Marathon Missfit and Accidentally Sexy Make a Video

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

Every gal loves the idea of fame and fortune. Accidentally Sexy (Ana) and I love all that, and the idea of free booze. So when Stephen Markley posted the Publish This Book: One Beer You Tube Contest, we were all for it.

What does this have to do with running? Mmm, not much. But if I stretch and think, I have two ideas:

1. This book is really, really good. Almost Marathon Missfit blog good. So you should buy it and read it when you are racking up miles on the treadmill.

2. There is a great scene in the book that takes place along the lake running path, so if you've never ran but would like to pretend you have, read the book and you'll get almost the same feeling- minus the blisters.

And now I present, the video to promote Publish this Book! Markley- you owe us a beer.

 

*Guest Post* True Life: I'm an Ultramarathoner

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Jennifer Healy

I'm gosh-darn Royalty

Last month I ran my very first race. I hit the wall at mile 29.

No, that's not a typo. I was running the Huff 50k, a small, but established trail race in Huntington, Indiana. And if you haven't Googled 50k yet, yes, it is longer than a Marathon. 31.0685596 miles to be exact. (But who's counting?)

"So for your first race, you chose an Ultramarathon, in the middle of winter?"

Yep.

I would say I received mixed reactions when I told people I was running a 31 miles through the woods of Indiana in the middle of December, but honestly, I didn't; everyone thought I was nuts. Some were equal parts impressed, many were encouraging, but ultimately, all were pretty convinced I was at least mildly insane. Myself included.

Because really, what would compel a racing virgin, someone who had to ask where the bib number and velcro strap went; someone who, not two months earlier, literally laughed at the idea of running a marathon; someone who just spent five minutes trying to remember the actual term is "bib" and not "number tag thingy", to sign up to run 31 miles?

An internship.

Now, trying to explain your participation in a 50k by explaining your participation in a social media competition for the World's Coolest Intern is like using a Star Wars reference to explain your Lord of the Rings reference: if they didn't get one they won't get the other and it's just going to get you more funny looks. So just accept the fact that I signed up, and I was doing it.


Ready to have me committed yet? Then stand in line, because yes, I may sound a little off my rocker, but if pushing myself light years further than I could have ever imagined is insane, then bring on the straight jacket, cuz I have no intention of recovering.

I must admit though, when Connie asked if  would like to do a guest post, after being delighted and honored, I was a little stuck; how do you begin to tell others about the biggest challenge you've ever taken on? How do you explain the rationale for your craziness? And how do you get across that it all goes way beyond what you see at the surface. Because let's face it, running, is about so much more than running.

I suppose however, like any race, the beginning is probably a good start. So grab a gel pack, keep the hamstrings loose and read on for my harrowing tale about running Ultramarathon, and what it taught me about be a successful runner, and just being a success.

Gallery sneak peek (8 images):

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Why It's Important to Make Resolutions

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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photo: http://my.opera.com/canadagirl/blog/

Last year around this time I set up some pretty decent resolutions for 2010. Actually, I hate the idea of resolutions, so I wrote down goals instead because I thought it would at least last until February. Keep in mind I hadn't signed on with the Redeye at this point and the marathon wasn't even in the back of the back of my mind. Here they are:

1. Keep up with blogging. [Check]

2. Get paid for writing. [Check]

3. Money stuff (save, budget, etc.) [meh, kinda Check]

4. Get my own place. [Check]

5. Start volunteering. [I say check because of this]

6. Go to more exciting places. [Check, Check, Check]

7. Be on time. [Fail]

8. Read more [Check]

9. Have a better attitude. [Haha]

10. Go to the opera. [Fail]

11. Travel [Does 20 miles count?]

12. Bunch of health goals including eating right, exercising, etc. [MOTHA F*ING CHECK]

It totally pays to write down your goals. It kicks off the year in a good way and helps to keep these things in the back of your mind. I'd say about 90% of these goals were accomplished with the help of the Redeye and running. Despite all the downfalls I'd say this was one of the most fulfilling years of my life. 2010 was awesome and I can't wait to see what 2011 holds.

Although, I never did make it to the opera...

