Sunday, October 23, 2011

Never give up!

I haven't posted for the past few weeks.  I got myself into a funk after the Reach the Beach relay and the one year anniversary of the accident.  I figured I completed my goal of running with the Red Eye Runners in the relay, and I somehow figured things would be about as good as they were going to get after one year had passed.

Before I get too far ahead, I want to give a shout out to Deb Livingston for running a great race at the Grindstone 100.  She took honors as top female finisher and I believe she was 12th overall.  Nice job Deb!  Also, a big shout out to all my friends who ran the Hartford Marathon this year.  There's too many of you to list here, and I'd be afraid of missing someone on the list.  Anyway, great job and I hope to join you again one year.

So, here's this week's update:

Let's start with the pathetic wimpering....waaahh waaahhh.

OK, my running was rough at best.  I wondered how I could ever get back to a competitive level, and the work to grind out a few miles hardly seemed worth it at times.  My leg hurt and I was feeling sorry for myself.  I found every excuse in the book and then some not to run.  I can walk normal enough after a couple steps...provided I have my shim in the shoe, and it's not my first steps of the day.  People are amazed at how I walk now, but they don't know what's going on under the hood.  There's a lot of compensation and pain.  I looked OK, but I was disappointed.

Sure, I reminded myself about how lucky I was to be alive and have relatively minor injuries, but I wondered if I would ever be able to run the way I once did.  I know I'm lucky to be here, and I truly am grateful.  With that being said, I'm having a hard time accepting any limitations as a result of the accident.  I beat myself up over the accident, decisions on where to be treated, when to be treated, post-surgery treatment, 2nd surgery choices, etc., etc.  It's been a tough road!  I had to get my head on straight and move on...

Last weekend, I decided to run to the top of Talcott Mountain to check out the annual Tower Toot.  It's kind of a German  festival thing.  I wasn't particularly interested in the event itself as much as I wanted to celebrate.  Last year, Kevin drove me to the top of Talcott Mountain on the same weekend, and I tried my crutches for the first time.  It was a pitiful site as he had to help me up and down a couple steps and deal with my whimpering.  This year, I ran all the way to the top which is no small task...ask my buddy, Matt Estes, about our run up there in a foot of snow.  It's tough!  Round trip from reservoir 6 is about 6.5 miles, and the climb is a nasty one.  The run up was fine.  I made it up without stopping, but coming down hurt like heck.  I was noticing that most of the pain was in my hip where the rod and screw are attached to the bone.  Ouch!  I wondered if I was going to break something again!

On Monday, I managed to do about 5 miles combined running and hiking up on the Metacomet trail which got me somewhat motivated.  It was great to be outside, and I stayed out well after dark.  I took it easy on the downhills.

On Wednesday, I managed a short gym workout. After biking, and some kettle bell swings, I gave up after 1.5 miles on the treadmill.  I felt lousy and didn't feel like dealing with the pain anymore.

Saturday was a different story.  I drove to the reservoir to do the 9 mile loop Goat and I have been doing for so long.  I thought it would be good to get a data point, since we had completed the loop at about 9:15 pace a couple weeks before Reach the Beach.  I wanted to see how I would compare.  The weather was nice and crisp and the foliage was fantastic.  I felt pretty good from the start and managed to do the first 5 or so miles at a pretty good clip.  The course is mostly double track trail with a couple good hills, so it's no cake walk.  I wanted to break 9 minute pace for the loop, and pushed as hard as I could on the way in.  My form went down the toilet and it was all I could do to finish, but I pulled it off !   My hip hurt like heck again...especially on the downhills, and I contemplated removal of the screw and rod again.  Nevertheless, I felt like I was moving pretty decent for the first half of the run.

I had two thoughts....maybe, just maybe I could continue to improve, and strangely enough....the shim in my shoe felt like it was too much.  Hmmmm....

I iced my hip at home and wondered whether I dared to try to run 2 days in a row again.  Kevin (The Goat) had plans for a 16 mile easy run as he tapers for the Stonecat 50 miler, and I wanted to join him for part of it.  We agreed to meet at 11AM at the reservoir.  I wondered if I would be able to run much at all as I hobbled my way around this morning.

