Berkeley to Boston: Day 1

Day 1 (August 15, 2011): drive from Berkeley, CA to Reno, NV

Wow… today was our first day on the road.  I honestly can’t believe we got all of our stuff into our tiny Civic, but thank goodness we did. 

Here are a few shots of our last day in San Francisco… shot from Treasure Island:

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We left Berkeley around lunch time after a TON of last minute errands.  It was actually perfect timing, so we didn’t really hit any traffic going through Sacramento.  It was so exciting to drive through Tahoe because it is where I lived for a while as a kid. 

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We pulled over and stopped for this stunning view of Lake Tahoe.  It is so huge.  I couldn’t fit it all in one shot, so you get two!  In case you’re counting, this was my first “pee behind a bush at an overlook” for this trip. 

Then we did some creeping on the house we lived in when I was a kid.  It has changed so much, but it was still fun to show Brendan.

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We went to dinner at my Aunt Karen’s house.  It was absolutely a blast.  The kids were a little shy at first, but then we were all playing games and making silly faces.  We really had so much fun.  Chicken tacos+ice cream=Kaetlin and Brendan happiness!  They even gifted us a bag of goodies for the ride, including homemade granola bars!!! Awesome!DSCN0410

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I made sure to get in a couple pics of Brendan with the sagebrush.  It’s his first trip to Reno to see my dark past.

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Stay tuned for more on days 2-11.  Plus, I have a few extra posts from our last week in the bay!


Daily Dose of Ice Cream

Maybe I should change the name of my blog.  When people ask what they should do while in Berkeley, I can usually only think of food-related activities.  Like eating.  Duh.  When you look at the Berkeley travel tab on the top of my blog there are two links: one for Ici and one for Chocolatier Blue

Whenever we have company in town I inevitably end up taking them to the Mission in San Francisco to eat at Bi-Rite Deli and Creamery.  DIVINE.  Yesterday we had a San Francisco day with Brendan’s mom.   We went to a couple of sites that we had wanted to visit before leaving, and of course, we took her to Bi-Rite!

First, we went to the Legion of Honor, a gorgeous palace turned museum.  I catered a wedding at the Legion and it is on the top of my list of places to get married in the bay area.  It is so stunning, and the views from the cliffs of the ocean and the Golden Gate are just stunning.

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STUNNING, right!?  Next, we went to the Sutro Baths, which are ruins, but used to be a huge salt water swimming complex right on the cliff by the ocean.  The ruins are slightly less than beautiful, but the views are great.  I actually sat down by myself here and spent a few minutes thinking about my love for San Francisco (and crying about it). 

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Then!!!! We went to the Mission for a picnic lunch from Bi-Rite in Dolores Park, and then ice cream from Bi-Rite.  This is literally my FAVORITE thing to do in San Francisco.  I love picnics and I love being surrounded by people relaxing and eating fun food.  The people hipster watching is great!

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It’s so creamy I want to die!  Ignore Brendan’s mom photo bombing my Bi-Rite pic.  Really, this is Brendan’s fault for taking it. 

Oh and what?  my hair is flying around kind of crazy?  Well, sorry because I refuse to adjust my greasy hair more than once or twice a day.  Must keep finger grease out of greasy hair!  At least my hair can still fly in the wind, right?  Not glued down!  This was taken on day 3 of not washing my hair.  I am trying to wash it every Sunday right now.  You can read about why I am not washing my hair here

Now I’m off to spend the day with A.Jay before I leave her!! sad…


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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SF AIDS Walk 2011

Brendan and I had a brutally early wake-up this morning as we headed across the bridge for the AIDS Walk in Golden Gate Park.  We signed up to volunteer because we are such good people and always looking to serve the community my friend A.Jay was working for the non-profit that organizes the walk, and she asked us to help out driving golf carts.  The promise of free t-shirts and free food usually wins Brendan over, but I think it was the golf cart that got him this time! 

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There were a ton of people.  Apparently 25,000.  At first it was hard for me to wrap my mind around what these people were doing: is there a winner? do they walk fast? can I run the 10k?  The answer to all of those questions was pretty much NO!  What!? Then what are they doing here!!???

Well… it turns out that “walks” are super big parties where corporations, employees, families, friends and supporters just come out and celebrate all of the fundraising they’ve done.  It ended up being SO different from the races I’m used to.  Big local companies came out and provided a TON of supplies and food for their employees that were participating. 

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A lot of the companies had catering companies drop off fresh breakfast before the walk and lunch after.  A bunch of people also brought full BBQs with all the fixins.  Crazy.  It was just a HUGE party.

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Brendan and I agreed that the Gap had one of the best set-ups.  They all wore really fun t-shirts, they gave out free Old Navy flip-flops to anyone, and they had lots of fun snacks like fresh taffy, Pop Chips, and M&Ms that were consistently replenished. 

