What’s up? How are y’all? Did you have a good day yesterday? Yeah. Me too. I RAN A DAMN MARATHON.
Okay – first off? Let’s just say that the phrase “I ran a marathon” is not exactly accurate. A better choice of words would be “I ran more than half of the marathon and then hobbled the other half.”
I got to the start line at 7am, but they were doing corral starts and we were put in a corral based on how fast we said we’d run. I assumed that we would all start at the same time, it would just take those of us in back longer to actually cross the start line. Nope. They actually started each corral separately. I started at 7:40am, which means my mile 1 time was almost 1 hour. That’s a pretty depressing start to a race.
Luckily, my Dad, son, and brother were there to cheer me on. I got to hug LilZ right before I started which was the boost I needed. I saw them again at mile 8 (I beat them to mile 3 because I was SO DAMN FAST.) and stopped for a second to eat some of their food. I had been feeling really light headed. Probably because it got very hot very fast.
My longest run of the training has been 16 miles, and I walked a lot of that. I also got blisters around the 14 mile mark, which is pretty typical for me. I went into yesterday expecting the same, and knowing the last half of the marathon would be pretty painful. Little did I know? That something about yesterday would inspire my feet to blister at mile 4.
Mile 4 of 26.2.
By mile 9 or 10, at least one of them had popped and I had them on the bottoms of both feet. I was still running, but not well, and I was being passed by walkers. But – I was still running and was in a good crowd. However, I noticed almost the entire crowd around me was wearing yellow numbers, which mean they were running the half-marathon. I started wondering how thin the group would get at the 11-mile mark when we split off.
Oh – and hearing them all cheer at the 6.6 mark, “Halfway there!” made me want to smack someone. I was all, “Seriously? Are there no other marathoners around me to cry with right now?”
When the 11-mile split came, they divided us down a closed 4-lane road. The marathoners were running on the left side while the halfers were running on the right. The right side of the highway was packed full of runners. The left side? Was me and, like three other people. That would be when I started getting a wee depressed. I just suddenly felt lonely. Everybody had a running buddy it seemed, but me. I started thinking about how my husband and daughter – half of my family – were 120 miles away. I was thinking about how I had so far to go. How my feet hurt so bad. How much my family would hate me if I quit.
Around mile 13, we turned to a more secluded area. Since the roads were shut down, the only activity you saw were marathoners and anyone at water breaks along the way. Part of the road past 13.1 turned down this greenway by the river. Gorgeous. But so quiet and lonely. That was probably the darkest part of the race. I was still running, but barely. I was upset with my feet for crapping out on me so early. I was upset with the corral start that had me in a group 40 minutes slower than I should be (I felt like if I were 40 minutes ahead, I wouldn’t be so alone.) I kept being passed by pairs of people talking and chatting their way down this lonely stretch of road. I was not in a good place.
I called everyone in my family twice for the next 2 miles or so. I cried to my Mom. I cried to my husband. I called my brother and tried not to cry but he could hear it in my voice. He was going to meet me at mile 20 and run the last 6 with me. After hearing me he said, “We’ll head to mile 19 and just walk backwards until we see you.” I was happy he didn’t tell me to get over it since he’s the man who ran his first marathon AFTER swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles.
Around mile 14 or so, I started walking/running. My feet were just hurting so bad that every pound to the pavement on my blisters made me want to cry. Around mile 15 a girl started talking to me. Jennifer. My angel from Texas. She was all, “The bottoms of my feet hurt. And they never hurt!” and I hugged her and asked her to be my BFF. We walked/jogged together for the next mile or so and then committed to just walking awhile. I felt happy again. We got out of the damn stretch of the course where it was just us and the river and we got back into civilization. I was thanking the spectators and the police men still holding the course for us. I was a barrel of sunshine. Like a totally different person. I was walking, but I was HAPPY.
My brother met us at the 18.5 mile mark. That was great. We jogged a couple of feet every mile, but mostly it was me hobbling. We were going to see my Dad and LilZ at mile 20 and I joked I wanted to run toward them so it would look like I had been running the whole time. We ran and then I popped the other blister on the other foot. AWESOME. That’s what I get for showing off.
