My Pursuit of Happiness and Skinny Jeans

My journey to a smaller jean size

It’s Rest Day

Tuesday is a day off for me.  I used to spend my Tuesday wishing I was at the gym.

rest-dayNow that my son plays hockey Tuesday nights, I don’t miss the gym as much.  Instead I freeze my butt off at the Magna Centre and watch him play.

Tonight is extra busy as I have a massage at 5:45, a guy is coming to give us an estimate on some new kitchen cupboards at 7, and then the hockey game at 8:50.

Making the most of my rest day for sure!


How do you survive rest days?


My Toughest WOD

So last week on Tuesday I was complaining about how it was a day off from CrossFit and I hated it. Today, I am so glad I have a day off!  My body is killing me.  I’m not sure I could do a WOD today. 

Last night’s WOD wrecked me.  We did Barbara:

I’ve done with particular WOD once before – back on April 1 when I was still fairly new to CrossFit.  I was still in the Fundamentals class and we were given a time cap of 35 minutes.  I don’t really remember doing the WOD, but from my WODBook I saw I got through 3 rounds, plus the pull-ups and 28 sit-ups.  At that point, I would have been using the thick green band for the pull-ups.  My goal last night was to finish the WOD. 

I was a bit worried about how long it might take me since the times posted on the board were over half an hour, even for the really good CrossFitters.  There were a few times well over 40 minutes as well.  I think the longest time was 49:00.

We did our usual warm up stuff and then set up our stations so we could get right into the WOD.  I set up my pull-up station with a thin black band.  That’s the band that I’ve been using lately for pull-ups in WODs so I figured it would be what I needed for Barbara.  That was my first mistake.  Sure, I can crank out 8-10 pull-ups using the black band, but this WOD had 20…and 5 friggin’ rounds of them!  The pull-ups killed me.  Each round I could do fewer and fewer in a row, and by the third round, I was lucky if I could string together 2 in a row.  Most of them in that 3rd set were singles, then drop off the bar to shake out my arms, jump back up for one more, over and over and over.  It was AWFUL! 

And if the pull-ups weren’t bad enough, once I finally did all 20 of them, I had to drop to the floor and use many of those same muscles for the push-ups!  I ended up starting with full proper pushups from my toes, but only did about 5 like that, before realizing this would probably lead to the same issue as the pull-ups, so I made the call to drop to my knees.  I made sure that I had good “CrossFit form” for my push-ups, with my elbows tight by my sides.  They were hard and I had to take breaks, but they were no where as bad as those f’ing pull-ups.

After the push-ups were done, the WOD got much better.  I was able to keep a steady pace through most of the sit-ups and the squats.  It was easy to keep moving through the squats because I knew as soon as I finished them, I got to rest for 3 minutes. 

Before the 4th round I switched my band from black to purple for the pull-ups.  That was a smart move.  I think if I didn’t do that, I might still be there trying to finish!  Once I switched to the purple band, I was able to crank out 10 solid pull-ups in a row and then did 2 sets of 5 to finish off the 20.  They were still tough and I could feel every muscle working to pull my chin over that bar, but they were so much easier and with much better form than with the black band.  I probably should have used purple for the whole thing.  The pull-ups with the black band were SO SLOW!  It killed me. 

Despite picking up the pace a bit with the purple banded pull-ups, I was BY FAR, the last one to finish the WOD.  I was the only one left for my whole last round.  Coach Andrew kept the positive comments coming.  He was getting the gym ready to close up, putting all the equipment back where it belonged.  He would put something away, and then come back and tell me to keep going or how well I was doing.  A couple of the other class members sat and watched me finish up and also cheered me on. 

By the time I finally got to the last set up sit-ups even they were tough.  I had my eyes closed and it was all I could do to get myself up for the last 10 or so.  Everything hurt.  It was all I could do to not cry.  Seriously, I was so close to tears. I just kept breathing and willing the tears to stay in. 

Finally, I was on my last set of squats.  Surprisingly, they weren’t too bad.  By then I was on a mission to just finish this damn workout.  I just kept moving up and down, up and down, and even tried to think about giving a good squeeze on the way up.  I may as well make these last 50 count!

