Category Archives: NYRR

Run As One Race Recap: Awesome PR!

Week 14 of training went okay. I was supposed to run 34 miles this week and I managed 32.66. I ended up running more of my runs later in the week (Friday and Saturday) than I originally wanted. I like to give me legs a little bit of rest before I actually “race” a race on the weekend.

And that was my plan for today. I was going to push really hard in this race and see what happened. I always get a little more nervous when I know I’m actually racing a race and not just working it into my long run as a training run.

I left the house around 7:45 this morning and logged a few miles before the race. I was aiming for four miles before the race, but ended up only getting in 3.25. Then I headed into my corral because things were getting pretty busy.

Run As One – 4 Miles
It was a brisk morning – 48 degrees for the start of the race. I wasn’t sure what to wear, so I went with capris and a short sleeve shirt. It was the perfect combination. It seemed like a lot of people were in the race, although NYRR doesn’t have the number of finishing runners posted yet.

I listened to the starting announcements and was again surprised by what I already knew – lung cancer (which this race was run to raise money and awareness for) kills more people in the United States than any other type of cancer. And approximately 50% of the people who get lung cancer do NOT smoke. I actually know someone from college who was diagnosed with lung cancer and she is one of the healthiest people I know. She beat it, but catching it early is SO important. So I was very happy to support and run this race.

Source

So back to the race. I was in the green corral, so a little far back, and that worried me about trying to race this race hard. The start is always so crowded if you’re not right up front. But so be it. And the race began.

I managed to get moving pretty quickly right from the start and tried to stay toward the inside as much as possible. In my head, I was really hoping for a sub 7:30 overall pace. The first mile went by quickly even though we were going up Cat Hill. I ran it in 7:29. A little too close for comfort…

So then I really started to pick it up during mile 2. Things started to clear out a bit and I pushed my speed pretty much to the max. As I reached the second mile marker, I was shocked to see my time was 7:01!! Holy fast.

So that was kind of amazing, but then I got really scared that I pushed too far and was going to lose steam. For mile 3, I knew that the rolling hills were coming and my goal was just to try to maintain a pace under 7:30. I tried to tackle the hills hard, but as always, they were rough. As I passed mile 3, my split was 7:18.

The final mile is here – time to push. I pushed hard. I love this last mile of the course. It is almost entirely downhill and you can really watch your speed increase. My mile 4 beeped before I hit the finish and it showed my pace was 6:59. So the last few seconds, I just pushed super hard. Here are my splits:

My official NYRR time on the site is: 29:07!! Average pace was 7:17!!! Woohooo – that is SUCH a major personal record. My previous best was 30:35 with a 7:38 best average pace. I am pumped!!

And as I was walking through the finish area, an older gentleman next to me wearing a team singlet congratulated me on my hard finish. He said I “flew right by him” at the end. Who knows, maybe I even had more to give?! Although, all day today after that race, I’ve felt pretty pooped, so I’m not so sure.

It was a great race and I’m happy to finally crush that PR that has been lingering around for sooo long. Also, this is my last race before our marathon on May 27. I am feeling pretty ready!

Happy Sunday!

 

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Easter Dinner Success!

Living in NYC and away from our family can be tough sometimes when it comes to planning for holidays. We understandably can’t make it home for every holiday. We try to go upstate as much as possible, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. When Hubby and I started signing up for 2012 NYRR races this year, we completely forgot to check what weekend Easter was going to on. So, we signed up for the Scotland run and didn’t realize it was on Easter weekend until a few weeks before it. We decided that maybe this year we would spend Easter weekend in NYC. Sometimes it’s also nice not to have travel on a holiday weekend with all the masses and crazy drivers.

This meant that the domestic and traditional side of me decided I needed to plan a nice holiday dinner. Yes, it was only the two of us. Yes, there was no particular need to go all out. But my inner Betty Crocker had some plans of her own.

