FITFOODIE806   52,555
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Spark karma

Monday, April 30, 2012

On my last blog a very good sparkfreind reminded me that a year ago at this time I was getting ready for my first 5K. And now I'm 6 weeks away from a marathon.

I was in pretty good shape when I started running last year. I wasn't doing couch to 5K. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that program. If anything, I am more impressed by people that do that than by what I did. I think I had an easier road than some because of how much I was already exercising. But like all runners know, running is different. Physically and mentally. I was so inspired by all the 5K blogs on Spark and I wanted to be a part of it. I am still in awe of all the people of all different sizes and backgrounds and abilities that run a 5K. I really believe that the beauty of Spark lies in the member blogs. If she can do that, so can I...

I have distinct memories of the first time I ran 3 miles without stopping. I'll never forget my first 6 mile run when I stopped and threw a fit and hit DH's back and started to cry. He told me to get over it. I did. And then I signed up for a 10 mile race. Again, in large part because of Spark blogs about HMs. They gave me the confidence that I could do it too. And I did. And then I signed up for a real HM. And then another. I am totally smitten by races.

The marathon was my dad's idea. I've mentioned him a lot in my blogs. I grew up watching his marathons. Every Saturday morning as I read the comics and ate cereal he would come in the back door and tell me about what his running group did that day. (They still meet every Saturday. 20 years!) So I know running was in my bones. I think this is another reason it's been easier for me. I grew up with it, I have the family support. I can only imagine how hard it would be without those pieces.

But the marathon is also another product of Spark. Your blogs gave me confidence, your comments on my blogs made me want to do more. It's like the more motivation I was finding here, the more I ended up putting out. Spark karma!

I have found an incredible support network on Spark. I've learned so so much. And I have come so so far. Thank you, Becky, for reminding me of that. Thank you to all of you that blog your ups and downs. Your 5Ks and your marathons. Thank you to all of you that leave a comment. Those silly emoticons matter.

I am so glad that Spark is a part of my journey. I'd never be training for a marathon if it weren't. It would have just stayed a silent dream. So write down your dream. It may come true!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUGIRL06 5/8/2012 2:40PM


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JOYFULSPIRIT920 5/2/2012 7:28AM

    And this is why I love Sparkpeople!
The inspiration, the encouragement, the camaraderie.

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 5/1/2012 4:54PM

    Awesome, awesome blog. There is karma flowing all over SP. I really am proud of you and what you have accomplished. I wanna be to my girls what your dad is to you...running just being a normal, everyday activity that keeps you healthy and throw some races in there to spice it up a bit. So happy for you.
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RUNNINGMOM_OF_3 5/1/2012 4:02PM

    Great, great blog!! When I start running again, I will be coming to your blogs for the same kind of motivation that you have received from others! Spread the Spark Karma!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 5/1/2012 2:27PM

    emoticon Love it!

And how great to have so much support from your family. That really does help!

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FIT_FOR_LIFE85 4/30/2012 11:07PM

    Love the Spark Karma, it's so true! I've been so motivated and inspired by so many members, and you're one of my biggest inspirations! I love reading your blogs and hearing about your success and your set-backs (not that I enjoy hearing about your set-backs, it just makes you human and approachable :) ). So thanks for all your sharing! emoticon

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LADYBUG1107 4/30/2012 8:19PM

    Congratulations on your progress!

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MICHSTATE 4/30/2012 4:17PM

    WooHoo!!!! Awesome blog!!!! You have come so far in one year!!!!

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ONE*BUSY*MOM 4/30/2012 3:23PM

    Love this blog! It's so true how much inspiration we all glean from these wonderful blogs and the accomplishments of others. I know when I read your blogs, I'm filled with the same admiration that you describe when reading others. You're an inspiration!

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Comment edited on: 4/30/2012 5:12:17 PM

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(That silly emoticon says it all this time around!)

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JEREMY723 4/30/2012 2:47PM

    Sounds like you're enjoying the journey as well as the results, best of luck with your marathon!

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OFFDREA 4/30/2012 2:38PM

    Aw this is such a great post!!!! Spark is what got me running too. I remember the first day of c25k, I didn't end up following the plan. I just kept running. I ran for 10 minutes, took a 30 second break and ran for 10 more. I bawled my eyes out because I was so proud of myself and never in a million years did I think I could do it. Now 5ks are my short runs lol

Spark is a wonderful place and that is so amazing it prompted you to do this. I wish you the best of luck in your last few weeks and I can not wait to read your race report!!!!!

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the long slow run that is fast

Monday, April 23, 2012

Last week's long run was an incredible 16 miles. After the previous week's so-so run I needed this. I ran the first 4 with my sister, her friend, and my sister-in-law who is 33 weeks pregnant. We went slow and enjoyed some girl talk.