And then, after the longest 58 minutes and 26 seconds of my life, it was over. That’s right.  It took me almost an hour to finish the WOD.  I think this was the toughest WOD I have done at CrossFit so far.  It was physically challenging because of all the pull-ups and push-ups, but even more than that, it was mentally challenging.  To keep going for that long took every ounce of determination and mental strength. 

Even when I was finished and walking around the gym after the WOD, trying to catch my breath, I had to be strong and fight back the tears.  I don’t think they were tears of pain.  In a weird way, they were tears of joy.  It took a long time, but I finished the WOD….and I was happy and proud of that.  I could have easily quit when the pull-ups became so tough or when my hand ripped during the 4th round.  I could have quit at 9:30pm, the official end of the class.  I could have only done 3 rounds as coach suggested might be a good idea.  But I didn’t quit.  I kept going.  It was hard, but I did it…and I’m proud of that.

I now know I can put myself through hell for 58 minutes and 26 seconds and survive!

Now I’m enjoying my day off, and psyching myself up to go back tomorrow.  I’ll be ready!

i am a crossfit woman
I love that quote. 

Have you had a tough WOD that you didn’t think you could get through?
Have you ever wanted to cry during a WOD?


A Day Off From CrossFit….and I HATE It!

Today is a rest day for me.  And all I keep thinking about is that I’m missing a WOD that looks killer.  I’m not going, but this is what the WOD is today:
wod nov 12

We did this same Back Squat strength WOD on Oct 23rd.  I got to 115# for the back squat and did 75# for the 20 reps.  All I can think of is how I would do against those numbers if I did the WOD tonight.

Lately I’m determined to improve at CrossFit.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been trying to improve, but lately I’m really conscious of it.  I think seeing improvement in my Whole Life Challenge workout score showed me it really is possible. (Not to mention the big improvement in my Filthy Fifty time last night…) And now, I’m becoming obsessed with it. I want to keep getting stronger and beating my max loads and times.  And I want to be at CrossFit when I’m not.


Tonight is killing me.  It’s my rest day and I wish I was at the Box.  This is really making me consider increasing the number of WODs I do in a week.  Currently my membership let’s me go 3 times a week.  I’d love to go to unlimited, but realistically I don’t think I can go every day.  My body could likely take it, I just don’t think I have the time to go every day.  So, I’m seriously considering upping from my current Silver 3 times a week membership to the Gold 4 times a week membership.  I will have to talk to the coaches and see what they say about the benefits of adding one more WOD a week to my schedule.  Will it help results?  I sure hope so!

Thankfully I am back to CrossFit tomorrow.   Here’s what I have to look forward to.  I can’t wait!

wod nov 13

Since I didn’t have CrossFit tonight, I had a bit more time to prepare dinner.  I tried out a new recipe from Eat Drink Paleo – Finger Lickin’ Chipotle Meatballs.  I served it over Lime Cauli-Rice (shredded cauliflower sautéed in a bit of olive oil, with the juice of one lime squeezed over it).  This was delicious!  Nice flavour, but not too spicy, and thumbs up from everyone at the table. 

photo (29)And, I’ve got 3 leftover meals in the fridge.  Wohoo!

After dinner I made myself a little Paleo treat.  I’d had the recipe saved in my Pocket account for a while now, and finally picked up some gelatin so I could make it.  This one is from Stupid Easy PaleoDairy Free Dark Chocolate Coconut Pudding.  Four ingredients, 5 minutes prep time…and 2 hours waiting for it to chill.  It’s actually been longer than 2 hours, but it hasn’t quite set yet.  I guess I will have to wait until tomorrow to do the taste test. 
photo (30)
Today, I had a surprise email from Zinio.  Clean Eating is back and my new digital issue was ready for download.  I can’t wait to get reading and find some more new, healthy, delicious recipes. 
photo (31)

So, I will sign off and go look for my next new recipe!

Hope your Tuesday was a good one.

Do you miss CrossFit on your days off? 

Have you tried any new and delicious recipes?   Feel free to share!


Looking Ahead to a Great Week

Today was a lazy day, but I still got quite a bit accomplished!

The day started fairly early at the rink watching my son’s hockey game.  They played well, but in the end, lost 3-2. 

