Category Archives: Non-Running Workouts

“Welcome to Les Mills RPM. My name is Holly, and I’ll be guiding you through your workout today!”

It’s been a bit of a long road…

But after taking my initial training module in July,
Then waiting for gym-specific training in September,
And waiting our turn to Shadow and Team Teach,
Going away for two weeks,
And returning to unexpectedly learn that I could clear RIGHT AWAY (due to some scheduling changes at the gym)…

I’m a Les Mills certified, Fitness First-approved RPM Indoor Cycling Instructor!

Post Spin

Relaxing Stretching after today’s final Clearance Exam!

This has been a fun side project for the last few months.  I’ve been challenged in new ways athletically, learned a bit more about how I hold and move my body, and figured out how to adapt “run coach” to “indoor cycling coach”.  The training journey has been fun, but I’m happy to be bringing it to a close and continue my journey, learning and growing with my own classes.  Thanks to a series of fortunate events, it’s highly likely that the opportunity will come sooner, rather than later – I’ll be taking on my first classes starting in January!

So Fitness First members in Singapore who work/live/play/gym downtown – stay tuned, because I’ll be coming to location near you in just a few weeks!  I’ll share the details once everything is officially official.

I am planning to write a post reflecting on this training journey I’ve been on for the last several months – but for now, I’m exhausted.  In addition to standard holiday preparations, it’s been an exciting but busy few weeks for Run With Holly.  So I’m celebrating my new “Instructor” status by treating myself to a (relatively) early bedtime.  And heck, the weather is so beautifully rainy and cool tonight, we might even open the windows in lieu of using the air conditioning (don’t tell the bad guys)!!

What was the last project you embarked upon that really taught you something (or several somethings) about yourself?

My friends who Indoor Cycle: What is the #1, most important, not-to-miss quality that YOU think an instructor should possess?

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Oct. 21 – Oct. 27)

It’s Nov. 20…so I have exactly 1 day before I’m a month behind on Weekly Workout Round-Ups (except now, in the time between draft and publication, it became Nov. 21 in Singapore.  I’m officially a month behind).  Thankfully, I have a pretty detailed workout log and my photos to help me recall each day, plus whatever notes I throw into this file as a draft – and I actually like writing these recaps, so I’m not sure why I keep falling behind.  Ah, well.  I’d abandon the idea all together, except I actually really like having the record for myself – and publishing it publicly reminds me to keep up (usually…hmph!).  So here we go.  Since the days are flying by so quickly anyway, let’s take a moment to rewind back to October.

Monday (Oct. 21): RPM practice

This week I moved intensely into my Team Teaching, so I spent a bit of time in the studio alone, learning, practicing, and reviewing the tracks I’d be teaching during the week.

Tuesday: Run (6.8 mi) & RPM Team Teach (TT)

I ran a loop of McRitchie first thing in the morning, and collected some bugs on my shirt (better than in my mouth!):

The front of my shirt.  I wore yellow, to better highlight the collection of bugs.  You're welcome.

The front of my shirt. I wore yellow, to better highlight the collection of bugs. You’re welcome.

I team taught with a new mentor this day – and for some reason, the feedback she provided really clicked for me.  I felt excited to practice, and retry my tracks the next day.

Wednesday: RPM (TT)

Oatmeal = Fuel

Oatmeal = Fuel

Fueled by a great big bowl of oatmeal, I was ready to team teach with another mentor (we typically work with 2-3 mentors throughout our training) than on Tuesday. Although getting feedback from different people is important to help me develop my own personal style, I’m struggling a bit with trying to please too many masters.  I’m also working to adapt my running coach style to indoor cycling coach – some elements transfer easily, but others require some adjustment (for me, at least).  This topic will probably warrant a post of its own at some point in the future.  But for now, I’m trying to stay flexible, open to constructive criticism (so hard sometimes!), and learn as much as I can.  I know that, soon enough, this mentorship period will be over, and I’ll be on my own – so I need to soak in as much as possible right now!

Thursday: Run (3.1 mi) & RPM

There was nothing terribly notable about either of these workouts, but in the evening, we debuted a dish that has since reappeared weekly:

Pan-cooked portobello mushrooms with melted goat cheese and sauteed peppers and onions, with a side of quinoa salad. SO MUCH YUM on that plate, folks.

Pan-cooked portobello mushrooms with melted goat cheese and sauteed peppers and onions, with a side of quinoa salad. SO MUCH YUM on that plate, folks.

Friday: “Rest”

I had grand plans for some kind of workout (run and Body Pump, I think?).  But then, around lunchtime, I walked into our guest bathroom and found this:

That is laundry detergent.  It is brown because it leaked through the cardboard box on the left.

That is laundry detergent. All over the floor. It is brown because it leaked through the cardboard box on the left.

And thus commenced the Great Detergent Clean-Up of 2013.  Just think for one moment…about the logistics of cleaning up ~120 oz of laundry detergent.  [Those Costco containers hold ~180 oz of detergent, and the one whose corner cracked was about 2/3 empty when I finally discovered it.]

I did my best to avoid that scene in the Curious George book where George makes a huge mess at home by trying to use the washing machine (at least I think that’s what happened…I’m a bit vague on the details, but I have a very clear memory of the illustration, and didn’t want it to happen in our bathroom).  I also gave copious amounts of thanks that, in Singapore, most bathrooms have a floor drain – and our shower head is on a hose.

Needless to say, after three hours of cleaning up this mess, I had no desire to workout.  I finished up some computer work and let KMN take me out for dinner instead.  See, even running coaches skip their workouts sometimes…

Saturday: Run (8.8 mi)

KMN had a long run on his schedule for the day. I wasn’t interested in his 16 miles, but I joined him for the first half.  We actually ran the first 10 miles of the TNF 50K course – this was my first time running the whole section since race day.  I was of two minds: A bit relieved that the training was over, and a bit sad that the training and even had come and gone.

[Incidentally, I think this is a great thing.  Target races should be like relatives coming to visit: You are mostly excited and slightly nervous about their impending arrival; by the time they leave, you are half sad, and half relieved.]

KMN has a pretty carefree training attitude, and I was just out for fun, so we mugged for the camera a bit.

26 Pre-Run

I also nabbed some contradictory monkey signage:

"I may rummage through your bag.  Please do not leave it unattended."

“I may rummage through your bag. Please do not leave it unattended.”

