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After completing my first challenge, and finally successfully running a distance of 5k, I'm ready to step up my running training to the next level.

 

Here are my goals for my second challenge.

 

Goal #1: Run a Half-Marathon

Starting Point: Ran 5-miles on 2/22 (~47:30 at an easy pace)

 

How to get to 13.1

Do all of the following once a week:

1. Intervals - I love them!

2. Middle-distance runs 3 - 6 miles at a quick pace (this will be my weak point)

3. Long runs - 6 - 12 miles at an easy pace

 

My stretch goal will be 1:37:36 (I want to beat GreenMatt's time on the Scout's Leaderboard)

A sub-goal is to run a 5k in less than 20 minutes. GreenMatt is on the board at 19:44, so I'll try and beat that.

 

Attribute Points: 5 STA

 

 

Goal #2: Cross-Train Twice a Week

Starting point: Occasionally use a stationary bike

 

What kind of cross-training I'll be doing

I'll be sticking to the stationary bike, and plan to do intervals of 30 seconds of sprinting and 4 minutes of easy pedaling 4x-7x

 

This is also used to build stamina for the half-marathon goal

 

Attribute Points: 3 STA

 

 

Goal #3: Power-Lift Twice a Week

Starting point: No experience with barbells

 

Starting Strength

Just started reading Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe, and it comes highly recommended by my brother as a great program for building functional strength.

 

I'll do two workouts per week, likely on the same day as my cross-training.

 

Attribute Points: 3 STR

 

 

Goal #4: Write 15 Finance Articles a Week

Starting point: I've written about 75 articles for the Motley Fool since the beginning of November.

 

My work ethic has fallen off a cliff in the last couple months. When I first started, I was writing 3 articles per day. They recently gave me a raise, so now I have no excuse not to write as much as possible.

 

I can earn a really great living writing 15 articles a week, setting my own schedule, and working from home, a coffee shop, a friends house, a foreign country, or anywhere! It's a really great opportunity, and I've been wasting it.

 

Not any longer!

 

I plan to write 15 articles per week, and will appreciate an accountability partner on this to make sure I get my work done. (Preferably someone with an interest in finance, who would actually want to read my articles.) So I turn to you, NF community, to make me do my work.

 

Attribute Points: Not sure yet, please help me decide!

 

 

I'll be posting a list of toys I plan to buy myself for keeping up with my goals soon.

Level 3 Warrior

STR 12.5 | DEX 3 | STA 5.5 | CON 10.5 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 3

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I can't wait to read your articles!

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Race: Wood Elf | Class: Footpath Ranger Leader

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"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

"Love does not throw the book at you because love doesn't have a book to throw." -CS Lewis

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Here are some of my best if you're really that interested. New articles coming tomorrow. Any companies/industries you're particularly interested in?

 

My husband is an independent equipment (earthmover type stuff) dealer- something in those field would be cool, if you know anything...

My Blog | My Story

Race: Wood Elf | Class: Footpath Ranger Leader

Level18 (STR):44.25 (DEX):37.25 (STA):30 (CON):31.25 (WIS):31.5 (CHA):25.25

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

"Love does not throw the book at you because love doesn't have a book to throw." -CS Lewis

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This all sounds good. I'm a fool member (.co.uk) and it's a good site. That's a lot of writing though!

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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Here's my list of incentives

 

Each week I successfully complete all of my goals I will reward myself with the following:

 

Week 1: MEElectronics M6-BK-MEE Sport Noise-Isolating In-Ear Headphones

 

Week 2: New Balance M890v2 Running Shoes

 

Week 3: MLB.tv subscription

 

Week 4: Chromebook

 

Week 5: Go! St. Louis Half-Marathon Registration

 

Week 6: A well deserved massage (via Groupon)

Level 3 Warrior

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Sounds like you've got some good goals with solid plans to get there!  I'm in for reading your articles.  I'm a CPA/tax accountant.  My interests range but I work full-time for a public real estate investment trust and work part time as a sole practitioner with individual and small business clients.  The REIT makes a lot of investments besides straight up real estate (first/second mortgages, mezz loans, preferred equity, pretty much anything) but obviously they're all connected to real property in some fashion.

Danielle, Level 2 Forest Nymph Adventurer

STR 6.5 | DEX 2 | STA 4+1 | CON 9 | WIS 6+1 | CHA 3+1

Inventory: 5 silver pieces, a free dinner (full of vegetables), shiny belt of Endurance, Babel Fish

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"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

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@Hammlin So construction companies like Caterpillar and Deere? I write about those occasionally, but they're not quite in my wheel-house. Nevertheless, I'll see if any news stories catch my eye.