Surprisingly, I felt half decent once we got moving.  I didn't feel too bad, but was a little fatigued from the previous day.  I was tentative on the downhills, but moved well on the flats and ups.  We were a little slower for the first 5 miles, but then picked up the pace coming home.  Goat had his GPS, so we pushed hard to break 9 minute pace.  I pushed the last mile or so at sub-8 minute pace (mostly paved and flat), and we hit the tape at around 8:55 average pace.  Yes!  Surprisingly, it was about 30 seconds slower than yesterday, but I'll take it.

Today, I used less of a shim and it worked out pretty well.  The hip continues to be very painful on the downs, so I iced it bigtime when I got home.  I'm pretty happy with my progress considering everything.
It felt good to be out there, and my form coming back in felt much better today.

The Goat is in great shape and I expect he will do well in the 50.   I was pushing as hard as I could go, and he was just jogging alongside.  I can recall the days when that equation was flipped.  It is what it is....I'm happy the Goat is running so well.

I almost gave up running a couple weeks ago.  I figured it was time to take up golf or darts or something more sedentary.   Running was not so much fun anymore.  Despite my head hanging low, I reminded myself that things always get better when we just stick with it.  I almost gave up running at a couple of key times in the past due to injury.  If I did, I would have never run the Boston Marathon...or any ultras....or finished Top 10 at Vermont twice.   Gotta keep going...

My favorite book as a kid was "The Little Engine that could..."  So much so that it's the first book I buy for each new family member.  I have a new niece/nephew getting ready to enter the world.  My sister, Amy, is due this Thursday.  I'm thinking it's time to log onto and make another purchase.  :-)

Have a great week everyone!


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Gunksfest 2011: The Return...

I can't believe it's been a whole year!  I am feeling soooo much better than I was about 362 days ago!!!   Ha!  I'm still not 100%, but have been feeling much, much better in the past 10 days.  Running Reach the Beach really got my body and mind back in balance.  Now, it's time to see if climbing will continue to be a part of my life!

I'm heading back to the Motherland and the scene of the accident - The Shawangunk mountains (a.k.a. - The Gunks).  As many of you know, I grew up 10 miles from the Gunks, and I absolutely love it there.  It's a special place and I'm really looking forward to spending the weekend with family and friends there.  I'm planning to rope up for some easy climbing and hope the weather cooperates.  I know many people think I'm crazy to consider climbing again.  The engineer in me can rationalize it.  The climbing addict can rationalize it as well.  The family man in me thinks I'm an idiot, but 2 out of 3 wins every time.  Besides, engineers are fairly intelligent people :-).  

The engineer in me rationalizes that the accident was due to multiple mistakes.  It was not due to a fall or equipment failure.  It was simply due to miscommunication (or lack of communication).  I won't re-live the event again, but I do believe deliberate communication and double checking everything can avoid a similar event.  I will grant you that climbing accidents will continue to happen, but so will car accidents.  Is it a necessary risk - no, there's nothing necessary about it.  I do enjoy it though, and I'm not sure if I'm ready to hang up my rack yet.  Technically, I did climb two pitches on top rope back in early May, but it really didn't simulate much of anything.  My leg was still not healed fully, and I was very tentative.  This time will be different (at least physically).

I'm so excited about the weekend that I have the Element almost fully packed and it's only Wednesday!  I'm bringing a crib to my sister as well, so the E is loaded to the gills.  The CT Climbers and Mountaineers will be in full attendance.  I organize a trip to the Gunks at this time each year.  We are returning to the winery where we used to have some great weekends.  The former Rivendell Winery is now Robibero Family Vineyards, and we're excited about returning there.  We have a wine tasting planned for Friday evening, and a big dinner and bonfire for Saturday night.  I'm so excited that this anniversary will be shared with so many family and friends.

I don't know if I'll go climb the specific route that I fell on.  It's not that important to me.  I just want to enjoy a day at the Gunks with Charlotte and be with my friends.   I guess that's about it.  Then, it'll be time to move on ...

If you are in the neighborhood, stop by the winery and join me for a drink this weekend!

All the best,


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back in the game

Wow!  Back-to-back 8+ mile runs.  I can't believe it!  What a way to celebrate my almost one year anniversary.  I'm sure some of you are sick of hearing about my accident.  Believe me...I'm sick of thinking about it.  Today gave me a glimpse of what life could be like going forward.  It was nice.

