Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Looking Back/Looking Ahead

For running, 2009 sucked. Low mileage, not one single ultra or marathon completed. There, that is past. Done. On to 2010.

A-#1 goal for 2010: run a respectable time at Cascade Crest. Having volunteered for the past three years (four?), I am certain to get in. My previous best time is 21:10. Can I equal that or better it? Not sure. I will be six years older when the race is held. It will completely depend on what I can do for training. Incidentals along the way -

January 2nd - one lap of the Tiger Mt. Fat Ass
January 9th - Bridle Trails (?)
January 24th - Yours Truly 50k (?)
February 6th - Orcas Island 50k (?)
March 6th - Invest in Youth 6 hour (RD)
March 20th - Chuckanut 50k (yes!)
April 11th - Mt. Si (yes)
April 17th - Wenatchee marathon (?)
May 1st - Sunflower Iron (?)
May 8th - Lost Lake 50k (?)
May 15th - Watershed Preserve 12 hour (?)
June 9th - Blanchard Mt. 50k (?)
July 31st - White River 50 (yes)
August 28th - CCC (YES)

As you can see there are quite of few maybe's listed. Spring events may be eliminated by my attending some CWU track meets. I am also planning to ride STP again this year on July 17th, with daughter Kelsey. Hopefully, we can both fit in some training rides.

If I sign up for enough races, I will be forced to get back into shape. Right?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not too Dumb Ass

The weather gods smiled on the Dumb Ass run today. Balmy temperatures; virtually no rain, hardly any mud - almost didn't seem like a real Dumb Ass run. It was good to see some of the usual crowd again, even if only for a short time. tc and Glenn running together on Tiger. It is good to see some contants in life are still being maintained. Daughter Kelsey is rapidly becoming a better than good trail runner. Once her XC career is over, we will start trying some ultras together. I will have a couple of more years to get in shape.
Hope to see you on Tiger January 2nd to help celebrate Kelsey's 20th birthday. In the meantime, Merry Christmas.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Happy Holidays

I'm relatively certain that I am the only one that reads this anymore, but will wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year anyway. I hope to take nearly two weeks off here at the end of the year and spend some time running with Kelsey and climbing at the gym with both Kelsey and Larisa. Not to mention some Grandpa time with Olivia.
I will not be running the Dumb Ass run this Sunday as it has been cancelled permanently and it would be foolish to show up for a run that won't be happening, right? I expect to be joining the fun at the Fat Ass run on January 2nd. Hope to see myself and you on the trails soon. Best wishes to you and yours for 2010.

Friday, November 13, 2009

From XC to Volleyball

Well, my activity level has been limited and boring, so I will bring you up to date with the four Kreft girls. Andrea and husband Jarrod are doing well in B'ham. Baby Olivia is just to cute for words and spends most of the day at the gymnastics club with mom.
Daughter Meghan and husband Dennis are also doing very well. Meghan is in a long term subbing position at Hawethorne Elementary in Everett. She is the reading specialist for the school. It is a very challenging job for a first time teacher. She has a number of lesson plans to prepare each week and has the added challenge of a large number of kids who are just learning English.
Kelsey got serious about cross-country this year at Central Washington University. Her times went down consistently over the course of the year and she was Central's #1 or #2 runner at every meet. I don't think I will run any 5k's with her any more. Likely wouldn't help my ego at all. She will also be running track for CWU this spring and they have come up with a bit of scholarship money for her. She has also volunteered to pace and crew for me at Cascade Crest. Now I really am committed.

Which brings us to Larisa. Last but certainly not least, Larisa has made both her middle school volleyball team and the Lake select team. Frankly, I prefer the nice dry gym for volleyball to standing in the rain on the soccer pitch. She also loves the idea of being an aunt and takes the job seriously.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A trailrunner once again

September 19th and I finally ran my first trail race of the year. It wasn't even an ultra, but my body is trying to claim otherwise today. New RD James Varner added a 25k version for the re-routed Cle Elum Ridge Run. Knowing I wasn't close to being ready for a 50k yet, I opted for the 25k. It was a good choice, as the 25k was all I could handle yesterday. It was a typical Jame course - tough with lots of climbing. He listed it at ~4,000 ft of gain and ~15.4 miles. I don't know about the elevation gain (it felt like at least 4,000'), but the distance was longer than billed. GPS tracking placed the distance at 17.96 miles. It will go down in my log book as 18 miles and I am comfortable with the rounding. At 3:26:37, it took longer than many of my road marathons (back when I was a runner).

