Puerto Rico and a big PR!

Brendan and I recently returned from Spring Break in Puerto Rico.  My 5 months of traveling back and forth to New York last year finally paid off.  We flew to San Juan and spent three nights in the Sheraton in Old San Juan and then three nights West of San Juan at the St. Regis Bahia Beach!



I’m all about the whole “you’re in Puerto Rico… you have to try Puerto Rican (enter something I would rather not be eating/doing”.  I get it.  I also get being on vacation.  I have a whole new outlook on vacation these days.  It’s more like… I’m a young professional.  Sometimes, I hate my job.  Sometimes is right now.  I would like to take some PTO, and that is valuable PTO, thank you.  So f*ck your Puerto Rican (enter black coffee with creamer)… I’m going to Starbucks on my vacation.  And that, my friends, I get from my mama.


But seriously now.  This was the first time I truly needed a vacation in my life and really felt like it was something I was able to gift to myself.  So we went from this…


To this…


We toured old Spanish forts…



Wandered the streets of Old San Juan…



Hiked to caves and cliffs…



Watched the San Juan Half Ironman!


If you know me at all, you know I immediately started researching sprint triathlons and bike prices.  It was so inspiring.  So exciting!

And then we went to the St. Regis…



…which was a stunning plantation-style resort.  We stayed in a suite!

We went to the beach…



Hiked in the rainforest…


snorkeled and kayaked…



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And played with iguanas!


It was really great!  Then I flew home to Portland and did this!!!!!! Hop Hop Half Marathon…


A HALF MARATHON PR by 3 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AND… this is the first time I’ve placed in my division!!!



But baby it’s cold outside!

Last winter, I ran through the cold weather because I was training for the Toronto marathon.  Each long run was a new challenge.  How to dress warm enough, but not too warm when the wind chill is zero degrees.  It is always hard to believe you really will get warm during the run.  The big difference for me last year was that I was training with Julia, so every weekend we had a date that I looked forward to.  This year, I am training by myself for the Eugene marathon.  And it’s still really really cold!


How in the world do people here stay motivated to run all year?  The real answer I’ve discovered is that they don’t.  The number of runners goes down A TON in the winter.  Honestly, they are stronger braver runners than me, because there is no way, I mean NOOOOO WAY, I am taking my running to the dreadmill.  F that.


So I head outside… even when the Charles River is frozen!  Obviously, it is super gorgeous!  But that just doesn’t do it for me when I am warm and cozy inside.  It is such a struggle to decide it’s a good idea.  Probably because it really isn’t!  The other night, my face mask froze to my face.  WTF  I’ve even had to wear my Nike Frees instead of my glorious five fingers, so I could run on the snow.


So, obviously I have made it out the door in the freezing cold.  Just not as much as I’d like to.  So here are the things that motivate me to get out there…

1. A training plan.  You can’t beat it.  I’m following Hal Higdon’s Intermediate I marathon plan.  I haven’t always gotten all my weekday runs in, but I always get my two weekend runs in because I know it’s the bread and butter of his theory.


2. A good running playlist.  My mom came up with the coolest idea.  Since we are both on the same training plan, and we have the same long run each weekend, we trade off making a Spotify playlist for both of us to listen to.  Sometimes, I am just so excited to get out there so I can see what she made for me.  It’s also fun to listen to the one I made and imagine her reaction to each song.


3. Preparation.  I know this might not work for everyone.  If I spend the whole week looking at the weather report, planning my route, and deciding which weather accessories will be right for each run, I get pretty into the idea.  This only really works for long weekend runs though.  I don’t really need to plan out my route for the 4-mile midweek run…


4. Leave work early!  This is just awesome in general.  But… since it’s busy season, I work pretty long hours, and it’s hard to get in the midweek long-ish run.  Right now it’s 7 miles.  Since I am definitely not waking up an hour and a half early before work, and I am definitely not running at midnight, I’ve asked my team permission to leave early one night a week.  Now don’t get too excited!  Early just means 5pm instead of 7pm.  But I’ll tell you what… I NEVER skip that run.  I would feel like I was lying to my team and cheating.


Unfortunately, Nemo left me a little more than I’m comfortable with right now, so I am waiting a few more hours…



Stay warm out there!

