Birthday/Marathon Weekend

Today’s Happy Note: Cake with friends.  That’s what birthdays are all about.  I had a large slice of Cookies n’ Cream from Make My Cake with six of my closest friends and USB.

I will admit, I am nervous for the marathon.  Scared, excited, panicky.  But I know I can do this.  I have trained so hard for this.  So what if it takes me five hours.  I am ready.

Yoga and abs for fifteen minutes on Thursday, three and a half easy miles yesterday, and two miles today.  My legs felt nice and light today.  Let’s hope they stay that way!

Okay, got that off my chest.  Now let’s have some fun!

Expo!

Best brunch ever.  I treated myself to it this morning (I turned 21 today): scrambled eggs and a wheat waffle with maple syrup, bananas, peanut butter, and bacon.  Seriously, an amazing combo.

A wee little spot of bad news.  I found out the results of my blood tests yesterday — I had a lot of tests done.  One major problem: I’m a bit anemic.  Nowhere near enough iron in my blood, and my cells are shrinking.  Uck.  It will take months to build my iron stores back up.  I am taking iron pills now, so hopefully I’ll feel less weak and tired during the race.  Eek!

Mom.

And me.  At the finish line.  That I will hopefully cross tomorrow.

And there was cake.

With friends.

In a few hours I will be up, heading South to Staten Island.  One of the biggest days of my life.  And I’m terribly nervous — more nervous than  I thought I would be, actually.  Hopefully I’ll be able to manage it.  I’ve come a long way since being in the hospital in July and running 12 minute miles in August!

If you’re running, good luck!  If you’re spectating, I can’t wait to see you!  I will probably have my name in tape on my shirt.

Goodnight friends!

Reteaching Wonder

Today’s Happy Note: Spending a wonderful weekend with USB!  He loves to talk/cuddle/eat/have adventures/walk…pretty much all the same things I like to do!  It is nice to have someone who wants to have adventures with me.  We still do lots of things by ourselves though — yesterday I went to a map-making class while he did an introductory yoga workshop!  It’s a wonderful balance.  I have been hesitant to say this, because I am afraid of somehow jinxing it, but I’ll just go ahead and say it anyways, because it’s true: USB is, plain and simple, the most wonderful thing that has happened to me in years. I even have a picture today.  Look!

Okay, so referring to that as a picture of him might be a bit of a stretch, but take what you can get!  I don’t have a lot of pictures and wouldn’t really feel comfortable having him on the blog, at this point.  But he does have nice hands, right?

Thanks for your sweet comments about it yesterday.  I feel silly talking about him sometimes, but it’s a good silly. I’m completely smitten and it has all happened so suddenly.  Each moment with him is a new lesson in blessings and gratefulness.  He has retaught me how to wonder. I was a hopeless romantic before, and now, well, I’m downright sappy.  So I apologize for my sappiness.  You’re just going to have to deal with it for a while. 😉

In the above picture, we are eating delicious wraps from this Noodle Shop. We got one of the tofu and one of the duck, and each had half of each.  They were really tasty!  They are definitely snack-sized and not meal-sized though.  Or maybe that’s just my marathoner’s perspective.

I squeezed in a long run today, between studying, cleaning, and cuddling.  I did about 12.4 miles in 2:10-ish. Somewhere thereabouts.  I think I was probably around a 10:30/mile pace overall.  Didn’t feel great, didn’t feel terrible.  For parts of it, my legs felt powerful and strong; at other times, they felt sluggish and sloooow as molasses. Sometimes within minutes of each other.  Weird, no?

It was my last long run before the marathon, so I’ll take it.  My body was happy for the shorter run, and is happy about the lower mileage in the next two weeks.  Less than two weeks from today I will be an official marathoner!  I even got my number in the registration pdf today!  I am number 40920.  Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!

Other eats today weren’t too exciting, but did include this very necessary froyo monstrosity:

It’s a mixture of pinkberry original and pumpkin flavors, with my own toppings (seriously, always bring your froyo home and do your own toppings — so much cheaper!).  And yes, pinkberry now has pumpkin flavor.  It isn’t very strong at all and I kind of like it!  I added chunky pb, a part of a crumbled chocolate chip pumpkin cookie, and more chocolate chips.

