Day 17 – Fasted Cardio

Today was a serious caloric deficit day. I don’t recommend doing this very often, however fasted cardio does work. Fasted cardio is probably going to leave you hangry and people will not want to be around you, but if you want to drop some fat real quick, i’ll tell you what works for me. Most people do fasted cardio first thing in the morning. The idea is that when you wake up in the morning its been a while since you have eaten and your body is now looking for your fat cells as a source of energy. If you workout in this fat burning mode, it takes your body some time to convert back to burning sugars and you get a few free fat cells burned in the meanwhile. So doing fasted cardio in the afternoon really isn’t that different than doing it when you first wake up. I have to make my workouts work with my schedule. This morning I woke up feeling pretty good, had some great workouts, and ate some yummy food too!

Focus T25 Day 17 – Alpha Phase
Morning Weigh-in: 185
Breakfast: AcidCheck Caplets and Cafe Latte Shakeology
Workout: Focus T25 – Speed 1.0 added Beachbody Hydrate and Beachbody Energize to Water
Workout: Spinning 20k added Beachbody Hydrate to Water
Post-Workout – Beachbody Performance Recover
Late-Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich
Dinner: Jambalaya (rice, chicken, sausage, spices) Yum!
Dessert: 2 Oreos

Cheers to the end of a long hibernation?

It’s Friday! I’m 12 days into getting back into shape and things are starting to feel good again! After taking about 2 years off from racing in triathlons, I am finally ready to find a race again. I mean yes there were other times in the recent past that I may have said I was ready, but now I am really ready. My workouts are getting better and I’m feeling the motivation kicking in. I’m eating better and making sure that my efforts in the workouts are at the highest level of my current ability. I know that its going to take me the rest of this Spring and through the Summer to get back to where I was a few years ago, but my determination is there! I want to get into the best shape that I have ever been before the beginning of the 2018 triathlon season. As with any long term goal, I need to set incremental goals along the way. I am looking at doing a series of sprint triathlons this Summer and get into some longer races in the Fall. Can’t deny it, I am so excited! This hibernation is finally over!

In the spirit of getting back into shape, I have found that accountability to myself helps me to stay on top of my nutrition as well as my training. My goal is to post my nutrition, supplements, and workouts everyday (both the good and the bad days – full disclosure) as long as school, work, family time, and coaching allow for it. Sound good?

The format will be the same as it has been in previous years per the following format:

(This is a part of my post from 2014 when I was doing P90X2 and enjoying my time riding for Falco Bike. See the actual post here http://wp.me/p2pRzM-Ff )

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Got in some time on the Falco V just as the sun was going down. That felt nice. Got a little dark at the end 🙂 Finished up in time to get asked out for Sushi. I Love Sushi! I didn’t eat enough at dinner though. Should have gone for some sashimi. Oh well, peanut butter and almond protein works too!

Morning Weigh-in: 175
Breakfast: Chocolate Shakeology with Beachbody Vanilla Whey2 – Slimming Formula, 2 – Cordastra, and Coffee
Lunch: 2 Pieces of Chicken Quesadilla
Snack: 2 Breaded Chicken Bits
Pre-Workout: 
Energy and Endurance Formula
Workout: 
Cycling 18.6 Miles
Post-Workout: P90X Results & Recovery Formula
Dinner:
 1 Fresh Sushi Roll and Cucumber Salad
Workout: P90X2 Recovery + Mobility
Snack: A Handful of Almonds, 2 Peanut Butter Sandwiches, and Pretzels

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My hope is that through sharing my journey that some of you may find some inspiration to do something to help you become the best version of yourself. Thank you for taking the time to read this! I look forward to reading any comments you may have and meeting any new readers as well!

As always, Tri Hard!

Skin Cooler: Its the Coolest!

