Boston with the fam…

Look who I caught up with just as she was crossing the finish line…

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Can you imagine if I had NOT taken my mom to the Boston finish line on her first day here?  I can’t.  I get so excited every time I see it.

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Can you imagine me NOT making everyone take a picture with me in front of this beauty!?

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Can you imagine my mom keeping her eyes open for every picture?  No? 

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Dinner time!

I don’t post the food I eat on my blog like a lot of healthy living and running bloggers do because it would be an unhealthy habit for me, personally.  I don’t have a problem with other people doing it.  There are some that I feel like I can read without feeling triggered, but there are other blogs that I choose not to read altogether because something about them gets me thinking about food toooo much.  Not good for me. 

However, I am going to post what Brendan and I make for dinner sometimes, even when it is not very interesting or involved.  This is going to serve as a resource for me when I am planning rushed weeknight dinners in the future, or before I head to the grocery store.  I hope that it may also serve as a resource for some of you as you battle the back-to-school craziness of fall when there is suddenly not even enough time to eat dinner!!

If you don’t care what I eat for dinner and you hate me, don’t read these posts.  If you think this might be useful or interesting to you, I will tag all of the dinner posts with the word “dinner” and you can find a list of the dinners I post by clicking on “dinner” in the tag cloud on my homepage.  Comment if that doesn’t make sense. 

Tonight Brendan and I teamed up to make risotto and caesar salad.  I love making risotto because I feel like once you make it the first time, you never really need a recipe except for the ratio of rice to liquid.  There are often a lot of extra steps in risotto recipes that may add subtle flavors, but I find they are really unnecessary for the average weeknight creamy risotto. 

Simplified Risotto (for 2-4 people, we usually have 1-2 servings of leftovers)

I think it takes 30 minutes for the whole process.  We poached the chicken while the risotto was cooking and just added it in. 

Ingredients:

a few tablespoons olive oil

one yellow onion (coarsely chopped)

extra ingredients: artichoke hearts, mushrooms, chicken, sausage, spinach, tomatoes, etc.

one 32 oz. container chicken broth (or veggie)

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

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(I used chicken that Brendan had poached and chopped and a can of artichoke hearts)

Directions:

Pour all of the chicken broth into a saucepan over medium heat.

Put the olive oil in another pot over medium heat and sauté the onions and whatever other ingredients you have chosen to add to your risotto.  Honestly, you can’t really mess it up, so add whatever you think you like in your risotto.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the rice and mix it around, allowing the  rice to toast slightly and become more translucent. 

Add 1 cup of the (still on the stove heating) chicken broth and let cook/stir occasionally until that is absorbed.  Repeat this process until you are out of chicken broth.  The 1 cup measurement doesn’t really matter, but you should add the chicken broth in small amounts (about 4 times), allowing the rice to absorb the broth each time before you add more. 

You should continue to stir to avoid burning/sticking. 

When the last of your chicken broth is absorbed turn the stove down to low and cover the risotto for a few minutes.  I like to sprinkle some parmesan on top at this point so that it melts a nice layer across the top while the lid is on!! 

Serve with parmesan and some good bread.  We also had a salad. 

This is definitely on my go-to list for dinner because it is so easy to always have arborio rice and chicken broth around, and then I can just add whatever is in the fridge…

Shout out to Braedon who ran his first high school cross country race today!! Yay!!


Hood to Coast 2011

Team 1213 “Quick & Shameless” Van #2

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Captain Mom

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Braed

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Me and my baby brother

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The Lineup!

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Our first exchange!  Van 1’s Maryanne to Van 2’s Johanna…

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Emily checking in on Jahanna on her first leg

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Exchange: Johanna to Emily

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Johanna recovers and beautifies immediately in time to ice Emily!

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Emily to Mom

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Braedon ices mom in the 96 degree weather…

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Hot horrible view of my leg of the Springwater Trail

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Braed rocks it… even in the heat!  Too fast for my camera to focus, apparently.

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Braed runs us into Portland to pass it on to Van 1 again

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We ran our second leg in the middle of the night.  It was much cooler… and better.  But then, for the first time in my experience with H2C, the race organizers really messed up and there was so much congestion that we never got to stop the car to go to sleep.  My mom drove us through all of Van #1’s exchanges at the same speed (almost) as our runner in Van 1 because traffic was so bad.  I heard one guy say they clocked it as 22 miles in 4 hours of driving.  WHAT!  So here she is… the woman that never slept… before our 3rd leg.

