Guess who’s a runner?

Motivation of the day: If Peter R. Orszag finds time to train for a marathon, what’s your excuse?

That’s right — the guy who’s in charge of the federal budget is a runner, and finds time to train for marathons and half marathons when he’s not trying to save us from financial ruin.

Orszag apparently started training for marathons after a doctor told him several years ago that he was at risk for cardiovascular problems, “sometimes startling colleagues by appearing in their offices at day’s end in head-to-toe spandex,” according to a New York Times profile.

Orszag has also used financial incentives as motivation to train. He told NPR earlier this week that if he didn’t achieve his goal in a recent marathon, “a very large contribution would automatically come out of my credit card and go to a charity that I very much didn’t support.”

“So that was a very strong motivation, as I was running through mile 15 or 16 or whatever it was, to remind myself that I really didn’t want to give the satisfaction to that charity for the contribution,” Orszag said. He declined to name the charity.

Isn’t it nice knowing that the guy who’s in charge of trillions of our hard-earned dollars has what it takes to finish a marathon — and that he likely starts his day with a nice, head-clearing run?

I’m starting my day with this blog post. But I’m still enjoying the head-clearing effects of a great Pacers run last night. We did the Historic Seminary Loop, which travels up Second Street in Silver Spring to the the National Park Seminary, a complex that includes a Japanese pagoda, an English castle and the remains of a resort hotel. It’s one of my favorite routes, and I made a point to push myself to run it more quickly than usual, and finished the 5.4 miles in about 41 minutes.

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