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Leg Week?

10 Aug

Is leg week a thing? I feel it should be a thing, I can’t be the only person who has done this…granted I did it by accident, but still, I’m not the only one, right?

leg day 1

Last Friday night (it is currently the next Friday) I had leg day at the gym. I hadn’t had one in a while due to scheduling and life and laziness so it was nice to get back to routine. I pushed myself, because what is the point of working out if you don’t push yourself? By the end of the workout I could tell I was going to be feeling the results of that workout for days.

I love that feeling. πŸ™‚

Saturday there was pain, there was using my arms to push me up from a chair, and using arms to take the weight off my legs when I would go to sit, and there was the knowledge I would probably suck at running if I had to run that day. But all that is good, because it is good pain, and it means I worked the muscles hard, the pain will fade, the results will stay.Β  Saturday is my rest day due to how my work schedule is so I didn’t do anything to really work the legs beyond normal day-to-day things.

Sunday I went for a hike after work, it occurred to me that might suck since my legs still had a noticeable amount of muscle pain but I went anyways. During the hike I noticed my legs started to feel better, stronger, they were benefiting from being worked again, even though I was still feeling the Friday night workout. I think, and I could be wrong, but I think the hike helped clear out some of the built up lactic acid and helped them stretch and basically just helped the muscles in their recovery. Yay for a good hike! The trail has a lot of ups and downs and uneven surfaces so not only did the larger muscles get worked but so did the smaller ones used for stabilizing etc. Also, part way in to the hike I noticed my stride was lengthening, I have a decent stride length but started the hike with a shorter stride due to discomfort, as the pain cleared my stride got longer, and I felt better.

Monday evening I did the Coquitlam Crunch which is like a less evil version of the Grouse Grind…which means nothing to you if you don’t live in Vancouver BC or the surrounding areas lol Basically it is a steep urban trail, with an elevation of 244 meters, that gives you a great and fast workout. So far my best time is one hour and two minutes round trip. My goal is to get that under an hour.

Then Tuesday evening I did a long walk with a friend after work. Which brings us to Wednesday where I did the Coquitlam Crunch with the same friend I walked with Tuesday. I had intended to go to Lynn Valley and hike the trails but that will wait for another day.

So, I inadvertently had, what is that, 5 leg workouts in 6 days? Um, oops? Sorry for neglecting you upper body, I swear I still love ya! lol

Normally I do a much better job of working out all my muscle groups, and its not like I have some driving desire to only work on my legs, they just somehow got all my attention this week.

I think the flaw in my workouts is that it is summer, and that means hiking, and trails, and all those lovely outdoor workouts can be done at any time of day, on any day, without worry about weather cancelling your outing, so I tend to go out on a trail instead of inside to the gym. I mean c’mon, if given the choice wouldn’t you go out on a trail, get some fresh air, see some pretty sights, maybe spot a deer or bear or some other fuzzy critter, rather than be inside the gym where yes, you get a good workout but all you really look at is equipment and yourself in the mirror?

The hiking gives me a chance to either ruminate on something that is bothering me, or clear my mind and enjoy the quiet for a while, whichever I need. I can be alone, with nature, infusing myself with the peace that comes from being surrounded by trees (seriously, what is it with trees that they are so soothing?) or I can go with a friend and enjoy a lovely chat while getting in a workout.

The gym, I love the gym, but to me it is more like work, or an expectation, or I dunno, a thing I schedule. I don’t mind any of that, I really don’t, but sometimes I like the idea of being out on a trail more. I know it isn’t as good of a workout as my gym time, and my muscle definition suffers every summer because of that, but I can’t give up my trail time, I enjoy it too much.

However, my enjoying of my trail time this week has resulted in a lot of leg workouts, and no upper body workouts, until Thursday that is when I was at dragon boat practice.

I’ve really got to take care to balance things a bit better because while Leg Day is a thing, a good thing, a thing to be done often, Leg Week is a teeny bit of over kill and maybe shouldn’t be repeated anytime soon…don’t want my back and arms and shoulders to think I don’t care about them after all! πŸ˜‰

 

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FitBit Love

7 Feb

I have had a FitBit on my wrist for about 4 years now and I love it just as much now as I did when I first strapped one on. Maybe even more now, since I have a newer, snazzier, version than the one I started out with.

