Friday, August 30, 2013

Have You Tried Posting To Facebook About It?

I will never completely understand human nature. Particularly the bit of it that drives supposedly intelligent, well-educated employees of an institution of higher learning to totally avoid three completely convenient and well-advertised modes of communication available for conveying their problem directly to the highly trained professionals available on site who are actually paid to solve it.  Plus, there's the only marginally less convenient but additional option of "get your behind up out of your chair, walk across the beautiful and compact campus in the fresh air and sunshine to the office building which houses said professionals and have some probably pleasant face to face interaction.

But somehow, this is way too much trouble. Yet, somehow, they've got the time, motivation and bandwidth to get on the internet and "Vaguebook" about having an issue of some sort.

I have a revolutionary idea. If  you have an issue with the setup of a lab machine, maybe try notifying the department responsible for setting up the lab machine in something other than the most roundabout way possible?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Heisenberg's Uncertainty Pacing

I'm really, really terrible at self-pacing. Basically, I would like a built-in speedometer or an app shouting at me approximately once per minute or every couple of minutes to either speed up or slow down to meet my goal pace. 

I've never owned a GPS fitness watch-and-thermonuclear-reactor thing, just various iterations of the iPhone, though I'm soon going to be the proud owner of a Bia and Go Stick combo, for I am a Kickstarter backer who is down with supporting the technical ladies and female entrepreneurship and the rather innovative idea of having a built in SOS button for all your "I'm being attacked by a bear, send help."-type needs. Heart rate training for me consists of clinging to those capacitive metal thingummies on the treadmill handles and wondering if it's even slightly accurate. Over the years, I've tracked time and distance on outdoor runs using, as the notion strikes, Zombies, Run! (regular and 5K training versions), Run 10K by Felt Tip, Run 5K by Felt Tip, Charity Miles, MapMyRun, and Nexercise.

Back when I was training for my first half, I did almost all of my training on the treadmill. Look, it was winter, it was cold, I was starting early and running long, and I did not have any desire to be a cautionary tale about dying of exposure after bonking or slipping and breaking a leg. 
Or being eaten by a bear. They just look all cute like that to make you drop your guard. Then they eat your face.
As luck would have it, around the time of my half, I also won a free month's membership to MapMyRun's MVP features. Now, most of the MVP features, I don't give a flip about (no one with a smartphone really cares to track my runs second by second, I like my interval training with a side of story and character and zombies, thanks, and I rarely run anywhere unfamiliar and need the advanced map features) but one caught my eye. Live Coaching. For a brief, shining moment, Live Coaching was just plain built into the paid MapMyRun app. It is, in fact, half the primary reason I bought the darned app. It lasted for about three weeks before they moved it behind the monthly paywall that is MVP. *shakes fist* I had barely gotten to test it out, but it allowed you to set a goal pace and have the app alert you at intervals how well you were doing in hitting that pace. I'm surprised they didn't also move the "control your playlists from the app" feature behind a paywall. The playlist feature simply wasn't all that great.  You couldn't just point it at a playlist and make the controls more accessible from the main part of the app, developers?

Uh... seriously, guys? This is it? You not only have to go into the Record screen to look at the controls, you have to go into Songs and pull in all the songs you might want to listen to individually? Even if they are on a playlist? Every time? You can't just load the playlist? And if you double-tap the plus sign next to a song, it gets played twice? With no real indication that you've added it twice until you start wondering why the song is playing again? You can't see the playlist you're compiling? Then when you start recording your workout you have to go into the screen again to get at the controls? I've definitely seen better designs...

So I did what any self-respecting cheapskate-who-can't-estimate-her-own-pace would do. I saved that free month for the half, activated it just before and used Live Coaching during the race. I was annoyed to find that, along with a move behind a "monthly membership" fee, it had very little flexibility. You could only set it down to intervals of 5 minutes or more. Helpful, but not as helpful as I might have liked for keeping me on pace. Works okay during a half that takes you more than 2 hours to run, not much help when it comes to keeping you on pace for a narrow 5K PR, right? 
When Zombies, Run! can also be set to let you know your distance and pace every mile or kilometer, that feature's not really worth a monthly fee all by itself. Also, this app gives me a serious case of The Feels. "Current Pace... Ten... Minutes... Per... Mile... Slow down!" doesn't really hit me right in the emotions or make me laugh the way the idea of naming a pet chicken Mildred Van der Graaf does, MapMyRun. Have you thought of hiring a better writer?
I've got another "free month" code thanks to another MapMyRun, which I may need to hoard and activate once more for the trail half, at least if I have no alternative for pacing. Worst case, I can get past denial and straight on to acceptance if it is not in the cards that my second half will be no speedier than the first well before reaching the finish line.
At least until the Bia watches ship, I'm just going to come to terms with the fact that I'm not so much bad at pacing, I simply cannot know where I am and how fast I'm going at the same time without breaking science. Heisenberg said so.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Plan I Ran - Week Two

