Monday, January 27, 2014

Metropolitan Mondays - Tri living in a big city apartment

I decided to add a little something different to the blog this year.  Although I can and do talk about workouts 24/7; it can does get a little boring to read over and over again.  So I thought I'd dedicate Mondays to living in a big city and some of the challenges it sometimes presents as well as the wonderful perks it has (amazing restaurants and walking everywhere).  This week is an ode to apartment living and how complicated it can be to fit all your equipment and gear in it.  These days running is not just a pair of shoes; there are recovery dreads, foam rollers etc... you add the necessary triathlon gear to that and it can get a little tough to fit it all in a 700 sq. ft., third story walk-up.  I mean I have entire drawer  just dedicated to "long" run and compression socks.  Just reading that sentence makes me sad.

Overflowing Drawer of Compression
When I lived in Portland we didn't have a huge house but we had a big basement space where all our bikes/trainers and endurance crap was set up permanently.  When we moved into said walk-up in SF I had a mini panic attack and considered that we may have to quit triathlon just because we didn't have space for everything.  Taking our bikes up and down those stairs and through the 3 different locked doors anytime we want to ride is super fun by the way.  After some deep breaths and a few key purchases, we've gotten a pretty decent storage system down.

Hers and his
First and probably most important was this bike rack.  Although I originally tried to keep our bikes in the hallway, MFR pointed out that maybe our neighbor didn't enjoy getting chain grease on his clothes every time he shimmied by on his way to work.   Then the bikes were in the kitchen taking up precious sq. footage until finally we purchased this bad boy which has made owning four wheels tolerable again.  It's a two bike gravity leaning rack and they only run $40 or so.  I can't remember the exact brand but I know it was an amazon purchase and worth every penny.

His, hers, hers, hers, hers
With VERY limited closet space, our workout shoes are now a conversation piece in our living room.  Somehow having them lined up under the bike rack makes it less tacky - at least that's what I tell myself.
Rollers & Trainers - Another living room staple
Soon after we solved the bike dilemma, I started to realize we still had endurance gear all over our living room.  A quick trip to Pier One for this 50% off basket and everything (but the trainers) are now neatly stowed behind the couch instead of sprawled across our floor.  I definitely suggest getting something tall for all the rollers/yoga mats etc...  It's nice because the room feels picked up but they are still at an arms reach when I get done with a long run.  

Workout sectional - And yes I watch Sports Night while I get ready for work, I love Aaron Sorkin - don't judge.
Again, with the limited closet space I had to get creative with all my workout gear.  I got this little cubby holder at Target for $70 or so.  Each drawer has a separate purpose: sports bras, bike jerseys/tops, bottoms (shorts, capris etc...), tri kits & bike shorts, all swim gear and cold weather gear.  I keep my running tops in my dresser because I have so many.  Keeping everything separated has proved very helpful when I wake up late for a morning workout.

Of course this isn't everything and I still have stuff crammed in hall closets but it is possible to fit all your gear in a tiny apartment (without additional storage space).  Though if we ever decide to buy more bikes, we're definitely going to have to move.

And now for the most important piece.  Where to put all your medals?   For the first year, all of mine were shoved in a box in our hall closest until recently I pulled a few out and realized they were getting all tarnished being stored like that.  Heaven forbid.  A quick trip online and 3-5 shipping days later, they are featured as a work of art in our hallway.

My favorite piece of art.

RNR Medals got their own display b/c they take up so much room

Everything else organized by sport and distance

After this year I might need a bigger display rack.


  1. Nice organization! Our stuff is kind of all over the house. Oops! My husband has his medals up on a rack, but I don't. Mostly we've done the same races though, so I pretend his are mine. :)

  2. I think organization is key in small areas! You seem to do it well!! Love love love the medal racks!!! I found a really cute Portland one that I want. But I only have a few from Portland...which is super sad!!! BTW: Dan wants a bike rack like that! :)