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Update: Running for Charity – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

My training for running Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has been going really well! I’m happy that I’ve been able to get in more consistent running, even with all that we have going on (caring for Chase, illnesses, doctor appointments, vet appointments, work deadlines, etc.) lately.

When I was training for marathons I would view any training run that was half marathon or longer in distance as my long run. For now, while I my longest race distance is a half marathon, I’m viewing anything over 10K as a long run.

Here’s the status from my plan since my last training post

Week 7: 19.7 Miles Run, 1:11 Strengthening

  • 5/12: P90X – Ab Ripper, 16:00
  • 5/13: 3.1 Miles Easy, 30:21, ‘Hood, 9:54 Pace
  • 5/14: Free Weights Upper Body, 5:00; 1.5 Miles Easy, 13:33, Gym Treadmill, 9:02 Pace; PiYo Class, 50:00
  • 5/16: 2 Miles Easy, 17:19, ‘Hood, 8:40 Pace
  • 5/18: 13.1 Miles Race, 2:02:16, Peoria Half Marathon, 9:20 Pace

Week 8: 13.11 Miles Run

  • 5/20: 3.1 Miles Easy, 29:24, ‘Hood, 9:39 Pace
  • 5/22: 3 Miles Easy, 27:47, ‘Hood, 9:16 Pace
  • 5/23: 3.01 Miles Easy, 27:16, Const Trail, 9:04 Pace
  • 5/24: 4 Miles Easy, 37:16, ‘Hood, 9:19 Pace

Week 9: 26 Miles Run

  • 5/27: 5.24 Miles Easy, 48:16, Const Trail, 9:13 Pace
  • 5/28: 5.26 Miles Easy, 48:03, Const Trail, 9:09 Pace
  • 5/29: 5.25 Miles Easy, 47:51, Const Trail, 9:07 Pace
  • 5/30: 7.13 Miles Long, 1:07:12, Const Trail, 9:26 Pace
  • 6/1: 3.1 Miles Race, 27:26, Galesburg 5K, 8:51 Pace

Week 10: 2 Miles Run

  • 6/4: 2 Miles Easy, 16:04, ‘Hood, 9:02 Pace

Week 11: 8 Miles Run

  • 6/12: 4 Miles Easy, 36:00, ‘Hood, 9:00 Pace
  • 6/13: 4 Miles Easy, 37:17, ‘Hood, 9:20 Pace

Week 12: 10.13 Miles Run, 6 Miles Bike

  • 6/19: 6 Miles Bike Easy, 30:34, Trainer, 11.78 MPH
  • 6/20: 4 Miles Easy, 38:05, ‘Hood, 9:32 Pace
  • 6/21: 6.13 Miles Easy, 58:40, ‘Hood, 9:35 Pace

Week 13: 17.1 Miles Run

  • 6/25: 2 Miles Easy, 16:48, ‘Hood, 8:24 Pace
  • 6/27: 4 Miles Easy, 36:46, ‘Hood, 9:12 Pace
  • 6/28: 8 Miles Long, 1:13:38, ‘Hood, 9:13 Pace
  • 6/29: 3.1 Miles Speedwork, 24:43, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 7:59 Pace

Week 14: 19 Miles Run, 6.3 Miles Bike

  •  6/30: 3 Miles Easy, 25:43, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 8:35 Pace
  • 7/2: 2 Miles Easy, 17:09, Treadmill, 1% Incline, 8:35 Pace
  • 7/4: 5 Mile Race, 48:06, Park to Park, Bloomington, IL, Pushing Chase in Stroller, 9:35 Pace
  • 7/5: 9 Miles Long, 1:23:52, Const Trail, 9:20 Pace
  • 7/6: 6.3 Miles Bike Easy, 30:08, Trainer, 12.54 MPH

Week 15: In Progress

If you would like to donate, it’s not too late! Any amount helps! I appreciate your consideration to this cause!!

