The Gift of Time: What Stay-At-Home Gave Us All

The Gift of Time: What Stay-At-Home Gave Us All

The gift of time was given to us all by stay-at-home orders. It may have been a 30 minute commute each way (plus putting on pants time). Or, like in the case 3.3 million others, all of your time because you are now unemployed.  Watching my friends, family, and former coworkers adjust to this gift it is much like watching different people win the lottery.  Some blow their winnings right away and end up worse off then they were beforehand.  Others are paralyzed with fear so do nothing, and some embrace the gift, seize the opportunity and look at how to use the gift for good.

“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn

No more excuses!

As a business and personal coach I have worked with hundreds of people who say they want growth. The number one thing getting in their way?  You guessed it, time.  They want to be healthier, but they don’t have time.  They want to learn a new skill, but can’t find time.  In fact, lists of wants continue to grow and yet people do no excusesnot.  “I’d love to read books, listen to podcasts, take a course, or even go back to school, but I can’t find the time”, they say.  Here it is.  The gift of time was given to you.  5 hours a week minimum. No more excuses!

“The way we spend our time defines who we are.” Jonathan Estrin

How will you reflect back on this time?  With pride of your accomplishments and contributions?  Yesterday was the best time to start. Today is a great time to start. Tomorrow . . . next week . . . .  Start small and build.  Small improvements over time are like compounded interest.  They grow into something large.

Staying at home as been difficult, certainly regret is worse.  Don’t let another moment pass.  This is your time.  Take that first step. You can do this.  Yes you can!

Stay at Home; Obligation or Opportunity

Stay at Home; Obligation or Opportunity

You’ve been ordered to Stay at Home; the question is do you see it as an obligation or an opportunity? It’s a challenging time, absolutely.  I live in a state that has a Stay at Home Order AND the company I worked for and adored my entire adult life has just gone out of business.  The challenge is real AF.  Here’s the truth about challenges.  They bring about a world of choices.  In fact, they are the proverbial fork in the road.  They provide an opportunity for us to rise and see what we are really made of.  Is this Stay at Home Order an excuse to watch all of those missed sitcoms or is it an opportunity to discover what you are capable of achieving.

It’s a choice and you have the power to make that choice right now.  Is there something have you been putting off because your “real life” is too busy?  Perhaps this slow down is the sign you have been waiting for.  Choices you make right now, what you choose to accomplish in the next few weeks could have a significant positive impact on your life and the lives of others?Rise to the challenge

“If it doesn’t challenge you ; it won’t change you.” I encourage you to rise to the challenge. Push yourself to give your all in tackling a problem or issue and accomplishing a goal.

Here are my big 3 for doing something new

  1. FREE – there are many free options out there.  Leave your resources open to trying many new things and don’t spend any money unless you’re absolutely sure of the path you’ve chosen.  Here are some free resources for a variety of topics
      1. Fitness Nike Training Club
      2. Education Coursera
      3. Podcasting Buzzsprout
      4. Write a book Jerry Jenkins
      5. Create a website Wix
      6. Learn a new language
  2. FUN – as I mentioned earlier, the challenge is real AF, but it can be fun and be self-fulfilling.  In business we sometimes have to ask ourselves “is it the plan or is it the execution?”  You will have to ask yourself “is this not fun because it’s not coming easy or is this not fun simply because I just don’t like it?”  Find something your passionate about and the challenge will become fun.
  3. FRIEND – find people with like interests to encourage you along the way.  An easy way to do this is to search social media pages liked LinkedIn and Facebook for groups.  Last year, I found that joining a FB group for the Chicago Marathon made my training experience more enjoyable by knowing I was doing it alone.  Many challenges I was experiencing were common and even minor compared to people with the same goals as mine.  This kept me motivated and inspired to keep going.

You will get through this.   Yes you can!

Intermittent Fasting While Marathon Training

Intermittent Fasting While Marathon Training

Intermittent fasting is quickly gaining in popularity.  Many stars including Jennifer Lopez, Beyonce, and Hugh Jackman swear by intermittent fasting.  With so much fame behind this fad there may be something to it right?