Jennifer ended up walking ahead of us a short while later, I was going very slow for miles 21-23 or so. Like 22 minute miles. I kept telling myself, “It is not this race that should represent my accomplishment. It’s the 400+ miles I have RUN up until this point to train.” I was trying not to get down on myself for walking so much, I wanted to remember all of the running I had done until that point. But it was hard. 22-minute miles is slower than I walk in normal life.
Around mile 23.5 or so I started feeling the finish line getting close, so I was able to pick up the pace. I think those last 2+ miles were about 18-minute paces. I looked at my watch at one point and thought, “The 25-mile marker should be here soon.” Then, this lovely woman who was still there cheering us on said, “Good job! The 25-mile marker is hiding behind that ambulance right there.” I about kissed her I was so happy. 1.2 more miles.
At the 1-mile to go mark, there was a huge sign that said, “We (heart) Kim!” I told the people sitting next to it that my name was Kim and thanked them for the sign. It was the first sign I had seen with my name all day. I thought I would see more since “Kim” is such a common name. But if I were only going to see one? That was the best one ever.
My Dad and LilZ were at the 26-mile mark. I asked LilZ if he could run the last stretch with me, and he said “Yes” which was awesome since he’d been walking all day. We ran, I mean, ran to the finish line. My Mom and Aunt were there cheering us on. I crossed the finish line with my son. My husband and daughter couldn’t be there – but crossing that line with my son was amazing. And then being able to do it with the rest of my family watching? Was the most amazing thing. It was as close as it could have been to perfect without MrZ and NikkiZ there. It wasn’t the showing I had hoped for, but the medal represents more than those 26 miles. It represents me not even being able to run half a block a year ago. It’s the 2 half marathons I ran before. It’s the 300+ miles of running I did to train. It represents me – a girl who hates to excercise – a girl who loves her TV and donuts – proving that you can really do anything once you put your mind to it.
I want to run another one someday, after I have a life more conducive to the training requirements. I had to short myself on a lot of runs because where do I find the time for a 10-mile run three times a week? I will stick with the half-marathon distance though. It doesnt take too much to train for that. I want to stick with running, maybe 20 miles a week if I can. And then run one or two half-marathons a year (I love getting those medals too much!) but I won’t do another marathon until I’ve got all of my kids at least in school.
But I did it yesterday. And I have no idea if you all realize how much you were in my heart. Especially those miles 11-14. I kept telling myself that my friends inside the computer were cheering me on. They believed in me. They think I can do it. And if they think I can, then I must be able to because they’re always right about everything else.
(Coming next: A list of things that hurt on me. Starting with my sunburn which is sexy because I now have a sock tanline. SO HOTT.)
98 thoughts on “I can NOT even move this morning”
You made me cry! Yay Zoot! Good for you. You might have inspired me to try and start running a little again (not a marathon, but a little at least…lol!). That’s if I can get up off the couch and stop eating donuts. 😉
I think you are awesome!
I was telling my husband about you yesterday, about how you have gone from having a baby and being a couch potato to running a marathon (a marathon!) in such a short period of time. He was very impressed. And I totally knew you could do it!
Brava Zoot! I was anxiously waiting to hear how it went. Thanks for sharing it all! Congratulations!!!
Yay Zoot!! That is awesome!! You are my inspiration. I’m am going to find the time to start walking. I probably wont be able to run a marathon, but its a start. Thank you for sharing your story, and inspiring other couch potatos to get up and walk or run. Get some rest, and baby your feet!!
You made me cry, too. The first time is when I read “I kept telling myself, Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is not this race that should represent my accomplishment. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the 400+ miles I have RUN up until this point to train.Ã¢â‚¬Â ” And I bawled throughout the whole paragraph of your finish!
Way to go! You rock!
m crying zoot…that was awesome..i dont even know you and m sooo proud of u..!! u have seriously inspired me….
Aw! I’m gonna cry! That was awesome, congratulations on running your marathon!!!
Yep, I cried, too. I’m very happy for you.
I actually did think of you several times yesterday. I run very short distances just to stay in shape and as I was running yesterday I thought, “Man Zoot has probably been running forever by now.” It also made me feel bad when I thought my legs were hurting.
Your computer friends are all very proud of you.
I kept checking back yesterday to see your progress, and was so excited when I saw you finished. Your story is a beautiful and moving one. I struggled to keep the tears back as I read it before. Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished!
