Finally! I remembered my login for this thing…

My birthday and Huntington Beach Half Marathon Recap

I know, it’s been forever and A LOT has changed!  I’m living back in Walnut Creek, got a puppy and have been running again! 

Here is our puppy Bentley…and of course, he’s a runner now too!

Stephen and I are doing great, traveled for the holidays then got right back into running.  I’ve been enjoying morning runs with Aron, Tara and Martiza!  It’s soooo nice being back with them and running together.  I do miss the city, but it’s been a really great transition.

My first race since the CIM relay was for my birthday, the Huntington Beach Half Marathon.  I call this the race that almost wasn’t because I was very, very sick the entire weekend.  I hadn’t been training very hard because I knew I just wanted to run it and enjoy it, no time pressure or anything.  Well, thankfully that was my outlook because I really, really did not feel well the whole weekend.

What did make me feel better was all the wonderful surprises my boyfriend had planned for me!  We flew into Orange County on Saturday morning, at the airport my best friend Megan picked us up, it was a complete surprise!  We then drove to the “expo” until I found out we weren’t heading there, but to our ocean-front suite at the Hyatt!  We had a gorgeous room, complete with champagne.  After the expo and a nap, we headed to dinner where I was suprised again when 30 of my oldest and newest friends were there to help me celebrate!

After dinner  we relaxed in the hot tub then got some sleep.  I was exhausted and really not sure how in the world I was going to bust out 13.1.  When we woke up I did feel much better.  Megan and her parents came to meet us, then we headed down to the start line.  Aron and Chris met up with us as well and it was just a waiting game until the start.

I decided I would wait with Aron and see how I felt once we started.  I thought a pace of 9-9:30 would be ok for me to try.  Once we got started EVERYONE kept giving me happy birthday shoutouts thanks to my fun bday shirt from Megan!

At about mile 2.5 Danica and Billy caught up with us and from then on it was just a fun race.  I couldn’t really talk because it was impossible for me to breathe, run and talk all at once.  So, I mainly just enjoyed my race, loving all the birthday wishes!  By mile 11 I was pretty much done.  I looked at Aron and said, “I’m dying” – she encouraged me to keep going, that we were almost there!  With one mile left she was even able to get me to speed up!  We finished under 2 hours which took me by surprise (can you even surprise yourself on your surprise birthday weekend??).  Overall, the best birthday ever and a great race to end on! 

With all the great pictures I had to try my hand at Movie Maker and make a little video…

So, what’s next?  I’m planning to run the Bidwell Classic half marathon relay on March 6 in Chico, CA, then the Shamrockin Half on March 14 in Sacramento.  Not to mention, a fun little relay that few of us are planning to run in May! (more on that to come…)

I really want to focus on running and being in shape this year.  I want to share my running stories, puppy stories, cooking and workout tips, as well as all the other fun things life brings!  Can’t wait!

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As Requested By My Mother…

Well, not specifically, but I know she will appreciate that I’m taking the time to list my schedule of events for the next, oh, seven months!

As decided by the ROHO’s, Stephen and I are now officially registered for the Sacramento Cowtown Half Marathon on October 4, 2009!  We have decided to “race” this run, which means it won’t be a site-seeing jog, but more of a race against our previous PRs (Personal Records). 

The race is a loop, meaning half marathoners will be doing one full loop, and the full marathoners will be doing the loop twice.  This works out perfectly for those of us who are doing the half because it will allow us to cheer on Tara and Aron, as they are both planning to do the full.  I plan to run with Aron during the first half because she is shooting for a 1:50 time, which will be a great PR for me!

Next up on the schedule?  The following!

Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon ~ Healdsburg, CA ~ October 31

CIM Full marathon ~ Sacramento, CA ~ December 6

Surf City Half Marathon ~ Huntington Beach, CA ~ February 7, 2010

For those of you who don’t know, the Surf City Half falls right on my birthday!  After watching Tara run the SFM full on HER birthday, I got jealous and decided to find one on mine.  Turns out, I couldn’t have found a better race!  The Surf City marathon is part of the California Dreamin’ Racing Series, which I’ve really been wanting to do.  So, 2010 looks like it will be a racing year for me!  And of course, Stephen has so eagerly agreed to do every race with me 🙂

Training

As you can imagine, with all those races in the line-up, training is going to start SOON.  Officially, Stephen and I start training for the CIM full on Monday, August 3.  Yikes!  That’s in a few days.  I think we’re ready, but we are both the busiest people ever, so finding the time to do all our runs will be a challenge.  I’m really looking forward to getting into training again though.  And having a few races in there helps.  It’s going to be a pretty hectic fall, but I know we can do it!  I have our schedule all planned out, a mix of Pfitz and a few of my own ideas thrown in there. 

Look for more and more posts as our training begins!

 

A few recent pictures…

P7250077                             Me with the SFM half girls, Aron, Maritza and Danica 

 

SFMstart                                    SFM Start – Watching the Elite Runners Start

stephen                                Stephen wishing he was back in bed…it was 5:30 a.m.

Napa Video!!

Maritza created the BEST video of our Napa to Sonoma race.  Love her and LOVE this video, enjoy!

Kenny Chesney and Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon Race Report

Hello all!  It’s been a while since I’ve been on my blog and I just finished another race so I thought it was about time to get something posted!  Here is a weekend recap/race report…

Kenny Chesney!!!

At heart, I’m a country girl.  I love country music, horses, and cowboy boots.  How I ended up in the city, I’ll never know, but it is true what they say, you can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl!  So on Saturday, July 18 I attended my first Kenny Chesney concert. 

The good:  Cowboys in Rockin Republics, Coronas, good people, great music, new friends and an awesome show! 

The bad: Sugarland canceled, I froze my butt off, drank too much Corona and ended up being out way too late.  *Note to self – KC concerts the night before a half marathon = tired and cranky Kristin at a 3:45 a.m. wake up call!!

P7180055                                              My friend Jarrett and I pre-concert


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
                                                     My new friend Clare and I

 

P7180069                                                            PACKED concert!!

Left the concert at 10, got home around 11, in bed by 11:30, asleep by 11:45, wake-up at 3:45 a.m.!!!!!!  My wonderful boyfriend Stephen and I woke up at 3:45, just a mere four hours after going to bed.  I got up, found some cereal and just stood in the kitchen.  WHAT was I thinking?!?  Tired, slightly hung-over and in auto pilot for sure.  Luckily, Stephen was a big help and helped me get it together, get in the car and head out to Sonoma.

Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon

We had to be there by 6:15 at the latest, so we left San Francisco around 4:45 just to make sure we got there in time.  We made it by 5:30, found a bathroom, parked and met up with Julianne and Duane to get on the shuttle.

                 P7180070                Waiting for the shuttle, 5:45 a.m., less than 8 hours after the concert!!    

Julianne, Duane and I headed to the start, met up with the other ROHOs and just barely made the starting line.  There were ridiculously long port-o-potty lines and we had to run to the start!!  Running to start a race, that was definitely a first for me!!

6771_627806573734_30318624_36028081_3386797_n[1]                                                            ROHOs and Friends!

The start line was beautiful!  Tons of people, beautiful vineyards and a gorgeous sunrise.  All in all, not a bad way to start a half marathon.  However, I swear, by the time I started this race, I really had no concept of what was happening.  It wasn’t until mile 2 that I realized, “I’m running a half marathon!”  I have been running around so much, being soooo incredibly busy, that I didn’t even realize what I was doing until I was in a vineyard, in the warm sun, at 7:30 a.m. and running.

Julianne and I ran pretty much the entire thing together which was awesome!  We started really fast, and averaged about 8:45 pace per mile.  We would speed up, then slow down a bit, charge a hill, then coast.  It was a great race and I really loved every second of it. 

n1082829198_591357_1816867[1]                                                    Julianne and I, just about mile 9

At about mile 7.5 I was getting tired.  The sun was really starting to beat down on us, I was feeling my dehydration and I was hungry!  Man, I think I could have pulled a Dean and eaten and entire pizza on the course.

