Showing posts with label DC. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DC. Show all posts

March 8, 2017

5 Spring Race Day Tips

Even though the weather can’t make up its mind, it will soon officially be spring. In the Mid-Atlantic region, that means ALL the races as the weather warms up.  I know many people are running the Rock ‘n’ Roll DC Marathon and 1/2 Marathon this weekend. I have the past three years (2015 race recap here), but am holding off a couple weeks before racing long distance because I haven’t quite built my mileage up enough.

I will be, however, be running the KELLY Shamrock 5K with most of Baltimore on Sunday, and can’t wait (2015 race recap here). It’s not going to be fast, but that race is pretty easy-going. I've run it 4 years, and it's always a fun, city-wide event. Spring may mean the first race of a new racing season for many runners. Here are some of my tips for the first race of the spring racing season.


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5 Spring Race Day Tips

1. Lay out your clothes and gear the night before. 
I do this before every race, but it’s especially important if it’s been a few months since you’ve raced. Make sure all your gear is together and that you aren’t forgetting anything. Charge your phone, running watch, or iPod if need be too! You don’t want to be scrambling around in the AM looking for your fuel belt, headphones, gloves, or clean running clothes.
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2. Run with friends. 
I love running with friends in general but especially for the first race of the season it can help keep the pressure off yourself and keep things fun. The first race of the season is usually not a goal race for me. I look at it as more of a warm-up for the copious other spring races. Keeping pace with a friend can keep you motivated and help you pace yourself in the beginning of the race.

3. Start slowly. 
The first race of the season can be super exciting, especially once you are the start line and have the energy of the crowd and fellow runners. It’s super easy to get caught up in starting too fast at the beginning instead of pacing yourself. You don’t want to use up all your energy at the start or it could be a longgggg race. Trust me.

4. Dress in Layers. 
At least in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, spring race weather is very unpredictable. I’ve run races in March and April where it was freezing cold or unseasonably warm. I always grab some throwaway clothes from Goodwill. I also have few pairs of arm warmers that I love to race in when it’s cool at the race start, but not cold enough for long sleeves because I can pull them down during the race. Dress in layers you can easily take off and toss as well as have layers like a pullover available at the finish line for when you cool down after the race.
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5. Have fun. 
The first race of the spring season I am usually a bit under trained after taking some time off and adding more cross-training into my routine. That is even more true this season as I’m rebuilding after an injury. This first race of the season is a benchmark for where you are at so learn from it. Reflect on where you are right now and what your goals for the rest of the year are, but don’t get discouraged. Think about the positives, decide what you want to work on after the race, and stay motivated through the season. Have fun and enjoy the race! 

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Yet again, this will be me after the Shamrock 5K!
I linked this post up with the Half Marathon Race Tips link-up below. Check out all the awesome posts!




Do you usually run your first of the season for fun or to target a goal? What's your first competition or race this season? 

April 21, 2016

Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Miler 2016 Race Recap

Disclosure: I was a social media ambassador for the CUCB 10 Mile Run and received complimentary entry with an upgrade into the race. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

It's been so crazy with school, work, and travelling that I'm happy to finally get back into a little bit of a blog routine! It has been two years since I've run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run and running it again only reminded me how much I love this race.  Despite high winds and cold temperatures this year, I had a fabulous time.  Thank you so much to CUCB for letting me be a part of the race as one of the social media ambassadors! 

Cherry Blossom Ten Miler 2016 Race Recap

Pre-race: I actually stopped by the expo Friday afternoon to beat the rush and grab my bib despite coming back to the expo on Saturday.  The expo was in the beautiful National Building Museum again and everything ran smoothly.  

credit-union-cherry-blossom-10-miler-recap-expo

I was hanging out at the ZOOMA Race Series booth for a while but first I stopped by to see Meb speak. The line that was forming on the right was really short so I hopped in to meet him afterwards. As everyone says, he comes off as such a nice guy. I wish they had the mic a little louder because it was hard to hear! 

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I also can't freaking believe I met MEB! He's an American hero! He is also the nicest guy and after he signed an autograph, and I started gushing about how I watched the whole Olympic trials and explained to my boyfriend everything that was going on like a nerd, he gave me a spontaneous hug. MADE MY DAY. 

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The next day I was lucky enough to have a hotel room in DC so I popped back over to expo to pick something up and decided to hop into the line to meet Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first ever women's Olympic marathon champion and all-around badass femalre runner, because the line was short.  Here's us just having a totally normal conversation. No I'm not gushing and nervously talking about getting a BQ in Chicago. (I'm the nerdiest.)  

