Half Marathon – Only Half Crazy!

So, there we were, standing there in the cold.  Waiting for the gun to go off and start the race of our lives.  It’s hard to fathom all the time and effort that went into simply reaching this moment.  We’re in the crowd, shoulder to shoulder with people.  BANG!  The gun goes off and the crowd surges forward spilling through the gate onto the course.

Yes, last weekend our Fitness Challenge #2 came to it’s culmination and we ran a half marathon.  When I say we, I mean, me (Mr.Wow), Mr 1500, JD Roth and two of our readers completed the half marathon, and we were accompanied by Mrs Wow and another reader that completed the 10k.  All major accomplishments in their own right.

So, how did it go?

For me, I actually felt pretty good.  The 5 half marathoners started together as a group and slowly started to separate.  We were separated out pretty much by mile 4 and from there, I paired up with JD and we stayed together almost the entire way, until the very end.  The readers ended up passing us and as you can see here, Mr 1500 started to have some trouble with his IT band (no… not a nerdy group of musicians).

As I mentioned, I ran most of the way with JD.  There’s always a special bond that runners have with each other through a long distance race.  There’s just certain things that happen to your body that become acceptable in a race that wouldn’t otherwise be acceptable anywhere else in civilized life.  Example one: shooting snot rockets on the entire way of the course.  YUMMY!!!!

But it was fun to talk about life for about two hours, until the hips and knees started hurting within 3 miles of the finish.  Then the conversation stopped and all effort turned to making it to the finish.

As I mentioned, I was feeling pretty good, so once we saw the finish line, JD continued to finish.  I don’t think he was too comfortable as he kept mentioning the whole time that he should have done more preparation.  I doubled back to find the 1500 man to make sure he was doing alright.

I retraced the route for about 1/2 a mile, and found him.  Still trucking along in good spirits.  His legs seemed to hurt, but he knew he was almost about to accomplish something that he previously had never thought possible.  Just that thought seemed to carry him through.

I ran with him to the finish line and we crossed, at ~2:30.  I have to say, that’s not bad for a first go at it.  I’m rather impressed.

And away we go!

And what did I learn?

These races always tend to lead to epiphanies no matter how many of them you do and this one was no different.

A couple things that I really wanted to emphasize:

  1. This community is really awesome.  The readers that came to join us, were great folks.  I’m glad that I get to call them friends now, and I’m really glad that they joined us.  One reader we knew from Chautauqua, and the other couple had heard us on a podcast.  They wanted to come and meet us.  It was honestly more of an honor to meet them.  But it was funny, they said to me “We’re new to this community, we’ve only been reading these blogs for like 6 months.  How do the folks that have been around for a while treat the new folks?”  I just kind of looked at them and responded, “I don’t know.  You tell me, you’ve been hanging out with JD Roth and the 1500’s all day, what do you think?”  They just kind of laughed… I think it’s a true testament to how awesome and welcoming the folks in this community are.  I’m lucky to be a part of it.
  2. Preparation really helps.  I’ve run my fair share of these races in the past.  Sometimes, I have to admit I haven’t been as prepared as I should.  But this time I felt pretty well prepared, I had done several runs north of 8 miles and I had taken some time off.  I know I threw my back out, and I actually woke up a little on the stuffy side the morning of the race.  But, all the preparation carried me through.  It just proves that if you prepare, you can over come what ever is put in front of you.
  3. I like Sour Beers.  I never really liked them before.  I’m not a fan of Kambucha, and they always have that funky vinegar taste to me.  But, Cascade Brewing makes some good sour beers.  And yes, Portland lived up to the hype of micro-brewery capital of the US.  All the running allowed us to indulge a little more than we should with very little guilt.  Soooo MUCH GOOD BEER!!!!!
  4. I still hate Peeps.  They’re gross, they’re sticky disgusting messes.  I watched JD almost barf one up at mile 5 and then watched Mr 1500 choke one down in a beer during the after party.  It was a little hard to watch, and just confirmed my dislike of them.  This is quite something for me to say because I certainly am fond of my junk food and candy.

In Conclusion (oooh… that sounds more official!)

I’ve been a part of several people’s first distance road race, and the sheer joy of the accomplishment on their face never seems to get old.  There’s just something about pushing your body beyond the limit of comfort and persevering where you never thought possible that makes a person feel alive.

One last little thing, before I wax on too philosophical.

I was talking to a running buddy during one of the long training runs about how much I hate running with head phones and music.  I love just being out in the air, running enjoying the day and the sights and sounds.  How all of it just makes me feel alive.  But it’s not all good, I mean how can running for 2 or more hours straight feel good?

