Saturday, January 13, 2018

I Got You Babe

Well, why not invite Sonny and Cher along for the ride?  Am I showing my age?  Probably.  Of course, in a week that included mucis references to Hanson, Elvis, and Rick Astley (am I the only one that had never heard of Rick Rolling?  Seriously?) I have decided that all bets are off.

Except with 2018.  Still on.  Game on.  Do it.

As I mentioned before, I have some big plans for 2018.  As Biz would say "Da Big A One".  Yeah.  It's the year, baby.  I'm serious about this.  Time to go for my dreams.  I even got myself a planner for the first time since 2012:
Clearly, I'm serious about this, can you tell?  HAH.  Well, the year is shaping up just fine on this side of the world - Ironman base training in full effect, and coming along swimmingly (well, TBH, not so much there - it's hard to get into a pool in January!).  Long bikes are getting longer, long runs are getting longer, and it feels GREAT.  I never expected to get back into the Ironman game this year, but it just feels right.  Which is awesome.

One of my other 2018 goals involves more of what matters.  In 2017, I focused way the hell too much on little things that honestly, had no real end consequence.  It makes sense, looking back - I was so overwhelmed with so many areas of my life, that it seemed like taking some kind of control over something, even if it was a fifty cent coupon or an hour coverage at work, mattered.

It didn't.

As a result of that, I missed out on some pretty big things, and also worked myself into a needless tizzy over things and people that weren't worth my time.  As I read through one of my parenting magazines (which are excellent bubble bath fodder, but not usually worthwhile beyond that) I actually found an article more worthwhile than how to treat a vomit stain on your favorite sweater (the answer there is Dawn dish soap, in case you actually needed to know that).  It was called the "I Got You" plan.  The article basically outlined a 12 month set - in the areas of finance, career, health and wellness, family, social/charity, and relationships (we added that last one.  Why they didn't include it, I'll never know).  The idea is to sit down with your significant other and create a road map - not a "to do" list, but a frank discussion about your dreams in these five areas, what you want to accomplish, and how you can support each other.

The article suggested getting out of the house to do this - to go to a coffee shop, library, or somewhere where you won't get distracted.  So, last weekend, we got a sitter and headed out to a family diner to sit down and talk dreams.

Enjoying the little moments
It was awesome.  Greg and I ended up working through most of of the areas - us, finance, career, family and health and wellness.  We shared our hopes as a couple and how we hope to better connect in 2018.  We talked about our family time and how we felt like we had been running off of a "to do" list for much of 2017, and how to step back and really enjoy our kids while they are still little.  We both talked about our career goals - Greg's were pretty obvious, mine were actually not.  We talked about a project that I have been batting around for years and now plan to bring to fruition later this year (more on that as it progresses!) .  We walked through our goals for Ironman and how we planned to train for it without breaking any of the other areas of life - we are both super amped about it but realistic with how much time we have to train.

Then we ordered two burgers that sounded delicious and split them like two teenagers on a date.  I refrained from stealing fries off of Greg's plate, and I promise we ordered two beverages with our own straws and no one threw up watching us.

For most of the goals, we outlined a general plan and a few specific action steps to take.  Though this part can sound boring, it really helps with SMART goal planning and we were both super amped with what we want to accomplish, as well as feeling much closer to each other as a result of talking about our dreams and hopes for this year and beyond.  We decided to bring out the "plan" again in 3 months and see where we stand with some of these things and refine and revise as needed.  Perfect.  If you'd like to see more about how to do the Twelve Month Set, check it out.*

We got home, ready to kick ass at parenting and being fabulous human beings in general.....and within 30 minutes Rob dumped out a carton of milk, the cats knocked over a vase running through our house like crazy animals, and Biz threw up on my white sweater.  We looked at each other and laughed and I.....grabbed a bottle of Dawn.

So I guess those magazines are good for something after all.  Duly noted.

*Yeah, you've been Rick Rolled!  I'm an ass and ok with that.  Here's the real link.*  Enjoy!!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Pump Up The Volume

Happy 2018!  I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's and is ready for a year of fantastic.  We kept it low key with the shit weather and had a small apps party with some board games, and yes, admittedly, passed out by 10:30.  Damn, I'm old.  I got up on New Year's Day and rocked out an epic 8 miles in honor of 2018 (not ready for 18, so I compromised!) and had a nice quiet set up day with Greg and some friends.

