Friday, January 29, 2010

No Burger but a Swim

Quick post this afternoon....I am on my lunch break.  I opted to not run at lunch today, actually to not run at all today.  I have run every day this week, with the exception of Wednesday when I did 50 minutes on the bike trainer.  I am starting to get a bit of a twinge in my left hip and I am taking that as a sign that I should rest for a day. 

Funny thing with me and rest days though, unless I full commit to a day of no running, I can be easily talked into tagging along with a group at work.  Last night, knowing that I needed to rest my legs today, when packing my bag I intentionally did not put in a long sleeve shirt, jacket, hat, gloves, etc.  I knew that if I did I would end up out there today with the boys.  Well, sure enough my work running buddies were going to head out and I know if I brought the right gear I would have been out there.  I did attempt to change their plans by offering hamburgers at Chelsea's, but they were steadfast in their desire to go for a run.  Oh well, PB&J again. 

Of course that doesn't mean that I took the day off, I still have some work to do in the pool, so I did get in the water and did a "quick" 1,000M (21:28) this morning before work.  I got up abot twenty minutes late, so I didn't have time to swim for longet than that....I was hoping to get in 1,500 or 1,600M.  I was still happy to get in.  After a 400M warm up, I did a straigh 600 yd swim (the longest straight swim since September).  I definitely go fatigued, but I had to do it to find out where I am with my swim fitness.

That is it for now.  I am starting to get excited for my 15K race at Tyler this weekend.  Maybe excited isn't the right word.....anxious is more appropriate.  I am going to try and get under 1:06 if possible, although it is going to be tough with the hills.  Ciao!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where Did This Snow Come From?

I left my house at precisely 5:13AM to go to the gym, i.e. the pool.  It was cold out, but only the occasional flurry would pass in front of my headlights.  I thought absolutely nothing of it since the weather report for today stated a bit of a warming (up into the low-40s) and maybe some afternoon rain.  So I didn't think anything of it, and once I arrived at the gym it was all business, which I will get to in a minute.

You can only imagine the surprised look on my face when I emerged from the gym to find snowflake after snowflake plummeting to the ground, covering everything in sight and making for a very tricky walk to my car....I was wearing penny loafers, sans penny.  The 10 mile drive I have to my office usually take no more than 15 minutes; however, this morning it was in excess of 30 minutes.  The roads were a mess and I must have seen at least five or six cars stuck on the side of the road.  Crazy how no one talked about the snow.

As I look out the window not, it is still coming down at a very good pace and it doesn't appear to be stopping.  It should make my afternoon run pretty exciting.

Now, as for my swim this morning, not to bad.  I did 1,250M in about 26:14, which included a 400M warm-up and then 6 x 100s with 30 sec rest (probably too long of a rest but I was hurting) with a 250M cool down....I actually went pretty hard on the last 50M, hard being a relative term considering my lack of swimming endurance at this point in time.  All in all I was pretty happy with how it went and wanted to swim an additional 250M, but time was running short and I wanted to get in some abdominal work before getting in the shower.

Time to get to work.  I am looking forward to my afternoon run, I love running in crap weather.  Adios!

Added at 2:30PM:  What a great run at lunch!  The roads were clear of all snow, the temps were up to around 40F and the sun was out.  Just a beautiful day to be out running.  I did have one minor issue....I forgot my Garmin at home so I was running old school, sporting a Timex Ironman on my wrist.  I did five miles in 38:50 (7:46/mile), and felt pretty good the whole way.  Just a happy day outside minus technology (no GPS, no heartrate monitor, no iPod)....oh and a new visor!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Growing Gills

I have been a swimming fiend the past week or so.  I have made it a point to get to the pool every chance that I can get, well not exactly every chance but at least on my way to work every day.  One of my primary goals for this off-season is to get better in the water, which shouldn't be difficult since I have started so early in the year.  In all of my previous years of triathlon I haven't stepped foot in water until Memorial Day at the very earliest, but normally not until July 1st to be more realistic.  That didn't leave me with a whole lot of time to get ready for my first race....I was always completely gassed after the swim leg of the NJ State Triathlon.