My first FitBit was a Flex, the one that is semi-water proof and the display shows 5 dots. The dots light up when you tap the FitBit to show you how many steps you have taken that day. I had my step goal set at 10,000 steps per day so each dot represented 2,000 steps. While it was good, all tech has it’s flaws. It could go in to sleep mode if you were pushing a grocery cart across a parking lot (from the bumps I guess), it often thought my chopping vegetables was me stepping (it was amazing how many more “steps” I got on days I did veggie prep! lol), and well, it only gave me limited information. For detailed info about how I was doing that day I had to sign in to my app, which yes ok, not like that is a big deal or even hard to do, but c’mon, I’m lazy, which ironically enough, is why I invested in a FitBit in the first place lol

That first FitBit, I had epic plans for it. I bought it a short time before I was going on vacation, what was going to be a very active vacation, and I couldn’t wait to see how many steps I could rack up while in Northern Wales. Well yeah, that didn’t work, because it broke after I had it for a month or so? I was so upset! I contacted FitBit to let them know it broke, actually I think I contacted them to ask what I could do to fix it, and by default let them know it broke. They gave me some things to try, that didn’t work, and then they did something awesome…they sent me a brand new FitBit Flex for free!

Talk about amazing customer service! πŸ˜€

I didn’t get the replacement FitBit in time for my vacation, but hey, whatcha gonna do? *shrug*

Once I returned from my trip my new FitBit Flex and I became inseparable. Literally. The only times I took it off were when I showered and when it had to charge. I even covered it in saran wrap and wore it when taking part in a muddy obstacle course and more importantly, when dragon boating. Well, to be fair, I only covered it in saran wrap when dragon boating if it was pouring rain, on non-rainy days I just made sure to wear it on the arm that didn’t get submerged into the water with every stroke of my paddle. Splashing I knew it could handle!

Two Christmases ago I took the Flex out of it’s wrist band and tucked it in my clothes, in what I thought was a secure spot, because I was going to my work Christmas party and the band was not what one would call fancy looking. I absolutely couldn’t wear it with my dress, so into my cleavage it went. Don’t judge, I’ve done it before and it worked great! That particular time it didn’t work out all that well and somewhere during the night I lost it. Sadness. 😦 I tried calling the party venue, left them multiple messages, describing what it looked like, but nobody ever called me back so I’m assuming they either (1) didn’t listen to their messages, (2) didn’t care, (3) didn’t find it and didn’t care if they told me that or not. Which fair enough, why should they care that I was stupid and lost my FitBit and was now frantically hoping beyond all hope it would magically re-appear in to my life.

I was so upset I posted to social media about having lost it and someone I have never met, who lives on the other side of the country, said they had just upgraded their FitBit and no longer needed their Flex and get this, they sent me their Flex for free! With the band and charger and dongle!

People can be amazing sometimes. Absolutely amazing. πŸ˜€

When it arrived in the mail I was so incredibly grateful that I immediately sent them a Thank You card with a gift card inside. I mean wow, who does things like that not just in general but for someone they never met? Blows your mind a little doesn’t it?

Then another amazing thing happened, for Christmas that year I received a FitBit Alta as a gift from my parents. I had been wanting to upgrade but couldn’t justify or afford the cost and they knew this, so being the awesome parents that they are, that is what they bought me.

So now I had my replacement Flex and a new Alta. For a while I thought I would wear the Alta most of the time but swap out to the Flex when dragon boating but that didn’t really pan out. Instead the Alta and I became best friends and inseparable and now it only comes off my wrist when I am showering or charging it.

Then a crisis!

This happened…

fitbit flex

The strap broke! NoooOOOooo!

I wasn’t even doing anything interesting when it broke, the silicone part just came off of the clip part that attaches to the actual tech part of the FitBit Alta.

Travesty! The horrors! What was I to do??

Well I’ll tell ya what I did, I went searching for my crazy glue hoping I could fix it only to find my crazy glue had become a solid mass, I mean what, did it glue itself to itself? So then I started tucking the tech part in to my sock / boot / waist band / pocket (depending on what I was wearing) because I couldn’t be without it but I didn’t know how best to carry it around. I was constantly worrying it would fall out and I wouldn’t notice and then I’d not only not have a wrist band for it but I wouldn’t have the Alta at all! *cue the dramatic music*

Being the broke person that I am I chose to order a knock-off band from eBay instead of forking over $40 for a real replacement from FitBit and boy did I regret that. It didn’t fit as well, it was different material and not as comfortable, it was starting to give me a rash, just not good things.