I enjoyed getting to see some familiar faces at the race. Jim Kerby was also running and 25k. Unfortunately, Jim had his knee flare up again on the return leg. I did a dumb thing and ran in new shoes. My left foot started losing the heel pad to a blister on all the downhill coming back when the shoes loosened up and I didn't re-tighten the laces soon enough.

Still, it was good to be back on the trails again. It did highlight just how far I have to go to get ready for Cascade Crest next summer. Endurance seem slow in coming back.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Back in Therapy

I met with a physical therapist yesterday, regarding my right quad issues. My doctor had recommended this person as she knew he was a distance runner and triathlete. Turns out I had assisted Tony Johns at the Kachess Lake aid station over the weekend. Gave him some Tums to help settle a balky stomach and Tony went on to finish CC in just over 30 hours. Small world.

After a thorough evaluation and requesting some previous MRI results from my primary care physician, Tony is convinced that my leg problem is once again due to my low back issues. I have some bulging discs and a bit of degeneration that has apparently continued. I have been given some stretches and core strengthening advice and will need to focus on my core stabilization for basically the rest of my life, to keep the back issues at bay.

Tony and I had a great discussion about ultras and I may have a new trail running partner for Lord Hill. Bonus!

At least now I have some direction to work.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cascade Crest 100

Congratulations to Phil Shaw on a well deserved win and new course record. Running without crew, pacer, or any drop bags that I know of is an added point of emphasis on this performance.
I was able to see and talk to many old friends. Tim Stroh had the run of his life, by his own admission and I was glad to be there to witness and be a part of it. The blue berries I supplied at Kachess Lake were obviously not what James Varner really needed, but he seemed to enjoy them when he came through. Better luck next year James.

I was made keenly aware of how I miss seeing such a great group of people on a more regular basis. Time to get back to running and to figure out why my right quad refuses to work properly so much of the time.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Two trail runs in three days

In spite of a sore lower back, I managed to fit in two trail runs in three days with #3 daughter Kelsey. We ran at Lord Hill park, and were out for 1:37 on Saturday and 2:12 today. Kelsey was pretty gassed at the end today, but so was I. Fitness at 50 is slow in coming.
And for your viewing pleasure - a random picture of daughter #4 holding Grand daughter #1.

Larisa and Olivia

Friday, August 14, 2009

Not a Facebook Fan

I am apparently old.

It is taking a long time to get back into some semblance of running shape. When doing some cross-training on Tuesday, I tweaked my lower back and it is still bothering me. I'm getting worse at pushing through discomfort.

And lastly, I don't like Facebook. I established an account because I heard that many running friends used Facebook to keep in touch. I don't get the attraction. If I need to contact someone, I send an e-mail or pick up the phone. The Facebook messages are short and most seem pointless. Some people seem to post many times a day and there is no real information provided in any of the postings. Obviously, I am simply an old curmugeon. I suspect my foray into the Facebook world will be short lived. I will likely continue to post to my blog upon occaision, simply as a means to share what is going on in my life and to vent from time to time, even if far fewer people ever see the blog than might receive a Facebook posting. Tweeting? I was never any good at bird imitations.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Two down, two to go

Meghan and husband Dennis
It has been a hectic month. At the end of June, daughter Andrea made me a grandpa. Mid July, Kelsey and I rode STP. At the end of July, daughter Meghan got married. The wedding was in Bellingham, so planning took on a new dimension. Meghan's husband is from a very large family, so the size of the wedding and reception was much bigger than initially anticipated. We had over 320 affirmative responses to the invitations sent out. The wedding went very well and the bride was lovely. Everyone had a very good time at the reception. Both Dalia and I had family in town from Kansas for the wedding. It was very hectic at our house, but fun. Although I am certainly glad to not be cooking for 25 any more. During the time family was in town, we managed to also fit in a hike up Pilchuck to the lookout, a hike to the Big 4 Ice Caves, a driving tour to Diablo Dam and Ross Lake, a ferry ride to Friday Harbor, and trips to downtown Seattle. Not everyone went to all these destinations, but you get the idea.

Larisa, Kelsey, and cousin Alex from Spain

Sunday, July 12, 2009

We Made It!