This are going to be different this year, I am going to transform the swim portion of the triathlon from a suffer-fest into a almost-strength.  I am going to emerge from the water fresh and ready to crush the bike.  Am I going to turn into Mark Spitz (had to show my age a bit....Michael Phelps would have been the easy choice)?  Will I be growing gills?  Hell no, but I am not going to be the guy in the water who is simply looking to avoid drowning and getting out of the water (who am I kidding....that will always be me).

So what has happened since my last post....Friday I got in a solid 1,100M swim along with a 4.3 mile run (8:00/mile pace).  Saturday I opted to rest since I had a race on Sunday, plus me and the family headed down to Lavallette, NJ to see my 'rents.  It was great to head up to the beach and see the ocean.  I took some pictures with my new camera, I will have to post some when I get home. 

Sunday, as is always the case in the winter, is race day.  I had the Honest Abe 4.6 Mile in Tyler State Park, another Sunday of ascents and descents.  I arrived at the race site about 40 minutes before the start and decided to do a two mile warm-up along the creek.  Why two miles?  Well, I usually do a 1/2 mile for the longer races and a mile for the shorter, but since I have a 15K next weekend and a half-marathon in three weeks, I thought it would be good to get some extra miles in just to be better prepared.  As for the actually race?  It was a tough one, I wasn't feeling all that fresh.  My legs were a bit sore and my breathing a bit labored.  About three miles into it I decided that I was going to just hold on and take it easy the rest of the way.  My hamstrings were finally feeling better and I didn't want to risk hurting myself so early in the year.  I ended up finishing in 31:29 (6:50/mile), much better than I could have expected...and with me not pushing myself for the last 1.6 miles.  I looked back at my times for this same course over the past two years and I was only about 15 seconds off those times.  So I would say that immediately following the race I was a little bummed that I couldn't have finished stronger, but now looking back I am very pleased with my effort and hope to put in a good performance this coming weekend.

Yesterday was a pool day, 1,100M of back and forth in the H2O.  I tried to swim a bit farther with less rest.  I think I managed a 300M stretch where my arms didn't turn to spaghetti (yee haw!).  I decided not to run at lunch because I was a bit sore from the Sunday race and the fact that is was a friggin' monsoon out there.  I planned to get on my bike and put in 30 minutes and just loosen up my legs after the girls went to bed, but that didn't happen either.  I was just too tired and I think I fell asleep by around 10:00PM.

Today I was up at 5:00AM, and in the pool by 5:50AM.  I swam the farthest yet this year, 1,250M (25:58) and had a good time doing it.  I did a 400M warm-up and then did 12 x 50M w/:15 rest (averaged just under 1:00/100M).  I finished with a very slow and easy 250M.  Lunch time is probably going to be a 4 - 5 mile run with the guys (or solo).

That's it for now.....looking forward to getting in two to three more days in the pool this week and hoping that I begin to grow some gills soon.   Ciao!

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Ugh! I was so pissed this morning when I looked at my watch and it read 5:38AM. I had overslept by about 40 minutes and thus lost my window to go swimming. Damn, damn, damn!!! I know why I slept late, I didn't actually fall asleep until around 10:30PM last night. Why was I up so "late" (funny that 10:30PM is now considered late to me)? I didn't get on my bike until close to 9:00PM, rode for 30 minutes (busted my ass for those 30 minutes though), got a shower, at some pretzels (I was really hungry), and then laid in bed watching "ManTracker" (such a fun show to watch). I knew that I had to get up at 5:00AM, but I just couldn't fall asleep.

So that leaves me here, sitting at my desk at work, trying to figure out a way to get to the pool at some point. I am coming up empty though. I only have so much time during lunch to get a work out in and if I go to the pool I am looking at a total of 30 minutes of travel time, leaving me only about 20 minutes of active swim time when you figure in changing in and out of clothes and the necessary shower. There is no way I can do it after work because I have to pick up my little ones around 4:30PM. So it looks like a swim is not in the cards for today, nor will it be happening tomorrow (for multiple reasons). I am really bummed about this....who would have thought it was possible for me to be sad over the fact that I would be missing a swim work out. God knows five years ago I would have never felt this way.

So what is on tap for the rest of the day? I am going to be busting my ass today at work trying to complete a bunch of unfinished projects. Then at lunch I am going to head out for a 5 - 6 mile run (at least I hope it is that far). Since I have been in the office since 6:45AM, I will probably leave around 3:30PM to pick up my daughters which is a good thing. Then it is all Daddy and Daughters for the rest of the night!!! (Mommy is going out with friends tonight). I have to think of something fun to do.

