Tuesday, November 30, 2010

November Totals

Taking two months off (basically) was the best thing I could do for myself. I have come back feeling refreshed, reinvigorated, and focused. I have had possibly the best month of training EVER. I did not miss one single workout and I did them all in order except for two. I feeling stronger, look leaner, and am faster than I've been in a long time. November was awesome!

Swimming - 21,800 meters (13 - 1/8 miles)

Biking - 110.68 miles

Running - 60.34 miles

Weight training - 5.75 hours

Total hours - 25 hours 16 minutes

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email: meredith-gordon@insight.rr.com.

My favorite thing as part of a holiday meal is deviled eggs. And I make the best. :) Today I'm going to share my recipe with you.

6 eggs
3 tbls mayonnaise
1 tsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp Worcestershire sauce

I did my recipe with 12 eggs (big family). For this case, I just doubled the recipe.

Begin by putting the eggs in a pot, fill it with water, and bring it to a quick boil. Once it comes to boil, turn the burner off and let the eggs sit there for 20 minutes. At the end of the 20 minutes, remove from heat and immediately chill the eggs under running water. This keeps your eggs yolks from turning green.

Once cooled, peel eggs and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks and mash them with a form until fine and crumbly. (Yes, I have a deviled eggs dish, from Pampered Chef.)

Here's my dog trying to get the yolks....

Once the yolks are finely mashed, add in all the ingredients and blend until smooth.

Fill the white halves with the yolk mixture. Be generous in making the halves slightly rounded. Sprinkle with paprika to finish.

Luckily, we got to enjoy a few of these before my mom accidently dumped them all over the floor. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Foto Friday

No children were harmed in the making of this picture. :)

This is my niece. She put herself in Sloopy's crate.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pilgrim's Progress 4 Miler

This might be the first and possibly the last time I will ever get to do a Thanksgiving race in a pair of shorts, no gloves, and a ball cap. Surprisingly warm for Thanksgiving but we also woke up to POURING rain. I did not want to race in the rain. We ate breakfast, packed up dry clothes for after the race and headed out.

We picked up our timing chips, hit the port-a-johns and then the rain stopped. Sweet! We did a little warm up and then we were ready to go. This was our first time doing the Pilgrim's Progress race having done two of the Thanksgiving races in town. To date, this one ranks high. Ample parking, good swag (more on that in a minute), decent course, and my favorite, a small racing field.

Side note....I had worn a lighter pair of socks because I didn't want to have heavy wet socks during the race. But, during my warm up my shoes kept "eating my socks" and one pair even wound up only around my toes. So, I decided to do what I've never done and what I'll never do again: race without socks.

I mentioned the swag before. Each entrant got a nice race shirt and a pair of socks in their grab bag. Both of mine fit. YES!!! Then for each age group there were awards which were a $75, $50, and $25 gift certificate to the Polaris Mall. I knew it would be hard to get since each age group was ten years instead of five, but I wanted one and I was going to work to get one.

I'm not daring nor fast enough to line up in the front, so I lined up in the second row of people. The gun went off and so did I in what I thought was a conservative but quicker pace. When I hit the first mile in 7:04 I knew it was not conservative. The second mile was also moving but then I got a stitch under my right ribs that was really making breathing difficult. I tried to breathe it out. I slowed down (a smidgen). I put my arms above my head while running. Nothing was making the stitch better. I hit the second mile mark in 7:33. Right after the water stop at mile 2, I pulled to the side and stretched my belly. When I saw a woman go by me who drives me batty with her running style, I knew it was time to take off. I pulled beside her and around her and kept on building the pace. The stitch was not gone, but I was not going to let it ruin my race. Mile 3 was 7:40 (even with the stop). In the last mile I was ready to conquer the people who I was previously running with. I knew who was in my age group and darn it, I wanted a gift certificate. The last part of the race is a little uphill and then goes through the parking lot of the mall with two 180 degree turns in it. Not exactly ideal, but I like a challenge. I'm flying up the hill (that's what I do) and I catch a girl I know I'm competing with. As we come down the hill to make the second 180 degree turn she smokes me. I hate downhills. I try my best to hold on but she gets me in the end. Mile 4 was 7:11.

