Thursday, March 27, 2008

0 CT5K Plan: Playing It By Ear.....


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So, my friend & I have recently decided to start the CT5K program from scratch (starting on Tuesday, 4/1/08) & then we'll see how it goes from there. We've decided that, if it's too easy, we'll just simply skip ahead & ramp up to the next week or two. Due to both of us experiencing setbacks in our exercise program, I think this is the wisest move right now.

Better to start at an easier point & skip ahead than to risk injury & burnout & move too quickly ahead. The whole point of the CT5K is to gradually reintroduce oneself to running, especially after a "timeout" period, & this certainly applies to our situation. ;-) Also, according to CT5K creator & running guru, Josh Clark, you're not supposed to be feeling tremendously sore after workouts. If you do, that's a sign that you need to scale it back to an earlier week. ;-)

I'm not being a wuss, I'm just being realistic & smart. So there!

Also, frankly, I'm dealing with a tremendous number of things right now (which I'd rather not elaborate upon in this blog right now, so please don't ask) that are making it hard for me to even get out the door. All I'll say is that my stress level is through the roof. So anything that lowers my resistance to running right now is a GOOD THING. ;-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

3 Time to Re-evaluate Again......


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I'm obviously not going to make my original goal timelines, due to my several-week-long absence from running (for reasons already heretofore explained ad naseum in this blog), so it's clear they need to be revised pronto.

So, let's examine the goals that are currently shown on the left sidebar, & see what we can do to revise them to a more realistic timetable. By we, I mean me, unless you plan to follow these goals too. ;-) ) OK, here goes:

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My original goals as currently shown on the sidebar (soon to change!):

Training Goals

WEEKLY GOALS (12/12/07-6/1/08):
--Stretch before & after all workouts.
--Run the BTHR program, 3x/wk.

--
100 crunches + 20 push-ups, 1x/wk.
--Multiple sets of 20 reps: leg lifts + 5-10 lb. barbell exercises,
1x/wk.
--Drink 8 8-oz. glasses of water a day.
--Follow the Abs Diet, eating 6x/day.
--Take multivitamins daily.

SHORT-TERM GOALS (12/12/07-6/1/08):
--Complete BTHR by 6/1/08.
--Lose 10 lbs. by 3/31/08.

LONG-TERM GOALS (12/12/07-12/31/09):
--Lose total of 15 lbs. by 4/30/08.
--Reduce BF% to 14-18% by 12/31/08.
--Run & successfully complete my 1st marathon.
--Follow Abs Diet Plan until wgt. loss ends, then follow modified Abs Diet + Canyon ranch meal plan for maintenance.
--Weight train regularly, starting with 1x/wk. Over next 1-2 yrs., do 50 pushups, 5oo sit-ups, 100 leg lifts, & bench-press body wgt.

Becoming A Two-Hour Runner (BTHR) Training Program (12/12-6/01/07)

Click here to see BTHR program plan in its entirety.

Here's what I've got left to do:


Phase 2: Becoming a 1.5-Hour Runner (✓)
Wk 2: 40
(✓), 48, 60. (148 min.)
Wk 3: 45, 50, 63. (158 min.)
Wk 4: 50, 54, 66. (170 min.)
Wk 5: 55, 58, 69. (182 min.)
Wk 6: 60, 62, 72. (194 min.)
Wk 7: 65, 67, 74. (206 min.)
Wk 8: 65, 71, 80. (216 min.)
Wk 9: 70, 75, 83. (228 min.)
Wk 10: 70, 80, 90. (240 min.)

Phase 3: Becoming a 2-Hour Runner
Wk 1: 75, 80, 90. (245 min.)
Wk 2: 75, 85, 93. (253 min.)
Wk 3: 80, 84, 96. (260 min.)
Wk 4: 80, 88, 100. (268 min.)
Wk 5: 85, 87, 102. (274 min.)
Wk 6: 85, 92, 105. (282 min.)
Wk 7: 90, 89, 108. (287 min.)
Wk 8: 90, 95, 111. (296 min.)
Wk 9: 90, 97, 115. (302 min.)
Wk 10: 90, 100, 120. (310 min.)