I texted Stephen to let him know we were getting close, his plan was to meet me at mile 10 then run the last three miles with me.  This definitely kept me going.  I really wanted to see him and I knew he’d pick my pace up and help me finish strong.  I kept thinking, just another two miles…just another mile…until finally I saw him!!  It was great, I really needed to see him because I knew he’d pick me up 🙂


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                                   Stephen was a good running buddy AND photog!

So from miles 10 on we ran about an 8:35 pace.  It was a great way to finish.  I whined a little and Stephen let me.  Around mile 12 we picked it up a little more and he was able to tell me where the course was going and that we were close (he’d walked from the finish to mile marker 10, so he knew what the last three looked like).  At just about mile 12.75 he asked me if I could pick it up anymore…my only response, NO.  Haha.  I just didn’t have too much more in me.  He then left me to watch me finish and I sprinted in to finish with an official time of 1:58:53.

Time to celebrate!! 

After everyone finished, we busted out the champagne, enjoyed the nice weather and park, then did some wine tasting.

P7180073                              My awesome boyfriend/running buddy/cheerleader

P7180072                                                            Watching the finish

P7180074                                                                 Running buddy!

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                                                The ROHOs finish another one!

6568_1196313350024_1294178028_30573778_6039486_n[1]                                                                     Wine Tasting

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                                                                      Hot messes 🙂

In conclusion, I really loved this race.  Beautiful, warm, fun and tons of wine at the end – can’t get much better!! 

Top 10 Moments of Napa to Sonoma:

10. Watching the sunrise over the vineyards
9. Running with Julianne 
8. Seeing horses galloping in the fields around mile 2
7. Another race with the ROHOs
6. Sharing a veggie pizza with Aron
5. Champagne at the end
4. Wine tasting
3. Seeing Stephen at mile 10
2. Killing another race
1. Realizing at mile 5 that running is a privilege few others experience, let alone getting to run a course as beautiful as Napa to Sonoma.  I’m a lucky girl.

San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Marathon – Race Report!!

Wow.  That’s what I keep saying over and over as I relive and keep thinking about this past weekend.  This is going to be a really long post!!  I’ll start at the beginning….

Friday couldn’t have come any sooner.  I know that all the ROHO’s were very anxious and excited to get this weekend going.  So when Friday FINALLY came along, we were more than excited.  We all took BART to the airport and got to ride the looooong train ride there together.  Lots of giggling, squealing and chattering as we got on our way.  Soon we were at the airport, checking in and flying high.  Virgin America is the BEST airline!!!  Loved the seat-to-seat chat for sure.

We made a mad dash to the rental car place, picked out our ride, then headed to our hotel.  A-mazing.  We had a two bedroom suite, complete with two bathrooms (mandatory with five chicks) and a full kitchen.  We did a quick dinner that night and then headed out to a fabulous wine bar in the Gaslamp district!

4620_1169285954356_1294178028_30474399_7250226_n[1]                                                                All dressed up!!

Saturday was Expo Day!  We all slept in for a bit, then headed to the biggest race expo I’ve ever been to.  All the freebees were awesome and I got new Recovery Socks.  They also gave us rad head bands that I’m obsessed with!

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                                                          Aron and I with our headbands

Since I’m not too great at this blog thing, I didn’t really know many of the bloggers that the other ROHO’s were planning to meet.  However, it was really great to meet them and talk about the race and get excited for the marathon the next day!

4647_89258743305_518023305_1830132_7703173_n[1]                                                     Bloggers, tweeps, ROHOs!!

After the expo we did a little grocery shopping, hit up the hot tub and then went back to our room to relax.  It was the best night.  We all stretched, got our race gear together, and just talked.  I loved bonding with my girls and really talking about races, running, life, marriage, boys, EVERYTHING!  I heart these girls 🙂

 

RACE DAY & Full REPORT!!!!

My day began at 3:30 a.m.  The alarm went off and Aron and I just looked at each other and said “race day!”  I wasn’t too nervous, but definitely anxious.  We took our time getting up, getting ready and eating our pre-race ritual – English muffins, peanut butter and bananas.

Before I knew it we were off on the shuttle and headed to the start line.  We got off the shuttle and it was no joke, people were EVERYWHERE.  This was by far the biggest race I’ve participated in.  There were 20 something corrals and over 13,000 people.  Pretty crazy.  

