Training Log – 03.18.18

Well hello, hello and happy Monday!


I didn’t do much on the workout front last week. This is partly because I am racing every weekend and recovering during the week, but also partly because I just really haven’t felt like following a training plan. My training plan has workouts every Tuesday and Thursday, but I just can’t get motivated to actually do what the plan says. This is fine. I basically work hard and follow a plan 10 or 11 months out of the year, but during the time frame between March 1st and the end of tax season, I am really just running for stress relief. It’s easy for me to get overwhelmed this time of year and I don’t want running to be an additional source of stress (I want it to be an outlet for stress). If the training plan feels overwhelming, I just don’t follow it. Easy enough.

Here is what my training looked like the week of 03.12.18 – 03.18.18:

Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:11 pace)

Tuesday – Quality (Threshold): 8 miles (7:47 pace)

Tuesday’s workout was supposed to be 4 X 1200 w/ 400 recovery, but after last weekend’s back to back races, I wasn’t ready to do any fast repeats. I still went to the track with the Daniels, but I just did my own thing while they did some faster stuff. I did a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at some form of tempo pace (6:36, 6:35, 6:29) and a 3 mile cool down.

Wednesday AM – Easy: 10 miles (8:33 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:12 pace)

Thursday AM – Easy: 3 miles (8:54 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (8:34 pace)

Thursday’s workout was supposed to be 2 X 2 miles at threshold pace. The idea of this one wasn’t super stressful in and of itself, but I think I was just tired. I hit snooze several times and once push came to shove, I only had time for 3 miles before work. I told myself that I could still try the workout after work if I felt like it … (insert rolling on the floor laughing emoji here). The idea of doing a workout after work is basically laughable at this point, although I must say, the time change does make evening runs quite more enjoyable!

Friday – Easy: 5 miles (8:39 pace)

Saturday – RACE: 10.5 miles (7:23 pace)

Sunday – Easy: 12.25 miles (8:37 pace)

Total – 66.7 miles

That’s it for now. Have a wonderful week!

Race Recap: Spring Fever Chase 10K

Howdy friends and random internet strangers! I’ve got race recap three out of four for the month to share with you today. Next up is Azalea Trail!

Today I ran my 11th Spring Fever Chase 10K! It’s one of my favorite races of the year, if not my most favorite. Here is a conglomeration of race photos over the years …

We got to Fairhope around 7 a.m. for an 8 a.m. race start. Daniel picked our bibs up yesterday, so that we didn’t have to worry about that today. We met Jessica downtown and ran just over two miles before making our way to the start line. I was ready to do this thing!

Last year I ran the race without a watch and while that turned out to be a great decision, I decided to wear my watch this year … but, I didn’t look at it one. single. time. during the race. I don’t know how I had the self-restraint to do this, but somehow I did. The only time during the entire race that I saw a time was on the clock at mile 3 (the other mile markers don’t have clocks).

Like most races, the start of this race is typically a little chaotic because so many people run too fast for the first half-mile or so. They really made a point that if you weren’t running under 7:00 pace, then you didn’t need to be on the front row. I feel like they have said this before, but it seemed like more people actually listened this year. Several young kids still managed to pass everyone in the first tenth of a mile. Several of them were excitedly talking about how they were running “sub-7” (which I thought was adorable) and for that first quarter-mile, they certainly were.

We had a good bit of rain yesterday and the first turn (about a half-mile into the race) was underwater. Thankfully, we had run that little stretch during our warm up and knew which side of the street (err well, the grass) would be the best path. I dodged the puddle and avoided getting my shoes muddy, which was nice. I caught up to Daniel around mile one. His training has been going really well, but he hasn’t been feeling good the last few days. I knew that he was likely struggling if I was catching him and I was bummed for him. He loves this race as well and wouldn’t have run if it had been any other race.


Ponytail game #onpoint

My mom and dad came to the race to cheer for us and they were just past the one mile mark. Per usual, my dad yelled, “GO KID!” as I ran by. He has always called me Kid and I hope that never changes. They’ve definitely been my biggest fans over the years and I always get a boost from seeing and hearing them on the course. We also had several friends that didn’t race today that came out to cheer as well, which was much appreciated. Having people out along the course cheering for you is the best!