I’m not sure if you noticed, but I have been *sort of* making an effort to eat less carbs.  The key words here are *sort of*.  I  would estimate that I’m eating about 20% less carbs than I was a few weeks ago, in the heart of marathon training.  I have always liked my carbs, but I have never been obsessed with them.  I don’t love bread.  I actively dislike rice.  I like quinoa but am usually too lazy to cook it.  I also like whole wheat pasta but again, it takes a long time to cook, and it is more of a treat for me.  I have been consuming more sweet potatoes and squash (they’re in season, so it’s easy), about the same amounts of veggies, a little less fruit, and less sugary carbs.

I have made the switch to totally plain yogurt.  I have also started actively buying more proteins and fats lately. Here’s whats in my fridge/cupboard at the moment:

Protein — natural honey maple turkey, TJs grilled chicken, Fage 2%  greek yogurt, eggs, Amy’s spicy vegan chilibeans (refried pinto and plain), natural tuna, and half a block of tofu.

Fats — avocados, TJs guacamole hummus (it’s alright — but not better than either hummus or guac on their own), an assortment of nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts), peanut butter, earth balance vegan butter, Fage 2% greek yogurt (does double duty!), TJs goddess salad dressing, olive oil.

I think that variety in protein and fat sources is key.  I make an effort to do different combinations and flavors and textures.

I am not doing this as part of some silly diet or fad weight-loss craze.  You guys know I wouldn’t do that!  Rather, one of the most widely accepted treatments for PCOS is a lower-carb diet.  For many PCOS patients, it is the only way to manage their weight. I don’t event know if I have PCOS or a different disorder, but I have, in the past, experienced success with a lower-carb diet overall (I am using “diet” in the general sense of what I eat here, not to refer to any type of restriction).

So it’s just something I am trying.  It is easier now that I’m running less.  I am seeing an endocrinologist next week, and will start dietary/medication experiments the following week (after the marathon is over).  It is going to be an interesting journey, to say the least.

Favorite protein?  Favorite fat?

Best part of your weekend?

Are you sappy and romantic or serious and collected?

Love And Spaghetti Squash And Jeans

Today’s I am proud of myself because: of how open and brave I was that day in the park when I met USB.  At that point in my life, I was truly convinced that I was unlovable, romantically speaking.  That no one would ever want to be with me. Sure, there were parts of myself that I liked.  But I thought that I was just too weird for anyone else to ever like those elements of me.  I wanted to meet someone.  I was 20 years old, about to start my senior year of college and had never had a serious relationship.  I had made out with a few boys.  But that was about  it.  Nothing ever clicked.  With USB, everything clicks.  I didn’t know it then, but I think a big part of the sadness I have felt over the last three or four years — the constant aching in my chest — was simply because I wanted to share my life with someone.  And now I do. And it is even more wonderful than I imagined.

I didn’t do a happy note!  It was really hard for me to change, lol.  But sometimes change is good, as USB has taught me. 🙂

Just wanted to say hello quickly and hear about your weekends!  I haven’t done any full workouts yesterday (Friday) or today.  The social time is infinitely more important for my health.  I probably walked a few miles both days anyways.   I also got in plenty of studying.

Other exciting things:

My first spaghetti squash!

Believe it or not, spaghetti squash has always been a secret fear of mine!  I steamed it in the microwave for about 10 minutes (cut in two halves, with the flat side down).  At first, I took it out and didn’t see any spaghetti!  I freaked out, thinking that I was a spaghetti squash failure.  That, or the farmer had simply sold me a different type of squash by accident.  But then I noticed about a teaspoon worth of “noodles” and scraped those out.  Lo, and behold, the scraping produced more noodles.  So I kept scraping and more and more noodles appeared!  Slowly, a giant smile crept onto my face.  It was great fun.  Seriously, if you’re ever super stressed, try scraping the noodles out of a spaghetti squash.

Totally unrelated, but relevant to the blog as a whole: yesterday, I went shopping.  Clothes shopping.  Clothes shopping is not easy for someone who hates every little part of her body.  I went to a bunch of different stores and kept telling myself over and over again, “you will look fat and horrible in that; you should not even try it on.”  I was starting to get really down on myself.  Eventually, I wound up in a designer jeans section at a discount store.  I am NOT a clothes elitist — I don’t have the money to be — but I truly believe that with things like jeans, and dresses, a really nice brand can sometimes look and feel better, making it worth the price.  I got into my determined mode and said “Caronae, you are going to try on some jeans and find a pair that you like and you will look beautiful and you will buy them.”

