A Simple Running Log

January 30, 2015

Training for 1/30/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 4:01 pm

Gah, winter can SUCK IT.

I don’t know why, but I just have not been able to muster up the willpower to get my butt out the door and face the weather the last couple of days. Yesterday wasn’t even that bad, since the wind had temporarily died, but I still couldn’t do it. And then today it’s blowing so hard again I can hear it whistling under the eaves all around the house and the trees in the back yard look like they’re going to break off and blow away… nope nope nope.

So yes, I’ve done absolutely nothing since I last posted two days ago. Zero things! Hopefully I can get in a couple of decent runs this weekend. We have no plans, other than going to finally see Dave and Kasey and the new baby tomorrow or Sunday, and watching the Super Bowl on Sunday night. No excuses — unless it’s still windy haha. No, I need to stop being a pansy. Shamrock is only eight weeks away, after all.

On a completely unrelated note, I’m noticing lately a lot of people who are leaving a space between the last word of a sentence and an exclamation mark, and it’s quickly skyrocketed to the very top of my list of pet peeves, right up there with radio DJs who talk over the intro of songs and stupid drivers who come to a complete stop in a merge lane.

Like this, from the latest cooking column written by a local woman I edit for the paper every week:

“A smearing of pink icing on each cookie with white sprinkles is quite attractive and quite tasty !”

I DON’T GET THIS. I also don’t get why we’re paying her to “write” this drivel (it’s just throwaway commentary tacked on to simple recipes.) But I really don’t get this new trend of leaving that space. I don’t see it with any other punctuation, just the exclamation mark. What is it about the exclamation mark that people think it needs some extra room?

And while I’m at it, this one isn’t nearly as prevalent, but it also makes me twitch: When people use the totally nonexistent possessive form of I, as in, “Today is my uncle and I’s birthday.” That is not a word!! That should say “Today is my uncle’s and my birthday.” I blame this one on people like my Aunt Helen, who has a knee-jerk reaction to the phrase “my friend and me,” even when that’s correct. It was so sweet the first time she interrupted me to say “My friend and who?” and I got to triumphantly explain why I was right and she was wrong, and then she had to sit there in her wrongness and think about why she was so wrong.

Switching gears again. Two nights ago, Clark and I went to Dogfish Head to celebrate his birthday, and we got talking about Sweetie Pie’s retirement announcement. I mentioned we should probably buy my uncle’s Richmond tickets at least once this year, since it’ll be Sweetie Pie’s last time racing there most likely, and Clark said you know, there are a lot of tracks we can easily drive to, maybe we should try to hit up as many as possible. He also said he’d want to go to Miami again if Sweetie Pie makes it to the final round of the Chase.

So yesterday, I made a list of all the NASCAR races we could conceivably drive to, plus Chicago, since we’ve already settled on that as our destination race, and Miami. It’s a pretty healthy list:

March 1 — Atlanta

March 29 — Martinsville

April 19 — Bristol

April 25 — Richmond

May 16 — Charlotte (All-Star race)

May 24 — Charlotte (Coke 600)

May 31 — Dover

June 7 — Pocono

Aug. 2 — Pocono

Aug. 22 — Bristol

Sept. 6 — Darlington

Sept. 12 — Richmond

CHASE

Sept. 20 — Chicago

Oct. 4 — Dover

Oct. 10 — Charlotte

Nov. 1 — Martinsville

Nov. 22 — Miami

Both Dover races are a “duh,” of course. There’s no way we’ll go to all 17 races on this list, but I’d like to get to at least Pocono, Richmond, Martinsville and Charlotte this year. For Sweetie Pie!

January 28, 2015

Training for 1/28/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:13 pm

Guess whose birthday it is today?

clark ready to party

It’s Clark’s! He’s 32 today.

For some reason, my mom has always thought his birthday is Jan. 18. Which is now my niece’s birthday. So I guess my mom will just be even more confused next year haha.

Anyway, Clark and I are going to Rehoboth to celebrate tonight. I wanted to do as much as I could to ensure we wouldn’t come home later to dog turds in the utility room. So, even though it was a tad colder than I would normally make Pepper run in, I took him with me for a lap around the 4.5-mile loop.

