Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chiropractor Visit

Three weeks ago I fell on my mountain bike and injured either my shoulder or my neck. It's hard to tell exactly where the actual injury is, all I know is it gives me a stabbing pain in the upper right arm and shoulder which radiates down my arm into my first two fingers causing throbbing pain in the fingers and a pins and needles sensation at the tips of those fingers. But I figured it's an arm, who cares as long as I've got my two good running legs. Heck, the arm thing doesn't even effect my biking. The only thing concerning me is that it does effect my sleeping at night. So after another night of tossing and turning and trying to get comfortable, I broke down and called my chiropractor this morning. He was kind enough to fit me right in.

I have posted about my chiropractor before. He is a wonderful practitioner and has really helped me with many injuries over the years. But he takes "Holistic Medicine" to a whole new dimension. I have a scientific mind and can't seem to fathom a lot of the hocus pocus sort of things that he uses to help people with their various problems. I know from the testimonial of friends, he does help a lot of people with his off the wall treatments. This chiropractor, Dr. D, does have his critics. My Osteopath claims this particular chiropractor "shakes a rattle at his patients" to cure them. I haven't actually seen him do that, but he might.

I was a little early and got to read the various posters and brochures in the waiting room. This is fascinating reading material. One brochure talked about a mat you place under your food. This mat infuses your food with all sorts of energy, so when you eat the food you get super-energized. Another brochure talks about a mat you lay on. It vibrates until all your millions of cells are vibrating in perfect harmony. This is supposed to be good for you, I guess. Then there are the usual magnets, crystals, and copper rings and bracelets, (gotta get me some of those to give out as Christmas gifts). Percussion therapy sounded interesting, but I was led into the exam room before I read very much on that. Basically it seemed to involve drumming on a person. I didn't read far enough to discover what the health benefits are.

Once in the exam room I started snooping around and immediately found the "Color Therapy Eye Glasses." These brightly colored plastic eye glasses each had a description of what they would cure. Apparently, one only has to look through them and Wah-lah, instant cure. The red ones would help the lower back and any digestive disorders. The orange ones were for sexual energy and reproductive health (not sure if you are supposed to wear them during the act or not.) I was just starting to read about the yellow ones when the good doctor came into the room and politely shut the cabinet that I was looking into.

Dr. D. isn't much of a talker. "OK, sit," or "face down on the table," are about the most I ever get out of him. I'd love to have asked him about the eye glasses, but he just isn't a chatty kind of guy. He worked on my neck for about 15 minutes and then did some stuff on my shoulder. It is pretty damned amazing that the pain and the pins and needles sensation in my fingers was completely gone by the time he was done. The shoulder still hurts, but it isn't traveling down the arm any more. On the way home my neck started hurting a lot, but he warned me it might. The test will be if I get any sleep tonight or not.

So the question is, is there any merit to any of these unusual treatments and cures that Dr. D and so many others practice? I personally believe in chiropractic and acupuncture, because I can understand the scientific principles behind them. Some of the other stuff is a little hard to swallow. But the thing is, this stuff makes people feel better. It takes away that feeling of being powerless and out of control of their health. Placebo effect is a real thing. It actually causes physical changes in a person. So I say more power to good old Dr. D. and his miracle cures. It would be better if Dr. D. sent his patients home with instructions to exercise and eat better, along with their copper bracelets, magnets, or vibrating mats. It would be nice if his patients walked out the door in their orange sexual health glasses with a new feeling of accountability and responsibility for their own health. But as long as he is helping people, who am I to criticize? Also, I have to admit, he is a hell of a chiropractor! My arm is feeling great right now.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Running, Biking, and Yard Work

Yesterday's run was a marathon pace effort run on single and double track in a cool rain. I felt great and surprised myself with a last timed mile of single track in 6:58! Today was a slow jog on the same trails and an hour and a half mountain bike ride later in the day. Now I have to get out there and rake up a bunch of apples that have dropped in the driveway before someone sprains an ankle. I'll try to do it with gusto, so I can call it my strength work today.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Last Few Days of Training

Friday's uphill treadmill tempo was a great confidence run for me. What we used to say about running on the track also holds true for treadmills, they don't lie. I was supposed to run at a 7% incline for 30 minutes at 9 minute mile pace. This isn't any where near as easy as it sounds, try it some time! I was able to hold pace without collapsing or falling off the back for 15 minutes, eased up for 5 minutes at 9:15 pace then finished with the last 10 minutes back at 9 minute pace. This kept my heart rate in my lactate threshold range for the entire time, around 168-172. I have been doubting my conditioning lately, but this workout went better than I expected and because the treadmill doesn't lie, I feel better about my current fitness level.