I don’t know if you have ever been to Bakersfield, California but chances are if you are a fan of football, movies, petroleum, NASCAR, or music you’ve at least heard of it. Besides being the hometown to Frank Gifford, Earl Warren, David Carr, Buck Owens, KORN, Kevin Harvick, and a long list of other celebrities, athletes, and entertainers, its also where I was born and continue to call home today. Bakersfield has the unique distinction of being geographically located at the southern bowled end of the San Joaquin Valley which subjects it to unfortunately poor air quality and fairly hot summers. In fact I can remember some summers where we have had 30 days in a row of temperatures over 100 degrees. Growing up in Bakersfield I have become used to working out in the heat. High School Cross Country practice usually took place after school, so running in the heat of the day was something that became normal to me. Its very possible that this shaped me into the athlete I am today. For instance, I think that training in the heat (as long as it is done safely) can be highly useful. Being able to perform in extreme conditions better prepares you for performing at a higher level when the conditions aren’t as extreme.

In an attempt to minimize the affect of the elements during training I am constantly searching for ways to improve my performance and endurance. Because I am open to trying new things, I have been lucky enough to be paired up with a few companies over the years to try out new products in the way of supplements, apparel, and accessories to serve this end. Of all the products that I have tested since returning to the triathlon scene, I have found a few that really work well and do what they say they are going to do. One of the products that I have come to love is Skin Cooler fabric from De Soto Sport. De Soto Sport is a company that started back in 1990 making cool products geared towards triathletes. And they are still at it today making some of the “coolest” products I use!

If you didn’t know, the production of sweat is our bodies way of cooling us down. Our sweaty skin is hit by the air and produces a cooling effect as the air passes over it. However, in extreme heat, that sweat evaporates quickly and reduces the duration of the cooling effect. So if there was a product that slowed the evaporation of sweat then that would help us stay cooler for a longer period of time, right? Luckily, my favorite triathlon gear company happens to have such a product in their arsenal of awesomeness. As athletes we commonly see products that are moisture wicking in an attempt to keep our bodies dry. In a cold environment I totally see the practical application for these materials, but when we are trying to stay cool, keeping the moisture near the skin seems like it would be more beneficial. De Soto Sport utilized this thought process in their Skin Cooler product line.

This past summer I had the opportunity to purchase some Skin Cooler products to try out. I picked up a Skin Cooler SDS Long Sleeve Shirt, a SDS Helmet Beanie, a Riviera Tri-Top, and a Skin Cooler Run Cap.

Now I have used the Skin Cooler Run Cap before and loved it, but sadly I donated my last one to an Irish Pub in Milwaukee back in 2013 during the USAT National Age Group Championship weekend. I thought it was a great running cap and loved the fact that it kept my head cool when it was hot outside. In fact, its replacement worked really well this past weekend at the Bakersfield Marathon, especially in the second half when it started to get hot!
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(Shown here wearing the Skin Cooler Run Cap and Riviera Trisuit – Sleeved 2016)

The Skin Cooler SDS Long Sleeve Shirt was definitely a favorite of mine this past summer. It not only kept me cool, it also helped to save me from getting burnt in the afternoon sun. I chose the all white version of this shirt.
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It looked great up until the point I used it with my aero bars on the bike. Unfortunately the elbow pads on the bike stained the elbows with a black smudge. If I could go back in time and order the blue and black version of this top, I probably would, but all things considered, this top definitely served its purpose this past summer.

The 2017 versions of this top are all white with different colored graphics on the front. They are also made with Skin Cooler 90 material which is a bit more durable and aerodynamic than its predecessor Skin Cooler SDS.
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A very useful design of this shirt is the use of pockets in the back to hold ice or wet sponges to help aid in cooling.

The last two skin cooler items I used this summer are the SDS Helmet Beanie and the Riviera Tri Top. (Shown being used in the following picture)
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The Skin Cooler Helmet Beanie is one of my favorite items in the Skin Cooler line. It really helps keep the head cool underneath the helmet. When your extremities (head, hands, and feet) are kept cool, it helps to keep your whole body cooler. This beanie also keeps the wind out of the ears which can be nice if you have sensitive ears. I also like it because it keeps the sun of the tops of my ears which tend to get burnt on hot and sunny days.

The Riviera Tri Top is a great option for triathletes or “cyclists looking for a sleeveless option for hot days.” It uses compression fabric and Skin Cooler panels to provide support, comfort, cooling, and slimming effect. The neck does ride high to deter scooping air when in the aero position, but you can unzip it while on the run or when its under your wetsuit if you prefer a loosened fit.