He took this toy with him, a big plush bone that had an unraveling rope trailing off the one end. As we ran along, larger and larger chunks of neon green rope came off and blew away in the wind. By the end of the second mile, there were about two little strings still clinging to it.

It was a pretty routine run. (And a successful one — he took a dump before we were even a half-mile from home. Score!) Until, right before we got to the end of the route, some assclown driving a huge Ford work truck, an F-450 cab with a utility body, came barreling right toward us. There’s not really a shoulder on that road, but there is a very clearly painted white line, and Pepper and I were on the left side of it, facing oncoming traffic, on the little sliver of pavement between it and the edge, as the truck approached. It seemed to be giving us plenty of space until it was almost to us, when it fucking swerved right for us. I grabbed Pepper and pulled him off the road into a mud puddle as I watched the truck’s tires come right to the white line.

I’d like to think the driver was just distracted or didn’t see us, and that he didn’t intentionally steer for us, but that was a little too coincidental. It’s not the first time I’ve stepped off the road to give more room to a driver who didn’t seem to notice me, but it’s the first time I felt like I’d have definitely gotten creamed had I been running the other direction on that side of the road and the driver had come up from behind me.

Normally the most I’ll do to acknowledge a passing car on the road is wave at the driver, but this time I stopped in my tracks, turned and held up a middle finger while I let fly a nice string of obscenities. Moron.

January 27, 2015

Training for 1/27/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:27 pm

Yesterday, it wasn’t too terribly cold for once, so I did something I hadn’t done since last year — I made Pepper run with me.

He actually seemed a little excited to go! I didn’t time it, but it was a pretty typical run with him. The first mile was slow as he stopped to pee a million times, the second mile was interrupted by the successful conclusion of the stick-finding mission and the last couple of miles sped up as he realized exactly how much farther we had to go to get home. We ran 4.5 miles.

Last night, we were supposed to get a little snow, 2 to 5 inches. This morning, we woke up to barely a dusting. Fine by me!

It flurried off and on all morning, and then it got windy. I put off running as long as possible, hoping the wind would calm down. I finally had to leave around 4 p.m. if I was going to get anything done.

It was too cold for Pepper again, so he had to stay home. I didn’t have to run into the wind much, so it really wasn’t that bad. I did an easy untimed lap around the 5.5-mile loop.

January 26, 2015

Training for 1/26/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:40 pm

I didn’t get much running done this weekend, but I kind of expected that.

Saturday morning, I got in an easy 3-miler first thing. There were massive puddles — small lakes, really — out in the fields, so we had clearly had some major downpours overnight. Luckily, it was down to just a light drizzle by the time I ran. Not much else to say about that run.

I had to be at Julie’s house at 9:15 a.m. to drive to the spa in Salisbury for the first leg of her bachelorette festivities. I don’t waste time or money on my nails and the extent of my hair “styling” is a trim two to three times a year, so I went for a one-hour full-body massage.

I’ve only had two massages in my life. One was five years ago, when I was dealing with the IT band trouble before my first marathon attempt. I had a sports massage specifically targeting the injured part of my legs, and it was excruciating. The other one was part of a sampler package Clark and I did at a spa in L.A. two years ago, and all I remember about that one was the masseuse’s pointy little elbows of death grinding into my back. Pretty close to excruciating too.

I wasn’t 100 percent excited about an hour of potential horrible pain, but I wound up being very pleasantly surprised. Except for when the masseuse was kneading some knots in my calf muscles, the massage turned out to be super relaxing and not at all painful. I felt amazing when she was done with me!

We hung around the spa a while longer. After lunch at Olive Garden, we went back to Julie’s house for a bit, and then a smaller group of us went to the slots in Harrington. I really do not like gambling. I’m terrible at it and I get pissy the first time I lose a buck. But the drinks are relatively cheap, so there’s that at least.

I took $30 in cash with me. I wound up blowing it on three pints of Fordham Copperhead Ale, one stint at a penny slot and a single hand of blackjack, when I had 20 but the damn dealer had 21. Another unsuccessful gambling trip! Meredith, on the other hand, won $30 at blackjack and some guy at the bar bought her a drink. She’s much better at casinos than I am.

