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Less than 24 hours to go to Marathon ... pep talk

Friday, October 22, 2010

Less than 24 hours to go.
This time tomorrow I'll be about 4 hours into the run, probably around mile 20 with the worst miles ahead of me. Perhaps hitting the wall. Maybe thinking I can't do this or wanting to quit. But definitely DEFINITELY not stopping, not quitting and not giving up.

Thanks for the support all of you - I appreciate it so much. :D
I swing back and forth between pride/excitement and abject terror! Hah. It's a funny sort of emotional rollercoaster. I'm currently scared. Last night, while watching "Spirit of the Marathon" (again!) to gear myself up, I felt proud and amazed.

It's ME who's going to do this. The girl who started running May of '09 and could only run about 3-5 minutes at a time before needing a walk break. The girl who ran a 10K in Oct. '10 and thought that 6.2 miles was an insanely long distance. The girl who, in March of '10, ran her first 10 mile race and wanted to die - but also was so amazed and astounded at what her body could do(!). That same girl ran 13.1 miles in May '10, with her best friend in the world beside her, and had another moment of epiphany. 13 miles! Me!? So much fun, let's do it again! July 4, 2010 came the second 13 miler ... and then the seed was planted. It was really quiet at first "how about a marathon?"... easy to blow off as being completely flipping insane!

As time went on, the voice got louder and most insistent. "HEY, about that marathon!? Let's do that." Eventually it became a roar... "MARATHON. SIGN UP NOW, LADY!" and who am I to argue with an internal voice that is that much of a pain in the booty? 22 weeks of training (with a 3 week break in there for the injury) later ... here I am. Less than 24 hours away from the starting line.

And the girl who crosses that line (hopefully upright and smiling but crawling and smiling will also work, if it's all I've got...) will be the one I've been working on becoming for the last 2-3 years. Strong. Determined. Dedicated. I plan to leave the last of the hurt and the negative stuff from my past all along that 26.2 mile trail. I'm crossing the finish but my baggage isn't.

Let's do this thing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENITY4LIFE 10/23/2010 3:44PM

    Can't wait to hear all about your marathon experience. You got this!! Enjoy!! You ARE a MARATHONER!!!


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LIV2RIDE 10/23/2010 8:24AM

    You got this!! You will ROCK this marathon. Have fun and good luck!

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GODZYFAN 10/22/2010 4:04PM

    I am so excited for you! You will do great! Thanks for the inspiration. Now that I am done with PT, I can start training for my first 5K. A marathon seems like a faraway dream but hopefully I'll get there. Best of luck to you!!
emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 10/22/2010 3:11PM

    You are going to ROCK this thing!! You are woman!! You are strong!! You are healthy!! You are fit!! You have amazing willpower!! LOOK OUT race, LEONA coming through!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SKINNYPOWELL1 10/22/2010 1:36PM

    Best Wishes on your race - be strong, it's not how fast you finish the race, it's that YOU FINISH.


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JLITT62 10/22/2010 1:27PM

    You will NOT be crawling.

I know you will be smiling, even if every bone in your body hurts!

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JLWOF1 10/22/2010 1:23PM

    emoticon Good luck!

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CASSARM1 10/22/2010 1:02PM

    emoticon emoticon BEST OF LUCK!!!! You will do great. You attitude seems amazing and that alone can get you thru a lot! Be proud and have fun!

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MBSHAZZER 10/22/2010 12:59PM

    You can do it!!! Remember, pain is temporary - PRIDE is forever! Can't wait to read your report!

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WHOVIANPRINCESS 10/22/2010 12:55PM

    This is inspiring, you rock! Good luck!

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MARATHON - three days away. zomg.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Soooo... my first marathon is in three days (2 days, 22 hours, if we're being precise).
I am TERRIFIED. I've been working very hard and I've dealt with not one but TWO injuries during the training process. About 7 weeks ago I was waylaid with a possible (mild) stress fracture in my foot. I took off three weeks to heal - which was absolute torture, btw - and came back on my training schedule in the three week pre-race, post-peak taper mileage. Luckily, before the injury, I got in my longest training runs. I did 17, 18, 19, 20 mile long runs. So, that's good. More recently I developed what felt like a shin splint. Luckily it seems to have resolved itself with slower runs and the use of good quality compression racing socks. Fingers crossed.

