Friday Free-For-All – 09/11/15

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Pig roast tomorrow! And thank goodness. This whole deal has been stressing me out for months. We intentionally didn’t have a big wedding because we didn’t want to deal with all of the planning and drama, but then we decided to have a big, casual party to celebrate… Truthfully, planning this pig roast has caused almost as much stress and drama as a wedding would have. Yes, it will be fun, and yes, I’m excited, but I’m also ready for it to be over. Family is due to start rolling in around noon today, and the shenanigans will begin.

My blog traffic this week has been way higher than usual. Starting on Friday, my traffic just shot up–my average readership is around 40 views per day, but I’ve been averaging 100 views since the weekend. I have absolutely no idea why. And here’s the kicker–I didn’t even post anything Saturday, Sunday, or Monday. Weird. I should maybe look into that, figure out what’s bringing people in, and keep doing it, yes? HI NEW READERS!

I took my first Zumba class yesterday. The Sh’Bam instructor was out of town, so they offered a Zumba class instead. It was surprisingly really fun. I felt like a pretty damn good dancer the whole time, especially since I decided to throw self-consciousness out the window and just go for it. While Zumba was also really fun, I think I like Sh’Bam better. Zumba instructors rely on hand signals for cuing as opposed to verbal instructions, so it can be difficult to follow. But it was still a great alternative cardio workout, so I wouldn’t say no to doing it again.

Have you ever taken a Zumba class?

Any fun plans for the weekend?

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Manic Monday – 03/09/15

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Definitely an off week as far as training goes. Headed into the week, I was exhausted and cranky. Add in the fact that I was away from home and my gym for 3 days and I didn’t accomplish as much as I’d like. That being said, I’m feeling less icky, though still tired, and I’m ready to kick some butt in the last couple of weeks before the Spring Fling 10k.

Monday 03/02/15:  I didn’t have rehearsal until 8pm, so I was able to catch the 5:30 Body Pump class at my gym. I really wish I could go once a week on the regular, because it’s hard to progress at all without the consistency. Even so, I always enjoy the class and feel like I’m getting a great full-body workout.

Tuesday 03/03/15:  Rest day, blessed rest day. Went straight home after work, ate a simple dinner, and vegged out on the couch with compression and Netflix. I needed this day SO BAD.

Wednesday 03/04/15:  Ran 4 miles at a speedy-for-me pace, stretched, and then jump roped and danced my butt off at rehearsal.

Thursday 03/05/15:  I should have gone to CXWORX, but as I was leaving the house in the morning, Ben told me he had seminar in the evening, meaning I had to grocery shop and prepare dinner for myself, my in-laws, and Grammy all by myself. Not really a big deal, but I was sad to miss class for the 3rd week in a row.

Friday 03/06/15:  Rest dayBen and I carpooled to NY with his parents, and took turns driving. We had a great evening catching up with extended family, and hit the hay relatively early.

Saturday 03/07/15:  Rest day. We attended Scott and Heidi’s wedding and did our fair share of dancing, but I think the amount we ate and drank pretty much cancelled that out.

Sunday 03/08/15:  Rest day. Most of the day was taken up with driving back from New York, laundry, unpacking, and meal planning for the week, so I didn’t have time to get to the gym or run. Oh well.

My goal for this week is to run at least 3 times–one speed work, one recovery run, and one long run. The Spring Fling 10k is on the 21st, and so far my longest “long run” has been 4 miles. I want to get up to at least 5 this week. I stalked the results from last year’s race, and it looks like if I continue running the way I have been this cycle, and the field stays pretty much the same competition-wise, I stand a very good chance at winning an AG award. Last year, the 1st place winner in my AG was a time of 1:03, and I KNOW I can finish faster than that. So fingers crossed!

The tentative plan for the week:

  • Monday: Speed work–4×800 with warm up and cool down
  • Tuesday:  Rest
  • Wednesday:  Easy recovery miles OUTSIDE!!!
  • Thursday:  CXWORX
  • Friday:  Long run–at least 5 miles (hopefully outside!)
  • Saturday:  Rest
  • Sunday:  Rest/rehearsal

How was your weekend?

