Day 13: Get Up and RUN!

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Friday the 13th y’all…stay calm, don’t freak out…just follow the rules and you’ll be fine….oh and might as well go ahead, get up, and run! 😉

I’m not big into the whole Friday the 13th thing, and I won’t be running today since it’s a much needed rest day before back-2-back half marathons this weekend. But if you don’t have a big race or long run on your schedule tomorrow…you might as well get a good run in today and burn off any lingering anxiety about who might be chasing you!

Friday is usually a day to kill it and get ready for the weekend, but we are taking it easy today. Abs and challenges.

But wait! If you have a race or long training run this weekend, please skip the squats and burpees today. Throw in the push ups for good measure, but don’t over-exert yourself and be sore for your race or long run. Remember that everything we do is meant to make you run stronger and faster, not to put you in a state of oblivion, ready to crawl into bed and weep from exhaustion and sore muscles. Move things around to make it work for you. Challenge exercises can be made up or skipped. Be smart!

Day 13 exercises: 3 sets of 10 

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Runner’s Crunch
  • Oblique Crunches (3 sets of 10 per side)
  • Lying Leg Raise
  • Plank – :60 (plank of your choice)

Bonus: Get up and run!  Would love to see some easy miles today. Don’t go overboard…long runs are coming! Just stretch out your legs and keep it short and slow. Run, walk, skip, whatever…just get moving on Friday the 13th. 🙂

Challenges:

  • Burpees – 35
  • Push Ups Beginner – 10
  • Push Ups Advanced – 55
  • Squats – 75

No time for standing still today. Even if you’re moving slowly…keep moving forward.

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Day 6: Ridiculously Amazing Friday!

screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-8-34-08-pmYAYYYY…it’s Friday!!

I’m so excited for a ridiculously amazing Friday and a fantastically fun Saturday at Run Disney for the Disney Half Marathon in Orlando, Florida!

But before we get to the ridiculously amazing stuff…we have to get the work out of the way…..AB DAY!!

Our abs (our core!) holds everything together. Runners and…well everyone…get HUGE benefits from a strong center of gravity. But runners especially, because a a strong core helps us achieve stability, balance, posture and overall control.

We know the importance of core strength right? Here’s a quick review…

Overall, core strength training reinforces the way that your pelvis, abs, hips, and lower back work together. When our foot hits the ground, our core holds our trunk rock-solid as the kinetic energy from our foot transmits to our hamstrings, up to our arm and back down to our other foot. A conditioned core prevents any wiggling in your torso and keeps you from deflecting energy, so you run faster. All this stability, balance, posture, and control also keeps our lower extremities from getting out of whack, therefore preventing injuries!

It’s Friday…a ridiculously amazing Friday…last day of strength work for the first week of the new year. Push hard today and get it done so you can relax guilt free this weekend!

Day 6 exercises: 2 sets of 10 

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Runners Crunch
  • Oblique Crunches
  • Lying Leg Raise
  • Plank – :60 (Your Choice)

Bonus: Pilates Workouts for Runners – “Swimming” 

Practicing Pilates works well for runners in general, but some exercises stretch and develop some particularly important areas. Watch the video below and do 3 full sets (as described in the video) of the swimming exercise.

Challenges: 

  • Burpees – 30
  • Push Ups Beginner – 6
  • Push Ups Advanced – 25

This weekend I need your good vibes! This will be my first attempt at pacing for a certain time at a race. Yes, I will be the girl holding that flag with the time on it. 2:15 is the goal. I will be using a :90 run and a :30 walk. Run pace is a 9:45(ish) and the plan is to end with a 10:18 average pace. I’m a tad bit nervous just because this is my first time and there will be lots of runners counting on me to get it right. But I know I have your support and I know you will be sending me positive thoughts! Race starts at 5:30am eastern time…so if you’re up (duh we’re runners, we’re all up at 5:30 a.m. on a Saturday right?) then send me all those positive thoughts Crew! 🙂


That’s it Crew. No machines…no B.S…just you, your dedication to your health and fitness, and your drive to be better, stronger, and faster in 2017! GETTT ITTT Crew!