After the hockey game, I came home and treated myself to a little nap.  I was just so tired, and really didn’t have too much to do today, so just crawled back under the covers for an hour or so.  I woke up feeling a bit more rested.  I really need to do a better job of going to bed earlier.   I’m tired of being tired!

This afternoon I put all the Christmas decorations away and got the tree out of the house.  The thing shed like crazy and there were needles all over the place.  I was kind of surprised it didn’t just crumble to bits and pieces when I moved it.  Apparently we weren’t the best with watering it! 

After finishing up with the Christmas stuff, I flipped through my Zinio editions of Clean Eating magazine, and got to work on my meal planning for the week.  I’m not sure why, but I chose the Comfort Foods edition as my starting place, and didn’t get past that edition!  I found 3 fantastic recipes to include on this week’s menu:

    1. Mexican Lasagne
    2. Chicken & Zucchini Alfredo
    3. Hearty Sausage & Cheese Frittata

I also have a crock pot recipe from that will be part of the menu:  Crock Pot Sante Fe Chicken. 

I’m looking forward to eating well this week…and of course, cooking clean will result in lots of leftovers, which means I will be eating well at lunch-time this week too!

Along with my meals, I also planned my workouts for the week.  I’ve got a combination of workouts and workouts scheduled, as well as my weekly hockey game.  

In the end…this is how my week ahead looks. (today was actual food and workouts..the rest is the plan)
plan jan 6-12

Tonight, after doing groceries and getting the kids started with showers and on their way to bed, hubs and I went for another walk around the neighbourhood.  It was a nice night and I covered another 3.22km.  Hubs back was bugging him, so he bailed around 2k and I did the last bit on my own.  Unfortunately my phone died before I made it all the way back home, but I know the total distance since it’s the exact same route I did last time. 
jan 6 walk It was a good walk, and each km was faster than the one before. 
jan 6 walk breakdown Seems like I really picked up the pace once hubby bailed on me!  I’m enjoying these walks, so hopefully I can keep them as part of my regular fitness routine.

Now, it is WAY later than I had intended to be finishing this post.  But…I got side tracked watching the season premiere of The Biggest Loser.  I’m looking forward to following the contestants as they go through their weight loss journeys.  I’m loving that Bob and Jillian are back…I actually never watched the seasons that they weren’t on.  I forgot how much people cry on this show…although I’m pretty sure Jillian would make me cry too!  MyTrainerBob is awesome….I love his website and workouts, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he motivates his team. 

I hope you all had a great weekend.

Have you got your meals and workouts planned for the week ahead?
Did you watch The Biggest Loser?  What did you think of the season premiere?


The Longest Day

Today got off to an early start.  Even though it’s Saturday and we should be enjoying a sleep in, we were up at the usual time, since Jacko had a hockey game at 8am.  Getting up early on the weekend SUCKS! 

After the game, I was home to change into my workout gear to get my Bob Harper workout session in.  Today’s workout was 3 moves:  burpees, mountain climbers, and medicine ball sit ups.   nov 17 wod

These were done in a 1-10 circuit.  This means you start with 1 burpee, 1 mountain climber and one sit up.  Then you do 2 of each, then 3 of each…all the way up to 10 of each in the last circuit.  Oh My God!  This started out and I was thinking this is nothing…but by the time I got to 5 of each, my heart rate was up and I was sweating like a mad woman.  Usually I try to keep up with the video that he does, but today I had to pause it since I was getting behind and it was just confusing me having him count to 6 when I was back at 5.  When I paused the video, I put on some tunes and I think it helped to have some good tunes played nice and loud to help drown out my insane breathing and grunting as I did my burpees and mountain climbers.  The sit ups weren’t too bad.  I don’t have a medicine ball, so I used a 10lb dumb bell instead. 

This was the first time I had seen the burpees done where you dropped down to the ground when you were out in the plank position.  It makes them even tougher, but I kind of liked them.  I could feel that I am getting stronger.  A few times I felt like I was almost doing a full push up rather then just dropping down….and that makes me happy.  It makes me think all of these workouts are really working…which makes me want to keep doing them.  These are all good things!

After my workout, Nick and I went out to test drive a car.  The 2013 Nissan Pathfinder.  This is one very nice SUV.  The 2013 Pathfinder has been totally overhauled and now looks exactly like the Infinity JX rather then a big boxy truck like the older models did. 