After church and some spring cleaning on Sunday, I set to work to make a respectable Easter dinner. I decided earlier in the week to make ham – note that I’d never made it before. If you’ve made ham then clearly you know this was the easiest part of my meal. I don’t know what I was expecting or why I had built up in my head that this was going to be an undertaking, but it was not. I bought a ham at the store, took the plastic wrapping off, added 1/2 cup of water to a pan, put the ham on the pan, covered it with foil, and cooked it in the oven for an hour. Boom – ham done. Simple as that. I even bought a pre-cut ham, which made the whole process even easier.  

Next up on my list was scalloped potatoes. This was kind of a process. I would say my prep time took about 30 minutes for all the slicing and dicing of the potatoes and onions. Here is the recipe:

Au Gratin Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 4 russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 onion, sliced into rings
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups almond milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.
Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.  Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.

The end result? A total success! This recipe made a LOT of potatoes. We’ve pretty much been eating them all week. Along with the potatoes, I baked some asparagus. I placed the asparagus in glass pan, covered it with butter, parmesan cheese, garlic powder and onion powder, then put some foil over the pan and popped it in the over for about 30 mins. And here’s my plate:

I also threw together a tossed salad for us and enjoyed some wine. And we even used our diningroom and ate at a proper table. I know that probably sounds weird to a lot of people, but I feel like most NYCers will get it. I think that a lot of city people, with small spaces, tend to eat in their livingroom areas for the most part. A lot of NYC apts don’t even have a diningroom. And although we have one, we RARELY use it and I don’t really know why. I mean, it looks really nice and inviting, right….

So we had a very proper Easter dinner in the diningroom and everything. How fancy. And lastly we had some delicious oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for dessert.

How was your Easter? Did you travel to visit family? Stay at home? Host a dinner?

And now we’re into the next week already, which is Week 12 of marathon training. This is a cut back week for me and I’m really liking it so far. I ran 6 miles on Monday night and then managed to drag myself out of bed on Tuesday morning for a quick 4 miles. I’m hoping the rainy drizzle will end by later today so I can squeeze in 7 miles after work.

It’s so strange for me to think that last year at this time I was getting ready for the Boston Marathon. It does NOT feel like it was a full year ago. What an amazing race. Of course, with the new, ridiculously hard standards, I’ll never make it back there again. So I will just relish the memories!

Who out there is running the Boston Marathon this year? Good luck to all you runners!!

Week 11, 20 Mile Run, Scotland Run and Veggie Casserole

Wow – that might be my longest, most boring title ever. But it’s a pretty accurate depiction of my past few weeks.  There’s been a lot going on over the past two weeks and I’m going to try to cram it all in this post. Hubby and I just finished up week 11 of marathon training and it was a tough one.  Here is a snapshot of the planned week vs. the actual week for running (err slightly different):

 

So I ended up hitting 40 miles, but it was NOT exactly the way I had planned it. The top white row is what I actually ran: 4 miles on Monday, 8 on Tuesday, 5 on Thursday, 3 on Friday and 20 on Saturday. But that was not at all how I planned the week out. Oh well – in my mind all that matters is the total weekly mileage and the long run. 

Speaking of Saturday’s 20 mile run…

Scotland Run & 20 Miler

I headed over to Central Park for the Scotland Run (10k) a little bit earlier than normal so I could squeeze in about 4 miles before the start of the race. Then I found my corral and a few seconds later Bill found me and we started the race together. There were more than 11,000 people signed up for the race, but I think only about 7,500 finished the race. Either way – it was a lot of people which equaled a lot of weaving around. Awesome.