Since I've been back running, the longest I've run is 11 miles. I did race a 10K (6.2) miler and PR'd it with a really great time. So, that helped my confidence. Still, I had to ease back into running due to the foot issue and then I had to stay eased off so I didn't burn out my muscles, etc. and blow the taper. So, honestly, I have no idea how I'm going to do with 26.2 miles. I do know I'm stubborn as hell, though. Which is important for distance running. ;)

I've done the real work. I cranked my mileage up and I got my body used to the pounding of 4+ hours of running on my 18-20 milers. Now it's all about guts and smart pacing. My usual race pace for short races is around 8:30 min miles. My half marathon personal record is 2:07 and my 10 miler is 1:31. So, I usually run 9-10 min miles at those mid range races. Pace for marathon? 11:40ish. I'm running with the 5 hour pacer group and I'm NOT going to let myself rush my early miles. That will mean the final miles will be a hellish death march. They might be a hellish death march at a slower pace, even, so if I've got nothing left in the tank they'll be that much worse. Run smart, Melissa, dammit.

Tonight I'm packing my bags, pre-race snacks, race gear, etc. Pack my post-race finish line bag with warm clothes, stuff to mop off with and recovery food. Today is my last day of cross training, too. Thursday and Friday I'm staying off the bike and off my feet as much as I can. Eating lots of carbs (something starchy at every meal - bread, pasta, etc.) and trying to get better sleep and enough water. Two days before the marathon is where you need to sleep and to start the real carb loading since that's the fuel your body will be using most.

Then tomorrow I can look my bag over and see if I've forgotten anything.
We leave for Mankato on Friday afternoon. Going to hit the expo, get my chip and bib, look around a little bit then go to the hotel and stay off my feet. Order in a cheeseless veggie heavy Papa John's pizza (carbs!) and get a good nights rest. Race starts at 8 am on Saturday.

Okay. I sort of want to vomit from excitement and nerves.
I can't believe I'm doing this. But I am. And I WILL. I will finish this race. If I have to walk some, I walk some. If I have to crawl, I crawl. But I will get it done. And I will cross that line smiling and proud. Wish me luck!

Aaron is coming with me and he'll be in charge of pictures. I'll do a race report once I'm back and feeling up to it, for anyone who cares. ;)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIV2RIDE 10/21/2010 6:38AM

    All of your training will be put to the test and will be well worth it! you will do AWESOME! Just stay hydrated and don't get caught up in other people's races. Run your race and you will be fine. Most importantly enjoy the experience. emoticon Can't wait to read all about it.

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SERENITY4LIFE 10/20/2010 9:55PM

    I definitely care and can't wait to hear about your experience. Great Post and sounds like you are well prepared, physically and mentally. That's critical!! From what you wrote, you are being very smart and have a great plan to finish this race and enjoy the experience. Good for you!!

Good Luck!! Look forward to hearing all about it.

You will be a MARATHONER!! No matter what!! And that is something very special! Woohoo!!!


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JLITT62 10/20/2010 5:18PM

    Of COURSE we care! Can't wait to hear all about it.

Good luck! Since it's your first marathon, you know it's a PR. Just remember to enjoy the experience! Now I personally think I would prefer needles in my eyes rather than to run 26.2 miles, but to each their own.


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BUGSMOM211 10/20/2010 3:45PM

    emoticon You will finish for sure.. Make sure you stay hydrated and drink water and gatorade throughout the next couple days..Get loaded up with electrolites!! Just finished my first marathon too, and I am so ready for another one..it was fabulous, enjoy the experience. emoticon emoticonCan't wait to hear about your experience.

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MBSHAZZER 10/20/2010 2:28PM

    Holy smokes, I didn't realize this is your FIRST marathon! SO EXCITING!!! Cherish every minute of it - you'll never have this awesome, wonderful, humbling experience again!

It sounds like you have your plan down pat! Just pace yourself and fuel well during the race and I promise, you'll have nothing to worry about. The end will likely be hard, but once you've made it that far, just keep telling yourself how close you are to marathon victory!!

Have fun! Can't wait for your blog!

Comment edited on: 10/20/2010 2:29:36 PM

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HEZLIZZIE 10/20/2010 12:30PM

    You will ROCK your marathon, my friend! Hooray for having Aaron's support and photography prowess! You sound 110% prepared and ready. Remind yourself that you have your base built, and trust in the long training runs. I agree that having an imbedded stubborn streak is crucial in distance races, so that's another plus for you!! Looking forward to your race report. Run strong and steady!



