Once I was off the bike, changing shoes and stretching, I started to feel relieved. My back pain was eased and so was my knee pain. After 19 minutes in the transition tent that included a failed potty break (TMI moment), I ran out of the changing tent and onto the start of the marathon route. For a moment, everything felt surreal, I was a little disoriented, and I couldn’t believe I was finally in the last portion of the Ironman. I just hoped I was on the right running path.
The marathon route consisted of three loops, approximately 9 miles except for the last one which veered off into the grand finale finish. I felt better and better in those early miles, even hitting an 8.5 mile pace. For almost 10 miles, I thought maybe my coach was wrong about athletes negative splitting the Ironman marathon. But at around mile 9, I started to feel the ball of my right foot burning. I later realized thy feet were blistering. I stopped to stretch them and that helped tremendously. I also modified my foot strike. I usually roll off of ball of my foot. I tried landing on the outside of my foot and that was good. I was back in action, but not as fast anymore. The dream of negative splits or an 8.5-9 minute per mile pace was out the window.
Again, I said to myself, “Just run to finish this Ironman. I won’t be setting any records anyway.” So, I plugged along, however, I did notice I was passing a whole lot of people I'd seen on the bike course flying by me. I don’t know if they were on their first, second or third lap, but it still made me feel strong.
At mile 8 or 17 (I can’t remember) I saw my hubby and a San Antonio cheer squad on the side and I slowed down to say hello and give my hubby a kiss for being a great supporter. Its on video and I posted it !
At about mile 11, my Garmin watch died!! Ugh!! How could it let me down!! I felt like someone might has well have taken my eyesight from me. Lol! How do we become so dependent on technology? It left me with no choice but to run by “feel.” I had no idea how fast I was running it could have been 12 minute miles. And it was, at times. But I varied from a 9 minute mile, to 10:23 at the half, 12:40 minute/mile at mile 21, back up to a 10:50 minute/mile for about the last 3 miles of the marathon. I finished in 4:43:41 which was bad. I estimated I’d finish anywhere from 4:45 to 5:00, but of course I prayed for a 4:15-4:30. Next time.
By this time, night started to set in and mosquitos were coming out. I never usually get bitten, but they were coming after me, especially in the dark, tree lined stretches of the route. I wish I’d brought a night light for my hat so instead I just had to be extra cautious with my footing.
Also at this point, I would occasionally stop and walk at some of the water stations where I rehydrated, but would start running again after a minute or two. Getting to mile 18 from here was the hardest part of the race. It felt like forever.
But after I made the turn for the 3rd lap, I ran into my friend, April Ancira’s San Antonio cheer squad and I stopped for a little break and to get some bug spray. As soon as I stopped I felt myself start to sway and see a few stars so I knew I was in trouble. I gulped down most of a cold 16 ounce water bottle and had a few hits of Base Electrolyte Salts that I was carrying in a small cylinder. It seemed to wake me up immediately. I had a new pep in my step going into mile 20! It was great. I just made it a point to keep drinking water and getting another dose of salt every mile until mile 22.
At mile 23, I no longer felt pain, but I could feel the euphoria of reaching the finish. It was so close I could touch it. So I picked up my pace enough where I knew I could get across the finish line without passing out. And for the few miles, since we are not allowed to run with music & headphones, I had been imagining in my head the dance I would break into as soon as I hit the finish line. I knew there would be pictures and video from the Ironman and the videographer I’d hired to shoot my race, Tati Biermas.
Yes, it seems like much, but at the time, I figured I wanted to document the only Ironman I was ever going to attempt. Now, I’m sure I will be doing it again. Next goal? Knock off two hours. Maybe hit a 10-11 hour Ironman. I don’t have years and years of good knees left in me, so I’m gonna work toward the long shot finish next time around.