I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes for you. So proud of you! I told my mom you were running, and we kept track the pictures on your flickr. So you had fans all the way in California. You’re amazing!
I think you are awesome! Thats a huge accomplishment, no matter what your time…you FINISHED a marathon!
I’m beyond impressed with you. What an accomplishment. And to come out of it with the desire to keep running is inspiring. You are remarkable!
(Owie – poor Zoot feet!)
WTG Zoot! I am so proud of you. That was so well written it was like we were there with you. It moved me to tears. Congratulations and I hope the owies go away soon!
Woohoo! So impressive. I’m so proud of you! Now you can sit back and enjoy your donuts and TV.
Kim – it’s an amazing thing you did. I’m so so so impressed. You really did it. You ran a marathon!
All my love! 🙂
I am so proud of you! I was thinking about you yesterday knowing you were running. You have accomplished such an extraordinary thing and I am in awe of you for it. You are amazing!
GOOD. FOR. YOU!
Congratulations! You completed a marathon! I hope you are as proud of yourself as we all are of you!
(Take care of those blisters. Seriously. Keep ’em clean and in bandaids and all of those things. Take it from a lady who didn’t keep her blisters cleaned once during a 60-mile walk and ended up the ER. Keep ’em clean!)
I don’t even know you but, the next full marathon I think we should all get together with Kim signs for the race. I am so impressed. It takes a ton of dedication with a young family to fit something like this into your life. Way to go!
Woo hoo!! You did it!
I’d admit, I teared up when you brother said he was going to meet you at mile 20 to run with you. Sniff sniff….
The most I’ve ever ran is 13 miles (training) and 10K(race) – and most of my training was done on back country roads. I know exactly what you mean about the loneliness. It takes a strong mind to keep going when you are out there alone.
Way to Go Zoot! Very impressive. As everyone else said I was checking in regularly to see your results. I actually thought it would be cool to go there as a nonstalker and have a sign. But I realized you would have ran your marathon shorter than my drive to Nashville.
Your accomplishment is awesome, and totally commendable. Best of luck in the future, because this physical mountain is just the beginning.
YAY Zoot! First blog I read today had to be yours because I KNEW you were going to finish the marathon, what an awesome job you did. You were right, in that dark stretch, your computer friends were cheering you on! I can not imagine being dedicated enough to run with blisters on the bottom of my feet, you rock!
I’m saving this post in my favorites because it will be something I’ll want to read again and again. You have proven to me (and others) that having young children and a full-time job are no excuses for not being fit–hell, you blow “being fit” out of the water.
Yesterday, I went for a walk/run after having had a little too much to drink and a little too little sleep the night before. I thought of you and how you were running a damned MARATHON, and I did a little more running than I thought I could. Thank you for inspiring me.
I could keep on going. But I’ll stop and just say that I’m so proud for you and I’m sincerely thankful to you for being the example that you are.
Damn, you made me cry too. So, so proud of you!
You totally made me cry! And also? You totally made me realize that running a marathon, is JEBUS!! You ran a marathon!
I never really thought about all the things that you talked about – being sad, and depressed then happy and excited. I just never gave marathon runners much credit, I mean I never thought about all the training and preparation that goes into it. For someone like me who’s never ran a marathon, those runners just ‘did it’.
So thanks for the wake up call, and hats off to you! I would have given up. I’m very proud of you!
Congratulations!! That’s so awesome, especially considering your blisters!
Stunning! I don’t know you personally but kept up with your progress yesterday via Flickr. Kept sending positive thoughts to you along the way. I’m not a crying girl, but your description of the finish line had me in tears. Not only did you kick some physical ass yesterday, you are leading a FULL life my sister friend.
Add me to the people who cried list! You did so great! I had to be out of the house yesterday so I didn’t get to check in until you had finished. You are so amazing for doing this. You are such an inspiration to all us couch potatoes! (((Hugs)))
Congratulations Zoot that is a terrific achievement! I was out running a measly 5k this morning (slowly with my 7 year old son) and thinking of you and how much further you had been running. You should be seriously proud of yourself!
Great Job! Who cares if you walked some. From now on when someone tells you that a given location is 25 miles from here, you’ll know you could get there on your own steam if you wanted to badly enough. Keep pressing on those IT bands. We look forward to reading the race report of your next half. They really are more enjoyable after what you have just accomplished.