Wedding Weekend Recap!

Finally!  The long-awaited wedding recap post!  Full disclosure, this is gonna be long and rambling.  I fully understand if you just click away and come back another day when I’m not so mushy and wordy.  Almost all of the photos are courtesy of my Maid of Honor’s husband, Vinny.

After an epic bachelorette party on the town Friday night, I was a little fuzzy and tired the morning of the wedding.  My soon-to-be Father in Law made pancakes and bacon for breakfast, and that plus some coffee did wonders for my disposition.  After wolfing down some food, MOH Mandy and I headed into Burlington for hair and makeup.

First stop was getting my hair done at O’M Salon and Studio.  I have known my hairdresser, Don, for 12+ years.  We met doing community theater, and he’s been cutting my hair for years.  In addition to being a fabulous hairdresser/stylist, Don is also a phenomenal artist, and many of his paintings hang in the salon.  I have to be honest, I trust Don so much that we didn’t even do a trial run.  GASP, I know, crazy, right?  Who gets their wedding hair done without having a trial run first?  Well, I do.  And it came out great!  I felt like a Southern Belle because my terminally flat hair had body for once!

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Between appointments, Mandy and I grabbed maple lattes at Mirabelle’s, and they were heavenly.  Just what I needed to keep me going.  Next stop was makeup at Mirror Mirror.  On the way into town, I’d realized that I’d forgotten to tweeze my eyebrows, so they fit me in for a quickie clean-up.  My aesthetician, Shannon, was an absolute doll, and I think I’ll need to go back to have her do a full brow wax sometime soon.

Now here’s another funny sidenote:  I had done a bridal makeup consultation several weeks prior and really liked Lydia, the girl who I met with.  On the Wednesday before the wedding, I got a voicemail from her saying she’d had a family emergency and wouldn’t be doing my makeup on Saturday.  She said I was welcome to come in for another consult with the girl who would be in on Saturday, and apologized.  I never went in for another consultation, and therefore we were also flying blind for my makeup.  I know, I know, I’m crazy!  But honestly, I knew it would be fine.  If the new girl had done a bad job, I would have asked her to correct it, no big deal.  Anyway, Amber ended up doing a phenomenal job.  She had Lydia’s notes, and she was very good about asking questions, explaining her process, and making sure I was happy.

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Here’s where we almost had a catastrophe–I completely forgot that we were supposed to stop at Price Chopper to pick up my bouquet, and we were already about 1/3 of the way home when I remembered (keep in mind we live 30-40 minutes outside of town)!  We had to turn around and double back, but at least it didn’t take too much extra time.

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By the time we got home, my family had arrived and they were hanging out, getting to know Ben’s family.  They’d all met previously, but only for very short periods of time.  While we were gone, Ben had picked up the kegs (yes, plural–two 5 gallon pony kegs), and it was time to decorate the shop.  Mandy and I had spent a couple of hours on Friday cutting out and assembling dozens of bunting flags to hang, and my mom brought white Christmas lights.  There’s a whole series of blurry pictures of me freaking out and jumping up and down because it looked EXACTLY how I had imagined and I was super pumped.  During this time, Ben and his sister Leah were building up the bonfire for later.

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After all that, it was pretty much time to get ready.  My mom pulled me aside and gave me some really special gifts.  First, she asked me to wear her parents’ wedding bands during the ceremony so that they could be a part of it.  Then, she gave me a bracelet that my great-grandfather designed for my great-aunt Phyllis.  Phyllis then gave it to my mother, and she gave it to me.  It’s doubly special because I got to wear something from both sides of her family on my wedding day.  Then, Mandy gave me a two-fer gift to fulfill the “borrowed” and “blue” aspects of the old rhyme–the garter she wore for her own wedding, with a friendship bracelet that I had made for her when we were both little girls tied around it.  I was pretty overwhelmed by both her and my mother’s gifts. And at the last minute, my sister Hilary gave me another garter she had bought because she wasn’t sure I had one, so I had two garters 🙂

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My mom and Mandy helped me into my dress, and there were a few little sniffles from the peanut gallery.  But at this point, I was super excited and kept dancing and hopping around with a stupid grin on my face.  I was just SO EXCITED to get married and have a fun night.  And then my dad saw me in my dress and got all teary, and it was one of those “Holy crap, this is really happening” moments.  I asked both of my parents to “give me away” instead of just my father, because I hate that patriarchal, daughter-as-property crap.