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That night I got to attend the VIP Elite dinner and finally got to meet all of the other social media runners and ambassadors I haven't met yet.  The joke of dinner was how all the elites were sneaking out to go to bed and get a good night's sleep. Instead I stayed the whole time and then went out for a drink with my friend in DC because #priorities. 

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That day we had gotten an email that because of predicted high winds of 25+ mph and maybe up to 50 mph, that the race was not having any signage on the course as a safety precaution. The weather was supposed to also be in the 30s which is just lovely. Isn't it supposed to be spring? I dressed warmer than I probably could have but wasn't really having any of this cold weather.  I also did what you really shouldn't do for a race and wore my brand new New Balance kicks. Rebel

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Race: Besides the wind and cold temperatures, the race start was a beautiful morning.  The start was a little hectic with no signage but the volunteers did a great job. I will say that the big open area around the Washington Monument was the windiest part!

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I did a little jog to the start line and pretty much stood around like this until getting in my corral: 
credit-union-cherry-blossom-10-miler-recap-start

I came into the race with really no time goals and was just going to try to run around 7:45 pace.  Miles 1-4 I was feeling pretty good. The first mile was a little crowded but things started to break up, and we weren't running much against the wind.  I took it easy and allowed my legs to start to warm up.  

April 1, 2016

CUCB Goals & No-Bake Protein Confetti Mug Cake

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary sample pack of Naked Nutrition protein for review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

This weekend I'll be running the Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC, and I'm pretty excited! The last time I ran the race was in 2013 (read my race recap here) so it'll be great to be back.  

Goal wise, I really just want to have fun (Goal A) and run sub-1:20 (Goal B).

 I ran it in 1:13 and change in 2013, but don't know how I'll be feeling this weekend. The cherry blossoms have already hit peak bloom so I have a chance of seeing some flowers. Also it's supposed to be cold & windy with sub-40 degrees at the start which is not my favorite. School plus work plus other obligations has really messed with my schedule so there have been a lot of missed runs and workouts in the past month. I'm ready to get back on track in April, especially with all these races, but don't think I'm in any sort of PR shape! 

I'm also really excited to be running as a social media ambassador for the race and hopefully getting to see Joan Benoit Samuelson and Meb Keflezighi. Yes, I will be run-nerding it out hardcore.  I read Meb is running a cool 6:00/mile pace if you want to try to keep up! Check out this list of Five Things To Know Before Heading to the CUCB for some pre-race weekend tips. 


 I know there's lots of people running so definitely say hi if you see me! 

A couple months ago, Naked Nutrition reached out to me and offered me some samples of their protein powders to try out.  


CUCB Goals & No-Bake Protein Confetti Mug Cake-naked nutrition protein

While "clean-eating" is a trendy term being thrown around all over the place in the food industry, I was excited to try their protein powders because they offered so many different types including whey, casein, brown rice, pea, and goat whey protein powders
CUCB Goals & No-Bake Protein Confetti Mug Cake-nakednutritionprotein2

They have vegan options and all of their protein powders are soy & gluten-free, GMO and hormone-free, and free of any artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors. My favorite part of all is that all of their protein powders include one ingredient-protein! In a sea of protein powders that contain ingredients I can't pronounce, this is awesome.  


CUCB Goals & No-Bake Protein Confetti Mug Cake-nakednutritionwhey
Here's the nutritional information from the Whey protein sample packet
I used a bit of all the different types of protein in shakes and couldn't tell much of a texture or taste difference, so I think it just depends on what type of protein you prefer 

Naked Nutrition had a bunch of delicious looking protein recipes on their website so I decided to try one out to see how their protein tastes in other  things besides shakes. I adapted this basic vanilla no-bake cake in a bowl from Naked Nutrition and decided to make it in a mug and use sprinkles to make it a confetti cake.  You can always adapt it to what you have on hand or what kind of cake you're craving! 

I also used the Naked brown rice protein powder in this recipe. I love that this version is vegan (gluten, dairy, and soy-free too) as well as packs 25 g of protein and 4.9 grams of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) per serving, making it great for a post-workout snack. It also tasted really well in the microwaved mug cake with no weird flavors. 

CUCB Goals & No-Bake Protein Confetti Mug Cake

August 17, 2015

Chicago Marathon 2015 Training Recap {Weeks 7&8} & SPIbelt Giveaway

Disclosure: I was sent a complimentary SPIbelt to review and another to giveaway to readers. As always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.  

{Read about Weeks 1&23&4, 5&6 of my training} Weeks 7 and 8 mark the almost halfway point of training. It's stressful and crazy. I just booked my flights to Chicago so I hope everything works out with my school schedule since it'll be right around midterms. Yikes

I've also got a mini review & giveaway for SPIbelt after my training recap below so enter away!

