31 March 2014

I've come a long way

I haven't blogged for a bit, perhaps an indication that I've been out there on the roads, the paths and lapping in the pool a little more these days. 

There is still a way to go, but this is where things currently sit for me at 62 days out from my comeback goal - Ironman 70.3 Hawaii:

Longest swim: 1.3 km 
Longest ride: 50.7 km 
Longest run/walk:  9.5 km 

I'm particularly chuffed to report the news that I managed to knock over a solid 40km ride/5km run brick yesterday  - and survived the Top End heat and humidity.

As my ride started in the dark and sprinkling rain at the tail end of a storm, my bike work was a little tentative early on as I negotiated what we affectionately call the "urban peaks" here in Darwin. That's a ride in the city which includes every climb we can find. There aren't that many so we do repeats - see previous post!

As we are now sneaking ever closer to race date, travel arrangements also had to be revisited. So I pulled the file and over the weekend I have spent an inordinate amount of time finalising our inter island flights, hire car booking, firming up Big Island and Waikiki accommodation and doing visa applications to enter the US. 

As luck would have it, the AUD had risen a little so that was a real bonus.

On the down side, the per piece price for inter island baggage has risen, so this trip is definitely a case of win some, lose some.

Now for the scary news! My wonderful coach has deemed me to be in need of a "tri" wake up call before Honu and oh oh, my new program has me down for Ray White NT Sprint Distance here in Darwin this Sunday.  

While not completely a surprise, my body is starting triathlon all over again but my brain remembers it as a piece of cake. In reality the two aren't quite gelling just yet and I'm experiencing a degree of frantic-ness as I try to work out what I need to do and what I need to take to a no race bag, sprint distance event!  

I've had to dash out and find elastic laces, decide on footwear and after breaking my current pair, order in new goggles (which may or may not arrive in time).

What to wear is taken care of.  If I'm going to put myself out there I'm going to look the best I can so my Team SOAS kit will be with me (and on me) at the weekend. 

If I manage to get through this little (?) no pressure, just enjoy yourself, stop if it hurts, taste of tri, it has the potential to be an emotional moment - this time last year I was a skinny minnie undergoing chemotherapy.

Almost as if I needed a reminder, I'm scheduled for another three monthly follow up next week with blood tests this Friday and scans the day after the race. 

I've come a long way!

Urban peaks are hard to find

We don't have a lot of hills in Darwin so we do the best we can.

27 March 2014

A very special delivery

It came, as the crow flies, some 13,000 kilometres (or 8ooo miles) and from the state of the box, had obviously been handled none to delicately.

Despatched on 18 March, this very special delivery arrived just this morning (after travelling from San Diego via Los Angeles and goodness knows where here in Australia).  As there had been no movement updates on the parcel tracker since it first arrived in Oz some four days ago, the knock on the door took me completely by surprise in the end.

This box contained the tangible evidence that I am, indeed, very much part of Team SOAS.

I've now tried on every item of the gorgeous team kit, and aside from a minor oops in a size choice, feel empowered to step back out into the tri world and continue to promote the company that came up with the absolute best women's endurance sport apparel ever. 

Have you seen the latest designs? They are as fabulous as those currently available and advance orders are being taken.

If you haven't yet checked out the SOAS website here's a glimpse of some of the women I've spotted recently looking as awesome as can be ....

There is a style, colour and/or pattern choice to suit everyone and SOAS Racing really does deliver on its mission:

"to bring women in endurance sports a means of feeling strong and feminine at the same time".

And here's this wannabe Comeback Queen feeling strong and feminine at Kona in 2012, and very much looking forward to feeling that way again real soon in my 2014 team gear.

Thanks SOAS for making me feel welcome. 

25 March 2014

On the cusp

Being born on the cusp of Taurus and Gemini, I know all about being one thing here and another there, with the various horoscopes undecided on when one star sign stops and another begins.  

And so it is with a number of other things in my life.

Shoes for example.

I've just gone through the rather frustrating process of replacing my running shoes. 

For years I've stuck with Asics.  Years ago I could waltz in and buy a new pair of size 8.5 (US) without even trying them on and know I could go out and run in comfort.  

Then came Ironman!  As training increased and I had a couple of events under my belt, I soon realised I was more comfortable on race day if I wore a size 9 to accommodate the inevitable feet swelling I experienced during the marathon.