This might very well become my new car.  I almost bought it today, but I thought Rory should at least drive it before I buy it!  Hopefully he will be able to take it for a drive on Monday night and then we can decide if we are going to get it.  We are looking for something with a little more room that our Rogue has, and this has seating for 7, which will come in handy.

After the test drive and price negotiations, I was off to the rink for the second time today for Nick’s practice.  This gave me time to play on my iPhone and iPad and get some reading done.  The hour just flew by. 

Next it was a quick stop at Shopper’s to buy some pink and purple nail polish for my 3 year old niece.  She wanted me to paint her nails for her, so I needed some little girl colours.  I also got her a flavoured lip gloss, since she loves to put lip balm on.  Such a girlie girl.  We painted her fingernails purple and her toes pink.  She loved it and insisted that I do my nails the same colour.  I’m not much into nail polish on my fingers, since my nails are always such a mess…but here they are…bright purple! 
purple nails

Once my Auntie duties were over, Nick and I grabbed some take out (he wanted Subway, and I grabbed some pizza) and then it was home for an inappropriate movie.  This is a bit of a tradition at our house.  It seems that whenever I go away for a weekend, Rory and the kids watch an inappropriate movie.  Some of these have been very inappropriate and others just slightly.  Tonight, Nick asked if we can have “Inappropriate Movie Night”.  He wanted to watch the 40 Year Old Virgin.  I had seen it when I first came out and didn’t think it would be too bad.  Other than some very bad language at times (especially during the waxing scene – which really is hilarious) it wasn’t too bad and we had a few good laughs. 

The title of this post comes from the fact that it seemed so late, but when we finished the movie it was only 8:45pm.  We were both shocked that it was so early.  We thought about watching another movie, but then he decided he’d play some XBox.  He’s got a new game (Assassin’s Creed) so he’s content running all over some old time village, searching for some dude, and killing lots of people along the way.  I totally don’t get these games.  Seems like a giant waste of time to me…but he seems to like them!

Tomorrow we get to sleep in, since hockey isn’t until 11am.  I am super pumped about that!  Plus, it’s a rest day in my workout schedule!  I’m going to take my food processor for another spin and make some more Dark Chocolate Date Bars.  It’s sad how excited I am to see how the new processor handles the dates.  I’m sure it will do a much better job than my crappy old one did. 

How was your Saturday?  Did it fly by, or was it the longest day for you too?

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Hello November

I can’t believe that it is already November. This year is just flying by!

The beginning of a new month seems like the perfect time to set some goals. So, here are my goals for November:

1. Eat a clean breakfast every day. I have been good about eating breakfast, but many days it is a bagel with cream cheese or peanut butter. It is always a whole wheat bagel, so it’s better than a white bagel, but I think I can do better. The last 2 days I had some overnight oats, which are much cleaner and keep me full all morning.  I’ve found some great clean breakfast recipes that I would love to try out.  Mornings are a bit crazy around our house, so this one may be a challenge to keep up, but I think it’s worth trying.

2. Only go out for lunch at work one day a week. This will also be a challenge, but hopefully I can make it work. I will need to do some planning, cook dinners that provide leftovers, and then fight the urge to go out with colleagues.  It’s hard to eat clean at many of the restaurants that we tend to go to for lunch near the office.  Plus, it really adds up when lunch is between $10-$20 every day!

3. Do some form of physical exercise 5 days a week. This week and next week, this goal will be easy to achieve since I have 5 workout days as part of the Mamavation Challenge that I am doing with Bob Harper. His program has 3 days with circuits, 2 with videos that we follow along with, and 2 days of rest. After the challenge I am going to see how I liked it and I’m considering signing up to and continuing to workout with Bob’s programs. So far I am really liking the program. Plus, he has lots of great clean and healthy recipes available online. I also like the fact that the workouts are fairly quick and I’m actually enjoying them. At the start of the 2 week challenge we had to record our weight and measurements for waist and thighs. At the end of the 2 weeks we take those same measurements and see if we change. Hopefully all of the numbers will move in the right direction.

So, there they are, my goals for November. Here’s hoping I can stay on track and achieve them all.  Wish me luck.