Week 2 was pretty much like Week 1, with more of the same. The table contains the target distances and paces in column 1, and the other columns contain the free, bonus, extra, new and improved non-running things I managed to do. Conservatively, I've been shooting for at least a couple of sessions of pullups per week, a day of low or no impact cross-training, and some plyometric jump squats. Because "plyometric" is just fun to say.

Yay, cross-training!

DateTargetPullupsPlyometric Jump SquatsAvg HR
8/19/20135 mile speed work, 1 mile warm, 1600 m @ 9:36 then 800 m jog x 2, 1 mile cool

8/20/20135 mile easy run @ 11:4827 @ 455 sets of 15
8/21/2013Rowing machine24 @ 45

8/22/20138 mile long run @ 11:48

8/23/20135 mile easy run @ 11:4824 @ 45, Bonus 5 chin-ups @ 455 sets of 15

Since I can't be having with metric, I just did a mile and half-mile stretch instead of the 1600 and 800 meter intervals. It made the math nice and easy on the treadmill. Since the treadmill offers the "make the pace or fall on your face" factor, making the pace was not a problem. My paces were a tiny bit faster than prescribed otherwise, partly because I had this nasty habit of abusing the snooze button every morning except Thursday. Wednesdays Row To Nowhere was 30:05 of stroking for 4306 m. 

Week 3, I'm coming for you. Game face! I'm bringing it!

And by "it", I obviously mean this lemur's invisible bicycle.

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Continuing Saga Of People Signing Me Up For Things

For some reason, people seem to really enjoy signing up for stuff with my email address. In the past, I've had some random woman's Home Depot credit card emails, a Lord Of The Rings MMO account and a account associated with my email. I assume it's mostly not malicious, just... typos, but honestly, I can't take chances.

So I do what any self-respecting person would do these days. I grab the account and take control of it without prejudice. People seem to have been very  busy signing me up for amusing things this weekend, as I've got not one, not two, but three new email-related things I didn't acquire myself!

And man, are they random.

One signed me up for Habbo Hotel, a Finnish social site that seems to consist entirely of buying stuff for your fictional character and chatting with people while wandering around virtual hotel rooms. User lsweetcoke, who seems fond of the pirate-y eyepatch look, since their (my?) character has one,  might be surprised to find that I've changed the password, activated the extra-secure security questions and that it will be verrrrry difficult to guess the answers as I doubt they share my third grade teacher and even if they researched it somehow, what random collection of letters I stuck in front of the answer. And I've turned off any setting that allows you to be "social", like receiving friend requests or having your profile viewed. Oh, and I changed the email address the account is associated with for good measure. At any rate, if you're lsweetcoke and would like to explain how/why you came to associate your account with my email address, explanations are welcome. Also, why an eyepatch? I mean, it's not as though I have anything against eyepatches, some of my favorite fictional characters have worn them, at least briefly, but is it what all the hip Finnish teens are wearing today? Inquiring minds want to know.

This looks... um... whimsically delicious. I'll take my picnics non-virtual, please, potential cyber-suitors. And remember, no hiding in the locker and freaking out the rubber ducky, creepers!

Someone else decided I needed to join the exciting world of Tumblr! So now that Tumblr is mine, and I've changed the URL from to something I might use. Anyway, again, random Tumblr-person, if you would like to offer an explanation, I'm all virtual ears. I mean, I'm just wondering how, with the name "Maria" you managed to mistype your own email address that badly. 

But I'm picturing something like this. 

