For those that remember my previous post and review of the Dakine Heli Pack, here is your chance to re-read the review and get the same great deals from The Clymb. They are having an awesome sale on Dakine gear. Here is the sale description in the words of the folks at The Clymb
Starting today at 9am PST, you can get up to 60% off DAKINE packs and snow gloves in our Snow n’ Go event. You don’t let the cold weather slow you down and we agree you shouldn’t have to. We have an awesome selection of luggage and backpacks to travel with you and snow gloves to keep you warm.
If you need to sign up at The Clymb , click here for my invite and you get to send $10 my way for each item you purchase besides the great deals
I know I will probably regret writing about this, since it will introduce competition, but this is a great sale so I must share. The Brooks Outlet is having their Fall outdoor sale on October 15-17 at their Bothell Outlet Store. Here are the details below including the phone number and address of the Brooks Outlet store. I have picked up some great Brooks running shorts and samples in the past and if you are in the Seattle area, I highly recommend this sale. Just may have to dig a little.
The Brooks Outlet Fall
October 15 – 17, 2010
Bothell Outlet Store
22627 Bothell-Everett Hwy , Bothell, WA 98021 (425) 402-1632
So I finally gave in and bought a backpack for skiing, the Dakine Heli Pack with Hydration. I have seen tons of people skiing with backpacks and always wanted one for extra gear, not to mention for water. The problem is I always worried about the weight and balance while on the slopes, but decided I would never know unless I took the plunge I got one. Thanks to The Clymb I was able to snag one at an awesome price and strapped it on this past weekend.
I guess this would now be a review of the Heli Pack and am happy to say that this backpack is awesome. The fit of the Heli Pack is pretty snug with all the straps attached and I barely noticed it while on the slopes. I filled the hydration bladder with about 1.5L of water and did not feel it sloshing around at all. The only issue I had was being new to the pack, I spilled some water on my gear as I was a little unsure on how to open and close the spout but got the hang of it as the day went on. It is still not the smoothest spout out there (that award goes to Ultimate Direction) but being on the lift with my poles does not lead to most advantageous positions for drinking. Sorry, one other gripe is that I could not get the hydration pack to stay on the hangar in the bag. It kept slipping down into the pocket of the bag. Not a big deal, but would love to learn how to keep it up there.
This bag holds a lot of stuff and even with some sandwiches, the hydration pack, and extra layer and hat, it felt barely there. One of these days I will use the bag to its full potential and have my shovel in the back, avalanche beacon and bust out the straps so I can carry my skis and hit the backcountry. Once the spring hits I will also be able to use the pack for all day hikes in the mountains, but do not see this as a pack for long runs. A little too heavy and I am still a huge fan of my Ultimate Direction fanny pack.
About one year ago I wrote a post about running at night and how to get past the excuses and get out there now that we only have a few hours of daylight. One of my brilliant ideas was “Wear something reflective” which I think at this time of darkness is worth expanding on.
There is no way most people can look cool wearing something reflective and I think I now have the proof of that with my new hat. The Brooks Nightlife Hat
This hat is comfortable, adjustable, reflective as hell, but kind of ugly. It has high visibility fabric that gives you 360 degrees of visibility and wait for it…….a flashing rear LED light on the back. Now since it is dark out when I am running I am going to go with function over fashion every night and wear this hat. While it will not a fashion award, it will probably save your life so I recommend this hat when running in the dark, which in Seattle at this time of year is 4:30pm – 7:30am.
One more note – if you are looking for this hat or maybe some other reflective accessories check out this site night-gear.com. They have all sorts of reflective items for sale.
Another reason we’ve been holed up is the Dukes of Flatbush have been competing in a Winter / Spring bowling league at Gutter in Brooklyn, NY.
Although we excel in all manner of blue collar sports, I can’t say we started the season with high expectations. Well, that has all changed. We managed to hold onto the #1 spot for a long while, only recently ceding it to our nemesis “006″ and our co-conspirators “Wild Turkeys”. This past week we managed to reclaim the #2 spot. We have one more week of league play and think we’re rolling in the semis. Needless to say, we’re focusing our inner Lebowski and drinking plenty of White Russians to get ready for the ultimate showdown. One man, one ball and 10 pins. We’ll keep you posted, but you can check the standings here.
