Maintenance week – October 9 to October 15

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I was pretty happy this week, got some fairly decent running in.  I ran three times, a 5 miler on Wednesday, a 2.5ish miler (plus some body strength workouts) with Jess and Mini at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday morning, and a 9.25 miler on Sunday.  All of them felt great, even the 9 mile run.  The only downside is that after my run on Sunday, I had this pain on the arch of my foot.  I was afraid that it was a stress fracture.  I could not put weight on it for a while after I got back home.  But the pain went away through the day.  It’s back now, though, but not as bad as before.  I might give it a couple days rest and see what happens.  I got new shoes, and I’m hoping it’s a problem with the shoes and not anything more!

 

The Wednesday morning run was memorable, mainly because I couldn’t sleep the night before and thus went for a run at 4:30am.  The Lincoln Memorial was completely empty then, except for one or two other early runners.  It’s a bit eerie, but the sights are cool to see.

 

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The Saturday morning run was fun as always.  I like to be able to carve out that time for us to go exercise together.  The three of us drove to the Mall, went for a run/walk + strength body exercises.  Mini loves being outside, especially on Saturday mornings.  Group selfie in front of the WWII memorial, south side of the reflecting pool.

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Altogether, three runs, 16.91, but I feel back into it.  Hope my foot is alright and I’m not derailed again!

 

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TWIR

 

This was one of those weeks that didn’t seem too busy or eventful on the surface, but when you stop to think about what you did, it actually was a pretty busy week.  Monday was Columbus Day, and though neither myself nor Jess had the day off, Mini’s day care was closed.  So I worked from home that day, and actually was able to get a lot done.  Mini was chill for most of the day and then she went down for about a 2 hour nap during some prime working time for me.  That morning, before starting work I took her to the Air and Space Museum.  Here’s a picture of her loving it:

 

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Tuesday and Wednesday went by with busy work schedules for both of us, culminating in a very important work meeting for me on Thursday.  When the jam-packed work week ended, we headed into a busier-than-expected weekend.  On Friday, we relaxed, and I watched Clemson get upset by Syracuse.  This ended a bad week of sports for me that started the Saturday before with Michigan getting upset at home by Michigan State, then the US Men’s National Soccer Team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, then the Nats losing on Thursday night, and Clemson on Friday night.

 

On Saturday, Jess joined Mini and me for our Saturday am exercise.  We went down to the Lincoln and after our exercise, we went to Eastern Market for brunch/lunch.  We got some Filipino noodles, crepes, and pancakes.  What else could you ask for!?

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Then we went down to the Mall.  We took Mini on her first merry-go-round, and I think she liked it.

 

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Then we wanted to try and check out the Sackler Gallery reopening.  But we didn’t realize that the reopening was actually for later that evening, so we went home to watch the end of the Michigan game.

 

On Sunday, I got up early for two reasons:  (1) to try and get tickets to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and (2) to go for a longish run.  I was able to accomplish task #1, which is actually a tall order.  Tickets are so hard to get, and by the time you log in at 6:30am, the tickets are gone by 6:32am.  For the run, I was intending to do 7 miles, but I was feeling good and turned it into 9.25. Got this cool picture at City Center, which always seems to theme their decorations based on the season.  Fall is here.

 

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After I got home, I showered up and then we headed to the opening festival for the Sackler Gallery (it was a two day event).  The festival was a celebration of Asian culture, with food, music and arts and crafts.  We took Mini there and then afterwards went to the NMAAH.  We had been there once before with some friends, but we did not get to see all of it.  This time, Jess and I spent some time on the top floor of the museum, viewing the pop culture section.  I want to go back and spend a couple of hours on each floor.  I also have this new goal, to take Mini to every Smithsonian before she is 1, and then every year that we live in DC, to try and take her to as many as possible over the course of a year.

 

Here is a stunning picture that Jess took from the Contemplation Room at the NMAAH.

 

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After the museum, we headed home, got a nice brief visit from some friends, and then called it a night.  I was so tired, we put Mini down at 7:30 and I followed shortly after.

 

Another great week in the books.

 

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Maintenance week – October 2 to October 8

WEEK SUMMARY

 

Now that I’m not training for any race in particular, I want to try and run five to six miles five to six times a week.  I ran a few times this week, twice in DC and once in Reston.  The DC runs were in the morning.  They included a picturesque run on Thursday where I could see the Harvest Moon just over the Lincoln Memorial.  It was an incredible morning.  When you turned towards the Washington Monument, you could see the sunrise, when you turned towards the Lincoln, you could see the full moon.  The pictures don’t do it justice.