Overall I feel that De Soto Sport provides quality products that are useful to their intended customers at a fair price. I am one of those people who will wear the heck out of something if it fits and looks good. If you know someone like me who enjoys quality apparel for swimming, cycling, and running, then they would really love anything from De Soto Sport! Check out their website to find something for yourself or for that special triathlete in your life today!

www.desotosport.com

Triathlete in Hibernation – Use it or Lose it!

“Use it or Lose it!” is a well known adage that has been adopted by pretty much any situation where attrition leads to non-utility. I am sure you can think of a number of situations where this may be the case. A coupon that expires, muscle tone after an injury, loss of libido….well you get the picture. The basic idea is the less you use something, do something, or are reminded of something, that something tends to disappear and the less you miss it. Unfortunately in my case, the same goes for racing in triathlons.

Its been a while since I have talked about my history with the triathlon, swimming, cycling, and running.  When I was in my early teens, it seemed like I was racing in a triathlon every other weekend. I was pretty fast for my age. At 14 I placed 4th at the Ironkids National Championship. At 15 I ran a 15:03 5k. By the time I was 16 I had dreams and aspirations of going to the Olympics so I gave up triathlons to focus on running. My last 2 years of high school went fairly well and I decided to go run for USC. 3 days before the start of my Freshman year I hyper-extended my knee in practice and that sidelined me for the majority of the Cross Country season. I competed at the PAC 10 Championship at the end of the season and took last place over all of those who finished that day. USC shut down their Men’s Varsity Cross Country program after that year and I think that was the nail in the coffin for me. I wasn’t mentally in it anymore. I took some time off and tried to get back into triathlons again a year later when I was 19, but I had been out for too long and didn’t have the motivation to train anymore. I didn’t understand it then, but I was in the downward spiral of a deep depression. The likes of which I didn’t fully understand until 2011. It wasn’t until I decided to lose some weight and get healthy again that I realized the source of my pain and anger. I lost 60 pounds and got back into “running” shape. I decided that it was time to try my hand at the triathlon again. It was like I had returned to a world that I had forgotten. The feeling of being a part of something bigger than myself. The camaraderie. The sportsmanship. The family of crazy people who enjoy pushing themselves beyond any normal amount of physical exertion. I was back with my people and it felt good. 19 years is a long time to go without doing something that you love, but the next few years were great! I enjoyed a busy race schedule with decent outcomes. I was able to travel to Milwaukee for the Age Group National Championship in 2013 which was an awesome experience. Being around some of the best in the sport brought out the best in me and everything seemed to be falling right back into place. I had become a faster swimmer and cyclist than I had ever been but my running seemed to be my new weakness. Weird that something I had been so good at when I was younger is now my Achilles heal when it comes to competitions. Makes sense though, I didn’t and don’t spend much time on developing myself back into a runner. I think I still to this very day hold that fear of getting injured again from truly unlocking my best potential.

Now I find myself in a new predicament. The last time I competed in a triathlon was April of 2015. I didn’t stop racing because of an injury or because I was sick of the sport, financially I just couldn’t justify the cost any longer. Triathlons aren’t cheap, especially when you are looking at half and full triathlon distances — these races range in cost from $300 to $2000 — and frankly I just don’t have that kind of money to spend. So instead I focused on finding more gainful employment. A year and a half later I am still struggling to find the cash flow to get back into the race. Working a few jobs to make some of my ends meet has been rough and has taken up the time I used to have for training. So I have been in what I would call a hibernation phase. Sure I have been able to get out and ride here and there or swim with the kids I coach, but the goal of competing in an Ironman seems so far off now. There is so much training involved and my hat goes off to all of those people who have completed this goal. But in my case, I guess if you don’t use it, eventually you do lose it. Even though I may not be as fast as I used to be a few years ago or even close to the shape I was in, I do know that it wont take me that long to get back to where I was a few years ago. I think my major issue is that I haven’t had a goal set to kick start my training regiment back into gear.