Race Calendar

6/21/08, 8:00 am - Run For the Roses 5K
7/19/08, 8:45 pm - Rockville Twilighter 8K


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Hmmmm. I had some fairly ambitious goals. Need to scale back & do another "test" run to see where my fitness is. I think I might start with some earlier stage of the CT5K program, but not too far back. Perhaps Week 4 or 5. And then, based on the results, will adjust accordingly.

Also, haven't weighed myself or taken BF% measurements recently, so need to see where I am on that front too. Ugh. Am dreading that bit. According to my last assessment I posted on my blog (whenever that was!), I thankfully didn't gain too much weight during my "illness-followed-by-inexcusable-sloth" period. I think I stated that I'd gained roughly 5 lbs., which to some of the skinny-minnies out there might seem like a lot, but since I'd lost 20+ lbs. previously, it's all relative. Granted, I'm not thrilled about the weight gain, but I don't want to dwell on it either. I think the better news was that my BF% wasn't that many percentage points up from what it was, at least not the last time I'd measured it. But again, it's been a while. OK, enough discussion on that topic. ;-)

Here's what I propose for my revised goals:

Training Goals

WEEKLY GOALS (3/26/08-5/30/08):
--Stretch before & after all workouts.
--Run the CT5K program, 2-3x/wk.

--
50 crunches + 10 push-ups, 1x/wk. (NOTE: Right now, I'm going to suspend this for the first week or so, as the top priority is to just get running, & avoid giving myself too many tasks at the outset, which will overwhelm me at this point. Can't think about anything but simple stuff, like just getting my rear out the door, which thus far, I've been unable to do.)
--Multiple sets of 20 reps: leg lifts + 5-10 lb. barbell exercises,
1x/wk. (NOTE: Will also add this aspect of training a bit later as well, as I still need to get out there & run for the first time in a few weeks! Baby steps.....)
--Drink 8 8-oz. glasses of water a day.
--Follow some semblance of the Abs Diet, eating 6x/day. (NOTE: It'd be more realistic right now for me to not be too regimented about this part, as that's what added too much pressure in the first place. So, I'll follow the spirit of the plan, but not the plan to a tee.)
--Take multivitamins daily. (That sounds reasonable enough.)

SHORT-TERM GOALS
(3/26/08-5/30/08):
--Complete CT5K by 5/30/08.
--Lose 5-10 lbs. by 5/30/08. (Not going to push my luck here. ;-) Just want to lose the pounds I gained right now & if I lose more then, "Great!")

LONG-TERM GOALS (3/26/08-12/31/10):
--Lose 15 lbs. by 8/30/08. (Again, very doable, modest goal.)
--Reduce BF% to 14-18% by 5/30/09.
--Run & successfully complete my 1st marathon, (let's say by 12/31/10, but realistically speaking, this goal's now a bit too far off to calculate with any sort of precision at this point). (We'll cross that bridge when we get to it!)
--Follow Abs Diet Plan until wgt. loss ends, then follow modified Abs Diet + Canyon ranch meal plan for maintenance.
--Weight train regularly, starting with 1x/wk. Over next 1-2 yrs., do 50 pushups, 5oo sit-ups, 100 leg lifts, & bench-press body wgt.

Couch to 5k (CT5K) Training Program (3/26-5/30/08)

Each workout is bookended with 5-min. warm-up & cool-down walks:

