Wednesday, December 11, 2013

W to end the season

Hello, World.

Final Race report of the season.

Race: Palm Springs HITS Olympic distance

Start time: 0745 on Saturday

Swim: The day started out a bit brisk shall we say.  Temp was around 40 degrees with water temp around 56-57.  Needless to say, I was hesitant to do a swim warm up.  I decided to skip it and wait for the gun.  The swim was two loops and looked to be a little long.  I sized up my strategy as we waited for the gun.  We were off!  I ran along the shore, did several dolphin dives, and realized I was in the front by about 50m... unreal.  I held the lead for another 300-400m before I started getting passed by everyone and their mother.  The theme of the swim was noodle arms and loose core.  It was probably the worst I have ever felt in a swim but somehow I managed to come out in second.

Bike: I relaxed as I hopped on my Quintana Roo CD0.1.  I knew my trusty bike wouldn't let me down.  After I got on the road, I realized my legs had showed up to the party despite nearly every other body part being numb.  My goal was to push VERY hard on the bike for the first half and then take stock on the out on back.  I jammed through the flat roads and tried to juice every ounce of speed I could.  The roads were rough and they sapped the speed by about 1-2mph in contrast with the smoother roads.  I hit the turn and headed back looking for second place.  I checked my watch and had 2 minutes on the next guy.  I decided to turn the screws and see if I could balloon my lead.  My go-for-broke biking hasn't let me down this year so I rolled the dice again.  Headed into transition, I felt alright and was confident I had boosted my lead.

Run: Again, very little run training had me a little nervous for this portion.  The one saving grace is that I have lost a lot of weight with my increased cycling so the decrease in weight has helped me keep my run speed up and offset the lack of training.  I set out running 6 flat pace and tried to keep my foot on the gas.  Each mile felt agonizingly long as my breathing was bordering on out of control.  I couldn't believe I was still leading!
I hit the turn around and finally looked back.  NO ONE.  I ran back and took stock.  I had a 4 minute lead over the next guy...but he was literally flying.  I recognized him as an ex-collegiate runner and knew my lead wasn't safe.  I ran scared shitless towards the finish.  I kept asking people if anyone was coming and the answer kept being no but I didn't trust them.  I only relaxed 200m before the line when I saw Caitlin who told me that I was well and truly clear.  I finished off with a 37 mid 10k.

Post-race: Overall I was stoked with the win.  It was probably my best win to date as I took it to a couple ex collegiate runners and spanked them handily. My swim was absolutely horrible.  I didn't take a single good stroke. It was a bit too cold.  The bike was dialed in as it has been all season.  I put 4-5 minutes into everyone and blew the race wide open. The run was a slight improvement and polished it off.  It wasn't anything to write home about but not a surprise and did the job.

HITS again put on a good show. I feel like a broken record but they have great transition areas, a low key feel, and excellent prizes (I got about 500$ worth of swag including some really nice sunglasses, a new road helmet, and a commuter back pack). It was also great to see Phil and Rachel of Hypercat racing.  They were the bike shop sponsor of the race.  Always a good time chatting and hanging out with them.  They're the best.  Huge thanks to Evotri's sponsors for another great year and  wonderful support. The biggest thanks to Caitlin who is a legend in her own time.  She is an unbelievable spectator on race day. I love sharing these races with her and hanging out during the race weekend.  One of the main reasons I like racing now is because it's a good excuse to hang out with my best friend and love of my life.

Next up: off season and a lot more bike riding :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

HITS Lake Havasu Olympic RR

Hey blog world. Buckle up. Race report time.

Race: Lake Havasu HITS Olympic distance

Start time: 0800 on my Sister's birthday

Swim: Got off to an amazing start with some dolphin diving and fleetingly thought I would lead the whole swim. Marc Rinzler came around me and promptly ended that delusion as he proceeded to embarrass me. I swam strong and long through the two loop course with heaps of dolphin diving that helped break up the monotony. Overall felt good but the time was shit. 23:19 or thereabouts which is not up to snuff. Marc was well up the road and I was sitting in second.

