Monday, March 28, 2011

The Lion, the Witch and March...

Is it still March....I mean really - considering how time flies these days it seems like February was an awful long time ago and April still lurks over the distant horizon that is this Friday! I am however of course not complaining, one does not mind that March still has plenty to play for and that with this beautiful weather we've been having the 'here and now' is a quite lovely place to be!

So as for last week - it was always going to be a struggle as I was away for the weekend and had lots of other stuff booked in so...

Monday - nafffink (rest day)

Tuesday - Swam in the morning, Achilles was back to square one so all pulling

Wednesday - this was supposed to be a cycle to work day but as the girlfriend was sick I checked she was all okay rather than shooting off early doors, I then felt rough in the evening and couldn't face swimming! It may have been sympathy sickness but she had a bug that was going around her office and stopped her dead for 36 hours so any sign and I was relaxing!

Thursday - still not great but went for kill or cure cycle to work, it was pretty steady and I couldn't quite get going even with a push in the middle, looking at last year I was faster then with the same heart rate (17.6mph ave, 135 bpm ave) which left me a bit confused! However I guess it showed that I wasn't 100%, but it cleared out the bug, on the way home which is net up hill I easily smashed it averaging 19.6 mph with HR at 137 - who knows what was lurking in my system!

Friday - had the day off so after sorting some stuff out I went for a 52 mile, 3 hour ride - not very fast but lots of good climbing and superb weather - I'm getting used to riding on my own for longer distances now without getting too bored - its all about the weather (cold and rain = can't be arsed = get bored quickly), that and concentrating on Ironman pacing!

Basically over the last week I have been doing a lot of research on pacing for the bike, how it should feel etc - whilst everyone is different, a successful amateur triathlete that I follow always keeps his bike HR around the 130 mark, which is about 70% - so I have been concentrating on keeping it within this range but also making sure that my perceived power (i.e. how hard am I pushing the pedals) remains even and not too aggressive. The general outcome seems to be that I average around the 17.5 mph mark, obviously that is hill dependent and it may be a bit faster on the Forestman course as whilst there are plenty of hills only one will really hit the speed hard - however we will see, I'd rather err on the side of caution! That would give me a 6.5 hour bike split (plus a few minutes here and there for aid stations, cups of tea, passing out) - that is more than reasonable! So I will continue to concentrate on that pace/HR and see where that brings me in a month or so's time - if by the time of the race I can bump that closer to 18mph thats all good - however its only 20 minutes faster over 112 miles so may not be worth it at the expense of surviving the run!

As I keep reminding myself - its purely about finshing the race, so all this research is to enable me to finish not to hit any specific time (other than 15.59 hours) - so a 1.25 hour swim (inc T1) and a 6.5 hour bike puts me nicely at 7 hours 45 minutes up tot T2, so say 8 hours coming out of T2 and I have 7 hours and 59 minutes to complete the marathon....lovely stuff!

Anyway a bigger week this week beckons so all good stuff - lets hope I can start running again this week, its the London Marathon in 20 days!

Monday, March 21, 2011

3 Weeks of March...

Been a really good week of training for the 3rd week of March! I was worried about my achilles last Monday and how it would affect my training - in the end it was fine up until the very end and provided one of my biggest weeks of training this year!

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - a 2.2k swim in the morning with the pull buoy the whole way and pushing off one footed so as not to aggravate the Achilles - it was noticeably sore afterwards however!

I rested again in the evening with some frustration as I knew I needed to rest the Achilles!

Wednesday - went to the gym for the first time in 18 months before swim coaching - sat on the bike for 30 mins spinning hard, then did a load of rowing and core work to total an hours work - which was really good, I then went in to the pool for a coached session for an hour and 2.3k of drills and sustained speed work - so a good quality two hours on a Wednesday evening!

Thursday - Cycled to and from work, which is 22.5 miles each way so makes for a good days training by the end of it - I'm also carrying my work clothes too so have a hefty back pack on! Averaged 17.5 both ways which isn't my fastest but I felt fine both ways and could have pushed it some more! Great to be back on the bike again - even better when the clocks change at the weekend!

