Hope for your financial life and beyond

I’m Running Naked and Loving It

Hidden Nuggets #14 – “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us…” – Hebrews 12:1

running nakedHistorians describe a revealing practice among the ancient Greeks. Apparently it was common for athletes participating in distance races and other athletic events to wear no clothing. That’s right…au naturel. Debate continues as to when and where this first occurred. The idea behind it however is clear – remove all encumbrances so the body can perform at peak efficiency.

How times have changed…thankfully!

Last Saturday when I completed the Baltimore Marathon, I did so with over 3,000 fully clothed marathoners.  However, many of them were “running naked,” including myself. How’s that possible?

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That Moment When You Question Your Goals

Baltimore Marathon

2013 Baltimore Marathon finishers medal

Mile 18.

I’m deep in the heart of the most difficult portion of the Baltimore Marathon. My pre-race plan has worked to perfection, with two hours and thirty minutes of patient, steady running behind me. Just ahead though, I’m about to face multiple lengthy inclines, the kind that cut into your pace and can punish a runner late in the race. My legs feel good but I’m not looking forward to these climbs.

Every runner has to endure moments like this. It comes with the territory. There is no way I’m stopping with my goal of a sub-four hour marathon clearly in reach. I’ve been intensively training for the last four months and I’m not letting all that effort go to waste.

As a former psychology major, I’ve always been intrigued by our mind. What is it about the circumstances of the moment that trigger unusual, creative or bizarre thoughts? We think of things at the strangest of times. And as I began a slow and arduous climb in mile 19, I experienced this phenomenon, thinking of something I hadn’t dwelt on in a long time.

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I Need Patience Now!

Hidden Nuggets Series #13 – “…let us run with patience the race that is set before us…”   Hebrews 12:1

ID-10061781The words found in the above verse are fitting considering the incredible task I face. At 8:00 AM tomorrow, amidst the coolness of the morning and the likelihood of rain, I will attempt to complete the Baltimore Marathon in 4 hours or less. I set this crazy goal back during the first weeks of January and the moment has finally arrived.

It’s about time because I hate waiting.

And when the gun sounds and the early stages of the race begin, I will again fight my ongoing battle with patience.

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Marathon Training and Writing Mental Blocks

Marathoner grabbing waterI’ve heard it said that a runner is not ready for the next marathon until they have forgotten the last one. Whether that is true or not I don’t know. I have not forgotten much about my first marathon last October through the streets of Atlanta. Pretty painful after mile 22. Yet here I find myself beginning training again for another October run. I must be a glutton for punishment.

This time I will be traversing the streets of Baltimore on Saturday, Oct. 12th. My goal is to run the marathon in under four hours. To do that I will have to shave about 9 minutes off my time from Atlanta. I think that is a doable goal but it will still be a great challenge for me.

I’ve been running consistently all year but my official training schedule for the marathon started this past week. To meet my goal I’m putting some extra effort into my training sessions. Here is what I’m doing.

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When Was the Last Time You WOWED Yourself?

Bring Your Best

Can you remember the last time when you completely exceeded any and all of the expectations you had hoped for? Remember how it sort of left you breathless in disbelief? I had one of those days this past Sunday and boy, did it feel good.

As those of you who have been reading here for a while know, one of my goals for the year was to run a half-marathon in under two hours. I’ve been training for the Publix Georgia Half-Marathon in Atlanta since December and was pretty encouraged lately by my training times. Still, there are so many unknowns on race day…like your stomach not digesting the pre-race meal well, getting tripped by another runner or poor weather conditions, just to name a few.

While I felt prepared, you could not have convinced me a week ago that I would be able to pull off this kind of effort.

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Of Marathons and Money: Recovery Week Edition

Recovery. It begins the moment you cross the finish line. First step, take the shiny, thermal blanket to stay warm. Then, keep walking…drink…eat…stretch. Once you are home, it’s hot tub soak…eat and drink some more…and Tylenol PM so you can sleep. The next few days means no running, maybe a massage, and lots of stretching to relieve muscles soreness. All in all, the physical recovery from completing a marathon takes about a week for most people.

The mental recovery will most likely take longer.

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Of Marathons and Money: Post Race Edition

Success! I completed the Atlanta Marathon Sunday morning in 4:07:54. That time ended up being a 9:23 pace per mile which I was really satisfied with. A 9:30 pace had been my goal. The weather was in the mid-50s and cloudy. We ended up running through several patches of drizzle but nothing to make one uncomfortable.

Overall I ended up 321st out of 982 finishers, placing 38th out of 113 in the 35-39 age group.

The biggest challenge of the race was the physical wall you hit about mile 20. I knew this was coming because I had read so much about it and had experienced it a little bit in training.

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Of Marathons and Money: Pre-Race Edition

When was your last life-changing day? We have these randomly littered at various points throughout the course of our life. Most life-changing days we never see coming…they just spontaneously happen. The day of that spiritual awakening…the day you get a proposal and a diamond…the day of a personal tragedy…the day we get fed up with __________ (fill in your blank) and decide to do something about it. It is the day we realize, “Huh…things are going to be different.” My most recent one occurred on October 15, 2011, the day I finished my first 5K race.

Something about finishing that race drove me to continue running. Now – almost 800 miles, 7,000+ minutes of running, and 3 half-marathons later – I am set to tackle my first full marathon this coming Sunday. 26.2 miles. Crazy…I know.

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