Wk 1: (1 min. run + 1.5 min. walk) x 8 (20 min. total, 3x/wk)
Wk 2: (1 min. run + 2 min. walk) x 6 (21 min. total, 3x/wk)
Wk 3: (1.5 min. run + 1.5 min. walk + 3 min. run + 3 min. walk) x 2 (18 min. total, 3x/wk)
Wk 4: 3 min. run + 1.5 min. walk + 5 min. run + 2.5 min walk + 3 min. run + 1.5 min. walk + 5 min. run (21.5 min. total, 3x/wk)
Wk 5: Day 1 = (5 min. run + 3 min. walk) x 2 + 5 min. run (21 min. total); Day 2 = 8 min. run + 5 min. walk + 8 min. run (21 min. total); Day 3 = 20 min. run
Wk 6: Day 1 = 5 min. run + 3 min. walk + 8 min. run + 3 min. walk + 5 min. run (24 min. total); Day 2 = 10 min. run + 3 min. walk + 10 min. run (23 min. total); Day 3 = 25 min. run
Wk 7: 25 min. run (25 min., 3x/wk)
Wk 8: 28 min. run (28 min., 3x/wk)
Wk 9: 30 min. run (30 min., 3x/wk)

Race Calendar

6/21/08, 8:00 am - Run For the Roses 5K

Hard to tell at this point if I'll even be ready to race, but I'm just going to take one step at a time, & see where it leads..... That's all a person can do.

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The next logical step (that is, aside from getting off my rear & running! LOL!) is to revise the goals on my sidebar, so be on the lookout shortly for those changes.....

Thursday, March 20, 2008

9 All Quiet on The Western Front..... ;-)


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Hello Readers,

I'm just dropping in to say "Hello" & to reassure you that I haven't dropped off the end of the universe. ;-)

The reason you have heard nary a peep from moi over the past few weeks is that I haven't been running or working out at all, & I didn't exactly feel like posting about that. ;-)

Also, I'm not the kind of person who's going to post just for the sake of posting.
I prefer to write honest & inspired posts, so if that kind of energy isn't naturally coming out of me at the moment, I'd rather take a break from blogging & wait for "the muse" to return.

That's why it's rare to find posts on this blog that begin with statements like
"Today, I eat a banana & read the paper....." ;-)

While it's undeniably true that life is a concrete sequence of events, I find that it's the "stuff behind the stuff" that truly interests me. Yes, there's certainly a lot of humanity in the fact that we all get up in the morning, eat breakfast (or atleast many of us do!), & go about our daily routines, but that's not what I'm going to write about here. Well, let me further refine that statement: I might write about the humanity of it all, but providing you with a serialized report of everyday events & objects -- without the benefit of any personal commentary -- would just be so... dull. It's the exploration of the "Why?" & the "How" more than the "What?" that truly interests me.


So, if you ever find that it's quiet here, & you're starved for content, you're always welcome to check out my other blogs.

Speaking of which, you'll find there are a lot of new posts on my foodie blog, Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog. As of late, I've been feeling rather inspired to cook & create brand new, all-original recipes, so you might want to have a look & check them out.

For those of you who aren't yet familiar with its concept, my foodie blog centers around healthy, gourmet recipes and useful nutrition- & cooking-related information. But it's not just another food blog. It's an inspired food blog, containing several original recipes of my own creation. You'll also learn how to rework existing recipes into much tastier & healthier versions of themselves. I believe that the concepts of "healthy eating" & "gourmet food" are much better when joined together. (Hey, that rhymes! ;-) )

So if you try any of the recipes, let me know how they turn out for you!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

11 Paula Radcliffe Bows Out of the London Marathon


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Hi All,

Just a quick post today. Today, instead of recording personal happenings, I'd like to briefly comment upon what's been happening in the big wide world of professional running, more specifically with regard to the recent news concerning Paula Radcliffe.

Well, as many of you might already be aware, it looks like an injured Paula Radcliffe won't be running the London Marathon (scheduled for April 13, 2008), which, as the fastest female marathoner (2:15:25), current world record-holder (of 10 world records!), & winner of this race on three previous occasions thus far (in 2002, 2003, & 2005), is truly a shame. (She sustained a "toe tendon injury" while training in Albuquerque, NM, which hasn't healed as fast as the doctors expected.)

Radcliffe, 34, stated: "I am desperately disappointed that I have to pull out of this year's race.... I love running in London and this race would have been the perfect test for me before the Olympic Games.... But in marathon training there are no short cuts and there is simply not enough time to be in the shape I want to be in to run well in London. Now I must concentrate on being as well prepared as possible for Beijing."

