Training Week 12: Seven Strategies for a Successful 20-Miler

On Saturday morning, I woke up, got the kids dressed and threw on my running clothes. Ate cereal with the toddler. Pumped a bottle for the baby and then headed out to run 20 miles.

There may be a few more enjoyable activities for a Saturday morning... like sleeping or drinking coffee... but marathon training is the life for me. Yo ho, yo ho. {insert 'A Pirate's Life for Me' song}

This was my first 20-mile training run since 2013 and I was a little anxious to jump into the long, long distance again. Believe it or not, I actually enjoyed it! There HAS to be something wrong with me.

Here are a few strategies that made Saturday's long run a great experience:

7 Strategies for a Successful 20-Miler

1. Secure Your Hair.

It's amazing what nearly 3 hours of bouncing up and down can do to your hair (at least for the long-haired runners out there). My usual pony tail turns into a snarled mess when I run that long on a windy day and just any old hairstyle will eventually fall apart. There are a million tutorials on runner's hair styles with great ideas for hair that stays put. Google it.

Hair Secured: Forgive my awkward side-profile selfie and focus on the hair (and my parents' beautiful bathroom decor). What works best for me is either a low bun or a braided high bun. The braid makes it stick! After putting my hair in a high pony, I fishtail braid it, wrap it into a bun, and then secure it with another ponytail holder. 

2. Carry Water and Fuel With You

Running with my Camelbak gives me the freedom to do an out-and-back approach to the long run, or a few super big loops, without having to run home to get water. I definitely prefer the Camelbak over handheld water bottles because my hands are free. I bring my phone with in the outer pocket in case I need to be picked up on the side of the road and carry my gels in the pockets of my coat.

Fueling: I ate the Honey Stinger Caramel Waffle just before heading out the door. Then Gel #1 at 45 minutes in, Gel #2 at 1:30, and Gel #3 at 2:15. The Organic Vanilla gels from Honey Stinger are my favorite because they sit well on my stomach and have a great flavor.

3. Run For Time.

Instead of focusing solely on a mileage-based goal, see how your body feels that day and run for time. Your health that day, the weather, and terrain will greatly affect how many miles you cover in 3 hours.

Breaking It Up: I wasn't feel well the morning of this long run, so I decided to break the run up and keep going as I was able. Instead of "Run 20 Miles", my goal was to run 3 x 1:00:00... or 20 miles. Whatever came first.

4. Tune It Out.

Listening to music or a podcast can help to take your mind off how absolutely exhausted you are. During the 20-miler, I recommend doing a mix of things rather than listening to music for almost 3 hours straight. Try a podcast, different genres of music, or just some quiet time on the road. When running with headphones, be extra careful in traffic! I run with only one earbud in so I can hear the vehicles.

Changing Tunes: For the first hour, I ran in silence, just taking in the beautiful day, praying and looking around. Then I listened to the Delectable Education podcast for an hour and finished the run with music. Listening to LeCrae, Switchfoot, and MercyMe made it easy to pick up my pace!

5. Loosen Up During the Run.

Running a new "farthest distance" can really make the muscles tighten up. Especially when it's my first 20-miler in a training plan, this happens to me later in the run. Doing some basic running drills for a few strides helps me to loosen up (beware: that's just my opinion). I DO NOT recommend stopping to stretch. Things just get all stiff and it's hard to get moving again.

Loosen-Up-Drills: At around the 2:15 mark, my hips were starting to tighten up. Running a few strides backwards, shuffling and doing a slowed down version of karoake footwork loosened my hips and legs up and all was well!

6. Switch Lanes When Possible.

Depending on your running surface, the road generally has a slight decline towards the edge of the surface. With great caution and only if it's safe in the current traffic, alternating the sides of the road you run on will help keep your body balanced. Watch for vehicles and always assume the drivers DON'T see you. Bike paths or desolate trails would be ideal but we don't all have access to those!

Switching Lanes: I switch sides of the gravel road regularly to keep from slanting one way for too long. On the highway, I run towards traffic unless it's a super quiet road and I can switch it up. I don't recommend doing that if you are listening to music or any audio while running.