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Day 4: Refuse to Give Up

screen-shot-2017-01-04-at-5-57-46-amGood morning! Rough night for me in Florida…it is WAY TOO HOT HERE! UGH!

I refuse to turn on the AC in January but we sleep with the windows open and I gave in and let Silas sleep with me last night. MISTAKE!

He tossed and turned in the heat and made me miserable…but I refused to give in and turn the AC on. Suffered through, overslept a tad, and will require a nap today.

No more giving in to little man sleeping with me…no giving in to the electric company in January, and no giving in on missing my workout!

Anyway…I did end up sleeping a little late so I will  end my rant now and get to the workout. 😉

Day 4 exercises: 2 sets of 10 

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Mountain Climbers (Slow) – use a slow deliberate motion here to engage your core!
  • Standing Oblique Crunch
  • Russian Twists
  • Plank – :60 (Your Choice)

Ab Bonus: 50-100 Crunches 

Bonus Challenges: 

  • Burpees – 20
  • Push Ups Beginner – 5
  • Push Ups Advanced – 15
  • Squats – 60

Speed Work: Loved seeing the speed yesterday! Let’s see some more!

  1. On the Track: “High-intensity track sessions move the muscles through the full range of motion, improving elasticity and enhancing coordination between your nervous system and muscles. With time, you’ll develop a more efficient stride at all your paces.”HIIT It: Begin with two 100-meter accelerations that include 40 meters at top speed, with 2 to 3 minutes of walking or jogging between.

    Build to 6 x 150 meters hard, including 80 meters at top speed, with 3 to 4 minutes jogging or walking rest.

    Over time, increase the number of repeats to 10, lengthen reps to 300 meters (running nearly the entire distance at top speed), or reduce the rest interval to one minute.

  2. On the Hills: Inclines are a great venue for superfast speedwork. Compared with a flat surface, hills reduce the impact on your legs and limit your range of motion, thereby lowering the risk of strains and pulls. Plus, hill repeats build muscle power, which helps you run more efficiently on level ground, says McConkey.

    HIIT It: On an incline, start with three 30-second moderate repeats and walk down the hill for recovery.

    When this becomes comfortable, progress to 4 x 1 minute near all-out efforts with a downhill jog and an additional 30 to 60 seconds jogging or walking rest.

    Over time, add additional reps, extend effort length up to two minutes, and aim for steeper hills.

Speed Workouts for Beginners: When you’re just starting out, any type of interval—even alternating walking with jogging—will challenge your body in new ways.

Incorporate one of the following workouts each week to introduce intensity and boost your speed.

  1. Track: Run two laps. On the straights, accelerate and hold top speed for 20 meters. Walk the curves.
  2. Trail: Intersperse an easy run with 3 to 4 20-second, moderate-intensity surges.
  3. Hills: Do an easy run that incorporates three 20-second climbs, each one at a moderate effort.

Sometimes we have to fight for what we want. Fight for time, fight for energy, fight for the mindset to get it done…

Don’t give in Crew. If you want it…fight for it!

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Day 29: Two Days Left!

screen-shot-2016-11-29-at-5-14-20-amOnly 2 more days left in November Crew!

We’ve worked so hard this month and there’s no quitting now. Push hard…one day of Abs and one day of Hips….then we start a brand new fresh month!

Don’t let these last two days of November slip away…it’s been a great month so finish strong!

Day 29 exercises: Abs – 3 sets – :30 per exercise

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Roll Up
  • Pilates Scissors
  • Bird Dog Crunch – right side
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird Dog Crunch – left side
  • Side Planks – :30 each side

Bonus: Russian Twists – 4 sets of 25 (100 total) – Use weights!


Speed Work: Gear Shifter (Fartlek Run)

It’s important to focus on getting into the exercise habit; making your run a regular part of your routine, finding times and places to exercise that feel convenient and comfortable, and finding a way to enjoy it so you keep it up for the long term.