As I look back I am so thankful for my supportive husband. Although he doesn’t always understand why I put my body through what I do, he encourages me to be my best and enjoy myself. I also want to thank my coach, Dawn Monroe Eastwood, www.coachdawnelder.com, who’s done over a dozen Ironman with 3 Kona’s under her belt,plus Cozumel at least once before. She knew exactly how to prepare me for this course and even when I had major doubts I would finish, she pushed me and believed in me. I could never have been this prepared had I only followed a training plan without an actual coach. I am also thankful to my friend and chiropractor, Nick Milner, also an Ironman triathlete, who help me initially with my knee pain, with some physical therapy exercises, and major encouragement to keep going because he knows what it takes to finish the task. I am thankful for orthopedic surgeon Dr Philip Jacobs, who my hubby insisted I see. He diagnosed me with arthritis in my knee and ultimately gave me a steroid shot that would help diminish the pain a ton. And also, Justin Martindale, at Promotion Physical Therapy for giving me extra strengthening exercises and Ktape that would support my knee. Plus, Tim, at Bike World in San Antonio, who worked patiently with me to adjust my bike fit 3 different times to accommodate my knee and back pain. Finally, A HUGE thanks to my sweet mother for helping me watch my kiddos and pick them up from school when I was stuck finishing my long rides out in the boonies and couldn’t get back in time.
Ironman training takes much more time than I had imagined. I am not sure I would have tackled it if I had known this beforehand. So for next time, another goal, is to figure a way to be more efficient with my training so maybe I train when the family is sleeping. Ha! For now, time to get back to lifting and rebuilding the strength I lost especially in the last few months.
The journey to Ironman has definitely been memorable and one that, again, teaches me so many lessons on how to live my life. There are no short cuts to success. Only hard, consistent work pays off in the end. Have faith in the process. If you waver off course a bit, get right back in the saddle. Don’t give up. Blood, sweat and tears will get you there. Surround yourself with positive energy. Whatever you do, put your heart and soul into it.
There were 3 loops to the bike course, about 37 miles each, along the southern half of the island. I’d already read about and was told by my coach, Dawn Monroe Eastwood, (www.coachdawnelder.com) where to expect the hard winds on the course. I figured for the first loop, I’d familiarize myself with the course. I started out slow trying to get a feel for my arthritic knee and if it was going to act up. It was not bad, but I didn’t want to risk a flare up, so I rode very conservatively and focused on enjoying the gorgeous scenery. Riding along the ocean on the east side was breathtaking.
By loop two, at 38 miles, I was feeling strong and I started to push it, moving my speed up to about 16-18 miles per hour. Mind you, that is considered pretty slow for a race like this. I could tell people were passing me left and right, well, mostly on the left. I had to remind myself constantly that I was racing my own race, just to finish. I couldn’t let anyone dictate how fast I would go. In my mind, maybe I’d to catch a lot of these people on the run. HA !
The “windy” side of the island went from about mile 53 to 65 on the second loop. About halfway into that windy section, the arthritis in my knee started to flare up. I’m sure I popped another Advil plus a Hammer Enduralytes pill. By this time, I’d had 2 Lara bars, but I couldn’t stomach having any more. Solid foods no longer felt like they were being processed by my body, and my digestive system was stopped up. Sorry, TMI there, but it’s a real issue with me. I would not eat anything else for the rest of the day and that’s unheard of. So I kept drinking. I didn’t feel a need for food which kinda scared me.
Heading into the last 5 or 6 miles of loop two through downtown were bumpy, lots of turns and a bit slow, but at least this time, I maneuvered refilling, emptying and unloading my water bottles much better.
Starting the last loop at about mile 74 near Chatakanaab Park I felt strong, but not as strong as the last time around and I was starting to feel uncomfortable in my seat. So I did a lot of shifting around, some standing and just changing up my position to try to find a less compromised spot on my tush. Somehow I muscled through that last windy stretch and took the left turn, heading west to the city center. I was in the home stretch!!! Although it felt like forever until I started to see the familiar traffic intersections, cheering sections of local folks and traffic police stopping cars to let us through. In case you’re wondering, I only stopped once on the bike when another cyclist blocked me at a water station. I had to stop to keep from crashing into her. So I did, just for a second, refilled gatorade and kept going. But I never stopped for a restroom break which seemed unreal for me since I’d been taking regular bathroom breaks during my training. And usually, no bathroom breaks (some triathletes just “go” on the bike and don’t stop) means you’re dehydrated. I just hoped I wouldn’t pass out although it didn’t feel like dizzy in any way.
I just kept going and going until it seemed like all of a sudden, volunteers were waving me into the finishing lane and I was about to dismount. That’s when I heard my name, I wasn’t sure from where, but all of sudden I saw my hubby sitting on the curb, taking photos with his iphone. Oh my gosh, that was hilarious and so sweet because he hates taking pictures, being in pictures and anything to do with social media. So I smiled, waved and called out to him, too, as I rode into the second transition area.