My first mile was understandably tough because of the amount of people around me. I ran it in about 7:53. I tried to pick it up on mile two and managed to push it a little bit despite the rolling hills, running mile 1-2 around 7:25.  I ran mile 2-3 in 7:19. Mile 3-4 was especially tough because of Harlem Hill. It was a rough climb up that hill and my legs were feeling pretty tired after my somewhat high-mileage past weeks. Finally reaching the top of that hill felt amazing. Then miles 4-5 and 5-6 were just okay. My overall splits were:

After I finished and found Bill, we stuck around for the raffle drawing. I don’t normally do this when I have to run more mileage, but last weekend when we stuck around after the Colon Cancer Challenge, we won theater tickets! Nice. Unfortunately, this week the crowd was much bigger and we didn’t win a darn thing. After that, we dragged ourselves back onto the Central Park outer loop to run 10 more miles. Ohh yeah – it does sound like fun doesn’t it? And…it…was…tough. Taking that long break did not help and the last 10 miles of my 20 mile run were pretty painful. I made the mistake of eating too much post-race food and had a stomach ache pretty much the whole time. All in all, it was kind of a grueling 20 mile run, but at the same, a pretty good race. I actually ran a personal best 10k time – the official NYRR time was: 47:40.

So that was yesterday and Hubby and I spent the rest of the day recovering. He ran 18 miles in total and had a high mileage week as well. And now today is Easter and I am in full on Easter dinner mode. I am making my first official Easter dinner at home and I feel super grown up. But that will be my next post.

For now, I will leave you with a delicious recipe that I made last Sunday – a veggie casserole that supplied me with lots of lunch leftovers.

Veggie Casserole

It was modified from this recipe: Zucchini Herb Casserole
http://allrecipes.com/recipe/zucchini-herb-casserole/detail.aspx
Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked brown rice
  •  1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cubed
  • 1/2 cup of green peppers
  • 1/2 cup of mushrooms
  • 1 cup sliced green onions
  •  2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded, chopped or canned tomatoes
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Directions
Combine the rice and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, until rice is tender.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a shallow 1 1/2 quart casserole dish.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the zucchini, green onions, and garlic 5 minutes, or until tender. Season with garlic salt, basil, paprika, and oregano. Mix in the cooked rice, tomatoes, and 1 cup cheese. Continue to cook and stir until heated through. Transfer to the prepared casserole dish. Top with remaining cheese.

Bake uncovered 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

——

If you are looking for an easy, filling meal to help fuel your training, you should definitely give this one a shot. And that’s all for week 11 of marathon training. I can’t believe I’m already at my 20 milers. I have a scale back week this week which means a lovely easy 12 mile run next weekend, which I am VERY much looking forward to. And then it’s on to the next 20 miler. 🙂

What about you – are you a fan of marathon training plans that scale back in mileage every few weeks? I follow Hal Higdon’s plans and love that he gives those little breaks. I find my body always needs it.

My First Fifth Avenue Mile – Race Recap

I’ve never been a sprinter, never had much speed, never liked the pressure. And as I toed the line of the Fifth Avenue Mile start today (okay, well quite a ways back from the line really), these thoughts circled through my head and I asked myself again why I decided to sign up for this race.

Specifically, I really hate the pre-fast-race-feeling. You know it. It screams that you need to bolt out of the gate and push your hardest because this race is too short not to. Oh the pressure. And I knew I wasn’t alone in feeling this as I eavesdropped on other conversations where girls talked about nerves and tightness in their legs. It leaves me asking the same question I did in high school: Who the heck wants to be a sprinter?! Not this girl!

But I tried to push those thoughts aside as I readied myself for the race ahead of me. And then it was go time. There was a slight pause at the start and it took a few seconds to get “out of the gate” but then the crowds pretty much dispersed. This was probably because I’m so OCD that I showed up to the start super early and was pretty close to the front. So all the speedy ladies around me took off.

To be fair, I wasn’t holding anyone back. I got going at a pretty good clip right from the start. I propelled myself forward by some unknown force and told myself it wouldn’t be so bad. And the first few hundred feet weren’t!

And then I think just before the half mile point my body realized how fast I was asking it to go and abruptly went into revolt. I glanced at my watch to see a 6:20 pace!! Holy crap.

Just keep going I told myself. Thankfully, there was a slight decline that helped a little. But then it was back to pain. I actually think I started to get dizzy at one point. And then I felt like I was going to pee my pants. This people, is why I’m not a sprinter.

But I didn’t pee or faint. I pressed on and finally saw the end ahead of me. I’d like to tell you that my pain faded away and I was able to really kick it in at the end.

