MarathonMaiden's Blog

October 5, 2010

Mopey. But There’s A Physics Cartoon!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — marathonmaiden @ 14:58

From my last post it seems like a lot of you are slacking in the core work department. It makes me feel better because I skipped last night’s session and the one I was going to do this morning.  Oops.

Tonight.

Maybe.

It’s just been cold and rainy lately. And with my budget being what it is, my roomies and I have decided to not turn the heat on yet.  I mean, it is only the beginning of October after all.  This leaves my apartment cold and rain + cold = blanket on couch with book.  End of story.

The weather was more of the same this morning too: 54*, 96% humidity, RAIN.  Lots of rain.  Luckily (?) the rain was mostly mist for the majority of the run.  I still got soaked by the end but it wasn’t so bad.

The run itself wasn’t so bad either.  I was going to do a speed session but, even though my warm up was feeling good, I ended up saying screw it.  You may think that I just thought those words but I uttered them aloud.  My heart wasn’t really into it and I figured that whatever I did today wouldn’t really help me out that much on Monday.

Justification much? 😀

That said I may do some short sprints later this week just to “reawaken” those fast twitch muscles.  Or do a tempo.  We’ll see.

True to MM form I opted for a long run today.  I also figured that doing a long run on my typical long run day (Saturday) wouldn’t be the best for Monday.  And you know how much I like going long.

Today was a truer recovery than yesterday was supposed to be.  It wasn’ t like last week where my body just said NO to any kind of pace but it was much slower than yesterday.  A good thing.

  • 1st loop: 4.1 miles @ 8:54
  • 2nd loop: 5.6 miles @ 8:48
  • 3rd loop:     2.8 miles @ 8:21
  • total:                  12.5 miles @ 8:44

I’m glad that I didn’t end up doing the speedwork. I tried to pick it up a little bit during each loop and I just didn’t want to.  Why force it? I will say that my body doesn’t hurt the way it did yesterday.  I don’t know what it was but every. single. muscle. hurt.  Today? Not at all.  Weird. Still, better safe than sorry.  And I know that longer runs don’t run me down the way speed stuff does.

And this weather is making me kind of mopey and grouchy. And the whole lack of sleep thing. I actually had a really mopey paragraph here but I think it made me feel WORSE by writing it out.  So I deleted it.  Oh the power of amazingness just deleting it felt.

I just need to remind myself that I A) had a great run today B) am working with fun people so the work day will *hopefully* go better and C) this weekend is going to be great: the weather is going to be nice and I have a race.

So I’ll leave it there.  A nice short post. And the physics joke that made me smile this morning and lifted my mood (aka xkcd.com is AWESOME and I will be on there periodically today 🙂 )

And check out the giveaway from Shut Up and Run

September 1, 2010

Monthly Recap: August 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 20:00

Whoa there. This year has just been FLYING. I can’t believe yet another month is over and especially August.  Despite not being a student anymore (TEAR) the beginning of September is always bittersweet.  Sure we’ll get hot days (and are kind of having some this week), and likely could until October or November, but summer just feels over once I turn the page in my calendar to September.  Plus because it’s New England we could have snow in October or November.  Gahhh.  I need to move to a warmer climate! NOW.

Enough sadness. Because September means things like Labor Day Weekend, pretty foliage and APPLE PICKING.  I am anxiously awaiting for the first opportunity to do so. And I know that you’re sick of me talking about it by now muahaha!

Cooler weather (theoretically) also means that exciting stuff can happen with my running too.  I have a half marathon Labor Day weekend which will be a good barometer of where I’m at.  And maybe I’ll really start contemplating a late fall marathon.  I keep saying it and I do want to do one but the timing is just off.  I’d love to do a winter race but New England is not conducive to that.  We’ll see.

But before I get ahead of myself, let’s look back at what was August shall we?

And in true MM style it’s long.  But there’s a picture at the end so don’t get mad. Mmmmmkay?

Week of August 2 –  August 8

  • 49.5 Miles
  • 6 Hours 56 Minutes 11 Seconds
  • 8:25 Pace
  • 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT, 1 rest day

If I had known how close I was to 50 miles I sooooooo would have run that extra half mile. And that likely would have gotten me to 7 hours even.  Oh well.  This was the week that I was on vacay so I can’t really complain.  I had a great time in Texas and the running was great too, especially as I got to run with Jess again.  Plus: look how fast I was this week 🙂

Week of August 9 –  August 15

  • 65.5 Miles
  • 9 Hours 10 Minutes 43 Seconds
  • 8:25 Pace
  • 1 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT, 0 rest day

I guess I can look at the previous week as a cut back week and once I got back from vacay my stress amped up with the MCAT and moving.  And I took it out on my running.  But looking back at this week in my log book all my runs have comments saying how fast and ON I was feeling.  I also got to run my first run at my new place on Sunday of this week which was exciting 🙂

I also started going core on that Sunday too.  Let’s just say my abs were not ready for their wake up after 5 weeks off!

Week of August 16 –  August 22

  • 61.4 Miles
  • 8 Hours 51 Minutes 51 Seconds
  • 8:40 Pace
  • 4X Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT, 0 rest day

My pace just shut down this week as I started running at 0530 in the morning.  And as my body adjusted to the path I was running on as opposed to the roads.  But it’s okay because I also started working this week which, being week one, was WAY stressful.  But great at the same time.  I think this was the week that I really was starting to feel life come together a bit.

Week of August 23 –  August 28

  • 67.3 Miles
  • 9 Hours 36 Minutes 4 Seconds
  • 8:34 Pace
  • 0 Core, 0 Lifting, 0 XT, 0 rest day

And then the core work stopped.  Oops.  I need to really make an effort to keep it up because, and I’ve said this before, I am such a vain person and love the way my abs look after consistent core work.  Not that my abs are terrible as is but I like having definition there.

My pace was at a good place this week and I remember having some “race” runs with some of the males on the running path this week.  If I recall correctly I won them 😉

The mileage was a bit higher than I’d like but I know that’s because I ran a long run this week that was much longer than what I’ve done since the spring and some of my weekday runs have had 1-2 miles tacked on because I was feeling good and fast.  I’m not worried about this becoming a trend.  I may stay low 60s but I don’t plan on increasing the miles anytime soon.  Unless I find a marathon in November/December/January to commit to.