"Please keep a distance of 2-3 m away from me as I am easily frightened."

“Please keep a distance of 2-3 m away from me as I am easily frightened.”



Yes, both signs refer to the very same monkeys.  I can assure you that the left one is far more correct.  Watch yourself when you pull out that package of Honey Stingers on the trail….

When we got to Bukit Timah, we took a break for some water, KMN refueled, and I headed out to the bus stop while he turned around to run back.  I know I’ll be excited for long runs again really soon…but right now, I’m happy to be holding around 10 miles.  I was also thrilled that my knee felt great and seems to be well recovered from whatever twisting/wrenching occurred during the 50K.

I also managed to drip sweat all over the floor of the bus on the ride home.  Shhh....

I also managed to drip sweat all over the floor of the bus on the ride home. Shhh….

Sunday: Rest

And that pretty much wrapped up the week, with a Total Workout Time of 7 hrs, 15 min – and 18.7 miles (and one laundry detergent debacle).  Not awesome, but acceptable – I expect the next week to bring more Team Teaching and, hopefully, a bit more running.  [Spoiler alert: Not so much of the former, but definitely more of the latter.]  I was also hoping to smush two weeks of workouts into one post, but this post is already 1,000 words, so I’m cutting it off here.

How do you remind yourself to stay receptive to constructive criticism without getting defensive?

What’s the biggest, stickiest, most annoying mess you’ve ever had to clean up?
[Note: Not necessarily the grossest…just the most annoying/hardest.]

The More You Know (the more confused you are)

This week, I am back in the classroom.  Or, at least, sitting on the floor of a dance studio with my notebook and pen, watching Powerpoint presentations (and LOTS of live physical demonstrations).  It’s a weird feeling – in a good way.

You see, I’m taking four days of classes with Personal Trainer/Yoga Trainer/Pilates Trainer Claire Norgate, from Australia.  [When I lived in the US, I had no idea how much fitness “stuff” came out of Australia.  Turns out, a lot!]  This particular workshop set is focused on Postural Analysis/Movement Analysis/Trigger Point and Remedial/Rehabilitation Pilates (and some other, non-Pilates exercises).  I am not a trained Pilates instructor and, to be honest, I went in fairly skeptical of Pilates, based on the smattering of group classes I’ve taken.  And although my thoughts on it are changing somewhat thanks to this course, some of the finer, Pilates-centric points of the workshop have been lost on me.

Still, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by everything I’ve learned (or hopefully learned!) over the last few days.  This is a good kind of overwhelmed, though – and I am very excited to start incorporating some of these techniques and approaches into my coaching programs and into my one-on-one work with clients on posture/stride/gait.  I also plan to share more details about certain topics on the blog, once I’ve had time to process, integrate, and test some of them.  But for now, I have to leave for class pretty soon – so I will leave you with a list.  [I love lists. Also, I’m considering this to be Monday’s “Coach’s Corner” post, kind of – especially since I started it at the beginning of the week.]

10 Tidbits of Learnin’
(from two Claire Norgate workshops)

1. Spending the day with other folks who are just as interested in fitness/movement as I am is pretty darn cool.  I’m a bit of an anomaly – I’m trained as a running coach, but am far less formally trained in other areas of fitness (yoga, Pilates, personal training) than many of the other participants.  There is so much that I can learn in that room – and only some of it comes from Claire.

2. Nothing beats wearing your workout gear to class.  Bonus?  I need only change my shoes to be dressed for my run when I get home!  [It’s like going to class in your PJs when you were in college – only cuter, more efficient, and socially acceptable.]

3. There is contradictory evidence about pretty much everything.  You thought that the barefoot running controversy was bad?  That is merely the TIP of the iceberg.  Should you “roll” your spine up and down (as in “From standing, drop your chin to your chest and ROLL down, one vertebrae at a time.”)?  Is it safe to squat with knees extending past toes?  What sorts of exercises are “safe” for folks with knee injuries? back injuries?  Also, this year’s recommendation may change next year.  Or in five years.  Then, it’ll probably change back.  It’s enough to make you crazy.  Instead, I use it as a reminder of the importance of respecting the differences in individuals, and encouraging everyone to listen to his/her own body.

4. I need a pack mule, or a car.  Carrying course materials, food, workout apparel, and shoes for the day (sometimes 7 AM – 7 PM) makes me not the favorite person on crowded morning buses.

Squeeeezing my yoga mat into my Timbuk2 bag, because my hands are full with my lunchbag and shoe bag...

Squeeeezing my yoga mat into my Timbuk2 bag, because my hands are full with my lunchbag and shoe bag…

5. Teaching group exercise classes well is really, really hard.  This goes hand-in-hand with observations I’m making during the Team Teaching for RPM.  In every class, there are folks of all levels and body types, with unique strengths/weaknesses.  Teaching in a way that properly directs each of them is extraordinarily challenging, and I didn’t appreciate this until very recently.

6. Other people have dorky “favorite things”, too!  I have a favorite science word (pseudopod) and a favorite piece of laboratory equipment (one of the BioRad PCR machines in the Bi lab).  Apparently, exercise/physiology folks have favorite bones (I decided yesterday that mine is the xyphoid process), and favorite muscles to look at (gastrocnemeus/soleus?).

7. We ALL have some postural and movement patterns that fall within “normal” range – and we all have some that fall outside what is considered “normal”.  The goal for those of us in the fitness industry – and the folks I/we work with – is to start moving people toward normal, to allow for safer, more pain-free, and more effective movement and exercise.

8. As the only Caucasian in a room full of Asians, I was the one who asked, “Well, who decided what “NORMAL” is, anyway?”

9. “Lamb Cupcakery” is a very strange name.  But their chocolate peanut butter cupcake is a pretty amazing way to end a day of learnin’.

If it looks like the only thing left is the wrapper....that's correct.  I forgot to take a "before" photo....

If it looks like the only thing left is the wrapper….that’s correct. I forgot to take a “before” photo….

10. I need (want?) to learn more.  And more.  And more.  It’s really fantastic to be learning things that I will actually use!!!  Take that, formalized American education system!

OK, that’s it for today, folks.  As I said – I hope to be blogging about more specific information I learned – and how I’m applying it to my coaching – over time.  But for now, keep on eye out here – the Thursday “Stretch of the Day” will be debuting in less than 24 hours!!

If you work in the health/fitness industry: What is the most useful class/course/workshop you’ve ever taken?