So with that being said, I am setting a goal to complete the Bakersfield Marathon next month. It’s the inaugural running of this race and I would be remise to not take advantage of such a great opportunity here in my hometown. I have just over 4 weeks of training time left to mount an attack on the completion of this, my first marathon attempt. Now I am not going into this marathon with the hopes of winning over all or even placing in my age group. My goal is to simply finish in less than 4 hours which translates to an average of a 9:09 minute mile for 26.2 miles. Now this isn’t going to be easy by any means, but I believe it is a goal that I can achieve within the next 5 weeks of training. I think my biggest issue is, after paying for the entry fee of course, is going to be with pacing at that speed and maintaining enough caloric intake to get through it. Regardless of these challenges, I am ready to set this goal into motion and use this as a stepping stone towards completing my first Ironman someday in the next year. Now all I need to do is figure out which career path I want to follow (go back to construction or keep moving forward with teaching) and maximize my earning potential in that field so I no longer feel this financial pinch and get to enjoy life just a little bit more freely!

All I know is, I don’t want to lose the feeling I get when I think about racing again. So its time for me to make my way back into the groove!

Thank you for reading! I look forward to seeing you at the races!

Add Some Heat for a More Intense Workout

Started off the day with 1 1/2 hours of Hot Yoga! Vinyasa Flow is supposed to leave you feeling grounded, calm, and free of tension after a sequence of poses flowing from one to the next. This was the first time that I have taken this class and I can attest to the fact that it will leave you calm and free of tension. Adding the heat helped with my flexibility but overall it just made the workout that much more intense. Its been a while since I have done any Yoga and after I that was done. All I wanted to do was prop myself up into a recliner, drink water, and watch Stage 7 of the Tour de France. So thats what I did 🙂 at least for a little bit while I gathered up the energy to head out for a ride. By that time came around it was about 97 degrees. Not super hot, but hot enough for sure. Today’s ride was intended to be at moderate intensity. I felt petty relaxed after Yoga and didn’t want to push it too hard leading into the weekend, but best intentions, you know, I was feeling good so I decided to push the pace a bit and try to maintain about 90% and focus on breathing, hydration, and performance in a hot environment. It worked out good. I ended up turning out my fastest time for one of my favorite Strava segments in over a year. Its nice to be hitting some good times again and settling back in to my old Trek.

Something that I have realized since I was a kid, growing up in Bakersfield (which can reach very hot and very cold temperatures for California) and competing in different cities around the US, is that working out in the heat at a high intensity prepares me to perform at a higher level during races which are typically held in the morning when temperatures are much cooler. My theory has been that if I can work hard and maintain a high level of output in temperatures of 100 degrees plus, then I should be able to maintain that same high level of output or better when the temperatures are lower. In essence pushing my body to some type of threshold preparing me to acclimate and adapt to various environments. Now I am fully aware that in hotter environments an athlete (or anyone for that matter) needs to hydrate and replace electolytes while exercising. Obviously in a hotter environment this is even more important and not doing so could prove to be dangerous. So while I exercise in these onditions I make sure that I take enough water with supplements to keep me hydrated and safe. So far this theory has proved to be useful since I was in Triathlons and Cross Country as a young athlete and today in my training as an older age group triathlete. I have found various articles and even a study that backs up my findings. I just ask that if you begin to employ this practice in your training, be smart about it, take plenty of hydration and electrolytes to sustain the planned workout, and listen to your body. If you begin to feel light headed, or stop sweating, or feel anything other how you think you should be feeling, take a break, find shade, and don’t feel bad if you need to call someone to come and pick you up. No training is worth risking your health. So train hard, but train smart as well!

Have a Happy Weekend!

Training/Nutrition Log
Thursday Morning Weigh-in:
 180
Workout: Vinyasa Flow Yoga with Amber
Breakfast:
  
Coffee, 3 – AcidCheck Caplets and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich, Granola Bar, and Water
Workout:
Rode 28.4 Miles used Acid Check Granules and Himalayan Pink Salt.
Recovery Swim:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery
Dinner: Sushi
Dessert: Ben & Jerry’s – Karamel Sutra

Disclaimer: As a triathlete, I am not always eating with the intention of weight loss but rather to maintain weight and fuel my activity. If you are not as active as I am, please don’t use my nutritional intake as your model. If you would like help finding out a meal plan and workouts that would be good for you, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 775-722-8184 or Facebook me at www.facebook.com/fityak. Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Avoid Injury – Listen to Your Body