Why everyone should listen to the Marathon Missfit

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

About a month ago I started the Best Christmas Present Ever Fitness Challenge. It ended with  participants opening a present of their weight on Christmas with either happy or upsetting results.

I did fine. Lost 2 pounds, didn't stick to my workout plan as well as I should have, but still lasted through the holidays without letting those visions of sugar plums turn into weight gain nightmares.

But that's not the exciting part.

One of my fellow fitness challenge participants, Jacky, ended up doing AMAZINGLY. Not only did she lose SIX pounds, she stuck to her exercise plan AND broke through her plateau!

AMAZING!

Honestly, I am speechless.  Throughout the challenge I kept tabs on everyone, and Jacky always responded with positive updates. She admitted to wanting to take a break, but kept plowing through like a trooper that she is. The result?  A happy Christmas for Jacky. =)

So like I've been telling everyone ever since I was born, I'm usually almost always right and everyone should listen to me. =D

Congratulations to Jacky and all the awesome participants who dared to take the challenge!

I'm afraid to run in the snow.

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

It's been two months since the marathon and I've only ran outdoors a handful of times. Why, you ask? Oh, could have something to do with the stupid, awful, crummy weather.

Yes, lots of runners run outdoors in awful weather, but I'm afraid. I can barely WALK in the snow without wiping out, I can't imagine running in it. I really don't want to risk breaking something when I could play it safe and just run indoors.

But I miss it! I miss running outside. I miss the lakefront and seeing other runners in the awful elements. One of my favorite runs ever was my 20 mile long run before the marathon. The last mile it started down pouring and it was GREAT. There were only a handful of other runners out with me and the bad ass feeling was palpable. Truly one of the greatest runs ever.

And I miss the whole experience of running outdoors. Especially long runs. Setting everything up the night before, getting up early before the sun came out (how quickly cursing out the alarm clock and practically weeping for another 5 minutes of sleep.) And coming home and feasting while I relish over the fact that I accomplished more before noon than most people do the entire weekend.

It's one thing to run in the heat and rain, but its a lot more scarier to run in the slippery ice and snow. I hate it and I want it to be April now. Well, if I'm wishing for things I guess I'd wish for no more winters in Chicago.

Bahhh humbug. Winter, I hate you.

Christmas Tree for Runners

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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Medals = ornaments, bibs = tree skirt. I haven't thought of a star yet.

In related news, I'm a Christmas decorating GENIUS. =D

P4A: Autism Speaks

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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Today in the Blogosphere is Project for Awesome. What is this, you ask? Why, its a day of Awesome in which bloggers put their egos to the side for a day and write about something bigger: charity.

My profiled charity is of course the awesome Autism Speaks. I chose to run the marathon this year for Autism and was supported the entire journey through this great charity. You might remember the story I shared earlier in the year on why I chose this among the hundreds of other amazing charities out there. A friend on Twitter posted a tweet saying how she saw her son, who "happens to have Autism" eating alone at school. I ran to support Autism Speaks so that kids like my friend's son could have the support they need and in hopes of finding a solution to this puzzle.

 

My charity page is still open and if you would like to donate, please feel free to check it out: Donation Page.

And if you'd like to learn more about Autism Speaks and how you can help, check out their website here.

 

Christmas Wish List for Runners

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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This year 90% of my list to Santa involves running gear. My how things have changed since last year when all I wanted were DVD sets of The Office and new boots.

For all those of you out there who have runners in the family and get confused when you hear them speak of strange things like "Yaktrax" and "moisture wicking," here's a reader friendly guide to help you find the perfect gift.

Check out the list here!

Continue reading...

My parents are TOTALLY stealing my thunder.

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

About a month ago, my parents signed up for Weight Watchers. So far, they've lost a total of 35 pounds.

They're totally trying to show me up.

What the heck! I've been good all year! I ran, I thought about doing core exercises, and I even cut back on beer that week before the marathon! A week! This just isn't cool.

You'd think I'd be happy and proud of my parents for making such great strides in their road to a healthy lifestyle, but you'd be wrong. Christmas day all my extended family is going to be crowded around them saying things like, "Oh David, you look so good!" and "Oh Judy, that you're just swimming in that sweater!" Meanwhile I'll be sulking in the corner telling my aunt's jug of sangria how rough mile 14 was.

