Running club


I haven’t written anything about that mini-6K marathon I ran back in June.

It went well! I fulfilled my goal of running the entire track without stopping. I ran it in a leisurely 43 min and wasn’t sore the next day. While 43 min is slow, I still consider it a success!

Since then, I’ve kept up the running and am training for two upcoming 10Ks also sponsored by my company. A few days after that second 10K, I’ll work my last day at my job. *sniff*

Running is helping me a lot with stress management. If not for my consistent running, I’m sure I would be crippled with stress right now. But instead I’m keeping it cool. 😎

Believe it or not, I’ve also started a running club at work! We go running during lunch every Tuesday and Thursday, unless it rains (it rains a lot here!). It’s just a small group of 2-5 people, but we’re known as ‘the lunch time runners’ now. 🙂

This is crazy to me, because I don’t consider myself a runner – or at least not a very good one. When I told people I wanted to try running, people offered to run with me! Which is largely why I’ve kept it up, because it’s become a social gathering. I’m also flattered that these good runners continue to run with me even when I slow them down.  We have a lot of fun though, and I’ve gotten to know more people through running.

Running is helping me become powerful and strong. Physically yes, but this feeling is spilling over to other areas of my life too, and helping to sustain me during times of change. I’m so very grateful for that. I hope to keep this up in my new Niederrhein life.


House hunting in Niederrhein


Martin and I are looking for an apartment/house to move into in the Niederrhein area.

We live in Nordrhine-Westfalen (NRW), which is the north-west state on the border of Netherlands and Belgium. Martin works deep in the Niederrhein, which is more north, and I work in the Rhineland area which is south (in the Cologne and Düsseldorf region).

Everyday we commute 35-40km in opposite directions, but soon that will be a thing of the past as we commit to changing our lifestyles for the better.

Normally, I have to stay working in the Rhineland area of NRW because that’s where all the international jobs are. But, since I will be freelancing soon, I’ll be able to work from home!!

We’re so excited to move and to get rid of our commutes. We just have to find a place to live now, which is a big pain in the @ss.

Ideally we would like to be within walking or biking distance from Martin’s workplace. In immobilienscout, we type in his work address and search within a 5km range.

At first we were only considering renting, but since it’s hard to find something suitable, we are also thinking of buying a flat. Then over the weekend, we visited my friend in the Netherlands and fell in love with her house and house-living. So now we are also opening our search up to buying a house! (renting a house is pretty expensive and difficult to find in the area we want, we’ve found)

Typically we have been very confused folk about [a lot of things!] but especially when it comes to where to live and what to live in; from dauercamping to renovating an Altbau. We are all over the map, the reason being that we are so so so different personality-wise and background wise. I hail from Toronto, and Martin is from the most rural area of east Germany where you can see wild pigs running through the fields (true story!). So what we tend to look for/how we feel comfortable in a place differs by a lot.

Since moving to Germany though, I’ve shed my big city identity and now have a much stronger appreciation for nature and small town (maybe even rural!) living. It’s pretty nice not being directly in a big city. Less rush, less spending, closer to nature, and more space. We want peace and simplicity. What a big city has to offer is less important to me now.

The more time I spend in Niederrhein, the more I like it. It’s really fantastic for biking, with flat lands and extensive bike trails. We love biking, so this area matches how we want our new lifestyles to be.

We’re planning to move in mid-November, and hopefully I’ll have some good pics to post about our house hunt soon.

Something fun to note: a big difference between house hunting in Toronto and Niederrhein (maybe Germany in general) is that it seems to be a plus in Germany that a space was renovated in the 80’s or 90’s. Like look! you don’t need to do anything since it was renovated a mere 20-30 years ago! Whereas in Toronto and the GTA, this would be something that the potential buyer should overlook, because clearly it’s a gut job. :mrgreen:

Concrete fitness goals

Me running in my favourite park

Me running in my favourite park

Training for my mini 6K marathon next month is going well.

I’ve been consistently running 3x per week, and have worked up from not ever running, to running 3K quite comfortably.

Today, I ran 3.3K, walked 2K, and ran another 2K. So ran 5.3K in total. I’m pretty pooped now, but am also feeling great!

My goal is to run the entire 6K marathon without stopping. It’s an ambitious goal for me, but also a realistic one. I don’t have any time-goals, I just want to challenge myself to consistently keep at it, which is my problem with fitness goals.

Make it measurable!

To be able to hit this 6K mark, I want to continue training 3x per week, and also at least 5 push ups per day to strengthen my core. Strengthening my core helps me carry myself better, which means better breathing.

There, now that I wrote it down here, I actually have to do it!!

Making fitness goals is daunting to me, but I feel it is also directly related to my FIRE goals. It’s all doable, it just requires prioritization and consistency.

That’s how I want to live my life. To identify what’s truly important to me, and to keep trying my best to be where I want to be.

Marathon training

Me running in my favourite park

Me running in my favourite park

I’m training for a marathon! Not just an early retirement marathon, but a physical, lactic acid build up kind of marathon.

While financial goals are not hard for me to make/keep, my fitness goals often go to the wayside.

Actually I don’t make any fitness goals asides from “I need to move more“, because I’m too intimidated to be more specific. :/

That’s why I decided to sign up for a local marathon when my company offered to sponsor their employees. It’s good PR to show their presence, and I’ll get a free t-shirt out of it too.

Yes, I’m a corporate @#%$*!

But I’ve always wanted to push myself to run a marathon, and now I have no excuses.

Just like I’m pushing myself to strive for early retirement. They feel similar to me because they both require discipline, focus, grit, endurance, and introspective honesty. It’s also not impossible for the average person (me!) to achieve. It just requires the right kind of prioritization.

I’m not the best runner out there, but I’m slowly starting to train. I ran 3.1km (2 miles) today in 25 minutes, which (don’t laugh) was a big deal for me.

Luckily this run is only 6km. It’s also next month so I have time to work up to facing this goal.

I’m a little nervous, but also feel excited and blessed to be able to try. Life is grand. 🙂