I've been pulling together my arsenal for 2018 - Ironman Training plan in progress, goals set - super scary ones, as the best ones always are.  Greg set up some awesome decals to rock out our workout inspo, check it out!
11:59, baby.  11:59.  It's such a crazy goal for me that it awes me to say aloud, but hey, moonshots happen.  This month is all about the set up to make it work - crafting workout schedules, races, and setting up the crock pot freezer meals and energy bars (Santa brought us a crap ton of gatorade, gum, Epsom salts and clif bars.  We are ridiculous.)

In terms of training, Greg and I are working in 4 week blocks and right now it's all about pumping up the volume.  I've got a solid run base, but my bike kinda sucks, which is *slightly* important in a race where 60% of the race is riding - so, we bike.  Right now my long bike is 3 hours, and I am so damn thankful for the return of crap TV, as my soap has run out of back episodes (no judging, folks.  You all know I love Y & R.  Lalalalalala I can't even hear you).

And to further channel my inner MARRS, I have been absolutely rocking my new workout playlist, which works equally well in the pool, bike or run.  I should note that my music taste is only slightly less questionable than my TV taste, but here goes - a sample of my tunage:

Marshmello - You and Me
Portugal the Man - Feel it Still
Imagine Dragons - Whatever it Takes
Britney Spears - Work B*tch (this never gets old)
Charlie Puth - How Long
Coldplay - Hymn for the Weekend
Calvin Harris - Feels
Antiserum and Mayhem - Hustle
Justin Timberlake - Hair Up
Papa Roch - born for Greatness

I told you.  It's a hot mess.  Are you shocked??

What songs are you loving lately?

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Tabula Rasa

Well, guys, I think I did it.  As I set out for my last run of 2017 - 7 miles of complete perfection for a total of 1558 miles in 2017 - I formulated a blog post.  Ready to rock.  Here I sit, post run, post shower, taking my 2018 intentions into play and taking my damn 10 minutes.  For me.  Yes, I showered.  You're welcome.

I also think, that for the first time in 7 years (how is my blog this old?!?) I actually repeated a title of a post.  Back in the day, when I blogged 4-5 times a week ( I swear this happened and have no idea how) I would wrack my brain for new title ideas and vigilantly check to make sure I didn't duplicate.

I'm over it.  The title is too appropriate and something I have always thought was such a neat concept - a blank slate.  Although most people talk about it in the new school year, as adults, the new year is such a great time to just.....start over.  Just friggin do it.  And while I am not a huge fan of resolutions, just like I don't believe in "diets" (don't get me started there) the concept of leaving 2017's garbage back in 2017 is just too damn appealing. 

Don't get me wrong.  While I have enjoyed the hell out of crapping on 2017, I do need to give it some credit (written for posterity!)  2017 was so. damn. hard.  Honestly, probably one of the worst years of my life.  But it taught me a few really important things that have paved the way for what I KNOW will be a successful 2018.  Know why?  Because I'm ready to face it that way.  To truly leave 2017 in 2017 and to walk into 2018 with the way I want it to be to the best of my ability.

2017 are there.  You taught me...

Hard work is hard.  It's friggin hard.  2017 was a goal setting year.  To pave the way for dreams.  A penny pinching, living each day with intention of an all consuming goal.  What was it?  Honestly, I was afraid to say it.  I'm not afraid any more.  I am proud.  As of 12/26, Greg and I paid off our mortgage.  WE OWN OUR OWN HOME.  We bought this house in 2009 and have faithfully paid the bills every month, staring at that big, scary number.  Well, 2018 brings with it some big dreams we have and that number...needed to be gone.  So we did it.  In more ways that I can explain in one post, we managed to pay off over a third of our home's value in one year.  I promise, I will share what worked for us.  But it was hard.  So very hard.  Worth it?  Right now I would say yes!

I also learned that hard work isn't always appreciated.  Honestly, if I took away one thing from this year....I felt taken advantage of.  A lot.  At home, at work, and in a few other areas of life.  I was told many times that I might have unrealistic expectations, and maybe I do.  Maybe my concept of being a "nice guy" is really a projection of how I want to be treated.  Maybe many things.  But I intend not not be an asshole in 2018, not always say yes.  To not always step in and be the "hub".  It's not fair.  I surround myself with grown, competent adults who don't need to be mommied, and two toddlers that do.  It's time to step back and realize that perhaps my ideas of what needs to happen aren't always necessary and that I might be putting quite a bit of effort into things that don't even matter.