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Of course, it was cold and outside, but we had decided that it was very important to us to exchange our wedding vows outside, so we made everyone suffer, hehe.  Our Justice of the Peace is a very loquacious guy.  You’d think that when it’s 20 degrees and everyone’s wearing fancy clothes he’d keep it quick, but no, he had prepared remarks and he was going to say them, goshdarnit!  This guy is a very old-timey Vermonter, he’s been around forever, very much a local fixture, and he married some friends of ours a few years ago, which is how we came to have him marry us.  After his long-winded intro, we got down to business.

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I had decided to sing my vows to Ben, because I knew a perfect song that would sum up my feelings, and I couldn’t think of anything more appropriate.  I chose “Grow Old With You” from the Wedding Singer Musical, but I made one crucial edit to personalize it.  There’s one line in the song that says “When we play checkers I’ll let you cheat,” and it needed to go because a) we don’t play checkers, and b) letting your spouse cheat just to keep them happy is lame.  So I changed it to “When we play Settlers (of Catan, best game ever), I won’t let you cheat,” and that got a good chuckle from the crowd.  Anyway, I started singing, and then looked into Ben’s eyes and almost lost my shit.  I choked up, but managed to get through it.  His vows were short and to the point:  “I vow to keep doing what we’ve been doing: work hard, be honest, and have fun.”  There was a long pause here because that was literally it.  Ben to a T 🙂  Finally, it was the exchanging of the rings, and the kiss, and boom!  Done!  Married!  Yaaaaay!

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We retreated into the shop because it was nice and warm, and there were snacks!  Chips, salsa, guacamole and various dips, crackers, oh and BOOZE!  Champagne, wine, and our glorious kegs, Switchback, and Helles Lager.  Next it was picture time.  My MOH’s hubby, Vinny (from Jersey, no less!), had generously offered to take pictures free of charge, so we did some of the basic, expected poses.  This is my favorite picture ever, from now on:

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After that, the dads fired up the grills, and the party really started.  We just had SO MUCH FUN singing and dancing around like idiots.  At one point my MIL put my garter around her bun, and then just left it there for the rest of the night.  Ben got silly and sang some Tom Jones, and my mom and MIL danced together.  All night I just kept shouting “This is EXACTLY what I wanted!  I’m so happy!” And I was, and I am.  Before dinner I did a “costume change” because I didn’t want to get food all over my dress.  I was totally channeling Elsa 🙂

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Dinner was green salad, potato salad, steak tips, and grilled chicken.  I ate so much food! And then cake, OMFG cake.  My new sisters-in-law, Emily and Leah, each made a cake.  Emily made a silver cake with lemon curd between the layers, and fresh raspberries on top.  Leah made a flourless chocolate cake (Mandy has Celiac Disease) with raspberries in the shape of a heart.  Both were so incredible.

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After dinner it was bonfire time.  We sat outside, drinking, talking, and singing for hours.  Around 1 am, I’d had enough.  Ben and I had decided to sleep on camp cots in the shop so my parents could sleep in our bed, and everyone else just sort of bedded down wherever there was room in the house; there were blanket lumps all over the house in the morning 🙂  While I didn’t sleep all that well (too much food and booze don’t generally lead to sound sleep), I woke up feeling super content.  After a breakfast orchestrated by my dad, it was time to clean up and say goodbyes.  I spent most of Sunday recovering from the festivities with lots of sweatpants wearing and video game playing, which was just what I needed.

