The Rosy Wanderer

Wandering with a Purpose

Author: therosywanderer (page 1 of 5)

2019 NYC Half

Getting Into Running

My running career has been fickle. I was very committed to running two miles almost daily in college. That’s when I was in my best shape, but I fell out of running after college. I was set to get back into it by using the Couch to 5K app in early 2013. A few of my friends were running half or full marathons. Even though I thought they were crazy, but mostly I was impressed. It was great for them to do it, but I didn’t think there was a way that I could do this myself; 13.1 miles is a lot!

The Motivation

In early 2013, I moved to NYC and was exposed to a lot of people running. Many of the girls I worked with did half marathons and cared about their health. Going to Central Park (my favorite place) you can’t help but notice all of the people running. It was a completely different world and very motivating. Since I was trying to get back into running, I started to do a 3 mile loop from my house to the park then around the reservoir before returning home. When you find a route like that, it is comforting to do the same thing every time you go out there.

Then, I got the courage to sign up for an interesting looking 5K – Runyon 5K at Yankee’s Stadium in August 2013. This would be my first 5K and my first race; I was so nervous about it. The night before I went out with friends and didn’t even have a glass of wine! I woke early the next morning and took the subway solo to the Bronx. Before we started, a volunteer or event coordinator gave us the highlights of what to expect – we would be going around the field twice (so cool!), get video taped on the scoreboard, then would make our way up and down multiple flights of stairs and ramps. This would not be a race to PR.

The Race

Five and a half years later, I am very proud to say that I have finished 6 half marathons, a full, and a handful of smaller races. It all came full circle on March 17, 2019, when I completed the NYRR United NYC Half Marathon. NYRR is a premier running organization based in NYC and hosts many races in the city throughout the year. All of the runners who impressed me at work and in the park were part of this group, and I wanted to be part of it one day.

It was a tough one because the stairs kick your butt, but ultimately, I was successful! I couldn’t believe I had the courage and stamina to complete my first 5K. I had completed a race in NYC.

In fall 2018, there was a post for the NYC Half on Instagram. I thought it was weird because it is a hard race to get into via the lottery, so why would NYRR advertise for it? On a whim, I asked my friend Ursula if she wanted to try for the lottery with me, and she said yes. Because of the limited number of spaces, I didn’t have much hope of being selected, but we both were!

The event was everything I could have hoped. I didn’t train as well as I wanted, but I had my second fastest time. The city was absolutely beautiful, and even though I was tired at mile 10, the energy of 42nd Street and Broadway energized each step. Finally, when I got into Central Park, I was back to where I use to go on runs five years before. I was running with the motivational runners who inspired me way back then.

The city closes Times Square for NYE and for this race – so cool!
Finisher!!

The Accomplishment

When I finally crossed the finish line about 2.5 hours later, I couldn’t stop smiling. It was a beautiful morning because the sun was out (it was cold). I crossed the finish line like I had done 6 times before, but this one was different. This one showed how much I had grown and showed me how much I could accomplish in five years. I now did something those motivational people did. As I continued walking, a volunteer greeted me with my medal. Heck yes! Accomplishment!

Then I went to find Ursula so we could talk and get ready for our next challenge…



Happy 2019!

I’ve heard a lot of talk about the difference between resolutions and goals on various podcasts and articles. I’m someone who usually makes a “Year Of” checklist to encourage myself to do new things. I was committed to this from 2008-2010 or so, but the last two or three years I didn’t even make a checklist. Something needs to push me forward and take me to the next level in my personal and professional life. I didn’t make a checklist this year, but I decided instead to come up with some BHAG – Big Hairy Audacious Goals. Why not try to think of something to propel me and push me to the next level?

MY 2019 GOALS

  • Be in the best shape of my life
  • Pay off half of my house
  • Get a comment on The Rosy Wanderer
  • Create a “new normal”

Well…10 days in, and it wasn’t going well. I tried to find motivation, but my schedule wasn’t allowing me to focus.

A month and 4 days in, and I feel like I’m getting back on the horse. I’ve had two good days of exercise which really does help clear your mind. I’m trying to get my to do list under control and in a way I can process everything.

I mean, these are big goals! It has been too cold for me to go run (I’m a wimp), so I have been down on myself. I found a bootcamp the is, thankfully, inside just in time for the weather to get better. Time is of the essence now is training for the NYC half, which will take me well on my way to accomplishing goal 1. In all reality, if I start with my fourth goal – to create a “new normal” that will make everything else fall into place.