Yesterday was a quick and fun 40 minutes on single track and double track early in the morning. So early in fact, I went back to bed after I got back home. I'm just not cut out for that early morning stuff. Mid morning is my most energetic and productive time of day. When I got back up I went for a 3 1/2 hour mountain bike ride on the local trails. I had a lot of fun and felt very energetic during the ride. Because I was feeling so good, I tried a few little things that I probably shouldn't have and ended up on the ground a few times. On the way home, I even wiped out on the half mile stretch of sidewalk between the trail and my house. But it's all fun!

Today will be an hour at marathon pace effort. I go by heart rate since I don't want to run on the road and really have no idea what my current marathon pace would even be. I know marathon pace effort is a heart rate of about 165, just below threshold. Some day I may put in some speed work and run another road marathon just to see if I have any speed left at all. I'd have to decide I cared enough about it to put in the effort. We'll see. Never say never.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Treadmill in September?!

I haven't been posting much lately. The weather has just been too nice to spend time sitting at the computer. I have been getting my runs in and feeling... not great, but OK. My mileage is actually up where it should be, which surprises me because I don't feel like I have been doing enough training. I have Oil Creek 100 in two weeks and as always going into these things, I wonder if I am ready for it. Ready or not, I'll give it my best shot.

After Oil Creek, I plan to take a little time off from running to re-group. I'll bike and hike and do my strength workouts during that time. I just feel like I need a mental and physical break from running. Then I'll start thinking about getting ready for snowshoe racing and cross country skiing.

Today I have an uphill tempo run planned. I'll do an outdoors warm up and cool down, but the tempo portion will have to be on the treadmill so I can do the prescribed pace at the prescribed grade. Yikes, who wants to get on the treadmill on a beautiful September morning? I'll do it, but I might have to put the treadmill out on the front porch. I'll let you know how it goes!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Weekend Mountain Biking and Today's long run

Over the weekend Kevin and I mountain Biked at Bear Brook State Park in New Hampshire, the site of my first real mountain bike ride a few months ago. There were a few differences between that first ride and the ride I went on over this past weekend. For one thing, my first ride was on a borrowed bike. I have since purchased that same bike and don't feel quite as bad when that bike slams into the ground or into trees and bushes. For another thing, the bike didn't really slam into the ground or into trees and bushes all that frequently on this last ride, as compared to that first ride when I went home covered with bumps, bruises, and scrapes. I can see a lot of improvement, but want to be even better! I have never been considered a patient person.

I enjoyed the riding. The weather couldn't have been better. We started out on smoothly flowing trails with some really good climbs and a few obstacles that I could get the bike over without too much difficulty. For lunch we started up a difficult trail for just a short way and had lunch on some open ledges with nice views. I must have misunderstood, because I didn't think we would be continuing on that same hard trail. I just figured we'd go back the short distance we had come up that trail and continue on trails that I could handle. But after lunch, Kevin forged ahead and, ever willing, I followed.

This trail had sharp uneven rocks sticking up all over the place. I pushed the bike for about 50% of my time on that trail. This is something I haven't had to do much on past rides on easier trails. Kevin rode right over and around all the deadly looking rocks, leaving me muttering and swearing in frustration. This trail was so rough that I was thinking it would be almost impossible to run on, let alone bike. I can't remember the name of the trail, I refer to it as the Sucky Trail. Eventually we got off of it. Kevin asked, "that was a little challenging, wasn't it?" And I replied, "not challenging, it sucked." I am determined to go back there next year and ride the Sucky Trail with a minimal amount of time off the bike and no muttering and swearing.