And I did.  I found a pair of jeans.  They are Seven brand.  I have never had a pair of Seven jeans before, but these really are quite nice.  I like them a lot, and a tiny part of me thinks I look decent in them.

So there. Take that, jeans.

Time to go find USB! 🙂

What are you all up to this weekend?

Super Spectacular Really Good Yummy Pancakes

Today’s Happy Note: Spending time with my wonderful cousin before she moves to San Francisco.

Today felt both really busy and really lazy, at the same time.  Do you ever have days like that?  Sort of an odd feeling, I guess, but also kind of pleasant, because I wind up feeling both energized and relaxed.  I spent the morning making (and consuming) awesome pancakes,  the afternoon teaching a band of very sweet high schoolers, late afternoon with my cousin and her husband and then LSAT studying (mostly the dreaded logic games), and the evening working out.  I squeezed some grocery store shopping and tv watching in there and that was my day!

I like to procrastinate my schoolwork until Sundays. 🙂

Let’s start with the pancakes!

I made these up on the spot and they turned out splendiferous.  They were soft on the inside (that “ohmygoshthisissopillowy soft” not that “thisissosoftitmustberaw soft”) but crisp on the outside.  Thick, with plenty of volume.  And made with totally wholesome ingredients, and not a lot of added sugar at all.  Basically, these are love, in protein pancake form (I am only calling them “protein pancakes” because the “base” is mostly protein-y and not carby — they are not some weird health food or anything, I promise!)

I was stupid and didn’t measure things out precisely or write the measurements down but this is roughly what it was:

1/4 C peanut flour (yes, I know this is a blog “fad” but it is an awesome fad that I actually like)

2 Tbsp oats

1 scoop vanilla hemp/whey protein powder (half serving)

1/2 Tsp baking powder

1/2 Tsp cinnamon

2 Tbsp flax meal

1 whole egg

1/4 C pumpkin

Water (as needed) to thin out

Earth Balance or butter, to coat the pan with

Combine all dry ingredients, then add in wet ingredients until pancake-consistency is achieved (I know, I am really scientific).  Heat the butter in the pan (you don’t need more than a teaspoon, at most) and when it starts to pop, dollop on your batter.  I made three generous ‘cakes.

Top with more butter, real maple syrup, and fruit or nuts of choice.  I used sesame almonds!

Don’t let this up close picture fool you.  These pancakes are generous.  Also, far more nuts than that were involved. 🙂

This morning meal made my day.  Bonus: it kept me full for five hours of teaching bleary-eyed high school seniors. I needed a meal with some serious stamina and this was it!  I have not made a “real” weekend breakfast in a long time. I forgot how much fun it is.  It’s nice not to have oats or yogurt or a smoothie for once!  Mmmmm.  Now I just need some bacon and we’ll be all set…

I got home from my afternoon shenanigans around 6:00.  I was technically supposed to run 8-10 miles, since I had skipped out on yesterday’s run, and tomorrow’s run isn’t going to be very long (10-12 miles).  But I just was not feeling it.  I don’t think it was a matter of laziness, either.  It was a matter of “I need to have some oatmeal with nut butter and lie on my bed and read blogs and snuggle up in my fleece blanket right now“, in all actuality.  And so that’s exactly what I did.

I find it sort of odd that oats with nut butter and melted dark chocolate and maple syrup are my comfort food.  But hey, there are worse things.  These are all whole foods.  Delicious whole foods.

What’s your idea of comfort food?

BUT after a few hours of winding down, which my brain/body needed, I felt ready for a workout.  Normally, I am an all-or-nothing girl and I either feel like I have to “waste” my day by eating poorly and not working out or have a hardcore workout and eating perfectly.  Silly, right?  By this point, I genuinely wanted to run, but was feeling anxious about it, because of said all-or-nothing mindset. I felt like, “how can I go run now if I have been lazy all evening?  Aren’t the two mutually exclusive???”  Um, no.  Duh, Caronae.

