Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Little meltdown of love and experimental tuesday

FYI- Donations for team in training close tomorrow at 5 p.m.  If you want to donate...now is your chance!!

Ya anyway, I have been having a bit of a meltdown lately about all this tapering.  Sure, I'm running just as long in just as many days, but the intensity of the runs has significantly died down.  I have also been a little bit more....emotional....then in the last couple of weeks. TO TOP IT ALL OFF, my birthday is on Friday and it's not even something I'm thinking about.


I am Lauren.  And I am tapering.  I have taper madness.
Weight gain, Tearfulness, Melancholy, Low Energy, Fatigue, ADHD, High Energy, Bird Poop.

I emailed Becca about what was going on with me, and this was some of her response.

Hey Lauren!!
That's why I started sending out my pre-marathon emotional emails, because it is SO SO SO common. It's a hell of a journey, but honestly, nothing in the world (except having a child) compares to crossing the finish line in a MARATHON.. Think about the fact that TWO (as in 1.. 2..) of the population will EVER run a marathon!!! Here is another article I have, I cut and pasted the most important parts!
Preparing to run a marathon not only requires physical preparation but also an emotional and spiritual preparation. Marathon preparation occurs over many months with the anticipation of running a  specific marathon in one particular city.  For beginning runners, understanding the process in which beginners prepare for marathons both physically and mentally, will ensure a more smooth transition and guaranteed success at passing through the marathon finish line.

Beyond physical training, the beginning runner will endure emotional and mental preparation prior to a marathon. While for most runners, the goal is not to win the race but, instead, to simply finish.   Especially during the first marathon, the runner will undergo a transformation, both spiritually and mentally, as they experience the achievement of a goal which few are able to a achieve.  Working the body into a state in which endurance, over a long period, is appreciated while maintaining mental awareness. This is most often attributed to imbalance of hormones.
It is normal to experience intense emotions before a marathon. Many athletes feel very anxious and most feel some degree of anxiety. Anxiety can be related to inadequate race preparation.However, they should try to interpret these feelings to mean that they are excited; marathon are by its very nature uncertain, and even the most confident athletes still have a degree of anticipation regarding how things will turn out. It is possible to feel anxious but to interpret these feelings in a motivational way as being ready to perform. Anxiety can be a good thing!! Lauren- you are READY!

She's right.  I'm ready.  I have to keep telling myself that.  Plus, I really have the best cheerleaders ever...those new and old!  If you have tips, I welcome any and all to get me through these next two weeks!!

I decided to go out today to see what it felt like to do an easy run.  About 5.5 miles with a little walking sprinkled about.  My hamstrings were feeling a little bomb from that Frog Jump workout on Toneitup.com

First, let's look at me taking pics of me with my Iphone.  First, here is moi pre-run.  Idk why it's red up in here.

Ya, I know I know, I shouldn't be complaining, but I've never felt confident about me body, especially my stomach...and the last few days I've felt like a hellaphant.

Then...after 5.5 miles in the heat and sunshine.  I looked like this:

After a beautious run, and some smart eating today (Green Monster Smoothie for breakfast, tortellini with chicken sausage, goat cheese, broccoli, and butternut squash for lunch, almonds and an orange for snack) because I cried so much last night, I tried out my EXPERIMENTAL TUESDAY SMOOTHIE!

Not sure how I really felt about it...the broccoli kind of reminded me of almond butter when all was said and done...but it included:
3 strawberries
1 handful of broccoli
3 chunks of frozen mango
several blackberries
1 orange
1 cup of almond milk
tiny splash of strawberry crystal light

I know it's interesting, I know its good...but this run and experimental tuesday, along with some sweet texts and trying to focus on my birthday first...has really helped me to focus on the important things.  Like, my awesome life!

Beach BABE Workout with Tone It Up :)

This hurt me. Thank you My Marathon Diaries for introducing me to these workouts. Perfect for a rainy day with zero motivation. Not that two amazingly bodied females makes it any easier to want to work out when your washboard abs are more like a washing machine.

Check out their website. Toneitup.com

Monday, May 23, 2011

Proof of the PR

Why yes I did take a screenshot of the race results.  Why, yes...I did cover up my last night with my official blogging last name. Yes, I will eventually get my butt to the gym to do some cardio and strength train instead of tooling around on the internets.  Its a crosstrain day, bitties!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

New PR!