Friday - alarm didn't go off in the morning so missed swimming, went back to the gym in the evening for a quick brick session and some weights/core

Saturday - up early for a 55 mile loop including the first lap of the Forestman course - stunning day so cycling was no trouble! Slightly more hills than I thought there were but nothing too drastic and I felt fine after - could have carried on with no trouble really - averaged a moderate 17.3mph - which was easy really - no problems going a bit faster for double that!

Sunday - again up early and ran to coached swimming for 4.8 miles, just over 2k in the pool and then ran 1.5 miles home - I had planned to make it more like 5 or 6 miles home but my achilles was in all sorts of trouble again - back to square one! I think its my tight calves and hamstrings so lots of massaging them over this week!

The week ahead depends a lot on other things - I am away at the weekend so not training will happen, but I do have Friday off work so will get a good ride in then!

See you then!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The end is nigh...

99 days to go...we are out of double figures now! Though the title of this post I hope will relate to something else I am cooking up next week!

Anyway back to the challenge, 99 days to go and I need to do lots more cycling, a very lot more cycling! I rode to work and back yesterday which was great - not the fastest I have ever done it but then my HR stuck firmly to the 68/69% average so I wasn't pushing very hard - I also felt fine both on the outward leg and the return leg - which I would hope being as they were only 22.5 miles each, I did however get very tired last night which shouldn't be right after only 45 miles during the day......having said that I suppose its a week day and I have to factor in the 9 hour day in the middle as a contributor!

Revisiting my target times for Forestman made me realise that the 18.7 mph average is my top goal - the bottom is a 16 mph average! I have averaged a fair bit faster over 80 miles before so I am confident that I can sit quite happily in the upper range of that over 112 miles - since yesterday was an easy 17.5 mph average with a loaded backpack I am pretty happy - a nice little reminder - for some reason I had it in my head that 18.7 was my lowest!!

Anyway so tonight will be either swimming or I may go to the gym and do a 1 hour brick - 15min bike, 15 min run, 15 min bike, 15 min run...I'll see how I feel on the way home! Tomorrow is a scheduled 3 hours on the bike - I have planned a 56 mile route which should see me near enough 3 hours - I have plans at 12 so hopefully I'll be able to get it all in by then!

Saturday afternoon is all about rugby (for a change) first watching the mighty 'bridge play...then all the 6 nations games, once again ensuring I am driving therefore not drinking! Sunday will see me in the pool at 8.45 - a new class has started so I'll be up early for a 45 min run then an hours swim, then a further hour or so running! I then have a christening and celebrations after - during which I will be drinking! Though work on Monday may not be so fun so it'll only be gentle!

Unfortunately I am unable to get a long run this weekend however it probably won't do any harm with the achilles issue I had earlier in the week - this seems to be fine though we'll see how it goes tonight! Two smaller runs on Sunday morning should provide a decent tick over anyway!

I also can't get a long run in next weekend either so April 2nd will be my final long run before the London Marathon which isn't ideal but anyhooo I'm only doing it to tick along to the finish anyway so no dramas! I'll hopefully get a few medium runs in next week in the 7/8 mile range!

So that is where I am at right now! Enjoy your weekend...

Monday, March 14, 2011


March Week 2 Training - a quiet start to the week, ramping it up towards the end!

Monday - usual rest day, felt okay after the 20mile race the day before though!

Tuesday - a steady 1.95k swim of various drills and floating, although I wasn't really aching there was a definite tiredness in the body!

Wednesday - a nice steady 3 mile run at lunch to break the legs back in - they felt tight but fine, no real niggles and was okay, the did an hours (2.5k) coached swim session in the evening which went well - not a fan of swimming in the evening as I tend to get cramp in my feet!

Thursday - no swim in the morning as had an early start at work, in the evening it was a run - 5.76 miles in 48.36 which was more than pleasing as I felt pretty strong on stiff legs!

Friday - back in the pool for 7*250m, mostly with the pull buoy, which was fine

Saturday - was supposed to be 4 hours on the bike and we were lucky to have some lovely sunshine so it was no overshoes, no gloves and no extra jacket which was sooooo nice! It made such a difference to be warm and out enjoying the sunshine! We kept it mostly flat/rolling and enjoyed some new roads which made a nice change! We did 46 miles in 2.5 hours with an average of 18 mph which was a good ride with some really top quality intervals in the middle hitting it pretty hard! I faded towards the end, hence the reduced time out there - I put this down to 3 weeks of no cycling and the intensity of the last two races still residing slightly in my legs!