Wearing the larger size also made for far fewer black toenails.  But it did mean that I was constantly having to decide what size shoe to buy - the 8.5's which fit perfectly well or the 9's.

Easy, have a pair of both on hand.  8.5's for more social exercise and walking and the 9's for longer training runs and race day.

That logic worked well until recently when I experienced some pain and swelling in my right foot which turned out to be joint degeneration with some arthritis thrown in.

A recent visit to the podiatrist for treatment armed me with metatarsal spreaders and a new list of suitable running shoes.

Here in Darwin we are inclined to herald the approaching dry season with new runners and thankfully those I had always worn were included on that list, as I had a pair in reserve and out they came just this week.

To my disappointment they were a reserve pair of 8.5s and there was no way my right foot was going to fit into that shoe.

Thinking it an ideal opportunity to try out the other Asics model and the different brand on the podiatrist's list, I headed into the sports store.

And there was that cusp thing again.  9's fitted in one model of Asics and not the other.  With the other brand, 9's were way to small but the 9.5's had me sliding out of the shoe of my "normal" left foot.  

So there it was, even my feet are now on the cusp. 

Needless to say I came away from the store with a very bright coloured model update of those that I normally wear.

If you know anyone in the market for a pair of size 8.5, I have a pair going cheap!

And clothes, there's another area where I live constantly on the cusp.

I have tri shorts in small and medium.  My cupboard also boasts tri tops in sizes extra small and small.  

In knickers I have 12s and even some 14s.  Tshirts vary between small and medium.  Dresses between 10 and 12. 

Jackets, cardigans and jumpers are an even bigger raffle with sizes covering from 10 to 14.  

With that in mind the news from parcel tracking that my Team SOAS gear has actually made it to Australian shores, fills me with some trepidation. 

Will they fit well, be slightly big or slightly small?  Living on the cusp means trying on will be done with fingers tightly crossed. 

Come on delivery man, there is only one way to find out which side of the cusp I'm on this time. 

22 March 2014

Three good things

After starting to doubt it may ever happen, found myself quietly celebrating today after finally cracking a 50km ride this morning. 

I thought I may have thrown my hands in the air, at least put up a clenched fist in triumph but truthfully it was more a "thank goodness" moment. 

It was also a little emotional ... giving me hope that I may in fact be able to make  the 90km on the bike by the end of May.

Truth be told, after crashing and injuring my shoulder at the beginning of last week the set back in training was a little worrying.

For the first time ever I found myself checking out cut off times for Honu and seriously considering whether I may have been a little ambitious!

So making that magic 50 this morning is a very welcome step in the right direction. 

I also had a second small triumph - taking my first Gu in well over a year and finding that it didn't cause any ill effects.  

My friend Kylie snapped my Gu moment this morning!

Third on the list of my good things - my Team SOAS kit is on its way having been despatched from San Diego, and last tracked as being sorted through a Los Angeles facility. That means the parcel is winging its way somewhere along the remaining 12,688 kilometres to Darwin.  Excited much!!

Very much looking forward to firstly heading down to a local tri in the morning and then tracking friends at Ironman Melbourne.  Looks as though they will have a cool and perhaps drizzly day but everyone will be happy that the seas are relatively calm and the swim course unaltered. 

20 March 2014

Dear B

A special lady is doing her very first Ironman in Melbourne on Sunday. She is special because she is kind, generous, modest and beautiful through and through.

She is also special because she has reached this milestone after starting in the sport of triathlon as a scaredy cat beginner and has developed poise and confidence as she travelled her road to ironman step by step.

It wasn't all plain sailing.  This debut was originally due to take place a lot earlier but a crash while out group riding resulted in time out due to the severity of her injuries and then a rebuild to this point.

Making the start line is a real achievement in itself, the race is the reward for all that hard work!

So I'd like to wish B all the best for Sunday and it goes without saying that we will be glued to Ironman Live and athlete tracker every step of the way.

I'd also like to offer a little last minute advice.  She is very well prepared and has all bases covered but just in case ....