Thanks a lot mom and papa, you ruined my Christmas!

*stomps to room and slams door*

*creaks door back open*

But I'd still like that new sweater for Christmas, love you.

*re-slams door*

Running in the Cold

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

This past Friday, after a day of feasting, I headed out for the Inaugural Black Friday 5k. Aside from being apprehensive to run the day after the biggest eating day of the year, I was also fearful of the weather. You see, I've been a chicken lately and have reduced myself to becoming a Dreadmill hamster instead of braving the cold. And since the last time I ran outside I couldn't see my breath, I was a bit hesitant to do a 5k outdoors.

The result?

Not that bad! Although it was cold as well... as cold as you would expect for the end of November in Chicago, I was prepared. I sported my Nike running tights, a long sleeved race tee, an extra race jacket, and winter hat I intelligently grabbed at Walgreen's right before the run. (Picture if you will the outfit an Olympic speedskater would wear...or a cat burgalar).

Personally, my biggest challenge for running in the cold aside from frost bite, was that my eyes water up at the drop of the hat. No, seriously, it's pretty bad. Like if a hat did drop in front of me my eyes would probably water up from the small puff of air produced by the movement of said hat. But once I got going, I barely noticed and was so busy looking around my old stomping grounds (the lakefront path) that I don't even remember my eyes being a big problem.

So we'll see how long I can keep this up. I'm not really sure how runners endure outdoor running post-first snowfall, but I plan to keep you all posted for as long as I can hold out, or until my feet fall off from frost bite, whichever comes first. =D

The Inaugural Black Friday 5k

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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(Photo: Swiped from Cubicle Dad) =D

Updated!!

We all know what's coming up Thursday. Feasty McFeast day. The day where Americans get a day off to eat at 3p.m. with relatives and taste three types of pie.

So what do you do the day after? Especially if you're trying to stay healthy?

I give you: The Inaugural Black Friday 5k

When: Friday, the day after Thanksgiving

Where: Montrose Harbor Fleet Feet Piper's Alley 1620 N. Wells

Time: 3p.m. meetup, running starts at 3:30p.m.

More Details: Cost is FREE but please bring some non-perishable food items to donate to the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Post Meetup: We'll be heading to Casey Moran's at 4:30 to carry on the fun and festivities.

Details on all this and more can be found here.

 

Fellow Marathon Finisher and awesome dude Cubicle Dad sent me a link to his 5k meetup the day after Thanksgiving, when most people run only through the malls looking for Buy One get 20 sweater deals.

This is a BRILLIANT idea, but I'm a little hesitant. Can I do a 5k after the biggest eating day of the year? So if anyone else is contemplating it but not sure if the turkey/pie/cranberry/potato/rolls/more pie lump in your gut will hold you back, I'll GLADLY take a slow jog with anyone who would like to take it easy.  

So let me know if you'll be there and we'll burn off the pie calories together.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Scheduling Time for Weight Loss

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

Why was I up at 2a.m. last night wrapping an oatmeal box? Because I made a commitment to lose weight and dammit I'm sticking to it.

To start off the Best Christmas Present Ever Fitness Challenge, I suggested kicking it off by wrapping my current weight as a present, and open it on Christmas morning with *hopefully* pleasant results. Here it is:

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Did I mention it was 2 in the morning?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And HERE is a much more sensible gal's present who had the good sense to get a cute gift bag:

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We'll call her J because I forgot to ask if she wants to be a Secret Santa. =)

 

 

 

 

 

 

So now that the easy part is over, what's next? I need a schedule. My running schedule is what got me through the marathon- I used it religiously and treated it like a childhood blanky, lost without it. Therefore, it seems only right that this will work in other exercising endeavors, no? We'll see.

Monday- 30 minutes of core and arm exercises done at home.  Since Monday's have enough going on already, and I don't want to start off a huge fail whale every week, I'm going to keep this day nice and easy with strength exercises that I can do in the comfort of my living room- TV on.