The main part that you have to endure is your own mind.  At some point during your run, your mind starts telling you that you’re an idiot and you need to stop doing what you’re doing.  A large part of these endurance races is mental.  After you can run about 8 miles, you can run a full marathon physically.  It’s the mental fortitude that’s tough.  You need to push yourself one step after another through all the pain.

And after discussing it, we did have 2 hours after all, we came to the conclusion, you need some pain and discomfort in your life, otherwise you can’t appreciate when life is good.  And you know, for us (all of us, yes you too!)… life is pretty damn good.  But remember next time you’re in a little pain or feeling a little down, it’s only to remind you to appreciate how good you actually have it.

Ok… Yeah… too much hippy dippy crapola….

I’m still a little sore from the race, but it sounds like Mr 1500 is caught up in the euphoria of finishing his first half and wants to attempt another.  You know what that means?

Physical Fitness Challenge Round 3!!!!

We’ll have to figure out the details and logistics, but we’ll keep you posted and let you know.  I can’t imagine what this is going to entail… we went from losing some weight to running 13.1 miles, what could possibly come next??? Suggestions?

Who would’ve thought the side effects of starting a finance blog included so much damn exercise?!?!


  • My Sons Father April 4, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Congrats!! I enjoyed following your progress (well at least calories consumed) on twitter during race week. What a fun challenge.

    I don’t think I have the part of your brain that pushes you to keep going when pain kicks in. My running usually ends when my legs start to protest, something I maybe need to work on.

    Looking forward to reading what you guys come up with next.

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 8:07 am

      It does take preparation… you can really hurt yourself if you don’t prep. But there’s also a difference between pain and injury.

      Pain isn’t always bad, injury is.

      Maybe join us on round 3?

      • My Sons Father April 4, 2018 at 9:17 am

        I’ve dealt with both injury and pain and am pretty good at telling the difference. I need to get into the right mindset to embrace the grind, I’m too soft at the moment.

        I’ll see if I can get my butt in gear this summer and if I can get into 8 mile shape, I might be able to be convinced to join you.

  • Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early April 4, 2018 at 5:25 am

    Sorry I missed this one, but maybe I’ll make it to the next race. The running community (like the PF community) is so awesome. And you are right, there is something special that happens with regular running buddies. I ran my first half marathon a number of years ago with my then 12 year old brother. We honestly have a closer relationship even now for all the time we had during long practice runs before the race.

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 8:08 am

      It is funny. I think there’s a bond forged through tough times. You both know you went through it together.

      You’ve seen the worst and come out ahead. It’s a very liberating feeling.

  • Mrs. 1500 April 4, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Mr. 1500 can run another one with you, but he is NOT growing his hair out again!

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 8:09 am

      But that’s half the fun!!!

      Just imagine if we do a full one! 6 months of glorious hair growth.

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach April 4, 2018 at 6:03 am

    I vote obstacle course run (even though my last one was cancelled and I wasn’t a fan of all their red tape). Congrats on finishing and it sounds like a fun weekend. I hate peeps too. I mean WTF?!?
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…March Rewind: A Very Long Month

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 8:10 am

      An obstacle course is an interesting idea. Hmm we will have to discuss it.

      Peeps are gross. There is zero redeeming quality to them. Zero!

  • Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto April 4, 2018 at 6:11 am

    I’ve enjoyed watching you and Carl write about your preparations, and experience during the race. I’ve been a runner for 30 years, and can still remember the excitement of finishing my first half marathon. Good for you for circling back to meet Carl, without even crossing the line first to secure that 2 hour time. Great community, thanks to folks like you and Mrs. WOW. Congrats on a fun achievement, with fun people.
    Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto recently posted…How To Retire In 15 Years (Regardless Of Your Age)

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 8:11 am


      It’s a. Great time and maybe next time you can join us… I think you’re about 80 days away no? 🙂

  • Accidental FIRE April 4, 2018 at 6:26 am

    Congrats man! I do a couple half marathons a year, I like them way better than full marathons. Training for the latter takes way too much time. Looks like you had nice cool conditions too, perfect for running!

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 8:13 am

      I fully agree. Half Marathon is the perfect distance. Long enough you have to train and it’s an accomplishment, but not long enough to turn into survival and take over your life. Plus it only take a day or two for recovery, not a week.

      • Steveark April 4, 2018 at 9:17 am

        Hey, come on. Go for the whole enchilada! I’ve never met anyone who ran a marathon and then told me they wished they had not done it. And after proving you’ve done a half, success at a full is pretty much a lock. Recovery time is not necessary. I ran a dozen marathons on Sundays and never missed being at work one time Monday morning. When people ask you why you are shuffling around like a zombie it is the perfect intro to your heroic marathon tale!
        Steveark recently posted…Giving Your Kids Millions?

