Tuesday, September 07, 2010
I just finished reading JUST_TRI_IT's Momentum blog and it's got me thinking.
Unlike my friend there, who feels a rush of momentum from completing a challenge, I have the opposite feeling. It's the same feeling I had this weekend when I walked over the timing strips and past the finish line and realized that there was nobody but my son and I to realize what we had just done. It's a big sigh once I realize I've finished something I set out to do. It's boredom. It's frustration, only it's worse. It's a feeling of being lost.
All along the way, the way was marked for me. In training, I had my Smart Coach app that told me what walks to do when and how many miles. I wrote it all down on my calendar. I carried it with me everywhere I went and if I lost my way at any time, I could simply pull out my little chart and check to see where I was supposed to be. During the race, the road was marked with spray paint on the ground. Go left, right, straight, up, down it told me. And I followed. Paths not meant to be taken were roped off and arrows clearly painted on the ground before me. The way was marked. My path was set. All I had to do was follow.
But once you cross that finish line, there is no one there to tell you which way to go. You are ushered off the track and thanked for your participation and then you have to find your own way. You have to start making the decisions again - do I want pizza? soda? to go back to the car and just go home? I hate to say it, but the feeling of "it's over" is almost always followed with that feeling of "which way now?"
Yesterday I was still lost (hence the "What Now?" blog). I couldn't figure out what my next move should be. And while I started my day the same way I do every day, when the chips and dip were pulled out by my son around lunchtime, I found myself slipping back to pre-Spark patterns. Not once in the past 4+ months have I regressed this far. I spent the entire day in my nightgown watching TV, movies, Gilmore Girls episodes. I made excuses like "my hip still hurts" and let those keep me from even leaving the house. I told myself I was ugly and didn't want anyone to see me. And I actually repeated those words, aloud, to my husband. (Points to him for telling me that was a silly thought and reminding me how beautiful I am, but I just couldn't believe him yesterday.)
It's not that I wanted my "old life" back. Not at all. I was bored and cranky and fed up with everything. And as far as food went, it went a little something like this:
Egg Beaters Omelet with cheese and mushrooms
2 cups of coffee, light cream
Chips and Dip - a lot, too much
A cup of Ice Cream with hot fudge
A cheeseburger with lettuce, pickles, light mayo, ketchup, on white bun
2 Light hot dogs, on white buns with ketchup
2 pieces of leftover Pizza Hut pizza (pepperoni, mushrooms, and sausage)
More ice cream with hot fudge in a waffle bowl
And I felt sick and tired and horrified, and then unfeeling and uncaring and depressed. And I realized that I felt like the old me again. And then I realized something else...I didn't like it. I wanted the me from the day before back. The one who is addicted to sweat and sun. The one that can't let a day pass without taking a short walk or doing some sort of activity that gets the blood pumping. The one who feels confident and strong and amazing and beautiful. Let's face it -- I was lost...again.
Around 8pm I considered just going to sleep and throwing in the towel for the day, and then I realized that I needed something emotionally. I was stunting and silencing myself and I needed to write, to organize, to get it out and see it on paper. A blog just wouldn't work, because I wasn't ready to face SP yet. I wasn't ready to admit my failures to all my friends. It had to start with me. I looked down and found a journal on the floor in front of my dresser. Perfect! I'll go old school and just write it out. I tracked down a pencil and then opened it to the first page. It was then that I realized that this was my journal from my "new life" journey attempt years ago, when I was coming down from 466.6. I hadn't seen it in years. I stopped writing in it right after our move to WV. The last weight recorded in it was 377.
KITHKINCAID made a suggestion on my What Now? blog yesterday that really had me thinking. She said, "I would just set it as your goal to just "exist" for a while at your new weight." But when I found that journal, I knew I wasn't ready for that yet. See, when I moved to WV, when I stopped writing in that journal, that's exactly what I was doing. I was exisiting at my new weight. But something else started to happen to, I stopped focusing on what the right things to do where. Exercise came to a halt. Eating right slowly became less and less important. And I spiraled into a world of living at 377 pounds. I lost another 11 pounds to get to 366 and hit that century mark, but I quickly got myself back to 380 or so, and stayed there for a long time. I'm not willing or ready to do that yet.
