Maine 70.3 Training Update

I am officially less than TWO WEEKS away from my first 70.3!!! Training was so much fun last week my favorite day was the Lake Anna training day with my friend Laura. I think taking rest days and going into every workout with a more positive attitude (I get to do this) really helped me regain some love for the sport that was lacking in previous weeks. The words “I just want this race to be over” didn’t even come out of my mouth last week.

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photo credit : the awesome Laura

Rest
I started off the week on Monday with a rest day. It was exactly what I needed. I ate three meals and got to have a snack for the first time since the previous Monday. That alone was everything. I also got some much-needed cleaning and organization done, which I know doesn’t scream “rest day brags” but for me, a clean space promotes better sleep/relaxation.

I went ahead and took a rest day on Thursday too because I felt like it.

Swim 1000 meters

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can I swim here everyday?

Laura and I headed to Lake Anna for a day of swimming and cycling. I got to finally try out my wetsuit for Maine because I can’t remember the last time I swam in a sleeved wetsuit and it was awesome. Laura also gave me some really good tips for open water swimming that calmed my nerves, so I’m a bit more confident in my swim on race day. That ended up being my only swim for the week-afternoon thunderstorms were the theme of the rest of the week so the pool would close before I got to swim. I’m making up one of the two missed swims this coming week.

Bike 70 miles

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Cycling for the week started out at Lake Anna on Wednesday with a nice ride around the area. It’s a gorgeous place to ride and surprisingly cyclist friendly. I’m just going to say it: usually more conservative areas in Virginia are not bike friendly and you constantly get the “punishment pass.” Most people who passed us on the 50mph road outside the park slowed down, moved over and some even waved at us–with all of their fingers not just the middle finger! I can’t wait to do more training (and maybe race??) there next year!

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The beginning of Saturday’s long foggy ride 

I incorporated my long ride into my group ride by riding to group ride on my tri bike, doing my group ride on my gravel bike then riding back home on my tri bike. Not exactly ideal, but I did the best with the time I had without sacrificing my rest day and time for eating. At this point better nutrition is better than cramming in last-minute training anyway.

Run 21.4 miles

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Shocker: once again, I loved running last week. I had my best long run of the training cycle, and here’s why: I ran 10.5 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes. It was a bit faster than planned, but I went by feel versus staring at my watch obsessing over the pace. Had I been watching my Garmin, I would have forced myself to slow down

This week: TAPER!

How did your training go last week?

 

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Peak Week #2-Maine 70.3 Update

The second of three weeks in my peak training block started strong then ended with missing a long run and a swim. Physically my body is tired. Picking up extra shifts due to lack of staffing at the bike shop hasn’t helped, especially since it’s hard to get in a meal there on the weekends while it’s so busy. A Clif protein bar is not a great meal replacement, and three bites of salad is not a meal.  At least I’m able to hydrate and from this week until race day I’m back to my regular schedule. Mentally I’m feeling pretty ‘meh’ and more frequently finding myself saying “I just want this race to be over.”

On a more positive note, I had some really good swims and runs last week.

Swim 5300 yards
Swimming has been feeling like I wish it felt earlier in the season-enjoyable but still challenging and I get a sense of accomplishment when I’m finished, a feeling I only used to get with running. Consistency is paying off!

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Bike 76.4 miles
In a word, cycling lately has been rough. I’m not sure what it is, I’m just not feeling it. It’s likely due to the saddle sores that I need to let heal before doing another long ride. The upside is that the Specialized Power saddle is a winner. It didn’t give me any more saddle sores and actually felt comfortable for two of my rides last week (the third was done on my road bike at my group ride). I drove to Gettysburg with the intent of riding 3 1/2 hours outside on the nice smooth roads of the park for my long ride of the week. Just over two hours in, the sky got really dark and the thunder and lightning started. Luckily I was  just finishing up the second loop (only two-ish miles from the parking lot) so I got back to my car and on the road right before the storm really started. I drove back home and immediately got on the trainer to finish my ride. Unfortunately, about 30 minutes in I started feeling really shaky and nauseous with a little blurred vision when I looked up at the Zwift screen. I made it about four more minutes before getting of the bike and heading straight to the bathroom. Let’s just say puke and rally is not for me. In hindsight, I probably should have come home, had a light lunch then got on the trainer.

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some of the ladies on my group ride ❤

Thankfully, cycling ended on a high note last week with my Saturday morning group ride. We went 15 miles (the longest distance some of these women have ever gone!), I didn’t think about training the entire time and it was just really enjoyable to just go ride.