I have no race pics to post, nor did I take any pics with my camera, but I just ran a 5 miler in 39:40, with my splits averaging 7:56 a mile! Yahoo!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I am a bad blogger

Ok, we all know why I started the blog, and I am determined to continue this party train until the marathon: which is only 2 weeks away!!!!  AHHHHH.

Although I have enjoyed blogging and reading about fitness and marathon training, I don't see myself living in the blogging world full time.  I set this account up to hold myself accountable to the race, and to focus on some difficult issues I was struggling with at the time.

I've come out of it feeling 100 percent better and proud of myself.  I know I'll finish the marathon; whether or not I'm dragging myself across or sprinting without a scratch, I know I'll get it done.  I think the most important part of training has been the commitment I have put in to prove to myself that I had the strength and dedication to follow through.  I was also able to achieve my goal minimums through Team in Training, and made the experience even more worthwhile.  I am also proud of myself because I needed a mental health break this past winter/beginning of spring, and I was able to give myself that time to heal and become stronger...just like a muscle.  You break it down and then take a rest, only to build it up.

Things are good.  They are really good. My number one job is having fun (besides being a school psychologist) so I have somehow successfully managed to work, train, and socialize, with only feeling slightly tired.  Well, that tiredness caught up with me a bit this week, but I still was able to taper down and get 24 miles in.  Let's do a bit of a recap of christmas's (or just last week) pasts...as well as what tomorrow brings...

(Please note, all these photos were taken with my IPHONE!  as my birthday is next week; thus ending my champagne year of life.)

So. First thing first, obviously, as mentioned above....I got an Iphone1

Here is a photo shoot of me at work, with my Iphone.  

Then I ventured off to the red sox game....

This was the most uncrowded I've ever seen Fenway, but that was thanks to the week long rainfest ala Noah's Ark.  We still won at the bottom of the 9th!

Friday, I went to a co-workers fundraiser last night, although there is only one picture documenting that I was actually there.

Today was a long run of 8 miles around the Charles.  I was dehydrated.  It did not go as planned, although there was a free concert going on at the Hatchshell (a stage along the Charles River) so I got to walk through and spectate that for a bit.  I also took some stellar pics with my dual purpose iphone/camera/ipod.

Tomorrow I'm running the Harpoon Brewery 5 miler around Southie.  I can't wait!  Because of this, I have decided to lay low for the evening.  I have also decided to lay semi low for the next two weeks (with the exception of my birthday next friday!!) 

I can't believe that I have accomplished so much this year, such as a half marathon, traveling to italy, and also training for and running in a marathon a week after my birthday!   Its been one of the most inspiring, frustrating, amazing years of my life.  I am an accomplished woman. :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Death Cab For Cutie

Death Cab for Cutie- Marching Bands Of Manhattan
Love this song. It would be a good cool down song.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dear swimsuit season

If not for the marathon, then I need to be thinking about my good eats since its time for me to purchase this: 

I love you Trina Turk and your ridiculously overpriced swimwear.  However, at South Beach Swimsuits online, you can enter the code Summer35 and save 35% on your order by TOMORROW.  I just found this out! GO GO! 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Pitbull - Give Me Everything ft. Ne-Yo

Add it to your playlists, lovas. Es muy importante!

Nice JOB blogspot. pffft.

The posts have magically reappeared!  I'm scared....I'm going to delete the original one and redo it on this post.  Here is a recap of the one that involved tapering, from the perspective of my coach, Becca.  As I had mentioned previously, I owe Becca my firstborn child.

It is VITAL that you are completely rested for your 26.2 mile journey. You NEED to reduce your distance. These last three weeks is when you seriously need to  taper. Listen to your body, stretch, "less is best", clip your toenails, lots of water, healthy meals (you won't be burning as many calories, keep that in mind), sleep, and my favorite a massage, one for before (where they work on your legs) and one for after your marathon.