I would love to properly credit this minor work of gif-tastic genius, but it came from Tumblr. I think. How the heck do you ever manage to credit any image from Tumblr when you found it on Google Image Search? Tumblr is like one massive tornado of liking and reblogging. You can never find a thing a second time unless you reblog it, based on my past experience. And apparently, you also can't find it a first time, either. Tumblr. It's like that one drawer in your house where small, unorganized things go to disappear permanently. That's one reason why I've avoided actually joining.

An additional person, I presume, decided I simply HAD to get the specials from Now, that one appears to be just a newsletter containing specials as opposed to an actual login, which saved me the trouble of having to swoop in and take it back for myself. Mind, this may only be because the site doesn't actually have logins. Otherwise, I would fully expect to be logging into your account and cancelling your orders for you. So, thank you, kind cosmetics-buying sir or madam for only making me unsubscribe!

Anyone else thinking of using my email address to sign up for random stuff, skip it, please. I can't even keep up with all the junk I actually sign into. I'm sure as heck not going to play your Sim knock-off and reblog all the things for you. And I'm sure not going to be buying your direct from Hong Kong cosmetics for you.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No Thanks, and smithy123

Now, apparently, I'm supposedly in need of some light reading, because smithy123 signed up for with my email. Near as I can figure, it seems to be a sort of site with more quizzes and boy band fan-fiction. The generally expected stuff, like Harry Potter and fill-in-the-Harry-Potter-imaginary-boyfriend fic all seems to be there, so evidently they don't ban-hammer Real People Fic. I have zero comments on the quality of the writing, because I'm not particularly interested in finding out whether the One Direction or other teen singing sensation fanfic is everything it's cracked up to be.

It doesn't have any Discworld fanfic that I could find, so I'm almost minded to go over there and post some, if only to steer people to some excellent reading when they get done with the Justin Bieber fanfic.

 I belieb I will pass, The Biebs... 
But I would like to know if a family of four is living in your hat.

Since I don't so much need more[1] One Direction fanfic in my life at this time, I doubt I'll be using the account much, but thanks anyway! I'll stick to my Kindle backlog and try to finish The Long War instead.

[1] any

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

One Does Not Simply Walk Into Mordor

That goes triple on a Friday.

I work in higher education. I work in IT in higher education. Now, I've been at the institution that employs me for 14 years now, so obviously I usually enjoy what I do and have developed Stockholm Syndrome strong emotional attachments to many of the fine people I work with. People don't go into IT because they like saying "no" or because they hate making people happy by making their lives easier or giving them what they need to do their jobs or making technology work minor miracles. People definitely don't go into IT areas that involve "customer service" because they're misanthropic or anti-social, despite the stereotypes. We all have personalities fully intact in our department and can hold a conversation like a real, live human being. I've also only rarely fantasized about strangling people and there are many enjoyable and highly hilarious opportunities for venting with other overworked, understaffed brothers (and one sister) in arms. 

What I'm trying to say is, "We like helping you, users, but for the love of all that is holy, people, you are not the only person on campus with a need, and there are only eight of us, and some of us occasionally like eating, sleeping, going home and other recreational activities that do not involve hovering expectantly in case you decide that, I, personally, have a thing to be done for you. So do lots of other people. Get in line. We occasionally even go outside in order to work on someone's computer or have a meeting with someone. Do not bank on us sitting right next to the phone to pick up your call or assume we have less than four hundred other messages in our Inboxes."

But even 14 years on, I still comically rant with major amusement at how many people will wait until 2:50 P.M. on a Friday, during one of the busiest times of the year, only to directly email/call one person in the department, vaguely describing a thing that gets run for them once a year, all puzzled that they didn't get the person they originally directly called at the last minute because he's done this crazy thing called "Taking his well-deserved and hard-earned Floating Holiday before the college takes it back". And act equally puzzled that you don't immediately know which report out of the many hundreds of reports lying about the place is the one that they refer to as something along the lines of "you know that list I get once a year with the mailboxes on it?" might be.

And then when you ask when they need it, they answer, "I was hoping to get it this afternoon."

This afternoon. The afternoon of which there are two hours left? That one?