We went back to Julie’s, where we had a little slumber party. The whole day was a lot of fun. I can’t remember the last time I got to spend so much time with my friends like that.

Sunday was sunny and relatively warmish for late January, in the mid 40s. Clark had gone down to the beach house the night before, so when I left Julie’s, I went home, changed into a swimsuit and then immediately left to meet Clark, to go surfing.

Clark, his dad and I pulled on all our wetsuit stuff, loaded three surfboards on the Jeep and drove into Ocean City. The conditions were actually pretty good. The waves were breaking a little off shore and it wasn’t very choppy.

However, this was the first time I’ve ever felt cold in my wetsuit. I think I’d been out there a half hour when I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I’ve never tried to surf this time of year, and I think I found the limit on my wetsuit. It’s too cold for it right now.

Clark’s dad’s wetsuit is the same thickness as mine, and he said he started getting cold in his too. Clark, on the other hand, has a thicker wetsuit, and he said he was actually sweating in it!

I sat in the Jeep and waited while the other two got their fill of surfing for the day. When we got back to the beach house, I was very happy to get back into my warm, dry sweats, get under a blanket on the couch and drink some beers. Clark and I got some takeout for dinner and drove home last night.

Today, I’ve got an easy 4.5-miler and strength training on the schedule. I also need to go to Walmart before this snow hits tonight and tomorrow.

I still have yet to meet my niece! Dave asked if we wanted to come over Saturday, but I already had everything planned for Julie’s thing. We were going to go over to see her yesterday, but when I called Dave, he said they already had a ton of people in and out all day. Hopefully soon!

January 23, 2015

Training for 1/23/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:16 pm

Today, I slogged through a pretty crappy run. The first few miles, my legs felt heavy and clunky. But by the time they finally loosened up, my stomach was up to its usual tricks. I only had to stop in the woods once, around 3.5 miles, but the rest of the way, I kept having to stop to walk off nausea. I don’t know what the deal was.

I made myself do the entire 9.5-mile loop I’d set out for though, and boy am I glad I didn’t take a shortcut home, because otherwise I wouldn’t have been there when, two miles from the end, some old guy in a blue Ford pickup pulled up and told me I was the prettiest deer he’d seen out there this season. Now that’s a compliment.

Anyhow… 9.5 crappy miles in the books.

I’m not sure how much running will get done this weekend. Tomorrow, we’re doing a bachelorette thing for Julie, starting with a spa in the morning/early afternoon — I’m getting a massage, hell yeah! — and then going back to her house for a slumber party. I might try to get in a few miles before I meet everyone to go to the spa, or I might just sleep in.

Sunday, it depends on the surf report whether or not I stay around here to get in a run. If the waves are decent, we’ll probably go to the beach.

I’m hoping to get to meet my new niece sometime this weekend too. They got home from Baltimore last night. I told Dave to let me know when they’re feeling up for visitors.

January 22, 2015

Training for 1/22/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:43 pm

You know how certain milestones make you feel old? Like realizing one of your favorite albums was released 20 years ago (actually, Live’s Throwing Copper is 21 years old now), or you have nephews in high school with learner’s permits, or your sister who was in second grade when you graduated from high school is about to graduate from college.

None of that made me feel as old as did today’s announcement that this year will be Jeff Gordon’s final full season!

I turned 10 during his rookie season in 1993. I actually liked him at first, because he was so young, only 12 years older than me, at a time when most team owners preferred to hire older, more experienced veterans. Then he started winning in 1994. Soon he was dominating. Then he got cocky or whiny, depending on whether he won or not, or at least I thought he did. By the end of the 1995 season, I was a full-blown Gordon hater. The night before he won his first championship that year, I pounded out a very angry rant about him on my older sister’s typewriter, and taped to the other side of the page a newspaper picture of him I’d drawn on to make it look like he was crying about a blown engine.

I hated him with a passion for a very long time. Really though, it’s not as much fun to watch NASCAR, or any sport, if you don’t have a personal nemesis. It’d be like Batman without the Joker. Boring. So as much as I stomped and screamed when he won, especially if he beat Bobby to do it, deep down I guess I was a teensy bit glad he was there.