EVERYONE: I’m in ‘learning mode’, so teach me some interesting morsel of information!!!

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Oct. 14-20)

I had to look at the calendar – twice – to remind myself that last week was really just the second week after my 50K.  My legs felt…awesome.  I was doing much more cross-training than running, but BodyPump and RPM (indoor cycling) aren’t exactly gentle on the legs.  Here’s what happened:

Monday: RPM

Also, I had too many heavy things to buy at the grocery store (yogurt, milk, juice, hard cider), so I broke out the “Auntie Cart” for a walk:

Holly, listening to ChinesePod, and rockin' the Auntie Cart.  Awesomeness.

Holly, listening to ChinesePod, and rockin’ the Auntie Cart. Awesomeness.

Tuesday: Yin & Roll, BodyAttack/GRIT combo, Yoga on the Bridge,

This was a holiday (Hari Raya Haji) in Singapore, so there were special gym classes.  I started off the morning with “Yin & Roll”, a yoga class with one of my favorite yoga instructors.  We spent 75 minutes rolling sore muscles (mostly in our butts & hips) on tennis balls, then holding extended stretches for those same areas.  This was painful, but good.  I was also reminded of how spoiled I am by my foam roller – wiggling your IT band on a tennis ball requires much more core and arm strength/control than it does on a foam roller!

I took a break to do some computer work for an hour, then headed into an intense cardio/strength/HIIT workout.  This was a special combo class, and super intense – but fun.  In the evening, I joined the Lululemon crew for another night of free Tuesdays by the River Community Yoga.  [There are 2 more weeks left, by the way!  I should be there next week – come join me!]  Yes, there was more staring and maybe a few photos (as I described in last week’s Workout Round-Up), but I was prepared and determined not to be fussed by any of it.  Success.  By the time I rolled home around 9:30, I was ex-haust-ed.

But really, how better to spend a public holiday than tiring out your muscles with excellent workouts all day long?  🙂

Also?  This.  Steamed rice, salmon sashimi, seaweed, sprouts, and black inspired by a FB chat with GCA.

Also? This. Steamed rice, salmon sashimi, seaweed, sprouts, and black fungus…as inspired by a FB chat with GCA.

Wednesday: RPM & lots of stretching!

Just like running, spinning can do a number on your quads, hip flexors, and litttttle tiny hip muscles – and the five minutes allotted for leg stretching in class just isn’t quite enough.  I always try to hit the mat for another 10-15 minutes of stretching on my own, whenever possible.  And of course, I’ve tried to keep up with my bedtime rolling routine.

Thursday: RPM & BodyPump

This was my first morning (7:20 AM) RPM class in awhile – and from the stage, I could see that most of the class was definitely still waking up.  In fact, my team-teaching instructor told me that he tries to keep the music a bit more mild for this class, since everyone is still in their morning lull.  I chuckled, thinking of friends in the US who are pumping out intense workouts on their spin bikes at 6 AM…  The gyms here definitely don’t believe in (aka, there’s no demand for) super early morning classes.  So interesting…

The (blurry) detritus of good hydration habits....

The (blurry) detritus of good hydration habits….

I was able to sneak out to the gym again in the evening for some Pump.  I was…pumped! (har, har)

And there was veggie stir fry for dinner!

And there was homemade stir fry for dinner!

Friday: Run (4.1 mi)

My first run of the week – and the one I wrote about in yesterday’s post (I don’t care if my legs tremble during Warrior poses. I need to run.)  Friday was kind-of my rest day for the week.

Saturday: RPM & Run (7 mi)

As a participant in a spin class, I don’t much care what my fellow class members are doing/feeling/giving – I’m there to do my own workout, with the instructor.  However, as an instructor, I’ve quickly realized how different classes have a different “feel” or character.  As I mentioned above, early morning classes are a bit more mellow – but the Saturday afternoon class is considerably more energetic and intense.  This is not a better/worse characterization – just an observation.  And I’m rather amused that I didn’t really notice/care much about this as a participant – but it’s so obvious now that I’m on stage.

KMN procrastinated his long run until Saturday evening – which was, surprisingly, OK for me.  I don’t usually enjoy evening runs, but since this one was purely “for fun” for me – I had no pace goal – I headed out with him around 6:30 PM.  We did one loop of McRitchie Reservoir together, before I headed home and he continued on for another 6 miles in the park (it was too dark for another trail loop without headlamps).  I was excited that my knee felt great, despite the uneven, technical terrain.  He came back, we were both ravenous, and we went out for Indian food for dinner.  Palak paneer, I love you.

Sunday: BodyPump

KMN, GCA, and I all headed in to an afternoon Pump class.  Although the class time is a bit disruptive (3 PM), some afternoon lifting was a great way to end the weekend, and complement the previous day’s cardio.

All in all, I’m happy with the week.  I will be doing quite a lot of RPM in the coming weeks, so I was glad to get in four classes this week.  And although I didn’t do much running, Friday’s jaunt was a good reminder that I need to keep lacing up my sneakers – especially now that 50K recovery is complete.  My goal for the last 8 months has been base building – now that I have the base, I definitely don’t want to lose it!  So definitely look for some more running, starting next week.

The week’s run mileage was just 11.1 miles (although it would be considerably higher if the indoor spin bikes had odometers!), but my Total Workout Time was 12 hours, 2 minutes.

Early morning gym classes: Yay or Nay?

Is “early morning” 6 AM, 7 AM, or 8 AM?

When you have lots of miscellaneous stuff in the fridge, what do you turn it into, and what is your carb of choice?
[Interesting cultural difference: My inclination is to mix it up with some canned diced tomatoes and go “Italian style”, serving over pasta.  But my husband’s first thought is to make a fried rice type dish.]

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Oct. 7-13)

Last week was characterized by two things:

1. Not much running.
2. A return to yang yoga.

Both of these were good things.  As I’ve said before, I tend to use the post-long-race week as both a physical and mental break from training.  I take a step back from my intense Sunday afternoon workout scheduling session, and just do whatever workouts I feel like – or don’t feel like – doing.  I put zero pressure on myself to do anything, and if I want to lounge around and read a book instead, or sleep in for an extra hour, I let myself.  So after last weekend’s 50K, my workout week looked like this:

Monday: Yin yoga.

Basically, I fell asleep in a candle lit room while ostensibly stretching my hips.  Glorious.