Sunday - up and about and met with a friend to run the Avon Valley Path from Salisbury to Fordingbridge which should have been about 15 miles! The weather was not great to begin with so I kept my blue gilet on but as we set off the sun broke out so it was boil in a bag time for a little while! I had underestimated some of the terrain and it was tough going - the overnight rain making the trail pretty slippery in places - it was great to do new paths and trails though taking me through places I didn't know existed! The friend I was with is just getting in to the longer stuff and did brilliantly, turning off at 10 miles to head home, we did get lost as I took us down the wrong path but we made our way over some hills on the road to come out at the right place - in hindsight it would have been a lot easier not to have gone wrong as the correct path sticks to the nice and flat valley floor! We did walk the hills though as they were very steep!

At Downton we rejoined the path and headed up out of town - walking half the long climb but the views back over the preceeding 8.5 miles were pretty cool and we could see all the way back to Salisbury Cathedral which we had ran past not an hour or so earlier! The pics above are of my friend and said view behind him though I don't think the iPhone camera picks out the cathedral well enough!

From there I expected a steady downhill to Hale park - how wrong I was and two nasty steep valleys had to be negotiated first, which required walking to get out the otherside - I was tiring pretty quickly by now and the hills had taken their toll despite the bigger ones being walked - a long but steep downhill allowed me to drop the average pace a bit which was good, and then a mile or so of road section kept it steady - the final hill was again walked and going through 13.1 miles in 2.12 tells its own story! From here it was a drop down to a farm and through some more meadows into Fordingbridge - I was running late for lunch so had the otherhalf pick me up about a mile or so short of the finishline as she was on her way through! I was very tired by this point and although I was still running quite well, this was the hardest run I have ever done - I should have taken on more than the one gel that I used which would have perked up the last few miles I am sure! so it was 14.38 miles in 2.23 hours which was exactly 10 min/miles - not what I would usually expect but it was fine! I really enjoy this kind of running and although slower it is much more fun than tarmac pounding! Looking forward to doing it all again with some more food and not getting lost!

Anyway finished the week with 9.5 hours training, not a large amount but I think the sessions were all beneficial - the only downside being that I now have a very sore achilles tendon on my left foot - after the run I showered and then drove off down to lunch in a full car so legs were quite cramped - think the clutch movement just twinged it a bit - rest and ice for this! Not ideal as I wanted to ramp up the training this week - swimming should be fine and hopefully cycling so I will just take this week off running - hopefully all okay for the weekend though!

See you then! 

Friday, March 11, 2011

The return of middle March...

Still feeling tired from last weeks race...well actually I am not..well I am...well....put this way I think I am tired but not in a way that is making training difficult or a drag! Yes my legs were sore in yesterdays 5.8 mile run and yes my swimming isn't quite as fast as it has been but I am still putting in a good pace in the running and have swam 6.75k this week so actually it ain't all bad! I actually quite like the sore leg feeling when running - makes me feel like I am acheiving something! Like the day after a game of rugby...if you can still stand up and sit down properly then you ain't been working hard enough! I have been sleeping well though...twice a day at some points!

Hopefully this solid training will continue through the weekend with 4 ish hours on the bike tomorrow and Sundays long run! Unfortunately the weather is supposed to turn towards rain tomorrow but as I haven't cycled for three weeks (stupid broken bits) I have no choice but to get out there! Hopefully I have some residual cycling ability left in my legs!

Really looking forward to Sunday's run - I have a feeling I will be running on very tired legs by this point and so I am going to run the Avon Valley Path from Salisbury to Fordingbridge which is about 15/16 miles but as there is lots of stiles, dog walkers and things like that I'll be reduced to a slow pace which will do me some good! 

Other than that it is a nice quiet weekend for me, got some big plans hopefully happening the week after next so gearing up for that (more later)!

Having heard all about the Japanese Tsunami and seen the pictures, it just looks terrible and must be horrible for those involved so my thoughts go out to them - it does put my 'tough' training in its place but as I am doing it to help others its all in perspective. Having said that the amount of claptrap that has come out on twitter today re: the Mayan calender, the end of the world and respecting our planet is ridiculous, idiots like this should pipe down! The Mayans could not have predicted it...period! Its not the end of the world...period! And yes, of course we should respect the planet, that goes without saying more these days that ever...however there is no way that anything we have done could possibly have caused that earthquake! Its a horrible natural disaster!