In 2004, Gordon was in a bit of slump. It’d been three years since he won his fourth championship, but I still despised him. That was when I started dating Clark… a Gordon fan. We had a lot of fun picking on each other’s drivers. Unfortunately for me though, while Gordon just wasn’t dominating anymore, Bobby was in a real skid, so I didn’t get too many chances to rub anything in Clark’s face.

I just found some MS Paint files on my old laptop. Clark made this one after the 2005 Daytona 500, which Gordon won, while Bobby blew an engine 15 laps into the race and finished dead last:

clark screen shot

What an ass. So I made a rebuttal:

my screen shot

Well, neither of them have won a championship since then, so we were both wrong!

I also found this MS Paint file, which I’m pretty sure I made just to use as my desktop image:

gordon sucks

Clever.

Anyway, it was probably the 2005 Coca-Cola 600 that my hatred started to shift from Gordon to Jimmie stupid Johnson. That was the race Johnson clipped Bobby right at the line to take the win. Bobby left Joe Gibbs Racing at the end of that season and was never really in a competitive ride again, while Johnson won his first of six championships in eight years the following year.

Since then, I’ve developed a bit of nostalgic respect for Gordon. He’s old now. So am I, just not quite as much. At last year’s Brickyard 400, he and Bobby were the only two drivers in the field who’d been in the inaugural Brickyard in 1994, and Bobby was just in a one-race ride. Gordon is the last full time driver remaining from when I started watching NASCAR. Everyone else from that era, when I really cared about it the most, has died or retired.

And now he’s on his way out. He said he might run a part-time schedule after this year, but this will be the last year he runs the whole season. The 14-year-old me, from 1997, when Gordon was at his peak, would be thrilled to hear he’s leaving. She used to wish he’d dry up and blow away all the time. But the nearly 32-year-old me is a bit sad about it.

Gordon’s not completely off the hook though — he’s still largely responsible for the fact that Johnson is even a thing in NASCAR now. He’s a partial owner of Johnson’s team, and he encouraged Rick Hendrick to hire him. Thanks a lot, Gordon.

Anyway, today I went out to the Sharptown bridge for some hill repeats. Six of them, to be exact. I did a mile to warm up, ran up and over the bridge six times and did another mile to cool down. Total of 5.2 miles in 43:something, about an 8:22/mile average, including the easy warm up and cool down miles. I was a little sore from that strength training yesterday, so I was pleased to pull off a halfway decent average pace.

January 21, 2015

Training for 1/21/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:16 pm

Well, when I got home from work yesterday, I didn’t get around to taking Pepper to the trail for a short run (he didn’t seem too broken up about it) and when Clark got home, we didn’t get around to doing any strength training.

But this morning, we got up early enough to do the strength training before work. We did another session from that surf workout app on Clark’s phone. The exercises are all pretty simple, and you don’t need much equipment to do them, but stacked up one after the other for more than an hour, it adds up. I was toast at the end.

I still wanted to run today though. It looked pretty nice out this morning. Of course, I kept putting it off. When I finally got my butt in gear, it was snowing and the wind was blowing.

I had an easy 9 miles on the schedule. It wasn’t too cold, but the first mile, I was running into the wind and even though I had on a baseball hat, the huge snowflakes were darting right into my eyes. It stung like hell! I think I’ve worn Oakleys in the past while running in the snow, but I didn’t think about it today until it was too late, and I didn’t feel like going back for them.

Fortunately, I made a turn onto another road after the first mile, and the wind was no longer blowing the snow directly into my face. It wasn’t bad at all after that.

However, the farther I got from my own road, which is relatively busy and therefore had zero snow sticking to it, the slicker the back roads got, and I was just wearing regular shoes, not my trail shoes. I was running through the swamp past the ferry when my foot almost slipped out from under me for the first time.

So I cut the run short to the 7.3-mile loop and walked whenever it got slippery. Of course, by the time I got home, the snow was ending. I thought about doing a quick out-and-back to tack on those two missing miles, but the house was right there and I really wanted a hot shower.

January 20, 2015

Training for 1/20/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 12:27 pm

This morning, I got up early to get in a short run before my usual Tuesday meeting. It was below freezing again, but the wind was blowing at an agreeable 0 mph, my favorite!