I ended up having a lovely workout!  I lifted (arms and abs) for about 30 minutes then ran a slow, easy five miles, which was exactly what my body needed.  Sometimes I just need my brain to shut-up so that I can listen to my body. 🙂

All in all, a lovely Saturday.

And I’m looking forward to making tomorrow a lovely Sunday.  And then having a lovely week.

Thanks for your support yesterday about my “busyness” — for lack of a better word.  I truly don’t think I could do it without you all as friends. 🙂

On the schedule for Run Write Therapy Life this week:

~Long run (tomorrow)/Long run eats

~Easy college student dinners

~Mental/Physical Health Intersections

~A fun announcement about the site

Should be a fun week!  Stay tuned, friends.  Goodnight for now!

The Monster Post That Almost Wasn’t

Today’s Happy Note: USB. Makes me oh so very happy.  It stuns me every day.  This morning, he was getting into a cab to go to the airport and I walked the other way, towards the train station.  As the cab pulled away, he called me and said “you have a beautiful smile; you were beautiful walking away.”

Um, is he purposely trying to make me melt???

Okay, so this is going to be a monster post!  Lots of running and workouts and meals and snacks and thoughts!

First, where have I been?  I know that you all probably don’t care about the mundane details of my life, but I like to make lists.  So I am making this list.  Of the ten billion things going on in my life right now. It clears my head (FYI: these are not necessarily in order of importance):

1. School. School school school.  I have six classes (okay, so one is yoga) and I’m a history major.  Which means I spend my evenings reading hundreds and hundreds of pages about early Sumerian writing systems and the intricacies of Iran’s 19th Century civil service system.  I have to keep everything on track and get a lot of forms and such in so that I can graduate on time this May (wow, I can’t believe that it’s only eight months away).

2. LSAT/Law School Applications. Quite frankly, I have been neglecting my LSAT studies.  Hello more logic games and less fun.  I think that part of the problem here is the anxiety surrounding my future.  I am quite confident that the LSAT/law school application thing is the right thing for me to do at this moment in my life, though.  And the anxiety dissipates more and more as I become surer and surer that this is what I want to do.  And if I don’t get in, so be it.  The world will not end.

3. Health. I had. A. Pulmonary. Embolism. Two. Months. Ago. My Warfarin management is going decently, but my INR levels have been inconsistent, at best.  I have, currently, seven doctors, you read that right, seven, plus doctor mom and doctor dad.  A PCP, a warfarin-management doctor, a gynecologist, an endocrinologist, a pulmonologist, a hematologist, and, the most important, a psychologist (L).  I will most likely have to undergo some genetic testing soon to see what caused my emboli and if I have a serious long-term clotting disorder.  I also have to sort out my endocrine/hormonal problems.   So there is quite a lot going on here.  Not to mention taking care of my depression and anxiety, which is muy importante right now.

4. Marathon Training. Need I say more?  Last week I hit 45 miles, next week and the weeks after I will be at 50-55.  Not to mention the amount of non-running time I spend stretching, eating, sleeping, thinking about running, eating, more eating.  Lots of mental and physical energy is expended here.

5. Social Life. My friends are super important to my sanity.  I love them.  They love me.  They keep me happy and healthy and glowing in a way that no amount of exercise ever will.  Spending time with them, whether it’s studying or eating cupcakes together, is something I have learned cannot be sacrificed.  Not to mention USB.  And love.  And sharing things.  And understanding another person like that.

6. Blog/Writing. Not to much to say here besides that these things are super important to me and I won’t be giving them up entirely either. I need them.

7. Family. Duh.  Most important people in the world.

8. Work. I love my job and wish I could work a bit more, but I’m having to squeeze in 8-10 hours in a week where I can. No working=no money, therefore it is absolutely necessary.

Reading this back over, I feel like I am sounding a bit wimpy.  I should be able to handle this.  I can handle this.  Time management.  And self-love.  those are the crucial things right now.

I can make it through these next few months, I know I can.

I have changed my mind about the direction of this post.  Don’t really want to talk about running at all.  I took an extra day off this week (today) which I am feeling guilty about.  But I know I needed it.  I ran this week.  Lifted weights and did some yoga.  The end.

Mostly, I just want to stop talking and show you pictures of yummy things:

Annnnnnnnnd my pictures aren’t uploading.  I think that signals the end of this post.

Goodnight my friends!

Thank you for always being there; I truly feel so supported by you guys!