Not so. I finished and it wasn’t pretty. My watch tells me I ran that one atrocious mile in 6:28. Fine by me. I was shooting for 7 minutes and I didn’t pee myself. All in all, I’ll call it a good race.

What about you – are you a sprinter or more of a long-run, endurance runner?

Now it’s decision time. I signed up a LONG time ago for the 18 mile tune-up tomorrow. Dare I do it? My last long run was 15 miles…3 weeks ago. It would be nice to run a long run tomorrow with water stops along the way. I could always drop out at any time – it’s not really a race…

Mmm – did I just talk myself into it?

More/Fitness Half Marathon: This Race Deserves a Recap!

Hello all! How is everyone out there? Are you loving these two days of fabulous spring weather we’ve had (well at least in NYC anyway)?

I haven’t posted in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. I’ve been logging the miles and completed two 20+ runs in preparation for the Boston Marathon a mere 15 days away. As I mentioned, the first 20 miler did not go as planned, and although we finished it, I felt like it wasn’t a great run.

My running cohort must have felt the same because about a week later she asked me if we could bump our last long run from 20 miles to 22 miles. As I’m convinced that anyone who runs marathons (myself included) has some slight masochistic tendencies to begin with, I was completely onboard with this idea although I was fully aware of the pain threshold involved.

All I will say about our 22 miler was that it felt amazing to be DONE with it. I enter different stages of pain during long runs like this and my running buddy (Lauren) has learned to ignore when “kind of mean Lindsey” arrives for a bit or “not likely to converse Lindsey” muscles her way in. But for the most, “pleasantly in pain Lindsey” was in attendance for this one. I did have one moment around mile 20 where I was tempted to throw out the idea that we just stop right there and call it a day, but I held my tongue and gutted it out. And it was all worth it in the end! I felt fantastic after we finished and didn’t even experience much residual pain.

Which brings me to what this post is really all about:

More/Fitness Magazine Half Marathon Recap
Let me just take a moment to remember this race last year. How would I describe it? One word: SOAKED!! This race happened later in the month last year and happened on one of the worst days of the spring. I finished this race and was soaked through and through.

So I was extremely pleased to see that the weather this year called for nothing but sun and cool temps. Lovely. I will admit that I did not get enough sleep the night before. Hubby and I got 127 Days on Netflix, but didn’t actually start the movie until after 10 p.m. So I didn’t get to sleep until probably 12 -12:30 a.m. Not a good way to prep or start.

But I kept things status quo in the morning and followed my usual routine. I headed out the door at 7:25. This year, when I saw that my bib number placed me in the very first corral, I walked right in, head held high. Last year I placed myself one corral back. Starting in the first corral was pretty darn cool. Mary Whittenberg actually started the race right behind me (and quickly passed me). I also passed Elizabeth Hasselbeck within the first two miles – that felt good.

Basically, this whole race felt good for me. I checked my Garmin during the first mile and was shocked to see 7:39 as my pace. I knew I needed to slow it down and I swear that I kept trying, but I also just felt good.

So I scaled back a bit, but would catch myself speeding back up. Finally I decided to just stop looking at my Garmin altogether. If it felt right, that would be the pace I would run. The first loop around went pretty fast.

Mile 1 – 7:39
Mile 2 – 7:45
Mile 3 – 7:31
Mile 4 – 7:58
Mile 5 – 8:04
Mile 6 – 7:44

The second loop began and I felt like I was slowing a bit. Cat hill was particularly rough, but then I felt a little bit better from there. And once I reached the very north portion and hit the 9 mile mark, I knew that I was way ahead of my pace for previous races.

Mile 7 – 7:47
Mile 8 – 7:56
Mile 9 – 7:48

After passing mile 9 it was up the HUGE hill for the second time and it was tough! By this point, we had caught up to the walkers who were on their first lap and this made things a little confusing. The walkers (and let me say that I fully support walkers in races and think it’s wonderful that they are out there) took up a MAJOR part of the course. The typical “stay close to the inside” rule that runners try to follow does not seem to apply to walkers. They were meandering all over the place and forget about trying to get to water stations while they are there. Thankfully, I had taken water at mile 6 and 8, so I felt okay, but I watched as other runners tried to work their way to the water stations unsuccessfully as the walkers crowded the area.