Time to get crackin'! Later.

UPDATE: Only managed a four mile run at lunch. I ran with Bill and I didn't even throw out the option of a longer run because he had a meeting at 1:00PM. It was just as well because my left hamstring is still not feeling 100%. We did manage to do a challenging route, up the relatively steep Lance Rd. and then looped back for a solid run. We did it in 32 minutes flat which equals an 8 min/mile pace which I am very much OK with, although it probably should have been slower based on how my left leg is feeling.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Catching up

As usual I haven't been all that great in keeping up with writing lately. It isn't because I don't want to or I don't have a lot to say, but rather I am just super busy at work and I have zero time once I get home. I figured this morning is the only spare minutes I have to recap the last week or so....I will stick to the highlights.

The end of last week went pretty well, I managed to get in the pool on Friday which made me happy. Actually, I wasn't happy to be in the pool, I was happy that I managed to drag my ass out of bed, got in the car, drove to the gym and physically and mentally was prepared to go swimming despite my desire to not swim. My swim workout was uneventful and only a mere 850 meters, but I will take it. I decided to do a bit of light lifting while I was at the gym, heck I am paying for use of the whole facility so I should maximize my usage. I did some dumb bell bench press, some dips, some lat pull downs and a bunch of ab work. I can say now that it was not a good idea.....NOT AT ALL. It wasn't until Tuesday morning that I finally felt the soreness receed from my chest. Holy crap!

I went for an easy four mile run on Friday afternoon, which turned out being a sub-8/mile pace. I planned on going at 8:15 - 8:30 pace, but it just isn't in me to run slowly, even if I want to. Damn you competitive nature, damn you to hell!

Saturday I slept in to 7:00AM (oh yeah!) and was fortunate to be able to watch the Liverpool v. Stoke City soccer match. I say fortunate because I had the freedom to watch it, not because they blew a 1 - 0 lead in the 90th minute and then failed to pull out the win in stoppage time when Dirk Kuyt's header hit the right post and rebounded safely preserving the draw. So frustrating. After the soccer match, I went out for 3.9 mile run with my dog Willie. Running with my dog is a good way to ensure that I run easy. He always wants to run all out for the first mile, then by the second mile he is right at my side, then the third/fourth miles I am pretty much dragging him home.

There was a time back maybe seven years back when Willie was in great shape, he would accompany me on 6 - 7 mile runs. That isn't the case anymore. I have let him get out of shape, largely because I do almost all of my running during the week at work (during lunch). Despite my best efforts to get him in shape, it is tough when you work 8 - 9 hours a day, then spend time with your kids, while making dinner and waiting for my wife to get home. It doesn't leave a lot of time for taking the dog out for a 30 minute exercise romp.

Anyway, Sunday was a race down at Tyler State Park with my running club. It was the Polar Bear 8 Mile, traditionally the coldest race of the year, but not this year. I'm not sure why, but I just didn't feel great during the race. My legs were a bit sore, my breathing the slightest bit heavy and my head just not quite there. The long and short of it is that I managed to stay close to a couple of guys and planned to overtake them on the second of the two loop course. Around two miles from the finish I passed two of the three and set my sights on number three. He was about 200 yards ahead of me and as I got closer to the finish I started to lose hope of catching him. Then with about 300 yards from the finish and he only a mere 40 yards ahead of my I decided to unleash my kick. About 20 yards from the finish he heard me and started to pick up his pace.....beating my by only one second (see second picture below). Kudo to him for picking up the pace and even though I didn't catch him it was good having a target out there to spur me on to finish strong. I finished the 8 mile race in 58:11 (7:16/mile pace), faster than last year, but slower than two years ago by about 25 seconds. I think if I felt a bit better, sharper, I could have been close to 57 minutes.

Just finished 5.3 miles and still with a tough 2.7 to go.

Couldn't catch him....maybe if I could run a bit more quietly.

Monday - No work and no working out. The only exercise I did was take the family ice skating to a super packed rink (it was ridiculous how many people were on the ice). It ended up just being me and my oldest daughter doing the skating while my wife and youngest watched us. We had a good time, I just have such a great time doing "athletic" things with my girl.