 

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Saturday morning was with my traditional run with Mini.  We went to the Lincoln, where I read her the Gettysburg Address, and then we went to the MLK, where I read her the quotes at the memorial.

 

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For the week, I ran for 16.54 miles.

 

TWIR

 

The early part of the week was pretty uneventful.  Tiring, from work, life, etc., but good.  Jess’s family was in town for the weekend and we had a great time.  On Saturday, we took Mini to the zoo and she saw her first panda.  That was a fun experience.  She really liked just looking around and, of course, being the center of attention.  It was nice to connect with family and for Mini to see her aunt, uncle, cousins and grandma.

 

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Race Report – Boo! Run For Life 10K

Finish time:  58:08

Placing:  135 out of 310

80 out of 127 (male)

21 out of 35 (male division 30-34)

 

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As soon as I found out about this race, I knew I was going to run it.  It is a 10K that raises money for the Dean R. On’Neill Renal Cell Cancer Research Fund.  My mom’s kidney cancer diagnosis wasn’t the origin of my running life, but it accelerated it, and so of course I was going to participate.  I ran it with Mini for an experience I will not forget, running with my daughter to honor my mom.  Though I have not been running very much lately, due to an eventful September, I did enjoy this run a lot.  It was a beautiful and crisp fall morning by the Potomac with Jess and Mini.

 

PRE-RACE

 

I’ve been pretty tired this week.  Lack of sleep.  Got rear ended on Thursday.  General life, work, etc.  Overall, nothing to complain about, but it’s been a tiring week for sure.  So, there wasn’t really any plan for this one except to run with Mini.  I was up late on Saturday watching the Clemson-Virginia Tech game

 

It was a fairly early start, 8am, but anyone with kids knows that leaving the house takes a lot longer than you’d think.  Since I was running with the stroller, that meant a 6am wake up with the plan to get there at around 7:20 to pick up my shirt.  The race was at West Potomac Park, and we got there right around 7:45 in time to get my bib and stretch out a little.  It wasn’t a terribly large crowd, but it was a decent turn out for a good cause.  Jess, Mini and I waited for the start.  I chatted briefly with a few people, one woman who had also just done the Clarendon Run and another person who came in from Rockville.

 

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Miles 1-3

 

10:14 min/mile; 9:20; 8:59

 

I decided to start off slowly.  In actuality, I have been feeling pretty out of running shape.  As mentioned, September was a low mileage month, and I had actually tried to run the day before this race at the same location, but I had to abandon the run because my legs weren’t working.  I think it is a combination of the all the events, the lack of sleep, the lack of running, and some worn out shoes.  So here, I decided to just take it easy.  Also, since I had the stroller, I wanted to start in the back and not try and weave through with it.

 

The course is basically an out and back, starting near the Lincoln and down to Hains Point and back.  It’s a beautiful run, and I do a portion of it a lot.  On a cool fall morning there’s not much better than running with the Potomac on one side and the monuments on the other.

 

Miles 4-6

8:50; 9:13; 9:20

For the next three miles, I thought I’d pick it up a bit.  As I hit the turn around, I ran by a few other people with strollers and we exchanged some looks of solidarity and words of encouragement.  At around mile 4.5 or so, I started chatting up a runner who also has a six month old at home.  I had to stop a few times because Mini’s blanket was starting to fall off.  Also, she was giving me that classic 4.5 mile look of “you better hurry up and finish the race, or there will be hell to pay.”

 

Miles 6-6.2

[2:16]

Jess was waiting for us at mile 6 and she ran the last bit with us before hopping out.  As I ran across, someone told me that I was the first stroller to finish.  Not sure if that was true or not, but I’ll assume that it was.

 

POST-RACE

 

Jess and I took some pictures with Mini at the finish line.  Then we dressed her up in this really cute octopus costume we bought for her.  I was initially thinking of running with her dressed in it, but that was going to be too cumbersome with the stroller.  So we changed her into it and took some pictures.

 

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Afterwards, Jess treated us to a nice brunch at this biscuit place called Mason and Dixie.  It was really good–the first “southern” biscuit and gravy + fried chicken place in DC that I’ve enjoyed.  Jess and I have this standing tradition to sometimes eat fried chicken and daal with Oberon beer while watching college football in the falls–we might have to get  the chicken from this place the next time we do.

 

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Mini with the thumbs up.