As I reached Mile 12, I was so happy to see that some of the volunteers had taken water and gone to the outside lane to try to help the runners who couldn’t make it inside because of the walkers. I gladly grabbed a water and continued on to finish things up.

The last mile stretched on and probably because I had run so much extra mileage as the runners were pushed to the outside because of the walkers. I pushed as hard as possible for the last few miles.

10 – 7:57
11 – 8:05
12 – 7:44
13 – 7:34
.28 – 1:57

Total – 13.28 miles in 1:43:34. According to Garmin, my average pace was 7:47 minute miles!

And I finished and actually felt good. I was smiling, thanking people, accepted my medal, ate and drank, and then headed home. It was an awesome race and a new PR for me. I ran it last year in 1:46:00.

The bad news was that I came home to find a gigantic blister on my toe. I could feel it growing as I was running, but it was a complete mess. I actually think there is a blister on top of a blister. Yuck. I know. My poor baby toe looks atrocious.

So any advice on blisters out there? I plan to make a trip to Jack Rabbit this week to get some no-blister socks and mole skin. I already have Glide, which I will be applying next run. Anything else?

That’s all folks! I promise I’m going to try to post a bit more between now and Boston to capture some of the tips I’ve learned about prepping for Boston, as well as to catalogue my travels to Boston and experiences in the city. 15 Days!!

NYRR Manhattan Half Marathon Recap

Let me start by describing this race in one word: freezing! When I woke up at 6:15 this morning and checked the weather, I knew it was going to be a tough race. The temperature was hovering around 14 degrees and it was only supposed to climb to about 17 degrees by the end of the race.

While this sounds absolutely ridiculous to most people, I had run 12 miles in less the 5 degrees the weekend before, so I knew that a) it was not impossible to run in 15 degrees and b) it wouldn’t be too painful if I dressed appropriately.

Running attire for the race: my Sugoi arctic tights (these thing are freaking fantastic and I highly recommend them to any and all winter runners), compression socks (first time wearing them), Nike base layer, Under Armour long-sleeved shirt and then another long-sleeved zip-up over top, gloves, a hat and a neck warmer. Again – can not stress what a major help the neck warmer is. I pinned it to my hat again and it covered my face and mouth for the majority of the race.

I left the apartment around 7:30 and got to my corral just as they were shutting them up. I hopped in the back and jumped around a bit, waiting for the start.

Finally the race began and I started out at about an 8:27 pace. I started to pick things up in the next two miles and then, true to form, I went up and down in pace throughout the race. Those rolling hills in the park really mess with my pace.

I had a few tough spots during the race. Around mile 5-6, I felt a little dejected by the amount of miles I  had left and my legs felt heavy. After passing the mile 6 marker I had a burst of energy that carried me for a bit. But, by the time I hit around mile 9 at the very north part of the loop and I knew that the huge north hill was coming my way, I experienced some major fatigue. I made it up the hill, but watched as almost everyone passed me. It was kind of disheartening.

After making it up the last major hill, I gained a little momentum back. However then miles 10-12 happened and it hurt. I slowed down quite a bit. As I was reaching the 12 mile mark I started to pick it up again and was able to run the last mile faster than the previous few.

I finished and looked down to see icicles/frost/snow on the tips of my gloves, as well as some tiny icicles on my eyelashes. I grabbed two gatorades and then ran a cool-down home. It was FREEZING! Once my pace slowed and I was jogging, I felt the cold chilling me to the bone.

My official time was 1:49:12 (my time last year was 1:49:17). Here are my splits:

I got home, stretched a little, rolled out my legs, hopped in the shower and then headed to Yorkville Creperie for some well-deserved crepes with Kelly.