All the ROHOs lined up in corral six.  My goal time was 4 hours, but I was really flexible with this time.  I knew that coming in under 4 was going to be pretty much impossible, but I just wanted to beat my first marathon time of 4:20.  After the national anthem, and a few good songs, all the ROHOs crossed the start line together!  It was a great feeling.

GO TIME!!!

I started running with Aron and Danica, which ended up saving my life.  I knew the course was all downhill for the first few miles and I DID NOT want to start too fast.  Thankfully, Aron is the best pacer ever and kept me on a slower pace.  By mile 2, Aron looked at me and said, “I’m already hot and we’ve only gone two miles.”  The weather in downtown SD was really muggy and by the first few miles we were feeling it.  So, we stayed the pace.

Mile 1: 9:31
Mile 2: 9:17
Mile 3: 9:08
Mile 4: 8:43
Mile 5: 8:57

These times were a little slower than my intended goal plan of about 9 minute miles.  But, Aron kept reassuring me that a huge hill was coming and that we needed to conserve our energy.  I took a Gu at mile 4 with the intention of doing this every 4 miles.  True to the course schedule, a major hill greeted us from miles 7-10, and we were on the freeway, ugh!!

Mile 6: 9:02
Mile 7: 9:07
Mile 8: 9:07
Mile 9: 9:28
Mile 10: 8:51

By mile 10 I was in the zone.  I knew I needed to get going if I wanted to shoot for a four-hour marathon.  The course at this point was pretty good.  I loved all the themed water stops and spectator participation.  It really kept me going to see all the support and people cheering us on.  Miles 10- about 12 were all downhill along the freeway.  It was really exciting to run on a freeway, such a crazy experience.  It was here that I caught up to the 4 hour pace group and ran into Tara.  I got along side her and chatted with her a bit.  She really needed to pull over for a second so I just let her go and continued on the course.

Mile 11: 8:38
Mile 12: 9:17
Mile 13: 8:41
Mile 14: 8:51
Mile 15: 8:58

I kept taking Gu every four miles and picked the pace up to sub-9 minute miles.  I ran with the four-hour pace group through miles 12-23.  At miles 16 I remember thinking, dang, this thing is almost over.  And I was almost kind of sad.  I couldn’t believe we’d already covered 16 miles and I was feeling great.  Boy, did I have a rude awakening coming up…

Mile 16: 9:00
Mile 17: 9:13
Mile 18: 8:50
Mile 19: 8:58
Mile 20: 8:44

At mile 18 a little girl handed me a green Otter Pop – BEST race goodie of the day by far.  I was so hot that I had already started taking water cups and dumping them on me at every water stop.  I made it to mile 20 just around 3 hours and then I pretty much crashed. 

As anyone who has run a marathon can tell you, anything after 20 miles is just hard-core.  I felt my pace drift off after mile 21.  I started seeing people walking, stretching, crying, pulling over, laying down, sitting down – you name it.  People were hurting and crapping out.  I was hurting pretty bad and I started to definitely question my sanity.  Things like “Why am I doing this? I can’t keep going. Maybe I’ll just stretch for a little bit.” kept running through my head.  At mile 22.5 I had to pull over and stretch.  My lower back hurt, my legs were stiff and my feet were killing me.  I was in bad shape.  A really buff guy (and also pretty good looking I must say…what?  Just because I’m running a marathon doesn’t mean some of my interests diminish…) stopped to stretch with me.  We didn’t talk, but we looked at each other with that expression of “Yup, this is it.  Go big or go home.”  I was only stopped for about 30 seconds and continued on.

Out of all 26.2 miles, the last four were the most intense.  I really wanted to give up, but inside I knew I didn’t want to.  I dug really deep, deeper than I can even imagine.  I remembered seeing a sign around mile 5 that said “In the moments you want to quit, you will find what you’re really made of.”  I thought about that sign, I told myself that if marathons were easy, everyone would do them.  I told myself that I trained and trained hard and this was my day.  This was my time to race and race hard and not quit.  I would gain nothing from quitting, but I would have so much pride in the end.    