Have you ever been stuck? What did you do to move forward?

I know I can do this. In addition to going to Burn Boot Camp, I am also trying to implement:

  • Miracle Morning (love this, and I HIGHLY recommend the book!)
  • Listening to podcast
  • Connecting with friends and positive influences
  • Keeping the TV off! (Although, I am allowing myself to watch Colton’s season of The Bachelor which I am enjoying after not watching for two seasons)

I appreciate any other motivational tips you have!

Training for NYC Half Marathon 2019

Hard to believe I have just over a month until I run the 2019 NYC Half Marathon. I’m super excited for this race. We start in Brooklyn at Prospect Park, run up the FDR on the East Side, cut over to 7th Ave on 42nd Street, run through Times Square into Central Park. What an awesome place to run!

I’m writing this post because I want to take this race seriously. I want to PR this race. Right now, my PR is from the Charlotte Half Marathon in November 2017. I finished in 2:28:47 which is about an 11:22/mi pace. I told myself, if I can train for this (not that I achieve this), I will sign up to do the Dopey Challenge at Disney in January 2020. This would be the ultimate example that I am turning my fitness level around. I finished the marathon, so what are 3 more races?!

, so what is 3 more races?!

Since I have done 6 half marathons without significant improvements, I believe I need to do the below to improve my time:

  • Strength Training
  • Improve Diet
  • Stretching

Of course, I still need to run! I’m going to do some running (a short run and a long run each week), but I think I need to make improvements in other areas to see improvements in my pace. I just finished my second day of Burn Boot Camp which is circuit training with strength and cardio; this is just what I need. I am committing to attend this several times/week for a month to see how this improves my fitness level. Wish me luck!

Disney Half Marathon – 2019

Disney always does it right – and always leaves you wanting more. 2019 Disney Marathon Weekend was no exception. This is was my sixth half marathon and first time running it at Disney because of the rainout in 2017. As a whole, this was a great experience – the community, the characters, the accomplishment. I fell in love when I did the full marathon last year.

Race Review

To be very frank and honest, I have to say I wasn’t a huge fan of the course. In total, it’s a lot of highway running. I guess I knew this, but I didn’t realize it until I got there. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it again; it’s just that the highlights through the Magic Kingdom and Epcot were short. Running through Epcot was very, very limited. I think this was because of construction, and hopefully, will be changed in 2020.

Tips

Even though this race was one of my slower times, I had a lot of fun. Anyone who knows me knows I don’t run for time; I run to get the miles. There are character stops at least at every mile. I still haven’t stopped to wait in line because I’m scared I won’t be able to run afterwards. PRO TIP: make sure to have your camera out in the Magic Kingdom because there are characters every few yards!

Even though my posed picture in front of the castle didn't show up, I got this action shot!

Another tip is to make sure to run a race beforehand so you can submit your “proof of time.” My friend didn’t have a recent race time, so she was placed in heat H, which was the last one. I wanted to run with her, so I had to start late because Disney is very strict about letting you move up. Our start was more than an hour after the official start! You start a long time before that IF you have a race time. It doesn’t even have to be a good time. For the half marathon, you have to have a finish time for a 10K or longer and a half marathon time for the marathon.

I got to pose while running in front of Spaceship Earth!

As always, we finished the day at Epcot. We had dinner with Disney Princesses and then watched Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. It is a nice routine that I’m glad I got roped into with my friend. It’s a pretty show, and you can walk around Epcot with an adult beverage, so it is very relaxed. Many race finishers come out to show off their medals at Epcot after the race. Since we did the half, Dopeys and marathon runners were in

Our Itinerary
Piglet
We had dinner with Pooh and friends at the Magic Kingdom. Piglet and I are BFFs.
  • Friday
    • Flew to Orlando and to the Magic Express (for free!) to our hotel
    • Went to lunch at Disney Springs before making our way to the race Expo at Wide World of Sports
    • Met our friend at the Expo and walked around to look at everythingFriday
    • Had an early dinner at the hotel cafeteria. This has turned into an annual routine before race day since they serve spaghetti, and it’s less expensive than other things on the property.
    • Early bedtime because 2:30 am comes quickly!
  • Saturday
    • Wake up early for race day! Take the shuttle to the starting line.
    • The half marathon starts at 5:30. We didn’t start until well after 6:30 and finished before 9:30 am.
    • We hung out around the finish line for a while before heading back to take showers.
    • Next stop was Animal Kingdom to go on rides before heading to Epcot for dinner.
    • We had dinner in Norway with Disney Princesses Belle, Aurora, and Cinderella. They never break character – even for a group of 30-somethings with no children!
    • Watched Illuminations for the last times since it would retire the decade running show in a few weeks.
  • Sunday
    • After getting ready, we headed to Hollywood Studios to cheer the marathon runners! It was insanely hot that day, so they needed motivation. We watched some shows and rode a few rides.
    • We then walked to Epcot to continue watching the marathoners. They were looking so good! We then took the monorail to the Magic Kingdom where we talked to a Dopey who said it was a great experience, and he was still glad he did it.
    • We visited MK for a while, had a quick dinner, and then got ice cream before watching the “Happily Ever After” show.
  • Monday
    • One of my friends left very early in the morning. My other friend and I took a walk around the hotel property to see everything.
    • Then we went window shopping at Disney Springs before lunch.
    • Finally, we left to board the Magic Express to take us back to the airport.