Month of August

  • 270.2 Miles
  • 38 Hours 27 Minutes 32 Seconds
  • 8:33 Pace

Definitely a good solid month for me.  The fastest overall monthly pace! Woot!

Not the biggest month ever (I don’ t think anything could top this past June) but a good month indeed.  I actually just checked and it’s the LOWEST monthly total this year.

I could be extra nerdy and go back to last year’s data to compare August 2010 vs 2009 (and I’m doing this kind of stuff for work so I’m in full nerd mode) but I think it’s accurate to

Eff it. I’m a nerd and these research reports are now my job. I’m loving that I get to work in MEDICINE and with NUMBERS.

August:

  • 2010 : 270.2 miles
  • 2009: 264.3 miles
  • Perfect change: 2.2%

Year to date:

  • 2010: 2771.0 miles
  • 2009: 1883.1 miles
  • Percent change: 47.1%

So clearly up in both.  Crazy how much more I’ve run so far in 2010 than this same time in 2009.

But back to August 2010.  This is a currently monthly recap after all.

The weekly miles are a tad high (by like maybe 5-8 each week) but I’m not worried about it.  I’m still down from July’s monthly total which I’m sure a lot of you guys enjoy seeing 😉

So the fast overall pace, despite having some slower times since my move, makes the upcoming fall, which I touched upon in my first paragraphs, really exciting to think about. I think my body would be primed for a marathon in the next 3-4 months.

I don’t really have any goals per se for this month.  Maybe try to fit in lifting.  Without access to a gym, however, my motivation to do so is very little.

And I want to try to find the funds to race more.  I have 3-4 5ks that I’d love to do, as well as the Tufts 10k that I’ve done the past 2 years.  Oh yeah and my upcoming half this weekend.

It’s time to turn all these miles and wicked hardwork into PRs and hardcore bamfness 8)

I need to feel like this again

Providence Marathon 2009. Debut and BQ 🙂

August 17, 2010

Excuses Excuses

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 09:59

Thanks for the many many congrats with the MCAT and good lucks for the job! You guys rock.

And I’m glad y’all like Zoolander.  I’m 100% resisting the urge to quote is now. It’s totally a classic 🙂

My first day on the job was great.  Maybe a little boring because I’m going so much orientation stuff and getting familiar with the clinic.  But I totally think I’ll be very happy here for the next year.  Provided I don’t get overwhelmed the first week aha!

I don’t think I ever said what I’m doing though? Well the brief synopsis is that I’m the IT Development Research Coordinator (my job title changed after I took the position) at a clinic which provides free health care to the uninsured.  My job is primarily with the medical records and making sure they’re being maintained properly and that there are no issues with it.  I’m also responsible for the program that puts brand name drugs in our patients hands.  So I’m pretty excited.  If I decide to take more time off before heading into med school this would be a HUGE boost to my application (currently I can’t really talk about it because I haven’t done anything yet!)  But that’s what’s going on in my work life.  I don’t think it’ll be too exciting day to day, maybe long hours, but the overall picture is pretty exciting.

Now onto the running! But first…I’m really liking the whole insert-a-song-that’s-stuck-in-my-head thing.  This one is appropriate because, in terms of my running, I am solo.  Although I will say there are a few guys and gals that I’m thinking of approaching because they look like they’d be awesome to run with.  So scary though, asking someone to run with you! haha.

And this song is in my head because it’s just a kickass song. Although does it bother anyone else that he *doesn’t* go “Jaaaaaaaaaason Derulo” at the beginning?  Because it kind of bothers me.  In fact, I even had a friend (when I was in Philly) sing my full name like that when I walked into a room.  Yes I’m that awesome haha 🙂

When I last left you (gosh I feel like I’m writing a weekly drama or something…previously on MarathonMaiden haha!) on Sunday, I was about to head out for my first exploratory run in the new ‘hood.  And it was fun.  I ran along the boulevard road a couple blocks over from my house.  Nothing too fancy, just a nice path that a full loop is 3 miles.  Yeah, I’m going to have to find some new places to supplement because 3 miles (roughly 4 starting from my place) isn’t going to cut it.  But I managed to get a good 8.2 miles in.  The pace was decent, roughly 8:37.  Nothing like the runs I’d had earlier that week but I’m chalking it up to the stress of moving 😉

I also reintegrated core work into my routine on Sunday too.  Yikes.  The last time I did core was 5 weeks ago.  Literally the day before I left for my Philly trip in July.   Needless to say I woke up Monday morning a bit sore.  I was actually sore Sunday night! But it’s the good kind of sore.  The kind that says “dayyyyyyyyyyum you are working!”.  Of course it goes without saying that I probably shouldn’t have gone as long as I did between sessions but whatever.  Now that I’ve started doing it again I’ll likely be able to “guilt” myself into doing core more often.  Not that it should be so hard: I love having some tight abs 🙂

Which is why on Monday morning I did them again.  After my run though, which might have been a mistake because I definitely was running through a rain shower for the majority of my miles and when I got back to my apartment I was pretty soaked.  Not to mention my hair was all knotted because of the weather.  Annoying. The last thing I wanted to do was work my core.  But like I said, I’m vain and want my abs to look hotttttttt.

But the rain actually was kind of nice while I was out there.  It hadn’t started yet when I left my apartment at 0545 (ugh to early wake ups again!) and I can totally tolerate the rain as long as I start with no precipitation.  Does that make me weird?

Because it was so early I ran the same route as I did the day before just because I was familiar with it and because it was a legit running path and I knew that there would be at least a few people out.  And there were.  So I got another 8.2 miles.  A bit slower though.  I’m thinking 8:45? I know I have it written down in my log book but I’m too lazy to get up and check.  I’m blaming the fact that I haven’t seen a 0530 wake up in quite some time.

Man I’m just filled with excuses this post 😉

I did run a negative split by about a minute (I ran the 4.1 route twice). That’s good even if the pace isn’t quite where I want it to be.  I guess in the grand scheme of things I’m not in training for anything (although I should be if I’m really going to do a half over Labor day weekend and a 10k over Columbus day.  They’re coming up!)