So what is it?  There are many methods some of which are described below, but in a nutshell, it is scheduling periods of eating normally and then periods of not eating at all.  The spans of eating normally are what make this so attractive to so many, but don’t let the “no counting calories; no cutting carbs; no macros” tag-lines associated with it trick you into thinking it’s easy.  In fact, this may be more difficult than anything else you have tried in the past.  Intermittent fasting requires: purpose, planning, and discipline.  Compared to other lifestyle changes this one is rated difficult.  Hey, but you’re a marathon runner.  Difficult is your middle name.

Methods of Intermittent Fasting

16:8 Method; Eat for 8 hours fast for 16

With this method you choose an 8 hour window for eating your meals each day.  One example is eat from

Intermittent fasting diet

breakfast to mid-day; 7 am – 3 pm.  Or, if you usually skip breakfast anyway, you may choose your meal hours from 1 pm – 9 pm.

If choosing this method when training for a marathon you will want to plan your meals with your training schedule.  If you are a morning runner, then you will want to fuel up for your runs and plan your 8 hours of eating at a time that helps your running performance.

Personally, I having been trying this method for about 2 months.  I started with an eating schedule of 1-9 and found that since I run in the morning, this did not work at all.  Crash, boom, bang!  I could hardly muster the energy to get around the block let alone get my long runs in.  Switching to a 7:00-3:00 schedule I have found is better for my training schedule, but horrible for a social life.  Meeting up for drinks after work, date night, and even enjoying popcorn with a late night movie are all out on this schedule.  What I have found to be pros of this method are: evening snacking is eliminated and better discipline to food choices since I am putting more effort into the planning.

5:2 Method; Eat for 5 days and fast for 2

This method may be preferable for runners because chances are your running schedule is already 5 days on 2 non-consecutive days off.  Your rest days would then also be your fasting days.  Somewhat more extreme than the 16:8 Method because you have 2 complete days of fasting, but it does allow for less social life restrictions.  Many plans do allow for some calorie intake on the fasting days.  Typically around 500 calories which are divided into two small snacks of 250 calories each throughout the day.

I have tried this method in the past and have found it to be extremely difficult.  You will be hungry.  There will be temptation, but once again, it does allow you to maintain better balance with life and lifestyle.  On your 5 eat days you can still enjoy date night and meeting up with friends after work.

Eat Stop Eat Method

The Eat Stop Eat Method involves eating a meal then not eating again until that same meal time the next day.  An example would be eat a normal dinner Monday evening and then don’t eat again until dinner time Tuesday evening.  If you are training in the morning, then you may prefer eat breakfast Monday morning and then don’t eat again until breakfast Tuesday morning.

I don’t have personal experience with this method, but based on the number of hours you are active with no meals, this may be quite difficult.

Benefits of intermittent fasting while marathon training
  1. You cannot improve in one area of your life without improvements trickling into other areas of your life.  By planning your meal periods, I have found that you plan the quality of the meals as well.
  2. Weight loss can occur.
  3. For runners, this is important, there can be a reduction in inflammation.

Have you tried this while training for an event?

How’d it go?

Stick to Your Resolutions with Purposeful Enthusiasm

Stick to Your Resolutions with Purposeful Enthusiasm

Two weeks into the new year and most of us will fall into one of these three groups

1.  Beast mode on.  Crushing your goal.

2.  Awesome goal set, but “squirrel” aren’t the NFL playoffs on tonight.

3.  Definitely going to be a better you in 2019, but searching for the perfect goal.

Group 1 congrats.  Stick to it you badass! 

The rest of us can use some Purposeful Enthusiasm.  Enthusiasm is the one ingredient that will generate success more than any other.

The concern is the confusion between rah-rah rowdiness, which is what most of us consider enthusiasm and real purposeful enthusiasm.