        • Mr WoW April 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

          We’ve done two fulls.. They are a completely different animal. At least for us, they were brutal. I’m not ruling out another full. But, It’s certainly something that will need to be trained for again. Because man, those are rough.

          A tri might be interesting, get the amount of exercise, but with a little more variety. But not an Ironman. Those guys are truly nuts.

          • steveark April 9, 2018 at 5:44 am

            I didn’t realize that. I did a lot of fulls but really just doing one is enough. I’ve got a knee that doesn’t like super long runs anymore so I don’t run over 8 miles at a time now.
            steveark recently posted…Giving Your Kids Millions?

          • Mr WoW April 9, 2018 at 4:05 pm

            No worries… But yeah this is exactly why I think a half is the perfect distance.

            I’m torn on whether to try another full. But we will see.

  • Mr. 1500 April 4, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Wafflers! My legs still hurt. Oof! However, I’m super excited for the next one. Let’s do it. #December.

    Check this one out in Atlanta: https://jeffgalloway131.com/
    Mr. 1500 recently posted…What I Learned Running A Half Marathon

  • Kara@provincialtable April 4, 2018 at 11:53 am

    I’m not sure about the long hair and peeps, but the beer sounds great! I might even be tempted to run quite a distance if there was a cold beer waiting for me at the finish line. You guys did good!

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 10:42 pm

      Oh the beer… it was soooo good. And if you’ve never been to Portland, there were breweries everywhere. And they were all good.

      It was kind of shocking. I’ve never seen a place like that. Everywhere was good beer. Worth the trip!

      • wendy April 5, 2018 at 7:34 pm

        and not expensive beer either! pours of different sizes, especially for tasting!

        • Mr WoW April 5, 2018 at 7:43 pm

          It certainly was reasonable. I’m sure there’s someone that would revoke our FIRE cards somewhere for spending the day out drinking at breweries and bars opposed to buying them and taking them to our AirBnB. But, hey… it’s our life, and our money!!

  • Ms ZiYou April 4, 2018 at 12:39 pm

    Well done, my first race was a half marathon too….then I ended up doing full marathons.

    I think it’s true that the real grit comes out when the going gets tough, then you can appreciate how easy life can be
    Ms ZiYou recently posted…I’ve fallen in love with Riga

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 10:45 pm

      I think it’s important to keep that in mind. If it was easy, there would be no reason to do it, there would be no sense of accomplishment.

      Fulls are interesting. They are really tough. But I’m not opposed to trying again.

  • ESI Money April 4, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    How about a trip to CO to climb Pikes Peak? 🙂
    ESI Money recently posted…Millionaire Interview 50

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      Oh man… that would be intersting, and that would be a great challenge. I could do some sort of a mountain climb. Another interesting idea.

      • ESI Money April 5, 2018 at 5:15 am

        It’s not a bad walk/climb (it’s really a walk — no actual climbing). I live here and want to do it (just need partners) and Mr 1500 lives an hour away and has said he’s up for it…
        ESI Money recently posted…Millionaire Interview 50

        • Mr WoW April 5, 2018 at 7:40 pm

          We if we are back in the area, maybe we should make a plan to do it! I think it would be a great thing to do one time when we’re back in the area.

  • PlanetOT April 4, 2018 at 9:20 pm

    That was an epic weekend! IMO, everyone did a fantastic job finishing their goal distances. It was great to meet and hang with you guys. I can’t agree more on how welcoming this community is. How about a olympic or half distance triathlon? Both of you (Mr.WoW and Mr.1500) are bike riders, and runners, so it might be a fun challenge!

    • Mr WoW April 4, 2018 at 10:48 pm

      Yes, It was a pleasure to get to know you guys. I’m so glad that you made it down.

      A triathlon is something that I’ve been contemplating. I like the idea. I don’t know how we might be able to make it work, but, I’m curious to see if there are some around. We’ll have to iron out the details, and see. But another interesting Idea!!

  • Dan April 5, 2018 at 3:57 am

    If you want to continue the food themed races there’s always Hershey in the fall. Lots of breweries in the area as well

    • Mr WoW April 5, 2018 at 7:40 pm

      Food themed is definitely something we are game for. Especially candy themed!!! Breweries certainly help.

      All these are interesting options, we certainly have a lot to weigh. Thanks for the rec!

  • Mrs. Groovy April 5, 2018 at 5:07 pm

    Congratulations on your accomplishment!

    I’m not a runner but I once did the 5 borough bike tour in NY. It was amazing. I believe it was 36 miles. I remember coming home, eating dinner twice, and then sleeping for over 12 hours.
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…Building Groovy Ranch: Update 14

    • Mr WoW April 5, 2018 at 7:42 pm

      36 miles? That’s a hike! although, that used to be my daily commute on a bike. Now I’m at 25, but I’ve been lazy (and sick). Maybe you guys can join us on the next one???