Tuesday- At least 30 minutes of running. Hey! I remember running! That sure was fun. Maybe I can give it a whirl?

Wednesday-Car-di-oooo. I do have a gym membership somewhere, and I believe they offer classes. If that doesn't work, Jillian Michaels 30 day Shred DVD will do just fine. (Sorry neighbors in advance for all the cursing/jumping jacks.)

Thursday-Running again! 30 min. minimum

Friday-Day off, with a long walk. The last thing I want to do after a long work week is workout. But I do have a dog lying around somewhere, so we'll do a few extra laps before I start my weekend.

Saturday-Long Run! I miss these, and hopefully we won't get a winter this year in Chicago so I can run every day from now until Christmas.

Sunday-More Cardio Probably something I can do from home, another workout DVD perhaps? I have a ton of them. They gotta be good for something.

Same rules apply as they did with running: if life gets in the way, that's ok. Adjust as needed and keep going.

Now, has anyone seen my running shoes?

(It's not to late to join me! Shoot me an email and we'll keep each other on track marathonmissfit@gmail.com)

Its 46 days until Christmas...

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

I want to get fit and lose weight.

Every Christmas I find myself downing Christmas treats thinking, "Man, I wish I lost weight so I could look good in the holiday photos...hey, who ate all the snowman cookies?!" Well this year I finally thought this before Santa came down the chimney.

The marathon training brought me down 10lbs, but training for a marathon unfortunately didn't get me down to my goal weight. (Something about carb loading and treating myself with pizza after long runs might have had a bit to do with it.)

I'm a mere 9 lbs away from the weight on my license- a weight I wasn't even at at the time it was issued (sorry for lying, Jesse White). I think I can do it. But I need a plan, and your help. Everything's better with a group, right? So let's join together and take part in...drum roll please

Best Christmas Present Ever Fitness Challenge!

 

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Photo: sxc.hu

We're going to wrap up our current weight in a Christmas gift box along with the least-flattering picture of yourself that you can find. On Christmas morning we'll open it and either have given ourselves the best Christmas gift ever- or we'll weep awkardly over a bunch of Old Navy Fleeces. But hopefully that won't happen.

Here's how we'll succeed:

Exercise- you can pick any fitness challenge you want. Like running? Run your butt off. Biking? Bike away. Whatever you think will make that reindeer sweater a little less snug- do it. The goal is to exercise at least 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week.

Diet- Since I'm not a dietitian and thought the Twinkie diet was a cool idea, I'm not going to tell you what to do. I will provide us with dieting tips and tricks to stick to the plan, but whether you want to count calories or go vegan is up to you.

So how will we keep track? Digital of course. Shoot me an email at marathonmissfit@gmail.com of you and your gift by the end of the week. (Luckily most stores have already brought out the holiday stuff, but you can also Martha Stewart it and do a home-made gift wrap). I'll send you a weekly email calling you out and making sure you're sticking to the goal.

Already at your goal weight? I'm jealous. But not enough to exclude you. If you have another goal (getting healthy, bulking up, running faster) join along!

Also- I don't want to exclude any of my non-Christmas celebrating friends, so everyone's welcome!  But side note to all my Jewish friends, Christmas is later than Chanukah this year so feel free to use the 25th as your gift-opening date. =)

Alright, who's with me???

She did the Mash!

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

When the Monster Dash 5k offered me and a fellow reader free entries to their race for Sunday, I couldn't say no. "No problem!" I thought. I'll just go home early Saturday night.

ha. right.

Cut to me at 2:30a.m. chomping down a delicious steak quesidilla. TBK, I don't know if I love you or hate you for being open so late.

Needless to say it wasn't exactly easy getting up Sunday, but I brushed myself off, put on my cowboy hat and wrassled up the horse to pick up my partner in crime Sherlock (Alek) Holmes.

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Photo: not the acutal Sherlock, but close enough

We managed to shuffle our way to the starting line and were off! Despite my lack of sleep and preparation (and lingering intoxication), it was so much fun! Everyone was dressed up and it was an great way to shed some toxins accumulated from the night before.