7. Be Mindful of Post-Run Food Choices.

After you get in from the run, eating an entire pizza, a bag of Doritos and 2 doughnuts would be easy to justify but it won't help your training at all! Eat something with decent nutritional value post-run, whenever your stomach can tolerate some calories that aren't in gel form. Though I'm totally not anti-doughnuts... If I would have had a Tim Horton's Oreo doughnut available, I would have inhaled it after that run. Be sure to hydrate well the rest of the day and rest (if possible), too.

Post-Run Meal: Right after the run, I had a nice plate of beef stroganoff with garlic bread. It's my mom's specialty and one of my favorites! I was more hungry than usual the rest of that day and on Sunday, so I ate when hungry and tried to make good decisions (key word: tried). 

Easter Morning Breakfast: Pancakes and crunchy peanut butter NuttZo! So good.

20 miles, 2:46:48, 8:20/mile average.

All in all, the run went very well and I wasn't stiff afterwards. Say what?! That surprised me, too. Just maybe my body remembers this whole marathon thing!

We'll see how the next 20-miler goes...

"Resting" after a long run is hard to do with two active little people, but we had a great weekend with family celebrating Jesus Christ. I hope you had a blessed Easter celebrating our risen Savior! 


Fargo Marathon Training Week 12:

03/21 Monday - Easy-Effort with the Duallie: 6 mi, 00:57 @ 09:31 pace.

03/22 Tuesday - Speed Intervals: 4.61 mi, 00:38. Early morning run with the dog and ended up looping home to drop him off. He's been really lazy lately - definitely need to leave him home for speed and tempo days from now on! 3 x 1k @ 7:18, 7:08, 6:50. 6 x 1:00 minute planks - on extended arms, then on elbows, front, side, side.

03/23 Wednesday -  Strength Training:

03/24 Thursday - Tempo Run: 6.1 mi, 00:48. WU, 3.5 miles @ 7:32/mile avg pace, CD

03/25 Friday - Easy-Effort: 3.04 mi, 00:29 @ 09:28 avg pace. Joined by my husband :)

03/26 Saturday -  Long Run: 20 mi, 02:47 @ 08:20 avg pace. First 20-miler since 2013... It's been a long time! 7 x 1:00 minute plank series.

03/27 Sunday - Off.

Total Mileage: 39.75 miles

What is your best long run tip?

Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.

Training Week 11: Making Time for Marathon Training

Marathon training — just like any other discipline in life — requires intentional time management.

I often feel like a "closet runner" (you know, kinda like a "closet smoker" but with running?) because most of my weekly running is done in the dark hours of the early morning while the kids are still sleeping.

While running will always be prioritized below my calling as a wife and mom, I do believe it's important to make time for exercise and some quiet miles on my own. That's why I do my best to train before the kiddos are awake.

I just can't get enough of these guys!

We all have the same 24 hours in the day and we have to spend those hours wisely.

Time is so easy to spend but we can't ever get it back! As God's Word tells us, we need to be wise with how we live and make the most of every opportunity.
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. EPHESIANS 4:15-16 NIV
Time management is the most challenging aspect of marathon training for me, especially now that I'm a mom. How much time marathon training requires really depends on your mileage goals per week and the pace at which you run the miles.

Setting realistic goals for your season of life is vital for effective time management and enjoyable training. What's the point of running marathons if it's not enjoyable?!

Personally, running 5 days a week with 30-40 miles per week has been a great fit for me while training for the Fargo Marathon. Setting aside time for strength training and stretching is important, too!