I have a tough daughter. In spite of her minimal training and lack of seat time going in, Kelsey hung tough and rode the full distance from Seattle to Portland in one day. She also ended up doing less mileage drafting behind me than she needed to. For whatever reason, she rarely rode close enough behind me to really benefit from the draft. She also demonstrated that she can climb hills like a maniac.
We left Seattle a little after 5:00 AM and arrived at the finish line at 7:38 PM. According to my bike computer, we averaged 16.6 mph while we were riding. At mile 84, I questioned whether she would be able to make the distance, but she kept things together, regrouped and finished strong. Kelsey commented during the ride that it was the hardest thing she had ever done, but this is a girl who had been training for 5k and 10k distances, not going for hours on end. If she decides to try trail ultras in the future, she may find her niche. In any case, I got to spend some inciteful time with one of my daughters.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

STP or bust

Well, in spite of a serious lack of training, I will be attempting to ride STP in one day again. This year I am joined in the foolishness by my 19 year-old daughter Kelsey. The only consolation I have is that she is more undertrained than I am for riding 204 miles. Unfortunately, she is 19 and will recover much more quickly than I. Since she made it home from CWU in late June, we have done a couple of 25 to 30 mile rides, one spin class, a 44 mile ride, and a 73 mile ride together. Wish us luck for Saturday.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Olivia Arrives!

Olivia Karlin McDowell Roberts was born on Saturday, June 27th at about 8:00 in the morning. Not too long after the start of the Western States 100. Karlin is Gaelic for "little champion", according to my daughter. Hmmm.... In any case, Olivia weighed 6 lb. 15 ounces and was 19 1/2" long. Both mom and baby are doing very well and went home from the hospital on Sunday afternoon. The lower photo shows Aunt Larisa on the left, mom Andrea in the middle, Grandma Dalia in back, Aunt Kelsey on the lower right, and Aunt Meghan on the upper right. Let the spoiling begin!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Cascade Woodworking?

With a total of 13 miles logged for the month of May and none on trails, I should probably change the title of my blog. I have been getting some wood working done, however. With daughter Andrea due any day now, I worked to complete a convertible crib for her. I wanted to have the crib done before Olivia arrives. Yes, another girl for the family. At least we know how to deal with girls (I think).

I have also added another old tool to my workshop. I found an old DeWalt radial arm saw on Craig's List for $25.00. As near as I can tell from the serial number, it was made in late 1953. Lots of heavy cast iron for a small saw. The following photos show a before and after of the saw.

I have just finished a potting bench for my wife and will start on a dressing table to match the crib for Andrea next. I need a much bigger garage or to move to a house with a separate shop. Hope all your running is going well. My picks for Western - Scott Jurek for the men, Krissy Moehl for the women. It is going to be a great race as far a I can see.

Monday, April 20, 2009

By semi-popular demand

tc, this one's for you.

This weekend I actually was out on my bike for just over two hours.  I have signed my daughter Kelsey and myself up for the Seattle to Portland bike ride this year.  We will be doing the ~200 miles in one day.  Hopefully, she will be doing some training while she is at school in Ellensburg.  Sunday was the first time I had gotten my bike down since last summer.  
As mentioned before, Kelsey is running XC for Central.  She is also trying her hand at pole vaulting.  While she comes in with a typical distance runner's upper body strength, she is working hard and her technique is improving.  She won't ever win any events, but she is having a good time and is showing progress.  
Daughter Larisa has gotten past her issues with a stress fracture in one heel.  One of her volleyball teammate's father is a podiatrist and he fitted Lari with orthotics which have made a big difference. 
After only one tournament in April, we are looking at 3 different tournaments in May, plus a potential two day clinic.  Add in some birthdays, Mother's Day, and our wedding anniversary and May looks to be very busy.

I'm not a grandfather yet, but eldest daughter Andrea is 7 months along and is doing great.  I have been working on a convertible crib and day bed and will start a dressing table when the crib is done.  Need to find some more shop time.
Daugher Meghan and her fiance have located a home in Marysville and have had their offer accepted.  When they get married at the end of July, they will already have a home to move into.  It's a great market for first time home buyers.
Life goes on, whether I'm running or not.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

This is a test

Obviously, I don't blog very frequently.  Only slightly less often than I seem to be running these days.  The test part is to see if anyone is reading this or not.  If you read this, please drop me  a note.  If I don't receive any responses, I will likely delete the site.  If I do get some response, I will try to put more effort into providing some updates of my life.