Tuesday: Yoga by the River

I also used a hair dryer on Tuesday.  I did not, however, carry a flower pot on my head...

I also used a hair dryer on Tuesday. I did not, however, carry a flower pot on my head…

A new East Coast Lululemon showroom opened last week in Singapore.  In preparation/celebration, the owners organized a series of free Tuesdays by the River Community Yoga classes during September and October.  This was my first time in attendance.  There were over 100 of us – probably closer to 200 (?) with our yoga mats spread out on a pedestrian bridge at Clarke Quay.  The guest instructor demonstrated and led from the broad concrete railing.

This was an interesting experience, and I’ll admit that I left with conflicting emotions.  First of all, doing open air yoga with like-minded folks after sunset was REALLY COOL.  But Clarke Quay is a pretty popular evening hang-out for expats, professional locals, and tourists.  Our group occupied most of the bridge (leaving just a narrow space for people to pass by), so we were impossible to miss.  As my mat was located next to this walkway, I heard lots of comments as people went by – and a fair share of them were from groups of men, to the effect of, “Whoa, it’s our lucky day!”  Then, they pulled out their phones and started snapping pictures.

A week later, and I’m still not sure what I think about this.  On one hand, we are opting to practice yoga in tight clothing in a very public setting.  And there were plenty of groups, women, and couples staring (and photographing) too.  I mean, we were quite a sight:

Yoga on the BridgeOn the other hand, such blatant discussion and admission of oogling makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable.  But, I think I’m filing this one under “Live and Let Live,” though – and I’ll probably go back this week.  [Tonight, actually – locals, come join us – BYOM (bring your own mat)!]

Plus, this yoga session reminded me of how much I’ve abandoned my “other” yogas (Hatha, Flow, Vinyasa) in lieu of Yin.  Although Yin is great for stretching and relaxing, I do enjoy the challenge and strength required by yang yogas, and want to ensure I fit in a class or two each week in the coming months.

Wednesday's dinner: Dahl and homemade Naan.  Maybe not much to look at, but soooo good!

Wednesday’s dinner: Dahl and homemade Naan. Maybe not much to look at, but soooo good!

Wednesday: RPM

I have lots of team-teaching to do in the next two months, so you’ll be seeing a lot of spinning going on.  This was just a little test/warm-up.  While I didn’t kill myself with resistance, I was quite pleased with how good my legs felt – generally quite strong, just a touch of residual fatigue when I pushed the hills or sprints hard.  Three cheers for speedy recoveries!

Thursday: Short run/walk & Yoga

This was the Grand Opening of the Lululemon store I mentioned above.  The owners and managers of this store are an energetic, passionate bunch, eager to share their love of fitness.  In fact, I’m working with them to dream up some joint Lulu-RWH programming, so locals, stay tuned!

Anyway, they invited me out for the opening, so I joined an excited, chatty group of 30-40 athletes for a 2-3K run/walk to and through some of East Coast Park.  There, we enjoyed half an hour of waterfront yoga.  Delicious!

Our instructor kept saying, "Reach to the ceiling/mirror/back wall," then catching herself when we all laughed.  I think she needs to lead MORE waterfront yoga!

Our instructor kept saying, “Reach to the ceiling/mirror/back wall,” then catching herself when we all laughed. I think she needs to lead MORE waterfront yoga!

Next, we headed out for a ride around the East Coast area and tour of some local yoga and pilates studios…on a Hippo tour bus (don’t ask me why it’s called a Hippo bus; it doesn’t look like a Hippo):

Hippo BusMy job rocks.  I spent the morning working out, then sitting on the sunshiny, breezy upper deck while riding around Singapore (and ducking the occasional low-hanging branch), talking to yogis and runners, people for whom fitness is a passion – and in many cases, a profession.  The morning ended with mini cupcakes and Chinese treats back at the showroom.  Overall, a very fun morning.  Good luck with this new adventure, ladies!

I also left with my very first Lulu apparel to "test drive" - the blue & white striped tank.  We'll see how it fares after a few weeks with me!

I also left with my very first Lulu apparel to “test drive” – the blue & white striped tank. We’ll see how it fares after a few weeks with me!

Friday: Good intentions, zero execution

Saturday: Communication Fail

I was supposed to shadow an RPM class on this afternoon; but some miscommunication meant that I got to the gym…but didn’t end up shadowing.  Unfortunately, I was wearing my flip flops, and carrying my cycling shoes, but was absolutely without sneakers – so an alternative workout would’ve been hard.  I did some stretching, then came home and finished up my book (Red Mist by Patricia Cornwell – total brain candy).

Sunday: Long Run (9 mi)

GCA has been hankering to try out a new park connector, so I met her, and another of her friends (A), for an early morning run from Buona Vista MRT out to Pandan Reservoir.  This was super fun for me – Pandan Reservoir is near to my in-law’s place, so this is where KMN and I used to run when we would come to Singapore to visit.  This run was made possible by the construction of a new, shiny, loopy bridge over the AYE (freeway) that just opened.  The bridge is really quite impressive; I should have taken a picture – but I’m a bad blogger, and failed to take ANY photos of this group adventure.

We took the pace nice and easy, and the miles passed quickly with company.  My knee did just fine until about Mile 8, when it started to twinge a bit.  After a few twinges, I dialed back to a walk to the finish.  Walking, bending, squatting, and all other activities were fine for the rest of the day.  For now, I’ll continue to treat with rest (or at least, stick to short runs), and add in a bit of quad/hamstring strengthening.  The beauty of being post-key-race is that I have the time and freedom to let this run its course, without being anxious about training that I’m missing.

Anyway – I thoroughly enjoyed getting out for miles with friends – and meeting a potential new running partner *A*ahem*A*!  AND, the run ended with a trip to Ghim Moh market, where I was reunited with my first (and still favorite) tau huay (soybean pudding):

There's nothing like your first time.  Especially when it's as good as this one: smooth, creamy, just the right amount sweet...

There’s nothing like your first time. Especially when it’s as good as this one: smooth, creamy, just the right amount sweet…

I only wish I had thought to bring another five containers home, to eat this week.  Instead, I’m just going to need another excuse to go join GCA for a run in her neighborhood. 🙂

And that, my friends, brings us to the end of post-ultra-week.  Total Workout Time (including stretching & rolling): 6 hr, 19 min.