Tuesday was swim/run day. I managed to top 1,000 meters in the pool and it was the first day that I felt good in the water. Don't get me wrong, I didn't feel great, but definitely better than I did on Friday. The run was a rough one; my left hamstring was really tight. Even though I wanted to take it real slow I still managed to go at 8:07/pace, which didn't help my hammy the rest of the day.

This morning was a 1,100 meter swim in 22:58. Definitely not blazing through the water, but not bad either. I felt so much better today, so much so that I am looking forward to getting back in the pool tomorrow morning. I am planning on getting on my bike tonight and doing 45 minutes. I think my hamstrings need a bit of a rest from the beating I put them through on Sunday (and Tuesday).

That is it for now. Time to get some work done!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Day Off & Pics

I set my alarm for 5:45AM this morning, thinking that I would get 30 - 45 minutes in on the bike before getting the girls on the bus/to day-care and heading to work. Well, my alarm went off, I took a deep breathe and then made the decision to try to bank some much needed sleep. I have been going pretty hard this week and not getting more than 5 - 6 hours of sleep per night. With an eight mile race looming on Sunday, I thought it was best to get a solid eight hours of sleep and then get two decent days of swimming/running in before my race.

On a totally separate note, I received an email sent to all of the members of my running club yesterday announcing that pictures from most of this winters races had been uploaded to Flicker. I checked them out and the ones of me aren't all that bad. Here is what I have:

December 13, 2009 - Covered Bridge 5K

I am in the black shirt and yellow visor....and yes, I did beat the guy in front of me, who has his arms flailing and a look of absolute fear as he sees the dreaded hill before him that he must climb to get back to civilization.

January 1, 2010 - Cham-Pain 5K (20:54)
These are all pictures from the start of the race, finishing photos haven't been uploaded yet. I am in the black shirt, white shorts and yellow visor.

January 10, 2010 - Meet & Greet 5.2 Miles (more like 4.95 miles) (35:52)

A picture of me getting ready to fly down the hill to the Covered Bridge (grey jacket and red shorts).

Me coming back up the f'ing hill and determined to beat the two guys to my left. I am pretty sure that they passed me on one of the last downhills, but I out kicked them to the finish.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

16 Hours - Bike, Swim, Run & Three Showers

The past sixteen hours has been action packed to say the least. I managed to complete a sort of mini-out of order-triathlon (bike, swim and run), which began around 9:15PM last night and finished at 12:45PM today. How did this come about you might ask? Well, I really didn't want to run yesterday because of the race I did on Sunday, and then the run on Monday. I thought that it would be smarter from a training perspective to get on my trainer and get some time in on the bike. Of course I did this not really thinking about what my "Wednesday" was going to shape up to be.

So last night around 9:15PM, after my girls were finally asleep (why does my 4 year old insist on laying in bed awake from 8:15PM - 9:15PM?), I headed to the basement to join my wife for some evening exercise. She had already put a mile in on the treadmill (good for her!) and I started to pedal away on the bike. As is always the case, it was fun to be down there spending some time with her, just talking and laughing (at the contestants on American Idol). She lasted for another mile or so, leaving me sweating solo (because I didn't want to watch the end of American Idol). It wasn't all bad, I watched last weeks episode of "Modern Family" (great, great, great show!!!) and tried to push myself a bit harder as the ride went on. I ended up doing 13.15 miles in 45:00 at 17.5 MPH, a solid ride where I picked up my average speed through out the ride.

After a quick shower (Shower #1), it was off to get some much needed sleep at around 10:30PM. The next thing I know it is 3:30AM, my oldest daughter is trying to climb into our bed because she had a bad dream. I brought her back to her room, ended up falling asleep there for an hour and then dragged myself back to my bed around 4:30AM. Then, I wake up at 5:20AM, apparently I missed my alarm again! I bolt out of bed, feed the dog, let him out and hit the road to the gym at 5:35AM.

Once at the gym, I went right to the pool and suffered through a relatively tough 750M in 15:13; tough partly because of the bike workout just eight hours earlier, partly because of my lack of solid sleep, and partly because my swimming just sucks (but not or long). I did manage to post a 1:52/100M which wasn't all that bad, not close to my sub-1:35s of last summer, but not too bad. I popped out of the pool, got cleaned up (Shower #2) and I was off to work.