Yes, I also cried all the way through your post. Still crying happy tears for you! You did something truly amazing. You will always be able to say, “Oh, I created two wonderful human beings with this body, I’m a wife and a mother and have this awesome blog, and oh yeah, I ran a marathon!” And I was thinking about you yesterday, running your marathon, so you’re right! So, speaking for the internets (huh, can I do that?!) we’re very proud and very happy for you and we knew that you would do it! Yay You!!
No fair, making me cry. Congratulations on your victory – you really deserved it! Now relax your weary bones (and muscles and tendons and skin and hair and everything else that must be hurtin you today.)
Tears of inspiration flowing right here. You did fantastic!!!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing!
I am so amazed at everything you have accomplished. Amazed and inspired. I’m planning to walk my first 1/2 marathon in January and I am so nervous about finishing, even though I’ve already started my training. It’s this kind of thing that reminds me that I can do it. I just need a little faith in myself.
Thank you again! (And if you want a fun 1/2, come do the Disney one in January–it’s a party!)
Wow! Such a great accomplishment. Your story is great and all the family support, wonderful. I did start crying when you wrote about the ‘Kim’ sign. I would have wanted to take it with me and hug it the rest of the way.
I worked the Disney marathon for several years, at the 25 mile mark and the things people do to finish are incredible. Like fall on the ground screaming for anyone to grab a leg and release the cramp! or yell for more bandaids for bleeders, like in guy nipples. By far are the ones that pushed so much, got dehydrated and runners head and kind of run out off course.
So great job for not falling short to any of the about and completing your goal.
You are amazing! Congratulations, like everyone else I am a little teary eyed right now.
Just an awesome accomplishment, inspiring too. 🙂
I’ve been lurking for years, and especially through your whole marathon training. I had to comment to say congratulations, and that you’re an inspiration. Way to go. 🙂
I just cried through that whole post.
Way to GO ZOOT! You are my hero.
You totally rock. I couldn’t do that even in high school. I am so incredibly proud of you. Congrat’s.
Great Job Kim! It must feel great to accomplish a goal in life.
Amazing, truly amazing. Good for you. Hope your feet feel better soon.
WAY TO GO, ZOOT! i’m so glad you have such an amazing family that rooted for you the whole way!
OMGoodness, I’m getting all teary-eyed! You are amazing. Amazing! Congrats on your accomplishment. I’m in awe!
Hooray for you! Your descriptions even made MY feet hurt, which is another way of saying I’m a big wimp, cuz I’m just SITTING here!!
Congrats! Just found your blog, but I did that too. I ran a marathon just to prove it to myself (ok, I hobbled a marathon…)
Oh, and you can only get away with wearing your finishers medal to bed for about 2 months before people start getting testy. Go figure 😉
Not only did you accomplish a great goal, and make like 40 some people (at least) cry, you also inspired each and every one of us who have followed your journey. You showed us all that anyone can do it if they set their mind to it, and you showed us how to push through even when it sucks a little. You are truly awesome Miss Zoot! Hope your enjoying the “day after”. 🙂
Congratulations! You are a marathoner. I was once told that the goal for a first marathon is just to finish. You worked so hard before and during the race to achieve that goal. I am so happy for you. Now relax and pamper yourself. And try not to go down too many stairs (ouch).
You rock. Thank you so much for the complete play by play of how it went. It’s pretty much exactly how I imagined a marathon to feel, never having run anything more than a 10k myself. And you DID IT! You are my hero. Way to go!
I cried too. So glad that you made it through. You are an inspiration. Good job.
No fair Zoot! You made me cry!!!!
I’m so proud and happy for you! I don’t ever think that I’ll run a marathon (not a runner) but it definitely made me realize that there is a lot more that I can do than I have been doing.
So proud of you! I kept checking yesterday to see how you did. Congratulations, I’m crying happy tears for you!
I’ve never left a comment before but read your column every week. I loved what you said about your readers being out there cheering you on. During one hell of an awful week I just kept thinking of you and looking forward to reading about your marathon.
i think i just snotted on my keyboard, you had me crying that hard.
you are sooo inspiring. i think i want to run a (half) marathon, too.
i mean, you rule. but it would take forty kajillion dollars to inspire me into the full marathon.
thanks so much for including us in your journey.
