Hi everyone! I was just in Killarney where I did my long run for my first week of running in Ireland! My IT Band has been causing me issues for the past few weeks, which I was trying to attribute to the snowy running paths at home, but today I couldn’t make it very far (9 miles with walking on and off), which is forcing me to contemplate canceling my entry into the marathon I signed up for in May. Normally I would seek treatment/therapy throughout my training season (such as Graston or A.R.T. that my friend at The Right Fits suggests here!) but I won’t be seeking treatment during my travels.
I can’t lie though, this season and the last, for that matter, have been hard on me with regard to injury and the prospect of just running for fun for a while is kind of exciting as it will allow me to explore the cities I visit much more than I might if I had to get in a certain amount of mileage or certain speed work in. I was thrilled on my run to find a running trail in Killarney that was beautiful and occupied with many walkers, runners and cyclists. I ran about 4.5 miles out through the town center and on to the paths, and stopped mid-run to do a strength routine focusing on hips and glutes. I did a combination of this one by Anna Renderer posted to PopSugar and this one by Jason at Strength Running from memory, modified since it was rainy and I didn’t lay on the ground. Due to path flooding from recent storms here in the south western part of Ireland, I didn’t make it out to Ross Castle, but heard it is a popular tourist spot to see in Killarney National Park. Here are a few pictures from my run, including a picture of the paths available!
I also did my first load of laundry, which is super exciting since I’ve worn everything in my bag except one pair of casual shorts and a really light tank top, which have not been appropriate for the weather here! Yes, I said super exciting. It’s so nice to do laundry when 1. someone else does it and 2. your items occupy the space inside a plastic shopping bag. The hostels we’ve been to so far offer laundry service (wash and dry) for 4-5 Euro, and I was able to use their service. It was done in about 2 hours (similar to at home). The clothes I packed lasted exactly one week, which I think worked out well. I wore a few things more than once, and I possibly could have stretched it one or two more days but the timing worked out better to get that done since I was in the same hostel all day and night.
I’ve read in Rick Steves’ Ireland 2014 that what you can manage to pack for 5 days will be enough to last you 5 months (and longer) and time and time again I’ve heard that most people pack too much and end up throwing things away because they just don’t want to carry them any longer. It’s also easy to forget that if you really need something, you can always buy it while traveling. There is really not a need for those “just in case” items. I think these warnings really helped me narrow down what I should pack (thank you, friends!). I’ve had to wear multiple layers since the temperature has been between 35-50°F, but mostly staying between 40-45°F, with varying winds.
Below is what I decided to pack, trying to be as minimalist as possible:
Clothing: Jeans, black leggings, quick-drying yoga/ running capris (2), casual shorts, pajama pants, running/yoga tank tops (2), casual tank top, cotton t-shirt (2), running t-shirt, casual long-sleeve tee (and I had to purchase another for warmth while in Dublin so now it’s 2), running long-sleeve, light sweater, 3/4 sleeve cardigan, yoga sportswear light hoodie, light fleece hoody, rain jacket, socks (8), & additional undergarments both for running and casual-wear. Overall that’s 6 bottoms and 13 tops not including the jacket. I’ll probably be able to go much longer when it is warmer and I don’t have to wear so many layers.
Accessories: running watch, modest earrings, 2 scarves, hat, knit gloves for running, running gel, running salt capsules, headlamp, spi-belt for running, the stick (little stick), yoga strap and travel yoga mat.
Bags: cross body bag (medium size), tote (large), compact daypack (which I probably could have done without but hoping I’ll use it)
Shoes: running shoes, toms shoes, flip flops
Others: toiletries and medicines (for travel), vitamin B12, sunscreen, cream bug repellent, makeup, travel journals, and I bought a small travel hair dryer and flatiron in Ireland (this was recommended due to the voltage changes from US to EU)
Technology: 11′ laptop and mouse, iPhone, kindle for reading, earbuds, international adapters (this one and this kit), point and shoot camera, and power cords for all.
Travel-specific gear: travel towels (1 large and 1 small), inflatable travel neck pillow, eye mask, earplugs (so important!), baggu bags and packing cubes for organization, waterproof bag, travel locks, small umbrella, and a few extra ziplock bags.
I fit all of this into my Ariel 65 liter backpack by Osprey and I definitely needed all of the space in the bag! The pictures below are from packing before I departed on this trip.
So far, what I packed is working for me. I am so glad I went with the packing cubes and Baggu organizers. It helps so much to know where something is instead of digging through the entire pack. I think I’ve finally learned what is in each case so I can quickly find things without taking apart my whole bag. I also brought cold-weather clothing items I knew that I wouldn’t mind chucking when the weather gets warmer or that wouldn’t take much space if I do want to keep it. My rain jacket is a medium weight which has been great in Ireland with the cooler temperatures. The multiple bag options have also been great for day treks or when I find some fitness/yoga classes to take. I quickly realized that things like my really skinny yoga mat and running shoes (especially when wet/dirty) can be tied to the outside of the pack. There are tons of little straps and connectors on my bag that have been useful to strap things to the pack instead of finding room inside.
All for now! Comment below on your packing experiences or any additional suggestions for dealing with IT Band syndrome on-the-go!