I’ve heard from so many of my friends and family over the years that they wish they’d just eloped, or done a smaller ceremony, or hadn’t spent so much money, and I’m so happy that Ben and I just listened to our hearts and did what we wanted to do from the get-go.  We were able to thoroughly enjoy ourselves instead of worrying about scripted activities like cake cutting and garter tossing, or having to play host and hostess all night.

So hooray!  We’re married!  And now you’ve read my long-winded and long-overdue wedding recap.  Thanks for sticking it out to the bitter end 🙂

Married folks, what was your favorite part of your wedding?

Unmarried folks, do you have a “vision” for your wedding day?

Manic Monday – 11/24/14

Welcome to another edition of Manic Monday, where I recap the previous week, and lay out a plan for the upcoming week.

First post as an old, married lady comin’ at ya!  Yes, yes, there will be a full wedding post some time later this week, but for now we’re just going to talk about the lack of training I did last week.

Monday 11/17/14:
My foot was feeling better than it had in over a week, but the more I stood/walked around, the worse it felt, so I played it safe and took an almost total rest day.  I ran a few wedding-related errands after work, and did 50 squats (in sets of 10), when I got home.

Tuesday 11/18/14:
I fully intended to go to the gym and spend some time on the recumbent bike after work, but then… I just sort of… got in my car… and drove home…  I don’t know how that happened! 😉  In an attempt not to make the night a total loss, I did another 50 squats, 10 push-ups, and 10 biceps curls on each side.  Not much, but better than nothing.

Wednesday 11/19/14:
My last day at work as a single woman.  Needless to say, I didn’t get much done 😉  After work we had a team dinner at a very fancy restaurant called The Guild, where steaks go for $3/oz.  Yikes!  Very glad I didn’t have to pick up the tab on that one!

Thursday 11/20/14:
Thanks to my amazing coworkers, I got to have a one hour deep tissue massage at Oasis Day Spa.  It was SO nice.  I’d never had a deep tissue massage before, and I gotta tell you, that’s what massages should be.  It hurt so good, and I was all loosey-goosey and happy afterwards.  The rest of the day was spent cleaning and getting the house ready for the weekend, and then Ben’s Grammy arrived around 10, and my MOH and her hubby arrived at about midnight, so we were up pretty late playing catch up.

Friday 11/21/14:
We slept in, and Ben’s dad made a delicious breakfast.  We spent most of the day relaxing and making decorations for the barn, and then my MOH Mandy and I went to get pre-wedding manis at Bella Vie Nail Spa in Williston.  This place is freaking amazing.  Definitely much nicer than your average nail salon.  They have a medical grade autoclave where they sterilize all their equipment, and they pull out a fresh pouch of tools for every customer.  And the prices are actually still really good.

Then, I had a surprise bachelorette party!  Mandy rounded up about a few of my close girlfriends who live in the area, and we started out at Citizen Cider for dinner.  Next up was margaritas at my favorite Mexican restaurant, El Gato (hi, they’re $6 and come in pint glasses!), and then we finished off the night with karaoke at JP’s.  So. Much. Fun.

How cute is this invite Mandy made??

How cute is this invite Mandy made??

Saturday 11/22/14:
WEDDING DAY!  YAAAAY!  You’ll have to wait until later this week for a full recap, but long story short, it was perfect.  Just what we wanted.  And now we’re married!  Yaaay!

Sunday 11/23/14:
I’m gonna go ahead and call this “recovery day.”  There was a lot of sitting.  A lot of eating.  A lot of playing video games.  It was great.

So, yeah.  I’m married!  My new name is Rachel Drew.  It’s weird to type that.  But cool, too.  And now that the wedding is over and life is (mostly) back to normal, I need to dial back in with eating better and exercising more.  My foot is still not healed, which means no running, and probably a trip to the doctor.  But I plan to do a lot of strength training and recumbent biking in the meantime.

How was your weekend?

Manic Monday – 11/17/14

Welcome to another edition of Manic Monday, where I recap the previous week, and lay out a plan for the upcoming week.