Run 15.1 miles
Oh running, you have always been my favorite. Tuesday was the best, a 60 minute run that I decided to do after work. It was pretty humid when I started and then it started pouring rain for about 30 minutes. I LOVE a good run in the rain, especially in the summer. Since I missed my transition run after my long ride on Wednesday I squeezed it in between group ride and work on Saturday.

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so happy to get my transition run and feel good during it in on Saturday

This week will be better. I have an open water swim date on Wednesday at Lake Anna with my friend Laura, and training with friends > training alone at this point.

Two training-heavy weeks down, one to go….onward!

Peak Week #1-Maine 70.3 Update

This week went a bit better, energy-wise. I made sure I at least had a snack at work and got my workouts done in the morning so I wouldn’t have to worry about getting them in after work. I also feel like I got enough sleep. It’s hard because it limits talking to my husband (he’s three hours behind me-so he’s still at work when I’m getting ready for bed) in the evening but I guess that’s just the way it’s going to be until after Maine. Triathlon can be a very selfish sport at times.

Swim: 7600 yards
This was the biggest swim week I’ve ever had. It started on Monday with a race simulation swim (2100 yards = almost 1.2 miles), which I was glad I did when I was well-rested. Knowing I can swim the distance definitely boosted my confidence a bit.

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outdoor swims are the best

Bike: 43.4 miles
Two things this week: mountain (trail) biking is so much fun, and I need to change the saddle on my tri bike. I bought my very first mountain bike, a Specialized Epic, a couple of weeks ago and I finally got it built and ready to ride. One of my bike mechanic friends that works at the shop took me out to a very beginner-friendly trail where we rode three loops (about three miles) and I loved it and can’t wait to get back out there after Maine! I counted this as one of my rides for the week, which is why my mileage is so low–but trust me the day after it felt like I had gone much further/longer–where did those muscles come from?!

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post ride/pre hose down

As for the tri bike saddle issue…the Bontrager saddle that came with my bike was surprisingly comfortable, until the mileage started to go up over 40 miles. I feel like I tapered up appropriately, but toward the end of the last two long rides I just could not get comfortable and ended up with some saddle sores. So I swapped it out for the saddle that was on my old bike, the Adamo PL 1.0. Holy ouch. After taking a few courses on saddles through work, it’s definitely too wide for me. The last 30 minutes of my trainer ride on Thursday was all kinds of painful and I actually had to stand up and spin for the last 10 minutes. Speaking of the trainer, I didn’t quite get the mileage I was used to for riding 3 hours and 15 minutes BUT I did finally get a continuous ride without stopping and I’m confident if I were outside the mileage would have been much more than 40. I ended up cancelling my group ride due to rain and just ran out of time, so I did miss one ride…but probably for the best so my saddle sore can heal up. I have one more saddle I already own that my manager recommended–the Specialized Power saddle…..Hopefully third time’s a charm?

Run: 22.2 miles
Running started out a bit rough on Monday with a very hot 40 minute run. I was half-assed hydrated and I ran in 90 degrees in full sun, making for a miserable run. Though it wasn’t a great performance by any means, it definitely helped with some mental toughness. I ran by my house at the 29 minute marker with the decision to just stop because what was the point in continuing a shitty run…but I didn’t. I kept going, telling myself I wouldn’t just stop during a race so why stop now. I call that a win. On Wednesday, it was 59 degrees when I started my run and what a difference (obviously). I ran almost one full mile more on a hillier route and it felt like a piece of cake. I had a moment of ‘wtf have I gotten myself into’ after my transition run off the long ride on Thursday. I ran just over three miles in and couldn’t stop thinking about how I’m going to manage another 10 miles…I was spent…mentally. Thank you for all of the virtual pep talks on Instagram that day, you all definitely lifted me out of a dark place ❤

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post run Thursday-physically okay…briefly mentally destroyed

This week is a busy one–it’s the second of three peak weeks, I (stupidly) picked up two extra shifts at the store and I’m co-hosting a Triathlon 101 event at Summit to Soul in DC on Tuesday (tomorrow)—-> local ladies just starting out/curious in triathlon should come out, it’s a fun chat sponsored by Coeur Sports about all things triathlon!

*****UPDATE*****The tri 101 clinic has been rescheduled to 9/16 @ 9am. 

Details here —> https://www.facebook.com/events/138025110121749/?notif_t=plan_edited&notif_id=1501531961017849

What are you currently training for? 