At mile 24 I saw my friend Danielle on the side lines.  We both screamed and she came out to run with me.  She grabbed my hand and told me I was amazing.  I started crying.  I don’t cry when I run.  Ever.  But this was hard and I was literally running on nothing.  I started crying and she just picked me up (mentally) and carried me through the next .5 miles.  I stopped crying, got myself together and then crapped out again.  I started walking right at the 25 marker.  I told myself, “I’ll just walk to the end of the cones” – I made it 25 feet before I felt the blister, that I knew was quickly forming on my left big toe, burst.  I looked down expecting to see blood seeping through my shoe.  That was it, I knew that if I kept walking I would be in so much pain that I would be really struggling to finish.  So, again for the third or fourth time, I mentally shook myself, got it together, dug deep and kept going.

The next 1.45 miles were the toughest ever.  I wanted to cry, I wanted to stop and give up.  I wanted a bath and a shower and a cute boy to massage my feet.  I wanted anything other than to be running.  I’ve never, ever in all the running and challenges of my life wanted to quit as bad as I did in that last mile.  The strength I found to finish this race will always live with me as I look back and see how amazing and strong I was.

As I got closer to the finish I could see the crowd, I could see the injured and struggling people being carried off to the side.  I could hear the announcer and I knew I was close.  I also knew, that if I picked it up and gave it everything, I would sub-four.  I don’t know what I saw or how many people I passed, but I ran hard on my silly little burst blister, aching legs, and tired body.  I left everything out there.  I had nothing left in me and I remember thinking “If I pass out at the finish, it will be worth it.”  As I crossed the finish I looked at my watch and saw it.  3:59:24.  Sub four hours.  Just barely, but Garrett had a big 3 grinning up at me once I was done.   

Mile 21: 9:00
Mile 22: 9:06
Mile 23: 9:11
Mile 24: 9:16
Mile 25: 9:53
Mile 26: 9:10
Last .45 miles: 7:56

According to Garrett, I had run 26.45 miles, .25 miles longer than a traditional marathon.  This is thanks to the wide roads and weaving between people.  So, I ran longer than the marathon and still finished 21 minutes faster than SFM in August of 2008.

As I walked out of the finish area and toward the waiting medals, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I pulled over to the side, away from everyone else, and I cried.  A lot.  I cried because I was happy, because I was exhausted, because I was relieved to not be running anymore, but mostly because I have never been so proud of myself as I was at that moment.  I finally pulled my phone out and made several sobbing phone calls that I’m sure didn’t make much sense, other than I had finished really well.  My mom and dad both got on the phone and gave me their words of praise and congratulations. 

As I stood there, I got to see Tara and Aron cross the finish line.  I’d finally gotten myself together and went to meet them.  Maritza and Julianne finished a few minutes later and again the ROHOs were together – another marathon down.


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This marathon taught me a lot.  I learned that even when you think you can’t go on anymore, you can.  I learned that as much as I felt like quitting, I’m not a quitter and I did not quit.  I learned I had strength that I didn’t know I had.  I learned that my body is amazing and can conquer anything.  This race gave me the strength and courage to become anything I want to be.  To take on challenges, to not be scared and to keep going.  Pain truly is temporary.  Things will get better and people who love you will be there to catch you when you fall and celebrate with you when you excel.  Nothing is more rewarding than taking on a challenge and just crushing it.  Marathons have made me a better, stronger and more patient person.  I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
 

Finishing this report I’d like to give out a few thank you’s…

Thanks goes out to all my friends and family.  Their support means the world to me.  Every comment on Facebook, every “good luck” wish and every supportive comment was filed away in my mind and brought out when I needed it the most. 

To my mom and dad – I love you both and you raised me to be awesome – just can’t fake that.

Last but not least.  My ROHOs.  There are NO WORDS to tell you how much I love you and appreciate each one of you for what you’ve given me.  Julianne, you are our rock and our leader.  Your support is unconditional and I don’t know what I would do without you.  Maritza, thank you for breaking down on Saturday and giving me strength to look at my own relationship failure and find some anger to utilize in this marathon.  You are amazing and I know you will continue to rock marathons.  Tara, our long runs really paid off and we killed it.  Chico girls definitely know how to run!  Your 3:55 is coming, I know it.  Aron, I will forever credit you for this race.  You held me back when I needed it and gave me the advice I needed to hear from day one.  I am truly indebted to you for this race.