We recapped our respective races and tried to warm up over some delicious crepes and coffee. I had the country crepe with banana, strawberry and nutella. It was delicious and I ate it in about 15 seconds.

And now I plan to watch Easy A and relax for the rest of the night.

How has your weekend been? Did you brave the cold for a run?

Running, Racing and Baking!

Hello all. It’s been a few days since I last checked in. So here’s a brief recap of my week:

Things started off reasonably calm on Monday at work and then proceeded to progress to crazy and hectic by Friday. I had dinner with some girl friends on Wednesday night at Galway Hooker. I thought the space was really warm and friendly, unfortunately the waitress not so much. She was kind of cold and seemed like she really didn’t care about whether we were happy or not, and didn’t really want to be there. The food was also just meh – nothing to write home about. I turned a salad into a wrap and it was just okay. They were also changing all the beers out, so my craving for a Blue Moon went unmet. I had wine instead.

On Thursday night, I headed to O’Hara’s for a goodbye happy hour for my supervisor. Her last day is next week, hence some of the recent hectic days and higher levels of stress. This bar did have Blue Moon available, so I fulfilled my craving a day late. However, after having three Blue Moons without any dinner, it was definitely time for this lightweight to head home. Thankfully Hubby met me out and drove my tipsy butt home.

Finally, on Friday Hubby and I headed to Wicker Park, a local bar in our neighborhood for a 1-hour free happy hour. My friend who lives upstate had won the happy hour a few weeks ago when he was in town and wasn’t going to be around to take advantage of it, so he passed it on to me (thanks Neil!). So we met up with a few friends for some free drinks and made it back home around midnight.

On Saturday, I picked up my race packet, cleaned the apartment, watched the news about Tuscon, made dinner and made cookies (more on those below).

Running Week in Review
I’ve also been pretty successful with running this week, despite all the craziness. On Monday and Tuesday,  I hit the gym for a quick 4 mile run each day on the treadmill. On Wednesday morning I ran another 4 miles along the city streets (which stunk, literally, because of all the huge piles of garbage), on then on Thursday morning I ran 6 miles pre-dawn with Kelly and Megan. I was supposed to run my long run on Saturday, but because of the snow forecasted, NYRR changed the race from Saturday to Sunday.

Race Recap: Fred Lebow Class – 5 Miler
On Sunday morning I woke up around 6 a.m. and began my prep process. While the race was going to be 5 miles, I wanted to run a total of 11 miles for the day, to stick with my training plan. So I headed out around 7:15 to get a few miles in beforehand as a warm up. I got in about 3.5 miles, met up with Kelly, and we headed into our corral. It was COLD. Once we stopped running, all my warm-up quickly slipped away. We jumped around to try to stay warm and then finally we started.

Kelly and I managed to stay near each other for a few minutes, but then the crowds engulfed us and we were split up. My legs felt a bit heavy throughout the race, but especially between mile 2-3. It seemed to take forever. At one point, I also could not manage to get away from a man who was grunting and snorting like an angry dog. It was sort of distracting.

I don’t really have my splits because I left my Garmin running during my warm up miles and the race, so things were a little off. Mile 3 felt slower than normal and mile 4 was rough. However, then all of sudden we were almost done! So  I tried to kick it in harder and power through the finish. According to NYRR’s results page, I ran it in 38:49, which is a 7:45 minute mile average pace. I just can’t seem to get below a 7:41 average pace!

How have you increased your speed? Or what do you tell yourself during a run to make yourself push harder?

After the finish, I caught up with Kelly again and we ran a few additional miles. My total mileage for the day was 11.16 miles. Total weekly mileage was: 29.29 miles. Hit my target again!

Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
Rewind just a bit…on Saturday night, while Hubby watched the Jets, I decided to make some oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. I used this recipe, but  substituted white flour for wheat flour.

They were very chewy and yummy. I actually almost ate one as pre-race fuel, but waited until after the race. 🙂

How was your weekend?! Do you run outside during the winter or do you stick to the treadmill?

Hope you had a great one!!