2017 also taught me that there is love in so many unexpected places.  I fell apart spectacularly a few times and the people that picked me up were not who I thought they might have been.  Which brings me to 2018 with hope in my heart and love and openness for the kindness of not exactly strangers (Thank you Blanche DuBois) but for those angels in my life who really have a place in 2018 for my love an attention.  Really, you know who you are.  You may have saved me this year, even if you don't realize it.

So, 2017.  There you go.  You sucked.  But like most sucky things, you taught me some really important things.  That some things are worth it, some aren't.  That some people are worth it, and some are best left to their own devices.

And I walk into 2018 unencumbered and ready to pursue my dreams.  Am I afraid of hard work?  Not in the slightest.  I live it.  It's time to start living with that beautiful, blank slate (with the crib notes from the life lessons, not the garbage, tucked safely away in my back pocket).

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

But did you die?

Much like the elusive meme (that honestly, really isn't all that funny) that somehow still is on the interwebs, I feel the need to explain, yet again, that no, I didn't die.  Didn't fall off of a cliff during my week off in November (SIX FREAKING WEEKS AGO), didn't quit my job, didn't run off the with pool boy  to Tahiti (we don't even have a pool, so there's that) , didn't join a cult and live out my days drinking cherry koolaid (blech).
I am here.  And I am lazy.  Nah, that's not true.  I'm still the same crazy me, but with tons of bloggo thoughts stored up that spit themselves out into thoughtful, introspective posts while I am banging out 8 mile tempo runs on the treadmill (started out TWSS, then I fooled you, didn't I?) but somehow, when I shower (I do that) and get back to my computer, either a toddler jams a green marker into my mouse (that happened) or lunch "break" is over and they actually expect me to work sometimes at my job (no lie).  And the post, with all of my infinite nuggets of wisdom, just disappears.  Poof. 

I often wonder if Martin Luther King Jr would have actually penned his "I Had a Dream" speech if he had kids.  Oh wait.  He had 4.  I AM A SLACKER!!

Regardless, it's that time.  Time for 2018.  2017, you sucked.  See ya.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out (wait, do.  You suck).  And, even though those that know and love me are aware of my resolution thoughts....

Yeah, I'm not making them.  But I do plan to try to bring 2018 into a year to remember fondly.  And that starts with a nice little nugget that oddly enough sprang from my work performance appraisal.  To chill.  Yep, you got it. (I'm not kidding.  That was one of my things to work on.) To realize that in fact, not all of the monkeys or circuses are mine.  Nope.  To realize that there are things I can control, things I can't, and enough wine to know the difference (see what I did there?).  You got it right. 

And it all starts with ten minutes.   Ten minutes to stretch.  To actually dry my hair ( the last month I have done this more that in all of 2017.  And it's blowing people's minds, which must mean I look like a hot damn mess 99% of the time.  Yech).  To watch a podcast (slightly obsessed with TED talks).  To...write a blog post.  Wait, what?  Yeah.  I know.  Pics or it didn't happen.  Moral of the story, I deserve ten.  Ten a day, or ten a few times a day. 

So here's to ten.  And hopefully not ten days...weeks...or months....until I show some blog love.  Cause really, I do.  Promise.

Happy end of 2017 - Have a wonderful New Years and let's make 2018 .....fabulous!  Crap....I almost said great again.  (Excuse me while I go jump off a bridge).  We're just gonna make it awesome.  AWESOME.  I SAID AWESOME. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there??

See, here's the thing.  We all know I've had my whiny little episodes about 2017.  In general, I've pretty much been that annoying person that seems to have nothing to bitch about but seems to always be grumpy - at least in my estimation. How annoying.

  I know life is never perfect.  And when one piece seems to fall into place, at least one other goes to hell.  Welcome to living, right??

But there's been a lot this year.  A lot of areas that seem to be either making no sense, going to hell, or are day by day changing so fast that I can't keep track and I throw up my hands in frustration trying to.  Take a deep breath, buttercup, and hop on.  It's life.