Thankfully, KITHKINCAID also made another suggestion - fast walking the jogging sprints in C25k is the actual program is still too difficult. And that thought sounds much better to me, because it gives me a clear path to follow. I'll have directions, goals, things laid out for me to accomplish along the way. And, for now, that's really important.
Because 356 is not good enough. It's great, don't get me wrong, but it's not enough for me right now. The last time I did this, I was happy to sit at 380 for a while and try it on for size. It was a new me completely from the 466 nearly bed-ridden woman I had created. And it was fun to see what new things I could do and try at this weight. But 356 isn't quite different enough. I still feel like just a little smaller version of myself. Yes, I know I can do a LOT more, I realize that every day, but I feel in my heart and soul a desire to do even MORE. I can't let that fire die down...not yet.
(BTW - NOTHING against KITHKINCAID, and I will consider this idea of just learning to be a new me when I think I'm ready to handle it...because I believe it's important to settle into your new life....I just don't trust myself with that yet without worrying I'll ruin it.)
So, no resting for me yet. Hubs helped me last night diagnose the wear on the soles of my shoes and my feet to try to determine my gait from these cues. (I know it's ideal to get fitted at a running store, but the closest one I know of is 2.5 hours away...though I MAY have found one in Parkersburg...which I will be looking into.) I already know I have high arches, and from the wear on my shoes it seems I likely have a more natural gait, which leads me to cushioning shoes. While I'd love to verify and be sure, I may not be able to wait for that. I may have to just order my best guess perfect running shoe and see how it fits when it gets here.
The goal is to attempt C25k with the appropriate equipment. And then, if it is still too difficult, to dial it back again and complete C2F5K first (Couch to Faster 5k *lol*). I'll walk my regular 20 minute pace or so during the walking segments, but then really push to speed walk as close to a 15-minute pace as possible during the jogging segments. If I can make it through and improve my walk pace, I'll be just that much closer to really running! (A dream I can't seem to abandon...and why should I? My doctor has never told me not to try, just to be careful and take stock and interest in what my body is telling me it can or can't yet do.)
After my experience yesterday, the scale has me up 1 pound, back to 357. If I hop right back on the wagon I may hope to see 355 this week and be done with Battle 2. All is not lost.
Monday, September 06, 2010
First of all, here's my weigh-in update from yesterday. (The 10k blog was too important! *lol*)
Weigh-in Day (Yesterday)
Starting Weight: 466.6
SP SW: 416.2
Last Week: 358.4
This Week: 356.2
SP Total Loss: 60 pounds!
Total Loss: 110.4
Quote of the Day:
“Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions.”
All yesterday, I kept thinking one thing... "Okay...now what?"
When I started SP on April 18, 2010 I:
* could hardly walk a mile.
* took 45 minutes or so to walk 1 mile around the track.
* used my inStride cycle for 10 minutes when I got home from work a few times a week.
* worked out just 3 days a week, from 15-30 minutes.
* just measured and counted food we were eating regularly.
* switched from white bread to wheat bread.
* used my lunch breaks to walk around the ball park.
* started drinking 8 glasses of water a day.
Since then I have progressed to:
* using whole wheat, whole grain bread.
* started cooking fresh meals at home on the weekends for the week.
* discovered at least a dozen new healthy recipes my family enjoys.
* started branching out to cooking without a recipe.
* learned to enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables more.
* cut my fat intake to more reasonable levels.
* joined the gym.
* working out 5 days a week.
* using my rest days as active rest days, doing some small exercise.
* started Zumba classes.
* found out I can ride a bike again and gave up the inStride cycle.
* went hiking and loved and hated it, loved more than hated.
* walking 2-3 miles on my slow days, and 5-6 on LWD (long walk days).
* walking a comfortable 20 minute mile.
* walked a 5k race at a little over an 18 minute/mile pace.
* walked a 10k race with my son.
* conquered rock walls and huge hills.
* went from not able to finish 2000m on the rowing machine to finishing in 12.20.
* boxing regularly and now can work the speed bag.
* strength training 3 times a week.
* completing 100 crunches in a session.
* working out for 45-120 minutes in a session.
* completed a 30 second plank (couldn't do a plank at all before).