Today was a rest day in my Bob Harper training program, but it was my hockey night, so I still got some exercise in.  We won 6-1 and I got 2 goals!  It was a good skate and there were lots of laughs in the dressing room before and after the game.

Now it’s late, and I’m exhausted.  Time to hit the sack.

What are your goals for November?


Countdown to Race Day: 13

13 days until the Niagara Falls Half Marathon! Yesterday I got an email from the NFIM organizers with all the last minute information I would need for the race.  This is starting to get real!

Today is a rest day in my training schedule.  I do love me a rest day!

rest day

After my 12k speedy long run yesterday, I am happy to give my legs a bit of a rest.  I don’t feel too bad today.  I actually did a bit of stretching when I finished my run which seems to have helped – who knew! I really need to make stretching a bigger priority.  I am going to try to spend some time each day either stretching or using my foam roller to try and get my legs in the best possible state for race day. 

We are back home from being up at the cottage.  Grocery stores are closed for the Thanksgiving holiday and we don’t have much in the house since we knew we were going away…so it looks like we will be going out for dinner tonight.  I think we will hit up Boston Pizza and check out the new menu I keep hearing advertised on radio.  Then after dinner I will hit my Clean Eating cookbooks and magazines and plan out my menu for the next 3 days.  I’m going away on a scrap retreat next weekend so the boys can cook whatever they like while I’m gone! 

My workout plan for this week is as follows:

Tuesday:  6k tempo run
Wednesday:  speed training with my sister
Thursday:  hockey
Friday:  8k  race pace run.  This is supposed to be on Saturday, but if I can squeeze it in, I’m going to try and get it done before I go away for my girls scrap weekend.  If not, I will take my gear with me and run Saturday morning first thing.
Saturday and Sunday:  REST

What’s on your training schedule for this upcoming week?
Do you do menu planning?  Do you find it helps?

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Back to the Grind

So, holidays are over and it’s back to work…and it sucks. Don’t get me wrong, I really love my job, but it is just so hard to come back after vacation. There is so much to do and it’s just right back into the craziness, it’s like I was never away. Ugh…anyway…it is what it is.

Actually, it wasn’t that bad of a day at the office. I spent a good deal of time going through the mountain of emails that came in last week. I have a feeling that tomorrow will be the bad day as people figure out that I’m back and start asking for things again! Fun, fun!

Today was a rest day in my training schedule. Wohoo! I love me a rest day! Tomorrow I’ve got a 4k steady run to do. I think I will have to get up and do this before work since I’ve got golf at 5 for the second round of my match play competition, which means I won’t have time to run after work. It may be a treadmill run since its supposed to be raining most of the night and tomorrow morning too. I’m not a big fan of the treadmill. I ran quite a bit on it in the early stages of training for my last half marathon and then I started running outside and realized how much better it is to run outside. Now I dread having to resort to the treadmill, but I might dislike running in the rain more, so the treadmill may win!


Tonight my kids officially became cooler than I am. They have iPhones! Their birthdays are coming up so we got them iPhones as their gifts. We got them a bit early since Future Shop has the iPhone 4S on sale and we were able to get the Rogers store to match the price. They were both pretty excited to get the phones and spent quite a bit of time setting things up and getting some apps onto it. I am kind of jealous that they’ve got these phones. All I kept thinking about was cool running apps that are available for the iPhone. Maybe I will get lucky and they will let me borrow it for a run.


I’m definitely going to get the iPhone 5 when it comes out. The latest rumor today says that will likely now be towards the end of September. Apple is making some sort of big announcement on September 12th, and the the speculation is that the new iPhone will be released the next week, I’m hoping!!!

Have you heard any iPhone 5 rumors?

Are your kids cooler than you are?


The Friday Five

Finally, it’s Friday!


1.  I am on vacation!!!  After quite a few insanely busy months at work, I finally get a week off!  I am spending my week up at the cottage.  This weekend we will be there with family, but starting Tuesday, the family heads home and all of our friends start showing up for our annual “Cottage Open House Week”.  We’ve got quite a crew coming up with year.  It should be a super fun week with lots of laughs, a few beverages, a couple of runs, and lots of time spent outside enjoying the view.

I am just waiting for Rory to get home from work so we can pack up and head out.  I will likely have to do a bit of work while we are up there, which sucks, but it’s better than having to go into the office!