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BREWMASTERBILL 10/20/2010 11:32AM

    What a great read. Very inspirational. I'm "in training" myself right now and would like to run an HM this coming spring. I have a 10K next month. I'm shooting for a 50 minute finish on that. I cannot even begin to imagine 26.2 miles yet. I think you're understandably nervous, but you know how it goes, as soon as the starting gun fires, the butterflies disappear.

Good luck! emoticon

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Moar updates!!! ;) Plus best brownie recipe ever. SERIOUSLY.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thanks for the feedback on my last blog, guys.

Ironically, I did a weigh in the next day and had the scale register my lowest weight yet?!??
I do not understand my wacky body - it's as confusing as my wacky brain.

I also don't get why it's just surprise food that triggers me. If I bake and eat what I make, have it planned and am intentional, I do not get food guilt! I made fantastic brownies this weekend (seriously, the most PERFECT brownies I've ever eaten. The definitive perfect brownie for this gooey brownie lover) and ate my one serving happily, no guilt. I think it's all about control. I like to feel like I'm always in control and if I allow myself to eat something in a *controlled* way, I'm fine. If I eat mindlessly or on a craving, I wig. It needs to be planned! I need to have the numbers all worked out.

I want to work on that. I'm going to eventually have to stop tracking every thing I eat. I need to trust myself and try to eat intuitively. I've proven that I'm pretty good at keeping a stable weight, I've ranged from my lowest weight of 124ish up to 129ish in the last 9 months. That's pretty darn solid! Most of the time I spent in the 126-128 range. I should definitely be proud of that.

I also haven't had clothing get tight on me at all during that time. I've had items get looser due to changing body composition - many of my 4s are baggy and I'm in even small shirts now ... goodbye boobs - but I haven't had enough inches growth to change my sizes dramatically towards the larger. I'm leaning more to the 2 side of 2/4s I believe. Wow. I still sort of do a double take when I write that out. How in the heck did this happen again?

Anyway. I'm trying to even out. Eating enough for the last three weeks and having my exercise intensity drop a bit has been good for my moods. I definitely wasn't eating enough when I was doing all those long 3+ hour training runs and running 33-38 miles a week. I felt like death and was crabby and awful. Going to remember that in the future.

My first 3.5 mile run on the foot went well. It was tender but not painful. No residual soreness, either. Going to ease into it and keep on biking while I work some shorter runs in this week. Do a couple 3-4 miles on soft ground and such.

I think I'll sign up for the 10K race this Saturday. I did that same race as my first (and only) 10K exactly one year to the day. It'll be a nice sort of circular path to run that race again as my second 10K. :) I jumped from 5Ks to 10 milers and half marathons so I just didn't race a lot of the shorter 10K distances. I like that mileage, 6.2 is enough to feel like you ran without it being a distance race where fuel and such comes into play. It'll be a nice little short race to get me back into marathon training mode - and I LOVE racing(!) so much(!!) that it'll be a great treat. :)

So, that's the plan. Two short 3-4 milers and a race on Saturday.

Oh, and stop freaking out so much. Gotta put that on the to do list...
Sheesh, lady.

Oh, and 'cause it's just CRUEL if I talk up the brownies and don't share...


Worth. Every. Calorie.
I use Ener-G egg replacer rather than an egg and screw that whole "makes 20 servings" thing. Tiny brownies are not my thing. I make a normal 9 servings and they are 180 calories, 6 grams fat. Which is not bad for a fudge brownie. And these are FUDGY. I want to make them again. Sob. Crinkly tops, chewy but soft edges and gooey middles? Brownie HEAVEN.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIV2RIDE 9/28/2010 6:41AM

    So glad to hear your run went well. thanks for the link. I love checking out new blogs especially the ones with recipes. Good luck with your running plan.

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JLITT62 9/28/2010 5:43AM

    I can understand the whole control issue. But you already know you're in control -- you're maintaining your weight, and that's fantastic! That's what it's all about!

Do you think a race after a long hiatus from running is truly a good thing, tho? Don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but . . . gotta throw it out there.

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MBSHAZZER 9/27/2010 7:57PM

    YAY! Glad to hear the run went well. Thanks for the link to the blog. Her receipes look really good... especially the brownies!

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GOLDIES1 9/27/2010 6:55PM

    Sounds so good, I'm going to try it.

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Dunkin's on my tracker?

Friday, September 24, 2010

No, I didn't eat Dunkin's Donuts - so not vegan! But, I did have donuts ... they were small (much smaller than Dunkin's I think - maybe 2.5 - 3˝ circle?) chai tea donuts with chai vanilla icing and cinnamon cream. Vegan, o' course.