So, what now? What's next for my big life makeover? I do have plenty of options of things I can try, things I've been interested in...I just have to figure out what I want to tackle next. From the traditional to the strange forms of exercise I can use and challenge myself for the next few weeks. If you have other ideas, lay them on me! I need something to work toward for improvement! These exercise-related NSV keep me going and keep me from focusing on the numbers on the scale! They also keep me from getting bored.
* half-marathon walk training.
* 30-Day Shred.
* try Couch 2 5k again. (Need $$ to buy running shoes.)
* challenge speed on the speed bag.
* improve my boxing techniques and really use boxing as training.
* really tackle the rowing machine and tackle more programs on the machine.
* tackle the elliptical training programs on the machine.
* work toward a comfortable 15 minute/mile pace walking.
* work on the house - super-clean, super-organized, fixed and mended everything.
* take up racquetball.
* train on the free weights for more diverse strength training.
* Yoga! More moves, super flexibility.
* Pilates. I've never done anything like this...*shrug*
* start biking outside. (Need $$ to buy a bike first, though.)
Yesterday I tried C25k again. It went well for the first 10 minutes, my knee felt pretty good the whole time and I didn't die during the first 2 running segments. And then the 3rd running segment came and I pulled something in my left hip (I think it was my hip flexor muscle...I've pulled it before). I did a lot of stretching last night and felt much better this morning. I'm not sure if it's the way I run (my stance) or if I'm just still too big to do this. I might try again next week. Even if I just take it one day a week and keep working W1D1 until I can make it through it fully. I don't care if I have to take it slow as long as I'm seeing progress.
* AB: TIKI challenge has ended (have to post my endplate today and some pics), but we have the WTF (What the Fall?) challenge coming up in a couple weeks.
* Team 300 lbs. Plus: I'm still co-captaining the Biggest Loser End of Summer Challenge. This challenge ends September 14th.
* Self challenge: I'm still working on Battle 2, to get to 355. I'm SO close, and then the final push of Battle 3 will begin, to get under 350.
I'm frustrated and lost right now. *lol* That sounds completely absurd, but it's completely honest. If anyone has suggestions or input, let me know! Until I figure it out, I'm just going to spend the day trying to figure out my next move.
I know I still have some races coming up:
* October 2nd - Barkcamp 5-mile trail challenge. No planned goal for this one and not sure I'll do it. I'm not really all that scared of 5 miles anymore, but I think the trail part could be interesting.
* October 10th - Dayton 5k. This is all about family time. I'll be walking with my mom, step-brother, son, and sister.
* October 16th - Auggies 5k. My challenge to myself is to either run part of this one or improve my race walking pace. I'd like to do it under 50 minutes.
Okay...that's it for today. Just trying to plan my next move. Does anyone else freak out like this after completing something you trained for weeks for? Please tell me I'm not alone in this!! *lol*
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Yesterday Ethan and I were signed up to walk the Charleston Distance Walk's 10k. 6.2 miles with a killer hill in mile 3-4 we had dubbed "The Monster."
We woke up 5 a.m. groggy and freezing! A crisp fall-like morning was upon us. We dressed in the clothes we set aside the night before for the race and grabbed jackets that we could strip when we felt it had warmed up enough. I put moleskin on both of our feet and grabbed everything I thought we would need. Putting my contacts in was the last step before we headed out the door for the nearly hour drive to Charleston (and we were only about 10-15 minutes behind schedule!). I stopped at McDonald's for breakfast and coffee (which I didn't drink much of because I was afraid it would make me want to pee throughout the entire race! *lol*) and then headed south. I kept hoping the sun would come up before our 7:30 a.m. start!
We arrived at West Virginia's gold dome, parked, fed the meter (apparently we didn't need to! GRRR!) and went to pick up our race packets. It was still pitch dark outside, but we were excited to be going into the capitol building, which neither of us had ever been in.
Ethan in front of the big, heavy doors of the capitol building.
After picking up our 2 shirts and hat, as well as our numbers, we headed back to the car to finish prep and drop everything off.
A big glass chandelier in the inside of the dome.
Ethan with his hat, in front of the Governor's office.
I put the body glide stuff on both of us and we put our numbers on and headed to potty once more before the start. I barely made it to the start line and stretched for a minute when the cannon went off to start the race. It still took us a little time to get over the starting line as we were back behind most of the runners of the 5k.