Coming up this week?  Lots of spinning, and some more non-yin yoga (and, who am I kidding, some yin yoga, too!), and probably some short runs.

Public group yoga: Awesome, or uncomfortable?

Beach yoga: Yay or Nay?
[I hate getting sand everywhere, but have to admit that the views were spectacular!]

Weekly Workout Round-Up (Sept. 23-29)

In the spirit of staying up-to-date and organized (See: Order On The Blog!), here’s the scoop on last week’s workouts.  Do note that this was my first taper week for The North Face 50K on Oct. 5th.

Monday: BodyPump

Tuesday: Run (6 mi)

I joined KMN for his tempo run in the morning.  Since I was planning for fewer overall miles this week, I figured I could handle his long tempo pace (slightly faster than my Easy pace).  We did a 1 mile warm-up, followed by 5 miles at tempo pace (Goal: 8:30-8:45 min/mi), although we ran a bit faster.  This was a solid, but not exhausting, effort for me.  As this was KMN’s workout, I let him take the lead, and we actually ended up with a progression run.  Splits for the 5 tempo miles were:

8:33 min/mi

Not exactly a steady-effort tempo workout, but it’s very important for our marriage that I not coach my husband.  He was happy with the workout, so I was happy.

There was also much stretching, and a 1 min, 50 second plank.  I don’t have any designs on being able to hold a  5 minute plank or anything (not that cool/don’t have that much spare time), but I’d like to work my way up to about 2.5-3 minutes – and add some plank variations to work other core muscles (side planks, mountain climbers, etc.).

Wednesday: RPM & Yin Yoga

I arrived early for spin class so I could practice for my test on Saturday.  Then, during class, I focused on my technique (proper cadence, stabilized core, correct arm position), knowing that all of those things would be important for my test – and subsequent teaching.  They are also much easier to think about when taking a class, as opposed to coaching a class.  Once I start opening my mouth to coach, I start paying less focused attention on myself (obviously).  Thus, my technique needs to be second nature.  This was a solid session, and got me *very* excited for teaching my own class.  I love spreading the workout love.

Thursday: Run (5 mi), TRX, & RPM

Singapore is always humid.  This particular morning happened to be especially humid.  Check this out:

Can you see the sweat?  That is genuine knee/calf sweat.

See all those glistening drops? That’s genuine calf sweat, people. Totally the norm out here. There’s a reason we keep a pile of junky towels at the door….

Indeed – about an hour after I returned from my run, the skies opened.  The rain let up in time for me to head out for a lunchtime TRX class.  I’ll blog a bit more about TRX another time, but in short, it is a workout done using only your body weight and two straps suspended from the ceiling.  This was my very first TRX class, so I took things slow and easy, but did inadvertently decimate my triceps.  Those weakling triceps were sore for the next four days – no lie.

I finished up my trip to the gym on…yep, you guessed it:

My precious....

My precious….

After hitting the shower and changing into clean clothes, I realized…my clean clothes were basically an exact duplicate of the sweaty ones I’d just taken off.  I wanted to wear a sign or something that explained the situation, so no one assumed I was just a gross, lazy, non-showerer.

Friday: Run (5 mi) & BodyPump

After my run, I succumbed to peer pressure – Elizabeth (My Neon Running Shoes) posted about the delicious egg/spinach/cheese wrap she had for dinner (Picture day. Wraps. Nestle Tollhouse!), so I raided the fridge to recreate hers as best I could for myself:

I only had enough eggs for one, though.  The other contains a bananas, a smear of peanut butter, and a bit of Nutella.  Both tasted terrible.  That's why I didn't share with you. :)

I only had enough eggs for one wrap, though. The other contains a banana, a smear of peanut butter, and a bit of Nutella. Both tasted terrible. That’s why I didn’t share with you. 🙂

Friday is usually date night around here…and we started our date off with a BodyPump session, and ended it with ramen.  Date-night-perfection, if you ask me!

Saturday: Run (10 mi) & RPM Instructor Test

I already blogged about both of these things in my post Recipe for a Most Excellent Saturday.  And let me tell you…”just” 10 miles?  Felt amazing after a few weeks of super long runs!

Sunday: Big, fat, GOOF OFF.

And I didn’t feel the least bit guilty.  And, OK – I didn’t really goof off.  I went to church, did some work, took a nap, picked up my 50K race packet, had dinner with family, etc. etc.

This was the first week of my 2 week taper, and I logged just over 26 running miles.  I was aiming for about 30, so I’m content.  Still, with some cross training and a fair bit of RPM prep and training, I still hit a Total Workout Time for the week of 11 hrs, 45 min.  Now, it’s time to bring on the serious, week-before-the-race taper.

Fill in the blank: Disaster is…trying to coach/teach my significant other______________________________.

Gosh, it’s late and I’m tired.  I just dozed off, and awoke to a very unusual sentence written here.  Ever sleep-type?
[And with that, I’m outta here. It’s bedtime in Singapore!]

2013 Weekly Workout Round-Up (July 15-21)

In case you missed my last post, I’ve suspended other posts until I catch up on my Weekly Workout Round-Ups.  If you’re uber-curious about what my workout weeks look like, they are all Categorized under 2013 Weekly Workout Round-Up (two vacation weeks end June/early July are missing – I’m working on those, too).

But for now, let’s hop back 2 weeks, starting with:


The week was off to a great start when KMN spearheaded the dinner effort on Sunday.  Simple Asian/American chicken noodle soup.

The week was off to a great start when KMN spearheaded the dinner effort on Sunday. Simple Asian/American chicken noodle soup.

Monday (July 15): Rest

After back-to-back 10+ mile runs over the weekend, I took a rest day.  I think I planned on going to yoga class, but decided that the transport time wasn’t worth it, so I just did some stretching at home.  In retrospect, I wish I had done a workout – but hey, hindsight is 20/20.

My only exercise was sporting this fabulous hairdo.

My only exercise was sporting this fabulous hairdo.

Tuesday: Tempo Run (6 mi)

The whole workout was improved by my NoBo cap.  [NoBo is a Learn To Run program that I used to coach when I lived in Rochester and LA.]

The whole workout was improved by my NoBo cap. [NoBo is a Learn To Run program that I used to coach when I lived in Rochester and LA.]

A few of you asked about my Tempo workouts back when I shared my marathon training plan.  This particular workout was:

12 min EZ
(5 min @ Tempo / 2 min EZ) x 4
12 min EZ

Average Tempo Pace was 7:10 min/mi.