I didn't get a gift certificate. But neither did the girl in front of me either. I was 17th female overall and, get this, 8th in my age group. Seriously, the thirties are a tough age group to race! In addition to the nice bloody heel I got from running without socks, I got a new PR by a minute: 29:30 (7:22 pace) and a very cool mug. I love races that are innovative and think of race swag beyond a finisher's medal. A mug is so much more useful.

The best part of this, for me anyway, is that I'm still gaining speed. I have been racing now for nine and a half years and have spent the last year on nothing but aerobic pace in swimbikerun. Yet, I've had some very fast races recently. This gives me hope that there's still many more PRs to come.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This is fall back week for my training so that means tests, tests, tests. Doesn't seem right, does it? Today's test: swimming. Dave met me at the gym during his lunch break to time my sets. After a short warm up the test worked like this....10 X 100 with exactly 10 second break. Record each individual time and the total time. This is how it went (oh yeah, I swim in a 25 meter pool):

1 - 1:28
2 - 1:32
3 - 1:33
4 - 1:32
5 - 1:34
6 - 1:36 (this is where I thought, "oh no, I'm losing it!")
7 - 1:34
8 - 1:34 (and this is where I thought, "I'm going to puke!")
9 - 1:34
10 - 1:34

Total time - 17:07

My previous swim test had an average of 1:38 per 100 meters. This swim test kicked that swim test in the junk! My slowest interval was faster than my previous average. This swim test averaged 1:34 per 100 meters. Yeah, 2011 is off to a good start.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Harsh Reality

I knew that ball would drop....

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email: meredith-gordon@insight.rr.com.

Since my grandmother is not in the best health, this will be the first Thanksgiving in recent memory where my grandma has not made the pies. So, Dave decided to take it upon himself to make dessert. Problem is, he's never made a pie. Martha Stewart to the rescue! Last night Dave had a test run with pear and cranberry pie.

Dave made this dessert while I was at the gym, so I had no idea what was going on. The presentation looked great, but I have to admit, I'm not the biggest fan of pie, so I didn't really think I would give it a try. Dave made me, though, and it was good. Now here's Dave's take on the pie...

When we volunteered to make dessert, I wanted to give a shot at doing a homemade recipe. And I didn't want Thanksgiving dinner to be the first try. So, a test run was in order...and the verdict? I win at pie. Seriously, could this have looked better? And it tasted fantastic too. It was just the right blend of sweet from the pears and sugar and tangy from the cranberries. Since Meredith's family aren't big on fruit pies, I'll be re-making the same crust but putting pumpkin in it for Thanksgiving, and Meredith is putting together a chocolate pudding pie.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pinch by Pinch

Last season when I started training I tried to take body measurements every week to see how my body was changing with the training. Things got busy and I didn't continue with the measurements, but I can definitely see and feel in my clothing that my body has changed. This time around, I wanted to do a better job of tracking weight and body fat. For the last couple of weeks we've been sneaking over to my parents' house and using their scale which has body fat as part of it. Each week I watched my weight stay pretty consistent and my body fat go up and up. I started to think that maybe the scale wasn't so accurate. So, I bought this...

Then Dave and I found some online information, mainly, how to use it and how to calculate body fat percentage. Here's the website we used for instructions (you can easily switch to female) and here's the website we used for calculations (again you can easily switch to female).

So what were the results? On the scale this week I came up with 25.4% (don't judge), which is about what I've been averaging the last four weeks. Using the calipers and a 7 pinch test I came up with 22.17%. My friends on Facebook told me it's usually about a 5% difference, so the scale and the calipers are right on. Many, many more weeks to come...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Something's Not Right

A while back I signed up for a triathlon and in the process had to renew my USAT membership for 2011. In the meantime, that race was postponed and my money returned. Soon enough I got my USAT card in the mail along with a second mailing from USA Triathlon. Lo and behold, it was a second membership card, this one expiring in 2012. Just last week I went out and got the mail and there was a third mailing from USAT. Wouldn't you believe it, it was a third membership card, this one expiring in 2013. Now, according to my records I only paid for one of these, but I also haven't checked my credit card statement to see if I'm the one getting screwed. For now, I'm set for YEARS!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email: meredith-gordon@insight.rr.com.