We joked and laughed our way through the first mile. Turns out my race pace is much faster than Ethan's so I just slowed down a bit while pushing him just enough to keep up. I told him how important it was that we just weren't last and he tried to up his pace a bit. Still, I resigned myself to just finishing, even if my boy needed a little more time to do that than I did.
He was amused by the water stations and thought it was awesome that he could pitch his cup on the ground if he wanted (though they kept up pretty well with trash bins and trash pickers nearby). He was happy to see the mile 1 marker, but was frustrated with his headphones which wouldn't play his music over a whisper.
i pushed a little bit to keep pace with the people around us, but Ethan suddenly realized he hadn't stretched beforehand. His legs were really starting to feel it! I promised him that once we got to mile marker 2 I would stop and give him the chance to stretch out, and that's just what we did. I tried to let the fact that we were getting passed not affect me...but it did a little. I picked up the pace just after our stop to get back to where we had been before.
All first 3 miles were streets I had walked on lunch breaks over the past 4 months. They were streets I knew very well and I kept pointing out things to Ethan to keep him distracted. I knew he was starting to feel a bit tired already and I worried he wouldn't be able to finish. And then I reminded him that most people would soon be turning off and giving up, but that we were going to set off in a different direction and challenge The Monster. He loved the idea of a challenge and pushed through.
Miles 4 and 5:
It's hard for me to gauge when and where miles 4 and 5 stopped and started. Once we broke off from the 5k pack there were no mile markers or indications of how far we had gone (strike 1 for the race organizers, in my book! Those mile markers are SO important!!). I know there was one water stop where we actually had to refuse water because we'd been given so much already! My tummy was sloshing and it didn't feel very good. So I politely refused and we headed up The Monster.
461 feet. That's what the race course map's elevation chart told me we would have to tackle. And it was all very UPhill! I had to take just a couple tiny breaks to catch my breath, but suddenly Ethan was catching up and having to set his pace back for me! *lol*
Ethan overlooking the freeway below.
We're still in this!
Break 1 looking back at what we'd already done!
And looking up at how much we still had to do!
We reached the top and found the water station before entering the cemetery...and Ethan found a tree! *lol* He had to pee and there were no bathrooms or port-o-johns available along the 6.2 miles anywhere! He found his tree but I could tell he wasn't feeling too hot. (Apparently it wasn't just a pee...and apparently he chose the wrong leaf AGAIN! He likes to pick ferns to wipe with, and those don't feel so great on the bum! OMG - don't tell him I told you about this! *lol*) Still, we headed into a cemetery with a word of ...encouragement?... from the water station girls. It went something like this! "Just go down there. It's all downhill, until it's uphill again!" WTF? We thought we were done with the hill! (Boy, were we wrong!)
We went downhill for like a second before we found more hills. We guessed we were about at mile 4.
No, those aren't gang signs. He thought we should have a mile marker. *lol*
The cemetery was pretty with the morning sun coming over the hill. I tried to let that distract me from the climb, flat, climb more, flat, climb more, more, more of the trek.
I joked with Ethan that they put the cemetery on this course so that if people just keeled over from the climb, they wouldn't even have to take them anywhere to dispose of the bodies. Just dig a hole! *lol* We tried joking a lot for distraction and most times it actually worked.
Look! We beat it! We reached the top and are FINALLY headed downhill!!
Miles 5 and 6:
Still no mile markers. Most of this was back down The Monster. I jogged a bit to make up some time, but my right ankle was bugging me after all that uphill climbing. Still, I jogged because it was easier than trying to balance a walk downhill. We made it out of the cemetery and I started to realize there were only 2 people behind us. We tried to shake them but we couldn't. And these weren't just any two people. They were wearing jeans and tie-dyed shirts. They looked like they were out for a Sunday morning stroll and thought it would be fun to put a number on and follow a group struggling up the hill. It looked like they were having no trouble at all, and that irked the heck out of me as I struggled! I was reaching that point where I wanted the finish line...and Ethan was faring much worse. At one point down the hill I actually said, "OMG! I'm done." but we kept walking anyhow.