Today I don’t have to go into work until 1300.  Which is nice until you think about the fact that I’m not getting out until 2200.  Ugh.  But it’s okay.  It’s a clinic day so there will be lots to do and I’ll be able to interact with doctors and volunteers and be moving around.

It’s also okay because I didn’t have to get up at 0530 to run! I don’t know what I’m going to do with my running schedule.  It’s obviously in my best interest to maintain a regular bedtime/wake up butttt if I’m staring work at 0900 twice a week and 1300 twice a week (I’m 99.99% sure that if I hit my hours over the 4 days I get Friday off. Woot.) then I really don’t want to get up at 0530 the days I don’t *have* to.  And let’s face it: I’m not skipping a morning run to keep my wake up later either.  I really don’t want to run after work as I’m going to be hungry for dinner and very likely unmotivated.  So for the time being I’m going to keep separate wake-ups.

Basically that whole previous paragraph was a segue into my run today, Tuesday.  A long segue but a segue for sure. (And can you tell that I have a hard time doing these catchup posts that I need to bold the days of the week?! haha).

Anyway.  Since I got to “sleep in” I got up a little before 8 and was greeted outside by 92% humidity.  No joke.  So I knew that a stellar run to make up for the “slower runs” the past few days wasn’t really going to happen.  Still, since I’m lazy and only have my 1 route right now, I hit the streets/path for another 8.2.  This time it was a little faster than Monday — maybe an 8:39 pace? — but it felt so sluggish. There was a *slight* negative split but it was much more even than the day before.  But hey: negative split = negative split.  No matter if it’s a minute or 30 seconds!

I tried to play racing games a la Jess but it really wasn’t happening.  The middle 4 miles were somewhat great though and I did pass people, but I think all the excitement of the past few days / week has caught up to me.  No rest for the weary though: this is my new schedule and my body is just going to have to adapt.  I don’ t think it’ll take too long to do but after living on my own schedule I’m not enjoying the transition back into obligations that aren’t flexible.

On the other hand, since I went running today later than Monday there were a lot more people out.  It always makes me feel better to see a plethora of runners.  Including some very good looking shirtless men.  Maybe I saw them during those 4 miles that felt good and that’s why those miles didn’t feel as bad?  Eye candy is always appreciated in my book haha.

But whew. Another LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG catch up post?! Blah.  I promise I’ll get better 🙂

July 2, 2010

Ooooooooooooh we’re halfway there

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 11:00

Bear with me as I wanted to get A LOT into this post: weekly totals, monthly total, year-to-date, New Year goals, what’s next….

I’m not quite sure how interested you guys are in week-by-week accounts of the month or if you want the whole story right away.  But I’m going to break it down weekly just because I think there are a couple of interesting trends that went on.

First off I want to make a big fat disclaimer that this month was obscene.  I had absolutely NO intentions of running as much as I did.  But May ended graduation and I flung myself full throttle into the process of studying for the MCAT as well as applying to medical schools.  This led to the rise of the double (and occasional triple).

I’m actually semi-embarrassed by my totals.  Sure, I do feel great physically with no true wear and tear buttttt….the fact that I was running so much and not keeping tabs on my mileage makes me feel a little bit silly.  I highly doubt I would have run so much if I had known how quickly those “just a few more minutes” or “just another mile” moments added up.

That said, no regrets. While the numbers may be blush-inducing I feel great.  I feel fast and strong. Ultimately I think that’s what matters.

Too bad I don’t have a marathon on the horizon and most fall marathons have already filled up.  Couple that with the fact that New England doesn’t have any December/January marathons and I’m feeling a bit bummed that I can’t *truly* capitalize on this fitness.  Ideally I’d want to take the rest of the summer and scale back and then NAIL a winter marathon.  Maybe Disney? Any other thoughts? In the interim, I do have the local 5 miler in July, a half planned for September and a 10k in October but my mileage is a bit overkill for that.  Hell, it’s a bit overkill for a marathon to be honest.

So here it is, with slight commentary because I was an idiot and didn’t write down lots of thoughts during the actual weeks themselves:

Week of May 31 – June 6

  • 92.3 Miles
  • 13 hours 23 minutes 32 seconds
  • 8:43 pace
  • 3X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT

First week where I really did doubles with regularity.  At first my double runs were slower, or at least felt slower, but overall very happy with the pace.

Week of June 7 – June 13

  • 112.6 Miles
  • 16 hours 30 minutes 30 seconds
  • 8:48 pace
  • 3X Core, 1X Lifting,0 XT

More miles.  And a slightly slower average pace.  Still a wayyyyy faster pace than during Boston training.  There seems to be an interesting line between a slower average pace but with speedwork (Boston) or just easier runs everyday and a faster average pace.

Week of June 14 -June 20

  • 128.1 Miles
  • 18 hours 39 minutes 12 seconds
  • 8:45 pace
  • 2X Core, 2X Lifting, 0 XT

Bam.  Definitely a weekly PR.  Included the triple where I amassed 21 miles in a day (which I went on to repeat later this month) AND I got to run with Jess.  Which I think was a turning point because my runs have just gotten speedier since then.  I also got in an actual long run this week, not a split one, after going out drinking the night before.  So a very interesting, but awesome, week to say the least.

Week of June 21 – June 27

  • 125.5 Miles
  • 18 hours 2 minutes 2 seconds
  • 8:38 pace
  • 4X Core, 1X Lifting, 0 XT

Boom.  Pace dropped.  The miles were “scaled back”.  Not intentionally and obviously 3 miles isn’t a lot when the total is so high. I’m just very impressed with the pace for this particular week.

Month of June

  • 500.5 miles
  • 72 hours 38 minutes 12 seconds
  • 8:42 pace

Well these miles are ridiculous and definitely a new monthly PR.  The pace is just mind-blowing to me.  How could I run an average of 8:42 for 500.5 miles?!  I mentioned earlier in the post that there was that interesting trade off when I have speedwork in my week and that generated a slower overall pace.  I think that not needing the shuffle runs this month helped; everything was even keeled.  Well I also think the key is the double.  I was able to sufficiently recover from 2 X 6 miles (or even a 7-9-5 day!) because my ass was glued to a chair and I got to eat between.