Sorry it has been so long since we have been updated the blog, I guess the winter season has been tough on everyone with work and winter activities.
My winter activities have been exclusively on skiing the Pacific Northwest, where I have been skiing, Crystal, Mount Baker and Stevens Pass. All places are around a 2 hour drive from Seattle and are so good for being so close to a metropolitan area.
The one item of gear I picked up in the beginning of the season is a ski helmet. I have never skied with a helmet before but after hearing of all the injuries that occur I decided my noggin was worth the $$$ for a new ski helmet. I settled on the Giro G10 which I am happy to say is an excellent purchase. It is light, has vents and keeps my head extremely warm, and had vents when I need to cool off. And once on the mountain I noticed that a majority of skiers and boarders wear helmets now, not just the little kids.
The reason I was called to action today to write this post is reading the news that Natasha Richardson, the actress was apparently injured in a tragic ski accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury. It is horrible news and hope she is fine and that this does not happen to anybody out there, and the two best methods to avoid this are to ski safely and wear a helmet.
As a runner I have always had problems with my shoelaces becoming untied during a run. I finally learned how to tie a proper knot, a reef knot, that will keep your shoelaces tied on those long runs.
I wrote a little how to on eHow.com, one of my favorite sites.
Check it out here – How to tie a shoe for runners
My favorite method lacing up a shoe is below, but I do not recommend for running
I know it has been awhile since we have communicated, I guess the December holiday season has been crushing everyone.
In the absence of original ideas and thoughts, I thought I would link to some of the genius ideas I have seen recently.
As always we will begin with Bacon, this being the bacon roll. I hope to attempt to execute this myself in the next few weeks after a little R&R
Well, with the Ibuprofen count officially under 4 a day, and the nightly icing rituals melted away, I thought it about darn time I relayed my NYC marathon story.
Let me first start by saying, how amazing all of the Dukes of Flatbush, particularly that guy I call my Husband, was through this whole process. A very sincere thanks to everyone for all of their well wishes, advice and encouragement along the way. And a particular shout out to the lady on First Ave and 96th St who was the ONLY person I didn’t know to call out my name- you will never know how much that helped. THANK-YOU!
I’ve taken a bit of time to write this for a lot of reasons. Partly because I needed to digest what exactly happened in those hours between 5 am and 6 pm on November 2nd, 2008, and partly because I really needed to get some rest! As I mentioned in my pre-marathon post, I was really looking forward to the two-week taper. My body, particularly my right knee and calf, were really giving me hell, and I was in an almost constant state of pain. I sought out the services of an acupuncturist, which helped tremendously, but even still I did not go into Marathon day in top form.
I’ll get this negative stuff out of the way, because as the administrator of this noble blog said- “It’ll be cathartic”. I’ll admit, I was pretty disappointed about not being in top shape on Marathon Day. After 2 + months of training, to be feeling rather questionable about your ability to perform is a bit of a lousy feeling. I didn’t play many team sports as a kid, so maybe this is something everyone else is used to by 32- I am not. I didn’t play through an ankle sprain and kick the winning goal. I didn’t get the MVP for getting two teeth knocked out and staying in the game to score four 3 pointers. I was a cheerleader- I broke my elbow doing a high kick and sat out the rest of the season out. Simply put, I’ve never played through the pain, it’s just not what I do.
OK, that feels better.
So there I was on the Saturday before Marathon Day, with perfect weather (crisp and partly cloudy with high of 50F) to look forward to, and I was a nervous friggin’ wreck about my knee. I went out for a long walk when a friend and fellow Marathoner called to ask how I was feeling. I described myself as the Owner of a Best in Show Contender at the Westminster Dog Show who had to leave Madison Square garden to go get a hotdog because they were too nervous to watch. This training process had done a lot of strange things to my mind, but this was getting out of hand. I was now simultaneously the Best in Breed, the trainer and the Owner. This had to stop!
What was the worst that could happen? “You could do real damage to your knee and wind up in serious trouble, Idiot,” I told myself. OK, fair enough, but really what are we talking about? Collapse in Williamsburg? Ambo in Central Park? I told myself that I could walk if I needed to, and in all honesty, that was fine. “There are plenty of people that walk, it’s not about the time. More importantly, it’s about finishing and raising funds for Jack’s Fund I reminded myself. Well, either the Viszla inside developed language skills or I was being to make sense. Either way, I was calm enough to go home and start the process of unwinding- 5 am does come early.