To get fitter and faster you can add time to your workout or increase the distance you cover. But you can also add structured workouts to your routine. These structured workouts, which involve running specific intervals or time or distance at a specific pace, help you develop endurance, speed, and stronger legs and lungs. And they can keep your exercise regime from getting stale.

Workout: Gear Shifter

How to Do It: In this workout, alternate between your easy, medium, and fast paces. Warm up with three to five minutes of walking. Then ramp up to your easy pace (see below) and hold it for two to three minutes. Then shift into your medium pace and sustain it for one minute. Then shift into the fast pace for 30 seconds. Repeat the cycle two or three times. Walk for five minutes to cool down.

Use this guide to find each gear:

Easy: Conversational pace; a pace where you could chat with a friend running alongside you. This is a rhythm that feels like you could maintain it all day long if you had to.

Medium: This should be faster than your easy pace, but you shouldn’t feel like you’re speeding. You would prefer not to hold a full conversation, but if someone asked you a question, you could answer in two- or three-word sentences.

Fast: Quicker than your medium pace. In this gear you should be able to say one or two words but, if someone asked you a question, it would make you mad because you wouldn’t want to expend the energy to answer them. Don’t sprint all-out or push to the point of pain, or where you feel you’re going to pull something. You should feel like “I’m okay, I just don’t want to do this for very long.”

This workout will elevate your heart rate, boost your fitness and calorie burn, and keep you from falling into a rut with the same easy pace. It ups the intensity, recruits different muscle fibers, and makes running fun!

Speed work is another way we can help stay injury-free. If you run the same pace all the time, you recruit the same muscle fibers, in the exact same way over and over. This same repetitive motion can cause common overuse injuries, like runner’s knee and IT-band syndrome.

Susan Paul, coach, exercise physiologist, and founder of the Orlando Track Foundation says, “If you mix up your paces, you recruit different muscle fibers, and some different muscles. You get more balanced out.”

This is a more structured fartlek session then we’ve done previously. Instead of just picking a distance and running to it, peek at your watch and try to hold the pace for the specific times set out above. If you do a run/walk, use the “easy/conversational” pace as your walk. This kind of workout can be done on a track…but it can also be done on the road so there’s no excuses! Go outside and ramp up the speed!

Remember, speed work isn’t just about getting faster. It also promotes stronger legs and lungs, gives us more endurance, and keeps our workouts from getting old and boring.

What do you have to lose? Try it!!


That’s all for day 29 Crew….abs, Russian Twist bonus, and our Gear Shifter speed work. At least plan your speed work to make it happen this week.

If you’re thinking about slowing down in these last two days…think about what kind of athlete slows down when they see the finish line.

YOU are an athlete…don’t slow down. Sprint towards that finish line and cross it with power and strength!

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Day 24: Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving Crew! I hope you all have a very blessed day with family and friends!

Lots of us are racing or just getting out to be active today. Throw in some ab work before your meal, or wait till tomorrow and pair it up with hips…but get it done! Just don’t try to do it after your big Thanksgiving meal. 🙂

Day 24 exercises: Abs – 3 sets (:30 each exercise) 

****Click here to how to videos****

  • Roll Up
  • Pilates Scissors
  • Bird Dog Crunch (right side)
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird Dog Crunch (left side)
  • Side Planks – :30 each side

Bonus: Give thanks and let us know what you are thankful for today!

I am thankful for so many things. My son and family, my friends, my faith, my health, my Crew, and RUNNING!

Have a wonderful day full of love, laughter, and activity! MUAH!

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Day 22: Training Purgatory

screen-shot-2016-11-22-at-5-13-15-amIf you’re in a warm weather climate like me, this is your peak racing season and you’re probably running a lot and generally trying to eat well.

But for others, as you move into the cold season and your races are over for a while, you might be in a bit of a funk.