 

 

Race Report – Clarendon Day Double (5K and 10K)

5K

Finish time:  24:38

Placing:  291 out of 1129

206 out of 492 (male)

83 out of 186 (male division)

 

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10K

Finish time:  57:42

Placing:  340 out of 772

217 out of 354 (male)

90 out of 136 (male division)

 

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Double

Finish time:  1:22:20

Placing:  135 out of 262

102 out of 153 (male)

44 out of 64 (male division)

 

I am tired.  I ran this double coming off a week with very little sleep and minimal training.  Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it, even though about half way through the 10K, I was pretty sure I wasn’t even going to finish.

 

This was mainly a product of poor planning, dehydration and exhaustion.  I didn’t really look at the race logistics, I just figured that it was close enough to home that I’d be able to figure it out the morning of.  Which was mostly true, except that I did not realize the finish line was about a mile downhill from the start line.  Which means, if you’re doing the double, that after you finish the 5K, you have to walk up the hill in approximately 30-40 minutes to get back to the start line for the 10K.  And when I finished the 10K, I had to walk back up that hill because that’s where I parked my car, near the start line.

 

Also, it was a lot warmer than I thought it would be.  Not really warmer, but sunnier without much shade.  As we ran down Jefferson Davis Highway (and as I type that out, I realize how weird it is that we have a highway that is still named after Jefferson Davis), the sun was relentless.  I didn’t bring a hat or sunglasses.  Thankfully, I brought a water bottle.

 

But it was a good race.  A fast course with a downhill that you don’t have to make up at the end.  I’ll do it again next year, this time with a lot more sleep and a bit more planning.  I originally signed up planning to run with Mini–it is stroller friendly.  I am very glad that I didn’t do that just because it was a tough race for me.  Then again, maybe I would have taken it easier with her, or maybe I would have just gone home after the 5K.

 

PRE-RACE

 

As I mentioned, up until the morning of, I was thinking about skipping the race and sleeping through it.  Mini has been going through some sleep regression, and that’s ok but it has kept us up a little last week.  I didn’t help matters on Friday and Saturday because I stayed up late on both nights–socializing on Friday and watching football on Saturday.  So when I went to bed on Saturday night, I was beat, and that 6am wake up wasn’t very fun.

 

But it’s all good.  There are worse things in the world than having to get up at 6am to run a race for fun.  I left at around 7, got to Arlington by 7:20 and went for the packet pickup.  Lined up at around 7:45 and waited for the 8am start.

 

5K Race

8:13 min/mile; 7:33; 8:00; [0:57]

The race starts at the top of a Wilson Blvd. and you run all the way down it to Jefferson Davis Highway.  This makes for a fast run.  Next year, I’m going to rest up enough because, though it is a net downhill, I’d like to see how fast I can do it when adequately prepared.  I thought about holding back on this race and saving some energy for the 10K, but I decided that, what the hell, let me just try and go a little fast and see how it ends up.  I think I paid the price for that on the 10K, but I got a decent time for this race.

 

Finish time 24 min, 38 sec.

 

In between

 

At the end of the 5K, I actually had told myself that I wouldn’t run the 10K, and honestly, if the start and finish were at the same spot, I would’ve just gone home.  But that walk up to the start line cooled me down.  Like I mentioned, you have to walk back up Wilson Blvd for about a mile to get back to the start line to run the 10K.  On the walk back, I chatted with a guy who was doing the double as well.  He was also training for the Marine Corps Marathon in a few weeks.  I’ve made it my goal to try and talk to someone for some time in every race I participate in.  It’s the reason I pay the money–to run but to also get the shared experience to run with others.  I didn’t catch his name, but we mainly talked about different races and racing strategies.  He clued me in to the Reston 10 miler which happens in the Spring.  I’ll put it on my radar for 2018.

 

10K Race

I got back to the start line just in time to line up and go again.  There wasn’t much down time in between.  Which was kind of nice because I didn’t want to wait around.

 

Miles 1-3:

8:05 min/mile; 7:38; 8:10

 

Basically, the 10K route is an extension of the 5K.  You take Wilson Blvd to Jefferson Davis and go out and back a little further, til about mile 4.  So the first few miles of this part were the same as before.

 

I started off fast, like before, due to the downhill.  I felt alright, but knew that I was running on fumes.

 

Miles 4-6

9:27; 11:21; 10:30

 

Right around mile 3, things started getting tough.  Very tough.  Before this race, I never thought that I’d have to stop and walk during a 10K.  I figured that regardless of how tired I was, it was just six miles, and I’d be able to get through it, even at a slow pace because it’s not a terribly long distance.  When I started walking at mile 3.5, I wasn’t sure that I’d even finish.  The sun was just incredibly crushing once you got to the bottom of Wilson, and but for a few overpass structures that we ran under, there was absolutely no cover from it.  I knew that the sun was dehydrating me and also amplifying my exhaustion from the lack of sleep I had.  I should have worn a hat because dousing myself with water was not working.  Part of me was trying to push through without stopping, but then the smarter part of my brain went off and told myself that I wasn’t doing this to prove anything to anyone, and that if I kept pushing, I’d end up in a terrible situation.  The last thing we needed was another medical incident this month.