If you find yourself becoming extremely anxious, take a breath. Come up with a plan, and stick to it. Envision yourself on race day. Simple things like the outfit you are going to wear, how you plan to run your race. I like to break it down into "The Tens". I try to get the muscles flowing in the first ten miles, work hard in the next ten miles where I am really concentrating, and race the last 10k with everything I have left. I try to run negative splits, where I am passing runners at the end and not the one getting passed. It does so much for me mentally. My favorite is envisioning crossing the finish line knowing that regardless of my time, I did the BEST I could.

Even having a plan for what you are going to pack, so you don't have to think about it the few days before! Start now with a list! How about if you are running a marathon where you have never been before? When I raced in San Fransisco, I had all sorts of "things to do" printed out, in which I made while tapering, so when I got to CA I had a plan with lots of sightseeing! I called the hotel to see what they recommended, so when I arrived everything wasn't already sold out! Most of you are going to San Diego, just remember so are 30,000 other runners. Plan accordingly. Check out now if you can tour the course! I have done that, and I LOVE it! 

As you taper, concentrate on reading books. Watch the movie Spirit of the Marathon its awesome and it will motivate you! 

It is normal to feel anxious or nervous prior to a marathon. Even the most seasoned runners experience these feelings. Stay away from runners/ friends who are excessively stressed out or are negative. Don't let these individuals affect your state of mind. Personally, I have a few people who I dont visit  the weeks leading up to my marathon.

In these next few weeks, come up with TWO goals:
1. Realistic but challenging
2 your ultimate goal

With the list above, be flexible, and make it realistic, (for example, if you don't run sub 8's in a 10k, don't count on it for a marathon). Try to stay within these goals during your marathon! KNOW that YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

You are prepared and ready. You have worked SO hard. TRUST in yourself that you have done the work. You need fresh tapered legs when you toe the line!! As always, I am SUPER proud of you all! Enjoy these next few weeks!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

MIA lauren

Blogging is difficult when it starts to get nicer and when your social life continues to be a top priority, on top of having to work and train.  Seriously, my days usually look like this: work, train, socialize somewhere with someone at something.  I also think that this is the first week in my marathon training history (about 4 months long haha) that I actually have been completing all of the training runs and crosstraining sessions I should be.  Ahhhh crazy professional life as a school psychologist!

Yes, I know that's bad, but listen, I'm doing the best I can here! Learning to balance all the things that are important to me has certainly made me prioritize my happy places.   I looked at pictures of myself from even last summer, and I can't ever go back to that.  I want to keep pushing myself, I want to get more toned and lose some weight. I fear that after all of this training is finished, that I'll go back to letting my social life be more of a priority than my fitness.

After my 20 mile run and fundraiser on saturday (pictured on the left), I played in two softball games on sunday and gave myself a break in the training front.  Looking back, I really enjoyed my time during my 20 miler.  I love listening to music, so for 3 hours and 10 minutes, it was a nonstop dance party.  It also made me laugh to think that I was running the entire course of the Arlington bike path, where most of the cyclists were going out for a 20 mile ride...and I was running it!  I fueled properly before, I hydrated properly during with both water and powerade (salt and electrolytes!!!!) and took two powerade gel's.  They went down a little more easily than my gu's, and even though they had less caffeine, I think the higher salt content was actually better for me.  I literally, at the end of my run, could wipe salt off of my face.  It was hilarious.  I didn't have any gastrointestinal issues (thank the LORD), and felt really confident that my marathon would go similarly.  Also, sorry for never having pictures of me running, but there is no where to put a camera.  I don't know how the rest of the people do it.

Come monday, I crosstrained on the elliptical for 55 minutes and did weights for 30 minutes.  Tuesday was a 5.5 mile running involving hills and speedwork, today was a 4.35 mile run with a neato training partner, and tomorrow I plan on crosstraining again (with weights).  Saturday starts our tapering, which scares me to death, because its only 10 miles and from here on out...say 3 to 4 weeks...I run less and less on the weekends to freshen my legs for the marathon during the first weekend of JUNE! Like I said, I'm a little freaked out about this all coming to an end...but hope that I enjoy the marathon ever so much that I continue to want to train this summer!  I also am taking the entire summer off to get my sleep habits in check, and maybe start boxing while also running.  I want this to be a summer about me.