I caught several runners during the second mile. Miles two through four have some rolling hills and since I don’t typically run well on hills, I always plan to conserve on the uphill portions and not expend any unnecessary energy. The hills are also part of the reason that I chose not to look at my watch during the race. I have a bad habit of looking down at my watch if I feel like my pace is fading. For some reason I need an external source to either confirm or deny my feelings (but that’s likely a discussion for another time and place :)).

The third mile is the hilliest of the race and you crest the biggest hill right as you pass the mile three marker. My time was 19:15, which would translate to right at or just under twenty minutes for the 5K. I knew that if I wanted my total time to be under forty minutes for the 10K, I had to keep working and couldn’t afford to let up at all. I focused on staying in my rhythm and not slowing down.

For the majority of the fourth mile, I was running with a pack or three or four guys, which was really nice. I typically find myself in no man’s land during races and it is always much better to have someone to work with. My mom and dad (and our other friends) were on the course again somewhere between mile 4 and 4.5 cheering and that gave me another little boost. I almost took my poor mother out on this turn (she was standing right in the tangent and I really wanted to yell at her to move, but I didn’t (ha)). After the race we had a good laugh about how I came over and gave her a hug during the last mile of the marathon and this time I just wanted to yell at her because she was in my way.



Once I passed them, I knew that I had a mile of flat-to-downhill running before the final climb. Bring on the downhill! At this point, I was only running with one other guy, but I was definitely thankful to still have someone with me. We flip-flopped back and forth a few times, but basically we just worked together for the entire rest of the race. He passed me (briefly) right around mile six. Until that point, I had basically conceded mentally and just assumed he was going to out kick me at the end of the race. Once it actually started to happen though, something switched in my brain and I decided to give it my best shot. It was a sprint to the finish and I barely edged him out!


I’m glad that I didn’t just throw in the towel and I’m glad that I had a little extra incentive to really make those last two tenths count. It was fun to check my splits afterwards since I hadn’t looked at my watch during the race. They were pretty consistent and make sense given the course. I need to trust myself more and rely on the Garmin less. My splits were 6:21, 6:21, 6:32, 6:25, 6:26, 6:20 and 5:47 for the last two tenths. As far as placement goes, I was first female and fourth overall.

Jessica and I ran two miles after the race to cool down, grabbed some coffee and came back in time for the awards. The race takes place during Arts & Crafts Festival, and each year the award is a print done by a local artist. We have them sprinkled throughout our house!

After the awards, I walked around the Arts & Crafts Festival for a little while with my mom and dad. We saw some really interesting pieces, like the saxophone pelican and the “crazy hair” guitar man.

All in all, it was a wonderful day. Spring Fever did not disappoint! I am thankful to have a wonderful group of friends and family who always support me, no matter if I am first place or last place. The time on the clock and placement in the results truly don’t matter, but sharing life with people who love you unconditionally … that’s what it’s all about.

Run happy friends!

How to Race Your Best 5K

I originally posted this article over at Salty Running, but I figured I would share it here as well. The Spring racing season is heating up and you should have plenty of opportunities to test out this strategy!


5Ks often get a bad rap, and rightfully so. Racing a 5K can be painful, but when approached correctly, it can also be incredibly rewarding! Of course that is assuming that you enjoy challenging yourself and testing your limits, but isn’t that is why a lot of us are hooked on the sport of running to begin with?

5Ks are higher in intensity than longer races. They hurt more, but they are over more quickly. It’s best not to spend too much time thinking about how you feel (save that for next week’s therapy session) and instead, focus on executing one section of the race at a time. In this post, we will look at five key sections of your 5K race day.

Warmup: I highly recommend running 2 to 3 very easy miles pre-race. Of course, use your own judgement as far as what you think your body can handle, based on your experience level and overall mileage. Often I find that it takes me at least a mile or two to feel good. If it takes you a few miles to feel good, you might as well knock out those miles before the race. After your easy warmup miles, pick up the pace and do a few strides to stir up the aerobic enzymes and prime the engine before heading to the start line.

Here’s how the race should go down:

First 10%: Avoid the early sprint out and instead ease into the pace. While it seems to be fairly common, sprinting off the start line is not a good idea as it will only serve to spike your lactic acid levels, causing you to hurt sooner rather than later. Instead, start off smooth and use the first quarter-mile to gradually settle into your race rhythm and goal pace. This takes some pressure off the start and increases the chances of feeling good throughout the race.