The next trail, The Chipmunk Trail, was "challenging" for me and I enjoyed that one a lot. I really do enjoy a challenge... to a point. This one had some tough sections I had to concentrate on and work at getting the bike through. I was doing pretty well, so when I saw Kevin gently lift his front tire up onto a natural stone step and then easily lift the back tire up onto it as he continued along, never missing a beat, I decided I'd try to do the same. Now, I know I can't get my bike up onto something like that, but Kevin made it look so easy I had to try. I was so surprised when my bike actually got up onto the step, I didn't know what to do next. So I lost control and started riding off down a bank into the woods. Luckily, I remembered the brakes and used them. Looking up, I saw Kevin had chosen that moment to stop and wait for me and he was a short distance up the trail looking back. What do I do in a potentially embarrassing situation like that? I find it is most effective to just smile and wave, as if to say "I did that on purpose."

We finished up on "little Bear" which was a ton of fun because it was easy and fast. Just what I needed to end the ride on a positive note. I think Kevin has a good feel for that sort of thing. He likes to challenge me and make me work a little, but knows when enough is enough. Plus he probably didn't want to listen to me muttering and swearing the whole ride home.

Today was a beautiful three hour run on snowmobile trails. I have recently re-discovered these trails. I used to run on them about 15 or 20 years ago when I lived in South Hiram. They aren't exactly the same as I remember them being. They seem to have been re-routed. But the woods are just as nice as they were back then, very quiet and peaceful. There are some open areas for the sun to get through and a good variety of trees in various stages of growth. I love running these trails. My legs felt very good and it was an absolutely gorgeous Fall morning. I had just done my last long run three days ago, but I have a tough work week ahead and today was the day I had time for a long one this week.

I haven't been on my road bike in quite a while. If the sun stays out, this afternoon might be a good time for a leisurely scenic road bike ride.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Long Run

Today I ran 4 hours on snowmobile trails, ATV trails, and tote roads. I didn't feel like running long today because I was dealing with some personal stress having to do with a grown kid who won't move out and needs to. Anyway, I was feeling distracted and not wanting to run but knew if I did it would make me feel less stressed out. I kind of half-heartedly set out from home toward Parsonsfield. My legs felt fine from the start, but my mind wouldn't relax for quite a few miles. It took about two hours of steady effort, but eventually I was able to let it all go and just relax and enjoy my run. As always, I'm very thankful for the meditative properties of running.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

North Parsonsfield Trails

My last visit yesterday was with a woman in her 80's who had lived in Parsonsfield her whole life. As I was leaving, I asked her about trails or old dirt roads near by that I could run on. These elderly townies are some of the best sources for finding old unmaintained town roads, tote roads, and old carriage trails. Unlike some of my younger clients or co-workers, these older people don't seem to find anything odd about a woman going out to run in the woods alone. I'm not sure why.

This nice lady pointed me in the right direction and I had a great hour and a half run on hilly old tote roads and ATV trails. They led me to the familiar territory of the Leavitt Plantation, where I used to run when I lived in Parsonsfield a few years back. I also stumbled on some of Back Country Excursion's mountain bike trails, which are nice single track. I'm not sure if I should be running on B.C.E.'s trails since they are maintained by a business that is relying on those trails for a living, but I did explore them a bit.

My workout called for 2 minute "surges" and I did those on the dirt "Hasty Road" and on ATV trails. I didn't calculate the pace of the surges. Believe me, I don't want to know. All I know is that I got my heart rate up and worked kind of hard on those efforts.

Today's run was an easy hour on the local snowmobile trails. I was feeling the hills and the surges from yesterday. I think I'm going to need some time off my feet today with a good book.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Nice Long Run on South Hiram Snow Mobile Trails

After many weeks of no energy and feeling that my legs each weighed about a ton and not sleeping nights, I started taking estrogen and it seems to be working. I have had this estrogen problem in the past, usually when my weight drops below about 100 pounds. A woman needs a certain amount of body fat to produce estrogen. This is why anorexics often go into a premature menopause. Don't worry, the only eating disorder I have is over-indulgence. But because I tend to be very active I still have trouble keeping up with my caloric requirements at times (despite all the beer and burgers). I think now that I am keeping an eye on my weight, I will get it back to a healthy level and be able to stop the supplemental estrogen. For now, the supplement is helping immensely and I feel good again!