It's certainly not the first time she's had to bow out of the London marathon. Back in 2004, Paula opted not to run this race, in order to prepare for the Athens Olympic Games, which ended up being a very trying period of time for the athlete. But, as her history shows, she's normally a very resilient competitor. Later that same year (in November), her victory in the New York marathon was the sweet comeback which helped her get past the earlier setbacks she faced in Athens. Regardless of her current injury, I think that this particular personal triumph of hers has helped to further forge her resolve, & made her an even stronger competitor today. I can't wait to watch her race in this summer's upcoming Olympic events. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that she'll be ready & able to compete!

And even though she described her current injury as "minor," I think it was a smart move for her to withdraw from the London marathon, as she obviously needs to take the time to recover properly from her injury & of course, give herself enough time to train, in order to be in top shape for the Bejing 2008 Olympics (which will be held on August 8-24, 2008). The summer Olympics are roughly 5 five months away. Whoah. Relatively speaking, in terms of training time, the Olympics are coming up pretty soon. So what do you experienced marathoners think? Do you think that'll be enough time for her to recover & train?!

But back to the London marathon. Since Paula won't be competing in this event, let's talk about who will be. The following is a full list of entrants for the elite women’s race and their marathon PRs:


Berhane AdhereETH2:20:42
Constantina Tomescu-DitaROM 2:21:30
Svetlana ZakharovaRUS 2:21:31
Gete WamiETH2:21:34
Benita JohnsonAUS 2:22:36
Selina KosgeiKEN 2:23:22
Irina MikitenkoGER2:24:51
Ait Salem SouadALG2:25:08
Irina PermitinaRUS 2:26:51
Emily KimuriaKEN2:28:10
Silvia SkvortsovaRUS2:27:07
Hayley HainingGBR2:30:43
Liz YellingGBR 2:30:44
Adriana PirteaROM 2:33:52
Everline KimweiKEN Debut
Lisa WeightmanAUS Debut


(Hmmmm, where are the American female runners on this list?! ;-) )

Even without Paula, it should still be a very exciting event to watch. Are any of you planning on attending or watching this marathon?

Monday, March 3, 2008

7 Gearing Up For More......


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Around 7 pm, I went out for my run/walk. It was still nice out, a balmy 63 degrees.

Given the outcome of my last run (i.e., soreness & a slight relapse of respiratory illness), I decided to ease back into the running this time around, opting for interval training instead. A much smarter approach!

I did 4 laps totals, or 2 sets of alternating laps of walking & running, for a total of 2.96 miles.

I know this is going to sound odd, but the thing that I happened to notice most about tonight's run, especially after my several-week hiatus from running, is how my gluts & thighs felt like they were bouncing up & down like a pile of wobbling jello. In an earthquake. ;-) I know it's probably just an exaggerated feeling in my mind, as I didn't gain that much weight over the hiatus, but it was honestly really unnerving to feel these areas just shaking around so much. I swear that I didn't feel like this a few weeks ago, so what the heck was going on with my lower body?!

Can anyone relate to this sensation? I know it sounds silly that I could've gotten that flabby in a matter of weeks; so why does my lower midsection feel like it's going to launch off onto its own separate sphere, like a thermonuclear rocket?! ;-)

Come to think of it, the muscles in my right glut/hip area feel a little bit sore right about now, (probably from all the shaking around! ;-) ), but other than that, the run went fairly well.

Based on tonight's performance, I think I can safely say that I'm going to have to seriously reassess my training plan. The soreness is an obvious indication that the intervals are probably a bit too long in duration; I never felt sore when I did the CT5K program, so maybe I should scale it back to 1/2 a lap of running & 1/2 a lap of walking, & alternate these intervals over the course of 4 laps. At any rate, it looks like very likely that I'll be returning to a much earlier stage of the training progression, no matter what. A very humbling experience indeed. ;-)

Right now, the plan is to continue interval training until I fully regain my physical strength & well-being. Then I'll probably return to the BOHR program, & start at the very beginning of this plan. I think I should be able to do the initial 3 weeks of 30-minute runs once my body gets reacclimated. If not, I can always back up to Week 4 or 5 of the CT5K program. ;-) We'll see how it goes.