Bike: Got down to business quickly and once my glutes had settled down, I was motoring. The road was absolute crap. Loads of cracks, sand, and chip seal. Lots of hairpin turns that I tried to take at speed, channeling my inner Tony Martin. Sadly the speed was hard to come by. I also have a confession... I drafted a jeep for about a mile. I couldn't come around and didn't want to hit the breaks... so I just sat there at 37 mph shamelessly drafting. Nothing really to say but sorry. Once the jeep left, I settled into a rhythm trying to pull back time on Marc. I saw him at the half and he was 3/4mile up the road. I took 2 minutes out of him but to get within a minute. 59:30... 2nd bike course record in as many races. To be fair, only two races on this course but I'm claiming it as Paul Amey raced here last year. Looks like he soft pedaled but I don't care.

Run: No run training had me nervous for this. I got into it and tried to find a nice stride. It wasn't pretty but I was moving alright. Still couldn't see Marc as I desperately tried to turn it over. The cadence is pretty bogged down right now. Coming out to the turnaround I spotted him not too far up. We both started doing the math and the numbers weren't looking good for me but maybe. I put in a huge surge through mile 4 to see if I could close but it wasn't to be. I dug but the effort caused me to pop. My pace slowed as my hair started standing on end- not a good sign. I headed around the course and gritted it to the line. 37:47 I think.

Overall time: 2:02:4x for 2nd overall

Post-race: Overall pretty satisfied. Very unhappy with the swim time. I guess it's time to address that in training. The bike was very good compared to the field but the road and course made it slower than I was looking for. Either way, the bike is right on the money now. The run was a surprise. I would have thought something around 39 but to duck under 38 was nice given my run mileage is probably less than 30 miles for the last two months just due to niggles. My weight is low though so it's allowing me to fake it a bit. Anyways- onwards and upwards. HITS also put on a good show. Great transition areas, low key feel, excellent prizes (I got a bunch of swag including 2 pairs of sunglasses) and a solid venue. Loved it.

Next up- HITS palm springs olympic distance

Monday, September 30, 2013

Bloggin for Doug and my Mom

Yesterday I raced a local Olympic distance race in Carpinteria. Doug and my Mom wanted more details so, since I love you guys, here are more details than you ever cared to know-

It was my first race since May, so I was itching to get out there.  Fitness is good, especially on the bike thanks to Larry and Terenzo.  Those boys have taken me to a new world of pain in bike intervals and I have been feeling different for the last month.  Sort of like I had broken through a plateau. I was excited to see how the training would translate to the race. The course is an out and back ocean swim, a hilly and slow 40k bike, and a 10k through a neighborhood and then onto some dirt paths before doubling back and finishing in the downtown area.

Swim: I had a mild revelation at the start that my past swim strategy was garbage.  Usually I red line to the first turn buoy and then try settle in.  The idea is to get to clean water with no one around.  What ends up happening is my heart rate goes nuts, my arms blow apart, and I end up not having clean water any way because I’m not fast enough to separate.  Then I go backwards through the field.  The reason it doesn't work is that I have a feeble V02 max and I am not a fast swimmer. For some reason it took me about 5 years to realize that this wasn’t a good plan.  I decided to ease into the pace and see if I could go steady.  Turns out that makes things work a lot better.  I relaxed into the swim and just kept strong and relaxed. 

By 500m, I was sitting in 3rd with the first two guys about 15 yards ahead. We hit a random turn buoy that was multicolored. They turned so I followed.  After another 30 seconds to a minute of swimming, I was slapped on the head by a surf life saver who told me we turned too early… @#!$.   My first thought was that I had screwed my race before it had started.   I turned around and did the mental wrestling of either faking a turnaround and not going the full course or doing the right thing and going to the proper buoy.  I thought the surf life saver hadn’t caught the leaders and they would be miles up the road by the time I was out of the swim.  I begrudgingly went to the proper turn buoyr and came back.  I got through the course and out of the swim in a pack of 4, depressed that I had given the race up with a wrong turn.

Bike: Onto the bike, I was still in the pack of 4.  I moved through the guys pretty quickly and started following a motorcycle who seemed to be directing us. As I passed the leader of our group, I asked him where we were in the race.

“Well, now you’re in first.”