What happens when you don’t have a race to train for, it’s getting harder to go outside in the cold, and you have the holidays looming with lots of yummy and fattening food ahead?

This is what it was like for Steve Gosner, Physical Therapist, sub 3 hour marathoner and 2 time Iron Man. He calls it “training purgatory”, when a slight “thickening” around his waist and a “sure, why not?” attitude towards desert (beer) and a second helping at dinner are the norm.

A RunSmartOnline.com article called, Training Between Races, emphasizes this “whatever” period as a time to go easy on yourself, take the 2nd helping, and adopt a “zero pressure running” attitude.

This doesn’t mean you should be gluttonous, skip your strength work, and avoid lacing up your running shoes. Hopefully, being in the Core Crew and watching others continue to train gives you some motivation to keep being active, but according to RunSmartOnline, there are ways to maintain your fitness while still giving yourself a chance to rest, recoup, and be ready when your training starts up again.

Here are a few ideas they suggest:

1. Zero Expectation Running

Whether you’re last training cycle was a huge success or a bust, it’s important to reconnect with running. Let’s face it. It’s not uncommon for our running to feel like a chore when we’re training. We rush to fit it all in, juggling a handful of other tasks and schedule.

During your training purgatory go out and run just to run. Set zero expectations of time, distance, and pace. Go out and simply come back when you’re ready. To me, these are the best runs.

2. Keep It Slow

Unless you’re squeezing in a few short races before training officially begins, avoid working too hard. Wouldn’t it suck to stir up an injury before your training cycle begins? Who wants to get off to a rocky start? Not me and I’m guessing not you.

Find a pace between your easy and base building pace. The sweet spot hovers around a pace that you’re breathing is easy and you can chat freely without gasping for oxygen.

3. Prep for Training

As most runners begin training for their spring races it’s important to avoid a complete shut down. Doing so will not only will it zap your current level of fitness, but it could weaken your tolerance to injury when you start training again.

Keep up with your running, but keep it slow and with no pressure added. Prepare for the time when training will start again with strength exercises. Take the 2nd helping, but don’t overdo it, and avoid late night snacking and too much overindulgence.

What are some other ways you help keep yourself in check? How about signing up for your next race? Signing up for a race, even one that is a little far out, could help keep you mentally prepare to keep up your fitness! If your race season is too far in the future to keep you excited, find a race in Florida and come visit! 🙂

In the meantime, strength work is top priority to be ready and stay injury free. It’s ab day…the perfect way to combat that 2nd helping!

Day 22 exercises: Abs – 3 sets (:30 per exercise) 

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Roll Up
  • Pilates Scissors
  • Bird Dog Crunch (left side)
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird Dog Crunch (right side)
  • Side Plank (:30 each side)

Bonus: Daily Abs (3 rounds) + No Junk Food Challenge + Water Challenge

The no junk food challenge usually lasts 21 days, but we’re just making the commitment for one day and since it’s Tuesday, we are also going to drink lots of water! Who’s in?

 


Speed Work: This week’s speed work out is one of my favorites because it’s a great workout and still hurts, but is doable for everyone.

Workout: 4-6X 800M (1/2 mile repeats) 

  1. Warm up – 1-1.5 miles (slow)
  2. 4-6x 800M – 1/2 mile repeats with :90 rest in between sets
  3. Cool down – 1-1.5 miles (slow)

Total of 3-6 miles depending on your distance level. If you’re in “training purgatory” the lower level of 3 miles is a great way to work up a sweat and keep your speed in tact. If you’re in peak training and have a race coming up, go for the longer distance and bust out 6 miles with 3 miles of speed work!


Once again, we are coming up on the end of the month. November 22nd means it’s time to plan for December and I want to hear your ideas for next month’s strength work. ALL ideas welcome! Video yourself doing your favorite strength exercises, or just let me know what you want to work on. Don’t be shy! Reach out to me and post in Strong to the Core, or private message me here. If we aren’t “friends” on Facebook, please friend me because I love to get to know you better by seeing your everyday life. 🙂

Whether your in peak training season, or in “training purgatory” let our Core Crew help keep you active. Stay involved, post what you’re up too, and when you get your exercises done. Posting helps keep you motivated and means we can cheer you on!