They turned right to a coffee shop and I turned left to run 12 more miles. Alone. I was actually looking forward to the alone time. And the whole thing went surprisingly well. I changed my route because I was so close to Minnehaha Falls in Minneapolis and I wanted to check it out.

I love how Instagram makes me look like a good photographer.

I went down the steps and ran through the trails. It was peaceful and invigorating. So cool to be in the middle of a city and have such great nature.

After checking out the falls I ran to my brother's house and asked for a banana. I still had 7 miles to go and was hungry. They laughed and sent me on my way.

I use the mapmyrun app and I love the voice that announces mileage and average pace. I call her Siri's sister. My average pace kept dropping with each mile. I wasn't trying to go fast, I was just running what felt normal. I forget what the pace was by the end of the run. Maybe right around 9:30mm. The next day I was sore. And the next day and the day after that. I guess I pushed it a little too much and should have slowed down. I know it is the Long Slow Run and all, but I just went with what felt right.

So good to have a 16 mile run that felt great because after the 14 miler I was a little concerned with the distance and time commitment of training. It went so well that I was wasn't even nervous for 17 miles.

Yesterday morning a group of us met up again. We started the first 3.5 just like last week. All together, real slow and easy. Then my husband and I went out on our own. Just like last week, we kept getting the app announcement that our average pace was dropping with each mile. I said we needed to slow down and it felt like we did. I was talking the whole time and felt great.

We were about half way around our 2nd lake and it was mile 11 and I realized that we were probably further than 6 miles from home. I know, I know. How do I use a GPS app that maps everything and gives pace, but I didn't properly map out the run beforehand??! Well, I trusted my dad. That's a fair mistake! And I wasn't letting it get to me because when we hit 13.1 our time was 1:49. That is faster than my HM PR. And I felt great!! How is this happening?! Of course that negative voice jumps in and says: "Maybe this is your peak. maybe this is your best running and you'll get hurt before June." Shut up mean voice! I am a runner and loving it!

Long story, short: we ended up running 19. I fueled much better eating a Stinger honey waffle (holy yum!) around mile 9 and a mocha GU at 14. Still not a huge GU fan. At 16 I hit my "crabby wall" and sent my husband ahead of me. I was shocked by how good I felt throughout the run and even at the end once I got time to myself and back into that runner's zone. I was really shocked that my average pace was 8:49.

I think the biggest thing I've learned from this is START SLOW. I know that slow means different things for different people. All runners need to do what's best for their bodies. Starting slow makes sense. Warm up, right?! Well, I think I've always started too fast and then been zapped.

I am still shocked by how good I feel today. No soreness like last week. I feel ready for a marathon. I know I'll have another bad run before then and that's OK. It's good for mental toughness. Everyone that says training is a journey is absolutely right.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WANT2BEFIT10 4/30/2012 7:51AM

    You are AMAZING! I love your photos! Way to go on 19 :)

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    I love this! A year ago you hadn't even done your first 5K and now you consider keeping up 8:49 for 19 miles to be a Long Slow Run. AMAZING! It's so nice that you have a family that is so active... and that keeps a banana supply. emoticon

Happy Running!!

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MYLADY4 4/24/2012 10:06PM

    That was just great. I can only hope to be that fast and consider that a "slow" run.

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PINKBEANBOO 4/24/2012 5:48PM

    Now that was a great LSR that wasn't a LSR. emoticon

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 4/24/2012 1:44PM

    Yes, 'mean voice' just needs to keep it's mouth closed-hehe.

Your PR for 13mi is amazing! You are one fast runner Maur!

It is so fun hearing about your journey getting yourself to marathon day.

Keep on sharing and I am so happy for you!

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FIT_FOR_LIFE85 4/24/2012 12:08AM

    Wow! emoticon
So glad to hear you're having such great runs! You're DEFINITELY a runner! I love the scenery!

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ONE*BUSY*MOM 4/23/2012 11:24PM


You're doing so great! Lovely photos, thanks so much for sharing.

Comment edited on: 4/23/2012 11:26:53 PM

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MICHSTATE 4/23/2012 8:58PM

    Wow!!!! Awesome job!!!! You are WAY faster than me!!!:-)

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REDRUNNERMOM713 4/23/2012 3:39PM

    Beautiful pics! I'm so happy you had such an awesome run and aren't sore today. Way to go Mama!! emoticon

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RUNNER4LIFE08 4/23/2012 3:13PM

    emoticon job!!! Nice mile pace.... you are definitely ready for the marathon.