As I was getting off the bike, I thought to myself,”Okay, this could be a great day. I don’t need to do anything else to feel like I’ve had a great day of exercise…….But…. there was still a marathon left to run. Ugh! Whaaat??! This is insane. Can I do it?”
LEADING UP TO THE DAY:
It never fails, the night before a big event I don’t sleep because of nerves, anxiety or butterflies in my stomach. So, needless to say, I slept maybe two hours the night before Ironman Cozumel. And all night, the question in my mind was how could I possibly handle 15 hours of continuous, endurance exercise the next day on no sleep?
But at 4:30 am the alarm went off and I was up. I had put all my gear together the night before and, of course, my bike and run bags were deposited at the transition areas the day before, too.
At 4:45, in my hotel lobby, I made it a point to have a good breakfast, nothing too filing. I had oatmeal, peanut butter on toast, a banana and a small cup of coffee the Westin Hotel had set out for Ironman athletes that morning.
We rode a bus to the bike transition to leave any last minute items, then bussed over to the swim start.
From 7:00 to 8:00AM I waited, and waited, and left my bag with dry clothes for later with a friend I made during that time. Dawn was “sherpa-ing” for her friend, Shae. They were from Georgia. They were sweet enough to let me hang with them. The swim start pictures I posted were taken by Dawn. Note to self. Bring a sherpa next time, or insist my hubby act as the full time sherpa (not part time like he did this trip)! Haha!!
Finally, after standing in line with our 1:20-1:30 wave, Shae and I were finally in the water at around 8:00AM. A lot of folks jumped off the pier into the ocean. I did not. I’d heard the stories of people gashing their feet on the rocks in the water and then having to race with bleeding feet for the next 12-15 hours. No, thank you. I sat on my butt, and scooted into the water. Even so, I still had that “Oh, crap, this is about to happen,” thought in my head. When my head went under the water, my next thought was, “I’m going to drown.” I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the ocean. I could NOT see the end or IMAGINE it anywhere. There were bodies scraping up behind me, feet feverishly kicking in front of me, and arms flailing at my sides. The waves were swelling on my right and the sun was painfully bright on my left. I couldn’t catch a good breath and I felt on the verge of panic. I also didn’t see anyone on a canoe to help a swimmer in danger anywhere near me. “Crap!” Again. “What kind of support was this???” I told myself to get it together, calm down, just get away from the start area find a little space for my swim and to find my rhythm. I just kept swimming and finally after about 800 yards (according to my Garmin Fenix watch) I was finally into a rhythm. I started focusing on the buoys, just swimming from one buoy to the next. I couldn’t see nor remember what the landmarks were supposed to be, so I figured I’d get to the finish after some number of buoys. I must have swum past 8 to 10 buoys. I lost count, before I saw the thatched roofs at the piers that marked the exit. It took me another 20 minutes to reach them, but by then, I knew I had made it. I scrambled with the other swimmers to the edge of the beach stairs and crawled out of the water. Wow! That felt like a looooooong swim. My shoulders were exhausted. I was glad I would not have to depend on them the same way for part two of the Ironman.
Transition one, it seems, took me forever. I was in there for 15 minutes. Re-applying anti chafing lotion, sunscreen, gulping down water and a sugar cookie, adding a helmet and shoes, filling my pockets with Lara bars and extra electrolyte drink powder packets for my water bottles. Finally, I ran to grab my bike and I was off for 112 miles!
It took me 28 minutes to get this look done. Stage make up under bright lights is very different from your day to day application and even from an evening look. Especially when you have to make it somewhat match with the mega tan they apply to us fitness competitors. Have a look! I like a glam yet natural look for the stage. Nothing overdone.
IT'S ABOUT TO GET CRAZY AROUND HERE
So I’m winding down to the last few weeks of training before prep goes into crazy overdrive with depletion workouts and nutrient manipulation to get to that final shredded state and stage ready.