Year to Date

  • 2169.1 miles
  • Too lazy to calculate time or pace hahah

Well if I remember correctly from my New Year’s goals post way back when….well actually I just looked back and I never had a mileage goal for 2010.  I know that 2009’s total was 3116.0 so I’m well on my way to smashing that.  Not sure if I want to though.

In light of the New Year’s goals I figured now would also be a good time to re-evaluate the concrete goals as well as the ways I wanted to reach them (and I just pasted the actual goals here with my current thoughts, although anything in red or bolded is from the original.  If you want to see the original thoughts you can click the link above):

Goals for 2010:

  • PR (duh who doesn’t?).  I don’t know how obvious it is or how clearly it comes across in my blogging but I race to race.  I don’t sign up to “have fun”.  I sign up so I can run hard enough to want to puke my guts out when I cross the finish line. I think that by incorporating new strength moves and speed workouts will help that.  Mixing things up and see what happens.  Specifically (and yes they are lofty but I think that with some real focus I can come real close to most if  not all of ‘em): I really wish I had been able to race more!
  1. sub 20:00 5k Haven’t raced one yet!
  2. sub 43:00 10k Haven’t raced one yet! (But definitely have one for October)
  3. sub 1:40:00 half Haven’t raced one yet! (But will in September)
  4. 3:35:00 marathon — I was going to write sub 3:30 but that’s an 8 minute pr and I’m not sure how realistic that would be.  Actually to hell with it: the goal is sub 3:30.  I left the last marathon feeling like I had plenty of gas in the tank so we’ll see if I can capitalize on that in 2010. The red is what I wrote back in December/January.  Came close with Boston with 3:35:53.  Unfinished business.
  • Do an ultra. I had one in mind right for right after graduation but all those toe infections, shin problems put that one one hold
  • Dare I say it? Requalify for Boston. Check 🙂
  • Not sure how realistic this one is as I have no idea where I’ll be in the fall but I want to run MCM.
  • And super long term I want to run the Big 5: New York, Boston, Berlin, London, Chicago.  Maybe I could get lucky and find myself in Europe this fall / next year. I can dream right? :) Well no plans right now to make good on this one
  • Have fun. I am.  Yes I tend to stress out really easy but running really has been fun.  Especially post Boston where I’m just running for the hell of it.

And the ways I wanted to get there:

  • Drink more water. Yes. I am definitely drinking more water than I did last year.  But not nearly enough.  One 16 oz bottle isn’t going to cut it.  I know I drink other stuff during the day but I need more H2O
  • Get faster. Well by looking at my marathon PR and this past months weekly totals I’d say YES.  But I originally wrote that I wanted to do this via speedwork and the funny thing is that lack of speedwork dropped my overall pace.  But I did go fast in Boston using speedwork so different tactics with different logic behind doing it.
  • Get stronger. AKA strength train more. Yeah.  I’ve been dreading going to the gym lately but I have been going regularly.
  • XT more in general too. Not so much.
  • Stretch more. Ditto above.
  • Respect the rest day. Nope.
  • Listen to my body. Yes and No.  I’m very stubborn but when I was FORCED to listen to my body (back in March/April) I got better at it.  Let’s keep this trend going.
  • Wear sunscreen. Meh.  Definitely room for improvement here too.

So what’s next?

Well I’m thinking that the miles are going to have to come down.  I know I’m not feeling anything terrible right now but it’s only a matter of time before my body can’t withstand the impact.  I know I’m a high mileage runner in general but I’m hoping that July and August is reduced and I find a marathon to do over the winter, or even late fall although I think any around me have filled up.

I also have some unfinished business with my goals so I’m printing out that old post just to keep them in my line of sight and they don’t keep falling by the wayside. I think that I just posted them and then out of sight out of mind.  I need to make a bulletin board or something like that.

And since you made it this far with the post here’s a picture that my friend uncovered from Boston on her camera.  Her caption when she put in on FB was “After she finished. She could have prob. kept running” hahahah.  My response? “So NOT true. but I love this picture anyway” 8)

May 2, 2010

Monthly Recap: April 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:25

April was…an interesting month to say the least.

The foundation for the  month really started on March 28th when I ran the Eastern States 20 Miler.  If you’ve been reading the blog for awhile then this is review but for any new readers that race was awful for me.  I had been dealing with shin splits and there wasn’t a single pain free step that whole race.  I had to take lots of time off that week because I don’t think I could have run on my shins.  I honestly had thought that I had fractured my shin.

Flashforward to the next weekend and I ended up in the hospital for an infection in my toenail.  I had to have a minor procedure and no running for another few days.  By the time I felt okay to run it was ~10 days pre-Boston.  I still wasn’t doing any speedwork and the actual running I was doing was minimal.

Then Boston happened and I ran the race of my life (well so far. Hopefully I improve as the years go on ha!).  I had no pain and ran a PR with a negative split.  Then came recovery for a few days and I got two decent runs in before I was back in the hospital for the staph infection that I needed an IV for.  Aka no running.

Soooooo April was a HUGE nosedive from previous months with intensity and miles.  Which I’m trying to be okay with.  I have two thoughts on it, one is that this sucks.  Hardcore.  I’m so type A that to be forced to back off is mind blowing and slightly terrifying.  Granted things worked out with the marathon (PR baby) but it’s still hard for me to trust that rest works.  The other thought is that rest works.  My body needed this month to be not intense running wise.  And it was a good mental exercise too.

I keep going back and forth between the mindsets with some days easier than others. But such is life I guess.

With that all said, here’s how the weeks broke down with a sentence or so about them.  I was lazy (or too distracted by NOT running) this month to do them as the weeks passed so my memory is kind of shaky.

Week of March 29 – April 4

  • 54.5 miles
  • 8 hours 46 minutes 8 seconds
  • 9:39 pace
  • 3 x core, 1x lift, LOTS of  XT

Well so much for really cutting back post-Eastern States.  Although I suppose that 54<100. At this point I decided to 100% cut out speedwork for the remainder of the cycle up until Boston (and which is why during the weekly breakdown all the average paces are SO SLOW.  No speedwork to pull those paces down).  I also reduced the lifting this week from 3X –> 1X and then after that first week of the month lifting got cut completely. Partly because of taper, partly out of my shins.