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KKINNEA 4/23/2012 2:39PM

    Nice work! Everyone's slow pace is different - I can't crank further down than 9:30 on long runs at this time and that's ok - I believe I have more speed yet to come.

The falls are a great place to run to although lots of hills around that area.

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now look what I'm doing!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Here is my surefire way to skip the post-marathon blues: commit to a triathlon! August 25.

Because I'm crazy, I'm doing the Olympic distance. These were my choices.
Dare to Sprint
Swim: .3 miles/.48 km
Bike: 14 miles/22.5 km
Run: 3 miles/4.8 km

The Olympic Dare
Swim: .9 miles/1.45 km
Bike: 26 miles/42 km
Run: 6.2 miles/10 km

I'm not trying to sound like a conceited jerk, but I could do the Sprint with pretty minimal training at this point. I need practice in open water and I have to get the bike shoes clippy dealmajigs down, but once I do that the distance would be fine.

I LOVE the summer Olympics so I thought this was the perfect challenge for me. Swimming nearly a mile will be tough. Biking 26 miles is far. That'll be tough too. And then I have to run 6 miles right after all that. um, tough. OK, this is a real deal challenge.

But I am so ready and giddy thinking about it! One of the Irongirls I run with talked me into it so I will have lots of support and coaching. Let the fun begin!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILDASTER 4/24/2012 11:01AM

    Wow! I wish you the very best, it will be hard work but very rewarding I hope.

Looking great!

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RUNNINGMOM_OF_3 4/24/2012 10:53AM

    You are so freaking inspirational!! I knew you'd register for one sooner or later. Go get 'em!

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AIMLESS07 4/22/2012 5:06PM

    Woohoo! I HATE cycling so I stick to pool swim triathlons that aren't very long

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JONEIL513 4/20/2012 3:47PM


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HUSKERLAND3 4/20/2012 2:38PM

    I got tired just reading that

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MYNAMEISSMILE 4/20/2012 2:13PM

    Yay! That sounds like fun! I've always wanted to do a sprint tri. Your olympic one should be fun and a great challenge. So naturally, you'll rock it.

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OFFDREA 4/20/2012 1:58PM

    You my dear are AWESOME!!!! Congratulations on your decision! I wish you the best of luck with the training.

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FIT_FOR_LIFE85 4/19/2012 11:45PM

    emoticon So glad to hear you're doing a triathlon! You're gonna do great! Nothing like a new challenge to get you going! emoticon

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JOYFULSPIRIT920 4/19/2012 8:41PM

    Awesome! You're a machine!! :)

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LADYBUG1107 4/19/2012 7:43PM

    Wow! Good luck on the triathlons!

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I KNEW it, I just KNEW it! emoticon I am SO excited for you and look forward to reading all about your training. I hope you LOVE it and I know you'll do great.

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HEIDI-25 4/19/2012 6:23PM

    I agree that a new challenge is just what you need after whatever goal is met. I applaud your spirit! Good luck on training and keep healthy!!

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FIT_N_HEALTHY 4/19/2012 5:55PM

    Hey they say the way to see improvements is to keep pushing yourself and try new things!!! GO GIRL! I have my first mud run this weekend, I'm so excited/nervous!

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ONE*BUSY*MOM 4/19/2012 5:28PM

    So exciting! Good for you!

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MELLOYELLO01 4/19/2012 4:11PM

    That's awesome!!! Doing a triathlon is on my bucket list, but I'm terrified of the swimming part. Not because I'm a bad swimmer...I'm an awesome swimmer...but because I'm claustrophobic and I'm worried I'd have a panic attack and drown.

One of these days's ON!

Good luck training for your tri!!! emoticon

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RUNNER4LIFE08 4/19/2012 4:10PM

    emoticon challenge! emoticon You can do it!

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REDRUNNERMOM713 4/19/2012 3:49PM

    How exciting! You will do great!

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KJDOESLIFE 4/19/2012 3:19PM

    Sounds like a fun challenge!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 4/19/2012 2:45PM

    sweet! I would love to do a TRI but I do not know how to swim! emoticon Ok I may be able to keep my self a float until a rescue boat comes, but thats it!

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HLTHYRNRMOM 4/19/2012 2:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MICHSTATE 4/19/2012 2:29PM


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DZSWEETIE2005 4/19/2012 2:10PM

    That's so cool! And exciting!!! :)

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reasons to run

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Had to share. From pinterest.

oh, bummer. You can't really read that. Just squint, k?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I squinted. emoticon

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OJIBWEEQUAY 4/18/2012 4:19PM

    top calorie is all I needed to read emoticon

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PINKBEANBOO 4/18/2012 2:35PM

    I could read most of them emoticon

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RUNNINGMOM_OF_3 4/18/2012 12:47PM

    And off to Pinterest I go to try to find it. Just when I was getting ready to be productive at work...

