Channeling my inner speed demon

Ok, so I’ve probably said this a million times – but I truly don’t consider myself a speedy runner.  I think I do ok for myself, but I don’t really equate me as a runner to me as a speedy runner.

However, after my recent post on learning to trust myself and my abilities more, it’s time to stop assuming I’m “not fast” and start “faking it until I make it.” Because like it or not, I’ve got to channel that inner speed demon of mine and to coax her out of her shell. (What can I say, I have a shy side, who knew?)

What better way to do that than <wait for iiiiiiit> with INTERVALS.
My favorite love-to-hate running drill, as you might already know about me.

Yesterday was an “on” day, running-wise, for me. After a couple of tweets back and forth on what type of dreadmill workout I ought to conquer, my ever-so-wise friend Heather suggested this:

Heather Iacobacci

 I say combo – do 2 miles at intervals then finish out with 2-3 steady 

What a novel idea! A combination steady-state/interval style workout. I had never thought of that before. For real. I always went for either a steady-state run OR an intervals workout, but never even considered combining the two. Duh. Genius idea, my friend, GENIUS!

So without further ado, here’s how my interval/steady-state workout turned out:

2 min warm-up: 3.5 mph
2 miles, steady-state: 6.5-7 mph
1 mile, building intervals, as follows: 2.1 @7.1 mph; 2.2 @7.2 mph, 2.3 @7.3 mph, etc. until I hit mile 3.0 @8.0 mph
.5 mile active recovery: 6.0-6.5mph
1.5 mile, building intervals, as follows: 3.5 @7.1 mph; 3.6 @7.2 mph, 3.7 @7.3 mph, etc. until I hit mile 5.5 @8.5 mph
.5 active recovery: 6.0-6.5mph
5.5 miles total

Sweatastic, right?

Let me tell you – those building interval miles frickin’ FLEW on by. I’m definitely going to build this interval plan out next time, perhaps adding another segment of building intervals for another mile to make it a 6.5 or 7 mile total workout.

And another thing? I was so surprised to see myself running in the 8s and 8.5 mph range. Sure my legs were FLYING and I thought my lungs would explode, but guess what? I got through it. And felt like a total rockstar at the end. I’m legit still riding that runner’s high today, a full day later.

So I guess my “I’m not a speedy runner” thing isn’t gonna fly around these parts much longer, huh? The more I trust my body and allow it to break free to do what it’s capable of doing, the stronger I’ll become. I firmly believe that after getting through this workout yesterday. Score one for me!

PS. If you try this interval workout, I’d love to hear about it! As always, definitely tailor this to your endurance levels, starting at your comfortable running pace (which may be 5 mph, 6mph, 7mph or somewhere in between!) and build up slowly. Just because I’ve written this out using my speeds as an example, doesn’t mean that you have to run it exactly like I did it, just try out the pattern and see what works for you. My two cents, anyway.  😉

Things I’ve learned: healthy eating edition

Things I’ve learned: healthy eating edition: 

…peanut butter is the best invention ever. In oatmeal, OMG yum, perfect protein boost. On top of a trader joe’s english muffin? Practically tastes like dessert. On an apple or banana, perfect PM snack (or anytime snack, really). On freshly roasted pineapple – legit, dessert-worthy. <—this blogger may just be eating this very dessert as she writes this post…

…pureed pumpkin mixed into a box of spiced pumpkin cake mix is an awesome in-a-pinch “quasi” muffin. Or mixed into other things – oatmeal, pancakes, and lots of other things I’m not even considering at the moment (blogger friends, educate me on all things pumpkin!).

…but sometimes…only a real, freshly-made (with real butter!) toll house chocolate chip cookie will do. Moral of this story? Sometimes you just have to eat the cookie. Preferably with a cup of tea and your two sisters by your side (wait, is that specific to me? woops…)

…fruit, in all shapes, sizes and forms, truly is nature‘s candy, and yes – I really do believe that. (I never used to, in fact – I used to scoff at anyone who said that with conviction…). Watermelon this summer was my BFF (this girl shared my obsession, oh how I miss her!). And so far this winter? Roasted pineapple (see above!) or a clementine (or two, or three…) – just. can’t. stop.