Focus: A Simple Start

Focus is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I have so many things that I want to do that I end up not doing anything. If anyone were to look at my to-do list, they would laugh. I use the Reminders app on iPhone which consists of 23 lists. Within those lists has tens if not a hundred items that need to be done. The Rosy Wanderer is one such list with over 100 ideas. But to sit down and write? It’s not about time; I have the time. I can make the time. It’s focus. It’s actually sitting down in front of my computer and zoning everything else on my to-do lists out. But today, August 16, 2018, something has to change. I have too many things I want to do that I need to do. I’ve spent the last year and a half listening to podcasts, reading books, and reading blogs. Other people are making things happen, and I want to be one of them. I have so much to share, and I’m not able to do that when I silo myself off and just put information in my head. No, I need to focus on ACTION!

My steps for action:

1. Make a comfortable workspace:

working on my 13″ MacBook Pro is okay in some situations, but I need a dedicated space. I can’t think on the couch. Even in college, I needed to sit in the library or at a desk. I dragged my feet for a year, but today I finally purchased a desktop monitor. Since I spent the money, I need to get the most out of it! Already, I feel great sitting at my new workspace. It’s surrounded by pictures and my list of goals.

2. Focus on goals:

I’m not sure about other people, but I cannot think day-to-day. I need a bigger motivation, and I lose track of this often. Then I get caught in daily monotony without an escape. Why am I running 3 miles at 6 am? To complete a half marathon. To be healthy. Why am I not buying a snack? Because this money will add up overtime, and I am working on getting to FI. I need to keep my bigger goals at the forefront of my mind so I can make good little decisions throughout the day. By thinking about the day-to-day and not my goals, I let a majority of my 20s go to waste. I could have done so much more!

3. Structure your day

I’ve always been big on structure and having time to dilly-dally in the mornings. I know the morning is personally my most productive time and when I have the best ability to focus. I want to share a podcast I listened to recently about the Miracle Morning. It was on the Bigger Pockets podcast where Hal Elrod and David Osborn were interviewed about their new book. I am on the waitlist at the library for this book, but this podcast gave a great overview of their theory in how to structure your morning to reach a “Level 10” life. It is the SAVERS (Silence/Prayer/Meditation, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing). Affirmations have been helpful for me, thus far, but I’m really bad at visualization. I need clearer goals. I’m sure I’ll have more to come on this.

4. Keep it simple

That’s it. Those are my focuses. My fourth item is to stop adding things. At this point, this is what I need to focus on. If I get too many things, then I’ll cause problems for myself. There is a lot I want to add in regards to diet, exercise, a planner, and household organization, but I can’t yet. These four things are my focuses for now.

Time to make it happen!

Chicago Half Marathon Complete – 2018

It wasn’t pretty, but it’s done. Half marathon #5 is in the books. I raced in the Chicago Rock and Roll Half Marathon on July 22, 2018. As mentioned, I didn’t not prepare for this race. On top of this lack of preparation, it decided to rain. One of my major concerns signing up for this race was the weather. You never know with Chicago. It’s July – theoretically a summer month – but in Chicago it may not be hot. On the other hand, it could be hot and humid like in Charlotte. But Chicago did not disappoint, it was cold and rainy…all race long. And since I’m a fickle runner, this was my first time running in the rain.