I won a "make up our new flavor" donut contest from a local company and they delivered my custom vegan flavor today. I won a dozen. OMG, crap. I gave away ten. I ate two like dumbarse and am currently in deep food guilt.

I don't do it often and I'm trying to stay stable about it... with limited success.
UGH. I hate my brain.

I thought I was doing okay but feeling like I wish purging was an option probably isn't good. In the long run, eating these WON'T kill me! But, I'm feeling this urge to make sure I eat hardly anything tonight (big stirfry with lots of nutrient dense, calorie light veggies and bulky fiber!) to make up for it and work out extra hard tonight (not longer, just harder). I wish I weren't so disordered with food. If I were truly on an even keel, I could go "I ate two small donuts. So what? I don't do it often, it's not a habit and I enjoyed them. It'll all balance out with my days this week where I ate my lower end and is not the end of the world." In some ways, choosing to eat a lighter, veg heavy, healthy dinner rather that something carby and heavier IS a healthy way to manage it. If my mindset were better, I'd be fine with how I'm handling things. As it stands, I'm making a healthy choice in an unhealthy, disordered way.

It just extra sucks 'cause I LOVE FOOD. I love to cook and bake and try recipes. I look at recipes online a lot. Mostly I have to give them a pass due to not wanting to eat such "naughty" foods.

In good news, I'm going to try a short 3 mile run tomorrow to see how the foot goes.
I cannot wait 'til I can run again - I feel so much less insane about food when I'm running. Even thought I've been biking just about every day, I can't motivate myself to lift very often. I feel like I'm being lazy... My measurements haven't changed and I feel like I look the same. Clothes fit the same. So, it's doubtful that I'm gaining in any meaningful way while I'm not running but I feel less emotionally and mentally stable. I'm much more scared of regain.

I need to figure out a happy medium.
I like my weight to be 125. 126 is also acceptable.
If left to it's own devices, my body shoots for 127-129.
Is it worth fighting my body over so few pounds? Pounds only I notice?
I look leaner in the tummy at 125 but it's not by much (and it might have more to do with hydration levels, sodium and water retention/digestion than actual weight). Is that worth feeling PANICKY over food about?

I'm healthy. All my blood tests are great, no one would look at me and think me overweight or fat. I have no health related issues due to my weight. I can bike hills, run 20 miles, do plyo, use 10 lb. weights with my P90x DVDs (except straight arm stuff. YOW.) I have visible muscles, my legs are actually pretty gorgeous in their strength and muscling. I actually LIKE my arms and don't mind going sleeveless. I feel thin a fair amount. WHY AM I BEATING MYSELF UP FOR NOT LOOKING LIKE A SUPERMODEL? Shouldn't all the above be enough? Do I need to try to squeeze myself into society's tiny idea of what a beautiful woman is?

I wish there was a harmless pill I could take that would make me value function over form - and see form without nitpicking flaws. I am living in a lovely body now. It is strong and fit and can do things I never ever ever thought it could. So why does eating two donuts make me feel like a failure and start looking at my body as the enemy?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARARAIDER 9/27/2010 5:38PM

    Sounds like you're doing pretty good aside from your sore foot! As for the doughnuts, don't over-worry yourself too much. You deserve a treat once in awhile, and since you are exercising, you will just end up burning it off...besides you need an excess of 3,500 calories to gain a pound. I usually feel pretty guilty when I go overboard with treats myself...but it you get right back on it,exercise and what not...you don't gotta worry at all. Keep up the great work! :)


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MBSHAZZER 9/27/2010 10:19AM

    Those few extra pounds are definitely not worth the time you are spending stressing over them! And those donuts sound fabulous and totally worth it! Look at it this way... you ate 2 and gave away 10. Most people wouldn't give any away.

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LIV2RIDE 9/25/2010 9:57AM

    You sound so much like me. WOW! I know exactly where your head was when you wrote this. I've been there a million times before. What I can tell you is that in a year 1 or 2 lbs won't matter at all. Your body knows best though. So I wouldn't fight it over 1 or 2 little lbs. No one can flip that switch in your head that makes the "everything in moderation" thing work for you. For someone that thinks this way we drag this little scenario out all day long (sometimes longer). Just know that your small indulgence isn't going to derail your whole life.

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JLITT62 9/24/2010 3:25PM

    I wish I could fast forward you 20 years and show you that no, those few extra pounds really aren't worth all the angst. And that you will never remember those 2 donuts in 20 years. You eat so healthy 80% of the time, you're at your GW, and you're committed to exercise. It's ok to indulge occasionally!