Monday 11/10/14:
I was ready to get back to the running game after a week off, and in my eagerness, I did something stupid.  I had been experiencing varying degrees of pain in my left foot for several days, but I steadfastly ignored it and ran 2.5 miles anyway.  It didn’t hurt any worse while I was running, but by the time I got home, it hurt to walk so badly that I was limping.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.  I tried to stretch and massage it as best I could, but it was very painful.  I also did 6 push-ups and a 30 second plank.

Tuesday 11/11/14:
My foot was still hurting very badly, so I took a rest day.  I rolled my foot out with a golf ball on and off all day, and tried to remain sitting as much as possible in order to rest it.  When I got home, I did some strength exercises:  7 push-ups, 30 second plank, 30 second plank on each side, 5 single leg bridges on each leg, 30 clamshells each side, 20 leg lifts each side.  It wasn’t much, but if I can’t run, I need to do something.

Wednesday 11/12/14:
Wednesday I was till experiencing a pretty high level of pain in my left foot.  I didn’t roll it at all, as at this point I was unsure whether it was actually a muscular issue or maybe a stress fracture (please, god, no), and tried once again to stay off it as much as possible.  I also had my final wedding dress fitting (!!!), and it really started to sink in that I’m getting married REALLY SOON!

Thursday 11/13/14:
I went to see Lyric Theatre’s production of “The Producers.”  Lots and lots of people I know were involved with the show, so I pretty much had to go.  It was opening night, and afterwards there was a champagne reception in the lobby of the theatre.  It was so.much.fun. to see all of my friends, including some people I haven’t seen since college, and it’s making me really excited to audition for Legally Blonde in December 😀  When I got home (at 11:45 pm, mind you), I decided to bust out some squats, single leg lifts, clamshells, push-ups, and a plank, because, why not?

Friday 11/14/14:
Thankfully, my foot was starting to feel a little better, but I didn’t want to push it and risk hurting myself more, especially after all the walking and standing I did on Thursday night, so I just took another rest day.  Ben and I met up with some friends at Vermont Tap House for dinner (delicious wood-fired pizza), and went to see Interstellar.  It was really, really good.

Saturday 11/15/14:
Saturdays seem to be the days where I clean.  I vacuumed the entire basement, cleaned our room, and did laundry.  Then Ben and I pretty much had a date night at home.  We drank a few beers, and worked on our wedding playlist, while dancing around the kitchen and generally being all adorable and in love cause we were ONE WEEK AWAY FROM OUR WEDDING!

Sunday 11/16/14:
After getting up decently early and having a good breakfast, I babysat most of the day for an adorable 15 month-old.  He ended up falling asleep in my lap around 4 so I got to read the rest of the time.  And the best part is, the mother paid me TWICE what I had asked, so it was a total win.

Hey guess what, guys?  I’M GETTING MARRIED ON SATURDAY!!!  Holy crap.  That means that this week is probably not going to be a very good workout week, especially with my foot still feeling kind of ouchy (It’s actually better this morning than it has been in over a week, but I’m not holding my breath, because it tends to get worse as the day goes on), but I’m going to do my best to keep up with some body-weight exercises at home.

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday Free-For-All (Twenty-Two)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

The theme of this week’s Friday-Free-For-All is “I have awesome coworkers.”  Read on to find out why.

Everyone in my office ambushed me yesterday with a wedding gift.  I got a beautiful bouquet of gerbera daisies (my favorite flower!), a card, and gift certificates to the salon where I’m getting my hair done, the salon where I’m getting my nails done, and for a massage.  I almost cried, I was so blown away by their thoughtfulness and generosity.  No matter how small your wedding is, it’s still expensive, and these gift certificates are going to take care of a large chunk of the financial burden of making me look pretty on my wedding day.

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One of my coworkers hand made a gorgeous necklace and earrings for me to wear on my wedding day.  She made them especially for me to match my colors, and they’re absolutely beautiful.  I’m a lucky girl.  I didn’t get any pictures because the lighting in my office sucks, but you can be sure there will be lots of pics from next weekend!