The last seven days have not gone per plan from a training perspective. When I get pain anywhere around my joints I seem to get a bit conservative. I have been pushing myself to go a little faster than I probably should with the cycling. And the Insanity Max 30 has me jumping a little more than I want to at my current weight. And really I shouldn’t be doing Speed Power Jumps for my training at this point anyways. There really is no point. Running would be less pounding than those. So After some good foam rolling days and taking it easy with the cross training for this past week, I should be able to resume the workouts as scheduled. Only this time I am choosing to modify the workouts a bit during the power jump segments. I should be able to perform slow, singular power jumps where I can focus on a nice absorptive landing. Unfortunately doing successive rapid power jumps isn’t great on my knees and I don’t think I can handle having to spend another week recovering with tight IT Band issues. The whole point of this is when you feel something isn’t right with your body, listen to your body and change what you are doing. In my case, I wasn’t foam rolling at all like I used to and I almost paid the price. I am just glad that I avoided an injury this time. All I know is that the foam roller is going to be a welcome part of my life and I’ll never stray again! Additionally, I am so happy to have been able to get into the pool and use the BowSwim to workout and also jump into the pool with the kids I coach. I love the non-impact workout from the pool. And now that I have the BowSwim to make my workouts more productive, I cant wait to see how it is going to translate into my open water swimming at my first triathlon back at some point this Summer.

Train Safe everyone!

Training/Nutrition Log – Sunday, July 3, 2016 through Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Sunday Morning Weigh-in: 181
Breakfast:  3 – AcidCheck Caplets and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich
Workout:
10 Minutes on Bowswim
Recovery Swim: Swam with the kids during swim practice – 400 Meters Mostly Freestyle
Post-Workout:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery
Dinner: Hamburger and 2 Hot Dogs and Chips

Monday Morning Weigh-in:
 182
Breakfast:  3 – AcidCheck Caplets and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: BBQ Chicken Salad
Workout:
15 Minutes on BowSwim  Finished up 22 Days of Pushups www.22kill.com.
Dinner: Pork Loin, Tri Tip, Potato Salad, and Bean Dip 
Post-Workout:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery

Tuesday Morning Weigh-in: 180
Breakfast:  3 – AcidCheck Caplets and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich, Jalepeno Chips, Water
Workout:
Recovery Day – Foam Rolling
Post-Workout:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery
Dinner: Fajitas – Chicken, Beef, and Shrimp, Beans and Rice, Chips and Guacamole.

Wednesday Morning Weigh-in: 180
Breakfast:  3 – AcidCheck Caplets, and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: Eggs, Bacon, and Toast
Snack: Small Peanut Butter Sandwich, Pita Chips with Swiss Cheese
Workout: 300 Meters in Pool at Practice with Kids and about 30 Minutes Treading Water
Post-Workout:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery
Dinner: Chicken and Filet Mignon, Rice, and Vegetables Teppan Style, Mint Chip Ice Cream for Dessert.

Disclaimer: As a triathlete, I am not always eating with the intention of weight loss but rather to maintain weight and fuel my activity. If you are not as active as I am, please don’t use my nutritional intake as your model. If you would like help finding out a meal plan and workouts that would be good for you, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 775-722-8184 or Facebook me at www.facebook.com/fityak. Looking forward to hearing from you!

 

Cycling, Recovery, The Tour de France, and a Little Bit of Luck!