So I've been doing what I do best - taking it day by day, running my ass off, and hanging on.  Talking to close family and friends - god bless you people that listen to my endless ranting about the same. damn. things. And living my life as it comes to me.

Last night, I was playing around on Pinterest, trying to figure something out - admittedly - decor wise in the house.  I was looking at pithy signs to redecorate our living room, when I came across a print that said "If you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?"

Wait, stop.  Stop for a second.  I know it may sound trite, but this one little sentence was a total truth bomb for me. And it started to make some sense.

In terms of the literal day by day, I am awesome at knowing where I am going.  For a run.  To a meeting.  Grocery shopping.  A coffee date. Giving the kids a bath.  Bam.  Wherever you go, there you are.

I also know where I am going in terms of race goals.  I rock at those.  3rd Ironman - can we PR?  YES!  2020 - let's Boston Qualify!

Finances?  Yep.  On it. We have a solid plan for what we need to do to live now, 5 years from now, and retirement.

The rest?  Oh hell no.  I used to do this.  I had a vision board.  I saw myself as a bride, buying a house, having kids, and kicking butt in the workplace.

But what do you do when those obvious things are all crossed off? What's next?

I took out my old board, created in 2007.  I saw the white dress.  The picket fence.  The corporate ladder.  The two kids (no lie).  The 140.6 sticker.  And, admittedly from the chubby teenager insecurites, the picture of someone rockin' a two piece on the beach.

Do we see an issue here?  I do.  I am, to put it bluntly, stuck.  I got to a place in my life where my vision board has been realized, and I haven't evolved beyond it, in terms of growing.  I've contented myself with the day to day living, which certainly has it's place, but nowhere does it inspire dreams, risk, and the vivaciousness that I miss about life.  It's certainly understandable, with two toddlers, a full time job, and a husband that works 80 hours a week.  But it's never going to move me beyond being "stuck".

Sometimes diagnosing the damn problem is truly the first part to fixing it.

So I' taking some time this week.  Time for myself.  I pulled out my old magazines, and went to the dollar store and bought a poster board and art supplies.

It's time to create.  And reinvent.  To visit my old dreams, look at my bucket list, and figure out what in the hell really makes me tick.

And then you know me.  I'm gonna go the hell after it.

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Journey to the Top (or what's new for 2018)

With 2017 winding down (thank freaking god, did this year suck as bad for anyone else??) I find it fitting to do what any sane person does when confronted with a crappy year....look ahead to what can only be a better upcoming year.  Usually folks wait until the last week of December, but being the forward thinker (ahem) I am, I decided to take the bull by the horns and wrestle 2018 into submission before it decided to follow suit with 2017, that nasty little shit.

This idea started a few months back, so excuse my delinquency, but I had a few mitigating circumstances that delayed the full story :)  Every year, Greg and I watch Lake Placid Ironman with the fondness of our memories there in '10 and '11 - a sort of mixture of remembering pre kids when we could do that shit...and remembering when we were in shape to do that shit!  We hoped to do an Ironman together someday - when Rob and Biz head off to middle school and don't need us as much.  When we sleep through the night.  When Greg isn't working 80 hours a week.  When I am not travelling every week for work.  Ya know.  Life.

Fast forward to the next week.  Registration for 2018 Ironman comes out.  It's the 20th anniversary for Placid.  New promos!  Deferral to 2019 is penalty free till June!  Lower prices for Tri club members!'s on Greg's birthday.  Specifically, his 40th. 

Now, you have to understand that in our marriage, I am the one that comes up with the dumb ideas.  Like hey- how about I do a tri 5 weeks post partum?  Hey!  Let's drive 13 hours with a toddler and run a marathon the next day!  Or even better - let's fly across the country and run a half in the pouring rain the next day?  Ya know.  Things like that.  So I shoot Greg an email telling him we totally should do IMLP 2018.

You know what happened next.

He said "Why not"??  (Dude, you totally dropped the ball on your role).

Gut check.  So many reasons not to.  So many damn. good. ones.  We talked about it.  We thought about it.  We listed out all the bad reasons in the world that parents of two toddlers should not, in fact, dually train for an Ironman.

Then we signed up.