Whoa! Hmm… after the swim snafu, I didn’t fully believe him. Either way, I had to get up the road either to bank time on them or to catch the unseen leaders.  I tore off after the motorcycle.  Legs felt good and I was pedaling smooth circles, trying to keep my speed up.  The course is both horribly and beautifully without rhythm.  It has everything: false flats, rolling hills, true flats, a couple 1-2 mile climbs, tons of sharp corners, and  even a sketchy descent or two.  It has more variety than any other tri course I’ve done.  In short, it’s one of the best triathlon courses I have ever done if biking is your thing.

My buddy Kyle had done the race last year and I checked his results to see what time I should expect.  I use him as a benchmark because he’s ridiculously consistent and ridiculously fast. If I can be in the ballpark, I know I’m doing ok. He went 1:05 on the bike so I knew it was going to be a hard course to get a fast time.  I was figuring if I could go around there, that would be solid.  If I could go 1:03, that would be AWESOME and I might win.

I kept the pressure on, trying to make time on the field with every climb, descent, and corner.  I was super aggressive and switched on the whole time.  It really helped to follow the motorcycle as I didn’t have to think about the course. I just followed and tried to pick the best lines.  There was no rhythm to be found and my legs were getting tortured as I was trying to juice all the speed I could out of my bike.  I had 2 mile sections where I was riding 8 mph and 2 mile sections where I was riding 42mph.  As I was coming into town, I looked down and saw 59:xx on the clock with a couple minutes to go!  I had a feeling that I was going good, but now I knew I had lit the course up.  I finished the bike in 1:01 which was way faster than expected and probably the best bike performance I’ve ever had.  I got excited and nearly crashed my bike as I tried to dismount.  The bike seat basically went up my @$$ and my shoes and pedals scraped the ground.  After feeling super pleased with myself for my clever bike riding, I was quickly reminded how much of a goober I am.

Run: Turns out with my excitement during the bike and focus on the course, I had completely forgotten about the run.  I jammed through transition and out onto the course.  After a half mile or so, it felt like my legs were moving fine so I looked at my speed on my watch. Immediate thought- “Oh no…This isn’t good. Well maybe you’ll come around after a mile or so.Mile 2 came and went and that was not the case.  Now, I was feeling the pressure and paying the heavy price that comes with fast riding. I was a mule pretending to be a race horse and had somehow found myself in the front.  I realized I had forgotten how to race!  To make matters worse, there were no calories at any of the aid stations- just water. I was running on fumes and deteriorating rapidly as the course got a bit tougher and onto the dirt. The course was by no means difficult, but I was shelled and it sure seemed hilly and hard.  I checked my watch at the turn around to see where the field was and started the clock.  After a minute or so, I saw the next runner.  I ran by and heard a “Johnnnyyy” from behind me.  I hadn’t recognized him as I was too busy trying to look like my insides weren’t about to come out my ears, but it was Sam!  I had met him on a hard training ride a month back or so.  I knew he was an excellent runner from T.  Usually a 2 minute lead is gravy, but the way I was running nothing was a guarantee.  I put in a surge to get through to mile 5 with as much of my lead intact as possible. The internal dialogue went something like this-
“Don’t screw this up. Caitlin got up at 5am for this nonsense.  Don’t waste her time and cough this up in the last mile.  No one is going to be happy if you let this go after leading for so long...well, maybe Sam will. ”
I tried to keep the form together until ¼ mile to go. I looked back and no one was in sight as I saw the finishing chute.  I saw Caitlin going nuts as I crossed the line in relief. Laying down, I looked into the sky and smiled as I waited for my heart to stop machine-gun beating.

Post-race:  Usually when I have a garbage run, my immediate reaction is disgust with the race overall.  This is the first time where my bike was so good that it actually didn’t matter.  That being said, Triathlons are like little lessons.  You always get exposed in some form or fashion. This time my lessons were:

  • Speed is the only thing that matters on the bike.  There are no awards for the highest normalized power. Bike handling and taking the right lines on the course help in juicing every ounce of speed out of the bike.
  •  Don’t go absolutely harry hardnuts on the bike.  Save a little something so you can save your dignity on the run.
  •  Run more.  The race showed me that I am transforming from a triathlete into a biker.  I need to balance it back out again.  Quads are too big or something.
  • Aggression and fear help me race better

Damn it is fun to ride a bike like that.  Thanks to Quintana Roo for making the CD0.1 so freakin fast and stable. Thanks to Zipp for making wheels so fast they should be illegal.  And finally, thanks to everyone for the support... especially Cait.