From here on out, my school routine looks like its calming down, so that I can actually stick with my training plan.  I also have signed up for the Harpoon Brewery 5 miler, that looks super sick and awesome and will be a nice little practice event before the big marathon.  I also get to run it with my soccer teammate, Mario, although I am not playing outdoor this season.  I know it probably wouldn't have been a big deal, I just didn't want to hurt myself before the marathon or wear out my tires.  I'll join my team again come fall!

 (Image courtesy of 2 beer guys beer blog)

Get this, it's on May 22nd and it only cost me 40 dollars, while the rest of the world had to pay 100 and enter into a lottery to run it.  Its also only about a mile from my apartment, in Southie.  Here are the Race Benefits:  Race fee:  $40 and includes....
  • Entrance into the 10th Annual Harpoon 5-Miler
  • Commemorative Race T-shirt
  • Post Race Party at the Harpoon Brewery
  • 2 beer tickets
  • Post race meal provided by Kayem and Bertucci’s
  • Lots of fun with our corporate partners
  • Helping us raise over $100,000 for The Angel Fund!
AWESOMEEEE. I can't wait!  I love this thing called running!  I want to keep signing up for events to keep me motivated.

I also love spring.  Sorry if I'm on and off this thing, but its hard for me to be tied to my apartment and blog because I am a super social butterfly and like to flit about the city whenever I can!  However, I know that blogging has helped me stay connected to my cause, both in fitness and in fundraising for team in training, and I love the support from my readers out there.  Each comment is so refreshing and supportive.  ALSO, big props to Kelly from Cook Skinny (check out her blog because she is super gorgeous AND can cook) for giving me the versatile blogger award!  I feel like I made it!  Happy wednesday!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

EFF yes

I don't have time to post, so I'll leave you with some photos of my pre-run fuel and positive attitude.  The 20 miler was completed in 3:10.  I severely underestimated how much my legs would feel like tree trunks in the last two miles!

Off to my fundraising event for Team in Training.  One month to the San Diego Rock n' Roll Marathon!

Friday, May 6, 2011

What a pain in the butt

And hips. Ok, I'm done now, so I'm updating the post.  I had some butt/hip pain this week, and noticed it slowly becoming more and more of an issue since my 16 miler.  It wasn't the 16 miles that killed me, I think it was the 16 miles then driving (while obviously in a seated position) for 3 hours to new york state.

I was becoming a little concerned, because, man, my butt hurt!  I did a little research and decided I could potentially be developing Piriformis Syndrome, which is described in more detail in this article of Running Times (although I came up with the title of my post before I read this...so... well, I guess the title wasn't thaaat creative.). 

Basically, Piriformis Syndrome is stated as such (care of running times) "You're 12 weeks into your marathon training program: while out on a long run, you develop a sharp pain in your buttocks.  As you continue to run, the pain persists.  Your hamstrings feel tight and even a little sore, though by slowing the pace the symptoms subside a little, and you finish the run.  While sitting at your favorite post-run hangout, there is a tingling sensation in the back of your thigh and calf."  Bingo Bango.  Sounds about right!  I have also noticed my hips being super extratrordinarily tight.  

The solution?  Obviously 1. google it, 2. email Becca, my coach, and 3. go to yoga, pronto!  Becca gave me some tips on how to stretch the area.

For butt exercises stretches, have you tried the tennis ball? Take it to your hip or sit on it and massage out the areas that hurt. Also squats always help as well to strength the muscle- especially one leg squats, holding the position for 30 seconds.

Then of course there is this one: Lie on your back and bend your knees as though you were going to do a sit up. Your feet should be about 2  feet or so away from your butt and about 6 inches apart.  Take your right leg and place it on top of your left. Your right ankle should sit just below your left knee. You will probably feel some stretching in your hips at this point. Reach forward and clasp your hands together a few inches below your knee. (Your right arm goes through the opening you created when you crossed your leg and your left arm goes to the outside) Pull your left knee towards you, you will feel a deep stretch in your right side hip, butt and lower back. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat!!! THIS one will work best for you!

Ahhh, I loved those stretches.  I gave the tennis ball stretch a shot after I finished an all level yoga class.  WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND GOING TO.  Again, yoga just knows how to expose my weakest points.  I'm strong with my hamstrings, but man, I am not as flexible as I should be, especially to prevent injury.  I really really really have a weak core!  I notice this the most when standing on one foot and balancing.  Its just like when Billy from Running Emporium told me that I stand on stability balls all day.  If I had a stronger core, and hip area, my feet wouldn't strain that area so much.