Week of April 5 – 11

  • 38.7 miles
  • 6 hours 2 minutes 27 seconds
  • 9:22 pace
  • 5 X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT

Really ramped up the XT here with the further decrease in miles.  I think I got a little obsessive and worried that my cardio-fitness was going to be lost though because I was constantly thinking that I should go back to the gym to do more!

Week of April 12-19

  • 27.8 miles
  • 4 hours 26 minutes 42 seconds
  • 9:36 pace
  • 3X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT, One rest day

Took my first 100% rest day in a *very* long time* (like November?)

Week of April 19 – 25

  • 40.7 miles
  • 5 hours 54 minutes 59 seconds
  • 8:43 pace
  • 3X core, 0X lift, LOTS of XT

Week of Boston! Which is why the average pace is WAY lower than the other weeks ha! I got two 7 milers over this weekend and my legs definitely felt recovered (which makes what happened on Sunday — toe infection — so hard to deal with) although by the end my quads were a little fatigued.

Week of April 26 – May 2

  • 8.1 miles
  • 1 hours 15 minutes 5 seconds
  • 9:16 pace
  • 4X core, 0X lift, Minimal XT

Week of severe toe infection.  So lots of rest here.  As you can see I did sneak out for an 8 miler (on Sunday which isn’t getting counted as April because it was May 2nd) because the toe/leg was not red at all and there was no pain. The run itself was really relaxed and easy.

April:

  • 152.4 miles
  • 23 hours 41 minutes 21 seconds
  • 9:20 pace
  • Lots of core, Little lifting, Lots of XT, One rest day

Overall I’m trying to be happy.  The rest was good for pushing me mentally into getting out of the go-go-go-keep-pushing-no-matter-what attitude despite how hard it was.  But I can’t grow if I don’t challenge what’s comfortable right?

And all the non-running days obviously didn’t hurt me because I rocked Boston (if I do say so myself 😉 ) and not only did I run well but the mentality of Boston was so much fun.  I think that I was able to salvage something from my overtrained state.

This month (May)  I”m going to have to up the lifting soon as I lifted…once (?) this whole month! I kept the core going strong though and totally rocked the XT.  I’m going to try to strike a balance between the (hideously horrible) XT and running.  Although overall I don’t hate XT as much as I did before.  I think I’m getting tolerant of it 😉

Happy Sunday all.  Hope your month of May is starting off right 🙂

to a job that send me a secondary application (yay!) and kicking back with lots of ginger ale.

March 15, 2010

Spring Break? Really? You Don’t Say

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:32

Ughhhh. Now before I say this I’m going to preface it with: I know that some of you have it worse and get up wayyyy earlier than I did today. But when you have been naturally waking up on your own for the past 8-10 weeks (even if it’s still sleep deprivation as I physically can’t sleep in) an alarm clock sucks.  I don’t care if it’s 0400, 1000 or even past noon. Alarm = suckage.  So I won’t try to have a pissing contest to see who gets up earlier.  Suffice it to say: it was earlier than a natural wake-up, dark out (stupid DST) and incredibly painful.

Butttt I felt the need to get a good hard run in before my sports med appointment this morning.  My mentality was a stupid one: god forbid the doctor tell me I can’t run for a bit, I wanted to have a solid run in. Go ahead: berate me all you want but I know most of you would have done it too. (That said, I wasn’t entirely stupid about it and if I actually thought I was seriously hurting myself then DUH I wouldn’t have.  But I was really freaking myself out the past two nights over the what-ifs so I went into today with the above mentality)

Alas the monsoon still rages outside.  That coupled with absolute darkness made the gym a good choice.  So I pulled on some cute gym clothes (because even in the wee hours of the morning you never know who you’re going to run into *coughhotboyscough* at the gym).  AKA I threw on a lime green bra and a white t-shirt which would subsequently show off said bra when I got all sweaty (aka 5 minutes into the run).  Go ahead: call me a lady of the night or something similar 🙂

The run went really well.  Yesterday I think I noted that there was absolutely no shin pain and I’m likely to think the cause is that I started off the run slower than a typical TM run.  So I did the same thing today.  There was still calf soreness (interestingly in the OTHER calf aka not the shiny-shin-shin one. Compensation for something maybe?) but nothing that changed my stride.  I cruised through some miles (while watching Angel and Charmed. Ummm how could I forget how awesome those shows are?!) until it was time to head off to my appointment.

I also did some corework.  I usually do core when I lift on Mondays but since today was so jammed packed I knew I wouldn’t have time to get back to the gym to lift.  Not such a big deal (I mean I HATE skipping workouts) but I figure core = most important part, so I still got that in.

I had just enough time to inhale a breakfast, change my clothes into something dry (still in workout clothes haha) and dash off to my appointment.  I might have been able to shower butttt I hate being on-time (in my opinion early = on time and on-time = late. If you’re actually late, don’t even bother showing up at all) so I nixed it.  Good call because all the flooding closed some roads and I arrived just in the nick of time (aka 10 minutes early hahah)

SO. This is the part you’ve probably wanted to read.  The Appointment.  The doctor was really nice and first did a visual exam of my right ankle/shin (affected) compared to the left (normal).  I explained what I was training for yada yada yada (including my mileage and intensity as well as my goals for the race) and told him my concerns: that I thought it was just shin splints but it’s been going on for 3 weeks, changing shoes didn’t help and now I’m worried that it could be more serious.

He made me do some toe walks, heel walks, heel stomping etc. and asked about pain level.  No pain, but it feels all bruised and tender.  Comme d’habitude. He then started poking and prodding trying to elicit a “jump off the table” response.  I mean, I could feel it (felt like a bruise and tender but nothing painful).  I was sent for x-rays (yes I know stress fractures don’t typically show up BUT from working at this very department last summer I know doctors have to do it.  Mostly for insurance purposes so that the companies will pay for pricier tests down the road. It shows that the doctor tried to go alternate routes. Lame but whatevs.)

The x-rays were negative (duh).  He said that it was highly unlikely that it was a stress fracture though given the results of what he had made me do prior to the x-rays weren’t in line.  I knew this deep in my gut but it was really nice to hear a medical professional say it. Regardless: BIG SIGH OF RELIEF.