Per usual, I didn’t sleep much. It was a cold morning, but the spirit of the day most certainly got me out the door and onto the Subway Platform by 6 am. If your listening Mr or Mrs NYC Marathon Logistics Manager Man or Woman, I have to admit, I don’t think the Wave Start plan worked as well as you hoped. There were many, many runners that were in the 10:20 am start that had 5:30 am ferry or 4:30 am bus times. Doesn’t seem that it was the best use of staggered starts to then have people crowding the Staten Island Ferry terminal to stay warm before heading out into the sub 40 degree temp. But, I’m just saying. As I mentioned before, I consider myself a wimp. I know everyone talks about how amazing the Marathon Village is before the race, and how much fun it is to walk around and such, but I was freezing, so I stayed in the Ferry terminal till 8:30 before hoping on the bus to Fort Wadsworth.
Once there, I realized that there was a whole flurry of activity going on, and I clearly was not the only one that was a bag of nerves! People were literally walking in circles, too anxious and cold to sit, but too sore from months of training to move too fast! 9:30 am marked the end of Bag Check and in those few moments before I saw every type of salve, cream, gel you could imagine being applied to any and all body parts. Without shame, I too, joined the Vaseline’d Masses and got myself prepped for the race.
Before I knew it, we were lined up and stripping away our “give away” warm up gear. Without realizing it was really happening we were moving en masse up the platform up to the start line at the base of the bridge. Of course, Bruce Springstein’s Born To Run was playing on the speakers as I crossed over the start line. I chuckled to myself and smiled as I took off up the Verranzano Bridge and looked out over to Manhattan in the distance. I overheard someone say, “Doesn’t it look so far away?”. And strangely to me, it didn’t.
Coming into Brooklyn, I felt great. There was a dull pain in my knee, but it felt manageable. The tightness in my calf had subsided, I felt well rested, my digestive tract co-operated earlier and in all honesty, I felt like I was about to have the run of my life. Once on Fourth Avenue, I could see the Williamsburg Saving and Loan Building in the distance.
I live in Fort Greene, which is just past that at mile 8 so I settled in for an easy cruise up Fourth Ave, knowing that I would get a Dukes Welcome at the end of my block.
Luckily, my Husband brought out the Stick to the end of the road for a bit of mile 8 ITB release.
By this point, I was starting to question that “run of my life” comment. My knee was starting to feel very tight and tender, and each time I flexed my knee back after taking a step, it hurt even more. I slowed down from my 9 minute mile pace to a 9:30 for the next two miles to see where I was at. By mile 10 on Bedford Avenue, I stopped for a few moments to stretch out to see if I could loosen the ITB- it was beginning to feel like a rubber band being snagged on the outside of my knee with each step. No such luck. I stopped at the next Medical Tent to see if they had a Stick- for some reason this made sense to me, but of course they didn’t.
I was only 10 miles in, and here I was contemplating that I might have to serious consider walking for a bit. But walking on my right knee didn’t feel any better. The way I thought about it, it would just take longer and therefore hurt for longer. So I took off on my left leg, and just gently used my right foot to balance myself out. With that first step, I set my mind to running the remaining 16 miles on my left leg. Now I know this sounds insane, and of course it is. But it’s basically what happened. I stopped at two medical tents to have them tape up my knee to keep it from bending too far back, and I went about the business of getting through it.
Just passed seeing another group of friends at mile 14 in Long Island City, the pain was so bad that I stopped, folded over and started to cry. I don’t know if it was the pain, the frustration at my 11 minute pace or what, but I was pissed. All of this training, the resting, the icing, the balanced friggin’ nutrition, the Tetolling- I couldn’t believe it was coming to this. I think I even let out a bit of a Blue Streak- sorry to any kids that may have been nearby. After I few minutes, I got myself back together and got back to the business of the left sided shuffle. If it took me 7 hrs, I was gonna finish this thing.
I had been warned about the 59th St Bridge. With no crowds on either side, and the vibration of the runners pounding the expanse, it can be both daunting and exhilarating I was told.