 

So I stopped, and walked.  I think I walked most of the way from miles 3.5 to 4.5, and started a slow trot from there.  I picked it up a little at mile 5 and told myself that I should just try to finish in under an hour.

 

Mile 6-6.2

[2:37]

 

I felt alright for this segment–no sprint to the end, just an easy trot to finish.

 

POST-RACE

 

I collected my second medal (you get two medals when you do the double) and a few snacks + water, and sat down to cool off.  I was still overheated and overtired.  And I wasn’t looking forward to walking back uphill to my car.  I looked for metro options, and then thought about Ubering, but I decided to just walk back.  I was ok to walk and I didn’t have to be anywhere too soon, other than going home to see Mini and enjoy the wonderful brunch that Jess made for me.  It took me about 25 minutes to get to my car.  Next year, though, I’m either going to metro or park near the finish line.

The funny thing about this course is that I stopped to walk for a good mile and I still finished the 10K with a pace under 9:30.  That’s not an indication of my athletic prowess, but rather that this race is super fast.  Next year, I’d like to see how it goes with some planning.

 

I went home and gave Mini my medal.  She enjoyed playing with it, and then when I took it away from her, she cried as if I took away her most prized possession, even though she learned of its very existence only minutes before.

 

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Maintenance week – September 18 to September 24

WEEK SUMMARY

 

This was the first week in a while where I got multiple runs in.  September has shaken out to be a hectic month, and it will probably be my lowest monthly mileage for 2017.  I ran four times, including a double 5k/10k race on Sunday.

 

On Wednesday, I did a 7 mile run early in the morning.  Mini has been going through somewhat of a sleep regression this week, and we were awoken at around 4:45am.  Once we got her back to sleep, I figured that I’d go for a run since I was up anyway.  Instead of driving to the Mall as I usually do early in the morning, I ran down there and did a 7 mile loop that went around the Capitol, down to the Jefferson, then to FDR, Lincoln and passing the White House on the way home.  Man, just typing that out made me realize that I’m really going to miss running around these monuments so easily when/if we ever have to move.  Here is a picture from the FDR memorial, pretty creepy in the morning:

 

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And other of sunrise, which never, ever gets old:

 

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On Saturday, I took Mini for an early morning run so that Jess could sleep in a little.  We both haven’t been getting much sleep at all this week.  I think I’ve averaged like four hours a night, with some frequent wake ups throughout the night.  It’s all good, not complaining at all, but just to say that Jess needed the extra hours.  Our plan was to drive down to the Lincoln and park there, but the memorial bridge was closed, so we ended up on like a 30 minute detour to make it to the Mall.  We ended up doing four miles.  Parked near the Washington Monument and ran to the Lincoln and came back.  When we got to the Lincoln, I parked my stroller at the bottom and walked Mini up to the top so that she could see Abe’s statute and also see the words of the Gettysburg Address and the Inauguration speeches engraved on the walls inside.  Afterwards, we left to grab some bagels to bring home.

 

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Sunday was the day of the Clarendon double.  I was in almost half a mind to skip it.  Like I mentioned, I hadn’t slept well at all during the week, and I was up late on Friday and Saturday too (for fun, social obligations and to watch the end of the Penn State-Iowa football game [a classic]).  But I couldn’t let go of the idea of paying for another race that I didn’t run, I figured that I’d just get up and do it.  More about it in my race summary, but the 5k went well, the 10k not so much, but I got it done.

So, overall this week it was four runs for 20.6 miles.

 

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I still am not sure about the Rehoboth Marathon.  I would really like to do it.  This was supposed to be week 2 of training.  I might try a 10 week plan and see how I’m feeling half way through.

 

TWIR

 

This was a big week for Mini’s development.  It feels like she really grew and changed a lot.  On Thursday, she started to babble for the first time–she’s moved beyond making noises and looks like she’s actively trying to say words.  At the risk of sounding dramatic, it really is one of the greatest things to experience.  The cliche is true–raising a baby just gets better and better.  She’s making “ba-ba-ba” noises, and looks like she really is trying to talk to us in her language.