Wednesday: Spin, Yin Yoga

I wanted to check out the studio where I would be doing my Spin Instructor Training, so I popped over for a lunchtime spin class.  I scoped out the bike I wanted, and was even able to meet the instructor who would be conducting the course.  Sweet!

I also discovered that this particular gym (Fitness First Capital Tower) has a spectacular pool, as far as Fitness First pools go: kick boards, pull buoys, and lines on the bottom of the pool.  Clutch.  Although it’s a bit out of my way, I may start making the trek once or twice a week to swim.

Thursday: Sick day

On Wednesday afternoon, my stomach started feeling a bit funny.  By Wednesday night, I was totally disinterested in the idea of dinner, and suggested KMN go find something for himself and eat it somewhere that I couldn’t smell it.  [No, I’m not pregnant.]

I went to bed to try to sleep off whatever was brewing.  This was only marginally successful, as I was completely unable to get comfortable.  My body responds to most microscopic intruders with some kind of crazy inflammatory response that makes my back, hips, and knees ache – even if the initial insult is something gastrointestinal, and not terribly severe.

I never really fell super sick, but spent most of Thursday on the couch, alternately sleeping and working – and not eating.  As someone who hates to throw up, my response to a queasy stomach is simply…to stop eating.  If there’s nothing in there, I’m less likely to throw up, right?  My biggest workout was walking around the apartment.  On the plus side, since I sat immobile in front of the fan most of the day, I didn’t get any of my clothes sweaty, all day.  Win?

Friday: Rest.

I originally planned to do my long run on Friday, since I would be in Spin Instructor training all weekend.  But given that I hadn’t actually eaten anything until Thursday night, and had an intense weekend ahead of me, that didn’t seem like the wisest decision.  So although I was feeling better, my only workout was to make sure I ate.  And when KMN asked what I wanted for dinner, I said “Indian” (something mild, guys, don’t worry) – and knew I was back to my normal self!

Saturday: Spin Instructor Training Day 1

Not much to add – although I estimate that I spent about 3 hours, 30 minutes in the ‘saddle’.  We did one 50 minute class, 60 minutes of technical work, one 60 minute hard ride, and then in the evening, I spent about 30-40 minutes alone on the bike, practicing my test track.  Biggest lessons from this particular day were:

#1: Endurance running builds physical and mental strength.
#2: Holding lecture in the tiny spin room is “cozy” and uncomfortable.  After all the time we spent riding, no one really wanted to sit ON the bike to listen to lecture.  Floor space? Nil.  We crammed onto the window sills.  Not comfy.

Sunday (July 21): Spin Instructor Training Day 2

This day included three cycles through the current RPM release (50 min each), plus a little bit of solo practice – for a total of about 3 hours of spinning. But the spinning today passed very quickly, since the students were doing the teaching.  I was leading Track 5 (there are 9 tracks in a workout), so the first 4 tracks always seemed to pass quickly, then I taught my track, spent the next track relieved to be done, pedaled through Track 7, then it was time to cool down/stretch.  Three times (morning, lunchtime, mid-afternoon) went pretty quickly, although my legs (and butt) were definitely feeling tired and sore by the end!

I brought my lunch and lots of snacks, but at lunch break, I still ran out to buy some electrolyte drink, soybean curd, and a coffee...

I brought my lunch and lots of snacks, but at lunch break, I still ran out to buy some electrolyte drink, soybean curd, and a coffee…

This second day was actually quite fun, and I also got to know some of my fellow trainees a bit better.  There were people from all walks of life, training for all different reasons – but all with a shared passion for fitness.  Pretty neat, really.

The outcome for me was good, and I passed my initial training module.  Whoot!  Just a few more steps before I can officially be on my own in front of a class in Singapore.  I’ll be talking a bit more about the rest of my training as it progresses, but basically – I can’t wait!

But by the time training was finally finished (around 6:30 PM), I was toast.  I called KMN: “I need ramen.  Now.”  He came out and met me for big bowls of delicious, salty noodles.  I was too tired to remember to take a picture, and even walked right by GCA, who happened to be eating at the same place (Singapore is a very small country; there’s only so much ramen).  She recognized me, though, and popped over to our table to say hi.  I may have said something coherent.  I hope…

So…this may not have been an ideal training week, six weeks away from a marathon.  If you go back and calculate, there is exactly one run there.  NOT ideal.

But total workout time for the week topped out at 10 hours, 10 minutes – which is decent (especially since I actually had 3 rest/sick days in there).  Ultimately, I’m OK with this.  I still got extended cardio work, and trashed my legs pretty badly.  I’m sure that instructor training took an equivalent – or greater – toll than a weekend long run, anyway.

Next up: This past week’s training.
Hint: There was plenty of good running involved.

Spin/indoor cycling instructors out there: I know the RPM way to teach indoor cycling, but I’m interested in learning more – especially about using indoor cycling as a proxy for outdoor training.  Anyone have any books/resources to recommend?

What did you enjoy eating after your long/hard workout this weekend?

When was the last time you were the student, in a formal setting?  Was the experience good, bad, or ugly? 🙂

What do you get for spending the weekend at the gym?

I spent almost 24 hours in a Fitness First gym this weekend.  My results?

LOTS of sweaty clothes…

I think my bag of clothes weighed 3x more coming home than it did when I left the apartment in the morning.

I think my bag of clothes weighed 3x more coming home than it did when I left the apartment in the morning.

At least 50 repeats of Danny Byrd’s “Daydreamer”…

[And we’re all daydreaming now – dun, dun, dun – dun, dun, dun!]

More bottles refills than I care to count…

I mostly drank water, but there was some Nuun and, in a pinch, 100Plus consumed, as well.

I mostly drank water, but there was some Nuun and 100Plus consumed, as well.

[You know your sweat glands work in overdrive when the guy – who weighs 150% of what you do – on the bike next to you suggests that the two of you are in close competition over who has dripped more sweat on the floor during the ride.  I think he won – but only by a few drops…]

And in the end:


Passed! But is it wrong that I want to take a red pen to that lower part?
“Physical execution and choreography ARE mastered.”

There are still more steps between me and a final certification, but this was the first big one.  I’m excited to brush up my own spinning skills, learn some more choreography, and (eventually) be released in front of a live class!