Ethan kept saying, "Mom, we can't turn back now. The only way out of this is forward." and he was right. So we kept going. I jogged when I could and we brought back some laughter and jokes by trying to shake the people behind us...and by chanting "really big cheeseburgers!" *lol* I had promised him on the way up The Monster that when it was all over I would take him to a good restaurant and we would both order huge cheeseburgers to celebrate finishing the race. (Don't get on me about cheeseburgers after a workout. I didn't care then and I don't care now. I've been basically avoiding the things for months but this day called for cheeseburgers and french fries...and the thought of that got us through the next 2.2 miles!)
As we headed down The Monster I pointed out the stadium where the finish line was. "Look! We're SOO close!" so we sped up and made it off the hill and around the corner, with 15 mile runners flanking us on either side, passing us up but cheering on my boy as we passed. The whole race people cheered for my son. Told him he was doing a great job. Told him he was awesome. And that felt better than any praise anyone could have given me! (I actually enjoyed them clapping for him instead of my pity claps I usually get!)
All we had to do now was walk straight and then head around the track to finish. I kept telling Ethan that as he slowed to almost a crawl. He was exhausted and I knew it. Once we got in the stadium I took his hand and pulled him ahead of me. "We've got this, baby. The finish is right around this corner!" Suddenly we were greeted by crowds of people cheering for the 15 mile finishers, who were distracted by my son...and they clapped for him and cheered for him, and suddenly his pace increased and I struggled just to keep up! *lol* (He did it all for the glory!!) I told him to look up and see that the finish line was right there. He was a little disappointed that it said 2:08.something, but I reminded him that we hadn't crossed the start right at second 1 and that we could still finish under 2:10 if we hurried. An we hurried and walked across the finish line together.
"We did it!" I told him...and he was tired, but proud. That was until he saw all of the 15-mile runners receiving a finisher's medal and he realized he wasn't going to get one. No one was there to welcome the walkers. No one seemed to care that we had done this amazing thing. And my wonderful son looked up at me and said, "Mom? Where's my medal?" And my heart broke. We were told to get off the track and while he cooled down in the water sprayer, I tried to reason myself away from that same thought that plagues me -- walking isn't all that amazing at all. Running is much harder. We suck!
But you know what? We deserve respect for what we just did! We deserve clapping and cheers and a finisher's medal. We paid for this race just like those runners did. We finished it. We put in the effort. We nearly tore holes in our feet walking up a 461 foot Monster of a hill. And that's what I plan on telling the race organizers when I call them on Tuesday. Because I want my son to have a medal for what he did. And that's that.
Finally, those really big cheeseburgers I had promised. We each only ate 1/2 of ours, had a couple onion rings and some fries and were stuffed. We headed home proud, but still a little angry (at least I was!).
But medal or no medal. Respect or no respect. This little boy deserves a huge amount of credit for what he did yesterday. While I had trained for this race for weeks and worked my way up to 5-mile walks, this boy used only what endurance he gained through football practices and games to make his way through 6.2 miles, a 461-foot climb up the Monster, a grueling jog back down, and a strong finish.
You guys tell me all the time how amazing I am for what I've done. But I have a secret to tell...I'm just trying to live up to the fire this boy and his brother put in my heart every day. I want them to be proud of their mom, and these races are a way for me to show them that I can put my mind to something and succeed...to show them that it's possible so they know that they can do it too.
I am only half as amazing as that boy is right there.
In other news: Weigh in today has me down another 2.2 pounds (to 356.2), for a total of 60 lost since April 18th!
EDIT: Official results for Ethan and I:
3091 Esther 29 F Sandyville WV 2:09:01.72
3092 Ethan 8 M Sandyville WV 2:09:01.20
There were two 70+ year olds behind us at 2:12. *lol* Ah-well, we weren't dead last at least.
EDIT 2: The response I got from the race director regarding the lack of finisher medals:
"I am sorry to report that due to money, we did not offer medals to walkers. This is an issue that I will be happy to take up at the next committee meeting on September 27 and I will be sure to mention your son's feelings. I hope other than the lack of finishing medals, you and your son had a great time. It is quite an accomplishment on the part of your 8 year old son."
So, there was enough money for the runners to get medals but not the walkers? Hrm...interesting. AND WRONG!