So I did what I did last time I had a problem, I emailed FitBit and told them what happened. I didn’t ask them for a new band, I was past warranty and didn’t think that was right. But I did tell them the circumstances under which the band broke, and how it wasn’t fixable, and now I was wearing it tucked in my boot, and maybe they should look in to the problem because if this is a product flaw they may want to address it.

I got a very polite response asking me for some more information, which I provided, and then I got an even better email from them saying I was past warranty but sometimes rules are meant to be broken and they were going to send me a replacement band anyways!

This! This is why I love this company and will keep buying their products! Well, this and the fact that I love their products lol

Not only did they send me a replacement band they sent me the newer version of the band, so instead of a clip type closure it is a, umm, I don’t know what the type of closure is called, it is like a belt or a watch closure…here lemme put a picture in to show you what I mean…

fitbit band

See what I mean? My closure is like that, only my band is black, like I’d ever buy it in baby pink. πŸ˜›Β  lol

Now, my Alta and I are back to being inseparable…on my wrist, not in my boot! πŸ™‚

Here is a link to the FitBit Alta that I have on Amazon…in case you are interested in getting one yourself!

http://amzn.to/2E6jwaY

 

Dragon Boat Swag

5 Feb

In honour of my dragon boat team’s training season officially starting (we had our first practice of the season this past Saturday at 9am) I thought I’d share an etsy store that sells dragon boat related swag that I love.

Disclaimer! My friend created this shop, and designed everything in it, and arranged for all items to be locally made, so I maaaay be a tad biased…but! I can guarantee you that if I didn’t know her, and I stumbled on to it by fluke I would still love it! (And for the cynics out there, no I am not getting paid to tell you about her shop *rolls eyes*)

Here is a link to her shop:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/DoodledeeCreative/items

Or if you are on etsy and want to search for her shop it is DoodledeeCreative.

So far I have bought this key chain…

dragon boat keychain

Which I absolutely love! LOVE! It is hand made, adorable, and well, functional I guess, but something doesn’t have to be functional to be loved by me lol

I want oh so many of the t-shirts she has listed but I am one of those weirdos that lives on a budget and I don’t have a lot of extra money floating around to buy things solely because I want them. Le sigh.Β  Doesn’t mean I’m not planning on buying some of them as the season progresses though, so be warned, you’ll be reading posts throughout the year filled with me sharing my excitement over a new piece of dragon boat swag.

See, at every race regatta and festival there are always booths set up selling tanks, and tees, and various pieces of swag, all related to dragon boating. Don’t get me wrong, they are great, but there isn’t a lot of variety and it doesn’t take very long to have one of every quote that you like on a shirt, and just because a new season has rolled around doesn’t mean the companies bringing those items to the festivals have come up with any new great quotes. I mean sure, sometimes they do, but mostly you’re seeing the same things year after year. Kinda gets old, ya know?

But D’s shop is original, it is designs she has come up with, new quotes and images on the tees and tanks and stickers, it is the opportunity to buy something not everyone has. Plus, the little bamboo key chain can go with me everywhere, so I can show off my dragon boater pride whenever I want lol

So yeah, if you are a dragon boater, or know a dragon boater, or are curious about dragon boating, I highly encourage you to go check out her shop. You can spoil yourself, spoil that special dragon boater that is in your life, enjoy buying something you know is an original design and is made in Canada, all good things people! Good things!