I was scheduled for a three hour long run for my last workout of the week. I ran on single track and snowmobile trails for a nice enjoyable run of about 19 or 20 miles. It was almost effortless, I felt like I was just floating along. It's been a while since I have been able to run like that! I had almost forgotten that I even liked to run. When every run is a struggle, it isn't much fun. I had even started to empathize with all those people who think running sucks. So on this long run, it was very nice to be loping along with a smile on my face, just loving every minute of it. Now I remember why I run!

This week I have back to back long runs scheduled. The Oil Creek 100 is in 4 weeks and I think I will be ready for a good run there. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks of training. I've got my running legs back and I'm loving it!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Baldface Circle

Yesterday, to celebrate my birthday, Kevin and I hiked the 10 mile Baldface Circle from North to South. I had started this hike once in the past, but turned back due to icy conditions. There is a lot of open ledge and I didn't have the right gear with me that day. Yesterday the conditions were absolutely perfect! Temperatures were mild, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and the views were clear and beautiful in all directions.

We chose to do the loop counter clockwise via Baldface Circle Trail to Bicknell Ridge Trail back onto Baldface Circle Trail. It was a good choice, as the open views started early on and continued throughtout the hike. The footing is the fun kind of stuff you can move fast over, flat ledge and solidly grounded rocks. There is a lot of hard steep climbing and my legs were feeling like they were getting a good workout. It was a little over 5 miles of pretty steady climbing before we got to the North Baldface summit.

Then there was a good steep scurry down some rocks, a hike along the ridge and the climb up South Baldface. At the bottom of the steep rocks, we met a group hiking the circle in the opposite direction. They all warned us about descending "the ledges," which they had climbed coming from the direction they were hiking. We weren't worried. It is just a matter of going slow and picking your route carefully.

Coming down the ledges was quite fun. I wouldn't want to do it if it was wet or icy, but in dry conditions it is very interesting and entertaining, requiring a lot of thought and concentration. I loved it! When we got off the ledges and into the woods, Kevin picked up the pace, but I was having trouble with my boot putting pressure on a bruised spot on top of my foot which I got at the Green Lakes 100K. I had to unlace the top few eyelets on my boot and leave it pretty loose on my foot. This worked and I could hike along OK as long as I was careful not to turn my ankle or slide my foot out of the boot.

After a while, Kevin let me go in front. A short time later he said he had been stung by something. I turned and looked at the red welt on his arm and then kept hiking. Suddenly I felt stings on the back of my head and under my arm. I don't know if i said anything other than, "Ouch!!!" but I started running! There were small bees flying all around me. Kevin was right behind me. Those suckers hurt like hell! I forgot all about the sore spot on top of my foot and my half-unlaced hiking boot. I just ran. I paused when I thought I had run far enough, but got stung on the back of the head again, so I started running some more. I don't know what kind of bees they were, but the stings hurt for hours afterwards and caused us both to have muscle pains and gave me the chills. When we got back to the truck, we both sat on the tailgate rubbing our stings and looking in his first aid kit for something that might help. We decided that a nice burger and some beer was probably the right medicine, so we headed over to Moat Mountain Brewery and nursed our injuries there.

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday. It was fantastic, bees and all.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Running Through a Lifetime

My running has finally been feeling good! For the first time since before my injury at Massanutten I've been getting daily runs in and actually enjoying them! Yay! The problem seems to be related to low body weight, hormones, and middle age. The good news is that dietary supplements and perscription drugs are available and do work.

Today I turn 47. I really have been running throughout my life time. I ran for the first time when I was ten years old. I watched Dave Wottle win the 800 meter run on TV in the 1972 Olympics and feeling inspired, I immediately went outside and ran my very first mile in canvas Keds and jean cut offs. My first "mile run" was to the garbage bin behind Vic's liquor store. My older brother, Ben told me that was where I had to run to get a mile in and since I figured he knew everything there was to know because he was 13, I set that as my mile mark and never questioned it. When I got to that grabage bin during my very first run, I realized I had to get back home again. So my first run turned out to be at least two miles long. I loved it! I've been running ever since.

I have run some fast times and have won some competitive races. Now I'm pretty slow. There's no denying it. Some people improve right through their 40's, I'm not one of them. I think it has a lot to do with years running, not age. It seems to me that a person can improve in their running for 10 to 15 years, maintain their speed for another 10 to 15 years or so, but then there is going to be some slow down. These bodies of ours are not indestructible, no matter how much we try to pretend they are!