…it’s ok not to stuff yourself silly on the holidays; it’s also ok to enjoy the holiday and all the yummies that come with it, without feeling deprived. On Thanksgiving, I proved that it can be done. I chose my treat – father in law’s stuffing, OMG heavenly – and filled the rest of my plate with veggies and turkey. I even had a glass (or two!) of wine. And a lowfat dessert, thanks to my sister in law. Did I feel stuffed afterwards? Nope. Did I feel satisfied, but not deprived? You betcha.

…a healthy lifestyle is just that: a lifestyle, a forever thing. And it’s best done with friends, or sisters, or husbands. Or all three.

Things I’ve learned: healthy eating edition…healthy makes me happy. How ’bout you? Keep my list going – what would you add to this list (or remove!)?

46:18 closer to trusting me


…that was our (PR-worthy) finishing time on Thanksgiving’s Wild Turkey Run (our 4th time running!).

It was a PR that I fought for. (sound familiar?)

But it was also an eye-opening experience, too. So much so that it took me a couple of days to mull it over before writing up this race recap.

But let me back-up to the race itself.

Thanksgiving morning. Woke up, looked at Scott, smiled. Thankful for him.
Jumped out of bed. Brrrr. Knew it was gonna be a chilly start to the race (32 degrees!). But I was excited — I had a brand-spankin’ new pair of Under Armour compression tights to take for a spin. I was ready to bundle up and own this race.

Standing at the starting line of the race, I couldn’t help but think back to the previous three times I’d stood at that very start line.

I felt so different this time.
…Not afraid.
…Not anxious (other than a few butterflies).
…Not intimidated.
I felt every bit the runner that I’ve grown into and I was ready to run a hard race (even if I was whining away to Scott about how cold I was…to which I got the usual reply: “suck it up, Sally.”)

During the race, I once again felt like I was struggling (same feeling I felt during the first half of the last half marathon). I started to doubt myself. The thought of running a sub-50 minute 5-miler soon became “Ok, I’d be happy with a 50 minute 5-miler…” Once again, I was not recognizing that me ‘struggling’ was actually me working for that PR, fighting through those miles, pushing against my body’s desire to slow down, to take the easy way out.

And I could tell Scott was frustrated with me. Not because I wasn’t working hard enough, but because he could sense that I was starting to doubt myself. Once I saw the 4-mile mark (ironically, the same spot the 12-mile mark was from the Wicked Half last fall), I kicked it up a notch. I literally said to myself “stop talking yourself out of this.”

And I pushed it. Harder and harder. Told myself to “run the mile you’re in” – and that mile was my last mile so you best believe it was my fastest mile.

When we crossed that finish line and I saw the 46:18 beaming back at me from the race clock, I was honestly stunned. I really thought I was bound to see a 50+ finish…that all that self-doubt had won.

I looked at Scott, happy with our finish, but still sensing that something was on his mind. To which he responded:

“You’re fitter than most of the people in this race, why don’t you see that?”

Which was his way of saying, you could have fought harder, I knew you had it in you. That’s not to say he didn’t think I pushed it or that he wasn’t proud of our finish – he just sees something in me that I still have trouble seeing:

I have “it” in me to push harder. To challenge myself to pick up the pace. To trust myself. Not doubt. Trust.

And he’s absolutely right. I do have it in me. It’s time to stop holding back — to let go is the only way I’ll see what this body is truly capable of.

So this race? Let’s call it 46:18 closer to trusting “me.” 
…I dig it.


Yup, tomorrow is Thanksgiving.

A day when most sit back to give thanks for all of the blessings that surround them in their lives. They use that day to give thanks. That day. When really (and I’m guilty of it too), we should be giving thanks every single day.

There is at least ONE thing we can pick out of our day to give thanks for. Big or small, trust me – if you look hard enough, you’ll find it. I promise.

This is something that the lovely Lindsay reminded me of the other day on her blog. Now this girl? She always brings such amazing and loving perspective, I LOVE her blog (and her) for that very reason. I am thankful for her, yes I am. 🙂

So, on the eve of Thanksgiving? — I’m not going to sit back and list out what I’m thankful for. Nope.

Instead, I’m going to make a real effort to give thanks every single day. You might see it here on the blog. You might see it on twitter. Or even on Facebook (note to self…maybe time to make an FB page for this blog, hmm?). Or, you might not see it at all. But trust me on this – it’s there. I realize how ridiculously blessed I am in all areas of my life. Far too many to even list in one blog post, let alone many posts.