Sherlock even won a prize for his costume! I might have had a chance at winning had my jeans not been falling down. Note to self: do a test run in any future costumes I plan to race in. These jeans are now sitting in my growing pile of baggy clothes to good will. (Yay!)

 

Chicago Monster Dash 5k Entry Giveaway!

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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Photo: Chicago Monster Dash

A number of you suggested that the best way to get back in the running game post-marathon is to sign up for another race. Enter Chicago Monster Dash.

They have kindly offered me and one lucky reader free registration to the 5k race in Grant Park on October 31st at 8:30a.m.

How can you win? Easy. Answer a simple question after the jump...

Continue reading...

Will I ever run again?

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

Earlier this week I mentioned how I took a week off from running. My plan was to get back on track next week and hit the pavement once again, taking every advantage I could before Chicago turns frigid and I'm contemplating whether running in the snow for the first time ever will kill me.

But then life got in the way- I'm in NOLA this week for work (a rare occurence) and this weekend I'll be celebrating my anniversary with that dude that put a ring on it.

Sticking to running was so much easier when I had the marathon excuse. "I can't go out tonight- I have to run in the morning." "Sorry I'm late- I just went for a run, you know, marathon training?"

But now I don't have that excuse at the moment and it's getting really easy really quick not to put on the running shoes.

But I don't want to lose it! I love my defined calf muscles! I love that people I haven't seen in a while say I look better! I love the lakefront and getting up early and grumbling for the first mile until I get into it. I can't lose that!

So I promise, self, I will not get back to that couch potato lifestyle. Because as awesome as that week off felt, another week without running just sounds stupid.  

 

Rest Week was AWESOME!

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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richmondmexicanfood.com

It's a well-known saying among marathon runners that after a marathon you can eat whatever you want the entire week.

I think I took this phrase more seriously than I did my entire training.

I feasted! You would have thought I was a prisoner with a death sentence. Whatever I wanted, done! Pop tarts, pizza, beer, cake. I think I had like four Mexican fiestas. It was phenomenal.

And I took a week off of running too. At first I was going to do a jog mid-week, but I nixed that after the 3rd burger. Once again- I take the rest week very seriously. Sunday, I slept until 2p.m. TWO PM! I haven't slept that late since college when I didn't have to be anywhere.

So after all that feasting and sloth-ing, how did the scale look?

Beautiful. Didn't gain a pound.

I think I'll run a marathon every week. =D 

The Real Recap of Marathon Missfit's Chicago Marathon

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

Alright, alright. People are getting restless awaiting the Missfit version of Sunday. Well I'm SOORRR-RRYYY! I'm KINDA tired from running the equivalent from Wrigley to Woodfield Mall. And now you want me to use more energy and type? Ugh, fine. 

Ahem *clears throat*

I FINISHED THE CHICAGO MARATHON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I DID IT! ME! Laziest person alive! 26.freakin'2! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Like Christmas morning, but with peanut butter

I woke up early- about 10 minutes before the alarm. But I stayed in bed. I couldn't tell if I woke up late and missed it or if it was 2 in the morning. Either way I wasn't getting up until that blackberry started beeping. Once it did I was up and about fixing myself breakfast and tip toeing around the best house guest ever (she was quiet as a mouse!). My friend Julie, another awesome finisher came and we were in a cab and out the door.

It Begins

We got to Grant Park in plenty of time, but apparently some other people wanted to run the race as well. We were pushed along like cattle and as the gates were about to close, shoved our way in. Missfit mistake #1- starting out in the 8 min. mile pace section. (Why is everyone so thin?). Needless to say this threw everything off and we crossed the starting line at 7:39a.m. Julie and I kept the pace easy breezy for the first 5k and parted ways knowing we'd meet up at the finish.

Zoom!

Miles 3-9 went by really fast. Funny how shade makes running easier. I kept thinking, "This is going by too fast!" Ohhhh Connie, you fool. Around 8 I missed my family (there's some funny home video of my parents arguing who's fault it was that they were late). I had snack time around 9. Peanut butter and crackers, with a side of shot bloks and water. Mmm, mmm good. After my half marathon foolishness of not walking at all, I decided to walk the water stations. BEST IDEA EVER.