Double-Fisting.

Today’s Happy Note: Being sick=extra nap time.

I am not actually in any muscular pain today, which is good!  I think that your body adapts to running longer distances — the first time you do 20 miles, it’s going to hurt like hell after.  But once you have done it (or even longer runs) multiple times, it starts to hurt less.  My quads are a little sore, but nothing I can’t handle.

My sinus system, on the other hand is another story.  No work or morning class for me today.  I did make it to my evening class though.  I am having the standard cold/flu-like symptoms.  I am hoping that today is the worst it will be and the rest of the week will be bright and sunshiney and wonderful!  Positive thinking, people.

If, however, I do not feel better tomorrow, I will not force myself to run.  I will not force myself to run.  I will not force myself to run.

Today happened to be a rest day on the training plan.  But I have to remember that taking more rest days, if need be, will help me in the long run because I will heal faster.

I will listen to my body.  I will listen to my body.  I will listen to my body. 🙂

Other than complaining about being sick, I just wanted to pop in and show you guys this:

I’m double-fisting. Duh!  (And no, I do not know what is going on with my hair in this picture).

With herbal tea in one hand and two liters of water in the other.  At a senior drinking event.

I have said it before and will say it again: I am the coolest college student ever.

Don’t think that Ivy League students don’t take their partying seriously. 🙂

Crazed Runner Thoughts

Today’s Happy Note: Getting started on schoolwork.  This is “happy” because it has been a big source of anxiety for me over the last few days and now that I finally have just started it doesn’t seem so bad!  I will have lots and lots of reading this semester, some interesting, some not.  Right now I’m reading about Harlem Renaissance Literature!

Marathon Training: Yesterday was a very lazy day.  I ate a lot.  When I wasn’t hungry.  Then napped.  Then remembered that I had to run five miles. Crap.  Had to do it on the street because it was already getting dark.  Boring.  Sweaty.  Came home and did 20-30 minutes of yoga. Felt better afterwards.  Marathon training really screws with your metabolism/hunger cues.  I want chocolate.

Sometimes I don’t even understand my thought process surrounding running. 🙂

Today I had to tackle 16 miles.  It’s funny how sometimes a long run can be wonderful (like last week) and sometimes it can really, really suck. Unfortunately, this week was of the sucky variety.

I decided to sleep in, rather than waking up at seven on a Sunday (contrary to popular belief, I am still in college and sometimes I do partake in college-like activities on weekends….).  This meant that I had to go to yoga before my long run instead of after.  Meh.  It was a really nice class, actually, although I probably tired out my legs a bit too much.  I love when we focus on mediation and emotional balance in tandem with the physical asana practice.

I set out for the 16 miles right after yoga, heading down the Hudson river, around Battery Park City, and back up the East River.  Thoughts:

Mile 1: Why do my calves hurt so much?  Why are they so tight?  I can’t think of any explanation for them feeling like this.  This does not make logical sense.  Oh wait, sometimes running makes no logical sense — I am running 16 miles and my friends are eating bagels and cream cheese in their PJs.  Ugh.

Mile 2: Now my calves hurt and I have to pee.  Okay, that’s sufficient discomfort to merit a quick stop.  I peed (in a bathroom, of course) then did some calf stretches, which helped.  It’s drizzling.  I like drizzling.  A little water never killed anybody.

Mile 3: Calves are easing up.  Good.  But now my hip and hamstring hurt.  But not a lot.  Just a little.  I should keep going though.

Mile 4: Why did I decide I was going to keep going, again?  I jsut ran four miles and now I have twelve more.  Also, why is there a random festival taking place on the running/walking path?

Mile 5: There is clearly a sign that says dogs are not allowed in this part of the park.  So why is your dog here?  Oh crap, it’s raining harder.  But I only have 11 miles left and it would be wimpy to stop now, even though the trajectory of the degree of raininess is clearly increasing.

Mile 6: I’m in Battery Park City, by lots of 9/11 monuments and memorials and such.  This is very sad.  I have never been able to fully organize my thoughts surrounding 9/11.  I didn’t live in New York then, but I do live here now.  I’m scared, sometimes.

Mile 7: Why in God’s name is anyone taking the ferry to Ellis Island and Liberty Island right now?  Why is the Staten Island Ferry orange?  It’s officially pouring.