I left about a half hour before sunrise, when the sky was starting to lighten up to the east. It was really pretty — the first light of the day, the frost on everything, the custom-made light-up woodpecker-on-a-palm tree still glowing in the neighbor’s front yard. I really need to try to get a picture of that thing. I thought it was a Christmas decoration, but it’s still there almost a month later, so who knows. It’s bizarre though.

Anyway, I did an easy lap around the 4.5-mile loop. Since I never got around to that 3-miler yesterday, and today’s supposed to be the nicest day all week, I might go home early enough to take Pepper to the trail. It’s been a long time since he ran with me. I don’t think he’s gone once this year, it’s been so damn cold. Then Clark wants to do some more strength training tonight.

Last night, I got a couple picture messages from Aunt Helen, who went up to Baltimore with Mom to see Kaylee. Jealous! But it sounds like everyone is recovering from this past weekend, though Kasey was still on antibiotics for a fever yesterday.

Aunt Helen and her new grandniece.

Aunt Helen and her new grandniece.

And my mom with her new granddaughter.

And my mom with her new granddaughter.

January 19, 2015

Training for 1/19/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 2:41 pm

Well, first things first, I have a niece!

kaylee

Kaylee Marguerite Schmidt was born at 8:31 a.m. yesterday, Jan. 18, 2015, weighing 8 lbs., 11 oz. You can’t see it because she’s wearing that hat, but she has a ton of hair — not taking after her daddy at all haha.

Her arrival was hardly easy, unfortunately for her mom and dad. Kasey’s due date was Jan. 4. As the days passed since then, with no baby news, I didn’t want to be the jerk constantly texting Dave or Kasey “hey, had that baby yet? hurr hurrrr.” I would imagine that bugs the shit out of expecting parents.

Apparently Kasey’s doctor decided to induce labor Friday evening, at the Easton hospital. I didn’t know that.

When I went to the kitchen to eat breakfast Saturday morning, I saw I had a missed call and a voicemail from my mom from about an hour earlier (I always leave my phone to charge in the kitchen.) Of course my first thought was “Kasey’s had the baby! Yay!” Normally I just call my mom back (who the hell leaves voicemail anymore?) but for some reason I listened to the message first.

Mom sounded like she’d either just woken up or hadn’t slept at all, and all she said was “Call me back as soon as you get this. I’ll try Clark’s phone next.” Sure enough, Clark had a missed call on his phone too.

Well if that isn’t ominous, I don’t know what is. So I called Mom.

“So you know Kasey went to Easton to be induced last night…” No, I didn’t, but anyway, why do you sound so worried? Spill it!

Mom said after the process was started, Kasey’s heartbeat got really high while her oxygen levels got lower and lower. Her doctors suspected she had a freaking blood clot in her lung and airlifted her to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. My brother and Kasey’s mom had driven up there. Mom wanted me to drive her and my younger sister there.

I inhaled the rest of my breakfast, threw on some clothes and was brushing my teeth when Mom called back and said Dave had called — he wasn’t sure if the hospital was even allowing visitors because the flu is so bad right now. Kasey was about to be taken in for a CAT scan. So we were supposed to hold off on leaving for Baltimore until Dave found out if we were allowed in there.

I spent the rest of the morning with my phone in my hand, waiting to hear something from someone — if we were going to Baltimore or not, how Kasey was doing, trying not to worry. Waiting for news sucks!

Finally, my little sister called and said the CAT scan showed no clots, which was a major relief. The doctors decided Kasey must have just had an allergic reaction to something, because everything looked OK again. They were inducing her again.

Still no word on whether or not visitors were allowed though, so I was still waiting to see if I was going to Baltimore or not. I didn’t want to leave for a run because I didn’t want to make my family wait for me to get back if they did decide to go. So I did some strength training with Clark instead, one of those surf workouts he found a couple of weeks ago.

It was almost 3:30 p.m. when we got done with that. At that point, I was doubtful my family would go to Baltimore even if Dave said we could, so I decided to go for a short run. I told Clark which loop I was running and to come get me on the off chance someone did call.