The good news is that we can stay active and healthy and keep moving throughout our lives. We might slow down and lose some of our competitive drive, but we can keep running and keep loving it! I plan to still be running out on the trails when I am in my 80's and 90's. I really have no doubt about it.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Riding the Kingdom Trails

Yesterday, Kevin and I mountain biked on the Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vermont. We rode for about 4 or 5 hours on nice winding hilly single track. As we drove into East Burke I was amazed at the number of mountain bikers in town. Parking lots were almost full and mountain bikers were getting ready to ride or already heading out onto the trails as we pulled in. I was nervous because I was sure I was the most inexperienced rider there and I didn't want all those more experienced riders to witness my feeble attempts at riding.

I felt anxious riding up the first steep hill onto the trails because we were so close to town and I felt like other riders might see how much of a novice I was. But once we got out a little way, I realized that there are so many miles of trail that riders are spread out and the trails aren't congested at all. Also, I saw that there were all levels of riders there and I wasn't the worse rider on the trails. Even if I was no one would care. So I relaxed and started having a lot of fun!

The trails Kevin took me on weren't very technical as far as rocks, roots, and other obstacles. They were nicely flowing narrow single track that challenged me with lots of tight turns, a few good climbs, some slightly scary downhills, and a few little obstacles that were completely do-able. Because I wasn't riding as slowly and carefully as I do on more technical stuff, I was able to get a good flowing rhythm in a lot of stretches and really get my heart rate up for a good workout.

There was one long narrow plank bridge that spanned some swampy looking water. Kevin was riding ahead and rode right over. There were riders stopped on both ends of the bridge, thinking it over. I just followed Kevin over the bridge, knowing that if I stop to think about things when I ride, I just get scared and then I can't do them. It wasn't until later in the day that Kevin said he was surprised that I rode over that. He told me the water there was up to his chest, which would put it up to my neck. Then I realized that if I had fallen in while clipped in to the pedals, it could have been pretty dangerous. Now I wonder if I'll have the courage to ride over that again next time we go back. Then again, I have been practicing riding over narrow planks on dry land, so I know I can do it. We'll see what happens next time we ride there.

I had a few close calls, but found I was able to get out of them by touching down with a foot or just riding through them. This is better than in the past where I would go down every time things got shaky. I think this improvement just has to do with having a little more confidence. I only really fell once. I was going down a little drop with some tricky rocks and I leaned way forward on the bike and when I came back, somehow the front of the bike seat went into the back pocket of my shorts. Talk about freak accidents! Anyway, I toppled off the side of the trail while I was struggling to get my ass unattached from the seat. I landed on my right side on a steep banking in a evergreen shrub of some sort, still attached to my bike by my rear end. It took me a LONG time to get off the bike and then out of the bush. The whole time I was thinking, "I hope no one comes down the trail and sees this and I hope Kevin doesn't come back looking for me." I was just getting back onto the trail when Kevin came riding back. Phew, no witnesses and no pride lost.

We had a nice lunch at "Heaven's Bench" which is a bench sitting in the middle of a hay field with nice views in all directions. Then did some more riding on the trails before going to the "pump track." I watched Kevin and some other riders ride the pump track and finally got up the courage to try it myself. The pump track is a small area of dirt trail over rolling humps of different sizes. The idea is to use your upper body and the momentum of the down, to carry you up the next hump. It is tricky, but I could feel how I was supposed to do it on some of the smaller humps. It was also very tiring for some reason.

It was a great day and a wonderful workout. I definitely felt it in my legs and I really did get some good cardio in. It is really nice to be exploring and enjoying a new outdoor activity. I'm loving this whole mountain biking thing!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Moving Forward

I found this photo of me in the midst of my suffering at the Green lakes 100K. That is a grimace, not a smile. Mercifully, they didn't post any finisher results after 12 hours by some glitch in the system. Unless a person happens to read my blog, they'll never know how slow I ran!