PS-How dare I forget this, but arguably the most important experience of my day, if not my life, was Phil (of Hypercat fame) letting me use his recovery pump and fetching me Ahi Tuna from God knows where. Even if it was from the garbage, it was splendid.  Let it be known, bloggers, that he is very close to me and instrumental in my life.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fat Coffee

You have probably heard about this new fad and thought, "what the %$#@ is this world coming to?" Bulletproof Coffee is basically a coffee/butter smoothie.  The kicker is... it's billed as healthy...  Now dear bloggers, you may be asking just how exactly is putting butter in your coffee healthy? This all sounds incredibly stupid.  These are some of the purported benefits. Suspend your disbelief, I guess.
  • You get a 5-6 hour clean, even, burst of energy from high quality good fats
  • It is useful as part of fat adaptation protocol, signalling your body to look for fat as a fuel source and transition away from a dependency on grains, high carbohydrate and sugar fuel sources which swing energy levels and cravings up and down all day
  • Helps with weight-loss and improves brain function according to the BulletProof Exec
  • Feel light and not weighed down in the morning digesting a heavy meal, it led to increased productivity
So.... um, because I am a gullible and curious sucker on the whole, I just tried it.  Here's what I used:
  • 2 mugs folger's black silk coffee
  • 2 tbsp high quality UNSALTED butter.  The idea is to use grass-fed butter but Caitlin and I couldn't find it so we used the highest quality organic, hormone free blah blah butter we could find. Food that comes from a grass fed vs grain fed animal is apparently superior nutritionally.
  • 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil.  Unrefined means it retains the coconut flavor. (medium-chain-triglycerides, the dominant ingredient in coconut oil

Notes/Results- The taste was actually surprisingly really good.  I won't go into detail because not knowing how it was going to taste was part of the fun of testing this out.  Generally I wake up ravenously hungry.  A cup of butter shake shuts that down in a hurry.  I usually chug my coffee but there is no chugging butter coffee. Slowing this down for me is generally a positive.

I was curious as to how this would impact exercise.  I immediately tested it out on a moderately hard 2.5 hr ride with pretty solid results.  Good energy levels for 2 solid hours of nothing but water.  I felt a bit of a dip in energy after that but until that point the energy was level, clean, and high.

However, the biggest benefit has been at work.  I feel very focused and efficient when I have this coffee.  It was shocking how much of a different it makes.

In short, I am sold.  I have been doing this for several months now and it has become a staple. Give it a whirl, bloggers.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Product Review: Podium Cold

I just got back from a standard Saturday morning smash fest on the bike.  My buddy Larry and I ripped through three seven-minute intervals at ~425 watts uphill and then hit a hard 5-mile climb called Rockstore.  Rockstore is a great climb and was featured in the tour of California. No matter how fast you ride it, it seems to sap your legs of whatever is left. 
A couple years ago, that ride would have been the end of a really solid day and I would have bagged it and lounged around for the rest of the day. I might have needed to recover the following day. However, as I get further into the sport, the standard volume of workouts and weekly training load has bummed up significantly as feeding my endorphin addiction has become increasingly difficult.  Full rest is rarely on the agenda.  As I ramp up the training, the body needs a bit of extra love in order to bounce back.  After a year of injury, I have become proactive with the little things that keep you on the road and rolling.  Foam rolling, elevating your legs, and compression socks are all excellent starters.  But I am always in search of the next thing.  I am a tinkerer.  Ice baths have always been effective for me and I came across a product that gets you the same effect and is a bit more practical.
The product is called the Podium Cold legs wraps.  They are basically full-length ice wraps that you apply as a recovery aid after big days.

 My first use was an interesting experience.  My first impression when I threw them in my freezer was surprise.  They actually fold up and fit really nicely.  I hadn’t considered it but fitting full leg anything in your freezer is pretty impractical but the folding was quite an easy solution. 