So today? Everyday? I’m thankful. For this thing called LIFE. It’s a rollercoaster, but it’s mine. It’s my one and only shot at this thing, and I’ll be damned if I don’t give it my all.

…Life: I am thankful for you. Today. Always.

In other Thanksgiving-related news? I’ve been seeing a lot of posts and tweets about the eating fest that is Thanksgiving (and the holiday season in general). And I’m honestly surprised at how many give in to the urge to use the holidays as a “reason” to throw away healthy, balanced eating habits in favor of a no holds barred approach.

…I used to be one of them.

But this holiday season? I’m really excited to enjoy the holidays with family and friends. I’m not afraid that I’ll overdo it at the appetizer table (or dessert table). But I’m also not afraid to enjoy the food I eat either. But that’s the big difference — I’m looking forward to enjoying the food, and the experience of being surrounded by loved ones.

My one and only goal for the holidays? Choose the one “treat” you’ll never get any other time of year and enjoy it to the fullest. Don’t go for the “everyday” items (think bread baskets, crackers and cheese, etc.). Go for that luxury item and savor every last bite.

On Thanksgiving that means just one thing: my father-in-law’s stuffing. He makes it using an old Italian recipe that incorporates hamburger and other goodies into the mix. Ridiculously good. Cannot wait. ❤

…happy Thanksgiving, friends.
(and for those of you racing tomorrow, run happy, I know I will be!!)

Hello, body? I have one (ok, two) simple requests

Hello, body? I have one (ok, two) simple requests: 

Can we puhleeze get it together and finally conquer the PLANK and PUSH-UP series in barre n9ne, already??

I mean really, you’ve been taking class for over six months now and those damn planks and push-ups are the death of you. What gives?

…are we sally-ing out and not pushing through the shake like we do at the barre?
(maybe? Ok, definitely maybe. Ok, definitely sally-ing out. Caught. Red. Handed) 

Because really, you’re starting to embarrass me now – you’re strong and able, let’s show these planks and push-ups how it’s done. mmk?

Yep. These were the thoughts going through my head last night during my double session at barre n9ne. That and lots of curse words when Tanya flipped on the song (Beautiful, Dirty, Rich) that only means one thing in class: thigh dancing (which perhaps should be renamed thighs-burning-like-hell-how-on-earth-is-this-dancing??). But we’ll save that topic for another day.

Back to planks and push-ups. They are my nemesis. And I am so determined to conquer them. And soon. To me, being able to hold a plank series and to be able to get through a push-up series with killer good form and without taking breaks? Epitomizes a fit body to me. I don’t know why, but it just does.

I want to be that “fit body” in class that can get through the whole series. I want it badly. So what am I gonna do about it? I’m gonna work hard, wicked hard, to push through the pain, to let my body shake like I’ve learned to let it do at the barre.

And soon, I’m gonna kill that plank and push-up series like a rockstar. Why yes, yes I am

***This pep talk to self brought to you by a serious case of barre n9ne high last night. And now, back to regularly scheduled programming.**

Run, run, run, run, ruuuuun!

Run. Run. Run. Run. Run. Ruuuuun!

That’s all I’ve wanted to do for the past week. That’s it. Just run. Run, run, and run some more. I ever so impatiently patiently waited. For my knee to feel less achy. For my body to say that it was ok to run. For it to be that time. Run time.

I finally got my chance this weekend. But I didn’t just run, I ran TWICE this weekend and it was glorious.

The first test run was on Saturday and it ended up being a treadmill run. A cool 5 miles while the husband did his weight workout beside me in our home gym. Watching “Revenge” on demand (really good show, fyi). I won’t say the miles flew by but I definitely was pleased that my body was good to me and allowed a full five miles before I smartly called it quits. I wanted to go far enough that still felt good without pushing it too far and risking overdoing it right out of the gate. Test run #1: done. No pain. Lots of stretching afterwards. Success.


Then Sunday rolled around. Time for test run #2. This time, we took off outside. It was oddly a lot warmer than I anticipated. Cue overdressed and a sweaty mess about a mile in. Woops. Thankfully, I actually appreciated the occassional wind gust, kept me from overheating. 😉

We went for our ‘pretty’ run – the 7 mile loop that takes us over a bridge by the ocean and past a really pretty golf course. Hence “pretty run.” (we’re so original, huh?)