This weekend’s training challenged me as an athlete, a student, and a coach.  It also provided a place for me to connect with a room full of people for whom fitness is a passion and/or career.  Although I was pretty exhausted yesterday, both mentally and physically (Nadia was right when she suggested that I’d be getting awesome sleep on Saturday & Sunday nights!), today I am feeling recharged, energized, and thankful that I can help people get fitter – and change their lives – every day.

Good thing, too – because I have lots to do after spending all weekend hiding out at the gym.  I hope your weekend has left you feeling similarly recharged and ready to tackle the week!

The RPM 59 release is now seared into my brain – what’s currently stuck on repeat in YOUR head??

Were you inspired by anything this weekend?  Tell me about it!

Another Reason That Running Rocks my Socks – Or, My Spin Instructor Training

So, in addition to holding out on the marathon news, one of the *other* things I neglected to share with you in advance were my plans for this weekend.  Essentially, I’ll be making lots of work for myself on Monday:

Goal for the weekend: As many sets of sweaty, stinky workout gear as possible!

Goal for the weekend: As many sets of sweaty, stinky workout gear as possible!

Normally, my plans wouldn’t be particularly notable, really (I’m usually running, cleaning, and hanging out with KMN) – but THIS weekend, I am taking my initial (emphasis on initial) Les Mills RPM Spin Instructor training module.  !!!

According to the course manual, I am/will be learning “secrets to changing the world one class at a time”.  I’d make fun of this, except I’m the one who touts all over her website that “Running changes lives!”  So instead, I’ll just say that LIVES had better watch out, because I’m coming to CHANGE THEM.  [In a little while.  I’m still an uncertified newbie instructor.]

So today looked something like this:

1. Wake up early.
2. Pack 7 zillion snacks/lunch, 6 changes of clothes, cycling shoes, and lots of technology into several bags.  I should report that the infamous jelly actually made quite a nice PB&J sandwich.
3. Go to the gym to (successfully) stake out THE bike I wanted to ride.  Trust me, the way the spin bikes get packed into the room, I DEFINITELY wanted the “window seat”!
4. Master Class.  For additional comments on this, see RWH on Facebook.
5. Intro to RPM “Choreography” (integration of music, cues, and moves).  Bottom line: Very scripted, but learning to read the keys/cues is like learning a foreign language.  Thankfully, it took about 5 minutes to pick up, rather than 5 years.  Each student is assigned one track to present in a Final Assessment on Sunday afternoon.
6. Interactive Technique Lecture, and LLoAL: Learn Lots of Acronyms Lecture.
8. More technique.  Very sweaty.  Air con, where are you…?????
9. Practice calling cues for each other for our presentation track.
10. Realize that although RPM Instructors make this look VERY easy, it’s HARD.  Especially the first time.  When I’m fighting with someone else’s iPod so the screen stops turning off.  And trying to listen to the music, and myself, at the same freakin’ time.
11. Get frustrated and slightly panicky, but realize I’m in too deep to stop now!
12. Move spin bikes to cooler room.  Aaaaahhhhhh….
13. For about 5 seconds, until we start an intensive spin session.
14. But not before I grab some Sports Beans and lots of water.  Hey, don’t judge.  I knew they’d sit in my stomach just fine, despite the upcoming activity.  Thank you running, for teaching me how to stay energized and hydrated during intensive athletic endeavors.  [There was Nuun consumed today, too.]
15. Feel tired, but STRONG during this challenging ride.  Give MASSIVE thanks for being a well-trained endurance runner.
16. Repeat #15, about 10 times over the course of an hour.
17. Coursework DONE for the day.
18. Return home, and inhale: 10 Pringles, 1 slice banana bread, several glasses of water.
19. A Great Technology Battle: Struggle to get music onto my iPhone.  Persist, albeit very grumpily.  Snap at husband.
20. SUCCEED!  Feel immediately better.
21. Catch bus, and spend the 30 minute ride rehearsing song and cues (“choreography”) for tomorrow, while trying not to bounce, bob, gesture, or sing out loud TOO much.
22. “Sneak” into the empty spin room at the gym (different gym: had to relocated somewhere that was open laaaate on Saturday).  Except the lights are off, and I’m afraid that if I ask for them to be turned on, someone will tell me I’m not supposed to be in the room.  And I NEED to practice this choreography!!

90% of the room might be dark, but there's light coming in through the door.  Good enough for me!

90% of the room might be dark, but there’s light coming in through the door. Good enough for me!

23. Spend the 45 fastest minutes EVER on the spin bike, rehearsing 7 minute song approximately 45/7 = 6.5 times.  [Lie. I actually rehearsed the beginning more than any other part. I think a strong start is important – plus, the end is pretty repetitive.]
24. Zip out just before gym closes.
25. Take my sore tush (and a few other bits…chafing isn’t just for runners, ya know) home.


Despite some panicky moments earlier today, I’m actually feeling pretty good about this.  I know my song (keep in mind that this is just 1 out of 9 that go into a full-length class), and feel moderately confident in the choreography.   I am by no means an expert, or anywhere near ready to teach a class myself.  That’s why this is just the first step in my training.  Provided that I pass tomorrow, I’ll work with a mentor for a few months, before submitting a final teaching sample for evaluation.

Today’s experience has also reminded me of what it’s like to be a student – the moments of panic when you think you can’t possibly master this, then the moments of insight and pride when you realize that maybe you actually can.  It has also made me exceptionally grateful that I have the strong legs, heart, and lungs of a distance runner!!  Annnnd…My fingers are crossed that the time tested method for drying wet sneakers (stuffing them several times with newspaper) will work just as well on my sweat-soggy cycling shoes.  Otherwise, my toes are gonna be very prune-like tomorrow!

I’ll be back to all YOU blogs soon – as soon as tomorrow’s course is over!  Until then…happy running!  (Or spinning!!)

Runners: When was the last time a situation made you REALLY thankful that you were a runner?

Anyone: What was the last NON-running challenge that you conquered that left you feeling really, really accomplished?
[And give yourself a pat on the back for it.  Good work!]

How I (emphasis on I) Am Marathon Training

For anyone who missed the announcement this weekend: I’m running the City to Surf Marathon in Perth!

[In less than 6 weeks!]