I ran the 5.5-mile loop. It was the first run since I’d donated blood Wednesday that I didn’t have to stop and walk every two minutes. In fact, I got through the whole loop without needing to stop once! I was already feeling all that strength training I’d done before I left though.

When I got home, of course, I’d missed a call from my mom, but she had only called to say Kasey had been given an epidural and was doing well, and no, we weren’t going up to Baltimore.

Sunday, I was hoping to wake up and find, say, a picture message of a newborn girl on my phone, but nope, nothing! I couldn’t help myself — I texted Dave and just said “Hey, how’s it going?” He immediately texted back “Literally stepping in for a c section now.” I sent back “Oh shit! Good luck!!” and then drove up to Annapolis with Clark and his dad to help Clark’s brother and his wife move out of their fourth floor apartment and into their new house.

Right after we pulled up to the house, I got the above picture of my new niece from my brother. The kid was here, finally, and everyone was doing well. All’s well that ends well, right?

The rest of the day, we moved Chad and Samira’s stuff from the apartment to either a storage unit or the house, which has been pretty much gutted in preparation for the total overhaul they’re doing while living in it. Right now it has one mostly-completed bathroom, a super sweet Tempurpedic bed, heat, electricity and Verizon FiOS. The rest of the house, including where the kitchen will be, is a blank slate. I can’t wait to see what this place looks like when they’re done with it.

I believe they’re keeping the charming parts of the house, built in 1936, like the hardwood floors and radiators, and updating the other stuff, like the heavy plaster walls and asbestos siding. You can see where it’s headed in the upstairs bathroom, which has the first wall-mounted toilet I’ve ever seen in someone’s house.

Last night, after we’d finished moving everything, Clark got a TV hooked up to the FiOS, grilled up some bison meat and asparagus on the little Weber grill he’d brought and we all sat in what will be the dining room and watched the second football playoff game.

We got home around 11:30 p.m. and I was out like a light as soon as I got in bed. This morning, I didn’t get up in time to run before I had to be in Denton to cover a Martin Luther King Jr. Day event, so I still have to do the easy 3-miler and strength training on the schedule.

I don’t know when I’ll get to meet my new niece. I’m pretty sure after everything Dave and Kasey went through this weekend, the last thing they want up at Johns Hopkins is a room full of relatives to put up with, so I don’t expect to see them until they come home. Dave told Mom when they were considering the C-section the doctors figured it would be at least Wednesday or Thursday this week before they’d get to come home, and last night, he told her he nor Kasey had even gotten to hold Kaylee yet because she’d been in an oxygen tent since she was born for respiratory therapy or something. So who knows! I haven’t heard anything new today.

One last note, I feel like a whiny brat complaining about feeling short of breath while running after donating blood last week, trying to imagine what Kasey must have felt like yesterday after not sleeping for days, working through labor and then going through major abdominal surgery to top it all off. She must feel like she actually got run over by a Mack truck. I hope she’s gotten to hold her baby today!

January 16, 2015

Training for 1/16/15

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:10 pm

I’m still feeling the effects of donating blood a couple of days ago. I hope I am, anyway. I was going to run my 7.3-mile loop today, but by the end of the first mile, I was so out of breath, I had to take a walk break. I cut short the run to the 4.5-mile loop instead, with plenty of walk breaks whenever I needed them.

I was wondering how long it typically takes me to feel normal again after donating blood, so I looked up my donation history on the blood bank’s website and then looked up my blog entries from the days after. Most of my donating has been done when I was either injured or in a training downtime anyway, but I did find this entry from Feb. 16, 2011, when I was smack dab in the middle of the peak of marathon training for that year’s Shamrock:

“This morning, I didn’t feel any different after the blood donation yesterday afternoon, so I did my push-ups, ab exercises, invisible chair-sitting and 5.5 easy miles with Pepper as planned.”

Well la dee da, how wonderful for you, Abby from four years ago! Showoff.

Anyway, the old, decrepit version of myself I’m apparently living with now is going to try to do a long run tomorrow. It has to be tomorrow, because Clark and I are going up to Annapolis on Sunday to help move his brother and sister-in-law, so there will be no time for running that day. I wanted to bump up the 10.5 miles that went so well last weekend to the 14.5-mile loop this weekend, but I’ll just see how I feel, I guess.

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