Enough of that now...

Hopefully this weekend will see a great cycle, the mighty 'Bridge squash the Saffers, a solid run on Sunday and then England to stuff right up the Scots (I am in a partisan mood)

Enjoy your weekend....I will!

Monday, March 7, 2011

March Week 1

Not really a huge amount in terms of training so I won't got through it in detail - I ran twice, swam three times and raced once! I was just trying to rest after last weeks race ahead of yesterdays (sunday) 20 mile race!

First up I got my pre-race food a bit wrong - before my long endurance stuff (100 mile rides etc) I have had pasta and rice pudding the night before, lots of water and porridge in the morning!

On saturday I went for pizza instead of pasta which normally does me pretty well too, I then had rice pudding and was hungry still but okay! We then went to some friends who were eating mexican and I was still hungry I had a couple of fajitas, some ice cream and a Guinness! This was too much and while I slept well I felt pretty rough in the morning and forced my porridge down! Just before the race I was a little bit sick which just made me feel worse!

Anyway while it was cold the sun was starting to break out and with only a bit of wind the conditions were perfect, a nice group cheered be off and I set about maintaining my planned 9 minute miles! The first two miles went in about 8.45-8.55 something like that and were very dull - long flat tarmac roads with nothing really to look at as the packs thinned out, we then wound slightly uphill and through some villages before hitting a busier road at about 4 miles - I was nicely on pace but was not feeling very well at all, bloated, heavy and severely disinterested - some water at 3 miles helped a bit! Some annoying people were just behind me - all chatty and jokey...bleurrgghh! I was in no mood to be cheerful!

I steadily lead a large group through to nearly 6 miles when they all got 10k fever and went past me (I call it 10k fever - when ever you get to that point in a race everyone speeds up! I dutifully reigned myself in though and let them all carry on....miles 7-10 were no fun - long straight tarmac roads with nothing to look at and in all honesty I was considering sliding off at ten mile as I was still suffering with feeling ropey - I managed to force down a gel but it wasn't happy! At 8 miles I had caught all the people that had gone past me earlier and by 10 miles (after a big cheer from @caliwi) I was feeling slightly more positive!

I decided to up the pace slightly as the slower miles made my legs ache and 8.30's felt a lot more comfortable - at the switch back at 10.5 miles I had put some time in to the others behind me and was comfortably scooting along at the slightly faster pace - lap two was similiar to lap one and I had another gel and kept the water coming in at most aid stations (every 3 miles)! Again laps 17 - 20 were tough being where they were and the tarmac pounding and started to tell as my legs were aching - I ran n the side of the road where possible to ease it up a bit! Mile 18-19.5 were not nice into a bit of a wind but I managed to mostly hold pace and continued to overtake people. The last mile was nicely down hill and I plodded in for 2.55.39 with achey legs and a slightly better stomach!

Overall fitness was never as issue - boredom from the long, straight tarmac and feeling sick were more problems - if I ever did this again I would run it as fast as I could and I think the pain of pushing it hard would remove the boredom - but it was a training run so no harm done! I have never ran beyond 14.5 before so it was a good lesson and proves that the marathon in April shouldn't be an issue! More time on the legs will be beneficial though! I would also eat less the day before and rely more on gels, energy etc to get me round!

I haven't got any great sense of achievment or anything like that after completing this race - if I hadn't been able to do it after all this training I would have been very dissapointed so I just hit my expectations really, nothing more, nothing less!

Last weeks race where I raced a bit harder gave a better feeling even though it was shorter! Anyway onwards and upwards....  

Friday, March 4, 2011

This weekend and other animals....

I have a 20 mile race this weekend - the Mad March 20 down near Bournemouth on Sunday! I am not sure how I feel about this race - I have only ever ran 14.5 before though it was off road and very hilly so not in the same boat as this - I originally thought it was hilly but having read some comments elsewhere turns out it isn't apart from one little lump!

So how do I approach it...well after last weekends race I reckon that I could really push it and hit a good 8 minute mile pace but as it is a step in to the unknown I think a steady 9 min/miles would be the sensible option! Its not an A race, its a training run and I need to remember that and not get carried away - who knows I may not even finish it! The name of the game at this point is also consistency in all training so blowing out on Sunday won't benefit me next week!