Be sure to check out the hashtag #breathedeeplyandrunchi on Twitter and Instagram for more snippets of my training! 

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#breathedeeplyandrunchi

Chicago Marathon 2015 Training Recap

Week 7

Week 7 was an okay week of training.  I had some speedwork at PR day at November Project, went to a Crossfit class, and did a couple easy treadmill runs. I spent the long weekend with my family in New Jersey which always throws me off because of all the eating and family time, but I managed to sneak in a quick treadmill run and got my long run done.

August 10, 2015

Weekend Updates featuring City Sports Baltimore, Blogger Brunch, and Minor Training Snags

I had a super busy weekend and am definitely feeling sluggish this dreary Monday morning. More coffee, please?

Friday I got in a quick run followed by ice cream from Harbor Market and then ran some errands.

 I stopped by City Sports in Harbor East to grab a few things from their closing sale. Unfortunately that location is closing up (not relocating!) and everything was 20% off with sale prices marked. I got a Nathan water bottle waist pack that I had my eye on for a while and stocked up on more fuel including Honey Stinger vanilla waffles and energy gels.  Check them out and stock up on sports and running supplies while they are having the sale through the rest of the month! 

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Saturday I headed down to DC for a fabulous blogger brunch.  I popped into SculptDC for a 45 minute AM cycling class that definitely had me sweating.  It was my first time there and liked it because it was easy to get to from Union Station and had a $15 first-time drop in fee along with showers.  

After getting cleaned up I headed over to Matchbox Chinatown for a nice blogger brunch hosted by the DC Trifecta ladies.  I was a little tired but loved chatting with local fitness bloggers and meeting new people. It was also awesome to finally meet hosts Mar and Courtney in person for the first time as well as see my fellow ZOOMA Annapolis ambassador Cynthia again! 

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Follow all these ladies if you aren't already! 
From back left : AnnaColleenKylie,Sharita, Courtney, DiattaCoCoAlexisMarSue, ME!CynthiaChaitali, and Bri

I had a lovely watermelon lemonade cocktail to go with my crabcake eggs benedict. Thanks to Matchbox for taking such good care of us! On my way to meet up with a friend I treated myself to a little red velvet cupcake as well. 

May 27, 2015

Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon 2015 {Race Recap}

Disclaimer: I received a free 3-pack Tourpass through my Rock ‘n’ Blog ambassadorship. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own.

I ran the DC Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon in 2014 and thought the race was just okay. I honestly wasn't planning on running it again this year until I found myself with a Rock 'n' Roll Tourpass (thanks to being a Rock 'n' Blogger) for 3 races with not much money to travel far. While I appreciated the course a lot more this time around, overall it was a crappy race for me.  

Mostly because of the cold, rainy weather. 

This is partially a pity party because I was not enjoying myself for most of the race so apologies if that's annoying. 

rock-n-roll-dc-half-marathon-2015-race-recap

I'm pretty sure this race used to be the National marathon and 1/2 but officially is now the DC marathon and 1/2.  I'm luckily my best friend lives in D.C. so I always crash at her place the night before any races I run in the area.  

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Expo: 

I headed down to DC after work Friday and just the trek was much less unpleasant this year since the expo was at the Convention Center not the Stadium Armory.  Brooks Running is a sponsor of the race series and had an awesome area called their Run Happy Island with a tiki bar to show off their shoes and some games. I was flying solo for this expo, so I had some time to walk around and check everything out.  
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Of course I stopped at the Rock 'n' Roll Race Series booth as I dreamed of running a race abroad. 

April 28, 2014

NWM DC Half Marathon Recap: That time I met Shalane Flanagan!

So I ran the Nike Women's DC half marathon again and liked it more than last year! I have lots of photos for this post so sorry it's so long! They had tons of advertising in metro stations near the race course and expo which was cool. I still think it's annoying to have to trek out to Georgetown for the expo but understand how it fits their race image.  

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 I was rushing around on Saturday morning to catch a train from Baltimore down to DC, knowing how last year I had to wait about an hour in line to grab my race bib. I forgot my race fuel and socks when I was packing so had to pick some up in DC, whoops.  I managed to get to the expo and wait in line for only 5 minutes before I had my bib-win! They also gave you the race tee with your bib pickup, instead of after the race like last  year.  I forgot that the Nike women's sizing runs small though so my size small shirt is cozy. 

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April 25, 2014

We Run DC this Weekend: When Goals Change

Well before I get to more Boston fun I suppose I should mention I'm running the Nike Women's DC half again this year.  And the race is this weekend.  How did that sneak up on me?
Photo: Race weekend in DC has officially begun.