Middle 70%: Once you settle into your goal pace range, you need to plan to stay here for the majority of the race (in this case from a quarter-mile to 2 miles). While I definitely advocate negative splitting in longer races, I don’t think it is a great strategy for a 5K, especially if we are talking about racing to your true potential. The goal here is to run within your goal pace range and to use as little energy as possible while doing so. Stay relaxed and focus on the rhythm of your footfall, keeping a strong cadence.

Last 20%: You made it to the home stretch! During the last mile, it’s time to really challenge yourself, compete and give it your best effort. Race it home with whatever is left in the tank. Depending on how the day is going, you should still be within your goal pace range or perhaps a tad faster. Your training has prepared you to run fast when you are tired. Break the last mile up into chunks and focus on executing one segment at a time.

Cooldown: I also recommend getting in 2 to 3 easy miles after the race (again, use your own judgement here). This will help you flush the lactic acid out of your muscles and will promote recovery. It can be difficult to make yourself do anything else after the race, but trust me, it is well worth it!

The great thing about the 5K distance is that you can get out there and test the strategy over and over again until you master it. I’ve run over 50 5Ks in the last five years and this is the strategy that has worked best for me. There have been races where I have run incredibly negative splits (with the last mile over 30 seconds quicker than the first) and races where I have run incredibly positive splits (with the first mile over 30 seconds quicker than the last), but my best performances have been incredibly even splits (all miles within 5 seconds of each other).

Try this strategy at your next 5K and let me know how it goes!

Training Log – 03.04.18 & 03.11.18

Well hello, hello and happy Monday! I hope the time change is treating you well!


I’m kind of torn about this whole time change thing. On one hand, it is definitely nice to have an extra hour in the evening, but on the other hand, I really miss the daylight in the morning and losing an hour of sleep?! Really. That’s just cruel.

I got a little behind in my weekly training log updates, so this post is a two-for-one. I know you are all thrilled about that (sarcasm). I’ve done several races in the last two weeks with not many workouts in between. It’s mostly been easy running over here, which is a nice change of pace (literally)!

Here is what my training looked like the week of 02.26.18 – 03.04.18:

Monday – Easy: 8 miles (8:23 pace)

Tuesday – Quality (Intervals): 8 miles (7:55 pace)

Tuesday morning’s workout was a 2 mile warm up, 1 mile at threshold, 2 X 1000 at interval, 2 X 200 at repetition (see this post for an explanation of the paces) and a 2 mile cool down. My times were as follows:

1 mile (6:22)
2 X 1000 (3:44, 3:50)
2 X 200 (0:39, 0:39)

This workout was short and sweet and definitely flew by! I am really enjoying the workouts that alternate the paces and distances of the repeats. We also had a nice, cool morning for this workout, which makes a difference in the enjoyment factor as well.

Wednesday – Easy: miles (8:29 pace)

Thursday – Quality (Intervals): 5 miles (7:39 pace)

Thursday’s workout was a 1 mile warm up, 6 X 400 with 400 recovery and a 1 mile cool down. Another short and sweet workout solely for the purpose of keeping the legs sharp during race week. I did this one on the treadmill. I don’t remember exactly why this was the case, but I’m assuming it had something to do with me procrastinating the workout after teaching late Wednesday evening and then having nobody to run with. Yep. I think that’s exactly how it went. I did the 400s at 6:00 pace and took the rest of the run very easy.

Friday – Easy: 5 miles (8:31 pace)

Saturday – RACE: 9.5 miles (7:15 pace)

Sunday –  Easy: 8 miles (7:58 pace)

Total – 51.6 miles

Here is what my training looked like the week of 03.05.18 – 03.11.18:

Monday – Easy: 7 miles (8:08 pace)

Tuesday – Quality (Threshold): 7 miles (7:35 pace)

I don’t recall exactly what my workout was supposed to be on Tuesday, but I kind of did my own thing here. I did a 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at “marathon” pace (6:59, 6:57, 6:58) and a 2 mile cool down. I wasn’t ready to do any fast repeats yet, but I wanted to push myself a little bit. This seemed like a good decision.