Mile 8: the Lower East Side is unnecessarily confusing.  When am I going to get to Houston?  Shouldn’t I be at Houston already?  Why can’t there be real beaches in Manhattan?  I want to go swimming in the East River.  That would be really gross.

Mile 9: I do not like running up stairs.  I think my body wad not built for stairs — seriously, I get exhausted after a single flight.  Damn UN tourists.  Damn UN traffic.  I don’t like the streets on the Upper East Side.  The avenues should have been better organized.  If I were a municipal politician, I would be so good at organizing streets.  But I don’t think I would make a very good civil engineer.

Mile 10: Snacktime!  I don’t like cranberry flavored stuff (I also do’t like tomatoes, beets, olives, pickles, ham, american cheese, or white chocolate) but these cran-razz shot blocks are pretty good.  Like really sugary juice.  What classes do I have tomorrow?  Do they involve food?  Maybe I should make my own energy gels with dates and stuff.  It would be cheaper.  And healthier.  And I am far, far too lazy for that. It’s.  Still.  Raining.

Mile 11: I miss USB.  Crap, I can’t miss USB because I saw him 36 hours ago.  Pull yourself together, Caronae.  Wow, the water is really swirly and choppy here.  Good thing I took a class about the history of the city — I know exactly why it’s choppy!  It’s because there are a bunch of channels merging in this area and lots of people have drowned here.  I hope I’m not one of them.  I hope this creepy man doesn’t push me over the edge.  I can swim really well though, so at least I have that going for me.

Mile 12: There are many bridges on the East Side.  I can never remember which comes first.  My NYC bridge knowledge sucks.  My NYC street knowledge is, however,  excellent.  For example, I know that the hill pathway under the Queensboro Bridge at 60th Street is closed; therefore you have to go up York Street to 63rd in order to cross over FDR drive and get back onto the East River Esplanade.  sometimes I am so smart.  Other times I am terribly, terribly dumb.

Mile 13: I want to eat a burrito tonight.  Or maybe a taco.  Something Mexican.  Except I am feeling sort of queasy so that might not happen.

Mile 14: I am so soaked that my face is cold any I have officially gained about 7 pounds via the water that is weighing down my clothing.  Yup, I can see my yoga pants flapping about at the bottom because they are officially too heavy to stay put.  I am eating the rest of these shot blox now.  There are lots of homeless peopler under these bridges and overpasses and archways and such.  I feel bad for them.  It’s rainy.  I would give them my hot chocolate, if I had any.  I should have some hot chocolate when I finish this.

Mile 15: I am pretty much dragging my left leg at this point.  I look like one of those people struggling to finish an Ironman.  Except I have only done 15 miles, which is approximately 1546 times less hardcore.  Hip.  Hurts.  I hope this doesn’t derail my marathon training.

Mile 16: I have never loved the sight of Central Park so much.  I am almost hooommmmmeeee.  Except wait.  There are three giant hills standing in between me and home.  Yuck.  At least there are more runners here, who are also soaking wet, so maybe I don’t look like such an idiot.  I wonder what kinds of birds stick around for the winter.  Definitely swallows.  I always see swallows, everywhere.  But not cardinals or robins or blue jays.  Those only come back in the spring.  But they haven’t left yet because there is a blue jay, right there.   I think bird migration patterns are really cool.

End of Mile 16: This is the longest block of my life.  Look, there’s the hospital I was in!  I am glad I am not there anymore.  I want to have some sunflower seed butter now.

There you have it, 16 miles of one crazed runner’s thoughts.

Food from the weekend!

A fig and hazelnut scone.  Definitely…interesting.

That wrap was an excellent combination of TJ’s cilantro-jalapeno hummus, cheddar cheese, avocado, and yellow pepper.

Tomorrow is gonna be a long day.  Blech.  Morning workout, doctor’s appointments, work, class (yoga is starting!!!!), job recruitment meeting (with a company I really don’t want to work for but they would not stop harrasing me so I’m going because I feel bad), more class, activities, reading, laundry, dinner, more reading.

I need to remind myself to smile.  Nothing is ever so bad when you smile. 🙂

Happy Monday to all of you, my loves!

Tell me about your weekend!  And feel free to share any crazy-runner-thoughts, if you have them!

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