10.5, Move over Charles Dickens

I had to go to the bathroom so thought It'd be a good time to update Twitter. All I said was, "10.5- potty break!" Sorry I got so emotional there, the race got to me. =/

I've Got Friends in low places

The first sighting of anyone I knew in real life was Accidentally Sexy and Dana. Sadly I missed Steph, Ernest, Jen, Bex, and Katie, but I'm sure I heard them. =) I also met two readers! They both passed me so clearly they read this blog for a chuckle, but it was nice to meet new friends. Speaking of which, I want to thank the 1.5 MILLION spectators who came out on such a hot day to cheer us on. Thank you to anyone who could read and shouted out my name. Anytime you need help moving just give me a ring. I also saw all 6 of my bridesmaids! My parents were on the course too, and although I didn't spot them, there's some hil-arious family footage of them trying to find me (at one point the camera was just pointed to the ground- 'nuff said.) One of the coolest moments was when a woman read the back of my shirt, passed by and said, "No one that runs a marathon is a misfit." =)

Wall? Pssh, more like a small curb

Mile 14 was hard. I got it in my head for a bit that I had just ran a half marathon... and I had to do it again. Plus I'm told the temperature in the city was a tad higher than the average weather that typically goes with foliage (by about 30 degrees). But then I started to think to myself, "Do I want to RUN the Chicago Marathon, or do I want to walk the Chicago Marathon?" And I picked it up in search of mile 15.

It's a Small World After All

I've lived in Chicago my entire life, but I cannot tell you how many times I thought, "Where the hell am I? This is such a cute area! I wonder if there's any good restaurants around here." I actually have never even been to Chinatown since Sunday. Hopefully next time I go I won't need spectators screaming my name to keep me upright.

It's 6.2 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas- half a pack of shot bloks, its bright, and we're wearing sunglasses...

Mile 20 is where everyone says the race really begins. Honestly? Not that bad. I think being told it would be REALLY HARD made it easier. Don't get me wrong, the walk/run ratio definitely flip flopped, and at one point I ditched my sunglasses because they were annoying me (smart, no?), but it wasn't as bad. And everyone says the end is a dead zone, but there were way more people out there cheering us on and hosing us down with their garden hoses than there ever are on the lakefront path. It helped tremendously.

Are you there Amy? It's me, Connie

Mile 23.something I glanced over to my left and magically see Amy float down from the heavens (ok, more like she went to lunch in between seeing me at the start, but like I said, it was hot). She ran along side me explaining that after the 40k I was right there. I was sick of the metric system by then and shot back, "how many Ks are there?" She said I was "a sneeze away." Much better. I asked her to get me some cranberry juice and I went on my way.

How many Finish Lines are there?

Every time I go somewhere outside my neighborhood, I look at Google Maps. You would THINK that I would have studied the course map a bit more, but no. So that's why when I saw the blue flags at the end of Michigan Ave. I thought that was it. "Sweet! They got rid of that hill at the end!" But as I went closer I realized they didn't move it. Darn.

Am I there yet?

Once I saw the words FINISH I thought I was close. So I picked it up and started to sprint. Alicia said she saw me and screamed but I was to busy bolting that I didn't notice. As I approached the Finish line I was confused because there were two timing pads, so I crossed them both and kept walking fast asking out loud (like an IDIOT) "Is this it? Is this it?"

I hope they serve beer in hell

Once I figured out I was done, I choked up a little. It was over and I was done and I was ok. The finishers center was blissful. I spent a good 15 minutes just walking around. I grabbed a water, ditched it for some Gatorade, and ditched that for the beer. Yes, beer. If anyone has any doubt of how tough a marathon is, hear this: I didn't finish my beer.

More Paparazzi than Lady Gaga

When I finally arrived to the family center I was greeted by so many loved ones it was overwhelming. Kinda what I imagine heaven to be like, except my back won't be aching and I won't be sweating like a pig. My parents, the future in-law crew, Redeye elite, best friends and trainer Amy were all there. We cheered and hugged, I cried a little, and everyone was impressed with the fact that I was still standing and not in the least loopy (pretty proud of that- no delirium! woo!). I even made it out later to the bar for drinks and food- although I was dissappointed by my lack of appetite- I didn't even finish my dinner! But the beer was flowing and my back stopped aching. A perfect end to one of the greatest nights of my life.