I got a Fitbit Flex!  Another coworker wasn’t using hers anymore because it wasn’t syncing well with her phone, and when I happened to mention I wanted one, she gave hers to me!  Talk about serendipity! And awesome coworkers, of course!  I’m excited to hopefully up my activity level during the day, and learn more about my sleeping habits.  Of course, my excitement is tempered a bit because of my next point:

I am an injured runner.  Somehow, I messed up my left foot.  It’s extremely frustrating, because I’m fairly certain the initial injury was not caused by running.  After the half marathon on November 2, my feet were a-okay, fine.  Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, everything was hunky-dory in foot-land.  But Wednesday, I noticed it was a little painful when walking or standing.  I biked at the gym on Wednesday night, and then didn’t do anything even remotely exercise-like for the rest of the week.  Then this Monday, genius that I am, I decided that maybe running would help stretch it out.  Rookie mistake.  While running, it didn’t really hurt any more or less than it had before.  But after I finished my 2.5 miles?  I was totally lame.  It HURT to walk and I limped around the rest of the day.  Since then, walking has been no fun (hence why the Fitbit is slightly less exciting than it otherwise might be).  Thankfully, it seems to be getting better.  The pain peaked on Wednesday, and is getting progressively less.  I’m just trying to sit still as much as possible, keep it elevated when I can, and NOT RUN UNTIL IT’S BETTER.

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Do you have a Fitbit or other wellness tracking device?  Do you think it helps motivate you to be more active?

 

October Wrap Up and November Goals

Since September, I’ve been doing monthly wrap up and goal posts, so here we go!

What were my goals for the month of October?

  • Run at least 55 miles (Nope–32.11)
  • Do strength training at least twice (Sort of, a couple of times–push ups and some squats)
  • Do yoga at least twice (Not even once)

I’ve already talked about how I was experiencing some general life burn-out and wasn’t super excited about running for a while this month, so it’s no surprise that once again I fell short.

OCTOBER’S STATS:

Miles Run:  32.11.
Not bad, but definitely not what I was hoping for.  I ended up skipping my last couple of long runs, and a week and a half worth of workouts in general.

Total Number of Runs: 7.
Again, definitely not what I was hoping for.  I really should be getting at least 12 runs a month, but it is what it is.

Miles Walked:
No idea.  Like I said last month, I’m not walking to work anymore, so I have no idea what my daily mileage is like outside of that.  Maybe I should get a fitbit or pedometer…

Miles Biked: 6.05.
I only had one bike ride this month, but it was a good one.  I’m sure November will have more biking in store, since I’m cutting way back on my running mileage.

Miles Ellipticized: 0.72
Only one elliptical trip this month, which is totally fine, because I find it pretty boring.

NOVEMBER GOALS:
Let’s be real for a second;  I’m getting married in 16 days.  This month is going to be just a little bit jam-packed and hectic.  I fully recognize that I’m not going to be able to dedicate a lot of time each week to working out, but I do want to make fitness and mental well-being a priority.

  • Work out at least 3 times a week, whatever that looks like (running, Body Pump, bike, elliptical, whatever).  This is as much for stress management as it is for anything else.
  • Try at least one class at my gym.  Body Pump.  Zumba.  Spin.  Sh’Bam.  Anything.  Just do something new.
  • Re-calibrate my diet now that I’m not in training.  I no longer get to eat allthethings.  I may need to track calories again for a few days just to figure out where I’m at.
  • On a related note, cut back on the sugar.  I’ve been really bad lately, especially with all the leftover Halloween candy that’s floating around the office right now.  I need to dial it down and get back to only having one small treat per day.
  • Enjoy the build up to the wedding.  It will undoubtedly be stressful at times, and there’s still a lot to do, but this is an awesome and exciting thing!  I can mitigate stress and panic with to-do lists, the help of my amazing and capable MOH, my Ben, and my family.  It will all get done and it will be excellent.

Did you achieve your October goals?

What’s on tap for November?