Dear B,

1.     Enjoy the vibe, the hype and gathering freebies at the Expo.
2.     Sign in as early as possible.  It only feels real when you have your wristband  on.  Those sideways glances you will be getting are people checking (a) if you are competing or (b) if you could be in their age group.
3.   Enjoy star spotting.  We are so lucky that the best in the world remain so approachable and usually give freely of their time in the lead up to the race.
4.     Once you have your race bags, enjoy putting out your gear, then packing your bags, then unpacking them to check you have everything (this usually occurs at least three times).  Helps to visualize.
5.    Warn out the supportive dude in your life that there is bound to be an hour or so where everything is his fault.  It is ok to be grumpy, but do apologise later and then you can both laugh about it and move on.
6.   No adventurous eating during the last couple of days. Stick to basics and a tried and tested diet.
7.   Do know the course and do a walk through of transition.  Helps to have a very clear idea of where to go.  Walk from the swim exit to bike exit and then same for bike finish to run exit. Check where your race bags are located.  When you think you have it down pat, close your eyes, spin around twice and then see how long it takes to locate your bike rack (just kidding, but do have some easy to spot markers to help guide you to your bike).
8.  For some unfathomable reason, there always seems to be a lot of walking associated with the lead up to Ironman events.  Do wear suitable shoes.  Go for comfort and if that means living in your runners, do it.
9.    If attending, enjoy the Carbo dinner.  Some athletes skip this, but I think it is a pretty special part of your first Ironman experience.
10.   Stay off your feet as much as possible especially once bikes are racked when you too should definitely take a load off.  No last minute shopping expeditions.
11.   Don’t stress if you can’t sleep on race night, not many people can.
12. Race morning – check, check and triple check that you haven’t forgotten anything. Make a list or place everything at the door so you don’t overlook something important.
13.   Mental check as you leave - Timing chip on, water for bike, food, sunscreen, goggles, swim cap, etc
14.  It’s ok to be excited on race morning, particularly when you are being body marked.
15. Have a pre-arranged meeting spot to catch up with supportive dude before race start and then again after you have finished.  Saves you both roaming around looking for each other in the crowds.
16.   Be ready and waiting for swim start.  Don’t be that person still in the loo line when the gun goes off.
17.   The gun always goes off sooner than you expect.
18.   Smile for the cameras.
19.   Have fun.
20.   Thank as many volunteers as you can. 

    And thank you B, for allowing me to be part of your journey.  Seeing you reach this goal is going to be a special moment!

17 March 2014

All inspired

I guess you could say we are experienced tri travellers and that we have found some triathlon locations more suitable than others and some have been easier to get to than others, so heading down to the south coast of New South Wales (via Brisbane & Canberra) for the weekend and including the brand spanking new Challenge Batemans Bay in the trip, was a bit of a raffle really.

As well as the opportunity to catch up with family & friends, we were there to be on the sidelines to cheer on Stef & Tim, team SANT and fellow club member Heath. 

The flights worked well, as did our travel down to the coast.  Rather than drive late at night we stopped in Queenbeyan and travelled down to Batemans Bay early Saturday morning.   

It was a long time since we had driven in that area and we were impressed again with the beauty of countryside as well as the national parks along the way.  No similarity to the Top End at all.

Definitely had a road trip feel!

On arrival at the Bay, we easily found our accommodation, and had chosen wisely - we were located directly across from transition and the expo, with a short walk to shops.

This was extremely handy on race morning, when getting over to watch the action was just a matter of walking across the road.  

How could a triathlon location, looking like this on race morning, not impress??

The field was star studded and included Pete Jacobs, Brad Kahlefeldt, Clayton Fettell and Josh Amberger in the 25 deep pro male field and Radka Kavodickova, Belinda Granger, Michelle Wu and Jessica Fleming in the large women's field. 

The days of soft option pro fields seem long gone, with races in Australia attracting more and more athletes at the pointy end of the field and that also makes for more interest for spectators (like me).

Speaking of spectating, I seem to be doing a lot of that these days. 

Ironman 70.3 Hawaii is rapidly approaching and I've just missed the best part of another week due to injury.  My shoulder is still giving me some grief and although I know it is improving, has still been a worry over the weekend.

I have regained a wide range of motion but my shoulder is inclined to be puffy at end of the day and has a painful spot.

If I'm to be in any shape for a comeback, I'll need another dose of cement real soon, like tomorrow .....

lucky I'm all inspired after seeing the tri action at Challenge Batemans Bay over the weekend and watching Stef get her first pay cheque and Tim achieve some personal goals along the way as the placed 15th in the guys!!