This week's recipe is courtesy of Colleen and is chicken divan:

I bag frozen broccoli cooked
3 chicken breasts cut into small cubes and cooked
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 cup of sour cream (mix with soup)
1 cup shredded 2% mild cheddar cheese (or more!)
fried onion straws (optional)

In a casserole dish, place the broccoli, then the chicken, then the soup and sour cream mixture, then the cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. In the last 5 minutes, top with onion straws.

I was quite excited to get this recipe. Chicken divan was a staple of my childhood diet as it's my dad's favorite meal. However, this recipe was different (very different) and I was excited to try a different chicken divan.

We started by boiling the chicken. Don't know how to do this? Take your chicken breasts put them in water with a bouillon cube (or not), bring to boil, then turn back down to medium heat until cooked. Simple!

After the chicken was done we began to assemble the casserole.

In the meantime, my dog Sloopy figured out how to jump up on the kitchen table all by herself.

Finished product:

Conclusion....this was very yummy. It didn't get as hot in the cooking time as indicated. We had to put each piece we ate in the microwave for a few minutes. That's probably because we didn't thaw the broccoli. My favorite part of this recipe was probably the fried onion straws. It gave it a nice crunch. My mom's is more creamy, almost soupy, so the crunch was an unexpected surprise. We will definitely be making this again and will probably find a recipe for my mom's too so we can compare.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Sometimes I think this blog is a bunch of bull. For six years I've been blogging about superficial stuff that means absolutely nothing and is not an honest reflection of myself. Today will be different.....

Truth be told, I don't like myself very much. Let me rephrase that. I hate myself. I hate myself about 99% of the time. I have pretty much hated myself for as long as I can remember. I'm sure you're reading saying "woah, that girl is depressed" and maybe in a way I am. But really I see it as a series of unfortunate events that have lead me to this place, to this person I've become. These unfortunate events have caused me to be a very cynical and opinionated person. And it's not as easy as 'just letting go'. I am constantly reminded that I've "chosen" to be this person or no matter how many times I try to be someone different, I'm still this person, this monster.

I've had a rough week, couple of months, this past year. The workload and training for 2010 stripped me to the core and revealed my true colors to everyone around me. I knew this person; most people did not. Now I feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle to save face, to try to win back people. I'm fighting with my own inner demons, though, knowing that this is the real Meredith and now people know. I've never felt lonelier. I tell people I nap every day for recovery from my workouts, but in all honesty I do it just to get through the day. Part of the day goes away and I just get one step closer to the next day. The next day has got to be better, right? Yet, it never seems like it.

I often wonder 'why' about a lot of things. Rolling into my second week of training I'm wonder 'why' I am doing all of it again? Do I really have anything to prove? Am I proving it to myself or to the people that I feel I need to prove it to? Do those people even care? And then I think about my business. Why do I put myself out there only to be judged, which I take very personally? Why am I trying to expand my business when it seems I can't get anyone to rally behind me? When is the dam going to break and people will figure me out and turn against me? Seems like it always happens. The question I've asked a lot this year "why don't people like me?" And really I wonder, why am I like this? Why can't I let go? Why?

Don't read more into this. Yes I probably need professional help. Doesn't everyone? No I'm not going to do anything drastic like harm myself or others. I just want a new me. I want to replace the me that's there and finally be happy with me. I just want to be happy with me.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Last week I was watching Jeopardy and I swear Coach's husband was a contestant on it. A quick text message sent and received, and it wasn't. But, a flurry of text messages later I let her know how to test for Jeopardy. Yes I have taken the test to get on Jeopardy. It was hard, I sucked, and I don't know if I'll embarrass myself like that again.

