Category Archives for Physical Health

5 Key Takeaways from my first Half Marathon

Have you ever had the desire to prove something?

Maybe it was to yourself. Maybe it was to your friends or family.  Maybe it was to that coach or teacher who made you doubt your own abilities.

lessons from my first half marathonWhoever made you (or makes you) feel that way, their words stick with you. They creep in at unexpected times and you may even put yourself back in that situation where they told you that you were less than.

I am very introspective, so I find myself reevaluating past experiences a lot. Sometimes it’s healthy and sometime it’s not.

Well, in July 2014, I was in a read need to have a personal win. I was forced to go back to work after our real estate business had a tough winter.  I went from the high of leaving my job to the low of having to beg to return.

My wife suggested that I train for a half marathon as it would give me a goal to shoot for. I am the type of person that needs to look forward to things and needs to work toward something.  So, being a former runner as well, this was right up my alley.

I made the goal to run a half marathon by November, but I wanted to challenge myself to actually complete the full distance while running and walking beforehand. My wife even decided to join me.

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Growth Mindset: 3 Ways Running Provides Mental Toughness

Do you ever wonder how the world’s elite athletes do it?

They make it look so easy. Tom Brady executes a perfectly thrown ball for a touchdown.  Usain Bolt outruns the field yet again.  Clayton Kershaw throws a pitch with pinpoint accuracy on the black for strike 3.  Phil Mickelson sinks an unlikely 30-foot putt.

What’s the secret? Well, if you ask Darren Hardy of Success Magazine, it’s about the grind:

It’s the hours in the gym that you don’t see.

It’s the thousands of balls they hit on the practice green that is not filmed.

It is the hundreds of gigs they perform in small seedy clubs for no pay.

It is the thousands of calls they make that DON’T result in a sale.

It’s the years of two-a-days in the hot sun and grinding it out in the minor leagues and doing meetings where no one shows up.

All those moments, despite the boredom and the mundaneness, they keep GRINDING!

Do yourself a favor and read the full article.  It’s worth it and incredibly motivating.

You need to consider this when you start running. It’s not about race day.  It’s about your growth as a runner.  That growth is key and it comes first with a mindset of growth.  You see, it wasn’t until I started training for my first half marathon that I began to harness the mental toughness to do another half marathon and even fathom I could finish a marathon.

In my experience, the mental toughness that produces a growth mindset is inevitably drawn from the 3 key areas I discuss below. These are important to remember as you embark on any worthwhile endeavor.  You should keep them in mind as you begin your training.Read more

Run Your First Marathon: 4 Tips to Get Started

"It's a marathon, not a sprint."

I know you've heard this cliché, often attributed to life or some repetitive task.  It's one of those things that is said so often that it loses the meaning behind its original intent.

run your first marathonRun your first marathon, however, and you certainly learn that whoever said it originally was probably a runner.  A marathon is bleeping hard.  There is no way around it.  The race itself is hard and the training is demanding.

For me, I trained while my wife was pregnant with our first child back in 2015.  I ran the 2015 Philadelphia Marathon in November of that year.  She was and wasn't my biggest fan.  Anna always supported my running efforts, but being tired after an 18 or 20 mile training run while she nurses a newborn all night wasn't exactly earning me brownie points.  So, yeah, don't do that.

On top of that, training runs can get tedious, but they are so crucial.  As you probably recall from running half marathons and 10Ks, the building of endurance is absolutely vital.  Without the proper training runs, you will not make it.  I also found that the half marathons I ran as I was training for the full were much quicker.  I ran my first sub-2 hour half marathon at the 2015 Trenton Half.  What an incredible feeling!

Furthermore, keeping your body healthy during the process is key.  Cross-training is vital for recovery and strength.  That is something I regret not doing more of.  However, I did go to physical therapy each week for my shin splints.  That team kept me out there.  I had a doctor work on my legs, did exercises and afterwards, and did those same movements a few times during the week.  Stretching is so key, let me tell you.Read more

Running Your First Half Marathon: 4 Tips to Get You to the Finish Line 

Have you committed to running your first half marathon?  Well, congratulations!  You are in for quite an accomplishment.  It will be an uphill battle (pun intended).  With the right approach, you can set yourself up for a very positive experience on race day.

running your first half marathonI remember the day I completed my first half marathon in August 2014.  It was a little over a month after I committed and began training to run my first half marathon in July 2014.  My wife was kind enough to join me.