 Women's podium Challenge Batemans Bay
L-R 2nd Jess Flemming, 1st Radka Kavodickova, 3rd Belinda Granger

Brad Kahlefeldt hit the lead early in the run at Batemans Bay and stayed there!

13 March 2014

Take a dose of cement

Though not actually wallowing in self pity, I haven't been out and about much since slip sliding to that abrupt stop out there on the bike path on Monday.

Unfortunately training came to a halt following the fall and I've now missed two swim sessions, ditto runs but did manage to get on my bike yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon for a little spin down to watch Daz's run group hard at it.

My shoulder is still the main area of concern, though my sore neck seems to have improved and the bump on the back of my head has now gone down.

That bump could have been a whole lot worse as I now find I'm up for a new bike helmet. The one I was wearing has a couple of nasty cracks where it protected my skull from hitting the bike path even harder than it did. 

The bruising on my thigh, though colourful and ouchy if bumped is on the mend and the swelling on my ankle has gone down.

Though still needing to ice my shoulder this morning, I detected during the day through gentle experimentation that a lot more movement was possible and there are only a couple of actions that elicit an expletive. 

So with that improvement, it was time to take a dose of cement and stop thinking about what I can't do (swim) and get on with what I can.

With that in mind I went through the rather lengthy process of kitting up for a bit of a ride.  Though I can now manage raise my arm, the crossover action required for getting into & out of undies and tops is still surprisingly painful.

Finally dressed and out on the road on Ms Trek I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I am able use my aerobars quite comfortably. 

With that confidence booster, I will try and run again in the morning.  My "see if I can run" effort late on Tues and then again yesterday were too jarring to continue but with another night, some more shoulder icing I'm game to give it another crack! 

By the way, I did report the section of bike path where I came down as dangerous (NT Government have a very easy to use reporting link on their website) and today received feedback that it would be investigated.  They also wished me a speedy recovery ... nice touch!

10 March 2014

What a difference a day makes!

Yesterday I was crowing about finishing the week on a high.

Today also got off to an awesome start, first a busy couple of hours of admin achievement and then it was time to ride.

Amazed at what being back on Ms Trek had done for my ride enthusiasm, I started out feeling fantastic, looking forward to increased time on the bike and decided to head off in the direction of Robertson Barracks where there is a great section of bike path, very suitable for the efforts I was programmed to do.

While still riding my old bike I had mainly stuck to bike paths but recently patches of broken glass had begun to appear (I think due to the closure of the bottle recycling depot at Nightcliff) so I ventured out on to the road again today.

McMillans Road is one of our busiest but can, for a large part, be avoided by using a service road that runs parallel and this is what I used until it ran out and I switched back to the path. 

So the scenario goes something like this:  Sunny dry morning, gentle breeze, bike path mostly empty, tootling along happily without a care in the world when suddenly I find myself in a shaded patch.

That shade proved mighty dangerous as it disguised a damp, slippery area covered in  a layer of slime consisting of mud mixed with tree blossoms.

Suddenly I was slip sliding all over the place.  I could see the end and for a split second thought my superior (cough, cough) cycling skills would get me through.

But no, a very frisky Ms Trek slipped out from under me and down I went. 

With no time to get my feet out it all happened in a flash but I remember it now in slow motion.  

First my ankle hit the deck followed by the length of my thigh.  Then my shoulder crashed into the concrete followed soon after by my head.

I'm here tonight to tell you from first hand experience that anyone who rides a bike without a helmet has a death wish.

With no one around, it was rather eerie.  I was seeing stars and the world was upside down. 

I gingerly ran through the list - I'm conscious, my head has been slammed but otherwise seems ok, my leg is hurting and the bike is on top of me but there's no bark off anywhere that I can tell and boy oh boy is my shoulder hurting.

Somehow I got myself untangled and then decided to phone Daryl so he would know where I was and could be on the line while I tried to stand.  

Predictably he wanted  to come pick me up but with adrenaline flooding my system I manage to stand, then do another stocktake on what's hurting and I say I'm ok to ride home.  

Silly I hear you say, but those guys who ride TdF pick themselves up, shake themselves off after crashing and get back on the bike so I thought I should as well.

So on a promise of calling in again in 10 mins and giving the route I am taking I hang up.  