Thank you times a million to all the volunteers and spectators. And to everyone who sent words of encouragement and congratulations on the blog/Twitter/Facebook. You guys were amazing and kept me going. It's because of you that I have one of the greatest pictures ever...

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For more pics check out the Chicago Marthon Photo Gallery

One proud marathon runner.

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

I trained for the Chicago Marathon.

I started the Chicago Marathon.

I ran the Chicago Marathon.

I finished the Chicago Marathon.

I am equally proud of each of those sentences. On Sunday, I finished one of the greatest accomplishments of my life. Words cannot fully describe how I feel. But I can tell you this- I am just as proud of myself for finishing yesterday than I was that first day I "ran a block, walked a block."

I've heard dozens of people say that they could never run a marathon. Sunday I proved that ANYONE can run the marathon. All you have to do is start.

It hasn't caught up with me yet. It's still surreal. I see my medal. My muscles are sore. There's a total of 4 Disney Princess Band-aids on my feet, and yet, its still hard to grasp. I ran a marathon? How did this happen? My mind can't catch up with what my body just accomplished.

I promise to write more tomorrow, but I need one more day of rest before I can fully explain in detail my thoughts on RUNNING THE CHICAGO MARATHON.

Congratulations to all those who trained, started, ran, and/or finished the marathon. You are truly amazing.

 

 

 

The 2010 Chicago Marathon: PHOTOS

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson


Gallery sneak peek (58 images):

View the gallery...

I'm Ready.

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

This has been the most exciting week of my life.
 
Honestly, I cannot recall a week where I had so much adrenaline, excitement, and an all-around sense of thrill. Every single second of this week has been MARATHON.
 
 I. can't. wait.
 
And now I can't stop thinking of how quickly it went by. How it all started as just another thing I'd say I'd do, one day, off in the distance as I drank my beer and tasted some chocolate-covered bacon. But then it came a reality the day Steph sent the email asking if I'd REALLY be interested in running the marathon. Slowly, but surely it started to form.
 
Confession- I first signed up mainly so I could write for the Redeye (shhh- don't tell them I wasn't really into the idea of running when I started). The first month was more, "Hey! I had a photoshoot at the Redeye!" "Hey! I met THE Scott Kleinberg!" and "HEY MY FACE IS ON THE REDEYE PAGE! Do I look fat?"
 
But then I had to run.
 
I started out slow. REAL slow. My "run a block, walk a block" worked perfectly and I felt so cool after my first FULL mile. I joined DePaul's gym and banged out my first 2 miles on the indoor track.
 
That's when Amy stepped in. She answered 9,549,875 emails and talked me down from countess freak outs (not to mention getting picture messages of weird lumps on my ankle with the caption, "is this a muscle?"
 
And then I ran some more.
 
And it got hard. And hot. And hard again. July and August were mentally draining more so than physical. Every other run was cut down, due to my own mental block. I cried at one point (maybe twice).
 
But then the "runner's amnesia" kicked in. Every run checked off was another one down. Another Tweet filled with exclamation points, all before noon on a Saturday.
 
And then I ran further.
 
20 miles couldn't have been done if it weren't for my friends- both in 3D and in Tweets/Facebook/The Blog. And for my family, who listened as I went on and on about my runs like a 7 year old who climbed on the monkey bars for the first time. And my fiancee who...well, he helped me carb load. =D
 
So, now that the day I've been thinking about every day for the past 10 months is two days away, all I can say is, I'm ready.
 

How to track me on Sunday

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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photo: MSNBC

Lots of people (ok, my mom) have been asking how to know where I will be on Sunday. So hunker down, print out this post, and if you're one of my enemies, I look forward to a face to face encounter.

 

 

 

 

Running Tracker:

http://www.textinterface.com/pls/text/TF_BACM_DT_REGISTER

My bib number is 21409, it will prompt you for a mobile number to send you updates on race day. (Note: Not to alarm anyone, but my name won't be coming up as Marathon Missfit- It's Constance, but only my parents are allowed to call me by that name! Please shout GO CONNIE! or GO MARATHON MISSFIT! or SOMEONE HELP THAT GIRL IT LOOKS LIKE SHE'S GOING DOWN!)