Thursday, September 02, 2010
My youngest son Ethan is 8 years old and very much like his mother. He's the kind of kid who will tell you the truth, but tries to put it in the best way possible. For example, don't ever ask my child if your butt looks big in your jeans if you're not ready to hear that those jeans might not be working for you. His reponse would probably be something like, "Yeah, it does, but I like the color!" *lol* I pity any woman that has to marry him someday (maybe he'll learn by then!). Still, he's the kid I take with me to go shopping because he'll tell me if an outfit looks good on me or not and I'll know he means it.
Of course, this can be a little hard to take when the self-esteem isn't too high. This is the same child who, after I tried on several size 28 skirts that actually fit me at LB a couple weeks ago, said, "You can't wear those to work!" When I asked him why not he said, simply, "People will laugh at you." It wasn't until he saw the look of hurt on my face that he said, "Mom, skirts just aren't your thing. Why don't you try on these pants instead?" It's true, my legs aren't great and skirts do not flatter me YET. But still, it stung pretty bad.
This morning I dressed for work and walked out of my bedroom as he was getting some clothes out of the dryer. He turns to me and said, "Wow! You look skinnier!" *rofl* It was the best compliment I could get today because I know he's not trying to please me...he's telling his truth, just like he always does. I smiled and thanked him and then noticed I was walking just a little bit taller.
Too many times we search for compliments during this process, and when they come they're fun to hear...but it's these unexpected compliments from the most unlikely sources that really make the journey all worth it! Today, I look skinnier. It could be the clothes I put on (these pants really are starting to fit me the right way!) today, but for whatever reason, today I feel like I'm 10 pounds lighter than I was yesterday. So far, September, you're doing me good!
I also got another compliment last night from a girl at the gym who remarked on my endurance. I guess my face has become a regular there (told you I was a gym rat!) which is funny considering I've taken more days off from the gym in the past 2 weeks than I have the past 2 months since starting there! The trainer saw me again last night too and said, "Hey! So you come in the evenings too?" *shrug* Maybe she's seen me there during the day on a Friday, the only day time at the gym I get. One of the workers actually thought I had been in there twice yesterday prompting the comment. I told her that while I wished I could do morning workouts, my work schedule doesn't work to allow that. The gym opens at 6:30am and I have to leave my side of town by 7am in order to get to work on time at 8.
Battle 2 Progress:
Battle 2 = 355
Today the scale gave me a 357.0 after days of 358.4 over and over again! (Except for Monday when it went up to 359 because I was so sick.) I have to say, I have been taking a little more time away from the gym lately. First because I was sick, but also because this week it's important for me to rest some. The 10k is Saturday and I'm officially in freak-out mode! *lol*
Yesterday I learned that the race course is all pretty flat for the 5k portion (I think the 5k and 10k may be combined, the 10k'ers just break off after a while), and then mile 3-4 includes a 400+ foot climb pretty straight up to the Spring Hill Cemetary. I look at this hill every day from my work and it scares me to think I would ever have to walk up it...and now I've paid 25 bucks for the honor of doing just that! What have I gotten myself into??
That's the hill. O-M-G!
So, yes...according to the elevation chart, we're pretty flat for the first 3 miles or so, then a little after mile 3 we climb that hill, then it's pretty much flat, and then back down the hill and flat again at the finish. I can do this....I can do this...I can do this...Can I Do This? *FREAKING OUT!!*
The rest of my day includes:
* Lunch with the bestie
* Dinner (sushi) or shopping between jobs
* Sending off a job application
* Council Meeting and reporting
* A chat with my friend at the paper, hopefully about the paper situation
* Working in a workout somewhere! Might have to be 30DS Day 2 at 10pm! EEP!
I made 2 decisions yesterday:
1) I may take back the size 28 jeans I bought. I wore my pants yesterday and they were so big on me. I need to see if I can wear a 26. Even if it's tight, I should have them instead of buying loose 28s! At least I can work my way into the tight pair.
2) December will be my 2 year mark with the part-time paper gig. I like it, but they've hired some interns instead of me in the past 2 years, and I think they may be about to do that again. I don't really want to keep putting in the time if nothing's going to come of it, so I think I'm going to hold out until December, and then if they don't make it a permanent thing, I'm going to let that job go. The money doesn't justify me staying there, and if they aren't going to consider promoting me to FT staff then I need to start focusing my efforts elsewhere. These long 15 hour days just about KILL me and I think 2 years is a good blurb for the resume to apply to other journalistic jobs.
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