I downed two bowls of Rice Krispies as soon as I got to work, around 10:00AM I need caffine (FYI, I don't drink coffee) so I drank a Cherry Coke, then at 11:15AM I was starving so I was eating peanut butter straight out of th jar. Then came the afternoon run, which was supposed to a relatively easy effort since I was still a bit out of it from the previous 14 or 15 hours. It started out relatively well, an 8:05 first mile and the second mile was a bit slower still at 8:15...I was happy with the slower pace despite the fact that I felt pretty good. Well, then Chris and bill started to push the pace a bit (I think it was them, it might have been me) and mile three was in 7:43 and mile 4 at 7:29. All in all we did 4.05 miles in 31:52 (7:52/mile) with my heartrate around 154 BPM. I was surprised that we picked it up that much at the end, but I felt fine. Oh yeah, then I bathed yet again (Shower #3).

So I sitting here at my desk procrastinating, with skin that could not be more dry thanks to the three hot showers I have taken over the past 16 hours and ah yes, I still smell like chlorine.
A couple final notes:
  • I finally got my new camera yesterday, a Nikon D3000. I really wanted the D5000, but I couldn't justify the extral $200 to get slightlymore megapixels and video on the camera. It is my first Digital SLR so I figured if I get really into taking pictures I can always upgrade in a few years.

  • I still have not gotten my K-Swiss running shoes (there they are below). I called TriVillage today to follow up and I am just not having any luck with my order. First the Craft Sweden Hat was sold out, so that held up the order, then I found out (today) that my shoe size was out of stock as well. The did promise that they would have it in the mail by the end of the day and they would be expediting it so that I can get it in a day or two. I hope so, my shoes are in bad shape.

That is it for now. Oh I will post some pics from my races in a bit. Adios!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Oversleeping and the "Jersey Shore"

"Damn it!" Those were the first two words out of my mouth this morning upon realizing that it was 5:50AM and I had overslept, missing my chance to get in the pool today. Although it wasn't entirely my fault, I was and still am mad at myself for not getting up at 5:00AM (I don't even recall my alarm going off) and heading to the gym. When I say it isn't entirely my fault I am referring to the 3:55AM wake up "call" provided to me by my oldest daughter. She wanted to climb into our bed, which I wasn't going to allow since she has a perfectly good bed in her room. Then I realized that my youngest daughter had somehow managed to climb into bed next to my wife and thus created a bit of a situation. so instead of trying to get both girls into their own beds at 4:00AM, I opted to just sleep in my oldest daughters room.

So, it looks like I am not going to be able to get a swim in today. I am planning on getting on the trainer tonight and putting in about 40 - 45 minutes on the bike, hopefully along with my wife as she spends some time on the treadmill.

On a separate note, I did get an easy run in yesterday afternoon with my friend Bill (from work). I was pretty sure from Sunday's race and pretty tired from getting up at 5:00AM and swimming that morning, but I thought it would be a good idea to do an easy run and just loosen up my legs a bit. We ended up doing 4.3 miles at 8:15/mile pace, all the while talking about MTVs "Jersey Shore". It was a solid run and the conversation was the best.

As for "Jersey Shore" can you not love "The Situation", Pauly D and Snooki? I've spent my summers in Lavallette, NJ since I was a mere infant, and once I turned 21, I can honestly say that I have hung out at many of the Seaside Heights establishments that the cast of "Jersey Shore" like to go to. Trust me, it is like it is on the show. If you ever want to see a different culture or way of life, hang out in Seaside Heights for a few hours, you will be amazed!

Ciao everyone.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Soooooooo Tired!!!

I am completely exhausted! These 5:00AM mornings are very difficult, very difficult. Let me explain....I have a one month free membership at the Hunterdon YMCA, which I joined so that I have a place to swim as I train for Ironman Arizona. The only time that I can get a swim workout in is early in the morning (before work) or late at night after the kids are in bed (after say 7:30 - 8:00PM). That translates to me getting up at 5:00AM, getting dressed and arriving at the "Y" around 5:45 - 6:00AM and then hopping into the pool. Oh yeah, and the fact that I am not a strong swimming and am not in anything resembling swimming shape doesn't make life any easier.