 My Fundraising Page

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Running for Charity – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

Many of the races I’ve run benefit local and national charities. It’s wonderful thing that running races becuase it provides people a fun way to stay fit, hang out with friends, and a charity can also benefit. Something I haven’t directly done before is actually ran a race for a charity by fundraising specifically for a charity. I’m excited to finally do that for the upcoming Rock and Roll Chicago Half Marathon on July 20th to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

St. Jude has always held a special place in my heart. When I attended Illinois State University they were my sorority’s (Epsilon Sigma Alpha) main charity. We completed fundraising throughout the year and had the opportunity to take a check to the headquarters in Memphis, TN and visit the facilities.

Me and my sorority sisters (circa 1997) at the headquarters in Memphis, TN.

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While we had time for some fun photos, it was a very serious trip to get to visit with children, families, doctors, and the support teams. It’s one of those significant moments in life to witness such brave children and their families battling cancer and diseases. It was apparent that in those moments the world stops and everything focuses in on the love for your child. Now being a mom, it hits home a million times more, what that would feel like.

It was an easy decision to focus a race and support such a wonderful cause that helps families get through such a trying time and support these kids getting the best of technology and research as a part of their treatments and hopefully a cure. Some important information about St. Jude’s:

  • Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.
  • Because the majority of St. Jude funding comes from people like you, St. Jude has the freedom to focus on what matters most – saving kids regardless of their financial situation. (That means your donation, no matter what the size, will help!)
  • St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90% by 2020.

So I ask for your support either donations and/or prayers for the children going through treatment with St. Jude’s. I appreciate you taking the time to read this post and consider supporting this charity.

My fundraising page

My training is no where like it used to be, but I still want to share what I’m doing in preparation for this race periodically to share my progress.

Here’s what I’ve done thus far for training:

Week 1: 17.1 Miles

  • 4/1: 2 Miles Easy, 16:25, 8:13 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/4: 2 Miles Easy, 16:53, 8:27 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/5: 13.1 Miles Race, Lincoln Presidential Half Marathon, 2:07:07, 9:43 Pace, Springfield, IL

Week 2: 8.21 Miles

  • 4/11: 3 Miles Easy, 25:18, 8:26 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/12: 2.2 Miles Easy, 20:54, 9:25 Pace, ‘Hood
  • 4/13: 3.01 Miles Easy, 26:59, 8:58 Pace, Const Trail

Week 3: Bike – 6.1 Miles, Run – 8 Miles

  • 4/15: 6.1 Miles Bike Easy, 30:09, 12.14mph
  • 4/16: 3 Miles Easy, 25:42, 8:34 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/18: 1 Mile Easy, 8:31, Const Trail
  • 4/20: 4 Miles Easy, 38:07, 9:32 Pace, Const Trail

Week 4: 18.2 Miles

  • 4/24: 2 Miles Easy, 17:05, 8:33 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 4/25: 3.1 Miles Race, IL Marathon’s 5K, 36:20, 11:44, Champaign, IL
  • 4/26: 13.1 Miles Race, IL Half Marathon, 2:12:54, 10:09 Pace, Champaign, IL

Week 5: 8.48 Miles

  • 4/30: 1 Mile Easy, 8:40, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 5/2: 2 Miles Easy, 17:39, 8:50 Pace, Treadmill, 1% Incline
  • 5/3: 1.48 Miles Easy, 15:31, 10:30 Pace, Lake Bloomington, IL
  • 5/4: 4 Miles Easy, 37:52, 9:27 Pace, ‘Hood

Week 6: 0 Miles – Chase was sick and then I was sick 😦

Week 7: In Progress….more to come

And I thought I would add a look back at the past times that I have run RNR Chicago Half Marathon. Here are the links to those races.

2009 – 1:55:44

2010 – 1:36:16

2011 – 1:39:54

2012 – 1:54:07

Thanks again for your support!! I’ll post about my training as it goes along!


