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Survival of the fittest

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Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Tue May 06, 2014 9:45 pm

I've been pretty much been in survival mode since my November marathon.  But I think that the fitness I gained during marathon training helped me get through the past few months both mentally and physically.

This blog and the next few months are going to be about survival.  Things are getting better but Mom is still going to need a lot of my time.  My aunt is adjusting to the care facility but has a long way to go.  AND  Very Happy we'll have a new grandson next door in a couple weeks.

This blog is also going to be about fitness.  I was the fittest I've ever been in my life when I ran my marathon in November.  I am no where near that today.  My goal for this summer is to maintain the level of fitness necessary for my mental and physical well being and to be ready when I do have time to get back to serious training.

I've signed up for the local 10K series.  Our first race was Saturday.  It was my slowest 10K ever!  But that's OK.  I knew it would be and I ran a good race...started conservatively and finished strong.  More important I was there to support my daughter and granddaughter and the running community.  I need to stay involved.

I'm signed up for the local sprint triathlon.  I've participated every year since it started in 2008.  I'm going to find someone to help me learn how to bike properly.  Biking seems to fit my schedule better as I don't mind riding when it's to hot to run on a summer afternoon.

I'm going to concentrate on shorter distances...less miles...maybe more intensity.  I want to be reasonably ready for the 10K series runs and the triathlon.

I'm going to get off the roads and run on trails when I can.  If I can't run fast I might as well run somewhere where I can enjoy the scenery and the change of pace.  I'm going to participate in my first trail run in early December.  It's a half on a pretty tough trail.  I'll run at whatever pace I'm comfortable with when the time comes.

So...what is the point of all this?  I promised my family that no matter what happened in November I wouldn't train for another marathon.  If I met my goals I would quit happy but if not I would quit anyway.  I ran my first marathon in 2009 and came close enough to a BQ to make that time a reasonable goal.  My family supported my goal even when I struggled in 2011 and 2012 and didn't even make it to the starting line.  I learned a lot in 2013.  I was satisfied with my last marathon.  Then my family encouraged me to run Boston.  They realized I would regret letting the opportunity pass.  So I'm going to Boston in 2015.  I'm going to spend the next few months supporting the family that supported me in my quest to qualify and then I'm going to Boston.  My goal is to be ready to train hard and smart but if things happen I'll accept that.  My goal is to be ready mentally and physically to make my family proud of my last marathon.

This blog will be about survival...and fitness...and supporting my family...and being ready to start training for Boston.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Mark B on Tue May 06, 2014 10:02 pm

Another new blog! Spring really is a time of renewal, isn't it? Smile

It sounds like a wise approach for this summer. The seeds you plant over the next few months will give you a great foundation when you begin to ramp it up for Boston 2015. Boston! It's so cool that you're going to Boston!
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  ounce on Wed May 07, 2014 9:24 am

Between you and Mark, I can endure the summer heat here by reading about all the cool temps that y'all will have.   Smile
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Wed May 07, 2014 10:57 am

Yeah, Nancy!  I'm glad that I will get to meet you and most likely be in the same wave and enjoy the Athlete's village with you.  My friend, Mary Pat, who will be with me is a novice as well.   I like your approach too, and it will be fun to follow your fitness trail and training.  I'm in the same mode as well.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Nick Morris on Wed May 07, 2014 1:03 pm

Hi Nancy...I am happy to read that you are starting a new blog. I am also glad that you are taking the opportunity to run one last race, the Boston Marathon. Running is not all about races or times, it's sometimes the activity that helps you put things into perspective. I like your approach for the summer and can't wait to read along.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Fri May 09, 2014 9:31 am

Thanks Mark, Doug & Nick

This may not be the most exciting blog but hopefully it will help me stay motivated to do as much as time allows.  My biggest fear is that my competitive self will take control and not allow me to ramp up slowly and do things at the level I'm at rather than the level I want to be at.  I'm going to have to practice patience this summer until family things allow me to invest more time.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Fri May 09, 2014 9:37 am

Michele \"1L" Keane wrote:Yeah, Nancy!  I'm glad that I will get to meet you and most likely be in the same wave and enjoy the Athlete's village with you.  My friend, Mary Pat, who will be with me is a novice as well.   I like your approach too, and it will be fun to follow your fitness trail and training.  I'm in the same mode as well.

Michele...that would be great if we were in the same wave!  My time (4:04) is significantly slower than yours so we'll have to wait and see where they make the cut. 