Even though it wasn’t adequate conditions, my time was only about 5 minutes slower than my PR. I couldn’t believe that (I finished around 2:34). This race did, however, provide many valuable lessons that a more experienced runner probably already knows. (And I know I need to train)

Lessons Learned
  1. Wear a ball cap. It would have helped keep the rain out of my eyes and my hair in place.
  2. Even with good socks, you’re prone to blisters. My feet were basically wading in a puddle. The shoes were soaked! It was miserable. Walking around Chicago afterwards didn’t help. I don’t know the way around this, but I am very thankful for my Feetures socks because it would have been a lot worse. If you run and haven’t tried these socks, do it. Somehow there is such thing as a better sock, and it’s worth the money!
  3. Chaffing is worse when clothes are wet. If I had known about this, I would have worn either a long sleeve shirt or a tank top. My sleeves and my phone holder rubbed against my arms a lot, and it stung for days! I think the only way around this would be to get rid of sleeves.
  4. Wear short pants or shorts. This one I should have saw coming. I packed yoga pants (what I was originally going to wear) and then pants for the plane. The night before, I decided it was going to be colder outside, so I should wear my pants. These pants are longer and don’t tighten on the ankle, thus, they hit the ground and soaked up water from all the puddles. This added weight to my pants (in addition to the water in my shoes). I greatly regretted not wearing my yoga pants, even if it was going to be colder.

But that’s why we wander. We learn from our experience and then (hopefully) use them to make us better in the future.

Unprepared for the Chicago Half

On Sunday, I am attempting my fifth half marathon. Out of all of the races I have done, I went into this one with the best of intentions and trained the worst. For some reason I was just sluggish, but at the end of the day, I did go out and run occasionally, just not often enough. At least it got me moving.

I did my first half marathon in Savannah in 2015, and I can’t believe I’m still going. I’m glad I had friends who encouraged me to pick up this sport. I’m not a good runner, and that is okay with me. I like getting outside and pushing myself. Training runs can be challenging and a bit boring, but race day brings an enormous amount of energy. That’s what I hope is going to pull me through on Sunday. Chicago is a great city, and the race finishes up Lake Shore Drive. I’m sure I’ll have to stop and take pictures!

The training plan I tried to use for this race was a modified version Hal Higdon Novice 1. I liked this one because it was condensed (only up to 10 miles), but I didn’t get to all of my long runs, which is why I feel unprepared. I usually slack on my weekday runs, but this time I didn’t do all of my long runs.  Long runs are what they say is the key to long-distance training, which makes sense. At the end of the day, I’ll at least walk and finish the race. I think I may be lucky to have the temperature be in the high 60s/low 70s…in July!  More to come on Sunday!

Giving Up TV for 6 Weeks!?

Even though the churches I go to don’t really give up things for lent, I do for the challenge. I’ve done it most years. I always pressure myself to do something meaningful, but because I don’t plan, I usually end up giving up food. Lately, I have been trying to clear my mind and improve my focus, so what a better thing than to force myself to give up TV! I don’t watch a ton of it, but when I do, I watch trash TV – The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, or Vanderpump Rules. Nothing that improves your mind. I do watch Shark Tank and The Profit, but the others had been creeping in too much.

So, now, 6 week laters, how do I feel?

Yeah, I wish I could say “GREAT! I was so productive and accomplished a ton of projects on my plate,” but I can’t. I didn’t finish posts for my blog, do any crafts, and did little “studying” for web development. I did, however read a lot. Even though I read a few fictions, I spent most of my time reading about personal finance and listening to podcasts. For anyone who hasn’t read Rich Dad Poor Dad, add it to the top of your reading list.

Even though I wasn’t productive, I feel really motivated. I think detaching myself from crappy shows

 

(sorry to all of those people who make those shows), allowed me to put more positive thoughts and ideas in my mind. I realize 6 weeks is extreme for a lot of people, but why not try 1 week. It makes you find other things to entertain yourself. The real question is, will I go back to watching TV? I’m actually leaning to not doing it for the next week or so. Time to find a healthy balance…

Now Schatzi on the other hand thought this was a terrible decision never to be repeated. Even though she is a dog, she loves to watch TV and gets bored without it.

Happy Easter! Here is to new beginnings and improvements – for me and Schatzi!

 

Disney Marathon Weekend – 2018

2018 WDW Marathon MapDisney’s WDW 2018 Marathon Weekend was January 4 – 7, 2018. My friends and I went down to run the 25th anniversary of the marathon: 26.2 miles around all four WDW parks. You started outside of Epcot and ran to the Magic Kingdom, to Animal Kingdom, to ESPN Sports (the hardest part!), briefly through Hollywood Studios, then your final mile was around the world in Epcot.