So, because you actually like doing things for people, you promise to look, but ask that they do what they should have done in the first place, put in a helpdesk request. The helpdesk where their request would have had a better chance of being noticed and assigned to someone who is actually on campus if it's so darned urgent. When you find it, you go to see them and they are nowhere to be found, despite "hoping to get it this afternoon". They still haven't put in that helpdesk call that you asked them to put in. And since you're trying to actually prove with real, live statistics that you are, as you have always been, not equipped with enough bodies to handle all of these "hoping to get it this afternoon"s, you end up having to put in the helpdesk call on their behalf as well.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I am occasionally tempted to just keep running some mornings before work.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I Ran With A Plan - Week One

I'm actually training when I have a plan. I still feel sufficiently clueless about training that I just plain love it if I have someone who allegedly knows what they are doing telling me how far to go and how fast and when. Especially when I'm training for anything longer than a 10K. Granted, my ability to pace myself (or rather, to estimate my own speed at any given time) is pathetic, so I practically need a treadmill or a speedometer to hit a pace reliably, but that's a whole other post.

So I downloaded the SmartCoach app for my iPhone. It's from Runner's World, a publication that allegedly knows some stuff about running and has never really struck me as too "out there" when it comes to telling you nonsense like "triple your speed while sitting on the couch!" or similar. Their advice tends to be the far more sensible "Run Your Butt Off! Lose weight by... well, running your butt off..." variety.

The app is pretty simple, in that you plug in a recent race time and distance, goal distance, pick a target training intensity, weekly mileage and training plan length, and the number-crunching pixies in your phone tell you how far to go and how fast and when. 

I wanted to finish up the Dash For Life 5K first and use that as my starting point for the training plan. I was really hoping to best my 5K race PR of 28:31, but it was hot, humid, muggy and so on. When the sun came out, you could quite literally feel the steam coming up off of the damp road, so I opted to not run until I hurled. I still finished in a pretty respectable 29:06, just out of placing in my very competitive age group.

I plugged in 29 minutes even for my 5K time, half-marathon goal distance (obviously), 21 - 25 miles weekly mileage, Very Hard training level, 12 weeks and picked Friday as my long run day. Combining that and a bit of cross-training of my choice, my dream target for the week was as follows:

DateTargetPullupsPlyometric Jump SquatsAvg HR
8/12/20135 mile tempo run, 1 mile warm, 3 @ 10:10, 1 mile cool

8/13/20134 mile easy run, 11:48 pace24 @ 455 sets of 15159

8/15/2013Rest Day

8/16/20138 Mile long run, 11:48 pace

Monday's tempo run  was pretty close, though mile 2 might have been a smidgen slow at 10:30. Tuesday's 4 mile easy run was dead on within a few seconds, because it was on the treadmill. I rowed 4446 meters in about 30:10. Thursday was my day off, and Friday's long run was glorious. The weather was perfect, not too not, not too cold, but I was a bit rushed due to oversleeping. So I shaved about 5 minutes off the recommended pace. Next week should be better and  hopefully, I won't spend as many late afternoons trying to escape the gravitational pull of the office long after I meant to leave.

Also, hopefully next week will produce less "ho-my-goodness plyometric jump squats are making me walk like a cowgirl!" as well. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Shoe Review - Inov-8 Flyroc 310

To satisfy the FTC, I'll say right up front that the reviewer bought her own darned shoes, no one provided them to me for free and I'm not receiving any compensation for this review whatsoever other than the personal satisfaction that someone will have reviewed the women's model. When I was researching them, I found reviews of the women's models pretty thin on the ground. It's my unvarnished opinion, and that's that. That said, if anyone wants to send me free shoes, feel free. I love free shoes. Mostly free running shoes. Free Nike Free running shoes would not be sniffed at. Well, okay, maybe just for the new shoe smell right out of the box...

I did, however, purchase them from Planet Gear. Planet Gear mostly carries fitness gear and apparel, and seems to focus on overstocks and closeouts. I will say that sometimes they have wonderfully reduced prices, other times, not so much. (I once found what I thought was an awesome deal on Inov-8 road shoes, only to find that they could be had about $20 cheaper elsewhere. Several elsewheres, actually. As always, do your comparison shopping and don't just assume they're automatically a fantabulous deal simply because they're well below the MSRP. MSRPs can be ridiculously inflated.)  Planet Gear usually runs overlapping sales that last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks, focusing on 4-6 brands at a time. There can be limited quantities and occasionally, popular sizes sell out quickly. As a runner, I find a lot of their stuff quite tempting, especially the high quality running shoes and fitness apparel. If you miss out on a deal, don't fret too much. Chances are the brand you missed out on will be making a return appearance eventually. Bags and water bottles seem to be frequent featured items. I snagged a Po Campo bike bag there in a cheerful yellow print that has stoutly served as "purse large enough for my iPad on those occasions where I don't want to lug it separately" ever since. If you're eyeballing something $50 or above, click my referral link here to join and get $10 off your order. In the interest of transparency, I also would get $10 in credit to use on a $50 order within the next six months, assuming I buy anything in the next six months. Gotta pinch them pennies for those race entry fees, amirite?