I ran about 9 miles with my buddy, the Goat, yesterday.  He seemed a bit fatigued from the week and Reach the Beach.  He was one of our anchors for RTB as he logged 3 very tough legs.  He also was planning to do a 30 mile run today, so was holding back a bit.  As for me, I was fresh since I had only run 4 miles all week.  I was actually the one pushing the pace.  Granted, it was 9 minute pace, but it was on wet trails.  Either way, I felt stronger and less tentative with the leg.  I was more in balance.  Of course, I was sore afterwards and wondered how I would do today.

I wanted to help the Goat get through his long run.  The muggy weather is no fun when doing a long run.  Goat has company for the first 9 miles, then ran another 9 solo.  I met him at 10:30 and he looked like he was dragging a bit after nearly 18 miles and 3+ hours, but there was still work to be done.

I hadn't been up to Heublein Tower in awhile, so we headed in that direction.  It was like old times.  We chugged along and talked.  I listened a lot since this was Goat's training run.  On the way back, Goat was losing form.  I was a few strides in front of him and told him he needed to pull his form together.  I've been obsessed with form lately, since mine has been so rough.  He said, "I'm doing OK."  I told him he was dragging his feet.  He said, "How does the Master know if he cannot see me?"  I said, "I can hear you Grasshopper!" We laughed.   I told him I needed to hear less "grass" and more "hop".  We both burst out laughing!

We walked a bit, took in the beautiful views around the reservoir, and then finished off the run.  Goat logged a total of 26.2 miles in 5 hours on some tough terrain.  A few more runs like this one and he'll be ready for Stonecat.

It's been fun reading about all the great races people are running this year.  I miss it a bit.  Hoping I can get back in good enough shape to run a few races.  We'll see...  If not, I'll just keep chugging along and having fun!

Have a great week everyone!



Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Reach the Beach: Mission Accomplished!

Wow!  Another great weekend at Reach the Beach!  If you haven't done this race, you don't know what you're missing.  If nothing else, it is entertaining!  It is also scenic, fun, and allows you to run as hard and as fast as you want on at least 3 different legs of varying lengths in approximately 24 hours.

We drove up to Paul's place on Lake Winni on Thursday evening...making the traditional stop at D"Angelo's on the way.  We arrived at the cottage around 10:45PM and proceeded with finding out usual sleeping spots for the night.  I sleep out on the screened porch with my sleeping bag.   Captain Bill announces the winner of the music contest where we each try to guess who provided which song for the RTB motivational music CD.  Then, Bill introduces each runner as they come up to sign their waiver.  Each year the intros grow in length.  It's all good fun!

This year Bill added a new award...The Rise of the Phoenix!  It was a bid of a gag to sort of acknowledge my return from the near dead to run on the team this year.  Fittingly, I was first runner up for the award as they actually gave it to Tim for having a bruise on his foot!  Funny guys!  Ironically, Tim was not able to finish the race the next day due to re-injuring the foot.  I have a feeling he's a shoe in for the award next year too!

After a poor night sleep due to hurricane like winds, I readied myself for the big day.  The ride to Cannon Mtn was uneventful.  It was raining a bit, but clearing was expected.  We checked in and hung out while our first runner prepared to start.  Goat and I ran into our good friend Larry Mo who was running on another team.  We took group photos and goofed around.

After the start, our Van drove to the first transition area and waited for our turn to run.

We ate lunch and killed some time decorating the van and checking out the other teams decorations and costumes.  At the start, a young guy dressed as a toilet was assisting with pre-race warm-ups.  Go figure!

Flo started us off around 6pm and we were on our way.  Flo is solid and steady every year.  Goat was second man up and ran a strong leg, then Pete was off and running.  I was first competitive run in a year.  What would happen?  I was nervous and very self-conscious of my awkward stride.  I did my warm-up routine and felt OK.  It was dark out, so I had my headlamp and mandatory neon vest with flashing lights.  I took the hand-off from Pete and started down the road with any easy short stride with pretty decent turnover.  I was running alone and was happy not to be in a crowd.  I plugged along and wondered how long I could keep it together.  This was a 5 mile leg (my longest of the 3).  After about a mile, a decent runner passed me moving along with relative ease.   I didn't even try to match his stride.  The hills came quickly and I passed some folks moving slowly on the uphill.  Yes, I passed a few!  Unbelievable!  The downhills were pretty painful and I was very tentative with my leg.  I ran as hard as I dared.  It was a tough leg, but I managed to run it at about 8:10/mile pace...not bad considering the hills.  Two people passed me and I passed about 7 I think.  I was very happy with the effort.  The stride was still off, but at least I could run.  It felt so good to be back out there!