Paddles Up! πŸ™‚

 

My Attempt to Roast A Squash

24 May

The other night at work the chefs roasted butternut squash, I had a piece and it was amazing. After grilling the chef that was on that night on what to do I thought I might give it a try, at home, with only the cat to supervise me…it may not have been my best idea but the house is still standing so it couldn’t have been the worst! πŸ˜‰

As those of you who have read past cooking posts know, I have a teeny tiny kitchen with nooooo counter space to speak of so my cutting board gets balanced on the edge of the counter that is at the front of the sink and the middle part of the sink, it is a wobbly, dangerous, stupid, place to put a cutting board, but generally my best option. I’m pretty sure one of these days I’m going to slice in to my finger *rolls eyes* Tonight, I dropped the knife and almost stabbed my foot, oops! But I didn’t! So I’m counting that as a win…

After deciding I wanted to keep my feet and fingers intact I managed to find a better balancing spot and proceeded to do as the chef instructed. He said to chop the top and the bottom off, then peel the squash, then cut it in half so the round bulb part is separate from the top column shaped part. Then I slice open the bulb part to dig out the seeds and cut the entire thing in to pieces sized however I want them to be sized.

butternut squash

I’d love to say it went as smooth as it sounds like it should have but well hey, it wouldn’t be my kitchen if that happened, right? πŸ˜‰

I don’t know if it is my peeler, or my technique, or what, but peeling that squash was not an easy task. I ended up using my knife and hacking away at the outside so my poor squash looked not quite as attractive as one might imagine a peeled squash could look. Cutting the top and bottom off was fine, cutting the entire thing down the middle was a tad harder…that could be due to my knife being too small but let’s not get picky about these things, ok? Then there was the whole digging out all the seeds and gross stuff from the bulb section, ugh, I always dislike that part of dealing with a squash, so slimy, so squishy, so easy to have a knife slip because maybe I started using the knife without getting all the goo off my hand…but again with the being picky!

So eventually I get my chopped up butternut squash on the baking tray and now the easy part. I had some oil in a little dish and I got to use my oft neglected pastry brush to spread the oil on the squash, then I sprinkled some brown sugar over top. At this point, or at some point, maybe not this point, I kinda forgot (oops again!) I was also supposed to sprinkle pepper, salt, and a Club House vegetable seasoning on the squash but (1) I was too lazy to get the pepper (2) I don’t add salt to anything so that wasn’t gonna happen and (3) I tried to buy the seasoning but the store didn’t have any so I was crossing fingers it wasn’t an intricate part of making the squash taste good.

While all this was going on the oven was heating to 350, it was sitting at its temperature for quite a while because yeah, this whole prep thing didn’t go quickly *rolls eyes* so in went the tray and on went the timer. I was told ten minutes, maybe fifteen, would be needed, and to stab the squash with a fork to test it. Also to remember what the squash looked like at work and wait till my squash looked the same.

Well…um…yeah…something went a tad wrong there. For starters, at the ten minute mark it was nowhere near done, so back in it went, in the end I think it took 40 minutes or so. Which is unfortunate because I was super hungry so that 40 minutes felt like an eternity. Even after all that time it didn’t look the same as the squash at work but it passed the fork test and I wasn’t willing to wait any longer…impatient much?

Also, I think maybe I should have flipped it at some point? The sugar kinda melted down so it was on the tray, leaving the topside of the squash pieces bare. Which is fine, except the squash was basically sitting in a brown sugar and oil lake so when I took the squash pieces off the tray there were strings of sugar, like gooey strings you’d see on a caramel apple or, I dunno, a caramel filled chocolate…not that I don’t like sugar but what I was seeing seemed a tad excessive. The underneath side had a nice browning effect to it, thanks to sitting in the sugar, where as the top was the same colour as it started out as. Not as pretty as the roasted butternut squash at work. Then again, those chefs went to school for who knows how long, their food better look nicer than mine! πŸ˜›

butternut squash cooked

In the end it was edible, actually, it was more than edible, it tasted good. Not as good as what I was trying to recreate but that could be due to the lack of seasoning, or too much sugar, or the wrong cooking temp and time, or the simple fact that I made it…but it wasn’t so horrible that I won’t try again, and hopefully get better results next time!

Hey, don’t scoff, a girl can hope! πŸ˜›

 

12 Days of Christmas Fitness Challenge

7 Dec

Tis the month to gain ridiculous amounts of weight super fast if not careful! With so many social gatherings, and treats, and just general feelings of wanting to eat alllll the food this month it can be easy to wake up January 1st and realize your jeans aren’t fitting quite as well anymore.

I so don’t want that to happen to me!

Yes I know that being healthy is 80% what you eat and only 20% exercise but let’s be real here people, there will be food aplenty all over the place and I am sure I will end up eating more than planned.