Here are five ways I fit marathon training into everyday life:

5 Ways to Fit In Marathon Training

  • Early morning run. Lay out your running clothes and any other gear the night before. Prepare/plan breakfast for the morning, if you're an over-achiever. Set an alarm (or two) about half an hour before you need to be out the door. When it goes off, fly out of bed before your brain has a chance to realize what time it is. Get dressed. Run.
  • Mid-morning with the kids in the double jogging stroller. Save this option only for easy-effort days. Bring fruit snacks, a beverage, and a book or toy for the toddler. Plan to run on baby's first nap time. Bring dog because he needs exercise, too.
  • Nap time on the treadmill. This option is a last resort because baby's naps vary in length and time of day. Works best for quick speed workouts and shorter runs.
  • Family run in the early evening. Before supper, my husband and I take the double jogger and the dog for a run. This is great for runs of 6 miles or less at an easy-effort.
  • Strength train spontaneously. Going to the gym for an hour of strength training on top of running the marathon mileage just isn't a reality for me. I do a plank routine a couple times a week and strength train with my dumbbells. I have "spontaneously" strength trained in the kitchen while cooking supper or in the living room with the kids.

Two more things before I hop off the blogosphere soapbox...

DO your best to fit quality workouts and quality rest into your training BUT stay flexible! If you miss a workout... or a few... it's not the end of the world. Really, marathon training is supposed to be "fun" at least for those of us in the amateur runner category.

DON'T let training take the fun out of running! My mindset is that I want to run my best with whatever I have on race day and just cross that finish line. PR or not, completing a marathon at any pace is a pretty awesome experience! I'll crawl across that line if I have to :)

Fargo Marathon Training Week 11:

03/14 Monday - Easy-Effort: 6.36 mi, 01:00 @ 09:30 avg pace. Foggy morning run with the dog. 6 x 1:00 planks this evening.

03/15 Tuesday - Double Stroller Run: 5 mi, 00:42 @ 08:26 pace The whole family came along! Even the out-of-shape dog.

03/16 Wednesday -  Strength Training: 6 x 1:00 minute planks - on extended arms, then on elbows, front, side, side.

03/17 Thursday - Speed Intervals: 6.26 mi, 00:52 @ 08:15 avg pace. And the icy streets came back... I woke up to a white, slick blanket of ice/snow this morning! I guess it is still March and all. 25 degrees still feels pretty nice! 5 x 1k speed intervals @ 7:49/mile pace, 7:13, 7:33, 7:40, 7:43.

03/18 Friday - Easy-Effort: 4.26 mi, 00:40 @ 09:23 avg pace.

03/19 Saturday - Fast Finish Long Run: 15.01 mi, 02:01 @ 08:03 avg pace. 8 miles @ 8:23/mile avg pace followed by 7 miles @ 7:41/mile.

03/20 Sunday - Off.

Total Mileage: 36.89 miles

How do you make time for what's important to you?

Linking up with Fitness Health & Happiness

Book Review: (Un)Qualified

Having listened to many of Pastor Steven Furtick's sermon podcasts from Elevation Church in the past, I was excited to read his new book that was released this month — (Un)Qualified.

Throughout the book, Furtick makes solid biblical points about who we are, how we see ourselves and how God sees us. In a culture full of self — self-help, self-discovery, self-improvement, self-promotion — many fall into the trap of trying to "find themselves" outside of God. Yet knowing ourselves outside of God, our Creator, is an impossibility!
"But apart from God, it's impossible to get a clear picture of who we are, because our identity is so intimately and intricately and inseparably bound to his." Steven Furtick, (Un)Qualified
What initially drew me to this book was his statement that "God loves unqualified people." As a quite unqualified person myself, I find such hope in knowing that God has used unqualified people in the past — such as Jacob, Peter, and Paul — and He is still in the business of doing just that!

The first half of the book was a bit slow-moving but Furtick then finished with very powerful final chapters. He speaks of the Christian walk being an ongoing relationship with Jesus, a process of embracing and replacing, listening to God's voice and living out who He says we are.

I was encouraged by Furtick's message to embrace who God has created you to be and quit trying to become someone else. How much of our lives have been wasted pretending to be someone we're not?! I so easily fall into the traps of comparison, perfectionism and people-pleasing yet there is a way to freedom from all of that... and that way, the ONLY way, is through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.
"True freedom in Christ comes when you realize you have nothing to prove to anyone, because in Christ, God fully approves of you." Steven Furtick, (Un)Qualified
(Un)Qualified was a great read that made me think about how I define myself and how those words don't line up with what God really thinks of me. It has pushed me to embrace where God has me right now and press forward in the adventure of walking with my Lord and Savior!