 

She’s also sitting up very well, and when she does, she looks less like an infant and more like a little girl.  She’s also starting to learn about situational awareness.  For example, she knows when Jess or myself walk in a room and knows when we are about to leave her side (and reacts accordingly).  One of the best moments was on Sunday, when Jess left to grab groceries, Mini was missing her and was staring at the door waiting for her to come back.  When she heard the door open, her body language changed and she smiled a big smile as Jess walked through the door.  It was such a great sight to see.   And she’s starting to reach for things more now and to differentiate between her favorite objects more.  Case and point, when I give her my glasses (a favorite of hers) and then I take it away, she’s inconsolable and reaches to my face to grab them.  She’s also really liking bubbles, when we blow them on her.

 

If it isn’t already apparent, our lives are revolving around our obsession with her.  I was thankful to get a lot of time with her this weekend.  There were some days this week that I wasn’t able to spend time with her because of getting home from work past her bedtime.

 

I keep saying it, life is good.

 

Maintenance week – September 11 to September 16

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ran twice this week, for a total of just over 8 miles.  As described below, this has been yet another crazy week in what has turned out to be a very eventful September.  The first run was a 4 mile and change run in Reston.  I felt great for the first 3 miles and then I ran out of steam at mile 4.  I don’t know if it was the strong sun or if it was the fact that I’m probably glycogen depleted, but I just had to stop, stand in the shade and call an Uber to end my run.

 

The other 4 miler was on Saturday morning, down on the National Mall.  That one felt a lot better.

 

This was supposed to be the first week of a 12 week training plan for the Rehoboth Marathon.  But I’m going to just scratch this week off and do 11, and see what happens.

 

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So, two runs for 8.2 miles.

 

I did snap this beauty though:

 

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TWIR

 

This week started off pretty normal.   But then, on Tuesday, Jess was suddenly admitted to the ER with acute appendicitis.  It came out of nowhere, the second half of a food poisoning + appendicitis one-two punch in consecutive weeks.  She had surgery on Tuesday night and has recovered well.  I am just so thankful we found it early and that it was not something more serious.

 

Jess rested for most of the week, but on the weekend we were able to socialize a bit.  Saw some family nearby and went out briefly to celebrate a friends birthday.  And Mini has been doing great, but she’s going through some sleep regression right now.  So I’m kind of a zombie these days.

 

Needless to say, I have been pretty exhausted the last few weeks.  I’m hoping that this week can be a page turner from that, where we can get back into a somewhat normal routine (as normal as can be with a six month old).

 

I did sign up for the Clarendon Double (a 5k race followed by a 10k race).  The race is on Sunday.  I think I can do both of them with Mini in the stroller, which will be great because it is always fun to run with her.

Maintenance week – September 4 to September 10

WEEK SUMMARY

 

I ran one time this week, today actually, a 4.6 mile run.  I spent a majority of this week recovering from severe food poisoning.  Fortunately Mini didn’t get it.  I was out of commission all day on Monday (fortunately it was Labor Day so off from work), and I felt off pretty much until Thursday.

 

This morning, I took Mini out for a 6am run on the Mall.  Today was the Nations Triathlon, and as I was running across the Memorial Bridge, I was able to get a view of swimmers going through the Potomac.

 

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Also, I my route looked like the state outline of South Carolina:

 

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So, just one run this week, 4.55 miles.

 

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Next week, I start the 12 week training plan for the Rehoboth Marathon in December.

 

TWIR

 

I’ll start with the biggest news of the week.  I started this little blog and running adventure after my mom was diagnosed with cancer.  I wanted to turn that very negative event into something positive.  This week, we got great news that my mom is in NED status, meaning that there is “no evidence of disease!”  That does not mean that the fight is over, that’s sure, but it is a huge moment to celebrate.  After the 2016 that she had, all the set backs and tough news, I am just incredibly thankful that we are here.  I’m mindful that we are lucky, that many people are not so fortunate, and I thank God’s grace every day.  Not just for this, but that my life is so blessed right now.

 

With that news in mind, anything else seems like “no big deal.”  But we down for the count this week with food poisoning.  Thank god that Mini did not get it, but it was quite the challenge taking care of her and also trying to recover.  Fortunately we had a good friend come over on help us out, which was immensely helpful.  Food poisoning is no joke.

 

Otherwise, it was a pretty normal week.  Life, work, etc. all going well.  Mini is more and more responsive to us these days.  It’s almost like she’s just so eager to talk to us, just doesn’t have the ability to do so yet.  But man, when I get home from work, and she sees me and smiles and giggles, that’s just perfect.  We took her to jazz night on Friday at the local pizza place, storytime on Saturday, watched some football afterwards, and now just chillin’ today.