So the idea is to help minimize some of the food damage I will end up doing by ensuring I stay active this month.

Here is the plan…

12-days-of-xmas

The challenge begins December 20th and goes to December 31st. You don’t have to be out there running marathons, or making massive gains at the gym, I’m not looking for crazy changes in fitness activity. All I’m looking for is fitting exercise in to the daily routine over those days when so many of us skip exercising.

Just because there are a million and one things to do over the season doesn’t mean we should stop finding time each day to take care of ourselves. How else do you expect to enter 2017 feeling your best if you load up on food in this last month and don’t at least try to burn some of it off?

Some ideas for exercise could be:

  • a walk around the block
  • mall walking if you are somewhere cold
  • during the commercials do some squats, or sit-ups, or planks, or push-ups, or whatever you are able to do
  • take the stairs instead of elevators
  • park far away from the doors of the places you are going
  • snowball fight! build a snow fort! basically anything with snow!
  • pop in an exercise dvd
  • play tag with your kids, or nieces and nephews, or your friend’s kids

You get the idea!

So who is with me? Who is willing to try reeeeally hard to make the time everyday, for 12 days, over the busiest time of the year, to be good to ourselves and fit some exercise in to our days?

C’mon, you know you want to!

Weight Watchers Thursdays

1 Sep

Ok so I have given up on Weight Watchers Wednesdays and changed it to Thursdays because even though I prefer how Wednesday sounds I never make it to that meeting. *rolls eyes* Might as well just admit that Thursdays are my WW day and adjust the blog accordingly, shrug.

So I have some happy news, the scale was most definitely my friend this week! πŸ™‚ Not just my friend, my bestest friend! lol

My body is reluctant to lose weight so every week I stand on that stupid scale and consider myself lucky if I have managed to lose 0.8lbs. I had already done the math and figured how long it would take to get to goal if I continued on at that rate and oh man was that depressing math, sigh.

This week though, oh wow! I stepped on the scale and kinda freaked out because it showed I had gone down by 3.6lbs! Three point six pounds! Oh. My. Gawd! How is that even a possibility?

I am crediting the crazy awesome loss to three things:

  1. two weeks ago I had a super active week and apparently it can sometimes take a week for the results of extra work outs to show on the scale
  2. I cut out peanut butter…it almost killed me to do it but I realized I kept lying to myself about how much of it I was eating and it was burning through my weekly points like crazy so I cut it out completely and will sloooowly work it back in, when I can trust myself to measure and track it honestly
  3. Magic, and unicorns, and fairy dust…obviously it is mostly these that did it! πŸ˜‰

The loss of 3.6 pounds resulted in my surpassing my first 10 pounds lost (I am at a grand total of 11.8 pounds lost right now) aaaaaaaand it resulted in my losing 5% of my body weight. Boom!

In the land of Weight Watchers this means I earned me some bling! πŸ™‚

2016-09-01 13.48.01

The charm with the WW I got at 4 weeks as a celebration of sticking with the program for a month.

The charm that says 5% is celebrating my having lost 5% of my body weight, yay!

The charm of the running person is for a Try-A-Thon challenge that has been going on for the last 9 weeks. The challenge is to try something new every week, something that falls under the category of Fun, Food, or Fitness. I managed to try (and track) at least one new thing every week.

Oh, I also got a sticker for having lost another 5lbs, you get one with every 5lbs lost, but I didn’t take a picture of that lol

The WW app gave me this lovely message after I input my weigh-in weight…

2016-09-01 13.09.38

The team leader gave me a high five, I did a girly happy scream in my car, all in all, a good day. πŸ˜€

Things we talked about in the meeting today:

Hydration!

This week is all about hydration. Apparently most people don’t drink enough fluids in a day, I don’t really have that problem thanks to my tea addiction, but doesn’t mean I shouldn’t keep an eye on how much I am drinking just to make sure I don’t start cutting back without realizing it.

An average person should be drinking six 8oz glasses of fluid a day, that is 1 1/2 Litres each and every day.

That’s a hella lot of fluids! Are you drinking enough?

There is a myth that you should be drinking all that fluid as water but that is not true. Any unsweetened, non-alcoholic drink counts. So tea, milk, diet pops, basically any 0 SP drinks. You can also get some of your fluids from certain foods, like watermelon, celery and the like.