God is my qualifier and my approver.
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:5-6 NLT
To learn more about the author and to order the book, visit the following pages: Steven Furtick and (Un)Qualified

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. All opinions are my own. Linking up with Mommy Moments.

Surprised for the Better! | Five Minute Friday

Our Five Minute Friday Word: "Surprise".

What's a "free write"? No editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write!

00:00 START the timer!

I had been warned.

Before we had our first baby, "Oh, my labors were terrible and lasted xxx hours, honey. Get the epidural right away! ...Good luck."

Before our second was born, "It's a hard adjustment. Having "just" one was so easy!"

And then warnings for the future, "Whew, just wait 'til you have three! Three is definitely the hardest."

Just wait 'til the toddler's potty training regresses, 'til they constantly fight over toys, 'til neither of them nap anymore, 'til they are teenagers.

But I wasn't warned about the...

The joy of watching our toddler meet his baby brother for the first time.

The precious yet slightly awkward moments of trying to hold both toddler and baby in our little rocking chair.

The dreaming of these two little brothers being best friends for life (and best enemies at times).

I have been surprised by being a mom of two — surprised for the better. And I pray that in the Lord's timing, He will add another precious little one to our family. Children are hard work but the blessings greatly overshadow the challenges!

So here's my challenge for you:

The next time you talk to a new parent or parent-to-be, share one of the blessings you have experienced as a parent. It's healthy to share the struggles of parenting as well, but timing is key.

How can you encourage someone today?
Kind words are like honey— sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. PROVERBS 16:24 NLT

05:00 STOP the timer!

***Bible verse added after the timer***

Training Week 10: Hard Workouts Keep You Honest

You can guess your way through a multiple-choice quiz, run a 5k on a whim, or "look" like a runner in a fancy new outfit, but you can't lie to the marathon.

Without the proper training, the marathon has the potential to chew up and spit a person out. (Sure, people run marathons from time to time without training, but it sure isn't good for the body!)

Saturday's fast finish long run was one of those "honest" workouts: 7 miles at my endurance pace followed by 7 miles at a hard effort; pushing me to run a negative split. Greg McMillan describes the FFLR like so:
"These are called fast finish long runs and they really help fix the fade that can occur in the marathon. In the fast finish long run, you run the first half of the run at your normal long run pace but then over the second half of the run, you begin to pick up the pace so that the last 30 minutes to one hour is at a hard effort." Greg McMillan in You (Only Faster)
The fast finish long run is a great strengthening exercise for my self-control and an honest check for my pacing skills.

A photo posted by Amy W (@creativeaim87) on

I'm turning over a new leaf for this race. In past marathons, I have taken off too fast and then ran the last part of the race on fumes (and a whole lot of heart).

So far it's worked, but that approach is likely going to catch up to me one day — as a DNF. While I'm not totally in love with those FF-LR's, I know I need to do a lot more of them.

Self-control — in running and in everyday life — is a "muscle" that needs to be strengthened through practice and prayer!
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 TIMOTHY 1:7 ESV
On a little side-note!

NuttZo sent me some awesome ambassador gear this week that I need to share with you. Our toddler turned 3 recently and he still thinks every package that comes in the mail is for him :) Poor guy, this one is for mom!

And, yes, it does require some "self-control" for me to stop eating this stuff! Their Crunchy Peanut Butter is delicious and I prefer to eat it straight off the spoon!

Use my ambassador discount code (will-20) to get 20% off your next NuttZo purchase!


Fargo Marathon Training Week 10:

03/07 Monday - Recovery Run: 7.11 mi, 01:07, 09:21 pace. Still stiff from Saturday's long run! Running on the snow/ice takes a little extra out of my legs. In the icy patches I felt like a hamster stuck on a wheel. Thank God our snow is MELTING today!!! The little ones and I spent the entire morning outside in the sun :) Strength: 6 x 1:00 minute planks - on extended arms, then on elbows, front, side, side.