My Three Cents


Sunday (8/26):

18 Miles Long (Const Trail, 2:38:27, 8:49 Pace)

Monday (8/27):

6 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 54:59, 9:10 Pace)

Tuesday (8/28):

3 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 23:44, 7:55 Pace)

Wednesday (8/29):


Thursday (8/30):

12 Miles LT w/7 Miles @ HMRP (Treadmill, 1:32:54, 7:45 Pace)

Friday (8/31):


Saturday (9/1):

11 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:29:55, 8:11 Pace)

Weekly Mileage:

Run: 50 Miles

This week I was able to get back to more of a regular running schedule. We had a couple of quick vet visits for Coco this week. The visits were good and tests are showing she is improving. The best part is she is acting like her old self again. I’m still getting used to my new workload at work. I’m finding that I’m more tired at the end of the day and I’m having to make more of an effort to get my workouts in. Hopefully I will feel like I’m back in a routine soon.

On one of my runs around the neighborhood I found money twice, the first time was two cents and then a penny later on. Ca-ching! Working out pays in so many ways, but on this run it literally paid in cash.

I don’t think I’ve ever found more than 30 cents on a training run.

How much have you ever found on a run or other workout? Find anything interesting other than money that was worth stopping for?


Give me a “J”!

It’s been a while since my last post. Things have been a bit crazy mayhem lately and my training took a dip in mileage because of it.

First the good news: I got a leadership development opportunity at work to be an IT Architect.  I quickly realized the new level of responsiblity that I will have. The time commitment will impact my running schedule and I’m going to have to learn how to manage that. Rob is in this role and so it’s going to be awesome to be able to have him as an informal mentor.

The not great news is Coco got sick. She is doing better now, but it was most of the week of taking her to vet appointments and being with her to make sure she was comfortable. It’s been so nice to see her medicine working and that she is feeling like herself again. When Coco gets sick, my world stops. I really don’t care what miles I need to run, instead I hold her and comfort her any chance I can.

Then it was also my birthday last weekend. Rob had planned an amazing day for us in Chicago to celebrate, including tickets to a Cubs game. However, Coco was still not well so we stayed home with her instead and had a quiet weekend at home. Rob got me some beautiful presents!

Tiffany & Co. Black Onyx Studs

Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Letter Pendant w/18K gold “J” – turned around, whoops!


In the midst of the craziness Rob and I still managed to keep our long runs and a few shorter workouts. I will have more running related posts and some home project items coming up.


The Gift of Time


Wednesday (8/1):


Thursday (8/2):


Friday (8/3):


Saturday (8/4):

Yoga Class 1 Hour

AM – 12 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:33:26, 7:48 Pace)

PM – 4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 34:17, 8:35 Pace)

Weekly Totals:

Run: 52 Miles, 7:23:46

Bike: 7.1 Miles, 30:00

Strengthening: 1 Time, 1:00:00

Sunday (8/5):

17 Miles Long w/11 Miles @ MGP (Treadmill, 2:16:59, 8:04 Pace)

Monday (8/6):


Tuesday (8/7):

13.1 Miles Long (‘Hood, 2:03:11, 9:25 Pace)

Wednesday (8/8):

10 Miles LT w/5 @ HMGP (Treadmill, 1:16:59, 7:42 Pace)

Thursday (8/9):


Friday (8/10):

15 Miles Long (Treadmill, 2:01:06, 8:05 Pace)

Saturday (8/11):

2.12 Mile Warm Up for Race (Lake Evergreen, 20:07, 9:30 Pace)

3.1 Mile Race (Lake Evergreen 5K, 22:13, 3rd Female Overall, 1st Age Group)

Weekly Totals:

Run: 60.32 Miles, 8:20:35

Sunday (8/12):

18 Miles Long (Constitution Trail, 2:42:32, 9:02 Pace)

Monday (8/13):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 39:19, 7:52 Pace)

It feels like forever since I just posted on the blog about things going on, other than the race we ran Saturday. Really I just fell off the grid as soon as the Olympics started. I couldn’t risk reading any news or blogs for fear I would hear the outcome of an event I had on my DVR to watch. I love to watch the drama unfold, even if it’s recorded and everyone else in the world knows how it turns out. And so much drama there was! I wish that Paula Radcliffe had been able to compete, she is just an amazing running phenom and see her take a medal in her homeland would have been insane. She’s been battling injuries so I hope that she is able to recover and enjoy any adventures she sets her sights on. Shalane and Kara looked ridiculously fit! It’s a shame that the marathon course had so many turns and it wasn’t their day. Their 10th and 11th finish is still outstanding and we were so proud to see them tough it out. Meb’s race was awesome! He really kicked it in and 4th for the men’s is really amazing for a last Olympic finish.