 

@18ck Yep! It's a ton of writing, but that's what I decided I want to do as a full-time career, so I'll be spending 40+ hours per week writing.

 

@newcs REITs I can get down with. I'm particularly into mortgage-REITs and how quantitative easing affects the market. Also into home-builders and other companies related to housing starts.

 

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

Level 3 Warrior

STR 12.5 | DEX 3 | STA 5.5 | CON 10.5 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 3

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Yes, CAT, Komatsu, Volvo etc :)

My Blog | My Story

Race: Wood Elf | Class: Footpath Ranger Leader

Level18 (STR):44.25 (DEX):37.25 (STA):30 (CON):31.25 (WIS):31.5 (CHA):25.25

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." -Edmund Burke

"Love does not throw the book at you because love doesn't have a book to throw." -CS Lewis

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Wow! Hat's off to you... that's a lot of writing! Good thing you have so many active goals to get you away from the computer every now and then, eh?

 

Great goals, and plan! ...Maybe 4 attribute points towards your writing goal since you get 15 per challenge?

 

Yay for learning weights together! :) Let's DO this!

Level 1 Centaur Scout / Ranger

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"Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway."

~Earl Nightingale

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@Hammlin So construction companies like Caterpillar and Deere? I write about those occasionally, but they're not quite in my wheel-house. Nevertheless, I'll see if any news stories catch my eye.

 

@18ck Yep! It's a ton of writing, but that's what I decided I want to do as a full-time career, so I'll be spending 40+ hours per week writing.

 

@newcs REITs I can get down with. I'm particularly into mortgage-REITs and how quantitative easing affects the market. Also into home-builders and other companies related to housing starts.

 

Thanks for the feedback, guys!

 

I'll have to look into that.  My background before this was public accounting and I mostly worked on private REITs that did a little bit of mortgage origination/purchasing but mostly purchased real property.  The REIT I currently work for is much more into financial instruments so I've been playing catch up.  I'm on the tax side but I try to understand the financial side as well because it makes the tax side more comprehensible.

 

And if you happen to know anything about cooperatives, that's my current side adventure.  There's a group of people working to build a food cooperative in my town and I agreed to be their free CPA for the time being.  It's totally new to me so I've been reading any sort of article I can get my hands on. 

Danielle, Level 2 Forest Nymph Adventurer

STR 6.5 | DEX 2 | STA 4+1 | CON 9 | WIS 6+1 | CHA 3+1

Inventory: 5 silver pieces, a free dinner (full of vegetables), shiny belt of Endurance, Babel Fish

Challenges: 1 2

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

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Awesome goals, It's great that you have such a great opportunity doing what you like best, kudos on working towards it!

german

monkey scout

"swim, bike, run", or at least "Don’t drown, don't crash, don't walk"

“If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.†-Joe Rogan

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Great, informative article, It's not within my scope of expertise so I have no idea how good it actually is, but I enjoyed the read.

german

monkey scout

"swim, bike, run", or at least "Don’t drown, don't crash, don't walk"

“If you ever start taking things too seriously, just remember that we are talking monkeys on an organic spaceship flying through the universe.†-Joe Rogan

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Seriously your "easy" 5 miler is great!

I haven't started to focus improving speed yet, I'm just trying to build distance. Something about a freakin' marathon in April...

 

I'm impressed with the writing goals! I'd love to be able to write that much!

Thanks! I'm naturally fast - I was once a sprinter. The 5 miles was mostly flat (as I live in the Great Plains), but there was about 1 mile of about 2% incline in the middle. It got cold again this week, so I'll be indoors on the treadmill doing my best to emulate road racing.

 

I, too, would love to be able to write that much. :) We'll see!

Level 3 Warrior

STR 12.5 | DEX 3 | STA 5.5 | CON 10.5 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 3

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Just got back from the gym where I did intervals on the treadmill.

 

Here's the breakdown of my workout:

 

0.25 miles @ 8.5 mph (4x)

0.25 miles @ 9.0 mph (4x)

0.25 miles @ 9.5 mph

0.25 miles @ 10 mph

0.25 miles @ 10.5 mph

0.25 miles @ 11 mph

 

Also wrote up a post about Barnes & Nobles struggles with the Nook Media division. It hasn't been syndicated yet, though. Probably tomorrow morning.

 

I'm going to get started on an article on Whole Foods tonight. I might not finish, but that's alright. I feel like I'm off to a great start for this challenge.

Level 3 Warrior

STR 12.5 | DEX 3 | STA 5.5 | CON 10.5 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 3

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Yep - that's a good start for sure - looks like motivating yourself with shiny gadgets is effective then! ;^)

 

Keep it up!

Level 20 Ferret Demon Scout

STR 43 | DEX 21 | STA 49 | CON 30 | WIS 45 | CHA 21

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Valeu a pena? Tudo vale a pena Se a alma não é pequena.