Thursday, June 30, 2016 / Friday, July 1, 2016 / Saturday, July 2, 2016

Thursday morning I woke up with a little twinge in my knee. Most likely from a speed jumping interval during Insanity Max 30 and a tight IT Band. I’ll have to take care of that this weekend with some foam rolling. But on this day, I decided to take advantage of my parents’ wanting to spend some time with the kids to meet with a company for an interview (call back for second interview next week) an to get some much needed saddle time before swim practice. One of my favorite training sessions is to go for a bike ride in the heat of the day. At temperatures over 100 I am good for about 25 Miles. I know about how much water I need to ingest during this time, about 3 ozs per mile, to keep myself from getting too dehydrated. So I loaded up the bike with 72 ozs and headed out for one of my favorite 26 mile rides. Since I have hooked back up with De Soto Sport, I have picked up some new cycling/triathlon apparel to try out. De Soto makes this line of products called Skin cooler™ SDS, this fabric helps keep you cool when you sweat or drench it with water.
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The ride went good and I had a few decent efforts – both in the first half – I kept hydrated and relatively cool wearing the long sleeve skin cooler top and the skin cooler helmet beanie. These products work really well. The temp opped out at 102 today but I am pretty sure with the reflection off the blacktop it was at least 10 degrees hotter. To give you an idea with some basic math, I weighed in at 179 before starting the ride. I consumed about 4.5 lbs of water.  When I got back to the house 1 hour and 16 minutes later, I weighed 177.5 lbs. It left me a little dehydrated after that ride so I grabbed some water bottles and headed up to Bakersfield Aquatics Club (BAC) for swim practice and jumped in with the kids for a few turns in the pool.

After practice we had a coaches meeting and enjoyed an awesome dinner with new friends and we talked about BAC and what’s in store for us as a Team. Pretty excited to be a part of this group. The kids are in store for some great things!

On another high note, I received an email related to a job application I sent in and it requested me to come to an oral exam interview in a couple weeks! Pretty exciting stuff!

Friday I woke up and was pretty dehydrated and my knee was really tight. I knew that I wasn’t going to be working out this day. Sometimes recognizing that taking a recovery day is just as important as a really strong workout. Lots of hydration and Insanity Max 30: Pulse which is an active recovery workout. Cool thing is I spent about an hour talking to a recruiter about a position they are trying to fill and it resulted in setting up a meeting for Tuesday.

I have to say that I am feeling lucky and excited about all of these opportunities finally showing up, but I need to stay centered and composed. Nothing is set in stone and I am very thankful for these chances and hopeful that they translate into choices very soon.

Today was a mellow day. The Tour de France started this morning, so of course I had to watch that! It was awesome to see Mark Cavendish finally pick up the Yellow Jersey after all of these years and stage wins. Congratulations!

I installed a new BowSwim in our pool. The kids a re super excited! And I am too! I got to do a quick 10 minute swim on it and it killed me. Swimming under direct tension like that is such a great workout!

Ended the evening with an awesome dinner with the family and finishing it of with my 19th Day of push-ups for www.22kill.com.

Happy Training! And have a Happy 4th of July weekend!

Training/Nutrition Log
Thursday Morning Weigh-in:
 179
Breakfast:  3 – AcidCheck Caplets and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich, Baked Potato Chips, and Water
Workout:
Rode 26.3 Miles used Acid Check Granules, Beachbody Performance Hydrate and Energize mixed in water.
Recovery Swim: Swam with the kids during swim practice – 400 Meters Mostly Freestyle
Post-Workout:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery
Dinner: Tri-Tip, Salad, Potato Salad, & French Bread

Friday Morning Weigh-in:
 178.5
Breakfast:  3 – AcidCheck Caplets and 2 Eggs, Bacon, Country Potatoes
Lunch: Chocolate Shakeology
Workout:
Insanity Max 30: Pulse 
Dinner:
Pepperoni and Jalepeno Pizza, and a few Potato Wedges
Post-Workout:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery

Saturday Morning Weigh-in: 181
Breakfast:  3 – AcidCheck Caplets and Chocolate Shakeology
Lunch: Peanut Butter Sandwich and Water
Workout:
10 Minute Freestyle on Bowswim.
Post-Workout:
3 – The Final 3 Capsules for Recovery
Dinner: BBQ Chicken Breast, Corn on the Cob, Rice Pilaf, and Garlic Bread
Dessert: Ice Cream Drumstick

Disclaimer: As a triathlete, I am not always eating with the intention of weight loss but rather to maintain weight and fuel my activity. If you are not as active as I am, please don’t use my nutritional intake as your model. If you would like help finding out a meal plan and workouts that would be good for you, please don’t hesitate to text or call me at 775-722-8184 or Facebook me at www.facebook.com/fityak. Looking forward to hearing from you!