From minimalist to excessive – I do the extremes

I’ve changed. I’m no longer a minimalist. I can very clearly recall a different time in my life when I would put on a bra top and shorts, sometimes tights and a shirt, go for a run, return, and hang them over a railing to be re-worn on the next run. Generally those were the times that I was either traveling or living on my own on a shoe-string budget and no laundry facilities close by. I back-packed for a year and I think I must have carried at least two different running outfits, but here is the only one I have documented of me wearing throughout that year (!) and I ran pretty much every day.

Finishing a race in Australia in my only documented outfit of the year - 1999

Finishing a race in Australia in my only documented outfit of the year – 1999

Today the running gear laundry situation in my house is a different story. It doesn’t help that the weather has been freezing cold and soaking wet, so I generally wear about four layers on top and bottom, all of which have to be washed afterwards. I think I set a dirty running laundry PB the other weekend; I had a long-run of about 17 miles on schedule, but just could not get myself up early enough to get it done before 8 a.m. (when my husband had to be out the door). So I split it into a 7 miler and a 10 miler with an hour and a half in between. Of course I didn’t stay in my wet running stuff for the ‘pause’, so within one morning of running I went through: 2 pairs of shorts, 3 pairs of tights, two bra-tops, three long-sleeved shirts, two t-shirts and two pairs of socks. At any given time, the top of my washing machine has my latest running gear on top, waiting patiently for the next load to go through.

gear from my last two runs

sweaty gear from my last two runs

There is always a load in the washer, or dryer, or waiting to be folded and put away, or most often all three at once. We have four laundry baskets in rotation, but as you can see, sometimes that’s still not enough.

my dryer exploding clean clothes onto the floor

my dryer exploding clean clothes onto the floor

I agree this seems excessive, and the me from 1999 is rolling her eyes, but I really do not know how to get around it. Call it maturity, but I just spend too much time in my running gear to have it be smelly, wet or crusty. I will however slack in the compulsive laundering in two areas: running jackets and accessories.

Here is a combination of what I wear every day to receive some mix of sweat, snot and slush.

dirty running accessories ready to be re-worn

dirty running accessories ready to be re-worn

running jackets in varying states of cleanliness

running jackets in varying states of cleanliness

Maybe in ten years I’ll look back and wonder how I was able to go that long without washing those things. For now though, this is all the laundry I can handle!

Leave a Reply