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Thought I'd stop by with a quick update:

 

My fitness goals are doing just fine. Writing is taking a while to ramp up and get into on the other hand. I have 5 articles done this week, and still have hope of finishing 15 as long as I work my butt off. I got another Editor's Choice for my Whole Foods article. It's about the companies focus on cutting down on prices. If any of you avoid shopping there because of price, you might want to give it a second look.

 

Yesterday, I did my stationary bike workout (4 minutes easy, 30 seconds all-out x7). Doing weights tomorrow for the first time.

Level 3 Warrior

STR 12.5 | DEX 3 | STA 5.5 | CON 10.5 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 3

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Glad things are going well so far! 

 

Thanks for the article on Whole Foods...my dislike for the company is more based on their leadership than their prices (I'm willing to pay for higher quality produce).  John Mackey tends to shoot his mouth off and I just got a bad vibe from him when he gave the commencement speech at my undergrad ceremony.  Luckily I have a Trader Joe's that's closer.  I've always found their prices more reasonable and their selection more interesting.  I'm also working with a group of people who are in the process of starting a food cooperative in our downtown so that should be awesome.

 

Keep the interesting articles coming :)  I always need good stuff to read on the train!

Danielle, Level 2 Forest Nymph Adventurer

STR 6.5 | DEX 2 | STA 4+1 | CON 9 | WIS 6+1 | CHA 3+1

Inventory: 5 silver pieces, a free dinner (full of vegetables), shiny belt of Endurance, Babel Fish

Challenges: 1 2

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

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Glad things are going well so far! 

 

Thanks for the article on Whole Foods...my dislike for the company is more based on their leadership than their prices (I'm willing to pay for higher quality produce).  John Mackey tends to shoot his mouth off and I just got a bad vibe from him when he gave the commencement speech at my undergrad ceremony.  Luckily I have a Trader Joe's that's closer.  I've always found their prices more reasonable and their selection more interesting.  I'm also working with a group of people who are in the process of starting a food cooperative in our downtown so that should be awesome.

 

Keep the interesting articles coming :)  I always need good stuff to read on the train!

 

Yep, Mackey is highly opinionated and doesn't have much of a filter. Maybe that's why they have Walter Robb do the conference calls for the most part.

 

I feel like you can get the same stuff at the same price at Whole Foods as TJ's, but they also have more expensive stuff at Whole Foods that's hard to resist.

 

It just makes me laugh when people complain about how much their groceries cost on facebook and twitter. Didn't they know what they were getting into when they walked through the door? And then I see them post again 2 weeks later, and I don't know what to think except that people keep shopping at Whole Foods.

 

Disclosure: I'm probably going to buy some WFM real soon.

Level 3 Warrior

STR 12.5 | DEX 3 | STA 5.5 | CON 10.5 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 3

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Oh yeah, I originally came here to post that I ran a 5k on the treadmill today. Steady 7.5 mph, 2% incline for mile 2, flat for the rest of it.

 

I plan on writing a simple article about buying stocks at their 52-week high. It will profile 2-3 companies that I think offer good prospects that investors should not avoid just because they're trading higher than ever in the past year.

Level 3 Warrior

STR 12.5 | DEX 3 | STA 5.5 | CON 10.5 | WIS 5.5 | CHA 3

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Yep, Mackey is highly opinionated and doesn't have much of a filter. Maybe that's why they have Walter Robb do the conference calls for the most part.

 

I feel like you can get the same stuff at the same price at Whole Foods as TJ's, but they also have more expensive stuff at Whole Foods that's hard to resist.

 

It just makes me laugh when people complain about how much their groceries cost on facebook and twitter. Didn't they know what they were getting into when they walked through the door? And then I see them post again 2 weeks later, and I don't know what to think except that people keep shopping at Whole Foods.

 

Disclosure: I'm probably going to buy some WFM real soon.

 

I won't knock the products at Whole Foods...I have found them to be pretty high quality and their store brand is often a good deal.  I don't buy any of the staples at either usually but for some reason I still find Trader Joe's to be cheaper...not sure if it's a geographic thing or just the types of foods I buy.  I miss the bulk section at Whole Foods though...and the soda, until they discontinued the two flavors I liked.

 

I'm always kind of in awe of your times for running.  This is probably why you're a scout and I am not lol.

Danielle, Level 2 Forest Nymph Adventurer

STR 6.5 | DEX 2 | STA 4+1 | CON 9 | WIS 6+1 | CHA 3+1

Inventory: 5 silver pieces, a free dinner (full of vegetables), shiny belt of Endurance, Babel Fish

Challenges: 1 2

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone"

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