Marathon #3?  I’ll keep you posted….   

Meet Garrett

I am pleased to introduce everyone to Garrett the Garmin.  He’s been my best friend for the last month or so and we’ve grown really close.  I’ve come to think of him as my running buddy, cheerleader and confidant.  We are quickly becoming besties.

P1010004 

Week in running…

My 15 mile run on Saturday started at 6 a.m. when my alarm went off.  Got up, went to Peet’s for a coffee, then headed out to Walnut Creek to meet up with the girls.  We started running around 7:45 and the weather was beautiful, sunny but not hot.  Tara and I had the same pace goal, 9:00 average, so we started out together.   We decided we’d do two miles warm up, 12 miles goal pace, and 1 mile cool down.  I credit running with her for our fabulous splits!!

Mile 1: 9:18
Mile 2: 9:18
Mile 3: 8:58
Mile 4: 8:57
Mile 5: 9:00

I don’t think there was ever a time during this run that I felt weak or tired, we just kept pounding out the miles and it was really great to have someone along side me that was going for the same goal.  I took a Gu at mile 5.

Mile 6: 9:00
Mile 7: 8:56
Mile 8: 8:48
Mile 9: 8:48
Mile 10: 8:38

At mile 10 I wasn’t tired, but just feeling like I wanted the run to be over.  The sun was getting warmer and the Gu I’d taken early upset my stomach a little, so I was apprehensive to take the second one.  But of course, Tara encouraged me just to take it, so we pulled over, got more water and took our Gu’s.  I think taking the Gu at a standstill really helped my stomach issue (either that or I was just in need of some calories!) because I felt fine for the remaining five miles.

Mile 11: 8:33
Mile 12: 8:41
Mile 13: 8:46
Mile 14: 8:24!!!
Mile 15: 9:55

WOW!  Tara and I were super stoked.  We had a great run and were able to squeeze in that super fast last GP mile.  I’m so happy we ran together and kicked butt together!

Maritza did amazing as well, keeping all her pace miles quicker than she intended.  Overall, great run day for the ROHO’s 🙂

I rushed home from the run to get ready for a Ro Sham Bo tournament fundraiser being held in the city.  Yes, a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament – not even kidding!!  Great experience and fundraiser by the San Francisco Fire department for the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco!! Pictures to follow 🙂

 

Easter Sunday was a relaxing day at the Ferry Building and Washington Square Park in San Francisco with my roommate.  Happy belated Easter everyone!!


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                                                      Washington Square Park

I’ve been a bad, bad blogger!

I could start off saying how sorry I am for not blogging, how busy I’ve been, blah, blah, blah, but I’ll spare you all that and just get into the good stuff – what’s been goin’ on!!

Moving – Went GREAT!!!  Very hectic and busy of course, but I got all moved in and even had the girls over for some Sunday brunch on my rooftop!

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Running – Has been AMAZING.  I got the Garmin Forerunner 405 and I seriously LOVE IT.  I really don’t know how I ran without it before.  I’ve been hitting all my miles and paces, training really hard, and doing fabulously.  Last Saturday I did 17 miles, with major hills, across the Golden Gate Bridge and all around SF at a 9:30 average pace!!  Which is really great because I started slow to pace a friend of mine for 4 miles and made up the time in the remaining 13 miles!  So happy about that run.  I do, unfortunately, now have a HUGE blister on my left front toe.  I will spare details/pics, but it’s pretty bad.  I bought every blister fixer I could find and am praying it heals before my 15 miler this Saturday.  

Work – Ok, here is the reason I truly had to cut back on blogging/Web usage.  I typically check things throughout the day, leave comments, shoot people e-mails, but work has been really insanely busy lately and I’ve been putting my best foot forward to really work hard.  So I’m sorry for not being in the loop lately, but I’m going to try again and keep everyone up-to-date!