LAUREN get with the program and just strengthen your core already!  But....its so hard! I was at the gym with Olivia last week and was dyiiinnggg when I tried doing crunches.  I don't mind running 16 miles, but crunches make me scream UNCLE!  If I am not into paying for yoga at the South Boston Running Studio, then I need to start thinking about going to the free classes at my gym.

My butt and hips seriously feel so much better thanks to yoga and the quick toning up I did in that time! (Also, I suggest not doing Yoga in your cocktail dress.  You can try, like I did here, and fail miserably.  You could also be awesome at it.  Either or. )  RUNNERS.  Please go to yoga.  You can look up some free videos online here at Exercise TV online.

Ok, time for me to get to bed, I have to be up early for the big 20 miles!!!!!!! Wish me luck ahhh. Its the marathon dress rehearsal!  Some words from Becca to get us going on this run:

You've done all the prep and now it's time to show yourself that you are ready for race day. Use this Saturday’s long run as a dress rehearsal for race day. Plan and do everything you want to do for the week leading up to the day. Take some time this week to visualize yourself running the marathon. See yourself having a great time out there on the course kicking butt. :D Also see yourself handling and adjusting to obstacles that might pop up. PLEASE this week, give yourself plenty of TLC. Put YOU first, your family and friends will understand! You are all ready to do this! 20 IS a big number, but really, it’s just a number. Take one mile at a time. You are in GREAT company with each other as well!
One mile at a time, another long run!! ENJOY!! Run for those who can't, and would do anything to be in your shoes!!! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Anxiety is a motha lova

Anxiety. I live it. I love it.  Well, I don't really love it.  Let me explain.

I got this email from my coach, Becca, today.  We are about to hit the 20-miler, the biggest indicator of our fitness level and training successes for the marathon.  It reads:

OK!! So I hope you are getting plenty of rest and drinking LOTS (of WATER) in preparation for this week-end long run!! I found this article for you in Runners World!  Without a doubt the longest run is one of the most important parts of your overall training cycle. For months you have been building your running fitness with the goal of completing the long runs that will ultimately get you across the finish!

Tip #1: Getting Started

Don't think about the long run itself; focus instead on simply getting ready for a run. After all, getting ready to run is easy -- the concept of running 20 miles isn't. In order to do a run all you need is your shoes, your gear and maybe a watch. Done. 
By breaking the longer run down into "just another run," you are effectively removing the mental obstacle 20 miles. And once you get your momentum going it will be much easier to carry that outside the door. (Lauren- you said it yourself last week- this isn't bad!!!)
Another way to help pave the way for your success by doing as much prep work the night before your long run. This could be as simple as organizing your running clothes or as in-depth as laying out your nutrition, a route map and compiling a special play list. Whatever you need, get it done before you go to bed and eliminate all those early morning excuses.

Tip #2: Get Halfway There

This is one of my personal favorite tips, and it's by far the simplest. Don't think about having to run an arduous 20 mile effort. Instead just focus on getting to the 10-mile mark. All you have to do then is get back home!  Seriously though, this approach also gives you the opportunity to planning for the second half of your run, (NEGATIVE SPLITS- what I talk about EVERY week!) where things will get more challenging. By thinking of it as two distinct parts, you'll be 100 percent ready to have a solid overall experience.


Running long isn't always as fun and as sexy as the commercials might make it out to be. But nothing beats the feeling of having done a particularly challenging run and being just that much closer to your race, and ALL of you know what I am talking about. 
I am SO proud of you!! You really are SO close to your marathon and you all working SO hard!!!!! Let me know if you have ANY questions, concerns, etc!!! Keep on keepin on!!!

Becca is the best.  However, I immediately emailed her because I think as I have progressed in my training, I have regressed in my ability.  I asked Becca if she thought she knew what pace I should be looking at, why my teammates seem to be moving light years ahead of me...and then it dawned on me that I seriously need to take a step back and reevaluate.