No matter what keeps you going….get moving and be active Crew! 🙂

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Day 17: Talented Beyond Belief

talentsMost of us LOVE to run and eat, and are great at signing up for races. But that’s not all we’re good at!

Let’s get to know each other a little better and share what some of our other talents are…it can be something you used to do, or something you do now when you’re not running or generally being awesome.

I’ve always been athletic and in earlier days, I loved basketball! I played point guard for my high school’s varsity basketball team and loved every minute of it. I’m also a first degree black belt, rode sport bikes for about 10 years before I had Silas, and even ran track in middle school (440 relay and 100M hurdles). In my free time now, (wait free time? HA!) I love to read and enjoy writing (I write TV and Radio scripts for my advertising clients). Since I have become a mom, most other free time goes towards being active with Silas; baseball, soccer, karate, and he’s starting flag football in January.

When it comes down to it…I’m good at running, VERY good at eating tacos, and am SUPER skilled at signing up for races! 😉

What are your other talents?

When you’re done thinking about all the other things you are amazing at….get to work on those abs Crew!

Day 17: Abs – 3 rounds – :30 per exercise 

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Roll Up
  • Pilates Scissors
  • Brid Dog Crunch – right side
  • Boat Pose
  • Bird Dog Crunch – left side
  • Side Plank – :30 each side

Bonus: Yoga for Runners 

Remember our Yoga for Runners? Great for some “us” time. Find a quiet place, channel your inner calm and stretch it out Crew! Click here for our Yoga for Runners.


Speed Work: Thursday is usually the last day of the week I would suggest for speed work since we are so close to the weekend and our long runs. Have you dialed in some speed this week? If not….today is the day! Click here and scroll down for this week’s speed work.


Each of of us are unique and special. Do you know how special you are? Take time to reflect on how awesome life is, and how much you mean to the world. You are one of a kind, beautiful, and talented beyond belief. We can see it…I hope you can too.

Have a blessed Thursday Crew! XOXOXO

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Day 28: Decide To Try

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What will you accomplish if you decide to give up?

Before you abandon your dreams, ask yourself a few important questions…

  • Why did you want to pursue this goal to begin with? Has anything changed? You had a good reason for committing to reach your goal and odds are, you still want it as much as you did before; you just stopped believing you could achieve it because your attempts have yet to yield results. You have to ask yourself: If you push through the discomfort, will it be with it in the end?
  • Did you set a smart goal? SMART goals are:
  1. Specific—you know exactly what your world will look like when you achieve this goal.
  2. Measurable—you have a specific plan to mark your progress as you go.
  3. Attainable—you have the attitude and aptitude to make your goal reality.
  4. Realistic—you’re willing and able to do the required work.
  5. Time-bound—you’ve set a concrete timeframe for completion to create a sense of urgency.

If you didn’t set a SMART goal, you may have set yourself up for failure. How can you possibly make something happen if you don’t know exactly what you want, or didn’t really believe you could do it? Are you really willing to walk away when you didn’t give yourself every opportunity to succeed?

  • How much have you already put in? A concept studied in social psychology called “the sunk cost principle” indicates the more we’ve invested in something, the less likely we are to prematurely walk away. How invested are you? How time have you devoted? How many sacrifices have you made? Are you really willing to chalk it all up as a loss because you’re not feeling confident in your abilities?
  • What would you tell someone else if they were in your shoes? Would you tell your best friend to throw in the towel because she can’t possibly reach her goal? Or would you practice your finest motivational speech and help her see what you see in her potential? Unless you’re secretly a frenemy who hopes she fails in life, odds are you’d push her to be her best—so why not push yourself?

It might sound kind of cheesy, but you need to be your own best friend. You, more than anyone in this world, deserve your own belief and motivation.

