Back in February as I was beginning to get more serious about my yoga practice (and the previous mat I had purchased for like $20 was falling apart), I bought a Manduka Yoga Mat online. I was unsure about the purchase as these mats are really expensive (read: $80+) and I, quite frankly, didn’t know if I would be committing more of my time to the practice.
Then I learned a couple of things:
I am injury-free when I practice. I have gained more strength than I ever knew I could have. I’ve lost fat and gained muscle (13 lbs in 8 weeks to be exact – but that is also combined with the Yoga challenge and a running/training plan). I am more flexible – I can touch my toes! Practicing is a GREAT stress reliever.
Even when I injured my shoulder and had to take a few months off from practicing, my mat has paid for itself more times than I can count. 🙂
Which leads me into my next thing: I have been running relatively consistently for six or eight months now. More recently, I have been following the White Plan from the book Daniel’s Running Formula and hoping to continue training even after the Turkey Trot (5k) on Thanksgiving, the Ugly Sweater 5k with friends in early December and hopefully compete in my first ever half marathon on Superbowl Sunday in downtown Colorado Springs (so aptly named The Super Half!).
My running gear consists of two pairs of shorts I got from Target sometime back in Alaska, a pair of workout capris from Dick’s (that may have also been purchased in AK), a couple of workout shirts from REI (also from AK), some socks and a pair of running shoes (these were purchased this past spring in CO). Also, whenever the cold weather hit, my running stopped. I don’t like to run on treadmills and there is not an indoor track around where I can run (plus, to be honest, it is boring. I would rather run on a trail or down a road. The view changes and it is much more appealing to me). I would pick up training again in the spring… and my PRs would barely budge.
Since I have been doing this running thing a bit more seriously this year, I decided it was time to bite the bullet and buy some new gear, preferably a pair of cold weather tights and a jacket to cut the wind. Pretty soon I will need new shoes but as for now… Yikes. New gear is not cheap. I bought two pairs of tights, one for below 32 degrees and one for below 45 degrees, two more pairs of socks, a windbreaker, a lightweight long sleeve and a sport bra. And the grand total… over $350!
It does not necessarily go along with my original intentions for the year set back in January 2014 to buy only used clothing but based on my success with my mat, I’d say that this investment is worth it.