Crossing the finish line was hands down one of my biggest accomplishments. If you know me, you know how unbelievable it is that I ran a marathon. In college, I never ran more than 3 miles, and I only did that once because I thought it was a 2 mile turkey trot. I usually ran two. Even though I enjoyed running 2 miles, I couldn’t understand why you would run more. I didn’t know what to think about for that long (I now listen to books or podcasts) nor was I physically fit enough complete the challenge – let alone the challenge there is to commit to training. Long-distance runners were crazy to me.

A few years after college, a few of my friends started running halfs, then my friend Dan ran a marathon. He is still crazy to all of us, but it is because him and my other friends’ accomplishments and their simple encouragement that I tried my first half marathon in 2015. Because of peer pressure, I agreed to do this marathon in August 2017.

photoshoot with Mickey Mouse

Pre-Race Prep

WDW Pre Race Prep        Nervous couldn’t begin how to describe my feelings on January 6, the day before the race. I couldn’t believe what I had gotten myself into. My training didn’t go as expected; the longest run I did was 18 miles. My training plan was to 22, but cold weather got in the way (I’m a complete wuss). We had a fun day around Magic Kingdom, but then it was time to have a good dinner (spaghetti) and go to bed early. A 2:30 am wake up call isn’t natural for anyone!

bundled up for the start of the raceWe bundled up since Orlando decided the best way to run this race would be in below freezing temperatures. You need to layer with lots of old clothes so you can throw them off. Disney will donate these clothes to people who are less fortunate. We checked in our bags with everything we needed after the race: flip flops, a shirt (my new long-sleeve race shirt!), sunglasses, my portable power pack, and chapstick. Dan, the expect, gave these suggestions, and they were invaluable.

I then made my way to my corral. (If you have raced in a half marathon before, you have to submit your time to place you in a corral.) There I waited; I waited for all of the faster groups to start their race. As if I wasn’t already nervous, the wait continued to add to it, but it also added a LOT of excitement! They played Disney songs from each year of the 25 years. I got to listen to most of the 90s which were the movies from my childhood. Then finally, the fireworks went off for my group…

My 26.2 Miles

Miles 0 – 10

running through Magic KingdomIt was dark and crazy early, but over 12,000 people were there for the race. Then there were family and friends cheering us on. I was on a cloud. I couldn’t believe I had just started out on my first marathon, and 26.2 miles later, I would be back there. The first 9 miles were some of the best miles I have ever run. I’m not a good runner, but I do it, and I’m completely okay with that. My first 9 miles were very decent. I tried to stop at a character, but the line was too long and didn’t want to destroy my good time or risk getting picked up by the balloon ladies if I was too slow. I made the decision to keep going.

Running in the Magic Kingdom was awesome! There were so many people and you could look at all of the rides. You run through Tomorrowland (there are real bathrooms there) then Fantasy and Frontier lands. You then get to go through the castle and out of the park. It was simply fantastic. This is one of the reasons I’m going to do the half in 2019 – MK and Epcot were the best parts of the race. You leave out the side on a road towards the Grand Floridian. It was between here and Animal Kingdom that it hit me – I still had 16 miles left!

Miles 10 – 16

With 2/3 of the race looming in front of me, I knew I needed to conserve my energy. When I train, I run/walk and my goal is always to run at the end. Therefore, I tried implemented my run/walk pattern of run 3 minutes, walk 2 minutes. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay on it. It got too exciting, I wanted to run through Animal Kingdom, a water station was coming up, etc. I couldn’t stay on pattern, so I just ran and walked as I could. I did that until the long stretch of highway before ESPN Sports. My friend warned me that this would mentally be the hardest part of the race. Boy, was he right.

Mile 16 – 25

Thank goodness he gave me that warning. He even suggested during training that I visualize how it would feel at each part of the race. He told me to think about how I would feel physically, what I would see around me, and how to push myself to keep going. I found this exercise challenging, but I did try it once. When I got to this part of the race, the visualization did help. Once I got to this highway, the sun was out, and I was tired. I thought there was no way I could make it another 10 miles, so for my own survival, I decided it was time to walk. I was so impressed how people were still running at that point! They had trained and they were killing it. Luckily, Disney entertains you. We saw many characters, ran around the baseball stadium, and read jokes on signs.

Then it was off to Hollywood Studios. To get there, you run on the highway and up an exit ramp. Those are steep! I was still walking at this point, and running up would not be an option. They had a solider from Toy Story stationed on the ramp and that was one of the best characters. He was yelling at people to pick it up, not to slack off and keep running. He would run up with people as encouragement. After I passed him, I heard him say, “get down and give me 10!” After a brief pause, I heard a huge applause and cheers! A good sport got down and started doing push up. Everyone around was encouraging him. This is a great example of how encouraging this crowd is and why Disney is many people’s first marathon.