Jane and Stan finished off their legs, and then we headed back to the cottage for a couple hours of sleep. Then, it was off to the next transition.  We ran all night long.  My second leg was just after sunrise.  It was 3.7 miles.  The first half mile was steep downhill and then it was fairly flat the rest of the way.  Once again, I was tentative on the downhill.  A young guy went blazing past me just after we got the hand off, and I was bummed to watch him stride so effortlessly.  I just chugged along and passed a few nice ladies along the way.  I tried to encourage everyone I passed.  After awhile I noticed the young guy was holding steady about 100 yards in front of me.  I wondered if I could catch up to him.  Step by step I reeled him in just like the old days.  At about the halfway mark I passed him.  He was slowing quite a bit, so I just plowed along.  I finished the leg with an average pace of about 7:30/mile which was much better than I had planned.  Cool!

We pressed on through the day taking catnaps where we could.  I wondered if I would be sore or what type of energy I would have for the last leg.  It was getting warmer and I wanted to go home.   Goat gutted out 3 great legs...I've never seen him run as well.  Everyone seemed to be running well, but we all wanted to be finished with it.  

My last leg started off flat.  My stride took awhile to get settled, and I wondered how long it would stay stable.  I passed a few people, but was having a hard time running into the wind.  My stride puts a lot more stress on my calves and I was getting fatigued.  I pressed on hoping to break 8min pace.  I passed more people and kicked it in as best I could.  I think I managed 7:45 pace for the leg, and was all smiles at the finish.  Mission accomplished!  Life was good!

Captain Bill did the usual thing at the finish giving each of us our shirts and medals.  A few of us went down to the beach.  I walked in the water a bit and watched Stan and Pete dive into the frigid waves (maximum shrinkage!).

We drove home and I wondered if this would be a launching point to further running improvements or whether I would consider it an accomplishment and turn my focus elsewhere.  Hmmm...only time will tell.  Another one was in the books.  Great job Captain Bill and the Red Eye Runners!  Love you all!

Tonight I ran the 3.7 miles at reservoir 6 as hard as I dared.  My pace felt stronger and steadier than the last time I had run it with Goat.  My time was under 29 minutes resulting in an average pace of 7:45/mile.  It blows my mind in a way.  How could it be so hard?  I used to float along at that pace with minimal effort.  I could run at that pace all day!  Why is it so hard?  Nevertheless, I was running and I did show improvement.  A few months ago, even this pace seemed unimaginable.  I guess I need to be patient and keep working it.  It will come!

Thanks for reading and for all your support.  It's been a great ride.  A lot of ups and downs in the past year.  I can't believe it's almost the one year anniversary of my accident.   Here's to moving forward!

Enjoy the upcoming weekend!



Monday, September 12, 2011

Reach the Beach: Here we go!

My fall happened on October 2 last year about 2 weeks after I completed the Reach the Beach Relay for the 6th consecutive year with the Red Eye Runners.  Naturally, when I started my recovery, Reach the Beach not only became my became my mantra!

For the uninitiated, Reach the Beach is a relay race that starts at Cannon Mountain, New Hampshire and ends at Hampton Beach on the Atlantic Ocean.  It is over 200 miles in length and cuts through the White Mountains and the beautiful lakes region.  Team consist of 12 members each running 3 legs varying from 3 to 9 miles in length.  Ultra teams do more legs with less people.  It's a big party and teams dress up and decorate their vehicles.  The running is work, and you don't get much sleep, the vans smell pretty ripe after 24 hours of sweaty runners, but it really is a lot of fun!

It was hard to envision initially.  Goat was in disbelief when I told him I would be ready for RTB this year.  My crooked gate in May and June inspired no confidence.  As the summer progressed along with physical therapy, I became stronger and somewhat more coordinated.  My fumbling started to resemble running, and my mile times started to reflect a jog vs. a walk.  I now sit 5 days away from competing in our 7th Reach the Beach, and I am one happy camper!  