I'm really struggling with how to approach Boston.  My competitive self is going to want to run it with lofty goals.  My more realistic self realizes I may need to run it for the experience rather than the time.  I hope to practice racing a bit more conservatively depending on fitness levels this summer.  We'll see how it goes I guess.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Fri May 09, 2014 4:02 pm

I vet we are in the same Wave, but different corrals.  My Atlanta buddy Joe will be in your same corral as his qualifying time was 4:01.  I'm not sure what MP and I are going to do next year either.  I feel like I did the best I have done this year, and now, I'm torn as I'm not sure I can repeat that.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Schuey on Fri May 09, 2014 8:49 pm

Well you sure have a lot of things going on but I think that your approach to maintain your fitness over the next few months is a good one. You might even surprise yourself and find that you may gain fitness.

See, I have been going through the same type of training struggles the last couple of years. Baby, family stuff and working nights, let's say it sure did put a twist on training for races and wanting to be my best. The best thing you can do is what you are doing taking the pressure off yourself and do what you can do and keep your fitness. I'm sure like myself you will find that sweet spot to when you can train and how much training you can do. Once that is figured out you can then be able to start filling in your training to fit your needs and goals for Boston 2015. Just remember to have fun and take care of the things in life that are most important. Which I know you will do.

Awesome that you will be running Boston 2015! Hope to see you there!
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Mon May 12, 2014 11:54 pm

@Schuey wrote:Well you sure have a lot of things going on but I think that your approach to maintain your fitness over the next few months is a good one. You might even surprise yourself and find that you may gain fitness.

See, I have been going through the same type of training struggles the last couple of years. Baby, family stuff and working nights, let's say it sure did put a twist on training for races and wanting to be my best. The best thing you can do is what you are doing taking the pressure off yourself and do what you can do and keep your fitness. I'm sure like myself you will find that sweet spot to when you can train and how much training you can do. Once that is figured out you can then be able to start filling in your training to fit your needs and goals for Boston 2015. Just remember to have fun and take care of the things in life that are most important. Which I know you will do.

Awesome that you will be running Boston 2015! Hope to see you there!

I can't imagine trying to fit running in while raising kids.  I didn't start running till my kids were grown.  Taking care of parents and grandkids is one thing but kids are so much more demanding of your time.  I guess if you...and several others here...can manage to train through kids then I can train through my family demands.  Smile 

I am looking forward to Boston and finally meeting some of you!
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Tue May 13, 2014 12:08 am

Kid of a disappointing/frustrating week. 

My 10K on the 3rd went pretty well even though it was my slowest ever.  I felt like I ran a smart race that was within my ability at the time.

I've been keeping all my runs fairly easy.  The extent of my speed work has been a few strides.  I felt I was ready to start easing a bit more intensity into my runs.  Nope!  I was only able to fit in two runs last week and both were tough and left me uncomfortable for to long afterwards.  I didn't do that much but my body let me know I'd crossed a line it wasn't ready to cross.  I feel awkward and I can sense that my form is awful.  I slowed back down today, got in an easy 5 miles and felt fine.  I don't want to make the same mistakes I made in 2011 & 2012 so I guess I'm going to really have to take this slowly.  I had hoped to be able to run a decent 10K by the 4th of July but...I need to keep my long term goals in sight and not let the short term compromise them.

On the bright side...I had to cook on Mother's Day but we had a really nice afternoon.  My mom, mother-in-law, daughter-in-laws mom, all 3 of my kids and their spouses plus 4 grandkids enjoyed stuffed pork chops and then played in the yard.  It was a nice day.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Tue May 13, 2014 12:22 pm

Hey...I have something positive to post!  Seems like my recent posts have been all about feeling discouraged.

This wasn't a run...it was a swim.  I got in a mile this morning and part of it was a timed 500 (yards).  My time...9:57!  cheers 
I've only managed to get under 10:00 twice before...this was a PR by 1 second.  More importantly it felt good.  I kept my pace even all the way through and was tired when I finished but not totally exhausted.  After a couple easy laps we did four 25 yard sprints before cooling off and calling it a day.

Australian visitors arrive tomorrow so the rest of the day will be spent cleaning house.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Tue May 13, 2014 1:12 pm

Yeah Nancy!!!
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Alex Kubacki on Tue May 13, 2014 2:43 pm

You shouldn't have had to cook on Mother's Day.  Very Happy
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Nick Morris on Tue May 13, 2014 3:34 pm

That's awesome!! Congrats!
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Wed May 21, 2014 7:26 pm

@Alex Kubacki wrote:You shouldn't have had to cook on Mother's Day.  Very Happy

I had the same thoughts at times but I did enjoy having the family all together so it was worth it.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Wed May 21, 2014 7:36 pm

Thanks Michele and Nick.