Cause life is too short.  And what else would you do on your 40th "over the hill" birthday than aim to rise for the top? (Of ridiculous climbs??)

That's for Greg.

For me, it's a way to turn the bus around.  This year has been so, so hard for me.  On so many fronts.  There have been times when I have thought hard about walking away and/or just giving up on it all (well, most of it). But then I put sneaker to pavement and it just all makes sense.  Sometimes I can think of a a way to fix whatever is ailing me - my job, my marriage, my ability to find an extra hour to actually do the damn laundry.  Sometimes I can't.  Sometimes I just get that 3....or 6...or 10 miles of serenity to just breath in the air and be at peace with the world.

And that, for me, is what Lake Placid is.  It's the scene of where I first became an Ironman.  It's my happy place.  It's the place to just breathe and be happy, to be alive, to be so very grateful for the opportunity.

And I can't freaking wait.  To train in the pain cave.  To swim at 5am.  To go for evening runs, and reclaim my life one piece at a time.

And did I mention, to party with about forty of my closest tri friends?  Seems everyone has a very definitive "why" for this race - and it will be a Roc party in Placid!

Until then, it's one day at a time.  A journey, if you will, that promises to be every bit as sweet as the actual destination. 

July 22, 2018.  My 3rd Ironman - and you know what they say about the 3rd time!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Lakeshore Marathon 2017 - F$ck the Tangents

State #7 complete.  For some reason I had it in my head that it was #9, conveniently forgetting the half marathons don't count.  Whoops!  On Oct 1, I ran the Northern Ohio marathon to finish off that state for my 50 state plus DC quest to see the country while racing.

Why this race?  It's 4 hours away.  It was $26 for the race. was the day before my birthday.  All wins.  Grandma agreed to watch the kids, so I even had a chauffeur.  And by luck of last  minute hotel cancellation and Air BnB searching, we ended up with an entire house right on the damn course for $45.  Right on picturesque Lake Erie in Mentor, OH (sense the half sarcasm).

My new Street in Mentor (lol)
Going into the race, I didn't have giant expectations - I had been running fast, but not far.  My long run was 15 miles,, and I averaged about 40 mpw, which I know is enough, but not enough long runs to do damage.  I guesstimated about a 4:15, of course figuring if I felt awesome, I would re-adjust and do as I always do - go out too fast and then figure it out at mile 10.  Ahhh, I do these for fun, right??

Day before the race, we left for Mentor and arrived about 3pm.  Drove the course - flat except an unknown at mile 22-24 which was off road trail (how bad could it be?  BAD) and about 40 turns, which would haunt me later.  Drove back to air bnb (at mile 21!) and got a pizza, which seemed like a good idea at the time (it was not).  We then got the brilliant idea to drive to Cleveland, which was about 45 minutes away, where Greg used to live.  He showed me his old place, and haunts, and we drove back, where I ate another piece of pizza (is anyone keeping track of my bad decisions yet?) 7 hours in a car - check.  4 pieces of greasy pizza - check.  And then I discovered my race socks had a hole in them, so I got new ones...from the dollar store.

Really, this is my comic relief race report.  Spoiler alert - only 1 of these decisions was bad (it was the pizza).

Race morning dawned clear and cold at about 45 degrees.  I donned my new outfit (oh, did I mention my singlet was new, too?), ate my oats, took my Imodium (insurance!) and smeared chap stick on my hot spots (yep, forgot the body glide).  And off we went.  Arrived to race site an hour beforehand, froze my ass off with 400 other people, and we were off.

Miles 1-6 I averaged about an 8:20 pace, which of course is perfect for a half and way too freaking fast for a full.  Felt great.  I saw Greg on the course at mile 6 and waved, kept on my way.  Ate an applesauce pouch at mile 7, taking in Gatorade at every aid station - perfect.  The first 6 miles had a few rollers, nothing crazy.

Miles 7-11 slowed to about an 8:30, still felt great!  I ran for awhile with the 3:45 pacer, feeling pretty baller, until my stomach began to clench.  WTF.  I'll spare you the details, but the port o potty at mile 12 was my best friend - first time since 2013 I porto stopped in a race and prayed it wouldn't be like the "oikos half" where greek yogurt made me stop 4 times in 3 miles.  It wasn't.  Phew.  Still...immodium....YOU FAILED.