First of all, Jean asked a (very reasonable) question: Why did I wait so long to blog about this?  I am a running/blogger, after all.  Shouldn’t I be telling you all about my running??  Shouldn’t you all know every tiny detail of my running life?  If I’m candid enough to share gory chafing details, shouldn’t I share my training and goals?  Definitely a fair question.  So here’s a general answer:

I waited for a lot of reasons.  First of all, I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to go ahead with the marathon at all (training, travel, visa, hotel, blah, blah, blah).  I trained for quite a few weeks before actually signing up, just to make sure my body was going to stay on-board with the plan, and nothing was going to revolt.  But once I started hitting 16-18 mile long runs, and scheduling August events around “my trip to Perth”, that excuse kinda flew out the window.  And when both GCA and my husband called me out on dragging my feet (Because I was worried about how I was going to get around Perth? Get a grip, girl.), I finally hit “Submit” on my online entry form, on or about June 7.  Secondly, I didn’t want to jinx myself – even though I’m really not a superstitious person.  Still, announcing my intention to the world seemed like I was inviting some disaster to strike.  And finally…after I went ahead and signed up, it took me a few weeks to actually write the post.  Wedding celebration, vacation, etc. etc. . .

Other things I didn't have enough time for on vacation: Relaxing outside with a book...

Other things I didn’t have enough time for on vacation: Relaxing outside with a book…

Good blogger, bad blogger?  You decide.

Regardless: Here we are.  And based on many of your Comments, you seem to be interested in my training.  [Either that or you’re just being polite.  If so, then just stop reading now and close this tab.]  So, sure, we can talk about my training.

That being said, the FOURTH reason for my delays was that I’ve been reluctant to over-share about my training.  I’m following a hybrid plan that I designed specifically for me.  This is not the plan I would design for any of you (most likely).  A plan is unique to the individual, the race, and the person’s greater training goals (1 year, 2 year, 5 year).  Without belaboring the point, my long-term goals (in no particular order) include: a sub-20 min 5K, BQing, exploring some of Asia via trail (ultra?) running, and learning how to best help my heat training/cool racing Singaporean athletes.  Obviously, I won’t be chasing all of these at the same time.  But running a consistent 40-50 mpw is a solid jumping-off point for any of them.  Therefore, my goals for this marathon training cycle are:

1. Train safely, stay healthy.
2. Build my weekly mileage (up to 40-50 mpw).
3. Test/experiment with a “Train in the heat/Race in the cool” plan and race strategy.
4. Run a smart, solid marathon.

At the start of training, I was running:

3-5 miles, 2-3 times per week and
10-12 miles, 1 time per week.

By gradually adding a few miles per week (distributed between my regular and long runs), I’m now running:
4-6 miles, 2-3 times per week
6-10 miles, 1 time per week and
15-20 miles, 1 time per week.

Initially, I logged all of these miles at an easy pace.  When my body (or life schedule) demanded, I’d take a cutback week, usually every 3 or 4 weeks.

In May, I started adding a smidgen of faster running in two forms.  First, I added tempo runs once per week, beginning with just 5 minutes at tempo pace, and building from there.  Nowadays, my weekly tempo run is 25-40 minutes (divided in various ways).  Second, every 2-3 weeks, I run a portion of my long run at Goal Marathon Pace.  I learned this technique from Jack Daniels, and I love it.  This approach allows me to practice locking into my race pace, sometimes on tired legs, but without pounding my body with it for 20 miles.  For me, these workouts are both physiologically beneficial and incredibly confidence-building.

I designed my schedule following these steps:

1. Choose goal mileage for each week.
2. Schedule long run distances – Sat/Sun.
[Initially, I was building my long run distance for two weeks, followed by a shorter “long” run.  As my long runs reached 20 miles, I began alternating longer and shorter “long” runs every weekend.]

20 miles two weeks ago in NJ, 15 miles last weekend, 22 miles this weekend!

20 miles two weeks ago in NJ, 15 miles last weekend, 22 miles this weekend!

3. Schedule tempo workouts – Wednesdays.
4. Do some simple math:
(Miles in 1) – (Miles in 2) – (Miles in 3) = Miles to be done as shorter, easy paced runs

Every Monday, I sit down, look at my schedule, and decide how and where I’ll distribute those shorter runs and my other workouts.

Throughout my training, I’ve continued to cross-train:

Cross-fit prep photo, a la Olive to Run...

Cross-fit prep photo, a la Olive to Run

BodyPump (2x/week): To build strength in my arms and core;
BodyAttack (1x/week, new-ish addition): To add some variety – and lateral motion – to my routine;
Spin classes (2x/week): For a bonus leg workout and Interval-style training, without the pavement pounding (in an imperfect way, this is taking the place of track work for me now);
Yoga (1-3x/week): To build strength and stamina, and maintain flexibility.

I also stretch and roll most days.

This is the most cross-training that I’ve ever incorporated into a training cycle for a running race.  While time could eventually become a limiting factor, I LOVE the stronger body that all this cross-training has given me.  I am certain that this is one reason that I’ve felt so strong on so many of my long runs.  Even when my legs are getting tired, the rest of my body feels good.  I’m able to maintain correct form, even late in the run.  And despite training on pretty flat terrain most of the time, I ran through 20 hilly miles in NJ two weeks ago with virtually no effect on my pace.

Poorly cropped; but check out those arm/pec/neck muscles!

Check out those arm/shoulder/pec muscles! Faces cropped to protect an innocent friend. But of course that’s me. Look at the smile. And the Dairy Queen…

So, let’s revisit those goals for a moment:

1. Train safely, stay healthy.
2. Build my weekly mileage (40-50 mpw).

Hopefully this post provides some insight into how I’m working on 1 & 2.

3. Test/experiment with a “Train in the heat/Race in the cool” plan and race strategy.

This will have to wait for another post, as this one is already too long.

4. Run a smart, solid marathon.

What about this one?  Well, hopefully my training does most of the work.  But just in case I’m tempted to run faster or harder than I’ve trained for on marathon day, I have added a bit of insurance.  What kind of insurance?

How do I ensure I won't run a marathon too fast?  I make it a training run for an ultra!!

How do I ensure I won’t run a marathon too fast? I make it a training run for an ultra!!

Look out The North Face 100 (Singapore), because I’m in for 50K!

Do you like blog-post cliff-hangers, or are they annoying?

What’s your favorite Dairy Queen Blizzard flavor?
[Mine is Georgia Mud Fudge.]

 Any other questions about my training?

PS If you haven’t done it yet, scoot yourself over and ‘Like’ the Run With Holly Facebook page!