I walked a few miles on both Monday and Tuesday and ran 3 miles this morning. I'm none the worse for wear from pushing through a bad day at Green Lakes. I do think of it as good training for the Oil Creek 100 . Pushing through that last 50K at Green Lakes sure felt like the last 50K of a 100 miler! Good old pain and suffering, you've gotta love it!

With that tough day behind me, it's time to move forward and look ahead to Oil Creek, my last ultra of the season. It's been an interesting year with a DNF at MMT, followed with trying to run injured, then some time off, then a miraculous sub 24 at Vermont, a wonderful time in the mountains at MMD, and then total fatigue and sluggishness leading up to and persisting through Green Lakes. With 4 weeks to recover, I think I can have a good run at Oil Creek. Then Winter will definitely be a time for me to rest and rebuild.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Persistence and Tenacity at GLER

The Green Lakes Endurance Run was a fantastic event. It was well organized with plenty of volunteer support. The course was nice, with excellent footing and the potential for very fast running. The trails were wide and a bit overly-groomed for my taste, but I enjoyed them anyway! There is a 5km stretch in the middle of each loop that is single track through brushy fields. I even liked that part of the course. The wildflowers were beautiful and the field offered some great views and some nice rolling hills. The scenery was pretty and the lakes really are a wonderful shade of teal. The only thing wrong with the race was the way I ran it...poorly!

I ran the first 7.75 mile loop with Zsuzanna Carlson. She had it in her mind that this race would be an exciting contest between herself and me. She is a very nice woman and a very spirited competitor. I have beaten her each time we have raced in the past, but I knew I wouldn't be running at my best and wouldn't be giving her any competition on that day. I didn't say anything to her about feeling "off" because I didn't want it to sound like I was playing some sort of psyche out game with her. I did warn her that Ruthann was also in the race and was a very strong competitor. I had fun running that first loop with Zsusanna, but knew I should drop back on the next loop.

I held back a bit at the main aid station before starting my second loop, wanting to let Zsusanna go so I could slow down to a more sustainable pace. Ruthann had been right behind us and she and I headed out on the second loop together. I was still going faster than I should, but I had a good time chatting with Ruthann for most of the second loop. Near the end of the second loop, we came upon Kevin who was out on his mountain bike exploring the park. I stopped to talk with him so I'd have an excuse to let Ruthann move ahead of me and I could really slow down to where I needed to be in order to finish.

I actually felt pretty good for the first 50K. Then suddenly I just felt terrible. The last 50K was a lesson in will power. I had to struggle to put one foot in front of the other. Every so often I would say to myself the words of the infamous Joe Hayes, "A.F.F. beats a D.N.F." (Any F#*!ing Finish beats a Did Not Finish!) I don't know if that always holds true, but at Green Lakes I needed a finish to help with my sagging running confidence.

I saw Kevin on and off all day. He literally rode his bike all day. He was a great help in encouraging me to keep going, no matter how badly I was doing and how poorly I felt. I can't remember his exact words but they had something to do with praising my persistence and tenacity, which were about the only things I had going for me on that day. Nothing hurt, I was just tired and heavy legged and my loops were pathetically slow.

People at the main aid station and the first aid station on the course were very helpful in cheering me on and lying about how great I was doing. They called me by name, even though I had never met a single one of them before. It is that kind of special touch that made this event so nice. Another thing that impressed me were the great course markings and the volunteers at all the intersections on the first few laps to point runners in the right direction.

On my second to last loop I came face to face with Zsusanna on one of the sections with two-way traffic. She was still in the lead, but paused to tell me she was "scared to death" to be leading. She also voiced concern about how my run was going (sucking) and wanted to be sure I would be heading out for my last lap and finish no matter what. I told her I would be finishing eventually and I told her to keep going, she was doing great!!! I was very happy to hear that she did go on to win. I believe it was her first win at any distance.

Eventually I found my way around the loop for one last time and ran over the finish line. All the 50K runners had already gone home and there were only a few volunteers and a few 100K finishers left. But they cheered me in enthusiastically and you'd never know by hearing them that there were only about a dozen of them left there. I had just finished one of my worse and most difficult races of my life, but I was smiling! There is something oddly rewarding about pushing one's self to the finish line on persistence and tenacity alone. So there is some truth in Joe's saying that A.F.F. beats a D.N.F. I am pretty darned happy with my finish.