2.  I have signed up for a virtual race.  I am taking part in the Labor Day Virtual 5 or 10 Mile Race, hosted by Mommy, Run Fast.

I’ve never done a virtual race before, but figured since I am schedule to run 16km (10 miles) that weekend anyway, why not!  Laura has some great prizes available.  I’m not sure how the awards get handed out…hopefully by random draw and not based on speed, because as we all know, I’m not the fastest runner in the world!

3.  I’m running in the Memorial Run.  This is an initiative by Kym of agirlrunner who is organizing a memorial run for the victims of the Katrina hurricane in New Orleans and a few of her other friends who passed away unexpectedly around the same time.  She is asking people to donate their miles between August 27 and Sept 3 and hopes to reach 1836 miles.  Click on her run logo for more information about how to join and a very touching background story about the reason for the run.

4.  I love Rest Days!  My half marathon training schedule, designed for me by my friend, and running mentor, Kathy, gives me Friday AND Saturday as rest days.  I cannot tell you how awesome having 2 days off is.  Not having to get up early and run for two days in a row will probably be my most favourite part of this training.  Especially since Thursdays are my Tempo run and I imagine as the distance for those runs increases (my goal is to build to an 8k tempo run!!!), that a couple of day’s rest before the Sunday long run will be exactly what I need.

5.  I am dying for the next issue of Clean Eating Magazine to arrive in my Zinio account.  The Clean Eating Mag website has been referring to all sorts of yummy sounding recipes, but my digital copy has not yet shown up.  I got a notification from some other digital mag seller that they now had it and I could buy it if I wanted, but I subscribed to it though Zinio, so need to wait until it comes online through then.  I am not the most patient person in the world and waiting for it to show up is just a little bit of torture to me!  Adding to it, is the fact that it looks like it is available on their website now for new subscribers.  I may have to send an email to customer service!  Hopefully it arrives this week while I am on vacation and I can leisurely flip through it and find some delicious recipes to try out while we are up at the cottage.

Well, that’s it.  Another Friday Five is finished.

I hope you all have a great Friday and a fantastic weekend.  It’s a long weekend up here in Canada!  



I Guess It’s Working!

Yesterday was the first day of my Niagara Falls half marathon training schedule.  It was also the first time I had run since May 27 when I ran the Toronto Women’s Half.

The next time I decide to basically take 2 months off from running, someone please remind me what a bad idea that is!  Holy cow, am I sore today!  My quads ache, especially when I go down stairs, my hips ache, but only when I walk, and a bit surprising, but my obliques are a bit sore too!  I guess that means it’s working.  This is a workout quote, but I think it applies to running as well.

Here’s another one that I liked:


I am back to training and I am also going to make a better effort to eat well too…and for me that means Clean Eating.  Since I started cooking clean again yesterday, I had delicious leftover Roasted Fennel for lunch.  It is so good!  You really should try it.  See here for the recipe.  It’s quick, easy and so tasty!

Dinner was another Clean recipe.  This one was Lean Pork Tenderloin with Baked Apples & Maple Caramelized Onions.   This was another hit!  I am honestly surprised at how good all of these clean recipes are.  It makes me wonder why I didn’t start to eat clean sooner.  Out of all the recipes I have tried so far, there is only one that I wouldn’t make again – a chickpea burger.  Actually, I might make it again, I would just kick it up quite a bit with a lot more spices.  Anyways…back to tonight’s dish.  One of the best parts of this dish was the caramelized onions.  Oh My God!  They were so good.  I kept picking at them while I waited for the pork to cook in the oven.  Two red onions and a little olive oil is all you need:


The finished product looks good, and tastes even better!  While I waited for the pork to rest I simmered the sauce in the pan a little bit to try to thicken it up a bit, and then spooned it over the meat, apples and onions.  So, so, so GOOD!



Today was a rest day in my training schedule, but I am back at it tomorrow.  I’m due for 4km steady.  I plan to get up early and run before work, since it is too hot to run later in the day, and I have a ball hockey game at 7pm.  I’ll let you know how it goes tomorrow night!

Hope you week got off to a good start.  |We are one day closer to the weekend 🙂 

I am in full countdown mode.  Starting Friday, I am on vacation…I CAN’T WAIT!!!


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