First off, why the heck am I complaining?!?!?!?!  Seriously, I know I can finish this marathon and its my FIRST ONE.  Why am I becoming so obsessed with timing?  I need to learn how to pace myself first, learning what its like to run the 26.2 before I start tacking on some time goals.  I only set myself up for disappointment that way.

Secondly, I haven't been following the training plan to a T.  There are excuses I could make for why I have and have not been able to follow it as closely as my running team.  I am no more busy than anyone else, yet seem to have allowed myself to let the stress of work, the anxiety I feel from my deadlines, and the tiredness I drag with me everyday getting in the way of giving this 100%.  I bet if I thought about it, both in following the plan, developing my core, and with pushing myself during speedwork and tempo runs, I bet I have been giving it only 68%.  Its like I'm one of my little 7th grade boys with ADHD; I think that by doing two homeworks all school year I should be getting an A because I put in hard work into those two assignments, when in fact, I'm missing about 30 assignments in the meantime.  Its like I have no clue!

Thirdly, I also want to reevaluate what a training schedule could like with more time and less stress.  I also need to evaluate what's more important to me.  Is it my job?  Is it my friends?  Is it running?  Is it a balance of all three?  Do I need to complete marathons to feel accomplished?  While I know that I am proud of myself for having taken on this challenge as it came during a time in my life where I needed to take this time for myself, do I need to make this a part of the rest of my life?  Yes, fitness, but marathon training?  I won't know until I cross the finish line.

Lastly, I'm really hard on myself.  Plain and simple.  I expect a lot from me and I'm the last one to give myself a break. I think everyone in my life can attest to that.

So, as I get ready for the rest of my evening, having just completed a tempo run (1 mile at 8:34 min/mile pace, 4 miles at 8:10 min/mile pace, then 1 more mile at 9 minute pace) I should be proud of myself for the work I have put in.  I also have found a way to work hard, play hard, and train.  Still, at times it never feels good enough, fast enough, strong enough, or hard enough.
Any of you ever feel like this?  Does the anxiety of training make it almost impossible to enjoy?  How do you fit fitness into your lifestyle?

(Here is a picture from this past weekend, and what made it so difficult to blog.  After a sunday funday softball game, it was time to BBQ and hit pinatas on a very very very chilly May Day.)

Monday, May 2, 2011


I bought em. I just typed up an entire post about compression socks, but since there was a computer glitch I've decided that instead of throwing my laptop on the ground, I'm just going to condense what I was writing.

I like CEP compression socks. I didn't like running in them. I LOVED compressing in them, aka, wearing them after a run when my little leggies and piggies were tired.  They helped relieve swelling and made my muscles work out by laying and watching t.v.  What bums!  You want to wear compression socks because it helps with post run circulation. Here is an article from Running Times that gives you an idea as to what makes them magical.  And its not because they are infused with the horn of a unicorn. I also encourage you to watch the video above to figure out how to put on compression socks. Believe me, it might blow your mind.

I bought my socks from High Tide Health because they were about 10 dollars cheaper and had free shipping. I went with black, and I had to get a size III because I have some pretty decent calf muscles (around 14 inches). Why CEP? Because Skinny Runner told me that she liked them the best. She BQ'd without ever really training. I trust her. Plus, she makes them look good.

I look good wearing them while also wearing pajamas. See? My thighs look about 10 lbs thinner with compression socks. And with gravity. Because lifting them up pulls everything down.

Secondly, I highly highly highly recommend BIC bands.  The company was started to raise money for Team in Training.  The owner made over a $1000 through BIC band sales.  That's legit ridiculous.  What's also ridiculous is that they seriously don't slip.  I'm not even lying.  I don't lie.  Why would I lie?  Proof is in the pudding, snoopsters.

Yeaaaa. Look at the pudding.  This is an actual post run photo shoot with me and the mirror.  Its tricky when your roommate is a doctor and she doesn't live at home even though you sometimes see her dishes in the sink or her shoes moved around.  P.s. Jessica is doing a rotation outside of the city so she is gone for TWO WHOLE MONTHS while I'm left to fend for myself out here.  BLAH.  Jessica, no.  Not for my birthday.  NOT FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY.  This is sad.

Anyway, I had a good week of running, after some minor anxiety attacks when I realize I can't run or I'm actually legitimately tired.  That will be my next post.  SucKAS.


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