for me, but as I went through my individual items, they reminded me of why I loved it so much previously. I wish to resume running, but I will track my progress privately because I feel that I overshare when it comes to my stats. For those curious about my progress, I’ll round up where I track my data and we can nerd out together over it, but away from the public forum.
It may be a lonely road, running alone, but after tidying up, I’ve realized that deep down inside me, I miss feeling the rush of race day and the triumph of crossing the finish line. Heck, I even miss fighting back tears as spectators shout words of encouragement along that last mile because I’m almost there… I’ll just have to fall in love with running over all over again, one step at a time and at my own pace. I’d better lace up those +2 Shoes of Running and set out on my quest!
Answer Me, These Questions Three
- Where do you buy your running items?
- Do you have a preferred brand for running apparel?
- What should I set as my primary running goal for 2016?