He did say that because there’s swelling and inflammation in the area that he thinks I sprained it at some point (very minorly though, just enough to cause an acute inflammatory response) and that the restriction in my motion has caused the other problems. Aka shin tenderness on both sides of the ankle.

The fix? PT.  I walked out of there with a ‘script and I know that someone is going to “yell” at me (insert eye roll here) but I’ll start that next week when I get back to school and can see a therapist on a regular basis.  I was also told to keep ace bandaging it during running, icing, ibuprofen (as long as my stomach can handle it).  In addition I was told to ace bandage it a couple times over the course of the day just to try and push out the inflammation.

Exercise wise…he told me to basically start the taper now.  At this point he said that it was a risk vs reward and while he certainly isn’t telling me NOT to go through with the next two weeks as planned, he said to play it by ear. I asked what workouts I could do if I had to not run and he said the whole thing comes down to (running and XT)not being in pain (which I am not in at the moment). If it hurts, stop. If I get localized pain, stop and come right back to him. He said that it also comes down to what my goals are.  Clearly I want to race Boston sooooo….yeah.

I’m torn though.  And I feel like I want to put that out there.  I debated for quite sometime where or not to be honest with those feelings or just grin and bear it on the blog because I know many of you are going to be harsh and whatnot when I say that (even if it’s not intended that way, it’s the internet and it’s how I perceive it).  But I want this blog to be honest.  I’m not saying I’m going to disregard what the doc is telling me (I was very impressed with him both researching him online as well as in person.  He’s even giving a lecture at Boston!) butttttt I’m sure you guys “know” me well enough to know that this is a hard thing to wrap my head around.

So here’s what I’m going to do: play it by ear but I’m not sure if I can mentally handle going into the taper 5 weeks from the race.  Like I said yesterday, I’m not sure I can wrap my head around a 3 week taper. But rest assured, I’m not going to do anything stupid.  I mean, as much as I liked this doctor, I think I can live without having to see him again. 🙂

I will say that despite the torn-ness over the whole taper issue, I am feeling very optimistic about the whole appointment.  And I’ll say this again in big bold letters: I AM NOT GOING TO DO ANYTHING STUPID. I am going to play it by ear.  And work with a PT.  So please know that I am taking care of this thing. (Can you tell how much I don’t want to be “yelled” at haha?). Your advice, as always, is welcome.  But please don’t bash me.

Side note: And I think it’s important to note that even if I do “severely” cut back (which I don’t have to do at this point) I’m still going to be logging huge miles simply because I’m at such a high level now.  This past week was…112.7. And a double side note: I know that there’s not way I can keep that up, ankle or not.

After that appointment (and hooray if you’re still reading this marathon of a post haha) I grabbed a quick lunch and headed over to my massage.  And boy was it glorious.  I told her to really only work on my calves.  Yes the butt, hamstring and quads need (and did get) work but with my calves being as tight as they are I wanted the focus there.

It. Felt. Glorious. I mean, my calves were as hard as rocks and soooo tender but a lot of work was done today.  I’m sure I’ll be feeling it in the morning and I tentatively scheduled another one for Thursday (provided that she’s free then).  The last 20 minutes of the session she even dedicated solely to my “bum” ankle.  By the end there was no swelling at all.  Sure once gravity took over it was a bit bigger again butttt I know that getting the old “gunk” out is a good thing.

Wow. Long ass post.  I guess today was such a busy day and I had a lot to say about.  Since getting up I’ve spent a grand total of 1/2 hour at home between appointments and whatnot.  That means that pretty much since getting up I haven’t showered.  Ewwww I am stinky.  So I’m going to go do that and then head over to a friend’s house for some 24 action.  It should be fun because, since the semester was so crazy busy so far for the both of us, we haven’t been able to watch 24 together (or really do much together!). Andddd her family is my family.  It’s going to be a good night!

And (gosh MM, can this post get any longer?!) I apologize to those who have emailed me lately.  I really haven’t had the time to thoughtfully reply (that also goes for replying to comments. I have read them but I haven’t had a chance to reply yet!).  Or really had the time to do much lately so I apologize for those blogs that I couldn’t comment on today — I didn’t turn my computer on until 1600 and the volume of unread blogs was staggering.  Y’all keep busy!

And it’s spring break?! This busy-ness needs to change haha.

March 3, 2010

Monthly Recap: February

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:40

I officially like doing these monthly recaps much better than weekly! It’s really nice to see how my training varies (or not ha) on one page. And oops for putting this up 3 days into March but hey, I was lazy in February and didn’t keep a running tally in my (handwritten) logbook haha.

But before I get into it I had the most demoralizing run this morning.  You know how I said the weather was going to stay nice and spring like so it was okay that I was on the tm yesterday? Well the weather gods decided to smite me and I got basically a blizzard.  I still stuck it out outside but man was it tough and I felt like it was a total test of my character. Snow, a bit of hail and a helluva lot of sleet.  Ugh.

That plus the intense intervals from yesterday made the pace sooooooooo slow. Obviously what my body needed but still very tough to handle looking at such a slow pace.  Add that to the clutter in my brain from some heavy life stuff and well…hopefully this doesn’t turn into a funk!

I do have some tempo miles on tap for Thursday (tomorrow) so I’m hoping that perks me up a bit 😀

Although again: weather gods WTF?!  When I last checked it was suppose to be nice butttt now it’s looking like snow/rain mix. Blahhhh.

Now onto looking back at February (although  Mel’s having a pretty cool giveaway):

Week of 1-February to 7-February

  • 97.8 miles
  • 14 hours 32 minutes 43 seconds
  • 8:56 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 1X

This was a tough week.  I nixed the hills in my intervals session because I was feeling burnt out on them which I think helped my tempo later that week and I nailed my paces.  But the LR was mentally tough. I guess this was a character building week as everything seemed a bit tougher than it should have.  I was having a tough time sleep and stress wise so I’m sure that was a factor too.