And honestly? It was pretty awesome. Despite the congestion that still lingers (making it difficult to breathe in portions). It didn’t matter that it felt “harder” than before — I totally chalked it up to the congestion and not to the running rest I’ve been taking. I didn’t let my mind try to trick me into thinking that I’d somehow lost my running fitness level or something silly. I knew the reason (congestion) and ran along, happy as ever. Test run #2: really happy 7-mile high, thankyouverymuch. No pain. Success

So guess what, kids? I’m baaaaack and ready to run, run, run ruuuun! Good timing given the Wild Turkey Run on Thursday — our favorite race of the year (fourth time running!). It’s a 5-mile loop that holds a special place in my heart as it’s part of the Wicked Half marathon loop from last fall. Always brings memories rushing right back! And I’m excited to run it this year, and yes – I’m openly admitting that I hope to PR this one. I *also* want to have some fun along the way, but the husband is really pushing for us to run this one hard, so I’m blaming him for the PR talk this time. 😉  Wish us luck. Last year we ran it in 51:28, so here’s to hoping we can beat that!

OH! And before I forget, guess what else this runner is finally a proud owner of? A FOAM ROLLER!! Only about five years too late, but hey – better late than never? (thanks sis, for my surprise treat, I can’t wait to use it!!) Heather – are you happy now?? 😉

Can I get a fiver over here?

A fiver
…as in Five for Five
…or Five for Friday
…or a super duper blog post idea totally stolen from long-lost (but-found!) blog friend Nichole over at Live for the Run (if you don’t know Nichole, you should, she is amazing. ❤ her).

Five things you don’t know about me: 

  1.  I’ve never blogged with a glass of wine in hand. Last night was the first time and it was glorious. Must repeat this method asap.
  2. My sisters and I were once thisclose to being on TLC’s “What Not To Wear” – but not because we dressed poorly (we are quite stylish, thankyouverymuch!), but because they were doing a special on twins or triplets. The *only* reason we weren’t chosen was because they ended up with another set of triplets who just happened to be turning 30 around the time of taping. Um pshaw! They were boring-city! We would’ve been way more entertaining to watch! (not that I’m bitter) Footnote: this is the one and only time I successfully kept a secret from my sisters, I was the one in contact with the producers and it KILLED me not to tell them until after the fact.
  3. I used to have a lazy eye. Had surgery to repair it about 12 or so years ago. Best decision I ever made. (you can imagine the torment the kids at school put me through <sigh>)
  4. I have god-awful handwriting. I think I’ve literally lost the ability to write properly. Trust me on this one. You don’t want to see my attempt at a thank you note, a “just because” card or my signature on those little debit slips at the gas station. Illegible doesn’t even begin to describe it.
  5. I cannot stand when my clothes smell like food. It happened just the other day. I made dinner before a barre n9ne class and little did I know that the chicken sausage stir fry I had before class had seeped into the hoody I had on. Of course, I didn’t notice this until I got to class and then was so annoyed and hoped nobody could smell it. Yes, I’m weird.

Five things I’m good at: 

  1. Cleaning!  I LOVE to clean the house. I love the way it smells when it’s all neat and tidy.  Latest obsession – any Mr. Clean product with the scent of Gain infused. It is A-mazing. Yes, I’m weird (which we just discussed in #5 above)
  2. Friendships.  I give, give, give to my friends. I’m sure I could always do more, be a better friend. But I hope they know how much they mean to me. Sister-friends, to say the least.
  3. Being a wifey. It’s my favorite “role” to play. I love everything about it. Lately, I particularly love to pack Scott’s lunch for him in the morning, often sticking a special little treat in his lunchbag for him to find when he pulls out his lunch during  a hectic day.
  4. Writing. I love to blog for so many reasons. One reason is that it gives me a creative writing outlet. I write so much for work (which I do like, too), but it’s not for “fun.”  Blogging gives me that fun, creative writing source. I was that chick in english class that LOVED writing research reports, book reports, you name it. I rocked those papers.
  5. Motivation. I’m a great self-motivator, it’s somehow become ingrained in me. I almost don’t even need to motivate myself anymore, it just sorta happens. I never really thought about myself as being a good motivator though until my husband mentioned it the other day. Said if not for me, he’d be 5,000 lbs (which I find impossible to believe).