Wednesday AM – Easy: 5 miles (8:14 pace) + PM – Easy: 5 miles (9:12 pace)

Wednesday evening I got to take Savannah on a stroller run while Rebecca worked a track meet near our house. Holy moly. That was the toughest easy run that I’ve done in a while. Pushing that stroller is no joke. Shout out to all you moms out there making that happen on a regular basis!


Thursday – Easy: 5 miles (8:35 pace)

Friday – Easy: 8 miles (8:52 pace)

Saturday – RACE: 6.5 miles (7:27 pace)

Sunday – RACE: 12 miles (7:15 pace)

Total – 59.7 miles

That’s it for now. Have a wonderful week!

Race Recap: Leprechaun Chase 10K

Well guys, I told you I was going to make up for my lack of February racing by doing all. the. races. in March. This weekend I did back to back races! The last time I did back to back races, it was a 10K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. This weekend it was a 5K on Saturday and a 10K on Sunday. This was much more manageable, although I am definitely a bit tired at this point.

Sunday morning I ran the St. Patrick’s Leprechaun Chase 10K in Robertsdale. I’ve only done this race one time before and it’s been several years ago now. I typically skip it since it is the weekend before Spring Fever, but when you are running all. the. races., you just do it anyway! The race takes place at St. Patrick’s School in Robertsdale. The entire event has typically been at the church, but they moved most of the pre-race activities and post-race festivities over to the school this year. I liked the way it was done this year. The race still started and finished at the church (as they used the same certified course from prior years), but everything else was just across the street at the school.

The race started at 8 a.m. We met around 6:30 to register and get in a longer warm up. It’s been a while since I’ve done a “long run,” and I wanted to get in between 12 and 14 miles Sunday. I got 6 miles in before the race, which was perfect. Luckily the rain held off for us, but it was a warm and humid morning (especially early on).

I really didn’t have a specific plan going into this race as I wasn’t sure how my legs were really going to feel once I started the race. They felt decent on the warm up, but not great, which made sense. I was asking a lot of them. Ha. I figured that I would settle in and try to run “goal marathon” pace (NOT that I am training for a marathon by any means (no one freak out (Mom)), but this is just a good pace to base my effort on). I figured I could sustain somewhere in the 6:45 to 6:55 range, but again, I wasn’t really sure. I figured that I would just play it by ear and see what happened! It’s really nice to approach races without any defined expectations sometimes.

As it turns out, I ran almost the entire race with my friend, Erin. It was nice to have someone to work with on an otherwise isolated course. The course is an out and back route that is run primarily on two county roads. We settled into a good pace and hung on through the first half of the race. We were in third and fourth positions overall for the first two miles of the race, until the leader took a wrong turn (major bummer for him … he was pretty far out in front). We passed him and the second place guy during the third mile.

From this point on, we were leading the race. It was pretty cool to have two girls leading the race! We got lots of encouragement from the other runners as we ran back (one of the perks of an out and back course (in my opinion)). Actually, six out of the top ten finishers were female. I love it!

The second half of the race was fairly uneventful. I was working a little bit harder than I would’ve liked to have been for the pace that we were running and I was more than ready to see the finish line. I finished in 42:11 as first female (and overall for that matter). My splits were 6:42, 6:51, 7:01, 6:46, 6:50, 6:37 and 5:57 for the last 0.2. Erin finished right behind me and Rebecca finished right behind her. Before we knew it, Jessica, Lizzie and Joy all finished, and that rounded out the top 10 finishers.


I had good intentions of doing a three mile cool down, but that turned into less than a mile. My left hamstring and glute were a bit cranky after the race. The same thing happened after the last 10K that I did as well, so I decided to call it a day at 13 miles. I was able to go back over to the church and do the fun run with Rebecca and Savannah. It was Savannah’s first race! We did a walk, run, skip, piggyback combo and it was a blast!

We hung around for a while and waited on the awards. They had food trucks, beverages and bands for the adults and snow cones and boucy houses for the kids. I decided that it had been entirely too long since I have had a snow cone. It really hit the spot!

Race Recap: McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day 5K

I’ve got a race recap to share with you today!


We ran the McGuire’s St. Patrick’s Day Prediction 5K in Pensacola on Saturday. This was my second time running this race. There were over twelve thousand participants in the 5K, which is huge! I’m fairly certain that is the biggest 5K that I’ve ever run in. The winners crossed the finish line before the last runners even started. Madness!