I’m working on the details of my posing routines for two different divisions in the fitness competition, that being bikini (or beach body) and figure. What I’ve learned from my coaches is that I have the body type that, for now, can compete in bikini and, also, figure, which is a more developed muscle physique. What that means, though, is that I’ll be a smaller figure competitor, for sure. But judges look for balance and symmetry and how your body shows that. You don’t want to have overly huge thighs or even shoulders that don’t match the rest of your physique. So, with that in mind, I’m gonna go for it. Why the heck not? You only live once, right? Might as well do as much as you can. Sink or swim. I plan to swim, even if to have to hold on to the side for a little bit. Plus, I bought a frickin amazing posing suit that I am determined to wear more than once to get my money’s worth out of it.
Today I did a shoulder and triceps workout before hitting a session with my posing coach, who, by the way, is amazing. I’ve learned so much from Brittany Rice about what to bring to the stage that’s going to set you apart from other competitors. I can’t even begin to tell you how far I’ve come. She’s really helped me bring my “sass” out on stage, which you definitely need to make an impact on judges, as well as the tight glutes, abs and overall muscle tone and conditioning.
This year, my challenge has been to build my shoulders. It’s been really difficult. My coach says I must be an ectomorph. That sounds horrible but it’s basically a long, lean person who has difficulty building muscle. That would be me. (Not sure about the long and lean part at my age.) But our plan is for me to lift heavy for another week before depletion supersets start and then peak week, of course. My coach, Helen Horton, says continuing to lift heavy should keep me full in time for the stage. (You don’t want to look “flat” Read all about ectomorphs here and what body type are you www.bodybuilding.com/fun/becker3.htm )
That brings me to the next progress mention. Today I went in for body measurements and even though I knew the scale had not been moving in a downward direction much I felt a lot leaner and tighter in the midsection and all-around. I was on average about a half a pound lighter throughout the week, but at this point I’m not trying to lose much weight. It’s more about how my physique is looking overall.
Last time I checked in for body composition measurements, I was 9.4% bodyfat with 113 pounds of lean mass. Today, two weeks later, I was down to 9.1% bodyfat with 112 pounds of lean body mass. I’ve gone down only about a half a pound, but it all adds up to some nice gains over the two weeks. Less fat plus I’m slighter lighter in weight is a great thing!
It to give you an idea how different women’s bodies can be, some figure competitor teammates and even bikini competitors on my team, have gone on stage at about 7% bodyfat. In fact, one of our teammates is currently at 7.4% bodyfat and she’s also 3 weeks out from competition. But everybody’s body shape and where you hold your weight, is so
different that 7.5% body fat on stage may look perfect on one women but that would make another competitor look like Skeletor.
For me, much of my advantage (if I do it right) will come from my posing routine, conditioning (holding the flexed pose) and angles I show on stage. Of course, the nutrition has to be on point, and with Helen’s guidance, I shouldn’t have any problems there.
All in all, this prep season has been amazing, my best one so far! I eliminated some stressors, got better sleep and was able to focus better on my nutrition. I’m not saying I didn’t feel like just quitting at some point during this training because I did!! But every time I was feeling defeated, I went through some significant turning point that kept me on the path.
So, what I’d like to share and stress to you is to never be afraid to put it all on the line. Face the scariest things in your life with staunch determination and don’t stop even when you’re at your weakest moments and you want to throw it all away, find that small grain of strength and pull yourself out of your funk and march on! It worked for me for 26 years as a TV newscaster and now as a developing fitness competitor.
Weeks one and two you are gung-ho. Heck, the first month you’re usually still going strong. But heading into the second or third month, and your diet and exercise plan can start to feel fatiguing and downright draining.
But even if the scale is not budging, you have to celebrate and cling to every win. Every step closer to your goal is significant no matter how big or small.
I just had my body assessment done, and I’m down about 1% body fat in 3 weeks to 13.6%. It’s not much but somethings is something, right? And even though the scale has stayed the same, I’ve increased lean body mass by a pound to 112 lbs.
I’m in the 7th week of training for my first fitness competition of the season. While the scale hasn’t changed much, I feel stronger and, of course, the clothes are fitting better.
I met with my posing coach for the first time yesterday and went through the basic figure poses and routines. I have a lot of work to do, but she was excited about my lats so that makes me thrilled about my progress.
Can’t wait to see what the next 2-4 weeks will bring!
If you’re on a journey to get healthier, get stronger, lose weight, this is around the time many folks give up or get discouraged. Don’t.