If I can finish 20 in 3 hours (9 mm) then it will certainly be a big boost for my confidence and will allow me to move nicely towards the London Marathon with some confidence - I reckon the adrenalin has to be worth 3 or 4 miles worth in the big smoke! I then only have 2-3 miles of hanging on to the finsih line!

In other news seeing as tomorrow is a rare weekend rest day - I can fix all my broken bike bits! Tri bike taken to pieces to replace the rear mech and get the wheels trued, road bike cleaned, service, tightened and spruced up a bit....winter training is a nasty business! Also should be booking our honeymoon which has probably been the hardest of all the wedding plans!

Next week will hopefully bring some tired legs, more cycling...(I'm hoping to get my first ride to work in one day at least), plenty more swimming and a few steady runs! Next sunday there is a 10 mile race which pretty much starts from my front door - this may be a quite nice as I had planned a 10 mile jaunt that day - could be fun just to notch up another race experience! Though 3 weeks of racing may not be'll be a decision left for that morning I think!

Other than that next week could bring some big decisions elsewhere in my world but more on that may of course not bring any decisions...its currently not in my hands! Just keep everything crossed over the next few days....though that may cause a few problems as I move in to my race!

I also got my delivery of GU gels - I have been very relunctanct on spending loads on training nutrition - I won't lie I think all nutrition products are grossly over priced and I now make my own training flapjacks which are good to chew on - however I couldn't really think up a substitute for a good energy gel and without doubt GU are the best that I have tried - so I decided it was an investment worth going for and if used carefully should see me through to the Forestman - 48 gels for £60 is still obscenely expensive but I only use them on long runs and as back up on long rides so 16 weeks so 3 or 4 per week is plenty more than I actually need! Chocolate Outrage is my flavour of choice but in fairness they all have their benefits!

The other half is now over her cold and I haven't had any real effects yet so hopefully I have survived, though I'm not speaking too soon! My relentless usage of vitamins, fish oils, green/fruit/white tea and hand gel is hopefully keeping everything at bay for the time being, I totally appreciate I will get ill at some point in the next 16 weeks so any time between Tuesday about 9pm and the end of March would be ideal and then after London till about the end of May...thanks!

Anyway enough rambling from me.....

Here is a joke...its one of my favourites: - Whats orange and sounds like a parrott?

a carrott!!!

I love it!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ironman Update # 12 (taken from my round robin e-mail)

Well its been a while since I did an update (Nov 10) so I know you are all desperate to here the comings and goings of the challenge -

December -  a pretty intermittent month as I got just about every cold/cough etc going around, I did a 12 mile run on Christmas day during which I pretty much fell apart and so took the rest of the month off to recover - which was a great idea as I hit the New Year feeling fresh and ready....once the hangover had gone obviously!

The total training for 2010 was :-

Swim - 94 miles, 60 hours
Bike - 1670 miles, 105 hours
Run - 693 miles, 117 hours
Cross train - 101 miles, 19 hours

Total - 2558 miles, 301 hours

Not going to light up the world but a good solid first 12 months and noticeably lighter and fitter!


As suggested, January started with a bang and I notched up some serious training time across all three disciplines, including a 14 hour week (my highest to date)! This however did lead me to feeling pretty mentally and physically worn-out by the end of the month with some pretty low points, however lots of food and rest perked me up a bit for February. Feb has gone well with some good positive quality sessions although I was a few hours short of my January total.

So 2011 to date looks like this: -

Swim - 23 miles, 14.7 hours
Bike - 437 miles, 26.6 hours
Run - 154 miles, 24.4 hours
X-train - 17 miles, 4.8 hours

Total - 631 miles, 70.44 hours

Swim: -

Soooo much swimming, including one week of 8,500 metres which blew me too pieces! To break it down (roughly) that is 1480 lengths of the 25m pool that I use....that's an awful lot of going up and down! I have focussed a lot less on speed at the moment - the amount of time it will take for me to get under the hour for the 3.8k isn't worth the investment whereas I can more than comfortably do it 1 hour 5 mins (yes I know its only 5 mins but its the principle)! My favourite set is 3 * 1000m at the moment, lots of time to plod up and down but there is always lots to think about...namely technique and not losing count of lengths!