Confession, in college I also applied to get on MTV's "Real World." Oddly enough, I made it to the second round of questions where they called me at 2:00am (I kid you not) and asked me dumb questions like, "would I ever beat someone up who called me a bitch?" Needless to say (and thankfully) I didn't get on that show either.

So it got me thinking...have you ever applied to be on a game or reality show? Have you ever gotten on a game or reality show?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I need your help!

Yes, it's true. I don't know anything about being a triathlete. :) I need your help. I've got two problems this week.
  1. My bike is a mess. I mean, it's sticky, it's dirty, the chain is making noise. I'll admit, I don't know the first thing about cleaning my bike/chain. How do I clean my bike? Do I just use soap and water? What about my chain? Do I have to remove the chain? Do I have to relube (he he!) the chain afterwards?
  2. In an effort to get stronger and be a better swimmer, there seems to be a lot of butterfly popping up on my workout calendar. Although I took TWELVE!!! years of swim lessons, I was never taught how to do butterfly. What I know I've learned on my own. I can make it a good 3-4 strokes before things start to go downhill and I start sinking to do the bottom. I don't know if I don't have a strong enough kick or my lack of flexibility in my shoulders is keeping me from doing the stroke correctly. How many out there can actually do butterfly? What are some tips that can help me? Do you have any good drills to build into a better fly? Do you do butterfly as part of your workouts?
Thanks guys, for your help!

Monday, November 08, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email: meredith-gordon@insight.rr.com.

This week's recipe is courtesy of my coach. It is something we had no idea what it was and took forever to find at the grocery. Today's recipe: Vegetarian Pumpkin Polenta with Spinach and White Beans.

I have a confession. Although I've been the one writing these "Monday's Menus", Dave is the one who does the majority of the cooking. This recipe was all on him and honestly I had no idea what was in the recipe. Maybe I should have paid closer attention because this recipe did not meet my requirements: has to include things I like. See, I don't like pumpkin and I don't really liked cooked vegetables, especially spinach. Nonetheless, I continued to help with dinner.

I worked on the polenta:

Dave worked on the vegetables:

In the end it looked like this:

Honestly, I couldn't do it. I couldn't eat it. To me, it looked like CoCo Wheats covered in a wet salad. It just made me a little nauseous to even think about eating it. But, Dave did eat it and he liked it. Today, you'll get his take on this meal.

Dave, you have the floor....

Well, I agree that the texture and appearance wasn't much like any of our other dishes. When I tasted the polenta by itself, it was a little on the bland side. But I think the spices and cheese in the topping gave a nice contrast between the slightly sweet taste of the polenta and the tanginess of the Romano cheese. So, I thought it was pretty tasty. And I have LOTS of leftovers all to myself. :)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

November 1st Weekly Goals

One thing I'm going to do for accountability reasons is to create weekly goals for myself to help me attain my "big picture" goals. The goals will be written in my notebook and will get gold stars when completed. Yeah, I'm a 12 year old girl. :)

This week's goals were pretty simple, kind of:

1 - Go to bed by 11:00pm every night. You'd think this would be easy because, man, was I tired from the first week's workouts. But, 11:00pm is quite a bit earlier than I normally go to bed and it's hard to teach a old dog new tricks. I did good the first part of the week but fell into old habits by the end of the week. I was still asleep by midnight each night. This one is going to take some work.

2 - Get up to an alarm no later than 7:00am. Same thing as above. I usually don't get up until after 8:00am, so this is just relearning. When I went to bed before 11:00, I easily got up at 7:00. When I didn't, I didn't. This one's hard as Dave doesn't get up this early and I have to remember it's my goals, not his.

3 - No eating after 9:00pm. This goal is inspired by my teammate Sonja and is a challenge because we usually don't eat dinner until after 9:00pm. But surprisingly I did really well at this one. I actually gave myself a gold star for this one even though I did crack one night and have a 2-bite cupcake around 11:00pm. I was STARVING!!!

4 - Eat EVERY meal in. Man this was a struggle as I was CRAVING pizza and Mexican and Wendy's and everything bad for me. Instead I made tacos at home and pizza at home. I feel better both mentally and physically having eaten in all week. Plus, we're saving ourselves mad money by eating in.