Trust in the process. Make tweaks where you have to. I’m currently tweaking my diet to compensate for what seems to be food sensitivities I have now that I didn’t used to have! Here’s a helpful article that discusses how to lose fat and build muscle https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/6-ways-to-reduce-body-fat-while-increasing-muscle.html
Our bodies change as we get older, and “healthy” foods that helped us lose weight in our 20’s and 30’s may not help, but hinder you, in your 40’s and 50’s.
Be patient. Sometimes it takes time to figure out your body.
This Saturday marks 15 weeks until I hit the stage for my first fitness competition this season. I have been excited about this prep frankly because I was tired of overindulging during the holidays and I was craving some clean, natural and non processed foods. So, as I have discovered after 3 years of preparing for fitness competitions, there are ebbs and flows in the training. For example, just when you think, you’ve got the whole process figured out, you get a curveball thrown at you.
It happened to me last year in my third year going through fitness competition training. I was finally “free” of the time constraints of a full time job. I had “more time" to devote to prep and “less stress” from a demanding career. Or so I thought.
The red flags? While prepping for the two competitions I had in 2018, my body wasn’t responding the way I expected. I mean, in my mind, I had figured out how to manipulate macros to help me lose weight and build muscle the year before, but I just wasn’t seeing the progress as quickly as the other competitors on my team and I couldn’t explain why. My body seemed to be at a standstill for almost 2 months with very little progress in my physique development. My body fat was barely creeping down as the weeks went by. I started my prep in May and, still, at the end of June, I felt stagnant. I couldn’t see the progress in the mirror, the scale or my body measurements.
Should I quit? Well, that wasn’t an option, but I was preparing myself to face failure if my body couldn’t get its act together. I tried everything I could to figure out what was hindering me and couldn’t pinpoint it. I took extra digestive enzymes, probiotics, special teas to help with digestion, but nothing worked. It was so strange because everything I had done the year before to get stage ready, didn’t seem to be working this time around.
How zany is fitness competition prep? I am the first to admit, being stage ready for a competition, can be extreme. It’s wild to think a woman will diet down to 8-9%t body fat and in the process lose about 10-15 pounds to get there. Some competitors may lose more, if they start out heavier. But what I enjoy about competing is, not only the challenge of getting “stage ready”, but everything I have learned about eating clean. Learning to meal prep has made all the difference in my knowledge about weight loss and maintenance. Plus, even after I am done competing for good, there are so many things I can take with me as I transition into a less restrictive lifestyle so I don’t spiral into the weight gain trap.
What did I learn? Well, I learned that when you make major life changes, as in your work schedule, changes careers, or leaving a career, it will affect your mental state and ability to reach weight loss goals. At least it did in my case. But my body is like that — I’ve heard others are like this, too, But, seriously, any change in routine, even traveling, throws my body out of whack.
What else changed? Not just the lack of a structured day where I had every moment figured out, but I started a new business as a fitness & nutrition coach, and that was taking a lot of my time, cutting into my sleep and generally adding a physical workload that I wasn’t figuring in to my prep. When I finally started counting the calories I was burning during the boot camp classes I was holding, it turns out I was burning as many as 300 to 400 calories per class, just setting up weights, and teaching it!! So maybe I wasn’t eating enough or eating too many protein bars because I didn’t have the time to stop and breathe and get in regular foods. Maybe, as my nutrition, aka, life coach, told me I was building up cortisol which was interfering with my physique goals. (Check out what too much cortisol does here: www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/stress/art-20046037 )
What am doing differently now? I have realized I have to remove some of the stressors in my life if I want to reach a new, bigger and better personal goal. So, just as I have preached to my clients, I have had to apply the advice to my own life. I have to slow down. We all have to slow down, to be able to focus on priorities and reach your goals. If you are a notorious multitasker with a little bit of ADD in your personality, like me, that is really hard.
So, moving forward, the goal in 2019 is to declutter physically, emotionally, and digitally! Focus, take your time, be patient and work hard! Now, get after those goals! Hope all your aspirations for this year and beyond come true!