Anyway, I looked these up because I've been quite fond of the Inov-8 Road-X 238, a fairly minimalist/zero drop road shoe with a smooth sole and because I briefly lost my mind and signed up for a local trail half marathon and figured I should get trail shoes for it so I don't die with a broken neck the instant I hit the gravel/packed trail. The road model works well for my foot, which can perhaps best be described as "narrow heel, much broader forefoot, arch you can practically toss a cat under". Another thing I love about the road model is the fact that the soles are not quite as soft and squishy as the Nike Free, but aren't so stiff that you feel as though you're unable to bend your forefoot. That became important as I recovered from an unfortunate bout of turf toe brought on by hill training for my first half, followed by a bout of "I am really, really bad about slipping in the shower and stubbing my almost-well toe". The toe remained somewhat tender and stiff for months, so I tried to go light on the bendy shoes to avoid injuring it again. The generous toe box and forgiving upper on the 238s were also much appreciated while I had that sore toe. They carried me through the hilly road half, The Run The Bluegrass Half Marathon, just fine. I finished that butt-buster in 2:25, if anyone's interested, and it more than earns its title of One Of America's Prettiest Half Marathons.

My first impression out of the box was that the Flyroc 310 was a very nice looking shoe. Good lugs without having a jacked-up sole, but that the toe box looked less generous and the shoe looked smaller.

 Looks can be deceiving, though, and a little side-by-side comparison revealed that the Flyroc is actually slightly longer and the narrower appearance is likely due to the thick, padded bumper at the front of the toe. The thicker sole and lugs of course make them discernibly heavier in the hand than the 238s, but they feel quite light and comfortable on the feet, just like the 238s. The soles are surprisingly flexible, at least as flexible as the 238, and there's easily a thumb's width between the end of my toe and the end of the shoe. I generally sport a size 7 in running shoes (for comparison to other brands you might be familiar with, I've favored Nike Frees and New Balance Minimus quite a bit in my zero/low drop running years), and that seems to translate just fine to the Inov-8s. A 7 (4.5 UK) is plenty roomy without shifting on my foot. I always run with socks, but the inside of the shoe feels very comfortable for you sockless runners. 

I gave the shoes a first whirl on the worst possible surface to test trail shoes. The treadmill. Unfortunately, the weather was stormy that morning, and while I don't mind getting wet in the rain, recovering from being struck by lightning is very near the top of Things I Never Want To Do.  As you would expect, the lugs and thicker, stiffer sole were a little more noticeable on the treadmill, but without being jarring or uncomfortable. There was a surprising amount of give and cushion to the shoe, and it definitely didn't feel like I was wobbling along on monster truck tires, which is a sensation I've actually had with some deep lugs. They really weren't any more noticeable than the New Balance Minimus. I had no blisters or hot spots after a four mile easy recovery run at a very slow pace and I'm fairly sure the way my lower half is currently grumbling a tad is down to the 5 sets of plyometric jump squats I put in following the run, not the run itself. Honestly, if they aren't uncomfortable on the surface of a treadmill, I can't imagine them being uncomfortable on a natural surface with a bit of give. 

I'm really glad to see that the lugs, unlike the super-flexible sipe on the Nike Free, doesn't appear to be at all prone to spreading, grabbing and tenaciously holding gravel. They're open enough to easily shed any nasty, pointy, stabby rocks that might be around the place.

Frankly, I'm rather looking forward to giving these a true test outdoors and off the road, where I'm told these shoes shine. I think they would make a very solid, go-to shoe for the large, loose gravel stretch in the middle of the  Pokey Pig 5K and this trail half, as well as a good "there's snow on the ground" shoe for winter runs, and the quick drying should come in quite handy at that point. The Flyroc 310s definitely get a thumbs up. 