I got into track and some other random sports along the way. My favorite non-running sports were women’s beach volleyball and swimming! In general it’s just so much fun to watch the athletes all pushing themselves and hearing their personal stories and journey in their particular sport.

With the Olympics over I now feel like I’ve been given back the gift of time. I don’t have hours of tv watching after work and it’s been nice to make dinner at home again and work on house projects. I’ve had a few rest days in my training related to workload and just being utterly tired after work, but the running I have completed has been really great! My legs aren’t hurting at all and my mileage is getting back to the 60s per week! I’m really enjoying my training and feeling a bit of progress. It’s hard to believe that Chicago Marathon is only 8 weeks away!!


It Was a “Who’s Who” of Running


Thursday (7/26):


Friday (7/27):


Saturday (7/28):

.9 Miles Warm Up (Bix 7, 9:48, 10:54 Pace)

7 Mile Race (Bix 7, 57:07, 8:10 Pace)

Weekly Total:

Run: 44 Miles

Sunday (7/29):

17 Miles Long (Const Trail, 2:33:09, 9:01 Pace)

Monday (7/30):

Brick – 7.1 Miles Bike Easy (Trainer, 30:00, 14.2 mph), 5 Miles Recovery (‘Hood, 48:06, 9:38 Pace)

Tuesday (7/31):

 14 Miles Med-Long (Treadmill, 1:56:31, 8:20 Pace)

Sunday after Bix7 Rob and I did our long run together. Neither of us had goal pace miles to do so it would just be a chill long run to get time on our feet.

The constitution trail. I will try to get a better picture next time.

The good morning weather brought everyone out. Ran into half of the local running community while we were out, which was awesome! It was the “who’s who” of running, you never knew who you would see in the next mile.

Around mile 5, quick photo in Uptown Normal.

We got to run about 4 miles of our run with our friend and my former Often Running Racing Teammate, Merlin. He was out for 14-16ish miles, but our talking got him home with 17 instead. Overall it was one of those great runs that just so relaxing and enjoyable.

Oh and check out this month’s issue of Runner’s World if you haven’t. It has an article about blogging about running and features one of my favorite blogs: eat, drink, and run. So definitely check out the article and visit her site, good stuff!

Monday I had a recovery run, but to help mix it up I added cycling on the trainer ahead of my run for a mini-brick. I may do a post about beating boredom of recovery runs. Since recovery runs are purposely slow-paced they can sometimes just be a bit more dull compared to longer or faster runs.

I wore my Hammer tri shirt and shorts and quickly changed shoes and headed out the door into super hot weather. Since it was a recovery run, I could keep the pace easy in the heat. On the last mile I had a newbie lesson and found out what ‘monkey butt’ is. The seam where the bike seat padding chaffed and outline into my skin. 😦 Not a good time. So now I have to figure out what will work in the future: body glide, different shorts, etc. What a painful little lesson. 😦




Monday (7/16):

8 Miles General Aerobic with 10 x 100M Strides (Treadmill, 1:03:31, 7:57 Pace)

Tuesday (7/17):


Wednesday (7/18):

11 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:26:25, 7:52 Pace)

Thursday (7/19):


Friday (7/20):

5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 39:55, 7:59 Pace)

Saturday (7/21):

6 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 51:36, 8:36 Pace)

Weekly Total:

Run: 30 Miles

Bike: 10 Miles

Swim: .3 Mile

Sunday (7/22):

13.1 Mile Race (RNR Chicago Half Marathon, 1:54:07, 8:43 Pace)

Monday (7/23):

12 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:40:59, 8:25 Pace)

Tuesday (7/24):

6 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 50:50, 8:29 Pace)

Wednesday (7/25):

5 Miles Recovery (‘Hood, 48:06, 9:38 Pace)

Regardless of how poorly my racing is going right now time is ticking away towards the Chicago Marathon and there is nothing more to do than move forward. So onward I go. I hadn’t posted my workouts in a while so I wanted to get those out here.