The race is technically a prediction run, which means that each person guesses their finish time and person who finishes closest to the predicted time wins. You aren’t allowed to wear a watch and there aren’t any mile markers or clocks along the course. However, there is also a “speed” division and you can wear your watch if you are not competing for a prediction award. This little tidbit was lost on me the first time I ran this race and I ran watch-less when I didn’t really need to. Oh well.

There is also a team competition, which makes it really fun! We had a Warehouse Grinders co-ed team. The top five runners for each team count towards the results and the team with the lowest total time wins (very similar to cross-country scoring, but using your time instead of your place).

The race starts at 9 a.m. (which is a little bit later than most races, but is kind of nice when you have to drive about an hour to get there anyway). We left around 7 a.m. and our team carpooled over to Pensacola. We got a two-mile warm up in before the race. I would’ve liked to do three, but it was fairly warm and another mile likely wouldn’t have helped one bit. We almost missed the start as it was. We had to ease our way into the front of the corral a few minutes before the start.

It was crazy crowded in the corral (makes sense given that there were twelve thousand folks crammed in there). If you are competing in the speed division, you really need to be as close to the front as possible. If you aren’t, you waste a lot of time stuck behind and weaving around other people. I got a couple of rows back and started just behind some of my teammates.

Everyone takes off so fast! Way. too. fast. I immediately felt like I was going to be trampled. Of course, after the first quarter-mile, you’ve passed a lot of the folks that sprinted off of the starting line. Speaking of getting trampled though, there was a tiny little dog that somehow got caught up in between the barricades at the start of the race. He was bobbing and weaving around all of the runners. It’s amazing that no one tripped (that I know of at least).

After the first quarter-mile, I tried to settle into my goal pace range. I predicted 19:00 (not that I was competing in the prediction division, but you still have to predict a time regardless). I wanted to keep my pace between 6:05 and 6:15. As per usual, the first mile was a tad fast. I was really trying to hold back a little, but somehow I came through the first mile in 5:59. I thought I was in about fifth place or so for the females (it’s actually quite hard to tell exactly what place you are in a race that size though :)).

I steadily reigned in a few of the other girls during the second mile. It was nice to have some folks to chase! I still felt pretty decent at this point and was happy to be out there pushing myself. I came through the second mile in 6:09. Whew. I knew if I could hold on to that, I would have a very respectable finish.

Of course, it’s easier said than done to hang on during the last mile of a 5K, and sure enough, my pace started to fade. I had solidified my place as second female and while I could see the first place girl ahead of me, she was out of reach. The course also starts to feel *really* long during that last mile. You can see all of the runners strung out ahead of you and you see just how far you still have left to go. It is a challenge not to get complacent. My last mile was 6:26. I picked it up a tad for the last 0.1 and “sprinted” it in at 5:44 pace. My overall time was 19:11. Not too far off from what I expected! I’ll take it. It’s not my best and not my worst. That seems to be a theme these days.

Daniel had a great race and finished in 18:10! Our team did well too and we finished second in the co-ed division. Obviously we would’ve preferred to be first, but we had a great time and ran with our friends. There’s nothing better than that! We got in a 1 mile cool down after the race and stayed around at the post-race party for a little while. The race is more well-known for the after party than the actual race itself, I do believe. The people watching is quite spectacular!

Race Recap: Wine 10K Birmingham

Hey friends! I’m coming at you this evening with a quick recap of what I hope will be the first of many 10K recaps this month!

After the marathon in January, I decided to shift my focus more towards some shorter distance races (i.e., 5Ks and 10Ks) for the Spring “race season” if you will. I heard lots of wonderful things about the Wine 10K in Birmingham and decided that it might be fun to branch out and do a race in a different city.

I headed to Birmingham Friday afternoon, arrived in time to pick up my packet from Trak Shak and to meet my mom at our hotel. The timing worked out really well because she just had a birthday (which technically wasn’t supposed to be mentioned on the internets (hopefully she will forgive me)) and we were able to use the race as a good reason for belated birthday celebration trip as well. We’ve gotten pretty good at doing these quick weekend getaways!