Put me in corner with the rest of the cryers. I know how much this meant to you and I know you will cherish this achievement for the rest of your life. Wonderful. Just wonderful. Remind me to high five you at BlogHer.
Thanks for all the details, and making me cry. You are just so damn impressive. On top of running a marathon and all the training it took to get you there, you raised a son who wrote such a sweet entry applauding your accomplishments.
Yay Miss Zoot!! You did it! I knew you would. I worried about you when I heard there was a 30% chance of thunderstorms in the morning – but the weather turned out ok. Thank you for sharing your ups and downs with all of us – it has been truly inspiring. I’m on a long countdown for my first Olympic distance triathlon and I’m terrifed. I can’t tell you how much it has helped to read your story. (Also – thanks for not thinking I was crazy to say ‘Hi’ at the airport! I do hope I was a good luck charm.) Peace.
Horrah! Balancing your work and family and making the time to train for this at all is a fabulous accomplishment. And the fact that the day after your race you STILL like running is pretty damn great, too!
Congratualtions! NO ONE can ever take this accomplishment away from you! Way to go!
Happy tears here as well. I don’t know if I’ll ever do a marathon, but I have done a half. Your post brought me right back to that feeling of pride and accomplishment. Way to go!
Zoot – I’m all teary now! You’re a true inspiration. My husband ran a 5K this spring and I sat cheering him on knowing I could never do it. After reading your story, I think I just might have to try.
Thanks for proving that even when we think it’s impossible, it’s possible. You’re awesome and your family has so much to be proud of. Congratulations on your achievement. You go, girl!
You? Are a goddess.
And I’m now sort of weepy over that runny thing. Hmm.
Congratulations, Zoot! Way to be!!
(When I was deciding which marathon to run, after completeling two halves, I KNEW I had to steer clear of runs that offered a half marathon as well, for the exact reasons you pointed out in this post. I hated the idea of only being halfway done when I could be finished! Keep it in mind for your next full marathon…mental preparation is as crucial, if not moreso, than physical.)
Again, congrats! Be proud!
My friend Becky and I ran a 10k today, and somewhere around mile 3 she said, hey did you see Zoot ran her marathon yesterday? So I had to come by and congratulate you.
Can you believe how far you’ve come? As someone who got tired running just six miles, I am in awe of what you’ve accomplished. Congratulations!
OMG thank goodness I was not the only one crying through that! You must be so proud of yourself. That is a lot to accomplish in such a short time. Your dedication to this has been amazing and inspiring. Congrats!
Zoot! I cried reading this and I’m so happy LilZ finished with you. The crying? Because I’m a weepy pregnant woman.
But yeah! You totally rocked! I wish I could do it to. And you know what? After pregnancy? After breastfeeding and needing to lose some more weight, in like, a year from now? I think I’ll try to do what you did.
So many people would have given up! Way to persevere! I think it is so sweet that you and LilZ crossed together. (And how cute was his entry yesterday?)
Sending you lots of hugs and fresh hot KK doughnuts!
We’re all proud of you!
BTW- I cried too.
You’re absolutely right. It is not about how you did in that single race, it is about how far you’ve come during the whole training process. You are amazing! Thanks for inspiring us all.
YOU’RE AMAZING!! 🙂
You totally don’t know me, but I found your blog via Amalah’s site and have been reading about your pre-marathon adventures. 🙂 Congratulations! What a great accomplishment. Here’s some blister ointment. 🙂
dont know you, but found you through a freind of a freinds blog. I too ran my first marathon in October 06.
Reading this makes me think of how much i hurt towards the end, but oh how sweet the pride is… Ask me if i would do another one 5 minutes after the finish, and i wouldnt answer, (i couldnt really) but oh ask me the next day”do another one?” WITH OUT A DOUBT.
Pointer- i took an ice bath after the marathon (about 10 min separated out) and it REALLY helps. Also drink cytomax next time. (great recovery drink!!) GREAT JOB!
Mile 4? Blisters at mile 4? And you still finished? Excuse me, must go pack my gym bag. It looks like I’ll get to the gym at lunch tomorrow after all…
Great, great job!