We will be running Bix7 on Saturday with Drew and I can’t wait!


Strange In a Good Way


Friday (6/29):

3 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 20:47, 6:56 Pace)

Saturday (6/30):

5 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 44:46, 8:58 Pace)

Weekly Total:

Run 28 Miles

Bike 7.3 Miles

Sunday (7/1):

5.5 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 41:30, 7:33 Pace)

Monday (7/2):


Tuesday (7/3):


Wednesday (7/4):

5 Mile Race (Park to Park, 39:23, 7:53 Pace, 3rd AG)

Thursday (7/5):

6 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 45:03, 7:31 Pace)

Friday (7/6):

45 Mins Yoga Class

7 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 52:11, 7:28 Pace)

Saturday (7/7):

10 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 1:13:51, 7:24 Pace)

Weekly Total:

Run 33.5 Miles

Strengthening 45 Mins

Sunday (7/8):

Bike 10 Miles Easy (Trainer, 43:28, 13.8 mph)

20 Mins Ab Ripper

Slowly, but surely, things are coming together in the running department again. It’s strange to be running and feeling free of pain and issues, but it’s a good kind of strange. 😀

12 weeks to Chicago starts next week, which means ramping up my mileage slowly to prepare for the training plan. I ran 33 miles last week and hope to get to 40s this week so that I can easily transition back to 50s when training starts. If any type of pain creeps in I will just adjust everything down a notch. I also hope to get in a 5K race this coming weekend even though I’m not race ready. I hope the fighting for speed will help wake my legs up. I know I will suffer through the race with no training under my belt, but it’s good to be out there to help me push pace again and get back to it. Here we go!!! 😀

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Keeping Pace


Friday (5/11):


Saturday (5/12):

1.03 Mile Easy (‘Hood, 9:43, 9:27 Pace) — My watch was acting crazy, I had to restart it.

8 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 1:04:56, 8:07 Pace)

Sunday (5/13):

2.12 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 18:37, 8:47 Pace)

Weekly Mileage Total: 27.04 Miles

Monday (5/14):

9 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 1:21:01, 9:01 Pace)

Tuesday (5/15):

1.22 Miles Easy (Warm Up – Team Steam, 11:12, 9:11 Pace)

3.06 Miles 6 x 800M Hill Repeats (Team Steam, 22:06, 7:14 Pace)

0.38 Miles Easy (Cool Down – Team Steam, 3:49, 10:03 Pace)

Wednesday (5/16):

4 Miles Easy (Treadmill, 33:26, 8:22 Pace)

Thursday (5/17):

1.15 Miles Easy (Warm Up – Team Steam, 10:38, 9:15 Pace)

3.9 Miles 4 x 1 Mile Hill Repeats (Team Steam, 32:36, 8:22 Pace)

Friday (5/18):

3.58 Miles Easy (‘Hood, 32:00, 8:57 Pace)

Saturday (5/19):

2.41 Miles Easy (Warm Up for Race, 20:51, 8:41 Pace)

4 Miles Race (Pork Chop Festival 4 Miler, 30:07, 7:32 Pace, 2nd Female Overall, 1st Age Group)

Sunday (5/20):

12 Miles Long (‘Hood, 1:52:06, 9:21 Pace)

Weekly Mileage Total: 44.7 Miles

This week has been work of trying to keep pace, in all aspects. For running, my legs have either been stale, the heat has been very hot (80+ degrees) or both. All I can do is try to move forward and keep at it even when my pace suffers.

The hill workouts with Team Steam have been really challenging and good for me. Still my hips are tight so I’ve been streaching, including lying on the ground and putting my legs up. Coco was a big help too. 🙂

We did a race on Saturday and from my workout list above you can see it wasn’t my best, but I will get a race report posted how it went next.