As I made it up the incline, I got into a bit of a rhythm with the my new left sided gait and I was starting to settle in a bit. Just as I crested the bridge I realized that it truly “all down hill from here”. Not exactly the best thing for someone experiencing ITB pain, but you get the metaphor.
First Ave was pretty unbelievable.
Looking up those 50 or blocks and seeing a river of runners moving up the canyon of skyscrapers is a pretty remarkable site. There are so many spectators at this point too; never before have I felt greeted with such welcome arms to Manhattan. That said; I basically put my head down and wobbled my way up the Avenue, knowing that my Dukes Cheering Section was just 4 miles away.
By the time I got to mile 18, I realized that stopping to stretch was not a good idea; it became increasingly difficult to get started again and was more painful each time. It was also at that point that I realized that despite my difficulties, I was still within shot of my goal of sub 4:30. To do so, I would have to shave about 30 seconds off of my mile pace. One thing that has always been true during my training is that I tend to speed up after I get over the hump and enter the last 3rd of a run. Would that be true this time was the question.
I’ll spare you the grunting, wincing, cursing blow by blow of the last 8 miles, but they were the most intense of my life. The crowds down 5 Avenue and in Central Park were amazing. To each of the crazy spectators with the large “Beer” signs, thank-you for the laughs.
But I think this sign had to be the best-
With one last glance at my husband at the 26 mile mark, I ran those last .2 miles with tears in my eyes and a fullness in my heart that I will hold with me for the rest of my life.
At 4:28: 53, I can now say I know what it feels like to have made my own goal, banged up knee and all.
A week plus later, and I am not quite ready to tackle the pavement just yet. I might go back to Pilates for a bit, maybe even consider taking a Yoga class. I’m waiting for all of the swelling to go down to figure out what to do about my knee. I figure it makes sense to see what is just a result of all that training, and what may or may not be a lasting result before going to see a Doctor. To be honest I don’t want to know yet, I’d rather just bask in the glory for a bit longer.
Well, folks, I’m in the final stretch and, I will admit, I’ve never been so thankful to ONLY be running 25 miles in a week! After two weeks of 35+ miles, my knees and calves are definitely starting to act up, and I too, now know the pain that is ITB Syndrome. Ice, Ibuprofen, The Stick- these now are my very dear friends. But this is not new news, almost everyone I’ve talked to says that the two weeks of taper are not only the most welcome of the process, but also the most needed to get the bod back in shape and healed up for the LAST big day. It’s funny, I never thought about it like this before, but the marathon is not just one day, it’s 90+ days of getting your @$! out there and going for a run even when it’s the last thing in the world you want to do. I am still in awe that I have made it this far. With my big runs behind me, it all feels like down hill from here.
For my last 20 miler, I ran from the Brooklyn Promenade, across the Brooklyn Bridge, across Wall Street, up the West Side Highway, across Central Park South, and then over to the 59th street bridge. Next, up to Roosevelt Island for a loop, then back over the Pulaski Bridge into Brooklyn for the victory 5 miles back along Kent Ave and the Navy Yard. I thought I might be going insane around mile 18 when inner my monologue turned into a full on debate between three disparate voices- the one telling me to stop- Ms Whiney, the one telling me to get my act together- Ms Tough Gurl, and the one telling Ms Tough Gurl to “DIG DEEP” and “YELL LOUDER”- Ms GET IT DONE. When I end a long training run, I always ask myself if I have the remaining miles to 26.2 in me. As I rounded the corner at the end of that run, I asked myself if I had another 6 in me. Thankfully, Ms GET IT DONE answered, and the response went something like this. “HELLS YES!”
My 16 miler in Tampa, Florida last weekend, while not as entertaining, was quite a feat. Down in Tampa for a wedding, I had to make an early break from the post rehearsal dinner festivities to get some rest for the 8:30am 16 miler the day of the wedding! Who am I? My sister plotted the course for me along the Upper Tampa Bay Trail , which is really something many urbanites don’t see much. 8 miles of paved trail through lush forest, along a canal, with water stops every 1/2 mile- crazy! Even though it was over 85 degrees, that run felt like cake walk to the week before. A bit of soreness around mile 12, but I stretched it out and kept running, it was only 16 miles after all.
Now, I’m all about the recuperation. I’m looking forward to my afternoon dose of Ibuprofen, an easy four mile jog and perhaps an Epson Salt Bath tonight. With my last two big runs behind me and only a 6 on the horizon for this weekend, I’m feeling great.