Psychologically speaking, I don't know if it'd be a good idea to return to all the way back to the CT5K program, but in the end, the body will ultimately dictate where I need to be, & the mind will just need to accept it, readjust, & come along for the ride.

Some of you might be thinking, "Well, she ran the CT5K just a few weeks ago with her friend, so how is that any different?" Well actually, running the CT5K program with my friend was quite different, as I was running it in addition to the BTHR program. ;-) (Also, the purpose & intensity of the CT5K runs with my friend were also very different from the solo BTHR runs.)

Speaking of which, my friend & I have currently shelved our joint runs, due to my up-in-the-air schedule. I don't know if I'll be able to continue running with her, as it looks like we might soon have drastically different schedules. Of course, we can still do other activities together, just maybe not running right at the moment.

A while back, I taught her how to knit; we had a lot of fun hanging out, doing this activity. The nice thing about knitting is that it's so relaxing; and, also, once you get going, it's very easy to do other activities simultaneously -- i.e., chat, watch TV or a movie, etc. So, who knows, knitting might very well might become one of our new favorite activities to do together. And plus, she reminded me recently that I still have to show her to bind off, so she can finish her scarf! ;-)

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Just some final thoughts: It's amazing how surprisingly OK I am with the idea of having to retread old ground. In fact, I've been pretty chilled about several recent setbacks - the illness & hiatus from running, the slight weight gain, etc., etc. Viewed from a larger frame of reference, these setbacks are relatively minor & frankly, it's just "no big deal."

It's funny because people keep telling me, "It's OK, it's really OK," like I'm not OK with it or somehow just really need to hear this, (or maybe they're reassuring themselves by reassuring me!), but it's funny because I already possess a quiet knowledge of this sentiment. Right now, I really do feel like I'm this pool of impenetrable inner calm.

And emotionally speaking, it seems that, as of late, every time I face a setback, I seem to recover faster & faster than the time before. Atleast that's one recovery that's happened quickly! ;-)

I guess I've gotten to the point where I no longer care to expend unnecessary "emotional energy" contemplating such things. There's no sense in going through the motions of the emotions, so to speak.

It's not that I've turned into a robot, but rather that the reaction in this particular instance is more like, "OK, pinch yourself, & now let's move on." Or, one might call it the "rubber-band snap reality check."

I mean, what would be the point of getting upset over things we can't change? It's not like we can go back in time & change the past. We can only fix things in the present. Even if we move backward at first, we still have a choice in the matter: Feel badly about it, wallow, & move backward even further, or let go of these pointless emotions, & choose to move forward & do something constructive.

And every time you make the latter choice, it gets easier & easier to take the shortcut. Your conditioning yourself to bypass the "dog & pony show" type of distractions & just get down to the business of finding & working towards a solution. Framed in this light, the idea of "playing into the drama of it all" somehow loses its appeal & those various other "trials & travails" begin to appear less and less daunting.

In my particular case, I just happened to get sick & there was nothing I could do about it except take the appropriate medicines, rest, & get better. Looking back on it now, I can see what lead up to the problem -- stress, lack of sleep, etc., which then lead to a weakened immune system, etc., etc. In a word, imbalance. Hopefully, I've learned something from this recent experience, so that next time I'll be better at recognizing & anticipating the signs of such an imbalance, to nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand.

Sigh. The balancing act isn't always easy, & the answers of "what to do about it" are sometimes different for different people, but hopefully after a lot of trial & error, we get better at it over time. I know I'm still learning. ;-)

How's the learning process coming along for you?! ;-) Do you feel like you're pretty good at balancing your life? What do you think is particular "life challenge"?!

2 Today's Weather Forecast: A Blissful 66 Degrees & Sunny!


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My job interview's at 3 pm today. Hoping that it'll still be warm & sunny when it finishes, because I'm thinking about heading home afterward & quickly changing into my running clothes to go for a run & hopefully catch some rays of sunshine!