So what did I do this morning? I got in the pool at 6:00AM, swam a bunch of 100's, then attempted a 200, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I put in a total of 750M and was happy with it. It is funny for me to think back to September when I was in the middle of triathlon training and I was doing 300 - 500yd warm-ups followed by 200yd intervals and a 250yd cool down. Oh how things change! Lastly, as one might expect, my 100 split as horrendous, hovering just above 2:00 per 100.

On a more positive note, I ran my second race for my running clubs Winter Series yesterday, an advertised 5.2 mile run (I clocked it at 5 miles). I believe the temperature at the start of the race was 18F, so yes it was cold. Before I go on I have to say a thing or two about Tyler State Park in Newtown, PA. Our club holds every race of its Winter Series at that park and it is a beautiful place to run, with paved paths through out, beautiful scenery and the worst hills one could imagine. The one thing that I guarantee to take from these races every year is that I am in great shape heading into Spring. There is not one race that one would call flat or even gentle rolling hills. The start to every race but maybe one begins with an uphill. And in most cases, the first mile or mile and a half is going to be a pretty major climb...oh, and even when you think you are at the top and you start descending, well there is inevitably another climb.

So Sunday's race was a "Meet & Greet 5.2 Mile", and everyone was wearing name tags throughout the entire race, should you want to meet someone new....I am a bit shy, I didn't meet anyone new. The start was a bit chaotic as somehow I was in the middle of the pack of runners (a record 204), rather than near the front (but not at the very front), so I spent the first 3/4 of a mile trying to just get past people and find my right pace. I finally found a solid rhythm and proceeded to chug along. Everything was going well until I got to the "redesigned" portion of the course, where we had to descend the "Covered Bridge 5K" hill and then run back up it. I wish that I had a picture of an elevation chart to show it, it is really a beast, especially since the climb up it occurred around mile 3.5. I managed to make it up the hill without walking (I was very close to caving in and doing so), and finished pretty strong. My time was 35:53 (6:54/mile) and I came in 37th out of 204 runners.

After the race I ran into my sports doctor, Johnny King-Marino, the man who talked me into doing Ironman Arizona. I thanked him for fixing me last year and told him that I signed up for Ironman Arizona....which consequently he is going to be doing also since he wasn't able to do it this year (he was in a biking accident and broke his shoulder). All in all a good day.

That is about it for now, I have to get some work done. Hope to have some pictures up soon from races, new purchases (K-Swiss running shoes), and everything else (just ordered a Nkion Digital SLR!).


Friday, January 8, 2010

Vacation Over - Back to Business

It has been quite a while since I last wrote in this; a bit longer of a vacation than I initially thought. Things have been going well for the most part. Christmas was great, my daughter really likes her drums (my wife not so much). New Years was pretty much uneventful as I fell asleep on my youngest daughters floor around 10:30PM and woke up around 12:10AM.

I have maintained a pretty good training schedule, running and riding consistently throughout my week and a half off from work. In fact, my running clubs Winter Series has officially kicked off and I was able to run my second fastest 5K ever (20:54)....well, at least over the past 10 years or so. I also had the pleasure of volunteering at winter series race last was around 20F and friggin' cold. I was stationed in registration, which means noting who shows up and what place they finish in. It was a very cold that I didn't warm up from for a few hours. We have a 5.3 mile race this coming Sunday and I hoping to continue to improve on my times I posted last year when I won my age group.

Oh, I also joined a gym this week, the Hunterdon YMCA. By saying "join" I mean that I signed up for a one month trial membership and based on how this month goes I will either join there or possibly at the more plush HealthQuest in Flemington. I am leaning towards HQ since the facility is so much nicer (and they have towels there).

As for my day at the "Y" yesterday, wow am I out of swim shape. I could barely make it 100 yards without drowning. That is what I get for not swimming at all over the past four or five months. This is probably the hardest part for me, getting back into swimming. I am happy that I have gone ahead and taken the proverbial plunge and gotten back into the pool sooner rather than later. I see the swim as the place where I can dramatically cut time, so the more work I get in now the better I will be come triathlon season.

That is about it for now. I will update more frequently starting next week. Things have been pretty hectic lately and I have been a bit overwhelmed with everything I thought I would have to write in here. Cheers!