Is my stride right?  No, it will never be the same.  I miss my smooth stride.  Am I running comfortably?  No, I have pain in the fracture zone, the hip, and in my lower back.  I could go on and on.  My legs rub together so much that they start to bleed, but we'll figure it out eventually.

My theory is, "If I can run one 7 minute mile, I can run many!"  Just need time and patience...  OK, and a body that will hold up to the abuse.  We'll see...

I am happy because I get to spend 48 hours or so with my friends doing something we love.  I was once caught on video after finishing another year at RTB saying, "Every year until we die!"  I thought about that after the fall, and wondered if I'd be able to hold up my end of the bargain.  One way or another, I intend to run my 3 legs this weekend.  Goat said I could get a sub for my last leg if I was hurting.  I told him I'd rather walk it in than have someone do it for me.  Just sayin'...

Training Update:

This was my first 20+ mile week of training in a year!  

Mon - Great gym workout
Tuesday - rest
Wednesday - 3 miles on treadmill (1st mile - 8:30ish, then two miles at 8:00 pace or better)
Thursday - 4 miles on treadmill (averaged about 8:15s)
Friday - Rest Day, played golf of all things (first time in 21 years!)
Sat - 8.8 miles with Goat at reservoir (9:17 pace - 20 seconds/mile improvement since last week)
Sun - 6.3 miles with my old buddy, Tracer
Total miles - 22.1

Leg was very sore today, so we kept the pace slow.  

Have a great week everyone and hope to see many of you at Reach the Beach!



Sunday, September 4, 2011

It just keeps getting better! 9 miles with the Goat!

Wow!  I was pleasantly surprised today.  Goat and I ran our old loop at the West Hartford Reservoir.  It may not sound like much, but it was my first time on the course in about a year.  It used to be an 8 mile jaunt, but we stretched it to 9+ when the MDC moved the parking lot.  We did not have plans to go that far.  In fact, I told him I could probably do 4-5 miles depending on the speed and terrain.  Indeed, I was pleasantly surprised!

Goat ran 16 miles with Bruce Giguere yesterday, so he was OK going easy with me today.  Once upon a time it was the other way around, but I'm happy to be out there either way.  Goat and Bruce are training for the Stonecat 50 miler, so they need to get in the miles.  We started off around a 9 minute pace which is reasonable on these trails .  We chatted away like we always had on these runs.  At one point, I noticed the old single track along the power lines was now double track wide as they added gravel to the section.  I said, "Wow, this is new!" and Goat said, "It's been there all year."  Oh, I guess it has been awhile!

Last night Jessica, a Vet, yoga instructor, and all around cool person, checked out my legs and hips.  She said my hips are perfectly aligned, but my left leg is definitely shorter (as we have known).  I asked her how much and she said, "Less than a half inch".  What?!  Holy batdung, Batman!  I'm thinkin' 1/8" inch, not 1/2"!  After some further evaluation, it seems like it is 1/4"-3/8" which is still way more than I had hoped.  The engineer in me knew it was in that range based on the X-rays and CATSCAN, but the other part of me was still in denial.  I was thinking that maybe all the PT and running convinced my bones to grow back a bit. Bummer!  Nevertheless, it confirmed that I am better off running with a shim to keep good alignment of my hips and take some pressure off my back.  Thanks Jess for checking it out.

Anyway, at the 3.3 mile mark, we needed to decide whether to head back or go all the way out to Rt. 44.  I knew it would be at least 8 miles if we kept going.  Hmmm.  When I set "Reach the Beach" as a goal many months ago, I had it in my mind that it would be good to be capable of an 8 mile run prior to the race.  With the race less than 2 weeks away, I figured this was the time to give it a go.  I was hurting, but no more than any of the other runs to date.  We figured I could walk back if the wheels came off the "Ultra Steve" bus.  So, we went for it.  The hills ate me up, but I kept chugging along.  The conversation was great and it felt like old times.  The pace was slow, but I'm confident it will get better.

Funny thing:  I wore my Salomon XACOMP trail shoes.  These are goretex shoes that I bought for snow fields in the Tetons.  I forgot about the Goretex when I put them on this morning.  After about 5-6 miles, I told Goat it felt like I was running on sponges.  My feet were soaked from sweat.  Goretex does not breath enough to keep feet dry.  The rest of the run was "squish, squish, squish".  Note to self - keep these shoes for hiking.