5 - Do all workouts. Check and mark. It was important to me to start the season off right. This week was a struggle. I'm not going to lie. In my opinion, it was a big first week back. Sure it was a lot of drills and therefore not a lot of mileage, but those drills put a little more strain on the body than just miles. My body is sore. This goal will stay as a goal for many weeks to come.

It was a good first week back. I'm still feeling positive and excited about all that is to come.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Your Questions Answered

Yesterday I asked you to submit questions for Thursday Thoughts and I would answer them today. Well, I only got a few, but your answers are here!!!

Big Daddy Diesel asked: Why triathlons?
This seems to be the million dollar question that I'm not sure I have an answer for yet. I started marathoning because it seemed like the thing to do. I grew up watching marathons as my dad has run, like, 25, and when I graduated college I signed up for one. Over the last 9+ years I've run 13 marathons, including 4 Bostons, and PRed in 2009 at Boston with a 3:29. So with that success, why pause and move into triathlons? Well, I've become a little disenchanted with marathoning. Not that it was easy, but I felt like I had accomplished what I wanted. I had qualified and run Boston and run it well. My goal for years was to break 3:30 and I did. Honestly, I only have a few goals left to accomplish in marathoning: breaking my dad's PR of 3:21 and qualify for NYC marathon (with a 1:37 half marathon or 3:23 marathon), although I have no plans on running New York.

I know, I haven't answered the question. For years in between my marathons I dabbled in triathlons. I did sprints off and on and even did two half Ironmans training on my own. Honestly, I did not like triathlons. I would go to the races and people would be warming up on trainers and wearing fancy gear. I thought everyone was snobs. And I struggled to understand why I could be okay at swimming (I've been swimming my entire life) and obviously decent at running (I often posted the fastest run splits at many of the triathlons), but I would get my ass handed to me in the bike and therefore, I would have terrible overall results. So every year I would give up and just go back to what I was good at: running. But after my 3:29 at Boston in 2009, I thought it was time to tackle my biggest life goal: finish an Ironman. Coach had been encouraging me to reach for my goals and she knew I could do an Ironman and do it well. I signed up and decided to put running aside for a year and concentrate on triathlon. And here we are a year later having not finished the job and looking toward another year of triathlon.

Velma asked two questions: (1) DId you apply for the Trakkers team again? (2) Are you working with a coach again or are you going solo?
Yes, I will be a member of Team Trakkers again in 2011. Team Trakkers is awesome and I'm so glad I got to be a part of it in 2010 and I'm looking forward to representing the Green Machine again in 2011. As for working with a coach, absolutely! Coach has transformed me into the athlete I've always wanted to me. She's taught me to believe in the abilities I have and reach for the stars. I don't think I would have reached the goals I have without her.

Jeff asked about a million questions. Question 1: For you, which smells illicit the strongest response?
Interesting question. I'd have to say that a lot of smells don't bother me. Gross trash. Okay. Dead animals. Okay. Skunks. Okay. Remember, I grew up in the sticks so those were daily smells. :) Personally, I love the smell of a swimming pool and bleach. Those are my favorite smells. As for the strongest response....I had a boyfriend in high school who wore a lot of cologne and to this day if someone is wearing that cologne it always makes me think of him. Not in a "ahhh, high school love" way, just "huh, that smells like so-and-so."

Question 2: What has been your biggest hurdle with the VIP Photo Booths and how did you overcome it?
This sounds like an interview question. :) When I started working as an engineer it because clear very quickly that I could either become a career engineer and do the same things forever or go into management. I had absolutely no desire to go into management. When Dave and I started the business we had planned on just having one photo booth and working it ourselves. After working our first bridal show just four months after starting the business we quickly discovered we were going to need two photo booths STAT and that we would need some help. Just nine months after our first paying job in August of 2008, we had two photo booths and two other employees. Now 2-1/2 years into the business we still have two photo booths, four employees, and we're hoping to expand in 2011. So, what's the challenge? I had no idea how hard it would be to grow the business as quickly as we have. Honestly, we were going to give it a few months and then reevaluate and decided if I would be going back to work. And during the first 2+ years I also held down a part time job. This year, 2010, we just exploded. We set our goals very high and exceeded all of them. We went from scheduling the booth around our employees' schedules to scheduling the booth every opportunity we could. Having hired people I knew from my "inner circle" it's been difficult to separate friend/family from employer. It's often created tension and conflict when there should have been none. Dave and I have worked very hard to come up with creative solutions to keep our employees interested and fulfilled. So far, I still have them all and really appreciate what they do for us. Hopefully 2011 will continue to be amazing for the business.

