How Running Took Me Around The World

It started two years ago, when we had a friendly 30 Day Walking Challenge, here at FatPiggy. The goal was to walk 10,000 steps daily. After the challenge ended, I kept up the activity, although not as aggressively. I started running several times a week to keep up my fitness level.

One thing I really enjoy about running is the different places it takes me to. I used apps such as strava and Movescount to look for popular routes for running around the world. I became more motivated to go out when there are new grounds I have yet to cover. In fact, some of my trips are motivated by races in other cities around the world.

New York

FDR Drive

East River

I love seeing other runners whenever I’m outside. We all go at our own pace; I go at my own leisure pace, snapping an occasional picture here and there. New York has the famous 6 mile loop around Central Park, but there are other great routes too. This one here is along the East River with a nice view of the Williamsburg Bridge. The best time to go running is either in the morning or evening, when the sun is not burning hot.

West Side Highway

West Side Highway

West Side Highway

West Side Highway

On the other side of town is the West Side Highway. It’s truly a beauty. I recommend coming here for a sunset run. You will not regret it! Just remember to bring your metrocard in case you lose track of time and have gone too far. The bus/train isn’t too far away.

Prospect Park

Prospect Park

Another popular spot is Prospect Park in Brooklyn. The hills here provides good training for your races! I also love that this is within walking distance from the train station!

Washington 

Coulon Park

This is Coulon Park in Washington. That’s Mount Rainier hiding in the background! Back in the days, my form of running is at home with the wii-mote in hand and running alongside other wii characters. Running in a real park is 10,000x more fun!

Run Discover Park

Discovery Park

Discovery Park in Washington. Trail running is a good alternative to road running if you have knee problems. This is a good spot for a trail run. Running in nature is medicine for the soul. Many times though, my runs are powered by podcasts. Whenever I need a boost, however, I turn up the volume and play some upbeat music.

Chicago

Chicago Marathon

There were a few times I happen to run on a race day and got to run alongside other runners. Pictured above was the Chicago Marathon. It was a pleasant surprise to have so many people “join” me on my runs.  I was only doing 3 miles, while they were doing 26.2 miles.

How do you keep yourself active? Do you enjoy running as well? Comment below and let me know where are some of your favorite spots to run!

Mortgage Amortization Spreadsheet

I finally got the first home I wanted. Yay! Now onto paying off the mortgage over the next 30 years. I can’t wait till the day comes when I write my last check to the bank. Though I really don’t want to imagine myself, 30 years older, but that is reality. This is better than paying rent till the day I die, hopefully longer than 30 years…

I made it my next goal to shorten the term, by making additional payments every month. Sure, I could have just sign up for a shorter term loan but I would not have been able to make the higher payments. How much additional payment do I have to make to trim 1 year, 2 year, or 5 years off my loan? How soon can I pay off my mortgage if I reduce my coffee/bubble tea fund and use it to pay toward my mortgage? I found a mortgage amortization table online and customized it to calculate just that. I also discovered after playing around with the table a bit, that a 4% annual interest rate is equivalent to 72% interest over a 30 year period. In the end, the banks are the real winners in this real estate business.

The Spreadsheet

Download Mortgage Amortization spreadsheet here. Start by entering a few numbers: home purchase price, down payment, first payment date, loan period and interest rate. Next, enter an amount in the “Extra Payment” column ($50 from my coffee fund) and the number will be automatically repeated for the length of the loan. The “Key Figures” section will show you how many years you saved by making the extra payments, and when exactly is your last payment date, etc. In this snapshot, on a $80,000 loan, $50 additional monthly payment shaved off 5.9 years off the 30-year loan.

FP-MortAmort