Five things I believe in: 

  1. God. And the power of prayer. I don’t often talk about my faith here. But trust me, I’m a huge believer.
  2. Love. The adoration I have for my husband is proof of that. Love conquers all (ups and downs, curveballs thrown, obstacles faced) <—and I mean that in the least cheesy way possible, I swear
  3. My sisters. They are both equally amazing and wonderful and beautiful women.  And together? The three of us? Well – we could take over the world if we wanted to. Never doubt the power of three-strong.
  4. Comfortable isn’t always good. Getting uncomfortable – in all areas in life – prompts growth and change and evolutions. Ridiculously important in my book.
  5. Wine. It’s good for the soul.

So there you have it – five for five; things you didn’t know about me; things I’m good at; things I believe in. 

Much harder to jot down than you’d think. Give it a shot, prove me wrong. 😉

Reason #5,000 why I heart my blog friends

Reason #5,000 why I heart my blog friends: 
You get me like nobody else does.  

Case in point #1: while contemplating the whole knee issue earlier this week, I tweeted about a devil on one shoulder (run, run!) and an angel on the other “rest! rest!” to which I got an immediate DM from my blog bestie, Heather:

How could I *not* obey her after that order? And she was totally right (who cares that it took about ten emails back and forth before I finally agreed with her…minor detail!). The point is – she “gets” me, how my brain works, why I am the way that I am. She rocks. ‘nuf said.

And then last night…I was sitting here contemplating (doing lots of contemplating this week!) the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon that opened today for registration. My husband is trying to get me to think practically about this race but all I want is instant gratification – I want it NOW. I want that race checked OFF my race bucket list! But my husband? He’s much more patient than I am. So we’ll see who wins this little battle. To be continued…

<but I digress, whoops. I was on a sushi high when I wrote this last night, sorry about that>

Case in point #2: While thinking about races for 2012, I got involved in an awesome twitter convo with my sis and some of our runner friends in CLE (Alicia, Heather) and down south (Lee). The topic? My sister’s awesome idea for a 6 month “challenge” for running, that takes after the barre n9ne challenge, in spirit. And gathering up various runner friends to join her (and us) “virtually” for the next six months.

Here’s how it started:

Alicia Hansen
@JessFit654 @jobo_determined @inmytummylee I could be talked into this. The @clevemarathon half is 6 months away, almost exactly to the date
Heather Mursch


@jobo_determined @poiseinparma @JessFit654 @inmytummylee@clevemarathon Don’t mind me butting in, but are you girls going to run CLE?????
<Can you sense where this is heading??>
Alicia Hansen
@heatha262 I was just going to suggest that to them!@jobo_determined @jessfit654 @inmytummylee
Heather Mursch
@jobo_determined @poiseinparma @JessFit654 U and Jess should run this! It’s a great flat course – and it’s in CLE! Whooooooo! #overexcited

@heatha262 @poiseinparma @JessFit654 well…maybe I could be convinced 😉 CLE…really flat? Promise??
Alicia Hansen
@JessFit654 @heatha262 @jobo_determined we’re pretty similar to Boston all year round. & I host one mean pasta dinner the night before
Heather Mursch

@JessFit654 @poiseinparma @jobo_determined I’m a damn good out of towner hostess, too. And I make a great cocktail! 🙂
@JessFit654@heatha262@poiseinparma you guys are the best! I’m keeping it high as a possibility 🙂 high is good!
Heather Mursch

@jobo_determined @jessfit654 @poiseinparma Don’t worry, I’ll follow up. Many times. X100

@jobo_determined @jessfit654 @heatha262 @poiseinparma it would be fun to find a race that we could all do. i’m the oddball in the south.

@jobo_determined @jessfit654 @heatha262 @poiseinparma ooh, the website says flatest and fastest courses in the country!

@inmytummylee @jessfit654 @heatha262 @poiseinparma flattest in the country? That is well, awesome.
Heather Mursch

@jobo_determined @inmytummylee @jessfit654 @poiseinparmaDuh. Told you it was awesome. 🙂
Sooo….now I’m hooked.
…on awesome blog friends who “get” me.
…on the idea of not just running with friends, but racing with them, too.
…virtually…and in-person.
Wheels. Are. Turning. 
PS. Have I mentioned how much I heart my blog friends, lately (yes, YOU)? Because I do, I really, really do.