Question 3: As a couple with both parties training for long endurance events, how has that affected your 'sexy time' and how do you overcome the scheduling/fatigue?
Since I know that both our families read this blog I really debated if I wanted to answer this question. But Dave and I talked about it together and decided to answer it. When training for Ironman you are always tired and hungry. And you can never get enough of either sleep or food. I was probably sleeping 12+ hours each day and eating upwards of 3000-5000 calories a day. Seriously. I had the luxury of being at home every day so activities always took place before Dave got home from work. But Dave, not being a morning person, did all his training after work so dinners were always after 9:00pm and sometimes after 10:00pm and most nights he would fall asleep on the couch while we were watching TV. Honestly, if I did not wake him up to go to bed most night, I think he would have spent more nights sleeping on the couch than in the bed. So did it affect our "sexy time" as Jeff put it? Most definitely. Don't be propositioning me at 11:00pm when I have to get up in the morning and do yet another three hour workout! I mean seriously, aren't you tired? :) BUT, our relationship goes a lot deeper than "sexy time." Dave and I built our relationship on years of friendship before we ever went on a date. And that has continued as we dated, married, and years later we are still great friends. Two years ago when Dave trained for Ironman and I didn't our relationship began to unravel. We fought A LOT. It was a lot of time apart and when we were together, Dave was too tired to be present. But last year we spent a lot of time together training and our relationship did much better than the previous year. So we may not have had as much "sexy time," but we did have a lot of "Dave and Meredith" time and it was a lot of fun. Time will tell how this year (2011) will go as Dave will not be doing an Ironman.

If you have a question you'd like answered, feel free to leave a comment on yesterday's Thursday Thoughts or leave a comment here and I'll add the question and answer on to this blog post.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

I have been doing "Thursday Thoughts" for years and I'm starting to struggle to come up with questions to ask. Since there are so many new readers as of recent, I'm going to let you guys ask the questions today. Feel free to leave a comment and ask me a question, any question. I do reserve the right to answer discreetly. Remember, I am a business owner and don't want to say or do anything to jeopardize my business.

I'll answer the questions tomorrow so make sure you submit your questions TODAY.

Ask away!!!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Monday's Menu

Each week, I will feature a recipe on Monday that Dave and I cooked the previous week. If you'd like to contribute a recipe, please leave a comment below or send it to me via email: meredith-gordon@insight.rr.com.

This week's recipe is courtesy of Julia.

California Quiche

8 Eggs beaten
1 Cup grated Swiss cheese ( not lowfat)
2 C grated Zuchhini
1 small onion diced finely
1 Tbs Oregano
salt to taste

Beat the eggs( I do it by hand) saute the onion and the zuch until soft, not too well done unless you want them mushy in the quiche. Add the veggies to the quiche, add the oregano and salt to taste.
Stir in the cheese.
Put in a casserole ( covered) at 350 for about 45 minutes.
Keep an eye on it and towards the end take the top off to brown it.

The only thing we changed in the recipe was the swiss cheese. I don't like swiss cheese so we changed it to monterey jack. Here's some pictures of ALL the eggs and the sauteing vegetables.

Here's what the assembled product looks like:

Our finished product was served with biscuits and a salad:

Overall this recipe was not bad. I think Dave liked it more than me. I would have liked it with less onion. Personally, I like my quiche with some sort of meat in it and with a crust. I guess that makes it a soufflé. :) Next time we make this we might make a few changes. Thanks Julia for the recipe!!!