Looking at my bike laying on the ground...

I am suddenly angry with myself.  I had come through here recently in the opposite direction and made a mental note then to report the area as being unsafe.  If I had carried through on that, perhaps it would have been cleaned up and this wouldn't have happened.

So I gingerly walk back through the muck, and start riding home.  After 10 mins I check in to let Daz know I'm fine and tell him that riding home will be good for my confidence.  By then I already know my shoulder has been damaged.

Thinking on the positive side, halfway home I was planning out an alternative kick set to replace swim squad tomorrow. But by the time I arrived home it was evident that my shoulder, neck and head had taken the brunt of the fall so I've spent the rest of the day packed in ice.

I've dosed up on painkillers now already knowing getting into and even more so, getting out of bed in the morning is likely to be a tad painful.

But hey, I'm grateful. At least it didn't happen on the road, I don't think I have done too much damage and at no stage did I feel I needed to bother them at A & E.  Am also very grateful there is no road rash to worry about. 

Sure I'll be bruised and be sore, perhaps very sore for awhile (tomorrow will tell).  I'm also happy Ms Trek slid well and survived with very little damage.  

What a difference a day makes!

09 March 2014

Wagging my tail

OK I admit it.  

I'm wagging my tail after managing to end my training week on a high! 

As if being back on my Trek yesterday for the first time in over a year wasn't enough, during this evening's run I clocked up another post chemo 5km PB. 

Slowly but surely all things training are starting to fall into place.

Here's where things currently sit for me at 83 days out from Ironman 70.3 Hawaii:

Longest swim: 1.3km 
Longest ride: 40.3km 
Longest run/walk:  9.5km 

Regular readers of this blog will notice there is absolutely no change to those figures since the last time I did a progress recap.  Am I concerned? Hell no.

While the length of my longest swim hasn't changed the amount of swimming I am now doing has definitely increased.

Ride sessions have until now have been averaging three per week. A glance at my new program indicates that from this coming week they are also increasing in duration, so interesting times are ahead in the pedal department.  

That news also signals the time when nutrition on the bike is going to come into play. 

As not a single gel has passed these lips since Kona in 2012, I'm going to have to relearn to like the taste and texture.

I've always been a Gu user, with Plain and Vanilla my favourites.  I think I'll start with those again and see how I go. 

Perhaps I should also make that often considered appointment with a nutritionist.

The difficulty is that they are fairly thin on the ground in Darwin and the search to locate someone who could get their head around my medical history as well as my training requirements has, to date, proved fruitless.

Back to recapping - that run distance also remains the same although this evenings PB confirms that putting one foot in front of the other is also on the up. 

So at the end of another busy week, it is the improving run consistency that is most pleasing.

Love it when I upload to Garmin and see those wiggly lines starting to appear closer to where they should be, may there be many more tail wagging days to come. 

And here's some gratuitous bike porn to share!
My friend Em rode this little beauty for the first time at our local race this morning.

07 March 2014

Ms Trek and Me to be reunited

Since shortly after 2012 Ironman World Championships, (Hawaii October) my lovely berry coloured Trek Madone bike has been untouched, a lonely sight, hanging from a hook in our garage.

Daryl hung it up to clear some floor space when it became obvious, a few weeks after Kona, that I wouldn't be riding anytime soon.  

I have another bike and, on beginning my comeback in October 2013, made a motivational pledge - I would ride my old bike until I'd cracked my first 50km ride.

Actually have yet to do that, but I'm so close it no longer matters.  My rides have become more frequent and time on bike increased and I'm beginning to experience discomfort on my old bike.

So with that in mind, I'm claiming time on that pledge and Ms Trek has been taken down, spruced up and now sits eagerly awaiting my long ride scheduled for tomorrow morning.

The only thing that may jeopardize our reunion is rain. Please Huey, hold off!

Love my Trek bike and being back on her signals an increase in ride distance is happening.

Excited much!! 

Ms Trek and Me formed a close bond in 2012 and are happy to be reunited in 2014

06 March 2014

Pain tolerance

I have always thought it to be true - the notion that triathletes tolerate pain a whole lot better than most.

This article published today by Triathlete Europe seems to reinforce that belief.