Oh, yeah, and that 26.2 the week after, but, I got that one- “NO PROBLEM!”
Received this transmission and just had to share. Submitted by a roving wild-man adventurer who we’ll call Hazard. Shit is so ill – makes me long for the mountains:
I have been back from Yosemite for almost a week and trying to re-adjust to “normal” life. Just wanted to share a few photos. I went to Yosemite on September 7th to meet my friend JW and climb for two weeks. C joined us on the 12th for five days as well and we gave JW some time to prepare for his El Capitan (ed: !!!) climb. JW was planning to do the ascent the week of September 22nd with a German climber, Felix. Unfortunately Felix got sick the second day and they had to rappel down from the climb.
JW and I did mostly cragging, which consists of short multipitch climbs. The valley was very dry but the temperatures were perfect and there were not too many tourists. After September 15th there was a large influx of climbers including three very famous climbers. JW could tell you their names; I don’t pay that much attention.
The most noteworthy climb we did was Royal Arches. It’s a famous climb set up in 1931 by a climber staying at the Awanie Hotel. He was convinced that he could find a route up the cliff face to the top. After several failed attempts, and one bout of heat stress, he finally did. The climb is 16 pitches (rope lenths) long and about 2,400 feet high. In 1931, when the climb was first established, it was rated a 5.7. Most climbers today would agree that it is significantly harder. In 1931 the hardest rating was a 5.9, today the hardest routes are rated 5.16d.
Hazard being sweet
JW and I started climbing at 6:00 a.m. in the morning. We climbed non-stop and finished the last pitch of the climb at 9:00 p.m. at night. We bivied on a small but comfortable ledge and the next morning hiked 8 miles up over the ridge by North Dome and then back to Camp 4. We finally arrived back in Camp 4 around 3:00 a.m. and promptly went to the Awanie to celebrate.
Gotta say, that’s a totally serious effort. Arches may not be the most technical, retarded-spiderman climb, but 16 pitches and a night spent on the rock in Yosemite should qualify as righteous in anyone’s book. Rock on with your bad-ass self Hazard & thanks for sharing.
I can’t say that I was looking forward to running the NYC Marathon Tune-up this weekend, per se, but I was looking forward to seeing how my mind and body were going to deal with the added mileage. After the very amusing walking hallucinatory state that Reach the Beach put me in, I will admit, I was looking forward to meeting that stranger I have heard so much about over the last few years- “The Wall”.
With the Tune-up miles locked in, I needed to add two extra miles to the start to meet my 20 mile run requirement for the week. This meant a 5am wake-up, train to 57th street, then the 2.6 run up to the start at 102 st on the East Side for a 7am start. (I know, boo-hoo, but hey, it’s my first marathon and I’ll moan if I want to!) After a bit of a battle with shin splints after an 18 miler to Coney Island last weekend, I will admit, I wasn’t feeling all that strong going into Sunday’s race/ run. I had been slow all week, and just couldn’t seem to get the lead out. I knew it was gonna be another difficult one when I stepped out of the house that morning- it was muggy and already 70 degrees– oh dear.
By the time I arrived at the start after my warm-up, I was already drenched with sweat. The humidity was at 93%, and I was praying for the sky to open up- no such luck. Knowing my body, I resolved to take it slow and just see what running with the crowd felt like, and listen to what my mind and body were doing and just take it nice and easy. After 3 miles I realized I was running a 9:20 mile pace and there wasn’t a darn thing I could do about it- nice and easy was all I had.
Running loops is definitely not my preferred training method. Even though I have a pretty nifty hill mantra (I love hills, I love *%$@*&% hills), I don’t like to have to use it on the same hill again and again- it seems to lose efficacy. That said; round and round the park I went for a good 15 (17.5 for me) miles with all systems pretty much in check. Slow, but in check.
It was at mile 15 that I realized that I must have dropped my 3rd Gel Pack somewhere. Opps! It was also at this moment that I also started to feel really cold. From sweaty to shivering in a matter of seconds. “Why didn’t I eat breakfast this morning?” Fearing a premature introduction to “The Wall”, I assured myself that I was fine, and reminded myself of the “Gel” table just past Columbus Circle at the bottom of the park on Central Park South. “All good, just get around the corner”, I told myself.