Now, the bad news. The website doesn't list the Flyroc series any more. It seems to be available at a few online sellers, but not widely available. My hunch is that the Flyroc line has been more or less replaced by the Roclite line as the Roclite 315 looks very nearly twinsies with the Flyroc 310, especially the sole/lug design. The Flyrocs may once again come around on Planet Gear, too. Either way, the Inov-8 shoe lineup is definitely well worth checking out if you're into zero drop shoes.

Monday, August 12, 2013


Amnesia. Some crazy, runners-high induced amnesia. It's the only logical explanation for why I've signed up for a second half-marathon this year.

One of the things on my running bucket list has been, for some time, to run a half-marathon. For a year or so, I kind of half-heartedly (hah!) looked for one that didn't involve traveling far enough to stay overnight AND didn't take place on Sunday. And didn't take place in Louisville, because, Louisville traffic during Derby Festival season?


I finally spotted one that met all my personal criteria. Didn't take place on a Sunday, check. No need to feel guilty that I would be running 13.1 miles for no particularly good reason other than "I wanted to" while simultaneously feeling like I really should be teaching Sunday School instead. Took place in Lexington, check. I did the 2013 Run The Bluegrass Half-Marathon on March 30, 2013, Easter weekend. I met my twin goals of 1) finish in less than my corral time, 2:30, despite not being particularly speedy and  2) still be able to walk normally the rest of Easter weekend. The course was gorgeous (and hilly), filled with thoroughbreds (and hilly) and I finished it in 2:25 without my lower half hating me. Unfortunately, the traffic situation was nearly as bad as Louisville near the Derby, as it turned out, because they were doing major construction right in front of Keeneland at the time and had only one lane of traffic and some major fog going on. Thankfully, they delayed the start 15 minutes just to make sure everyone had a chance to make it in on time, but at one point, I thought I was going to have to bail on my dad, who graciously did the driving and photography, as usual, and run the last half mile or so to the gate just to make it to my corral.  

It was awesome and beautiful and uplifting and life-affirming, and I proved to myself I could do 13 miles off the treadmill without actually weeping at the fact that one hill made me crane my head back to see the top, way off in the distance. I did a thing I wasn't sure I could do when I started training. I did a thing that was hard. I did a thing that I had never done before. And I immediately swore I would never do it again, because 16 - 18 weeks of training plan is a lot of time commitment when you run the majority of it as slowly as I do, and Christmas was right in there and so. Much. Planning. I swore it out loud. To people. To multiple people. People who possess the sense of hearing and understand English.

And then maybe 90 minutes after not actually dying on the Really Nasty Uphill Curve Of Mile Nine Where Everyone Walked, I'm informed there's a half-marathon at Shakertown in November. A trail marathon. And it plants a seed. A seed that keeps niggling at me while I cut my mileage back during recovery and focus on just getting my annual 10K under an hour this year. One that kind of hovers back there while I try to get my 5K times a little faster and do a bit of speed training on the 'mill and wonder if I can ever work my way down to an unassisted pull up. The part of me that loves a deal keeps telling me that the cheap registration ends in July.  Only $65! And then the runner's high kicks in and you begin rationalizing. You're running, generally, faster! And you could do a shorter training plan this time! And no Christmas break! And you can train in the late summer/early fall mornings, when it's cool but not too cold to go outside! And it's trails! That's way easier on your body! I know all the things I did wrong last time! I can do it better this training plan!

Then you click the registration button and start having buyer's remorse before the confirmation email even shows up.

Like you do. Incidentally, this nearly universal "What the heck was I thinking? That's barely three months to train! I can't remember how to use my legs all of a sudden!' thing that runners do is surely the reason why nearly all race registrations proclaim in big letters that they are totally non-refundable and possibly non-transferable.

So you don't immediately freak and cancel.

Oh well. At least when I talk myself into impulse-buying a race (if you can call waffling over doing a thing for months "impulse"), it forces me to do healthy things.

I'm shallow. I'm totally in it for the shirt, bragging rights, pasta dinner, probable-post-race-banana and the picturesque views. And maybe a slightly faster finishing time than last go round?