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Less sleep = goofier Kaetlin and Braedon

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Johanna finishes her last leg of her first H2C at top speed, flying through the air!

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Mom runs her last leg: 8 miles of rolling hills.

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If you want your team to take pictures of you…give them your camera.  Here I am before my last exchange with Hannah…

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My last leg: 8 miles of hills + peeing on the side of the road ( not behind the bushes).  Yes, that guy in the yellow saw my butt.

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Trying to tell the team I want another bottle of water… Braed takes a pic of my desperate face…

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Braed runs his last leg down the hills and through Seaside to the beach…

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We WON made it to Seaside! What a CRAZY H2C we had this year.  My favorite part will always be the way all of the teams support each other on the final legs of the relay.  Every team pulls over and offers water, spray bottle sprays, water gun cool-downs, candy, music, and support to all of the runners… not just their own teammates.  It makes me so happy.  I was telling Braedon that I might prefer races over relays because you get to run with your friends.  But when 5/6s of the runners are supporting the other 1/6 who is currently running, you get a crazy loving, supportive, and inspiring atmosphere that you won’t get in a regular road race… ever!


Too much thinking

I have been consumed by my own thoughts for the last few days and unable to write a post.  I’ve thought of a few posts, but then overthought them.  I think I am just completely overwhelmed with the big move coming up, my next CPA exam, and my start-date for my first big kid job quickly approaching.

I am also consumed by my thoughts about my family and what it means to be leaving the West coast.  You would be thinking about this little love bug non-stop, too if he left all of these pictures on your camera. 

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What? You don’t put on huge coats and pretend to float away in Nordstrom!

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Being a hipster in the Mission

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Eating DELISH ice cream at Bi-Rite!

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I don’t live with them, but it is a lot easier to visit Oregon from California than it will be to visit from Massachusetts. 

I want to keep the blog as upbeat as possible, but this is literally eating at my thoughts right now, and it would be dishonest to say that I was really thinking about anything else. 


SF Half Marathon 2011

I am a little late on this one, but I couldn’t bring myself to simply post the photos and add a little blurb about the course.  That just wouldn’t be fair because this race was AMAZING!  Normally my description of a race is based on my race, but because I was taking it easy and avoiding injury I was able to fully absorb and appreciate the external factors and separate them from my performance.

My mom was running her third half this month, Braedon was testing out a halfway healed knee, and I was determined to avoid any pain in my left leg.  If I was going to push through the pain, I would have done the full like I had wanted.  I was super excited for Braedon to see this course because it was my 4th race through the city (on slightly different courses) and I wanted to share that with him.

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The first wave started just after 5am!  Our wave was scheduled to start at 6am, but we were running  a little late, so we started two waves back at 6:20am.  As much as I do not like waking up early EVER, there is something super magical about early morning dark race starts that I just love.  When we left our hotel in the morning, there were only runners in the lobby, and as we walked down Market Street, runners appeared around every dark corner, all headed to the same place.  It feels like we all have a shared secret.  We all sneak out before dawn to share our secret love for running, and I love it.

The weather was great!  We took off our long sleeves before the race even started!! Did I mention we were in San Francisco?!  Crazy!  The course starts right by the Ferry Building and goes North along the Embarcadero.  It is so fun to run along Fisherman’s Wharf where you can smell the fresh sourdough bread at Boudin and hear the sea lions barking.  Before we knew it we were going by Ghirardelli and over to Crissy Field.  I probably sounded like a broken record during the whole race because I couldn’t stop telling my mom how cool/beautiful/interesting every single thing was along the course.  I even liked the electrolytes.  That never happens.

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Next thing we knew we were up the dreadful hills and over the bridge.  We weren’t sure if or where we would see Brendan because he had stayed out late the night before with his coworkers, and we weren’t able to come up with a solid plan for him, but we spotted him on the Sausalito side of the bridge!  YAY!! I am seriously addicted to having people I know cheering for me at a race.  It is the BEST thing ever!! Plus he took this stunning picture with the bridge in the background.  He was even nice enough to not write “proof” over it!