Head over to Washington Harbour to pick up your packet and check out all the perks in the Expotique.

THU: 12:00PM – 8:00PM
FRI: 10:00AM – 8:00PM
SAT: 8:00AM – 6:00PM
from the Nike Women's Race Series page
I ran this race last year (read about it here and here!) and while I had some mixed feelings about the expo and race, I decided to run it again as a Truebar-fueled athlete sponsored by Bakery on Main. I love having Truebars before or after runs. I usually eat half a bar before a run and the other half afterwards before I make another snack!  I like the fairly flat course and a little blue box from Tiffany's never hurts. I saw via social media that Shalane will be there again, and I'm secretly hoping to meet her.  It was amazing coming across the finish line and slapping her hand last year.  

Had some Truebars with me to watch the Boston Marathon!

May 2, 2013

Just Another Nike Women's Half DC Recap Part 2

Here's to the actual Nike Women's Half Marathon race! Part 1 recap is here if you missed!

The race started at 7 AM and as always I was got into the 7:30-8:59 corral with 15 minutes to spare. I was really anxious and slept really crappy, getting only about 5 hours of sleep including me waking up in a panic in the middle of the night. I was also nervous because I was kind of in the front and had lots of room in my corral. Oh yeah and I started flipping out because I was right next to the stage where OMG Shalane Flanagan was. 


She is my running idol, and I just read the issue of Runner's World  with her and Kara Goucher on the cover so it was a big deal.  They had Shalane and Joan Benoit Samuelson there for a moment of silence for Boston.  Both of them were "jogging" the 13.1 miles. You know, just an easy run, haha. I saw Shalane at one point around mile 4, and it totally pushed me. 


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My legs had been really tight from cross-training all week and even though I did my best to foamroll and stretch all week but it didn't seem to help much race day. My goal was to run sub 1:40, or a 7:30 pace. The run itself was pretty basic though I had never run through a tunnel so that was really fun, minus how it messed up my Garmin satellites so my pace and distance seemed a little inaccurate.  


I thought Nike did a great job having water and Nuun about every 2 miles with lots of volunteers.  The course was mostly flat, which is nice, but I was a little disappointed that most of it was like the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler which I had just run.  It actually got a little boring, especially that stretch around Mile 8, that is completely straight.  There were no on course photographers for me to try to smile at which I thought was pretty lame of Nike, especially with the hefty registration fee. 

This race was also the first time I had to stop and use a port a potty during a race. It was mostly my anxiety and nerves, but thank goodness I didn't have to wait for one to be open.  Around Mile 8 or so I found a 7:30 pacer (I didn't know Nike was having pacers?) so to keep pushing myself during my hardest miles 8-10, I kept up with the pace group.  This race was a really mental one for me where I had to push out all the negative thoughts saying my legs were too tight and that I wasn't good enough.  


May 1, 2013

Just Another Nike Women's DC Half Recap Part 1

Well, like many others I too ran the Nike Women's Inaugural DC Half this weekend.  I've always read great things about the Nike events and really wanted to run their San Francisco marathon or half marathon so I jumped on the chance when I read they were doing an inaugural race in DC! It's a female focused, Nike focused race which is super popular because you get a special Tiffany's necklace in lieu of a medal.  

What lady doesn't  love a little blue box after running 13.1 miles? 

NikeWomenDCHalfRecapPart1

Since the races are so popular there is a lottery to ensure a field of only 15,000 runners.  I was accepted automatically through the college student registration which still had a hefty registration fee of a little less than the normal $160, but still, that's the most I've ever paid (and probably will) for a race. I think you are pretty much paying for that Tiffany's swag.

My best friend lives in DC, and I just crashed on her couch for the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler so she didn't  mind seeing me again :)  I got down to the city on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon the day prior to the race. I was expecting it to be crowded, and it was. The Georgetown Nike store was mobbed because it was full of Nike race gear, and the expo was in a tent a few blocks away near the water.  

When I got there the line for packet pickup was around 0.25 miles long. YIKES!  

The boyfriend went to go grab us Baked and Wired cupcakes for lunch (best cupcakes in Georgetown, IMO) which included a big red velvet cupcake for me.   The line ended up moving pretty quickly, but still, it was long. Finally I picked up my bib and pace wristband that I needed to get into the corral and headed to the Expotique. 

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I was really disappointed with this.  The tent was small and crowded. It only had major sponsors such as Luna bar and Nuun, which had samples of what they would have on the course, along with Team in Training.  

The main focus I felt was the Nike shoes and the limited edition collection of NWM DC shoes.  