Having said that a new 100m pb of 1.22 and a 400m pb of 5.58 were set during Jan - really chuffed with the 5.58 as that's been bugging me for ages trying to get below six minutes!

Bike: -

This has been my weakness so far in that I simply haven't done enough of it, I try and get on my turbo trainer (stationary bike thing) at least once per week and then a long ride at the weekend but it will need to be ramped up fairly soon.

I'm counting on the lighter evenings allowing me to ride to work which will really up the mileage pretty quickly so I am not panicking about this just yet. It is very cold, wet and muddy at the moment which is not the most fun of cycling conditions.

I have also been swindled out of about 6 hours (100 or so miles) of bike training due to mechanical issues in the last two weeks - Firstly a puncture and the spare tube having a bust valve = threw a massive paddy and went running instead, Secondly the rear mech (gear changer) on the tri bike caught in spokes and is now very, very broken = threw a massive paddy and watched TV all morning! In my defence I was racing the next day so didn't want to run!

Run: -

Some cracking running sessions including the rough and tumble 10mile - an exceedingly tough cross country race which involved climbing a hill on all fours it was so steep, I did really enjoy it though - muddy, splashy fun!

Race report: -

No great motivation when I woke up but dragged myself up there and took my place on the start line with a right proper grumpy face on! From the start it was downhill on tarmac through the village before a path led up through a field to the bottom of one of the biiiig, steeep hills - after one mile almost everyone was walking, in fact it was quicker for me to march up the hill than to run it! It was then down a rain filled muddy gully, running through deep puddles which were turning into a stream, various hills, puddles and mud later and we got to the real killer - big steep hill that required all fours just to drag yourself up - more climbing than running! Then back down just trying to stay on two feet! A few hills and mud filled shoe stealing puddles later and I was over the finish! After 4.5 miles I had decided to suck it up and enjoy it, I really gave it a lot and although not my fastest (no surprise there) to finish in 1.32.57 was pretty good and I was pleased afterwards - 147 out of 497 was good enough for me!

I also got dragged went along to a track session with the local running club and the running track - this was really good - very very tough, I vaguely remember collapsing on the sitting room floor once I got home! Simply put it was 12*300m sprints, in between you have a 200m jog/walk recovery - once everyone has joined up you go again! I did surprise myself with my speed at some points which was very positive and can't wait to go back!

It was all rounded off with the heartbreak half marathon this Sunday just gone which takes place on the Forestman course so it was a really good taster session.............oh my god its hard, the hills are pretty nasty little buggers for sure...and the marathon part of the Forestman involves doing them three times

Race report: -

Sunday - crap sleep, kept thinking I'd be late for the race! Morning was lovely though cold but set off to the race, registered...found out it was 14 miles not 13.1...ah well suited me really!

At the race start we went straight down a big hill and then straight back up the otherside - good wake up call! Thankfully a stile the otherside meant a quick rest while we all queued - then it was up the road for 1.5 miles before turning off on to the forest tracks - its a hell of a course with some pretty steep hills but nice on the flats - I went out too fast but after Saturdays impromtu rest I decided to hang in there as best as possible and keep going - on the flats I was holding about 7.40 pace which is very quick for me - I walked on three of the steep hills - which was just as fast as running and kept my legs okay!

Didn't receive the gels I ordered so I had grabbed a fry's turkish delight as energy to keep going....interesting but it seemed to work just fine and gave a little boost in energy here and there! A solid last mile and I was done, 10 miles in 1.22, 13.1 in 1.47.50 and 13.85 in 1.53.06 which I am happy with - I have never ran that fast for that long - on a flat course I may even surprise myself!
So that is the first two months nicely rounded off, I feel pretty fresh and good, apart from slightly achy quads from the above race! This week is a relatively easy one as I have a 20 mile race on Sunday down in Burton nr Christchurch so I am resting up for that! I then have a few weeks of hard training before a little thing called the London Marathon which I am really pleased to have got in for! So its all about keeping things going and upping my biking and running before London, at which point I'll ease back the running and really concentrate on the cycling...its only 16.5 weeks to go and that really isn't a very long time!
You've all had a lucky few months of no pestering and while I have still had some great donations come in I'd be hugely grateful for a big push in the final few weeks! Pretty please with a cherry and various other things on top!  or depending on your charitable persuasion!
Love to all,