Happy 1 Year!

…to my blog!

Yesterday, September 23rd, was the one year anniversary of the very first blog post on Cait Strides. I had the idea to start this blog as a way to keep me accountable for marathon training and [as a picky eater] trying new foods. It has turned into so much more than that and has truly been a pleasure to write nearly everyday. It’s been a pretty crazy year with so many up’s and down’s. Of course, it’s impossible for me to share every aspect of my life on this blog, but I thought it would be fun to take a trip down memory lane and share a few highlights from the past year:

(source)

The First Post – chronicling a bit about my life and how I became such a picky eater/my desire for change (Sept 2011)

Life of a runner – explaining my love-to-hate relationship with running (Sept 2011)

Hawaii Trip!! – when I went to visit a good friend who is living in Hawaii (Oct 2011)

Graduating from the kiddie menu – my first Chipotle experience (Oct 2011)

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse – Run For Your Lives post race report (Oct 2011)

Experimenting in the kitchen – first time making pizza dough (Nov 2011)

On Life, and Death – serious contemplation on life and what it means to fully live (Nov 2011)

Ran Philadelphia – marathon #2 in the books! (Nov 2011)

Truly becoming a Maryland-er – making the most delicious crab pizza (Dec 2011)

Discovering my inner hipster – I’m even too cool for this post (Dec 2011)

New Years Eve in NYC – easily one of the craziest nights of my life and one I won’t forget any time soon (Dec 2011/Jan 2012)

Weight – announcing my struggles with weight and committing to lose weight (Jan 2012) – for the record, I’m 15 lbs lighter! WOO!

It’s not always rainbows and butterflies – sometimes life is hard (Feb 2012)

Things I love – a different kind of Valentine’s Day (Feb 2012)

Shamrockin’ the races – Post race Shamrock Half and PR report (March 2012)

Monument Ave 10k – another race recap (March 2012)

Kristina’s visit! – my BFF from Washington came to visit for a weekend in DC, we had a blast (April 2012)

It’s a BOY!! – my sister and bro-in-law find out they’re having a boy! (April 2012)

Livin’ the Sweet Life – hanging out at the Sweet Life Festival (April 2012)

Memorial Day Weekend – Instagramming my entire life away (May 2012)

USA vs. Brazil Soccer game/vacation #1 to Myrtle Beach – kicking off summer the right way (June 2012)

Lindsey’s Bachelorette Party – girls just want to have fun (June 2012)

Erin’s baby shower – spending the weekend with my family celebrating my sister (July 2012)

4th of July – a low key 4th of July celebration at my parent’s house (July 2012)

Myrtle Beach Vacation #2 – Post 1, Post 2, Post 3 my family is crazy and I love them (July 2012)

Debating chicken and teal pants – in the same post, impressive! (August 2012)

Mumford & Sons and Kyle is born! – best weekend of summer, easily (August 2012)

Rockin’ and Rollin’ in VA Beach – Rock ‘n Roll VA Beach sweeeeaty post-race recap (Sept 2012)

Remembering 9/11 – never forget (Sept 2012)

Thank you so much to everyone who has continued to read and support Cait Strides. I have appreciated each and every one of your messages, comments, and feedback! Writing this blog has truly been a pleasure; I hope you enjoy reading my ridiculous quips as much as I enjoy writing them.

I’m looking forward to blogging another crazy year of my life: more races, running, cooking, new foods, and general fun with my favorite people. Get ready.

Thank you!

Breakfast of Champions (or mediocre football teams)

In my [humble?] opinion breakfast is the most underrated meal of the day.

I seriously love breakfast. If I could eat it for every meal, I probably would. Imagine this, for as long as I can remember breakfast was the only meal I wasn’t picky about. I will literally eat almost every single breakfast food. French toast? YUM! Hash browns? DELICIOUS! Bacon? Don’t even get me started on my favorite food EVER! Personally, I don’t think breakfast gets enough credit. It’s the most important meal of the day, plus you can eat whatever you want because you have all day to burn it off! You really can’t beat that.

So many people (sometimes myself included) throw breakfast by the wayside due to a hectic lifestyle. However, being on vacation this week allowed me to fully enjoy my fix of breakfast. The best place for breakfast in Hawaii? Boots & Kimo’s!

All week, this was the one place that my friend Molly absolutely insisted we go. We woke up at 7:30 am (which is an ungodly hour for someone like me who loves to sleep) and even at that hour there was a 45 minute wait. Boots & Kimo’s is only open until 2:30 pm and apparently at peak breakfast & lunch times there can be over a 2 hour wait! Yet, people still wait and I quickly found out why.

The decor inside surprised me. I wasn’t sure if the place was a sports bar or a family style restaurant. We stepped inside and all of tables had pro NFL team logos, but the walls were painted yellow and were adorned with tiki decorations. It was confused, but combined 2 of my favorite things (football and the beach) so I was okay with it.

This was the table we were seated at. The (1-4) Carolina Panthers? Come on! I would have rather eaten at the Seattle Seahawks table! Seriously.