03/08 Tuesday - Speed Intervals w/ Duallie Stroller: 5 mi, 00:43. Decided to sleep through my morning workout after a rough night with a fussy baby. Ended up being a bad decision... A windy and cool run with the double stroller should teach me to wake up on time from now on! I hope the lesson has been learned :) 5 x 1k intervals @ 8:22/mile pace, 8:25, 8:02, 8:17, 8:03

03/09 Wednesday -  Strength Training.

03/10 Thursday - Tempo Run: 6.01 mi, 00:49. WU, 5 miles @ 7:59/mile avg, CD. Felt like I didn't have much "umpf" this morning. I could be more motivated and wake up at 5 to sneak in a little pre-run breakfast... but I'm not THAT motivated!

03/11 Friday - Easy-Effort: 3.25 mi, 00:30 @ 09:08 avg pace. Took the dog with today. He stayed at my parents' farm while we were in Colorado and has plumped up in the course of 2 weeks! Time to get him running again :)

03/12 Saturday - Fast Finish Long Run: 14.01 mi, 01:53. Practicing the whole negative splits thing... and I need plenty of practice. First 7 miles @ 8:30 average (normal long run pace for me) and last 7 @ 7:40 average (hard-effort). The last few miles were hard but great pacing practice.

03/13 Sunday - Off.

Total Mileage: 35.38 miles

What workout has challenged you the most this week?
Are you a crunchy or smooth nut butter person?!

Linking up with Fitness Health & Happiness

Courage to Share | Five-Minute Friday

Our Five-Minute Friday Word: "Share".

What's a "free write"? No editing, no over-thinking, no worrying about perfect grammar or punctuation. Just write!

00:00 START the timer!

Sharing doesn't come natural to me. I often feel I'm not experienced enough to share as a mom, wife, writer, runner, designer... even as a follower of the Lord.

This blog was a huge step of faith for me, to share my experiences in the hopes of encouraging others that will be in similar shoes later. It was a step to open up, when I prefer to keep the "real me" door shut.

Taking the bold step to share the "real you" — the joys, hurts, weaknesses, quirks and all — requires courage. 

I feel tempted to stay comfortable by keeping my struggles to myself. Sharing who I really am opens up the door for criticism, reveals my weaknesses, and makes me vulnerable.

When I first shared my testimony and dedicated my life to Christ in 2011, I experienced the amazing freedom of the Holy Spirit but the vulnerability of sharing with others terrified me. Sharing how the Lord saved me from all of my brokenness and bad decisions gave me such joy, yet at the same time, the Enemy whispered, "Don't let them know how truly messed up you are!"

I have the courage to share the many areas of brokenness because it allows the light of Jesus Christ shine through in my life.

I have the courage to share my little experience as a "baby Christian" and as a new-ish mom and wife because it may encourage another woman to know that she's not alone.

Sharing isn't comfortable but it's worth it to share the message of Jesus Christ and to spur others along in the battlefield of life.

Daily, I need to remind myself to have the courage to share — to get over my fears, my ego, my pride — to bring the glory to God that He deserves.
It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God. He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life. 2 CORINTHIANS 3:5-6 NLT

05:00 STOP the timer!

***Bible verse and quote added after the timer***

Training Weeks 8 and 9: A Peek at Our Colorado Adventures

We have been back home for a week now and I'm finally caught up enough to share a little of our Colorado adventures!

Being the flat-lander that I am, the mountains are absolutely amazing. Everything on this earth is God's creation — yes, even the pancake-flat places — and exploring a new place gives me a whole new sense of awe. These verses sum it up perfectly:
When I consider Your heavens,
the work of Your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which You have set in place,
what is mankind that You are mindful of them,
human beings that You care for them?
Psalm 8:3-4
Here are a few of my favorite shots summarized in one sentence. (If I don't aim to keep it brief, I will end up writing an entire novel.)

The weather was perfect and we enjoyed a lot of outdoor cousin play-time!

We had breath-taking view of Longs Peak from our cabin covered in a fresh layer of snow.

The hubs and I enjoyed these super huge and delicious nachos at "The Wapiti" on our date in town.

The view of Longs Peak and the Twin Sisters Peak on the run was something I never want to forget.

The Thomas the Train set was the kids' favorite part of the library trip.