I loved being on the bridge on such a (relatively) clear day.  It was so fun.  Coming down the hill after the bridge is super magical because you can see so much of the city on your left and a beautiful view of the ocean on the right.  Of course I raved about it.  After the downhill my mom started struggling a bit, and I was all for delaying the end of this experience, so we walked up a hill and slowed our pace down a bit after that.

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I happen to know from other race pictures that this is not my usual arm position, so I am not too worried, but it is unfortunate.  This might sound dumb, but I think I was trying to squeeze myself away from potential photo bombers because the bridge was super crowded with runners trying to ruin our race pics.

The rolling hills through the neighborhood streets were tough, but there were some good spectators and it went by pretty quickly.  Once we were in Golden Gate Park we knew we were close, and we picked up our pace.  My mom had a seriously killer kick for the last 1/4 mile and then blew me away with her sprint at the end.  I guess she wanted to beat me.  I may or may not have done that to her last year at this race after she had waited for me while I stretched at mile 12.9.

We had such a fun race.  My leg hurt a little, but I really felt so great.  I even told my mom around mile 10 that I wished I was doing the full!  I have NEVER thought anything like that at mile 10 before.  I can’t think of a better way to say goodbye to San Francisco before I leave in less than two weeks.  This is definitely a race that I will come back for, and I definitely consider it a good candidate for a future full marathon because the changes in terrain and scenery were so entertaining.

My mom and I ended up having a more positive experience that Braedon who made bathroom stops and had a lot of leg discomfort, but guess whose race picture always comes out looking better no matter what?!

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SF Marathon Expo Day!

It has been a crazy busy few days with my mom and Braedon in town for the race, and we didn’t have internet at the hotel in the city.  I’m a little behind on some posts I want to write, but here is a look at the day we spent in the city before the race. 

We started the day  out with a fancy breakfast in The Grand Café in the Hotel Monaco. 

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I told my mom I think she should use this picture on dating websites.  How pretty does she look!? 

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I guess this picture probably won’t work for my dating profile!

Next we headed over to the expo, which was pretty far away, but we thought it would be a nice walk.  Well, it was super hot out, and the walk got pretty dreadful pretty quickly. 

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The expo was packed, but it was also pretty well organized, especially considering the variety of events people could register for.  Every event was sold out.  They had a sweaty bands stand that was super popular, but we opted for the BIC bands that were $6 cheaper.  I can’t believe how expensive sweaty bands are!? 

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We decided to take the free shuttle back to the Embarcadero, which was much closer to our hotel.  They had enough shuttles running, so we didn’t have to wait for more than a couple minutes. 

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We spent the rest of the day walking around SF and then shopping for our race outfits.  It was a super fun day in the city. 

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Great friends.

Maryanne, my mom and Braedon ran the Lacamas Lake Half Marathon this morning in Camas, Washington.  It has become somewhat of a tradition for them to run this race as a celebration for my mom’s birthday, which is this weekend!  This year they also met with friends for brunch at a cute place in Portland after the race. 

I have never run this race, but they make it sound like a pretty hard, but beautiful course.  It is hilly and hot, not a PR race, but a good race to dedicate to friendship and a love for running. 

Maryanne sent me some pictures from today because…

she feels famous when I talk about her on my blog

she wanted me to be jealous of all the fun I missed out on

she wanted me to dedicate this post to my mom for her bday

well… I’m not really sure why she sent them to me.  She just sent a blank email with these super cute pics!  jk, Maryanne!  Thanks for the emails!

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My mom, Braedon, Maryanne

Now, in all seriousness… how awesome are my mom’s friends (including Maryanne)!?  What a fun way to celebrate your birthday!  My mom’s other friend, Emily, texted me a few weeks ago to see if I could steal all of my mom’s old race shirts that she doesn’t wear so that she could make them into a t-shirt quilt.  We were a little unsure about which shirts I should steal, and whether or not my mom would mind, but I think it all worked out.  I stole them from her closet and avoided any that I thought would fit well, and I didn’t take any from the laundry.  She didn’t even notice when I took an entire stack of t-shirts from her closet.  What!??

Well, it turned out super cute, and she was completely surprised.  Yay!  I love surprises so much.  This is such a fun way to keep and remember race shirts that you will never wear. 

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Jeeeeez… Not to mention how cute my mom and Braed look! 

If you are going to run a race that you know is super challenging, do you decide to just have a fun race, or do you try to take it head on? 

Do you have PRs for different geographic areas or course types (hilly PR and flat course PR)?