By the time we got to the hotel, we were both very tired. We ordered room service and called it a day. I got a great night’s sleep and was ready to go the next morning. Well actually, I didn’t exactly jump out of bed the second my alarm went off or anything like that, but after a cup of coffee, I was happy and ready! Ha.

Going into the race, I didn’t really have a specific plan. I have been doing a lot of threshold workouts around 6:25 pace and so I was thinking that 6:15 to 6:20 pace should be a reasonable goal. I didn’t know much about the course beforehand. I looked at it on the map, but that didn’t really mean anything since I wasn’t familiar with the area.

The race started at 8 a.m. Saturday morning at Patriot Park. The course is a point to point route and ends at Lakeshore Park Plaza. The race was amazingly well-organized and everything ran very smoothly. It was really quite impressive.

I got to the start about 45 minutes before the race started and did a two mile warm up. I ran into a few people who I knew, but for the most part it was an entirely new field of runners. I had an “elite” bib (with a sub 40 qualifying time), which is cool, but also quite intimidating, especially when you start looking around at the other runners in the corral with you. It’s never a good idea to compare yourself to others, but it’s really hard not to play the comparison game before races. Everyone you see looks so stinking fast! In this race, everyone I saw actually was very stinking fast.


As soon as the gun went off (actually, they might have fired a cannon or a rocket of some sort (it was CRAZY loud)), I was immediately lagging behind everyone else that had started near me. I wanted to keep the pace honest and not start out too fast. I glanced down at my watch a few times and was seeing 6:10 or faster. I knew that wasn’t sustainable, so I just had to let the pack go on ahead. My first mile was 6:14.

The next two miles were a little bit tougher with a few rolling hills. For someone who trains on pancake flat terrain, hills are not my friend. I am very quick to say that I am not a strong hill runner. This race made me realize that it’s probably time that I did something about that and actually worked to get stronger on the hills. Sounds like a good goal. Right? Right. So anyway, miles two and three were 6:26 and 6:25.

Here’s the elevation chart for reference …


As you can kind of see from the map above, there is a nice little downhill stretch from mile three to four. I clocked a 6:02 on that mile. Whew! I wasn’t expecting to see a split like that, but I was happy with it for sure!

The last two miles of the race ran on the Lakeshore Trail, which I guess is also called the Homewood Shades Creek Greenway. It’s a paved trail that runs beside Shades Creek. The trail itself was very nice to run on, especially with a nice view of the creek. The only downside to this part of the course were the two places where you had to do essentially do a 180 degree turn to run up and over a little overpass. It’s tough to come to a basically a complete stop, run up and over anything and then continue on without messing up your rhythm. Miles five and six were 6:25 and 6:33.

I finished with a chip time of 39:34, which is 6:22 average pace. Not too far off of what I expected and given the hills, I’m definitely happy with it! I was 14th female and 44th overall. The top 50 finishers got a custom blue ribbon on their medals (which is actually a functional wine stopper) and the remaining top 100 finishers received a red ribbon on their meals. I liked the added touch of having an award for overall placement regardless of gender, age, etc.


I ran for team Cadence Coed and our team was very well represented! Lots of podium finishes and the team won the coed division, so that was cool.

Cadence Coed

The after party was very cool! There were mimosas, grilled cheese sandwiches and tons of other stuff. It was really just a beautiful day to be outside enjoying the fresh air. I ran into a several people who I knew, but it was so strange being at a race in a different city and not knowing the majority of the runners. You don’t realize how connected you are into your own little running community until you do a race somewhere else and it’s like, “Where are my people?” Everyone in Birmingham was super friendly and I’m excited to hopefully do a few more races up that way soon!

After the race, mom and I did a little bit of shopping. I really only wanted to go to Lululemon and Anthropologie. Those are probably two of my favorite stores ever and we don’t have access to them in Mobile (which is a definitely a good thing). I got a couple of basic tee shirts from Anthropologie and NOTHING from Lululemon. I didn’t see anything that I had to have. Pure craziness.

We had a very restful afternoon and went out to dinner Saturday night.


Sunday morning we slept in a little bit and went on a nice walk from the hotel. It was another beautiful day! We really couldn’t have asked for better weather. We walked a few miles and found some trails and some water. There is something so soothing about being by the water …


It was a wonderful trip and I’m so glad that mom and I got to spend some quality time together!