On my first use, I found putting 8 Velcro straps sort of cumbersome.  They are also limited in terms of how tightly you can wrap the straps but  once they were on, they felt awesome.  Not too cold, but just right.  I used them for 15 minutes for the first time and that amount of time seemed right as well.
Putting them to the test through the last 4 months, I have noticed less soreness as you would expect with icing.  It allowed me to up my volume without carrying that deep muscle soreness that used to follow me around.  The fatigue was still present but the ache was gone.  I often used them twice a day on heavy multiple workout days.  I found them most effective though when I combined using them with a pre-ice flushing massage.  I massage my quads, calves, and hamstrings and then put the Podium colds on and it seems to help considerably more.
One thing I noticed though was when they get wet from melting; they accumulate a bit of moisture on the inside of the legs.  This moisture turns to frost in the freezer and can burn your skin if you apply it directly.  I solved this by wiping the wraps down with a towel and then wearing tights before using them.  
Overall, my experience with the Podium Colds has been excellent. I tested these for four solid months and they have been a worthwhile addition to my routine and have helped me stay injury free through some very heavy blocks of training and racing. I use them nearly on a daily basis when really getting after it.  At 99 dollars, they are a very affordable substitute for the thousand-dollar compression pump and serve a similar function of flushing your legs out, speeding recovery, and reducing soreness.

Check out their website and find them on facebook

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Desert Triathlon Race Report

I am stealing this race report format from a friend.  She is a much better athlete than I and apparently a much better blogger.  Here goes-

Pre-race:  I was nervous heading into this race.  For two reasons.  One- It's one of my favorite races of all time.  The weather is usually good, the competition is excellent and goes deep, and the course is fast.  And two- I was starting to feel really optimistic about my fitness.
Caitlin and I met up with our good buddies Larry and Christina for some Mexican food prior to the race.  The food was stupidly good.  The whole dinner my legs were bouncing up and down under the table.  My energy was through the roof and I felt like I was going to have a blinder of a race in store. I was feeling like a coiled spring.

Race Day:

Swim: I launched myself into the water and tried to get into a rhythm as quickly as possible.  I was struggling to find feet to follow and wound up in no-man's land.  Swimming alone, I just focused on the process of getting out of the G-D water.  I thought about each stroke and tried to channel some good form.  I also kept thanking God for getting each little bit further in the swim.  With epilepsy, the swim is never taken for granted.  I finally rounded the last buoy and headed into shore.

Bike:  I whipped through transition and out with my new Quintana Roo CD0.1.  I was excited to race the bike now that I really had my position dialed on it and I had trained on it a bit.  Out onto the roads, the legs were feeling like magic.  I was clicking along, thinking my Garmin was full of $#!T as it was ready 27.5-28 mph with no wind to speak of... I was riding out of my skull!  I settled into an aggressive rhythm and worked my way from 15th through to 4th.  I stuck in my aerobars for nearly the entire course and just pedaled smooth controlled circles.  I ended with an all time best average speed of 25.4 mph for 24 miles!

Run:  Moment of truth.  Can you run fast off the bike? ... At this point my answer is probably not but you have to try. Onto the run, a step ahead of 5th place I was up on my toes and running hard.  I was feeling some cramping but hoping it would melt as cramps usually do.  5th place turned into 4th place as he was pure class and I was out to lunch comparatively. I tried to keep the elastic from snapping and came through the first mile in 5:45.  He was 3 seconds ahead with the elastic still in tact.  Next mile- 5:50.  6 seconds ahead.  Then the full on cramping hit me like a bomb.  I had never had cramps like that.  My diaphragm had gone completely haywire.  It was like horrifically painful hiccups.  My pace dropped as I gasped pathetically.  4th place pranced away from me as my next mile came in at 6:12.  I was unraveling.  The cramps continued as I set out on lap 2.  I slowed and squeezed deep into my rib cage and suddenly the cramps melted.  I was back into my pace!  next mile came in low 6's and then another 6 flat and then mid 5:50's as I hit the tape.  I finished the 6 mile run with an average of 5:58's!