Are any of you also supposed to have nice weather today?! Do you think you'll go for a walk or a run today?!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

2 The Run That Never Happened.... (Or, Sloth,The Fourth Deadly Sin! ;-) )


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This picture about sums up my state of being this afternoon. The odds were greater that the cat in the above picture would actually start to speak to his human servant (er, I mean "owner"!) to ask for a refill on his beer, & "By the way, could you pass me the Cheetos?" -- than the likelihood of me going for a run this afternoon. Our furry friend might also be thinking that there isn't enough TV programming geared towards his demographic. ;-)

Running? What's that?! (That could've been this post's alternate title. ;-) )

Well, I never did quite make it out of house for today's expected "run."

According to the weather forecast, it was supposed to reach 53 degrees this afternoon. So, I decided to wait until the warmest point in the day before heading out the door.

Around 2 pm, it was around 39 degrees. Still not as warm as expected.

By 3 pm, it was 45 degrees. Why wasn't it warmer at this point? Usually 3 pm is when the winter sun's at its warmest!

And by 4 pm, it was 48 degrees. At that point, it was clearly not going to get any warmer outside. The only problem was that my coughing & fatigue had returned. And of course, inertia took over & it was all "downhill" from there. But not in the sense of "running downhill." ;-)

It's now very clear that I really need to get back into making exercise a habit again, lest I fall off the bandwagon all-together. Part of the problem is that there's a bit too much chaos & uncertainty going on in my life right now -- just too many variables up in the air! -- & the postponement of my running is probably a subconscious attempt to limit the number of things "going on." It's an attempt to wait until the "dust settles." Purely an emotional response, I know. And of course, the rational side of me realizes that this is simply an excuse, as the exercise would do me good & if anything, would help to "clear out the emotional cobwebs" & put my mind at ease.

On a related note: Tomorrow's my second interview for a job that I really want. Wish me luck!

0 The Weather's Looking Good Today & So's The Idea of Running!


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Although it's only 32 degrees right now, it's supposed to warm up to 53 degrees later on today. My energy's back & the cold & cough have subsided considerably, (said with fingers crossed!). So a run is looking very likely today. Yea! I'm so excited!!!!! Finally, eh?!

Will post again after my run. Will check in with you then, OK?

Saturday, March 1, 2008

0 Nutrition Tip #9: Get Healthy Recipes at "Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog."


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(Shown above is a photo of my sister & I at her 5th birthday party. The cake is our mother's original creation.)

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And now it's time for some shameless promotion of my health-conscious foodie/recipe blog, Cook. Eat. Drink. Blog.

If you haven't already visited the site, you might want to check it out, as it's more or less the unofficial companion/sister blog to this one. After all, fitness & healthy eating/cooking go hand in hand.

And what better way to eat healthfully than to prepare delicious, gourmet recipes centered about vitamin- and mineral-rich produce, which are also high in fiber, and rich in both amino acids and the Omega complex fatty acids -- without compromising on taste!

I'll show you new & exciting ways to use & prepare fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits, as well as whole grains & lean sources of protein.

And speaking of new & exciting: You'll also find that many of the recipes on this blog are original creations, courtesy of little old moi, for your express use.

All recipes on this blog -- whether they are original or not -- must first be tried & tested, & stamped with the one & only "G.F.W.A." ("Gourmet Foodie With Attitude") seal of approval before they are posted. They have to first "pass the mustard" with the most discerning of palates, which includes fellow foodies and gourmet chefs alike. Additionally, selected recipes must not only taste delicious but have excellent nutritional value.

Get ready for some new adventures in cooking, as well as a reintroduction to old classics & traditional favorites that have been reworked into healthier versions.

Who knows? A new recipe could turn into a new favorite!

I'll help you get out of your rut & get into some new ideas! It's time to re-energize for your passion for cooking & food. So toss those tired recipes, & come with me to enter the creative cooking zone!

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