The last 2 miles were pretty rough, and I had to walk briefly a couple times.  I'll take it!  It's my longest run by far in the past year, and it was so great to be back out there with my buddy.

We finished the 9 mile loop in 1:25.  I'm happy with it considering the weather (super muggy) and my conditioning.  I can see it getting better over the course of the next couple months.

It's really exciting to be running again!

Hope you are enjoying some great runs this weekend!



Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Runners Bond and a taste of speedwork

How many times have you been out running and somehow made a connection with another runner out there?  More often than not, I would guess.  Whenever I see other runners along the way I make an effort to say hello, give a nod or a wave, or start up a conversation.  It's one of the many things I love about running...the connection or bond you can make with a total stranger.

The other night I was stretching for a run at the West Hartford Reservoir when a young lady ran by and yelled, "Are you running Reach the Beach (RTB) in 2 weeks?"  I looked at my shirt and noticed the RTB logo, then looked back at her with a smile and yelled, "Oh yeah!"  My mind raced...she had no idea that this RTB means more to me than any of the previous events because I trashed my body in a 100 foot fall.  No time to didn't matter.  She just smiled, kept running, and yelled, "All right!"  It made me smile.  How cool is that...?

Tonight, I decided to go to the track and work on my form.  It's getting better, but still leaves a lot to be desired.  It's so clunky and awkward.  It is really frustrating because I used to have beautiful form.  I honed it for 30 years and the efficiency allowed me to run ultras with the best of them.  I wasn't the fastest guy, but I could out last you due to my economy of stride.  Now, it's starting from scratch to develop a stride that will work for me.  It's hard because the pain is still present, so I favor my good leg.  My hip rotation is a mess...I could go on and on.  Nevertheless, I decided to do one of my favorite workouts with the hope it would help me develop my stride: 1 mile repeats.

I did my warm-up exercises and did a slow one mile warm-up at around the track at 9 minute pace.  I was bumming as it felt lousy.  I noticed another runner moving slowly around the track.  He was a bigger guy and had his iPod going while he jogged around the track. go man!  I decided to add a shim to my shoe to see if it would help, did my stretching, and got ready for my first "fast" mile.    OK, here we go!

My stride felt weak, but the shim did seem to help.   My pace was OK considering everything, and I clocked a 7:17 for my first mile.  It hurt, but at least it was reasonable.  I used to do sub-6's at this track, but I'll take what I can get at this point.  As I sucked down some water, I noticed the big guy come chugging by and doing his thing.  I gave him a smile, and a big thumbs up.  He smiled back, but that was about it.  

My next mile started out horribly as it hurt like heck.  Ouch!  After about 150 yards, the pain and subsequent limp started to subside and I was able to pick up the pace a little.  I broke the tape at 7:34.  Woof!

On my last mile, it started off the same...a lot of pain at the start and then getting into a somewhat comfortable pace. I think I was on my 2nd or 3rd lap when I saw the big guy walking outside the fence.  He looked at me, saw the pain in my face.  Then he gave me a big smile, and swung his arms rapidly at his sides as if to say, "Go man!  You can do it!"  There is was again.....the runners bond!  Complete strangers, but the lift he gave me with that one little gesture kept me going for the rest of the mile.  I was really hurting, but his encouragement got me to the finish line at about the same time as my second mile: 7:30's.  Thanks man!  I appreciated it.  I'm not breaking any land speed records out here, but I sure appreciated the little bit of encouragement.

Those one mile times might seem slow or fast to you depending on your reference point.  For me, they are frustratingly slow as I mentioned above.  I know they will improve some, but I wonder how much I can gain back.  I know my form will never be the same.  I've lost some efficiency.  On the other hand, I'm amazed by the progress.  At one point I said I would be happy to walk without a limp and run 4-5 miles at an 8 minute pace a couple times a week.  Well, I'm almost there!  The walking is pretty normal now, and I just need to build some endurance to hold an 8 minute pace.   Of course, I will keep pushing for more.  Anyone who "knows me well" knows how I'm wired...I just keep pushing for more.

Enjoy your runs this week and give the other person a wave, thumbs up, or a word of encouragement.  You'll both feel great afterwards!