We decided to run and walk it as it gave me a chance to prove I could make the distance.  I was a few weeks into training for my first "official" half, which I was set to run in November.

It was an amazing bonding experience for us.  We got to do something challenging together.  She was working as a real estate agent at the time and finished the half marathon working out a deal on her phone.  I had decided to run the last mile.

We got much-deserved ice cream afterwards, drove the hour home, showered and promptly collapsed into bed I think in our robes.  It's a great thing we weren't parents yet.

Ok, so why do I tell you all this?  Well, because running your first half marathon is an experience.  And it's most enjoyed with others who can encourage, motivate, and pick you up (sometimes literally) when you fall.

Runners have an amazing sense of community.  And that concept is especially crucial in distance running.  No runner is an island out there.  It's best to learn that concept now before you embark on running your first half marathon.Read more

Running Your First 10K: Four Easy Steps

Running your first 10K (6.2 miles) is a rite of passage for any novice runner. It signifies your ability to run about 40 to 60 minutes and opens your training possibilities up to be able to run a half marathon down the road.  So, yes, it is something to be proud of.

running your first 10k - run the moneyI remember from Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike (Phil Knight), that he ran 6 miles pretty much every day.  That is also something my father-in-law did for a long time on his lunch breaks before he retired.  Great stress reliever and allows your mind to think clearly.

For me, my non-training schedule given my full-time job and family commitments is typically 3 miles on Tuesdays and Thursdays and 6 miles on Saturdays or Sundays. When I’m not training for a race, I try to just keep myself healthy and in solid running shape.  That way, it’s easier to ramp things up when I need to.

Now, for your training, you have likely already trained for your first 5K. So, you know what the running schedule looks like and how it’s imperative that you carve time out for proper training.  There’s no way around it – you have to log the miles.Read more

Best Gear for Newbie Runners: Where to Get the Essentials

best gear for newbie runnersIf you want to be a runner, you have to have the proper attire.  So, that's why I compiled this list of the best gear for newbie runners like yourself.

No, I'm not suggesting you go out and spend hundreds of dollars on running gear.  After all, this is also a personal finance site and that would be dishonest.

However, I do believe you should make a small investment in a good pair of running shoes and socks.  I know it sounds crazy, but making sure you have socks that don't lose their tightness and shape is very important.  The last thing you want are blisters to derail your training progress.

I put together a list of the best gear based on my own knowledge, Amazon rankings, and other running blogs.  Check them out, read reviews, and find the items that fit you best.  (I do want to add that the following links are affiliate links).Read more

Running Your First 5K Like a Pro: 4 Helpful Hints to Get Started

So, you committed to running your first 5K?  That's a pretty big step.  So, congratulations is in order.  No matter your fitness level, this is a distance anybody can do.  Whether you're running the entire thing or walking a portion, I can help you get to the finish line.

running your first 5kI recall running my first 5K after getting back into running in 2014.  I hadn't run in a competitive race since 2001 during my senior year of high school.  Back then, I was much more fit back then and heck of a lot faster in a trim teenager body.  Let's just say that my overweight 29-year-old body wasn't doing any favors in the quickness department that day.  I wasn't exactly what you call "gazelle-like."

But, dammit, I was back baby.

I don't remember much about that day.  However, it officially signified the beginning of something huge in my life.  I was a runner again -- and I was training for my first half marathon in November of that year.

Like I said -- I was back.  And I was embarking on something that many people only thought about, joked about at parties, or said they would accomplish as another trashed New Year's resolution.

It all started with that 5K race.

OK, a bit of a dramatic entrance.  I know.  But, don't make light of the fact that you decided you're running your first 5K.  Whether you're coming out a long "retirement" like I did or if you're just starting, it doesn't matter.  You can do this and I'm going to help you get there.Read more

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