Hollywood Studios is neat but was very short. The park was open, so it is fun to have onlookers. I tried to run a little bit, but I was too tired. We got outside to the boardwalk where I knew there were only 3 miles to go. Just a 5K, but it was the longest 5K I have done. Then my Apple Watch ran out of battery.

Miles 25 – 26.2

You enter Epcot around Great Britain and mile 25. It was the last push; now was the time. I wanted to run the last mile. To my encouragement, they had Disney music playing over the park’s speakers. It was so motivational to me. I turned off my podcasts and took in the moment. I hadn’t stopped to visit a character all day because I was scared of getting too far behind, and I also was afraid that I would get my legs started again! As I ran through France, I saw Belle and Sleeping Beauty taking pictures with guests (not for the race). I carried my camera the whole race, and went to take a picture. Their handler asked if I wanted a picture. I hesitated knowing I didn’t want to wait. She noticed this and said I could cut in front of everyone! I got a picture with characters. That put me over the moon!

my character picture with Belle and Aurora

As I started running again, Hercules “I can go the distance” started playing. Can you think of a more perfect song to play at the end? I was pumped! Then, the camera in front of the Epcot ball was open, so I got my picture there, too.

Marathon and Epcot Ball

marathon finish lineThat was it, less than half a mile left. I had this! I ran out of the park and started to hear the gospel choir. My friend also told me they would be at the end, and it was so motivating. Then, I could see it. The finish line was right there! People were tired and slowing down, but I had to make it. Chip and Dale were there. I could do this! It wasn’t my fastest run, but I ran over the finish line. Tears welled up in my eyes. I had completed a full marathon. I had prayed to God and asked my late puppy Amie to watch over me. I knew that they had. Somehow, I pulled through and did it.

Recovery

When you finish a race, they always have lots of water and sports drinks to help you recover. Disney also had photo booths so you could take pictures with your new medal.  They even gave us mouse ears as a present for the 25th anniversary! I got my bag and found my friend. Flip flops and a clean shirt were amazing! I can’t drink beer after a race, so I stuck with my water. There is no way for me to capture my pride and excitement having completed this race. Something I thought was impossible became possible. Like so many things in life, you just have to do it.

We met up with our other friends as everyone completed the race. Then it was time for a well-earned shower and nap. After we recovered slightly, we went walking around the world at Epcot. On marathon Sunday, everyone comes out to show off their medals. We wore our marathon medals proudly, but it’s a funny experience. I told people I “just” did the marathon as I admired their Dopey medals (earned by completing the 5K, 10K, half, and full). Then we had dinner and watched fireworks.

marathon accomplished

I’m not saying completing a marathon is for everyone, but if I did it, anyone can do it. Talking about wandering…

Equifax Hack – Protect Yourself!

Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian are the three credit agencies that gather information and report a “credit score.” They have a lot of sensitive information and, recently, Equifax was hacked. I thought I would share an email I wrote to my family for tips to protect your identity. It’s a really big deal, and I’m not sure how worried people are about it. I am in no way an expert, but they are a few simple steps to take to try to stop identity left.

Hi All,
Not sure if you’ve heard but last week Equifax was hacked for the 3rd time, and it is pretty major. I think we should all be secure and watch out for things. After researching, I recommend you take the below steps:
1. Check to see if your information may be compromised
143 million people were…I am one of them
2. Freeze your credit bureau reports
This makes it so you have to lift the freeze if someone needs to check your credit. You need to keep that in mind, but I don’t see myself applying for anything in the near future. It took me a few tries to get it to go through since they are really busy.
3. Sign up for ID Theft insurance
I registered for it, and it was very easy. Individuals are $75/year; family is $145. This is one that Dave Ramsey promotes, and you know I’m a fan. If your identity is compromised, they assign an agent who will handle everything. I can’t attest to how easy that is (hopefully, I don’t!), but I think Dave Ramsey’s endorsement is strong.
4. Monitor your credit reports annually
You can do this for free at http://www.annualcreditreport.com. I have a reminder on my calendar every 4 months to review one agency’s report so I can monitor it all year long.  You can view 1 report/year for free. It does not give a credit score, but you should make sure the information is correct. It’s very easy.
Let me know if you have questions.
Thank you,
Kristin
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