So Tired, So Hungry: Maine 70.3 Training Update

Over the past two weeks I’m noticing is that I am feeling strong through Thursday then fade. Fast. Feeling that tired is not enjoyable nor is seeing red boxes on Training Peaks, but I finally figured out what’s going on: I’m not eating enough. Typically, I’m a three meals a day + maybe one snack person, and on workdays I almost always end up skipping a meal. Which means I am definitely not eating enough to fuel my activity level. So this week, I’m going to pack a small meal that can be eaten throughout the work day when I get a chance to sneak off the sales floor.

Swim 3300 yards
Oh swimming, I think I’m actually starting to like you. I mean, after my long run I planned to just jump in the pool to cool off but I ended up doing an untimed 1000 yards. Also, after enjoying an outdoor swim, I treated myself to a 10-punch pass to the outdoor pool for the last few weeks of training due to the simple fact that being outside > being inside.

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post-swim relaxation

Bike 65.8 miles
My long ride of the week was particularly challenging mostly due to the heat, but I got it done with a couple of shade breaks in the last 10 miles and was happy with my time for the most part. I’m thankful there are water fountains every few miles on the eastern part of the trail because I ended up need to refill a couple of times. Changing it up this week with a trip to Antietam National Battlefield for some riding that doesn’t involve stopping at a road crossing every couple of miles and a change of scenery. Don’t get me wrong, we’re so lucky to have the W&OD Trail for cycling in Northern Virginia but sometimes the constant stop and go at the road crossings get to be frustrating.

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W&OD Trail near Vienna

I skipped one of my rides due to a painful saddle sore post long ride (sorry, TMI). A warm compress did the trick and I was able to comfortably lead my group ride on Saturday, though I didn’t take any chances and wore cycling shorts and rode my road bike with my dreamy Specialized Oura saddle.

Run 15.4 miles
Thank goodness I’m a morning person. The humidity + temps in the 90s last week was insane. This is about the time of year I’m asking myself “is it October yet?” Due to air quality warnings and the “feels like” 112 degrees, my long run was done on the treadmill.

I decided to skip the Twilighter 5K, did Jasyoga meditation for better sleep and was asleep the race even started. I was so tired I slept in until 6am Sunday morning. Lesson learned: signing up for a random 5K in the middle of half Ironman training was probably not the greatest idea.

Tracking my amazing Coeur teammates at Ironman Lake Placid yesterday lit a huge fire under me and I’m looking forward to putting in some long training hours over the last five (!!) weeks of training.  The next three weeks are going to be my biggest training weeks ever and I’d be lying if I said my looking at my Training Peaks schedule didn’t freak me out a little bit. I know it will all be okay:  just do the training, run my race, have fun and look forward to a yummy post-race lobster roll or two.

Looking forward to a new week, cycling in a new area and cooler, less humid weather! Onward!

Also, local DMV residents: I’m hosting a Coeur Sports Triathlon 101 Clinic at Summit to Soul in DC on August 1st at 6:30pm. Bring your questions about triathlon and learn more about this amazing sport!

summittosoul

 

Maine 70.3 Training Update

Almost in the homestretch here. Big build period coming up for Maine! As of today I have SIX weeks (insert shocked/scared/excited emoji here) until race day. Luckily, this happens to be my last week of summer semester classes, so I get to really focus on nailing my workouts as well as nutrition and recovery.

Here’s a recap of last week’s training:

For me, the week following a race has always been a rest week…as in ‘nothing scheduled but if I want to run I can go run.’ This year is different: I have an even bigger race I’m training for and it’s coming up fast.

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all smiles after a strong long run!

This week included a forced rest week from swimming because my pool was closed for maintenance from July 5th-July 15th, good company on a long ride and ended with a strong run on Sunday.  Because it was a recovery week (whew, that worked out well with racing!) and my pool was closed, I took two additional rest days in addition to my regular scheduled rest day.

Swimming –as mentioned above, my pool was closed for maintenance.

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Bike 49.8 miles/3:47. Included a trainer ride, my group ride and a long ride with Laura after group ride. I’m also loving the Jasyoga for triathletes series. I’ve never felt so good after a bike ride!

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Run 14 miles/2:20. Included lots of hills, gorgeous sunrises and a challenging (really hot) transition run.

And that’s a wrap on last week! Onward to the next!

What are you currently training for? How’s it going?

P M-Fing R: REV3 Williamsburg Olympic Triathlon

As the title states, I got a shiny new PR at the REV3 Williamsburg Olympic triathlon on Sunday! I fought hard for it. In fact my swim was seven minutes slower than the first time I did this race last year, but I biked smart, had a great run and earned that PR. 