Great week but not much running.  Sad 

Picked up our Australian friends at the airport in Portland on Wednesday.  We stopped to visit my Mom and drove home the scenic route.

She went swimming with me on Thursday.  I had another great swim...encouraging.  More sightseeing.

I managed to squeeze in a pretty nice 5 miler before our guests woke up on Friday morning.  It was probably the best run I've had all year.  Not super fast but consistent and very encouraging.  More sightseeing.

Saturday, Sunday and Monday were all devoted to sightseeing and visiting with friends and family.  I was really itching to get in some running but just couldn't break away.  We did find the eagle nest in Smith Rock State Park and were able to watch the adult fly off and bring back a mouse or ? to feed to the two chicks.  Pretty neat!

Tuesday I was up at 4:00am to take our Aussie friends to the airport.  In addition to being exhausted I'm behind on my chores.  I got fairly well caught up today so I'm headed to the pool in the morning.  Will be back on the road on Friday.

Even though I haven't been able to run much I've been doing a lot of walking (irrigating and setting up the drip irrigation system).  It's not aerobic but it sure can't hurt.

I've accepted the fact that my July 4th 10K won't be a fast one and that's taken a bit of the pressure off.  It's got to be all about staying healthy and making sure I'm ready to start training harder when time allows.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Mark B on Wed May 21, 2014 10:28 pm

Good work on the swims, and on getting in the run. I'm not surprised that it felt so good -- this is a great time of year to run around here.

Taking the Aussies on a tour of the area sounds tiring, but fun. How'd they like it?

Too late for this time, but you could have given them some of your chores, so they could get a real taste of authentic Central Oregon farm life. People will pay a fortune for those crazy life experiences -- they probably would have found it delightful.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Thu May 29, 2014 4:13 pm

@Mark B wrote:Good work on the swims, and on getting in the run. I'm not surprised that it felt so good -- this is a great time of year to run around here.

Taking the Aussies on a tour of the area sounds tiring, but fun. How'd they like it?

Too late for this time, but you could have given them some of your chores, so they could get a real taste of authentic Central Oregon farm life. People will pay a fortune for those crazy life experiences -- they probably would have found it delightful.

Thanks Mark...We did enjoy our visitors and I think they enjoyed their visit.  We visited their farm in Tasmania twice.  They grow similar crops plus pharmaceutical poppies which was interesting to learn about.  They found plenty to occupy their time when we did have to work.

We don't have a gather the eggs, feed the cows, pick the vegies type of farm...it's interesting the picture that people have of farm life.  It's changed a lot even in the 25 years we've been farming here in Madras.  Our grandkids will not have the same lifestyle growing up that our kids experienced.  Our kids started driving tractor at age 6 or 7 but everything is so much bigger and more complicated that I wouldn't even think of allowing our 10 year old granddaughter to drive yet.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Thu May 29, 2014 4:16 pm

Lots of family not so much running...

We have a new grandson.  He's adorable and doing great.  His arrival brought grandparents from Minnesota plus both great-grammas over the mountain to see him.  Tough to get our work done let alone any running but I can't really complain.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Mark B on Thu May 29, 2014 4:42 pm

Congrats! Any chance of a photo?
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Michele "1L" Keane on Thu May 29, 2014 9:22 pm

Congrats, Gramma Nancy!!!  Enjoy!
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  ounce on Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:44 pm

Okay, I got caught up.  Nice swimming time!  So how many grandkids does this make, now?

You'll get to the running part, so patience, grasshopper.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  Nick Morris on Tue Jun 03, 2014 3:50 pm

Hi Nancy...Congratulations on the new grandson!! Hope all is well.
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Re: Survival of the fittest

Post  nkrichards on Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:55 pm

@ounce wrote:Okay, I got caught up.  Nice swimming time!  So how many grandkids does this make, now?

You'll get to the running part, so patience, grasshopper.
That makes 5!  Our oldest son has 3 girls ages 10,8 and 6.  They live 3/4 of a mile away.  This is our youngest son's second son and they live 1/4 mile away.  It's one big happy family!  Very Happy  Our daughter and son-in-law live in Hillsboro which is about 2 and a half hours drive.  We tease them often but they are happy to visit often and spoil their nieces and nephews.

Thanks Mark, Michele and Nick

I'll see if I can remember how to post a photo.  It's not a great one but it's the only one I have handy.
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