Just as I inched around the corner, and felt my head fill with cotton and my feet turn into 100 lb weights, I noticed that the table was empty.
“Well, hello Mr. Wall. So nice to finally meet you in person.” Maybe some good manners might soften the blow, I thought.
And it did. He’s a funny fellow that Mr. Wall. We laughed for a few steps, talking about what a crazy fool I am for taking this on. I should still be in bed, he’s right. Or better yet, glass of wine and a cozy couch. I know it’s only 9:30 am, but I’ve been up for almost 5 hours. TAXI!
We talked for a few more steps as warmth started to return to my arms, and we got near the Gatorade table- oh sweet nectar! “Three more miles, eh?” he asked. And with that, I was off. “What the hell is 3 miles?” was I needed to ask myself.
Just as I hit the 16 mile mark, I looked down and saw the brand of Gel I prefer. “Oh, wouldn’t that be nice,” I thought to myself. Then I thought for a moment and tried to do some math. Surprising how difficult that can be. My last gel was at 10 miles, the park is 6 miles. 10 plus 6 equals…come on Math don’t fail me know- 16! Oh my, it’s my Gel! Without thinking of how dirty NYC truly is (read: Horses in Central Park), I turned around, scooped it up and slurped it down- delicious, yummy, goodness, I love you Gel!
I don’t know if I really needed it or not, but I’m not trying to be a hero. Could I have run this race faster, sure? Should I have eaten breakfast? Yes! Will I run faster than a 9:40 pace on Marathon day? I don’t know. All I do know is that I ran 20 miles this weekend and I met “The Wall”- hopefully they will both be as gentle the next time we meet.
This note was delivered this morning by winged foot messenger form an intrepid Northland Duke…..glory was his this weekend and he’s kind enough to share.
This note was delivered this morning by winged foot messenger form an intrepid Northland Duke…..glory was his this weekend and he’s kind enough to share.
My Esteemed Dukes,
It is with great honor and sense of obligation that I have joined your exalted ranks. As a sign of my good faith and dedication, immediately upon returning to my native lands I set about a conquest to claim lands for the ever expanding Flatbush empire to the north. I am pleased to report that the summit of Mt. Katahdin was claimed for the Dukes as well as all territory visible from its summit (see attached picture). All vassals encountered upon the way were made to grovel before the Flatbush flag, and I would have dispatched any Los Compadres encountered, but I am sad to report that none were spotted. Becoming hungry during our expedition, I hunted down one of Maine’s alpine parakeets with my bare hands. My trusty assistant is seen in the second picture holding our substantial feast immediately prior to roasting.
For the glory of the empire!
Res Firma Nitescere Nescit
-The Duke of the North
All this running is great and all, but, without getting too personal, it’s not without its maladies- muscle soreness, joint swelling, tendinitis, you name it. I went into this weekend’s Reach The Beach Relay with some pretty serious battle wounds, namely 4 blisters on my feet in all the wrong places– the back of both heals and underneath each of my big toes. I will be honest and admit these are not from training; they were all my reward for the awful transition from flips flops and Birk’s to the dreaded dress shoe. Ugh.
Knowing that 2 days of running would put those blisters through the paces, I invested in a box of Dr. Scholl’s Blister Treatment Pads in hopes of protecting the now open blisters from getting rubbed raw and terrorizing my every step. While the box promises they will stay in place for up to a week and goes on and on about how you are going to have to soak with water water to remove, I can assure you these suckers can barely hang on for three miles, let alone a few hours!
In all fairness, while they were in place, they definitely provided a much needed cushion between the open wound and my sock, making it much easier to run than if there was nothing there at all. Further, I know it’s not totally fair to put these things up to such a challenge as a 208 mile over night relay race as a product review, but seriously. At almost $1 per pad, they should stay on for at least a few miles. Unfortunately, for all they promise-
* Helps heal and prevent blisters
* Stays comfortably in place
* Thin and flexible to conform to the heel and other areas of the foot
* Sterilized for safe use on open blisters
* Nearly invisible
I think they only thing they succeed at is being sterile, which while in an overnight endurance race (read: no shower) is very useful in treating wounds.
So, the search continues for a comfortable blister treatment. Until then, I guess it’s back to a sterile pad and moleskin for me.
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