Week of 8-February to 14-February

  • 100.4 miles
  • 15 hours 13 minutes 1 second
  • 9:06 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 2X

Hollllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  100 mile week. BAM.  So proud of this week because I pulled off 2 stellar quality runs and one (the tempo) that was totally acceptable, just not outstanding.  The pace is over 9:00 for the first time this cycle and I think that it’s a combo of an overall slower tempo but also because I’ve been taking recovery runs VERY seriously.  If I’m going to be attacking as hard as I have been (both in intensity and mileage) then I need to keep being smart. Goal for next week: back off a bit as my run on Sunday was a bit sketch but I was determined to get that 100 🙂

Week of 15-February to 21-February

  • 95.2 miles
  • 14 hours 28 minutes 34 seconds
  • 9:08 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 2x

Okay so I guess I was semi-successful in cutting back.  I meant to cut back more but I got carried away with my interval session and LR.  Not the biggest deal ever and I think it’s pretty significant that I was able to have a week that didn’t top the previous one.  Very good sign mentally, even if it was only 5.2 miles. I also was slightly slower than last week (which I attribute to a less than stellar tempo that I ended up calling a steady state run) but I think, in hindsight of course, that it was a positive to the week, especailly coming off a 100 mile week.  This was also the week that my shin starting bugging out a little (after the long run) so I switched completely to newer shoes. So hard for me to do but a potential injury is NOT worth it.

Week of 22-February to 28-February

  • 97.1 miles
  • 14 hours 38 minutes 16 seconds
  • 9:03 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 2x

Okay so another great week.  I was really hoping for a sub-9 average pace given how awesome my tempo and intervals were but I guess I didn’t account for the fact that it would impact my recovery runs.  Couple that with an “eh” average pace for the LR (which I’m not disappointed with the run itself as a whole, but rather the first 12 miles or so) and I guess that 9:03 is what I should have expected.  I kind of wish I had run just a bit faster one of the days to get rid of those pesky 3 seconds.  What can I say: I’m a numbers chica.  But other that that I am THRILLED with how this week went.  Maybe the numbers don’t tell the whole story but it was definitely one of the most solid weeks I’ve had throughout this cycle.

February:

  • 390.5 miles
  • 58 hours 52 minutes 34 seconds
  • 9:03 average pace

Again with those pesky 3 seconds! Overall I’m very pleased with the month.  I got some really hard workouts in, stuck to keeping a weight routine AND hit my first ever 100 mile week.  I secretly wish I had run a bit extra to hit 400 miles buttttt that would have required an average of 100 miles per week and I don’t think I had that in me.  Came close though and I’m happy with how it all went down.  And WOWZA I spent a lot of time running.  Guess I don’t really think about how much it really adds up.  Craaaaaazy.

Heading into March, and the Monster Month, I’m looking forward to having more intensity and, likely, more miles. And I say: BRING IT.

February 1, 2010

Monthy Recap: January 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 15:19

So I kind of liked not having weekly recaps last month.  Makes me feel like the posts are “meatier” AND it’s easier to see week-to-week trends when there are 4 weeks laid out.  Granted the weeks listed here are Monday to Sunday so there are a few days of December but whatever. I like it this way 🙂

But before I get into the first month of the year I was talking to my Spanish profesora after class just to let her know that I’ll be missing class for the Boston Marathon.  Normally I wouldn’t have bothered (we get 3 free misses already) but there’s a composition due that day so I wanted to make sure (in advance because I am like that) that it would be ok to email it to her.  And she goes “Oh don’t even worry about it.  You have the best reason ever for missing class. How exciting”.  She’s not a runner but it was way cool to have a professor be so interested and supportive in my running rather than looking at me like I have three or four heads.

So here’s January / the first 5 weeks of Boston training. Just to note, I wrote these as the weeks passed so the tone might shift from week to week and whatnot.

Week of 28-December to 3-January

  • 90.0 miles
  • 13 hours 3 minutes 38 seconds
  • 8:44 average pace
  • Core 3x, Full Body Lifting 2x

Woooooot another weekly mileage pr (as the last week in December was one too).  I wasn’t even shooting for it, but it just happened and I was *shocked* that I ran 90 miles.  This was also the unofficial first week of Boston training, I was just loosely following a schedule.  The overall pace was *much* faster than it’s recently been (I had 2 speed sessions and 2 tm sessions which go much faster than outdoors for me). I’m actually both excited and nervous about the mileage / training this week. Excited because I know that during “monster month” I will be able to do what I need to but nervous because it’s only week 1 (or week 16 depending on how you count) and I don’t need to be anywhere near this point right now.

Week of 4-January to 10-January

  • 85.2 miles
  • 12 hours 47 minutes 32 seconds
  • 9:00 average pace
  • Core 3x, Full Body Lifting 2x

Week 2 (or Week 15 according to my plan) of Boston training down — I decided to make it official after all.  Still on the high side of mileage but that’s due to one overzealous run at the beginning of the week, the rest were where they needed to be.  Average pace looking good too, I think 9:00 is a good balance between my recovery days (which tend to be slooow) and speed days (obv fast).  Happy with the 2x of lifting and 3x of core; hopefully that can continue longer in the training cycle.

Week of 11-January to 17-January

  • 87.2 miles
  • 13 hours 5 minutes 40 seconds
  • 9:02 average pace
  • Core 2x, Lifting 3x, XT 1x

Another great training week.  I still continue to be amazed by how my body is reacting to the training.  The average pace is right where I want it (well maybe 2 seconds too slow haha) which is nice because my recovery runs have been really slow (which they need to be) so it means that I’m hauling butt in my quality workouts.  Definitely good.  I’m also very happy with the fact that I was able to hit the gym THREE times for lifting.  So far the response has been positive.  I also added in an elliptical session, it was after my tempo run so it was nice to be able to stretch the muscles and circulate my blood without the impact of running.

Week of 18-January to 24-January

  • 89.4 miles
  • 13 hours 13 minutes 4 seconds
  • 8:52 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 1x

So my favorite part of those numbers? The 8:52 average pace!! I guess with a kick ass interval, tempo AND long run I should have expected it.  Woot.  I also like all the lifting I’ve been doing: powerful and strong chica here.  My least favorite part? The eighty-nine point FOUR.  Makes me wish for an extra .6 to round up to 90.  But I know that’s not what I needed.  I mean this was supposed to be a cutback of 5-10 miles.  Oops heh. And I don’t like the XT.  I think that I don’t like XT in general. But I’m happy I got that in as my shake-the-legs-out workout post-tempo rather than another run.