I Need a Decoder Ring

My legs have been feeling good since IL Marathon. I did some light miles last week between our hectic schedules and the only soreness that remains is my pesky right piriformis. I’m doing the stretches I got from my previous work with a physical therapist.

I’m seeing improvement, but if it doesn’t completely go away in this coming week I’ll get time scheduled to look at Graston’s treatments again to get it knocked out.

Last night was Team Steam workout and I was stoked to get back to it after taking last week off from the team workouts. Last Tuesday I was still sick from sinus stuff so I decided to keep my workout light and indoors at home and Thursday I had to travel for work.

After our warm up we hit the track for doing 400M @ 5KRP or better w/recovery partnered. Jamie and I partnered up for the workout. Basically we alternated running 400M and each got to rest when the other was out running. I ended up with 9 intervals. It was a crowded track so there was a bit of jocky-ing around for space, but I was still surprised that I was able to end up well above my 5KRP on unfresh legs with a 5:58 average. I’ll take it! It felt good (in a track hurty kinda way) to be doing speedwork again.

In other running new Natalie sent me the 2012 Boston Marathon poster. She had asked me if I picked one up and I said “No, I got one last year and I didn’t even open it yet”. And she said that the poster has all of the particpant names in it, kind of like the Nike Chicago Marathon wall of names in a mural. So of course I pouted that I didn’t pick one up, but as usual Natalie saved the day. She picked up an extra and said she would mail it to me. She always thinking ahead and manages to take care of me with Boston stuff, love her!

The names are printed on both sides of the poster just to fit everyone’s name. Luckily Natalie and I are on the same side so I can hang it in our workout room with both names showing. 🙂

Speaking of Boston Marathon momentos…I FINALLY got around to ordering my 2011 Boston Marathon picture and getting it put into the frame that Rob bought me last year. I love this frame, it’s one of my favorite running keepsakes.

And for those 2012 Boston Marathoners out there adidas has marked gear on sale so I totally stocked up. The prices are too good to pass up. I would look like a running billboard for Boston Marathon if I wear everything I bought together, but I will try to keep it down to 2-3 items per outfit. 😉 I’m sure I’ll get teased for having so much Boston Marathon gear in general, but I like the race, the style, the fit and the price, so oh well!

The women’s short sleeved shirt. Wore it to our track workout and it was perfect, I love that it has a longer length than the race shirt given for the event. The material is also very ventilated, the weave is very light and doesn’t feel heavy or scratchy at all.

Ah the Boston beanie! I needed a new one. In 2011 I picked one up and it was so cold race day I wore it to race in. Then it got warm and had to make the call to ditch it which I hated to do, but I didn’t want to carry it the whole way. Normally in these iffy weather situations I would bring a throw away hat, but I hadn’t packed one. So now I finally have a new one to keep!

I also ordered the tech gloves. I’m interested to see out the outside key holder works out and the touch finger that is supposed to be compatible with touch devices like watches and phones. It would be cool if it works as expected.

And an extra set of capris, always need more of these and the price was too good to pass up.

In other running news I got us registered for Bix7 again this year. I can’t wait to run this race again. Here is last year’s post if you haven’t seen it.

Also, I’m trying to fashion a workout plan to get me through a couple half marathons before Chicago Marathon training kicks off. I really can’t find a plan that fits around our schedule, Team Steam and that feels intense enough to maintain or gain fitness. So that leaves me to try a new experiment. Taking the philosphy of my favorite training guide “Advanced Marathoning” and trying to turn it into some sort of half marathon plan.

I’m basically reducing the volume of the long runs and the med-long runs by 25%. Then I’m adjusting the days of the workouts so that I can get the majority of my long runs completed on Saturdays and get Team Steam Tuesday and Thursdays and fit in races during this 11 week period. I feel like I need a decoder ring just to figure this thing out! I’m not sure if this is the best approach, but it’s worth a shot. I will keep you posted on my thoughts around it.