Yep.  That was a good one.  It was about 1.5 minutes faster than the last time I raced here and that race was unbelievable at the time.  After the race I was thinking- It's amazing.  That minute and a half means nothing to anyone but it means so much to me.  It's good to be back racing after a year of injuries. I spared you the gory details by not blogging for that year but- trust me- it wasn't fun.  This is fun.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

An extraordinary week

Day 1- Dear lord. I found out that my Bike frame is non-functional. My sweet Seduza's dropout had cracked straight through. I rushed it to the ER only to be told that it was a terminal issue and required carbon repair. I went home, despondent, and put it on the trainer as it would have been a liability on the roads. I spun for 2 hours in silence. 1 hour aerobic/ 1 hour speed.  
Day 2- I got out in the morning and nailed a moderate paced track session, thinking about my bike the whole time. Depression was the name of the game. I had a race on the weekend and needed a steed. I had to solve the issue and it would take some creativity as I had a strict budget and no time to waste. Fortunately, I had a CD0.1 frame that I was waiting to build so it's time had come.  It was about to be called up to the Majors. I sold my SRAM crankset and bought a SRAM Red BB30 version on sale which ended up clearing up some cash. Then I ordered some levers and I decided to gut the seduza and use the parts. I hit the pool after work for a 2500 swim. Again, a moderate effort just getting the work done. Chop wood. Carry water.
Day 3- Day off as I was feeling fried. My volume has been high this year and I am still figuring out how best to handle it. With a race on the weekend, I like to have two full days off in the week before. I find it helps me get that "pop" feeling of freshness on the day.
Day 4- 6 mile run with some hard strides. I had no idea what the weekend would hold as I hadn't touched on race pace all year except a bit on the bike. The first race of the year is always a crap shoot. It's even more of a crap shoot when you are riding a new bike for the first time. Legs felt good overall. Aerobic system was still lethargic but that was kind of expected. Patience is the key in race week.
Day 5- I got out for an easy 4 miler with strides at lunch. I stayed on a dirt trail by my office. It is 1/2 mile long. Soft is good for easy runs which outweighs the boredom factor of running back and forth on a 1/2 mile strip. After getting home, I raced to the pool to nail an hour long set. Can't recall what I did but I think it had some fast 100's and 200's. Well... fast for me. Slow for the middle school girls' swim team. Everything is relative. Sidenote- all my parts were now in for the bike build. I had called my boy, Phil, at Hypercat Racing Bike Boutique and he agreed to squeeze me in for a build right before the race. What a legend.
Day 6- I went up to see Phil and he made quick work of the CD0.1 build. The nicest touch in my mind were the wicked red highlights in the cockpit and the red cable housing. It just looks FLASH!

With team Evotri, matching and style are what it's all about. After some trialing and tweaking, we left Hypercat and headed for the bike course of the Camarillo duathlon. Even though I was really familiar with the area, I wanted to make sure I would know the turns (foreshadowing). I zipped around the course and the bike felt snappy and stable despite some serious wind. It squirted along the flats like a bar of soap and felt rock solid. Love it! Ready to race!

Day 7- Nervous for the first time, I got in the car with Caitlin riding shotty. We headed to the check-in and I went about my twitchy checking and double checking pre-race routine. My type A-ness (say that fast) was showing big time. After a quick warm up, I hit the start line. I did a quick prayer for safety right before the BANG! I was off and in the lead for the first 1/4 mile. Two guys moved through and I kept in touch, settling into my rhythm. I checked my GPS and I was well sub 6 so I relaxed knowing it was a good place to be. The first lap was done and I was feeling... comfortable??! Comfort is a rare feeling at 5:47 pace for me. I rolled around the next lap and into T1 sitting in third with 1st about 20s up and 2nd about 4s up. I tore through transition and onto the new Quintana Roo. This was where I would move. I made short work of the 2nd place and set off like a death train from hell after 1st place. I was locked in and making slow chips out of his advantage. Complete tunnel vision. I had his lead down to 5 seconds as we dived into a turn... I noticed the street sign as we leaned into the turn. OH CRAP! We were off course. Un-freaking-believable! I yelled to the leader but the head wind drowned me out. I spun around and headed back to the course cursing at my bumble. All told I added on 5.5 miles but rode well. Despite a solid wind, I held a 24.2 mph average into T2 and I was out onto the run. I shot off, running with a bit of agitation at my stupidity. 1st mile was 5:48! I was stunned and now was jazzed to keep the turnover high. Second mile came in at 5:45. Finishing it off with a 5:46. And Boom goes the dynamite!

I came in 4th place overall but the place didn't matter as I had screwed up the course beyond belief. The performance was rock solid, my new CD0.1 had me flying, and I was actually running well for the first time in a year and half.  Also, I didn't quit which I was pretty pleased about.  I have a feeling that the week was the start of a good season. Sort of an abnormal week but I loved it so I thought I would share :)