Pause and reflect (thankful)

Thank you, friends. You know how to make this girl feel loads better about this knee situation of mine. I am still so blown away by all of your awesome (and sound!) advice. I somehow had a feeling ya’ll wouldn’t let me down. 🙂

…which brings me to today’s post.

On pausing and reflecting (thankful).

Once again, I’m slapped with a little bit of perspective. As I was sitting here yesterday, contemplating whether or not I should attempt to run, to rest, to walk, or to sit here and whine about it, a thought occurred to me. I’m kind of being a big baby about this little knee pain of mine.

On a small scale:
…I’ve been through two major (for me) knee injuries that literally left me sidelined for months. This achy knee will sideline me for a week or so. No big deal.
…I have access to other forms of exercise (hello, barre n9ne!) to keep me moving, regardless of if I can run or not.

On a (much) bigger scale:
…I am healthy and strong.
…I am active and a little bit of time away from running will do me nothing but good.
…I am able.

I feel like I go back to that “being able” thing a lot lately, but there’s a reason for that. I never want to take that for granted. So I hope you don’t mind that these “able” theme pops up pretty regularly here.

Another reason it’s on my mind? I read this post yesterday from Susan over at The Great Balancing Act…it was such a reality check. If you even *think* a negative body image thought after reading her post, you ought to have your head examined. For real. I won’t attempt to do the message behind her post justice – I just urge you to head on over and read it for yourself. It’s amazing and wise reading.

So the moral of this story? I’m thankful….that this appears to be nothing worse than a little achy knee that simply needs a little R&R….but more importantly, that this is such a minor “thing” in the grand scheme of things.

All this has done is reinforced to me the need to honor my body, to train smartly, and to listen to my body, above all else (and to listen to your wise words too, don’t you worry!).

The Rx: no running for a few days, lots of stretching and icing, and some strength training, barre n9ne-style. Not a bad gig, if you ask me.

Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes

Remember that song, as a kid?

“Head, shoulders, knees and toes, knees and toes…”

Well today , we’re going to talk about knees. More specifically, my right knee. Yes, the one I injured a year ago (patellar tendonitis) and again a year+ before that (IT band).

In the past week or so, said right knee has been a little “off” is the best way I can use to describe it.  You see, it doesn’t bug me at all when I run or go to barre n9ne class. Nope. Feels great, in fact. The only time it’s been bugging me ever so slightly is when I’m sitting for long periods of time. It’s only then that it sort of gets achy, not painful per se, just not quite “right.”

…good thing I don’t sit at my desk for 8-9 hours a day and sit in my car for another 3.
Um, I wish.

So here’s the thing – I do NOT think I’m injured. I really don’t. I’ve had enough “real” knee injuries in the past to know the difference. I physically couldn’t run when I was injured before, it hurt too much. So to me, this is different. If anything, it feels more like a touch of runner’s knee or something, but it still perplexes me that it never hurts when I’m being active.

But now I’m sitting here thinking – ok self:
…are you just ignoring the symptoms for fear of having to stop running?
…or, are you actually listening and your body is simply just telling you to be careful to avoid a ‘real’ injury from popping up?

Either way, I’m sort of just sitting here mulling it over (yes, more sitting, dammit!) and am welcoming your advice and input. All very non-scientific, non-expert-y advice (both are real words, btw) I know, but ya’ll are so damn smart and experienced in your own right, you’re bound to bring up a point or two I hadn’t already thought of.

Some clues in case you want some help in forming said non-scientific-y, non-expert-y advice: 
– My running mileage the past few weeks has hovered in the 20-25 miles/week range (mix of treadmill and outdoor runs, some interval, some steady-state)
– I’m running four times a week, no more than that
– I’m building in more stretching, particularly after I run (BUT I need to invest in a foam roller ohhh about four years too late…I know, I know).
– The stretching and strengthening I do comes in the form of barre n9ne classes, 4-5 classes per week
– I’m taking at least one FULL rest day a week

So this is me – actually asking you for your advice. The flood gates are open, lemme have it. (and don’t worry, I have a few ideas of my own, I kinda just want to compare with your ideas, first!) 😉

<braces self>