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early on race morning-the swim exit

Here’s how my day went down:

Race day started bright and early at 4am. I slept pretty well and was actually alert shortly after the alarm went off. I got dressed, made coffee, brushed my teeth and was out the door by 4:45am. I had packed up my transition gear the night before so all I had to do was toss it in the car-it was nice to not worry about forgetting something at the last minute. I arrived at the Chickahominy Riverfront Park just before 5:15am and set up my transition area before meeting up with my Coeur teammates Megan and Ashley. 

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With Coeur Teammates Ashley and Megan/photo credit: Laura

Then the waiting game began. I munched on a Clif Bar, drank my coffee and kind of zoned out from the conversation at times trying to visualize my race from start to finish. Then the sun came up and it was time to head down to the start area. My friend Laura (who did the sprint on Saturday) showed up and hung out until we got in the water. She gave me a good pre-swim pep talk that I truly believe helped me get through the first half of the swim. 

Swim (water temp: 85.3 degrees)
2017 32:35 (2:10/100 meters)
2016 26:35 (1:51/100 meters)

I could compare this year’s swim to last year’s but last year the current was insane fast…resulting in a “how the fuck did I just swim that fast?” kind of swim. This year? I did okay. The swim is my least favorite leg of the triathlon and my philosophy is to “get through it, then I get to bike and run.” There were some improvements: I sighted really well/stayed on course, I didn’t get nauseated (thanks for the ginger, Laura), I didn’t have to stop to rest and lastly, I didn’t panic. 

The end of the swim was just gross. Before the last sighting buoy, I started hitting the mud with my hands as I swam, so I knew I could stand. I’m not a fan of walking that much in the water, so I altered my swim stroke so I could just keep swimming. When it got to where I couldn’t do that (close to the final turn buoy), I did attempted some dolphin dives but my feet just kept sinking into the mud-like up to my ankles-so I just swam the best I could until I absolutely had to walk it in. I was a bit bummed when I saw my time (again, comparing to last year), but I was so happy to be out of that water and running on solid ground again I just carried on!

A huge positive note: after the race and calculating my pace per 100 meters, it was a bit faster than my training pace-so YAY!

Gear: Roka F2 goggles in Dark Vermillion Mirror

Bike
2017 1:32:29 (27.2 miles-17.69 mph)
2016 1:35:59 (27.2 miles-17 mph)

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photo credit: Laura

I love this bike course. It’s mostly shaded and has a few rolling hills but lots of fast flats. I came out of T1 ready to ride and ready to make up some time I lost on the swim. My goal was to do a solid bike but not go too hard so I could save some for the run (thank you Crushing Iron Podcast for embedding that into my brain). The thing I noticed about the bike is that I was waiting for this one (not so big) hill that just destroyed me last year and it never came…which means I’ve improved on the bike! The bike was pretty uneventful, I got to say “on your left” a lot (that’s a first) and I didn’t have any mechanicals or falls. Success!

Nutrition: one bottle of NBS Organic Lemons, one bottle of water, one pouch of Honey Stinger chews.

Gear: Trek Speed Concept 7.5, Rudy Boost 01 Helmet, Shimano SH-WT60 cycling shoes, Smith Optics PivLock Arena sunnies

Run
2017 1:01:01 (6.2 miles-9:51 pace)
2016 1:08:58 (6.2 miles-11:08 pace)

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The run is where I saw a HUGE improvement. Seriously, I think a smart bike leg (okay, along with the training) is how I got there. I really like this run, it’s about 50% shaded and 50% sunny, is on the paved Cap to Cap Trail and is relatively flat with the exception of the bridge at the beginning and again toward the end. Of course it was hot, but not brutal and there are plenty of aid stations with tons of sponges, water, ice, Gatorade and AWESOME volunteers. Every aid station I dumped cold water down my front/back and took a sip of water. I also took some sponges (omg so good) because I do tend to overheat easily and wanted to keep that under control. I ended up taking a sip of Gatorade at the second to last aid station just to get that little boost in the last mile and a half (whether it was all mental or not-it helped!).

I noticed my run pace was actually staying pretty steady throughout the entire race.  It wasn’t until I hit a shaded spot on the way back in that I slowed a bit to savor the coolness in the shade.

High-fives from Coeur teammates kept me pumped, as did cheering on runners headed back toward the finish line and going in the same direction as I was. The run was pretty uneventful, though I did start to feel some rubbing on the balls of my feet during the last mile or so but no big deal. 

I LOVE the way REV3 changed up the final part of the course this year. Last year you came off the bridge, ran around transition and then around the back part of the campground before going through the finisher chute. It made finish line see so far away! This year, I believe they pushed the turnaround out a bit further so once you got back to the transition area there was only .2 to run to get to the finish line. 