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ICHBINDOOF 4/18/2012 9:44AM

    love it!!

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RUNNER4LIFE08 4/18/2012 9:28AM

    emoticon Great list of reasons!

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TRIXIERUNS 4/18/2012 9:06AM

    Found this on pinterest too! emoticon

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Grocery store munchies

Friday, April 13, 2012

Its been a long week at work. DH works late tonight. The fridge is empty. The last thing I wanted to do was go grocery shopping and figure out something for a quick and healthy dinner that would make me and the kids happy. But better to do it quick on my own after work on a Friday than Saturday morning with toddlers in tow.

I quickly ran in and every crap food was calling my name. Here's my new secret weapon that I use when this happens. You turn your butt around and march back to the produce section. Buy every beautiful veggie you see. Yep, it's expensive. But it is way better than buying a bag of tortilla chips and salsa. Omg, tortilla chips and salsa. I sincerely apologize if I am activating any cravings... Ok, seriously, buy the produce. Buy baby carrots. Then buy A huge bag of carrots that you can peel yourself and save cash. Get what you need and that's it. Tempted to throw a bag of Oreos in the cart,back to the produce section for you! This time throw in a fresh pineapple. And then get outta that flippin store!

That's what's i did tonight and it worked. The kids munched happily on carrot sticks (no ranch!) while I chopped onions, broccol, bell peppers and that pineapple. I love roasted veggies. Quickly made homemade turkey meatballs and wow is this better than doritos. I will not feel gross tomorrow. No guilt involved. Fresh, real food for me and my family. Today I totally beat all that marketing crap machine of processed junk!!

One more thing I have to share with. My sparkles... Today when I walked into the gym to pick up my kindergarteners from Phy. Ed. Two huge ropes were hanging from the ceiling. I have Worked at this school for seven years and never seen the ropes. I LOVED the ropes in grade school. I told my class how much I loved it and one boy screamed "show us!!" (they had been swinging on the ropes, not climbing) so for about 10 seconds I was the coolest kindergarten teacher in the world because I jumped on the rope and attempted to climb up. The kids went crazy. I barely got anywhere and my hands kill now. But I know I impressed the Phy. Ed. Teacher!

Workout like a kid! Eat a garden! Have a good weekend everybody.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PINKBEANBOO 4/16/2012 2:45PM

    She's smart & cool. The total package.

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OFFDREA 4/16/2012 1:40PM

    This is a great post, Im sure everyone can relate! Wonderful tactic to keep away from the crap. I HATED the ropes in gym class but I would love to try them now!

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 4/15/2012 3:30PM

    Hahaha-love it! You ARE the coolest kindergarten teacher there is:-)

You need to do the happy dance for fighting off all those temptations and making fabulous choices when starving. Wonderful example for the kids and every time you do that, you are building your healthy living habit.

How do you roast your veggies? And what seasonings do you use?

Super job Maura! I'm proud of you.

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FITFORMYFAMILY 4/14/2012 12:02PM

    You are such a good role model!

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REDRUNNERMOM713 4/14/2012 10:49AM

    What a great game plan! I may have to try that next time a craving hits in the store. Great job!

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RUNNINGMOM_OF_3 4/14/2012 9:52AM

    I love your blogs! And your attitude. They both make me happy. :)

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DELERIOUS64 4/14/2012 6:45AM

    I tell my hubby I can splurge on Calories or I can splurge on Cash. Unfortunately it does cost more to eat healthy but it is so worth the splurge.

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ONE*BUSY*MOM 4/14/2012 12:56AM


What a great story!

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OJIBWEEQUAY 4/13/2012 11:05PM

    Love this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My hubby can scale a rope like no bodies business! I swung on them! HA! Go you produce monster!!!!!!! emoticon

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MICHSTATE 4/13/2012 10:05PM

    WooHoo!!! Awesome job!!!!!:-)

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GRANDMAPATTYV 4/13/2012 9:43PM

    What a great attitude!!! Never thought of marching back to Produce!! But I love the strategy! (BTW I work in a grocery store! LOL!) - and playing with the kids!!!! We had my 5 year old grandson's birthday party last saturday at an indoor playground (Edinbourgh Park) and I played in the playground with the kids.... went up the cubes and down the slides!!! So Much Fun!! I Love Your MOTTO: 'Workout like a kid! Eat a garden!' - I hope you don't mind if I use it as my mantra!?! emoticon

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RUSSELLORAMA 4/13/2012 8:10PM

    I'm glad that strategy worked for you. Around here we call Doritos "The Devil's Chips."

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