It was really fun to be there in such a celebratory environment, and I am so glad I was there to support all of A.Jay’s hard work.  But… there were a few not so sparkly things about the event…

1. I had to wake up at 4:15am.  That is 7 hours earlier than I have been waking up lately.  Obviously my sleep patterns are extreme and need some work, but this was a tough one. 

2. This was not necessarily a Kaetlin-friendly event:

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There were a ton of dogs.  Big dogs, little dogs, FLUFFY dogs.  It didn’t bother me because we were outside, but it was a little weird for me.  I’m super allergic. 

3. I WAS FREEZING.  We got there when the park was still covered in fog, so we got pretty wet and muddy early on.  For some reason I just never got dry inside all my layers, so I was literally shaking for about 4 hours.  Then I started sneezing and now I have a sore throat!  Hopefully it goes away soon!

Overall, it was really fun, but we are POOPED.  Brendan and I came home and took a nap and ate dinner, and now we are going to hang out and watch TV. 

Thanks, Aje, for such a fun experience in San Francisco before we leave!

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Running Sucks!

Today was kind of a crazy start to a crazy weekend…

Brendan and I are volunteering at the San Francisco AIDS walk tomorrow to help my friend A.Jay who has been working as an organizer for them for a few months.  She coaxed us in with the promise of golf carts!! Woo hoo!! We get to drive golf carts and call it volunteering! Sweet!  Just one thing… we have to BE THERE at 5:30am tomorrow in San Francisco. 

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So after we went to the volunteer training today in Golden Gate Park we headed to one of our favorite SF restaurants: Pluto’s.  They have SUPER good salads with lots of toppings to choose from!

Later in the evening we went to Emeryville and happened upon the Nike Running store!!  I LOVE Nike stores, but I especially love this one because it is a HUGE store devoted to all running products.  YES! 

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I really wanted this sweatshirt.  It really speaks to me. 

But then I found a shirt that REALLY isn’t afraid of a little honesty:

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Why do they only have this shirt in Men’s sizes?  I told Brendan he should get it because it is my favorite Nike shirt EVER, but he said he prefers more motivating Nike shirts.  You know like Catch me if you can OR Super Fast.  WHATEVER.  I do not even look at those shirts.  How lame would it be to wear those shirts and have the race photographer catch you walking.  Yep… I am super fast.  OMG.  That is kind of how I feel about arm sleeves, too.  I just couldn’t wear them knowing that I am going to be running 10 min miles.  More power to you if you think they help you at the jogging pace (yep, I said it), but I’m waiting until I hit 7 min miles.  So… don’t ever buy me sleeves! 

Off to bed now so I can get my volunteer on in a few hours!


Happy Day: Smart running decisions and Yogurtland!

What a great day!  I’m just so excited because Yogurtland finally got a new flavor that ROCKS my world. 

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This flavor seriously is amazing.  I find that frozen yogurt often tastes like something when you first try it, but then tastes like indistinguishable “frozen yogurt flavor” once you’ve been eating it.  This flavor consistently delivered full caramel, almond and chocolate flavors in every bite.  It was also SUPER salty, which I HEART!  Plus, it says that it is a good source of protein from the almonds…. lol, right. 

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I got a bowl of the new flavor with caramel sauce and chocolate sprinkles on top.  OMG!  Brendan also got the new flavor, but with 2 cookies worth of cookie dough on top! 

Enough fuel analysis.  Onto your daily dose…

As you may or may not know, I was scheduled to run 20 miles yesterday.  I was all set with a big new bottle of lemon-lime G2 and a baggie of the green and yellow mike n’ ikes.  Brendan was displeased to see that there were only red and orange left in the box.  Sorry… oopsies. 

My run started out fine.  I was tight, but I felt pretty calm and comfortable with the idea of the 4 hours to come.  I ended up stopping at 3 different bathrooms because I was so afraid that I would have to go poop when I wasn’t near a bathroom.  I never went… fyi, tmi (sorry, Brendan).  Anyways…

I was definitely feeling the pain down my left leg in my IT band, my hamstring, and my sciatic nerve tingle.  It was definitely something I could run through, but I started thinking about the chapter I read last night in my book which talks about the importance of not running through an injury if it changes your gait.  Well, I was definitely limping…

Then I started thinking about my experience with this same injury 2 years ago at the Disney Marathon.  When I think about my “running career” I feel like I have only really finished one real marathon for the books because my Disney marathon was SO AWFUL.  I pretty much carried my left leg through training and through the race, and it was significantly less enjoyable than my Eugene marathon  training and experience.  I don’t want to just finish the race in July (SF).  I want to enjoy it.  I don’t want to hate training this summer, and I don’t want to make my injury worse. 

So… I headed back for home, finishing only 12 of the 20 I set out to do, but feeling like I had made a really healthy decision for me.  I have officially decided to only run the first half of the SF Marathon because it is the right thing for my body right now!