 

Run gear: Hoka One One Clifton 2, Balega Blister Resist socks, Smith Optics Arena sunnies, Oiselle Roga hat

Gear I wore for the entire race: Coeur Sports team kit, Brooks Rebound Racer, Garmin 735XT

Finish: 
2017 3 hours, 10 minutes and 32 seconds
2016 3 hours, 16 minutes and 49 seconds
A 6 MINUTE and 17 SECOND PR! 

The last 100 yards or so of every triathlon I’ve done I always get teary-eyed and this time was no different. I just think to myself “I get to do this…wow, this sport has taught/given me so much.” That feeling never gets old. 

I crossed the finish line, received my medal, a nice cold, wet towel around my shoulders and got all the fluids–a water and a Gatorade. Then I hung out and waited to cheer Megan in who wasn’t too far behind me.

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We got food (mmm BBQ), pet all the dogs, cheered some other athletes in then met up with a couple other Coeur teammates for a picture. 

I headed back to my cabin at the KOA and hopped in the pool to cool off…

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Until next year, REV3 Williamsburg!

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Quick race details:

Williamsburg, VA

July (be prepared for the heat/humidity)

Distances offered: Sprint, Olympic, Half, Olympic and Half Aquabike, Olympic and Half Relay, free Kids’ Duathlon

Course: swim with the current, fast/flat bike and run (with the exception of the bridge for both)—>Olympic course description

Swag: soft gender specific t-shirt, REV3 branded buff, visor, handwritten thank you note from the REV3 staff

Would I Recommend? 100% yes

Quick Check In!

I can’t believe it’s already REV3 Williamsburg race weekend! Tomorrow I’m racing the Olympic distance, which happens to be my first tri of the year!

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I had a blast spectating today and will share all the REV3 fun next week, but first….

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a training update, because well school, work and training take priority to the blog, but since I’m hanging out in my cabin trying to stay cool before tomorrow’s race (and actually have a good internet connection!) I thought I would get a small one written.

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cycling in gettysburg 

Things I’ve learned over the past several weeks of training:

  1.  Eating enough is important. So is sleep. For a few weeks I just wasn’t recovering well. I started keeping a food log for few days to get a ballpark range of how many calories I was eating and found I was eating far too little for my activity level. My wonderful husband made me a ton of freezer meals while he was home, so all I have to do is thaw and dump into the crockpot. Super easy, and I’ll do a post on meal prep/eating soon. Same with sleep. I was going to bed later (husband 3 hours behind my time and I like to talk to him!) and still waking up around 5am. Nope, that’s not going to work. So we worked out a phone schedule.
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healthy freezer-crockpot meals

2. I LOVE being on the bike. It’s easily becoming my favorite sport. Maybe it’s because I work in a bike shop and I’m around bikes all the time, or maybe it’s because my bike actually fits(!) now, but I need no motivation to get out the door or on my trainer when it comes to the bike.

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my still-needs-a-name trek speed concept

3. Swimming needs to be done in the morning, or else I won’t do it. That’s all I have to say about that.

4. I probably should have hired a coach for tackling a 70.3, but it wasn’t in the budget for 2017–and that’s okay, I’m getting by and I’m fully confident I’ll finish my first half ironman within the allotted time. It’s just that I like data feedback/explanation of said feedback (it’s a huge motivator). And sometimes, just sometimes I could use a kick in the ass when I’m having a ‘whoa is me’ moment.

5.Continuing my #hitreset365 streak is a great way to make sure I recover, even if it is just five minutes of legs up the wall…it makes a huge difference for me!

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outdoor studio is where it’s at

6. I’m getting closer, but I’m still learning how to be in the moment. I am where I am, and I just need to own that. Sometimes it’s easy to lose focus and start planning my next race, especially now that my husband is in California and I have a whole new slew of races to choose from. I just need to remind myself that the prize this year is the Maine 70.3 finish line, and I need to keep my eyes on it.

7. Next year, regardless of what distance I decide to tackle….sign up for an earlier triathlon instead of waiting until July to get my first of the season in. I’m definitely having some pre-race jitters-a bit more than usual-because I’m not 100% certain where my race fitness is and wanted to find out before now. But it is what it is and I still have seven weeks till Maine. A ton can happen between now and then!

That’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll manage my time a bit better and be back with some semi-regular 70.3 training updates! It’s time to get my race gear together, do my yoga, eat some dinner and get to bed early, because 4am comes super early!

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see you tomorrow, finish line!