Hit mile 13.1 in 1:51, which probably wasn't good, as it's only a minute off my PR....I potty stopped...and had 13 miles to go.  Shit.  Oh well.  I lagged a bit the next 5k, took in a gu to get some sugar, shook out my arms, and got back with it.  I caught the pacer for 3:45 for a bit at mile 16, and even got to hold his sign while he shook off a layer.  I'm such a bad ass.  I was running with about 8-10 other guys at this point, when we had to cross the road ( a busy 4 lane road).  The cops monitoring the crossing waved us by, and we kept going to the end of the road.  Where...there was no one.  WHAT.  We looked left, nothing.  Looked right...runners!  So we turned right.  As we got closer, we realized that all the runners were coming out of a sub development which meant...we cut the course.  SHIT.  I realized this, yelled it out to the guys, and hightailed it back to the missed turn. 

I was the only one. 

Which pissed me off.  I let the cop know what happened (as I came running like a bat out of hell from the wrong direction!) , and he apologized and waved me back in.  My garmin clocked 16.6, and I had no clue where I was or how much I tacked on, but I kept going.  Mile 17.  but....not on the course.  Shit.  I finally hit mile 17 on the course at 17.7 on my garmin, which means I tacked on about 6 minutes and almost 3/4 of a mile...getting lost. 

So, f$ck the tangents.  HOW THE HELL DID I RUN OFF COURSE?? 

I was mad.  Mad at myself, though I reminded myself that there was a zillion turns on this course and It was unfamiliar.  Mad at the cops?  Nope.  It was my responsibility to know where I was going.  Mad at the other racers?  Hell yes.  get some integrity.  They all got about a half mile benefit.  Mad at the pacer?  UM, YES.  Know the course and the people you are leading.  Lame.  I will be honest here....for about .3 seconds I debated going straight and cutting.  But...I didn't come here to run 95% of a marathon, dammit. 

Way to pep talk, right?  I wish I could say it worked.  It didn't.  For the next 3 miles, I kept getting madder and madder as every gamin chime meant I had to run almost a mile more.  I hit "my" mile 20 in 2:55, which was plenty of fucking time to PR.  3:02 on the race course for mile 20.  Guess what?  Still could have.  But I threw a damn temper tantrum.  Met up with Greg at mile 21 where he was waiting outside the house and gave him a piece of my mind, which he nicely listened too and was appropriately consoling.  I'm sorry to say it went over like a man consoling a woman in labor.  Hell to the no.

Now, legitimately, I started to feel like crap at mile 22.  I was averaging about 10 minute miles here and looked down and realized....if I ran a 4:06 or better, but still came out over 4....I would be even madder at my mis direction.  So I decided not to.  I don't care about my time.  I hurt.

Yes, I agree.  I was acting like my 4 year old.  But it's the truth.

At mile 23, we turned out to the 2 mile stretch on the trail which was....on sand.  And rocks.  And all uphill. 

Lights up!
Well, that was the last straw.  My 10 minute miles became 12 minute miles.  Hit mile 24 in 3:52 (race mile 24, my garmin can just go to hell), and I half talked myself out of this mood.  I pulled it together and ran it in the park in 4:12 - respectable for my training and good enough for 5th place in my age group (out of 32), 37/162 for women, and 142/354 for the whole race.

I was pretty annoyed with my 'tude in the race, but it's fair to say that things get raw on the course and it was 100% a learning experience.  I grabbed my cool light up medal and we bounced, before I could see of those lame assed cheaters I ran with at mile 16.

Worth it?  You bet.  The shirt was cool, medal epic, and we crossed off another state.  I also learned that tangent running doesn't mean $hit if you...get lost on the course.  Which is sort of obvious but with the big deal of 26.2 never being achievable (its usually 26.3-4 depending on tangent running) means squat if you tack on extra course.  My run ended up being 27.1 miles, which....means I ran an ultra!  Right?  AMIRIGHT?

Greg and I drove home, a slightly painful 4.5 hours but also a great catch up time.  Then I got home to an early birthday gift from my team at work.....

Love these guys.  They are my people.

All in all, an interesting race, to say the least, and quite the wrap up to 2017!  Looking forward to a relaxed, no training approach to October, then it's time for 2018 planning!!  I CAN'T WAIT!