They had a little game where you could type in a code on three different wall spots to see if you won a prize which was neat, but again, it was crowded so less fun than it seemed.  The limited edition Nike shoes are very pretty and an appropriate Tiffany blue color but a little expensive for my budget.  I ended up getting the half zip (pre-birthday gift to myself) from the Nike Store which was less crowded on the way back. 

 I also got to find my name on the wall outside the Nike store with all the runners names which I thought was really cool.  Afterwards I had a fairly relaxing afternoon and dinner to gear up for the race the next morning.  

Next up, race recap Part 2 of the actual race :) Keep reading!

April 26, 2013

Friday Favorites 4/26/13

 I'm super excited to be running the Nike Women's DC Half this weekend! I'm starting to feel sick today (OH NO!) so I'm loading up on vitamin C, echinacea, and getting lots of rest! I'll be rocking a black running skirt, black arm warmers, and mint green sassy tank I made so if you're running it, look out for me! I'm getting into DC tomorrow and worried about all the crowds of lady runners since it seems like everyone is running this. I am hoping to make a little informal Sweat Pink Ambassador meet up for some cupcakes so hopefully I can get around the city quickly.

NikeWomensHalfMarathon

Getting a Tiffany's necklace at the finish is going to be pretty baller also. 

NikeWomensHalfMarathon

 Anyways, once again it is Friday so here are some things I'm loving lately!

1. Favorite Nighttime Snack: 
AlmondDreamBar
I've have finished off a box of these this week. It's the perfect little non-dairy dessert for only 100 calories per sandwich. It tastes like a regular ice cream sandwich and satisfies my late night sweet tooth!

2. Favorite Workout Song


April 9, 2013

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2013 Recap

This past Sunday's DC Cherry Blossom 10 Miler turned out to be a fabulous run! It was another one of those races where I felt I should have prepared more and ended up having a nice run anyways!

Saturday I headed over to the expo after getting into the city later in the afternoon. It was in the National Building Museum (I still don't know quite what that means), which is a gorgeous place to visit. Look at those pillars!
CherryBlossomTenMile2014_expo

Packet pick up was yet again organized,smooth, and not super crowded.  I picked up a few more BondiBands because I love how they keep all the layers of my hair in place and the sweat off my face. I decided to buy a black one that said "Run happy" on it for the race.  It's the Brooks Running motto, which I LOVE, and also is the vibe I wanted for the day.  The other big thing I wanted to do was sign up for the Baltimore Running Festival since I missed the super early bird pricing and they were offering a discount (more on that to registration to come!).


CherryBlossomTenMile2014_expo

Afterwards my boyfriend and I took advantage of the wonderful spring weather, including looking at some actual cherry blossoms in bloom! We split a snack at Good Stuff Eatery that included rosemary french fries and a toasted marshmallow milkshake with an actual toasted marshmallow and fluff in it. It was worth every calorie! Eventually we met up with my friend whose house we were crashing at.  We caught up over pizza and beer at Mellow Mushroom. I had a delicious vegetable pizza on a gluten free crust and a beer (or two).  I drank some chocolate Zico and water to rehydrate and fell asleep to a movie.

Due to my less than wholesome dinner and the terrible sleep I got, I was really anxious in the morning.  I took a warm-up jog to the metro, which was full of runners, and made it into the red corral with 10 minutes to spare! It was a lot colder than I had expected, so I was glad I wore my black arm sleeves from Saucony, which have become one of my new favorite running items.  

April 5, 2013

Pre-Cherry Blossom 10 Miler 2013

This Sunday I'll be running the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC!


CreditUnionCherryBlossomTenMiler


Cherry Blossom 10 Miler holds a special place in my heart. It was my PRD or longest distance at the time last year. I was so nervous and anxious last year. I had signed up for the 8:30 pace group but the pacer ended up running around 8:00 miles, so I finished in 1:20 and was elated. 

I was on such a great runner's high when I finished even though the cherry blossoms were past bloom and the day was gloomy.  I had the hugest smile on my face when I finished and remember feeling so good and strong.  I hope I feel that feeling again when I finish on Sunday.  Since I've run this race before, hopefully I'll be a little more relaxed about getting to the start line. 

CherryBlossomTenMile_1


The weather is predicted to be 72 degrees and sunny (according to weather.com as of 5 seconds ago). 72 DEGREES. That's warm. I'm going to wear a new Brooks running skirt so I'll report back-I hope there isn't chaffing! (#runnerproblems) I have brunch reservations at Old Ebbitt Grill after the race so that will be delicious. I'm hoping for some pretty blossoms, fast running, and a big smile on my face the whole time :) 

If you're down in DC for the race, lookout for me!
 
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