If there’s some lingering doubt as to whether or not you should keep pushing—don’t give up. Decide to try!

Decide to keep working toward that dream that fills you with passion!

Day 28 exercises: Abs – 4 sets of 15

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Renegade Rows
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Dead Bugs
  • Heel Touches
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: #DailyAbs Daily Abs

How many rounds do you have in you today? 2..3..4?

Decide to try and see how far you can push yourself today!

When it’s all said and done, stretch, hydrate and rest up….cause it’s almost time to go long!

Make it a great Friday Crew….and whatever you do…DECIDE TO TRY!

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Day 26: Rock Those Abs!

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Our Wednesday workout is awesome…rock those abs Crew!

I’m headed out super early this morning for a speed session at the track. I’ll probably be home before most of you wake up, will rock out our ab work, then I’ll be napping! 😉

4 sets of 15 + 5 minute plank + lower back stretch….make time and rock those abs!

Day 26 exercises: Abs – 4 sets of 15

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Sharon’s Walk Down Plank
  • Lower Body Russian Twist
  • Standing Side Crunch
  • In and Outs
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: 5 Minute Plank

five-minute-plank

Extra Credit: Lower Back Stretch – This one’s for Jennifer…but all of us will benefit!

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Speed Work: Who’s joining me in spirit for speed work today? I wanna see some mile repeats! Here’s the workout:

This week we are doing 2-3 mile repeats, but not at your fastest speed. You want to be at about 85%-90% of your 5K race pace. Think of it as a “tempo pace”. Your tempo pace should be a little faster then the time you would be able to hold during a half marathon. For example, my fastest half marathon is just under 2 hours (average 9:10/mile), so my tempo pace for these mile repeats would be around an 8:55. Never ran a half? That’s ok! I know the numbers are a little daunting to some, but don’t stress. Reach out to me by PM here and let’s chat. I will help you figure out where you should be.

  • Warm Up – 1 mile (or more)
  • Mile Repeats – 2-3 miles – No walking during your mile repeat. Run 1 mile then rest for 2 minutes. Stand there. Breathe. Do not walk. Start your watch over or hit that “lap” button before each mile. After you get your breathe back (don’t wait too long, 2 minutes is enough recovery time) then do another mile. Repeat 2-3 times.
  • Cool down – 1 mile (or more)
  • Total of 5-6 miles
  • Stretch! – 7 Key Stretches for Runners

Whatever happens today….do not give up! Rock those abs Crew cause this is for YOU!

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Day 21: When Life Knocks You Down…

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-6-14-48-amWe all love it when someone notices all the hard work we’ve put in.

You know…”Dang you look good”

“Your legs are amazing”

“You look great, have you lost weight?”

“Your arms are so defined and strong!”

“What are you doing? You look fabulous!”

Comments like these make us want to work harder! If you’re not getting them…maybe you shouldn’t have skipped last week? Last month? You have no one blame but yourself if you’re not putting in the work!

Stop making excuses and get your booty in gear! Start today!

Day 21 exercises: Abs – 3 sets of 15

****Click here for how to videos****

  • Renegade Rows
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Dead Bugs
  • Heel Touches
  • Bedtime Plank

Bonus: 1-2-3 Ab Workout screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-6-24-22-am

We’ve done all these exercises before so they should be familiar. I like these ladder workouts but you can see the finish line…take it one step at a time and work those abs Crew!


November Challenge: I’ve had a few suggestions come in for November but looking for more!

We will definitely have two dedicated hip strength days as that seemed to go over very well. What else would you like to focus on? Any new ab or arm moves you want to try? How about some fun new leg exercises? All ideas and suggestions are welcome and home videos are awesome! Get involved and show us your favorite moves!

Extra Credit: This is for all you burpee haters out there…I know they are hard, I know they hurt, I KNOW they get your heart rate up! But when life gets tough and knocks you down…it’s time for burpees!

3 sets of 10 burpees today Crew! GETTTT ITTTTT!!!! 🙂

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