NFL rant aside, the food was fantastic! I got a bacon and swiss cheese omelette with hash browns. Me being me, I was relatively concerned about the swiss cheese. If you can even believe it, this was the very first time I ever had swiss cheese. Yes, believe it, because it’s true.

It was SO good. I’ve only recently (ie. the past 3 years) started eating eggs and I’m so glad that I did. Eggs are now one of my favorite foods! And hey, they’re actually good for you too. The bacon in this was real, crunchy, salty, and delicious. The cheese was abundant and I was surprised at how much I liked the swiss. Molly ordered a seafood omelette which was stuffed with cheese and crab.

She was obviously very excited, the girl freaking loves her food. I tried a bite, and if you can even believe it, I liked hers even more than my own! Crab is slowly climbing up my favorite foods list.

But onto the real star of the show. Molly also insisted that we get the pancakes. I saw a waiter bring them out to another table and noticed that they had some sort of sauce poured all over the top. I was resistant, but she was relentless vouching that I just needed to “trust her”. Easier said than done.

We ordered them to split and I can honestly say that it was the best thing I had all week. I don’t really know what exactly the sauce consisted of but it was sweet, creamy, and nutty. No syrup needed on these puppies! The pancakes were fluffy and light and SO GOOD. I don’t even have the words to describe how great these were. All I know is that I was extremely full, but I just kept on eating them anyway until my stomach felt like it was about to burst.

Finished everything. Oops! But it was hard to feel too bad about it when I was here literally 5 minutes later:

Aloha au ia ‘oe, Hawaii

Aloha from Hawaii!

The last few days have been quite a whirlwind adventure for me. In fact, it’s Wednesday morning and I’m pretty sure that I’m just now starting to recover from my jet-lag. The 6 hour time difference is a killer. But it’s totally worth it!

Seriously, you can’t even tell me that’s not worth it!

Let’s start at the beginning. My trip began with a long flight from DC to Seattle where I had a 7 hour layover which allowed me the chance to see Kristina, my best friend from middle school. I only get to see Kristina on rare occasions, so I jumped at the chance to have a long layover in my old stomping grounds.

We went to Salmon Days, which is an arts festival that I used to go to every year when I lived there. Talk about nostalgia! By the time I landed, I had already been up for 12 hours without food and was ravenous. Luckily, we happened across the Issaquah Brewhouse where we enjoyed burgers and beers at noon. Don’t judge!

I wish I had gotten to spend more time, but alas Hawaii was calling my name! I hopped back on the plane filled with good food and good beer, and slept through the next 5 hours. [sidenote: sleeping on an airplane is awesome, it’s like teleportation!]

My trip to Hawaii began something like this:

Are you not surprised? Come on!

This was insanely cool. The best part about it was that on the plane ride to 14,000 feet, you could see the entire island of Oahu and the adjacent island (sorry, I don’t know which one that is) too. I guess the whole tumbling-towards-earth-at-a-soul-crushing-120mph part wasn’t so shabby either. Glad my parachute deployed…what a rush!

There’s been an abundance of sunshine since I arrived which is such a nice break from that relentless rain that was happening back at home. I’ve spent most of my time on the beach (don’t mind if I do), and so far my only physical activity has come from a hike up Diamond Head, where only <sarcasm> the most serious of hikers venture </sarcasm>. No, but really, there were 80 year old grandmothers and tourists wearing flip flops doing this hike, so I can barely even classify it as a work-out.

However, the views were amazing and definitely worth battling all of the tourists for.

Hawaii is such a unique place. It is distinctly American, yet has this great culture all its own. Downtown Waikiki may be the only place you can pass by a luau going on right next to a Buffalo Wild Wings. I appreciate Hawaii for holding on strong to its roots. I actually keep forgetting that I’m still in America (until I look up and there’s a PF Changs on one corner and a Red Lobster on another), it’s weird to think that these little islands in the middle of the south Pacific are actually part of my country. It’s paradise and I don’t even need a passport to get here!

Today, Molly has to go to work and is leaving me to fend for myself. If I don’t get lost it will be a miracle. Although, I could think of worst places to lose my way.

More updates to come!

Just another maniac Wednesday

Good afternoon and happy Wednesday!

I’d like to introduce you to my cubemate for the day:

His name is Tito the space monkey and he is awesome. Apparently Oprah is keeping a close eye on him, making sure that he doesn’t get up to mischief.

Obviously, I don’t have too much to talk about today. I’ve decided that it may be in my best interest to put my cooking aspirations on hold until after I return from vacation since if I go shopping now, all of my food will just go bad. Have I mentioned that I’m going to Hawaii next week? Well, I am. For a whole week. And I am CRAZY EXCITED.

But before that happens, I have baking to do! My best friend/c0-worker/partner in crime/ninja, Sarah, and I have entered into our company’s cake bake competition. The theme: any Discovery show. While I can’t disclose which show we’ve chosen for our masterpiece, I can assure you that it will be epic. Now, I wouldn’t classify myself as a baker – and I’m definitely no Duff Goldman – BUT I can bake up a pretty mean cake. The decorating could be where this gets interesting.

In my head I have this cake coming out looking something like this:

(Photo credz)

Although the last time Sarah and I attempted to bake a cake together it came out like this:

This could get messy.