\ Every week gets better and has its high points and setbacks. Week 2 went just like that. Sunday through Thursday were amazing. I followed the diet plan well, I came much closer to hitting my calories and macronutrients like I am supposed to. I got back into the swimming pool for laps. This is my steady state cardio much like what many of my 8 Week Get Lean Challengers are required to do for their cardio. It used to be really hard to step back from my running to swim or jump rope or cycle instead, but now I enjoy the rest I give my knees by switching gears in the cardio department.
I dropped down to 130 pounds but then came Friday and my husband's charity golf tournament and I blew it on the diet end. I'm pretty mad at myself for not having more self control, But as with all fitness journeys, it takes time to get to your goals. Thank goodness I have 16 more weeks to go. (But when you are on an 8 week challenge, it doesn't give you much leeway for slip ups.)
Anyway, I'm back on track, I am expecting to drop my calories again this week. Not sure by how much yet. But I have been having trouble eating all those calories on most days anyway (except the weekend when I blew it!)
So, new week, slightly adjusted nutrition goals, positive attitude and, boom, let's get it done!
Week one was tough. I got all the workouts done, and actually Monday through Wednesday were great. I even lost a pound in those 3 days, and hidden ab muscles were beginning to make a reappearance.
The hard part is that I am planning my food a little differently this year since I don't have to be at an "office" for eight to nine hours a day, so it's not necessary to pack my food for the day. I can prepare it with a little more flexibility and creativity. However, as a result, I haven't gotten into a groove for when to eat my food, when to have a snack versus a regular meal. I'm basically all over the place as a mom who works from home now scheduling my day around the kids and the hubby.
That's where having a set routine, where you do work and have to be somewhere from a certain time to a certain time helps if you are meal prepping or trying to stay on an eating schedule. It gives you that routine and stability of knowing where you are going to be at some hour of the day. Even if you travel in a car for your workday, at least you know where you will be and how to plan your food.
My calories are down to 1883 for a few days a week and 1663 for the rest of the time. So I have been logging my food meticulously and looking at the grams of protein, carbs, and fats that I am eating.
My biggest challenge has actually been getting all my protein in and sometimes the carbs, too. What happens is by 8:30 or 9 I am still supposed to eat more, but I just can't handle eating anymore chicken, beef or fish! I haven't wanted a protein shake, either. I am going to have to change my routine somehow. I bought some bone broth recently. Maybe I'll have to force myself to drink my protein in a broth that's not so heavy for late in the evening. I need to try a few recipes with it. I might just add some lo carb toast to it or add the broth to another dish. One cup has 50 calories and 10 grams of protein. (<-insert creativity here)
So where am I starting in this competition prep process ? I managed to keep my body fat between 12-15% during marathon training, but in the last 4 weeks of training and in the 2 weeks post-marathon, I popped up to 19% body fat. Not good. But that's what's been happening during the longest portions of my endurance training. (That's why I got into bodybuilding!) I think my body goes into "reserve" mode or "safety" mode and starts hoarding calories because it thinks I'm going to die running all those miles! Lol But, seriously, I think that's what's happening. It's like a self preservation mechanism. But the good news is I didn't get up to 23% body fat which is what happened last year. And I attribute that to following a macros plan all year.
One documented theory for why this happens to endurance athletes is explained in an article by Gale Bernhardt, an Olympic triathlete and cycling coach, on TrainingPeaks.com, According to the piece, nearly 25% of American adults have Metabolic Syndrome, a disorder that "causes calories to be stored instead of burned. If you have Metabolic Syndrome you’re not good at using calories from sugar for energy....You can’t get sugar into the muscle. Sugar gets moved to the liver and converted to stored fat." So how the body uses sugar, or carbs, is affected. Your body is processing the carbs you eat for energy and instead is just hoarding them on your body. You can read more about this here www.trainingpeaks.com/blog/metabolic-syndrome-gaining-weight-during-endurance-sports-training/
But now for the positives of the week! I recently discovered a new breakfast item/snack I love thanks to my coach! Mashed sweet potatoes and a scoop of any favorite protein powder. I like to add fruit on top! I keep the sweet potatoes to 100-120 grams. So it comes out to about 270-280 calories per serving and at least 20 grams of that is protein. Win!!
Seventeen more weeks to get this new round of prep done right! The Texas Shredder is September 8th! Not letting one set back knock me off track. Just gotta focus on starting the week fresh and doing the best I can. That's what I hope my Get Lean Challengers take from this, too! One bad day or week isn't the end of the world.