      Some how Durham came up.

      • Mrs. Groovy April 11, 2018 at 6:36 am

        Durham isn’t far from where we’re moving. We can come and cheer you on!
        Mrs. Groovy recently posted…Building Groovy Ranch: Update 15

        • Mr WoW April 11, 2018 at 6:51 pm

          Come and cheer us on? We were hoping to rope this in with Groovypalooza and stay at the newly minted groovy ranch 😉 But you are of course welcome to cheer us on as well…

          • Mrs. Groovy April 11, 2018 at 7:33 pm

            When is this roping supposed to take place?
            Mrs. Groovy recently posted…Building Groovy Ranch: Update 15

          • Mr WoW April 11, 2018 at 8:01 pm

            HAHA… I’m kidding… and we would obviously have to make more formal plans… but… sometime near the end of the year. We also have to look into if we are actually going to do it in Durham and not somewhere else. We can discuss in FinCon… when we finally join your infamous list.

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  • Mrs. Adventure Rich April 6, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Congratulations on your half!!! I hope I can join you all for the next one 🙂

    Oh, and I guess I’m “full crazy” with an upcoming full 😉
    Mrs. Adventure Rich recently posted…Bad Financial Decisions that were the Right Choice: #2 Buying a House

    • Mr WoW April 8, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Oh good luck!!! We’ve run two fulls. They are something to behold. Have you done a full before? That is something that is definitely an accomplishment. I jokingly mentioned to all of the half marathoners, “Anyone want to turn around and do it again?” and they shot me death stares.

      Good luck! Keep us posted, and please join us on the next one!!

      • Mrs. Adventure Rich April 15, 2018 at 10:45 am

        I hope to join for the next half if I can!

        Haha- when I finished my half last year, I thought “Do that again? No way!” and vowed never to run a full marathon.

        Welp. Here I am. Training for a full. I’ll keep you posted if and when I survive 😉

        • Mr WoW April 16, 2018 at 7:14 am

          Yeah, we thought the same thing. Then we did it. The sad part is like 3 days after the first one, we were like, We can do better!!! So we signed up for another one. We didn’t do any better.

          I think that was the end of our full marathon experience. HA. It’s tough, especially with a job and stuff.

  • Cubert April 6, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Nice work, you big tasty Belgian breakfast delight!

    Man. I’ve only done 5Ks and that’s plenty for me. Though after reading “Born to Run”, I’ve tried the barefoot style / minimalist approach and it briefly got me to 6 miles max. 13??? My IT bands are quivering at the thought.

    • Mr WoW April 8, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      Tasty Belgian Breakfast delight is only something the Mrs calls me when she’s feeling feisty. HA…

      I never ran barefoot. I do try to shorten my stride a little to land on the balls of my feet, opposed to the heel toe running that you see usually from casual runners.

      But Thanks!

  • FIRECracker April 7, 2018 at 10:21 am

    Wow, I’m so in awe of you guys! Well done.

    I’ve never run a half marathon before but from what one of my friends tell me, the mental part is the hardest, as you said. Every single cell in your body and every neuron in your mind wants you to stop. Really hard to find the motivation to continue in that case, so having friends run it with you definitely seems to be helpful in that case.

    Great write up! It’s so true that we need a little hardship in our lives, every now and then. Wouldn’t want to get too soft! (I’m stuffing my face with brie cheese, strawberries, chocolate and lying in bed as I type this, so clearly lots of credibility :P)
    FIRECracker recently posted…Let’s Go Exploring! Galapagos Part 2: The Giant Tortoises of Santa Cruz

    • Mr WoW April 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      Jeez… I have an image of Cleopatra just sitting there getting fanned with palm fronds being fed berries and cheese. Sheesh… Must be nice. HA

      I love the aspect of pushing through the pain. And yes, friends and competitors certainly make it easier to complete the tough challenges.

      I’d love to see you join us on our next challenge. I bet you could do it. If you want to get out of bed that is.

  • Mr Crazy Kicks April 8, 2018 at 7:36 am

    I gotta hand it to you guys, that’s a heck of an accomplishment! Takes some mental fortitude to keep pushing through the hurt. I don’t run much because the pain of running cross country in high school is still too close. These days I’ll only run if I’m chasing a frisbee… kinda like a dog I guess 🙂

    Can’t say I like peeps either, but I’ll happily fill my sugar quota with beer 🙂


    • Mr WoW April 8, 2018 at 1:04 pm


      Running to chase a frisbee. Seems like a good time, seeing as how that means you’re probably on a beach.

      I always love the comment, “I only run from the cops.”

      Peeps are disgusting. Beer on the other hand is not. That makes life choices a little easier.

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