Week of 25-January to 31-January

  • 93.8 miles
  • 13 hours 50 minutes 17 seconds
  • 8:51 average pace
  • Core 2x, Full Body Lifting 3x, XT 1x

Weekly PR.  I think this will likely be the last one of those for a while.  I definitely let my mind run wild this week and I think I felt the touches of the drain with my speed sessions, while stellar, just felt blah.  Amazing considering that I broke the double digit streak this week that my miles could get so high.  Plus my average pace for the week was a killer. I think that was mostly due to faster-than-normal recovery runs because I didn’t think my speed work sessions were anything extra spectacular compared to previous weeks. SO I’m very proud of this week and it’ll definitely go in my books as a stupendous week.

Month of January totals:

  • 397.1 miles
  • 58 hours 58 minutes 17 seconds
  • 8:54 avg pace

Definitely a monthly PR for sure. So many great things happened. Hit 2 weekly mileage PRs (and all the weeks have been the highest they’ve ever been for me!). Boston training really took hold.  I was in the midst of an amazing double digit streak.  I incorporated lifting and stretching and XT-ing into my routine. The thing I’m most impressed with is my average pace being UNDER 9 min/mi.  I know for some of you that is no biggie but that’s huge for me.  It definitely shows that I’ve been diligent and hardcore with my speed work.  I know that I’ll won’t likely get another month like this but it sure sets the bar high for what is to follow.  I’m hoping that I can take what I’ve done (lifting, stretching, XT, speed work) and keep it all up for February.

What a way to start of 2010!

December 28, 2009

Monthly Recap: December 2009

Filed under: Weekly Recap — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 16:30

So I haven’t gotten around to posting weekly recaps all month.  Oops. So here’s the weekly recaps that make up December (and yes I know that December isn’t over.  Oh well December decided not to be nice and end on a Sunday for me):

Week of 30 November – 6 December

  • 71 miles
  • 10 hours 45 minutes 10 seconds
  • Core 5x but no rest & no XT

Great week. Didn’t mean to run so much but it felt so good.  This week also remarked the return of speedwork which I think helped my overall running mood be lifted. I also made a conscious decision to keep up a streak this week (start date was Nov 14th) so we’ll see how far that lasts 🙂

Week of 7 December – 13 December

  • 74.3 miles
  • 11 hours 9 minutes 35 seconds
  • Core 5x but no rest & no XT

Another high mileage week which impresses me because it was the last week of classes and thus the final push of the semester.  Lots of double digit runs and an interval one.  But my body still is recovering well between runs and I ended the week feeling like I still had gas in the tank.

Week of 14 December – 20 December

  • 80.6 miles
  • 12 hours 17 minutes 23 seconds
  • Core 5x but no rest or xt

Mileage PR! And clearly a time spent running PR too.  Wow, 12+ hours that’s a lot.  Definitely the week of the long runs to say the least as well because every run was 10+.  But I think this week awoke the inner mileage junkie in me.  And despite my bitching about feeling slow the overall pace was right around normal, a bit on the slow side but definitely not by much.  Reassuring that my body was capable of handling so many miles.

Week of 21 December – 27 December

  • 84.6 miles
  • 12 hours 53 minutes 31 seconds
  • Core 3x, Fully Body Lifting (Legs, Arms, Core) 2x, No rest

Another weekly mileage pr! I think once I broke the 80 mile barrier last week it was really easy to do it again.  I think sometimes there are goals that really are psychological in nature, because I smashed last weeks mileage, rather than physical because I’m quite happy with my pace.  With lots of long runs I’m still going faster than long run pace.  I’m also really happy that I was able to get in two strength sessions in plus an additional 3 core sessions.  I think that going into the New Year I want to have established that lifting will be a consistent part of my routine.

November 29, 2009

Heading on Home

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — marathonmaiden @ 18:15

Weeeell technically I already am (school = home in my mind).  And I’ve been here for a few hours.

I ended up hitting the hay early last night, falling asleep to my beloved NCIS dvds.  Oh true love haha.  I slept pretty damn soundly too waking up 10 minutes before my “early” alarm.  I love the fact that, despite getting up at 0600 during the week, after 4 days of “sleeping in” 745 becomes early.  Gosh this week is going to be rough heh.

Even though I’ve been putting the miles in the past few days I wanted to get in a last minute run before coming back.  I might not have a ton of good routes at home but I wanted to take advantage before I came back to school and got back into my good ole routine.

Clearly that means a good distance of a run. But I managed to show *some* restrain and only go 9 *inserteyeroll*.  At first my legs definitely felt the 15 from yesterday (and the wicked huge week) but it went away fast and I was left being able to relax and zone out: before I knew it I was back at my house.

The weather was perfect for letting me zone out: upper 30s, sunny and not as windy as yesterday.  I was able to wear a longsleeve and shorts and feel enveloped in body warmth but I could feel the crispness on my face and skin.  Does that make sense? It’s how I like to sleep too: cold air around me but I’m wrapped all warm.  Comfy and I can just let my brain be.

Letting my body just be? Eh the 9 was prolly a bit overkill.  But I don’t feel any worse for the wear, it could be that I was running on autopilot and not concentrating on anything.  Right this minute my legs do feel a bit on that edge of too much and okay so tmrw will likely be a rest day.  Also good to transition my sleep pattern too, as I said before 0600 might feel a bit rough.

After my run I did some corework, hit the showers then hit the roads.  Very proud of how efficient I was this morning.  Usually I dilly-dally around after a run.  Even though I ❤ corework I always try to delay the start of it.  Come to think of it, I do that with my runs sometimes too.  I guess it’s just the inertia factor coming into play. Anyone else like that?

Well I prolly should get back to this paper I’ve been trying to write all break.  No where near close but that’s okay, right now I don’t have to be.  I just need to have flushed out solid ideas into semi-paragraph form, not coherent perfect sentences.  Hopefully no one comes to stats tutoring tonight (doubtful because it’s still technically break) so I can work on it some more.  Especially since I’ve been continuing the Special Agents Gibbs and DiNozzo love fest all afternoon and — oh looky there! — I have time for one more episode before I have to leave for work.

Hope everyone who is traveling back home, to school, where ever has a safe trip! To those who aren’t: enjoy the rest of your Sunday night!

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