“Energy without purpose is just noise” LT

Life-changing resolutions mandate purposeful enthusiasm.  What in the world is that?  It’s easier than I am making it sound.  There are just 3 simple components:

1.  BELIEF – belief in your goal.  Is it real or pie-in-the-sky?  Belief in yourself.  You are enough!  Belief in the future.  If you believe you best days are ahead of you; they are.

2.  VISION – what does winning look like for you?  What will it mean to you if you hit your target?  How will you feel when you accomplish your goal? What will it mean to your family?

3.  GRATITUDE – “gratitude is the unyielding fuel for courage” Forrest Performance Group.  When you look at your goal as an opportunity, not an obligation you will be supercharged into action.  Appreciating what you already have opens the door for abundance.  

 This New Year’s resolution stuff is tough.  If you haven’t started yet, or are beginning to lose focus try applying some enthusiasm. You can do this!

Success is going from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm” Winston Churchill

What’s On My Reading List; Measure What Matters.

What’s On My Reading List; Measure What Matters.

Variety improves the things that we do too often, but it rules the things that we don’t do often enough. -Daniel Gilbert

My reading list is much like my running play list.  I like to mix it up.  A little American history,  running stories, motivation,business, self help, and some good science fiction.  As the quote above indicates, by reading a variety it improves the experience by keeping it fresh.

Here’s a review on a more recent read.

Measure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x GrowthMeasure What Matters: OKRs: The Simple Idea that Drives 10x Growth by John Doerr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The case studies in this book are a fun read, especially in the audio book version which has each person related to the specific case study read their portion. The variety in voices kept the book entertaining.

Where the book lacked
was in providing detail. It is very vague and although the case studies were from companies that achieved great growth it doesn’t necessarily explain how the OKR’s caused the growth. Would My Fitness Pal really not been so successful without an OKR ? Impossible to say from reading this book.

If you are a “techie” and would be interested in hearing case studies from Silicon Valley then you would enjoy this book. If you want details on goal setting and measuring what matters then I recommend finding a different book.

Every book has a lesson or two.  This one had quite a lot of great quotes because of all of the influencers used to illustrate the purpose.  Here’s a few of my favorites:

“Leaders must get across the why as well as the what. Their people need more than milestones for motivation. They are thirsting for meaning, to understand how their goals relate to the mission.” 

“There are so many people working so hard and achieving so little. —Andy Grove” 

“When people help choose a course of action, they are more likely to see it through.” 

What shall I read during Week 4 of Chicago Marathon training?

What’s on My Reading List; Born to Run

What’s on My Reading List; Born to Run

Running is a great sport to give a whirl because you literally do not need a thing to get started.  Zero start up cost.  You don’t like it; no worries, you’re not out a thing.

If you do like it and stick with it, unlike other sports that require a ton of expensive equipment, you can maintain a very low budget.  One way I keep costs low is by not worrying if my running
shoes are the latest and the greatest.  By purchasing last year’s model instead of the newest release I save a ton of dough.

My normal run essentials are: Burt’s Bees lip balm, Maui Jim sunglasses, toasted marshmallow GU, and a great play list.  A very eclectic great playlist.  I love to run to music.  Black Eyed Peas, Led Zepplin, Bruno Mars . . . and then I met this book.  Born to Run by Christopher McDougall.  On long runs it’s my new fave.  It gives me the motivation I need to get the miles in.  I figure if they can run hundreds of miles then I can certainly get in 13.

A great friend gave me a great tip, use the speed feature on audible.com.  Putting this story at 1.25 x speed is the perfect tempo to run to.

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never SeenBorn to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen by Christopher McDougall
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very inspiring story. I loved listening to it while out for a run.
Just a few of my favorite quotes…
“You don’t stop running because you get old, you get old because you stop running.”
“If you don’t have answers to your problems after a four-hour run, you ain’t getting them.”
“Suffering is humbling. It pays to know how to get your butt kicked.”
“There was some kind of connection between the capacity to love and the capacity to love running.”

View all my reviews

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