It is beginning to look a lot like…

Hell?  Christmas? Not Halloween?  Whatever it is, I’m having a hard time being okay with it… Everyone keeps telling me that a snowstorm isn’t actually normal weather for October in the Northeast.  Guess what?  I don’t care what’s normal… I care what is happening now… I’m just wondering if we are going to skip right over the rest of fall, or if it will be wonderful and beautiful fall again next weekend.  Either way, I decided that I needed to wake up and get ready for the winter!

It was so cold every morning I woke up this morning that I only got up to go running before work on one day, as opposed to the three days I had gone the past few weeks.  Boo.  Plus, it was too dark to go after work, and I hadn’t gotten a gym membership yet.  It was still okay because I was still able to walk to work, which makes me at least feel like my butt isn’t becoming permanently attached to the office chair.  But on Thursday night it snow/slushed, and I decided enough was enough.  I filled the hybrid with gas and took her to work on Friday morning.  So, what’s next?

It stopped snowing and started raining and just being ridiculously cold, so I decided I really just needed a gym membership.  Check!  Brendan and I went today, and I signed right up!  I’m pretty excited because they have BodyPump classes, which I HEART! 

On Friday night I bought a parka online from LLBean. 


I’m trying to figure out which snow boots I should get.  I’m thinking I won’t get the furry ones now because that would just be too much with the hood on that coat (although the faux fur is removable).  But these were the boots I was planning on getting before I moved here… 



Now I;m thinking I might get some more simple snow boots from LLBean because my coat will come with a $10 gift card.  Any suggestions?  I haven’t owned snow boots in YEARS!  Now, If you all think I am just crazy overreacting… I kinda am… but I also just want to be ready so that I don’t HATE my life here.  There is snow on the ground right now!!!


Feels like 22…. EEW!! I really want to go running tomorrow if the roads clear up enough to make me think people aren’t going to splash/drench me when they drive by with dirty slush.  It will be at least 10 degrees warmer tomorrow!! Great… Otherwise, I will have my first workout of the season in the gym. 

PS… It seems we like apples more than I thought because it has not been hard to eat the apples we picked.  I have been cooking them in oatmeal and eating them raw for snacks… plus, I made wonderful cinnamon apple pancakes that I will show you soon! 

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! 


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. 


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.


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:


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!


Pretty LAME-O

I have been pretty MIA lately, but I am here to confirm that this has just been a test (to see which readers are so dedicated that they will still look at my blog) and will not be a recurring pattern.  My test confirmed for me that I have 1.5 dedicated readers: my mom and Maryanne.  Maryanne is not a subscriber, so she gets .5 points. 

Ok the real reason for the lack of posts is that I didn’t know what to write about, I was pretty busy at home, and my running feels pretty LAME-O.  Here is what’s up in my life  lately today. 

I am home again with Brendan, who I missed very much.  He missed the way I fill the fridge while he is at work me, also.  I go home to a completely empty fridge and a crippled boyfriend who apparently can’t walk to the grocery store when he runs out of food.  He sprained his ankle!! oh no!! I feel really bad for him. I would take a picture of his foot, but it looks like he pooped on it because the bruise is so dark and big, and I am afraid you won’t believe me if I tell you it’s a bruise.  Instead I took a picture of these…


These are the fun Gerber Daisies he got me at the farmer’s market at Google yesterday.  We were celebrating 5 years and 2 months together.  Aren’t we LAME-O so cute!! I am pretty sure most people should stop celebrating the “month anniversaries” after a year or so.  But we are just so in love… lol…

In other news today… I am still in love with Starbucks!  Is that news?


But for REAL!! Did you know that if you register your Starbucks card and then lose it somewhere in a purse or dark closet you can just transfer the funds to one of your other registered Starbucks cards!! Hello!? BEST DAY EVER… I feel like I just found Starbucks money on the street…. muah haha.  Look at that caramel drizzle doing its thing… IT’S SO CARAMEL-Y!!!

Finally, for your daily dose of running…  I went out to run 10 this morning… by morning I mean that I meant to wake up in the morning to beat the heat, but I walked out the door at 11:30.  Prime skin burning time on the bay! WOOT!  I’m too smart.  So, I ran 4 because I am really committed to my training plan.  Oh shoot.  I ran 4 and I think it was a good choice because I have a hard training weekend coming up this weekend and it would have been stupid for me to try to make up for not running 10 earlier this week.  My next post will be about wtf I am going to do about this training plan that I am officially not following!! grr. 

And… here is a picture of me for good measure.