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August 9, 2009

I never was much of a runner until about 2 years ago.  I never could stick to anything through the winter (and refused to pay for a gym), so it was sporadic.  When I moved to California, I got \more serious, partially to keep away the stress that came with all the changes in my life.  I have big dreams and I’m willing to make bold choices, but when I push myself far enough, I get overwhelmed.  Running along the beach definitely helped.  (I still get  feelings of “OMG, I live here!”)

I’m where I want to be with running.  I’m not fast, but I think I can run a 5k in about 30 minutes.  That’s all I  wanted.  I’m fit enough to conquer our backpacking dreams (44 miles in 4 days!), my other motivatoin.  Now what?

It’s tempting to push myself more, to try to get faster, to consider a marathon (or half).  But I’m going to call this good.  In my busiest weeks, I’ll run at least once for 30 minutes.  In a normal week, I’d like to run 3 times, 30-45 minutes each time.  At least until I’m done with school, I want to stay in maintenance mode.

The same with money — I’m on the right track, but it is tempting to push harder, to save more, to deny myself more.  But how much should I save now, and how much should I spend on things I enjoy now?   My accounts are automated, I’m saving for the future, and I’m good at staying on budget (except clothes — my fashion strategy still isn’t as good as I wish).  Now what?

And my career.  I had my mid-year review and my manager again mentioned a promotion, this time giving a time frame of a month (to start the process).  He got a lot of good feedback on my performance, which… well, let’s just say the past six months have been soul sucking at work, and I think I could have done better.  On the bright side, my new position has lots of opportunities, lots of smart people, lots of room for growth.  I can probably take on as much as I want.  How hard should I push?  Probably harder than I did in the past six months, but not so hard work takes over my life.

On the side, I want to start exploring a few hobbies that I know I don’t have much time for just yet.  But I’d like to dip my toe in.   I have time for that. Some options:  Photographer, more serious efforts at writing, flower arranging (ok, this is just a 2 day class, but still), more yoga, some sort of dance that doesn’t make me feel like a klutz, and more reading.

I get overwhelmed if I try to push myself in too many directions at once.  So for now, I’ll push myself with school and career, maintain with running and financials, and maybe dabble in some new hobbies just to keep me on my toes.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. August 10, 2009 6:52 am

    I can agree on the financial side, it’s hard not to push yourself tighter and tighter to reach those goals faster… I think finding balance in anything is tricky.

  2. August 10, 2009 10:23 am

    I know exactly what you’re talking about. As for the fitness plateau, I signed up for a half marathon a few months ago and having a target goal really does help with getting regular workouts in.

    Unrelated question: How long did it take you to get $16K in your Emergency Fund? I see you started with $14,000 at the beginning of this year, but how long did you start that fund and what was your average contribution per year? I’d love to eventually have that large amount!

  3. August 10, 2009 7:11 pm

    I know what you mean about allll of that stuff. Running when it gets too hot or too cold is when I slack off and stop. My dad runs every single day no matter what the weather, but he does it only for him. He never does races. I totally wish I could do that, but I know myself too well! Thankfully I’ve started doing yoga and I really feel as though that can and will be my lifetime fitness activity. I love it!

    Good luck with all the hobbies and everything. I know when I try to take on everything at once is when I start to get really stressed and feel like I’m not doing good enough. I really envy people who can do a million projects at once and still seem to have their lives in order!

  4. August 10, 2009 7:52 pm

    @Jessie – i agree, sometimes it is hard to say “ok, this is enough”

    @myprettypennies – I haven’t really tried running without any goal at all, but htat is what I want to try now. I’ll have to see how it goes. If I totally fail, I will have to find something to work for.

    I started saving for my Efund around July 2006 when I got my first job. I reached 15k at the end of 2008 (then took out 1k for a Roth IRA contribution) and it was pretty much my sole focus for 2.5 years or so. I guess that is about $6k/yr. The biggest boost came from lump sums from extra paychecks or tax refund.

    @me in millions – Good luck with the yoga! I’m trying to allow myself to sample new hobbies without taking them too seriously and turning them into big projects right away. I get overwhelmed with too much going on too!

  5. August 10, 2009 8:07 pm

    @me in millions – oh, and moving to SoCal where the weather is perfect nearly every day helps

  6. August 10, 2009 9:49 pm

    I always love hearing about what’s next on your “to do” list. You’ve always got something that you’re interested in learning or doing! Good for you. Life can get monotonous sometimes. Way to keep it interesting!

  7. Bonnie permalink
    August 11, 2009 6:36 am

    I think I would run a LOT more often if I lived near a SoCal beach. 🙂

  8. sfordinarygirl permalink
    August 18, 2009 1:40 am

    Not to get all cheesy but Dave Ramsey said on his show recently if you don’t have a goal then what’s the point? I apply the same philosophy to running. What’s the harm in pushing a bit harder in your running? If your focus is mainly school and work while dabbling in a few hobbies, have you asked yourself what’s the worst that could happen if you took it a bit farther or to another level?

  9. sfordinarygirl permalink
    August 20, 2009 10:26 am

    Actually I sort of take back what I said. But having a goal is important otherwise what’s the point of exercising. Something Dave Ramsey said.

    But it’s also important to remember you are young – early 20s. And while time is not infinite there will be opportunities when the time is right to push harder or strive for the next level. And it’s helpful to know your limits before pushing too far and giving up.

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