My January was basically focused on getting myself organized around the goals I set out at the beginning of the month. Getting myself back into my workout routine after the holidays was key as well as getting through the clear out I promised myself. As a result, my month was fairly low key.
Mindfulness and Minimalism
Some things I’ve noticed about my plan to ‘buy nothing.’ Firstly, it’s hard! I’ve realized that I can figure out a way to justify pretty much anything. I’ve caught myself a couple times almost saying ‘yes’ to something – but then checking myself. One temptation is the emails that arrive to my inbox every day. Using a site called “Unroll.me” – I discovered that I was enrolled to more than 90 email subscriptions!! It's crazy how they can mount up. However, trying to employ the other half of my goal - mindfulness - is helping to keep me grounded. I’ve been focusing on a number of different goals and plans … it’s been a busy January. My friend Karen (also known as Karengeterdone) commented on my 2017 Goals post with the hashtag #ExperiencesOverStuff. This a great hashtag to guide the year ahead. And she’s currently in Guatemala doing just that.
I’ve spent January laying out some guidelines for myself. Here are the categories:
Allowable Essentials: This list includes life essentials like groceries, cleaning supplies, bills, and haircuts (because ... my hair).
Non-Essentials (in other words – stuff I’m not allowed): Clothing, shoes, accessories, electronics, household décor, toiletries (until I use up everything I have), books and magazines (aside from the subscription to Runners World I already have, and get through the stack of books I have to read) … on this list is pretty much all the things you don’t need, but want. Like, Oiselle. So hard.
Exceptions List: This is a brainstormed list of exceptions to the above that I will allow myself to purchase if and when required. This list includes races, running shoes (when mine need to be replaced), strength training classes, a hook to hang my bike in the apartment (bought - see picture - saves so much space!), lights and safety things for my bike come spring, a headlamp, trekking poles (for all the trails this year!), and one good pair of shoes to wear at the office (instead of the 10 pairs I own that hurt my feet).
Use what you have. That’s just good sense.
I have successfully stuck to these guidelines for January. One of my other goals in terms of moving towards a more minimalist approach was to go through everything I own and eliminate stuff I don’t wear/use/need. I have almost finished and have donated a few big bags of clothes, books, kitchen stuff etc. I have a couple more spaces I need to go through, but I am pretty much there.
Running, Training and all that Stuff
After confirming our registration in the Mount Hood 50K on January 4th, my coach sent our training schedule. My heart actually stopped. Shit got real. After a day of panic and self-doubt, I managed to reel myself back in. I can do it. I just need to be patient and persistent. There are two questions I continue to ask myself. “What do you want?” and, “How hard are you willing to work to get it?” I am willing to allow this to be my primary focus for the next 6 months. My training schedule is saved on the home screen of my phone and it is my first consult before I agree to do anything else.
This month I also signed up for the Pittsburgh marathon. I’ll be heading down to Pittsburgh in May with Mark and Vanessa. Between the two of them, Mark and Vanessa have ran over 40 marathons – and I was shocked to learn that neither of them have ran Pittsburgh! Flights and hotels have been booked. With all three of us training for 50Ks this year, Pittsburgh Marathon will be used as a training run - so we will get the chance to run without pressure and enjoy it! Sulphur Springs 25K Trail Race has also been added to my May calendar.
In January I logged 140KMs of running. I wanted to make note of this number because I’m interested to see how this will build over the coming months. All in all, it was a pretty good month of running despite the weather. I’m on my second round of Strength Training Classes with Michelle and it’s definitely making a difference. I can feel it in my running and I can most DEFINITELY feel it the day after … and usually the day after that. I've also been fairly consistent with spinning and weight sessions at the gym. I've done a few weekends with Saturday/Sunday runs and it is definitely exhausting. Because I wasn't tired enough I threw in a couple RunTOBeer runs in the afternoons after my long morning runs. Mei has done the same thing - so at least I have not suffered alone. Beer is a good motivator.