On a happier note, good luck with the run! Hope it's pain-free.

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Update on the foot and other things...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

First, thanks for all the support in my last blog. You sparkbuddies rule! I appreciate you guys. :)

Secondly, MAN I miss running! I miss doing it AND I miss the guaranteed calorie burn. I had to adjust my ranges due to burning less and mannnn... I miss being able to EAT. ;) I always joke I run so I can eat and yeah, it's partially true. Those long marathon training runs where I'd burn a days worth of calories in four hours were especially fab. OMNOMfest those days. Sigh.

I've had some rough patches during the last two weeks. Panicking about gaining, wanting to cry because I'm HUNGRY but have no calories to eat if I want to maintain (or lose the little bit I managed to gain), feeling angry that I can't just go out and run 5.5 miles, burn 500 calories and eat more like I want to. Again, sigh.

Yeah, it's all been calories out/calories in drama for me.

However, I HAVE been noticing some good things.
I've biked 11 days out of the last 14 - that's great! I haven't take the car to work once in the past two weeks. I even rode in on meeting day when I had to be at work by 7 am (that's early for me, I'm usually banker's hours). I've ridden when it's cold, in the rain, when it MIGHT rain ... all things that usually I'd have wussed out and driven due to. So, yay me! I wanted to drive some days but I didn't and that's a victory. 60 miles the first week, 50ish the second (lots of rain = less long rides).

I also noticed, food panics aside, my mood has been better with the more moderate workouts. I'm less crabby and feel more rested and less worn out. I think I hit the hardest part of the training, that peak at 20 miles, and my body was just DONE. Basically that's what happens, you're upping mileage and you just don't have the time to heal completely between long runs. I read it takes 4 weeks to physically recover from any run over 18 miles. At peak training, you've got your long run one week, a shorter recovery run the following week, and then another long run the next week that increases the mileage again. That's why it's the danger zone of injuries ... and why I'm not super surprised that I had trouble there.

That said, foot feels good. :) I haven't noticed any pain/twinging the past two weeks. I've avoided stressing it or doing any pounding with my feet. Low impact cross training only. Unlike the last stress fracture I never had non-running pain with this one. I never had pain doing stairs or walking. So, the fact that I was smart and didn't run through the original pain is going to end up being a benefit. :) Hooray for learning from your mistakes. Hah. I can jump up and down without pain (though I'm nervous and keep waiting for it!) and can do jumping jacks/etc. during my P90x warmups problem free.

Still going to give it one more week and then start my taper.
Hopefully it'll stay happy. :) I'm pretty confident that things'll be fine.
Going to be sorta of nervous for a while and really listen to my feet but I think I'm healing fine.

Oh man, I can't wait until I can run again.
I miss eating like a runner! Even if I was undereating before at 1800 a day, having that be my HIGH end while not running is killing me. O.o

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIV2RIDE 9/20/2010 7:19AM

    It's funny, I found that I LOVE FOOD. I think sometimes I make my workouts more intense just so I can eat. You are doing a great job. Good for you for listening to your body and not further injuring your foot. That is sometimes the hardest part of training.

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JLITT62 9/19/2010 6:56PM

    Have you ever considered triathlons? Seriously?

Well, I don't love running as much as you do. I sort of miss it when I can't do it, but I can't imagine running 20 miles (at the moment, I can barely imagine running 5).

But it's really hard to adjust your eating for an injury, so my hat's off to you!

I don't own a really good HRM, btw, but I use what I have sometimes. I have a somewhat good idea of how I'm doing without all the bells & whistles. I wanted to get faster, but whatever is going on with my butt is worse -- but isn't better (maybe a tad) so I don't want to really push anything right now.

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HEZLIZZIE 9/19/2010 4:57PM

    Yay - great post, my friend! Hooray for cross training...I really think biking is the perfect compliment to running; my legs always feel better when I bike to work the day after a longer distance jog.

I'm glad that you're documenting your frustrations around eating when running is (temporarily) out of the picture here. I'm also really glad that your foot is healing and recovering quickly - yaay!

* hugs *

emoticon emoticon

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MBSHAZZER 9/19/2010 12:57PM

    Glad to hear the cross training is going well. I totally understand where you are coming from with the eating. I am fine eating a "normal" amount of food if I'm running, but when I'm not, it's like I become OBSESSED with eating and food!

Sounds like you may be back to running soon? If it's any consolation, I am having foot pain as well and am not running either... so I'm with you in spirit!

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