My personal experience, while recovering from two major abdominal surgical procedures in the past few years, was that I found medical and nursing staff were constantly saying to me, "are you sure you don't need more pain relief?" 

In both instances I was hooked up to a self administering morphine pump and in the case of the most recent operation, had an epidural left in for a few days post op as well.  

I would be lying if I said I didn't need it at the time, but used less often than most in similar circumstances and was taken off, by all accounts, a lot earlier than expected.

My pain threshold seemed to remain quite high and I mostly managed with panadol and the rare resort to something stronger.

This higher pain threshold was also evident when a friend went into labour last year. As her partner was serving overseas I with her for the birth - drug free - as she became a first time Iron Mum!

Her ability to ignore pain almost had her giving birth as we drove to the hospital, for a brief moment it looked as though we may have to pull over to the side of the road.  

We made it, but baby was born within half an hour of arrival.

So I totally agree that "triathlete's pain tolerance yields medical benefits" and that surely is a huge plus in times of need (may they be few and far between).

If our ability to hurt more one day helps the rest of the world suffer less, those visits to the pain cave during training and racing will have been all worthwhile. 

05 March 2014


With my renewed focus on training for Ironman 70.3 Hawaii firmly intact and blisters healed enough to no longer be a valid excuse for not donning the Asics, it was hit the road time this morning.

As this was my first run since returning to Darwin from London a few days ago, I couldn't help but compare the many differences I noticed.

First up there were heavy wet season clouds just off the coast with flashes of lightning lighting up the pre-sunrise sky (yes I did manage to overcome the jetlag enough to respond to the alarm). This was a sharp contrast to the dull grey London skies of my last few runs.

The weather conditions, though showing some similarity, couldn't have been further apart:

Temperature:  4 degrees C
Wind:  13km/h SW
Humidity:  87%

Temperature:  26 degrees C
Wind:  16km/h SE
Humidity:  94%

In London I was wearing long run tights, thermal socks, thermal singlet, thermal top, beanie and gloves.  This morning in contrast, it was shorts, singlet and low rise cotton socks (a dressing time of about 2 mins compared to the quarter of an hour, + some, it took to be ready to hit the road in the UK).

Grabbing a quick drink at a bubbler also led to another comparison between the cities.

London water from the Victoria Park fountains was so cold it made my teeth ache whereas here in Darwin, the water on offer from the bubblers along the foreshore is warm enough that one could use it to brew a weak cup of tea. Yes, seriously it is that warm.

At the finish of my last run in London I was presentable enough to jump on a No 26 bus to get home, but this morning I was a dripping sweaty mess and stayed on the foreshore stretching and cooling down before walking home and going straight into a cold shower.

As well as those delightful differences between locations, all that London sightseeing running also paid off for me.

I enjoyed being home, enjoyed running warm and my Garmin also informed me that I had clocked another improved 5km PB during my run this morning.

Unexpected, but I'll take it!

Hawaii here I come.

Grey London skies now replaced by Darwin storm clouds. 

03 March 2014

90 days

I write this in a very jet lagged state.  Although Singapore Airlines got us from London to Darwin via Singapore on time, in comfort and with no hiccups at all, there is no escaping the effects of long haul travel on my body clock. 

A travel bonus was discovering and watching the entire (minus one episode) Season 1 of Six Feet Under.  

I was sorry I wasted so much time trying to get into 12 Years a Slave (found it too violent).  Oscar winner or not, any movie that makes me wince so much in the first half hour gets the turn off treatment. 

So movies, TV series, newspapers aside today is Day One of the rest of my life.

Time to refocus on goals.

Time also to take a good hard look at where I am today. (Flashback: this time last year I was still recovering from surgery but back from Brisbane and heading in to the Alan Walker Cancer Clinic for an education session for upcoming chemotherapy treatment).

With 90 days (yikes) until my comeback attempt at Ironman 70.3 Hawaii I'm staring at a training program for this week that is going to challenge me physically and will also create some waves in the time management area.

My body is still on holidays.  It has enjoyed a few sightseeing runs in London over the past couple of weeks but there has been no swimming or riding.

My final run got sabotaged by blisters (that vanity minute referred to in last post) so it has also been awhile since my last run.

Both feet looked a little sad 

So 90 days out it is time to get a little serious and time to focus on doing what I need to do to have a comfortable day out in Hawaii.

90 days are sure to fly by!