Now…make me stop crying.
omg, I’m sitting here CRYING! You did it! Congratulations!!! My husband wants me to consider teaming with him to each run a half next year. You’re my inspiration to think I can actually do it!
Congratulations! I am so proud of you for finishing, even if you did have to walk part of it. I am so amazed at your stamina considering I couldn’t even run 100 feet before passing out. You are SO awesome!
This is going to sound weird since you totally don’t know me, but I”M SO PROUD OF YOU!
This post made me cry! I’ve always wanted to run a marathon. You make me think that someday maybe I could.
Wow! I am so proud of you and so impressed..and I don’t believe you couldn’t run 1/2 block a year ago -that sounds like me.. how DID you get where you were.. I mean it .. that is so great!
I’m SOSOOO proud of you. That is just the best accomplishment. I’ve followed your progress from your first run around the neighborhood, and to do a marathon…well, it’s spectacular.
Hopefully, you’ll do Boston next, where there are TONS of runners at all levels, people around the entire route to cheer you on, lots and lots of medical tents for blisters, and a really beautiful route. I promise to cheer you on!
Yes, you are a marathoner. You are one of the elite. Congratulations, bravo and I salute you, good woman.
Now, wear your medal all day at work tomorrow. That is the tradition. If you can find an olive wreath to wear atop your head, put that on too. A tiara is an acceptable subsitute.
Your fan since 2004
And proud, so very proud to know you,
Wow, I thought blisters for 2 miles was bad!! 22 minute miles are so much better than no miles at all. You are my hero.
When I feel like I’m dying in my half next weekend, I will think of you and suck it up.
Oh, and you had me near tears, too. Congrats!
now i feel inspired to get up at 5:30 tomorrow morning to begin my fitness bootcamp. 🙂 thanks!!
Woooooo! Awesome Zoot, congratulations!
Amazing Job Zoot! I am SO proud of you.
That’s awesome. You should be so very proud of yourself. Congrats!
You are my hero. Seriously. That is amazing. Find a non-sunburned place on your back and give it a pat for me. Nicely done:)
Great job! Way to hang in there and finish. It’s funny how things that never hurt before can go haywire on race day. I had a similar situation in a race last June, I was a big ball of hurty-ness but was determined to finish. Wear your race swag with pride!
Kim I’m sooooooooooooooooooo freaking proud of you. I thought of you yesterday when I was running. I knew if you could run a marathon, I could push myself a little further.
Dude, I am the queen of lazy. Seriously. Seeing my dimply thighs and butt in the mirror and crying because I can’t fit into my favorite pants doesn’t motivate me to do jack shit… but you? Pure inspiration.
Thank you! 😀
I just teared up reading this. After a very sedentary lifestyle since college I just started running on our treadmill lately and I am thinking of training for a half marathon. I can’t even phathom a full one. Congratulations to you my dear zoot 🙂
way to go, Zoot! when I got to the paragraph about crossing the finish line with lilZ it was all i could do not to sit here and cry at my desk. I am so happy for you! You are an inspiration.
Miss Zoot! Congrats… Just so you know, I was one of the losers that you beat! : ) I ran the Half Marathon! I thought of you & looked for you at the race ! Also, I thought about you at the end with the Dunkin’ Donuts! Your post about the marathon made me cry – you are so right. It is so much more than the actual distance – it’s the getting there. the hard work and the training… not to mention those damn blisters! I think you may have even been at the same hotel – my husband & I were at the overpriced, but nice Renaissance Hotel. Congrats again…what an accomplishment! Bravo!
This totally made me tear up! First time since finishing the marathon. You will forever be in my heart Zoot!! Keep in touch and I will be there to cheer you on at your next marathon. I know you are going to sign up for one, just wait!! I already signed up for 2 this year. I’m crazy. I’m doing one with Team in Training in October in Washington DC. You should so check it out to see if they will train you there in your state. We would have a BLAST!
You go, girl! BlondeMom sent me here after I’d told her that my son ran the same marathon. I’m thinking of maybe walking a half-marathon next year, but I can’t imagine ever running one of those, let alone a marathon. The training alone could kill me. Or at least my knees.
So late, but so proud of you! You rule!
I’m beyond late, but I think what you did was really great! Whether you only ran one mile or all 26.2 just having the balls to SIGN UP is admirable to me.
You should be so, so proud of yourself!