Drink up my friends! πŸ™‚

Fun fact I learned about water, it has been shown to help women regulate body temperature so if you are going through menopause drinking lots of water might help control the hot flashes.

Something else we talked about was the truth of the scale. The scale never lies, it will always tell the truth but it is only the truth in that moment, it is a snapshot. The scale will tell a certain truth, it doesn’t give the big picture of how a person is doing. If you do everything right and you step on the scale and it doesn’t show the result you are expecting think back to the last 24 hours. Did you eat something high in sodium and are retaining water? Is it super humid? Are you taking a new medication? There are a lot of things that could affect your weigh-in so sure, the scale never lies, but maybe in that moment the scale is showing the effects of that salty popcorn you ate the night before. Take that number with a grain of salt…heh, salt, get it? πŸ˜‰

Lastly we talked about treats and tips for dealing with parties. One lady said before she goes to a party she thinks about what she wants to get out of that event, does she want to lose, maintain, or gain. She says she never wants to gain but may be ok with gaining because of what she ate at that party due to circumstances.

The other tip was about keeping treats out of easy reach. One lady has so much trouble not eating allllll the treats allllll the time that she keeps them in a box in her trunk in her underground parking. That way, if she is craving something she can’t just go to the cupboard in her kitchen but would have to go down 3 floors and get them from the car and that extra effort just to get a cookie (or whatever her treats are) is usually all she needs to get her aiming for some fruit. She goes the extra step by giving herself rules about the circumstances in which she is allowed to eat those treats. She must eat them in her apartment, so she can’t just grab something from the trunk when she is about to get in to her car. I figure she must be very good at following her own rules to resist just grabbing one when on the go…but hey, whatever works for her! πŸ™‚

My treat to myself for losing my first ten pounds (technically 11.8lbs, not that I’m counting or anything…) is to buy a new book, Chapters here I come!

A Lazy Connector

22 Aug

Weight Watchers has an app, as does everything else in the world lol. Part of that app is called Connect and it is sort of like a simplified, members only, Facebook. You make a profile, you post stuff, you like and comment on other people’s posts. I find myself going on there a lot! It is great for motivation, and ideas, and just to see and message people who are going through the same thing as you.

Something I learned from Connect is that I have got to be one of the laziest people following the WW program ever! Not including the people who sign up and don’t actually follow the program of course. πŸ˜›

These people blow my mind with how much daily activity they get. Long walks. Jogs. Training for marathons. Hiking. Swimming. Wall climbing. Gym time. Name it, they do it, and they do it often.

Because WW is partnered with Fitbit a lot of people on the program have a Fitbit, the apps sync with each other so you do the activity and the apps do the math to calculate how many fit points you earn, which is lovely cause I haaaate math lol. But yeah, these people are earning mad high fit points and I’m over here having afternoon naps and cuddle sessions with the cat. *rolls eyes*

I take part in Fitbit challenges but generally don’t push to try to win them, I get about three days in to the challenge and kind of forget about it and inevitably I don’t win. It doesn’t generally bother me because most of the people I engage in Fitbit challenges with are people I don’t see often, basically nobody who I get super competitive with.

That my friends has changed! A friend of mine at work got a Fitbit, the new one that I want sooooo bad lol, and I stupidly invited her to one of the Fitbit challenges. Turns out she is super competitive and is kicking my butt!…and it is driving me nuts! She walks at work more than I do, not too much I can do about that, but do you know what she did on her break? She went up and down 11 flights of stairs! Who does that?? Crazy competitive people, that’s who!

Then she did who knows what in the evening after work but she sure racked up those steps. I held the lead for a very short time and I gotta admit, I thought maaaaaybe I’d keep it since it was getting to be evening but nope, she went and started moving again and squashed me.

So now I really want to win, or at least beat her cause ya know, I may be a tad competitive at times… πŸ˜‰

By 6:30pm I had worked 8 hours, walked for an hour and 15 minutes, done 80 squats, showered, cooked, and eaten. Who am I? What dimension have I walked in to? Normally by 6:30pm I have worked 8 hours, maybe run an errand or two, and would be having a nap with the cat or watching tv.

Insanity. I have obviously reached new levels of insanity.

competitive

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