We looooved the Denver Zoo and the 60°F weather that day!


Fargo Marathon Training Week 8:

Week 8 of training took place a few miles from Estes Park, CO at 9,200 ft. elevation while we visited our family. Whew! The combination of running at altitude and the rolling hills rocked me.

I took the week off of "training" but still went out for a few runs to enjoy the mountains.

02/22 Monday - Near Estes Park, Colorado: 2.25 mi, 00:24 @ 10:32 avg pace.

02/23 Tuesday - Off.

02/24 Wednesday - Near Estes Park, Colorado: 3.04 mi, 00:33 @ 10:56 avg pace.

02/25 Thursday - Off. Hiked .4 miles around Lily Lake with baby in the Boba carrier.

02/26 Friday - Near Estes Park, Colorado: 3.31 mi, 00:36 @ 10:59 pace. We went to the Denver Zoo later that day and it was AWESOME!!!

02/27 Saturday - Driving home day 1.

02/28 Sunday - Driving home day 2.

Week 8 Mileage: 8.6 miles

Fargo Marathon Training Week 9:

Back at our homeland at a comfy 830 ft. elevation this week ☺

02/29 Monday - Easy-Effort: (Treadmill) 3.39 mi, 00:30 @ avg 08:51 pace.

03/01 Tuesday - Tempo Intervals: 4 mi, 00:31 @ avg 07:50 pace. 4 x 1k @ 7:01-6:50/mile pace.

03/02 Wednesday - Off.

03/03 Thursday - E's 3rd birthday! Tempo: 6.1 mi, 00:50 @ 08:08 pace. First outdoor tempo run of the year! Icy in town, soupy gravel roads but it was a tempo run none the less :) 4.5 miles @ 7:50/mile pace.

03/04 Friday - Recovery: (Treadmill) 2 mi, 00:20 @ 09:50 avg pace.

03/05 Saturday - Long Run: 16 mi, 02:17 @ 08:32 avg pace. I met that handsome little snowcat rider  pictured below when I returned from the run!

03/06 Sunday - Off.

Week 9 Mileage: 31.49 miles

A photo posted by Amy W (@creativeaim87) on

What has been your favorite adventure in the past year?

Linking up with Fitness Health & Happiness

Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies Review

Want to make someone's day? Send them a big ole' container of fresh-baked cookies!

When the box of Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies arrived to our house, my day was made. It's the simple things in life, right?

Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies was founded in 1983 by Jimmy Libman — a dedicated businessman, deaf from birth, but never handicapped by the physical obstacles he faced. He has now passed the responsibility of producing Gimmee Jimmy's spectacular home baked cookies to a small team of successors.

They use fresh natural and kosher certified ingredients in their baked goods and their products are shipped fresh daily across America in beautiful cookie tins!

Our cookies arrived in a plastic bag inside the tin to preserve freshness and with minimal crumbling from the shipping process. After a careful analysis and sampling of each type of cookie, we came upon one conclusion: Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies makes something for everyone! 

While you can't beat cookies fresh out of the oven, Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies is definitely the best delivered cookie! Our toddler especially enjoyed sampling cookies with me during our morning "coffee break" (a.k.a. his baby brother's nap time).

In our tin of Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies, we received an assortment of delicious baked treats:
  • Chocolate and Cinnamon Rugelach
  • Rainbow Cookies
  • M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • White Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Marble Cookies

And that's just the tip of the iceberg! Do you prefer Brownies, Crumb Cake or the classic Oatmeal & Raisin Cookies? Gimmee Jimmy's makes all of those and more! Check out their full list of baked goods on their product page.

The Cinnamon Rugelach was my absolute favorite and the M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies were a close second in our house. Both varieties were gone very quickly!

Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies bakes quality deliciousness delivered right to your doorstep with variety that will suit the taste-buds of every and anyone. Thank you, Gimmee Jimmy's, for the opportunity to review your tasty baked goods!

A photo posted by Amy W (@creativeaim87) on

Connect with Gimmee Jimmy's Cookies!

I was sent this product to review through my affiliation with the Association of Food Bloggers. All opinions are my own.