If Missfit X is Going 5mph...

If you don't want to sign up, the race starts at 7:30 a.m. and I have a very vague estimate of 11 minute miles. I won't start right at 7:30, so as long as you get to whatever mile before the estimated time (ie: mile 3 x 11 minutes = 33 minutes) you should be good.

Human Target

I will be rocking the royal blue tank to represent my Team Up Autism Speaks charity along with black capris. I'm going to write Connie on the front and Marathon Missfit on the back.

Marco!

The top tip I have to give any marathon spectator is this: TELL YOUR RUNNER WHERE YOU'LL BE- THEY WILL FIND YOU MUCH EASIER THAN YOU WILL FIND THEM. I'll be aching for some familiar faces, so tell me where you plan to be and I'll be sure to keep an eye out!

Lets get me trending

If you happen to catch a glimpse of me huffing and puffing my way around Chicago, please take a pic, send it my way, and if you're on Twitter tell me where you saw me using the hashtag #Missfit That way anyone else hunting me down can get a real time idea of where I am.

90 hours later

I'm going straight to section R (As in Reyes, my last name. If you read this whole post I'll reveal my SSN too!) to collapse and cry and hug and all that fun stuff.

Later that day...

Once I'm all showered and pretty, I'll be crawling over to the Irish Bistro on Lincoln near Irving Park to replace all the calories I burned in the form of booze and burgers. The eating will commence around 3 and will last until I'm carried out shouting, "I JUST RAN THE MARATHON!" as I swing my medal around in the air. =D

 

Official Spectator Info can be found here:

http://www.chicagomarathon.com/cms400min/chicago_marathon/spectators_volunteers/index.aspx?id=512#spectator_guide

How I met one of the fastest men in the world

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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It's a good thing I write a blog because I'm still a little speechless. Allow me to explain.

Last night I attended a press event at Nike. It gave us a chance to hear about the new shoes coming out that Nike has to offer, along with a sneak peak at the Chicago Marathon apparel which is now available at the stores and online (and is super cute! sidenote: they will be having Chicago Marathon FINISHER apparel available after the marathon!).

But that's not the coolest part.

After viewing the new products, they brought in a special guest to stop in and give us some pointers on running. Are you ready for this?

Michael Johnson.

MICHAEL JOHNSON! Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist! Fastest guy everrr!!!!

I was floored. He was super nice and gave us tips on how to be a top notch runner. Here's some things that stood out to me:

He stretches before and after a run

I totally do this too! Michael says that dynamic stretching is the way to go. He explained it like this: when you use a work tool, do you leave it out, dirty, and use it that way the next time? No, you put it away properly so that it achieves its optimal use.

Do things YOUR way

When asked what was the reason for his signature stiff, upright running technique, he explained that its what worked for him. People in the past critiqued his running style, saying that he should run a certain way. He cooly replied that they were trying to get him to run the same way that the people behind him were running. (ha!).

Think about something else

So of course I had to ask him a question. I mean, when will I get an opportunity like this again? I shot my hand up right at the end and asked, "What can I do to avoid the wall, or, even better, how can I not die at the marathon?" He told me that its important to work out your technique and all the kinks in the beginning to delay the fatigue. Then, when it hits, just think about something else. Like balloons and kitties. So I replied, "Ok, I'll just think about how MICHAEL JOHNSON told me to 'think about something else.'"

Now THAT'S how you get ready for the marathon.

Awesome.

 

 

Two weeks to the big day.

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

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Two weeks til the big day has my emotions running wild. One minute I"m fist-pumping-happy, then I'm nervous, then I see the 10-10-10 banners downtown and become all verklempt (tawlk amoungst yoursevles).

But I think I'm ready. Saturday I did an "Easy 12 miles." And it was, easy. I didn't die, it wasn't scary. Easy breezy.

I'm not bragging, I'm just saying that I think these past 8 months of preparing have actually worked. Huh. Who'd have thought practicing and sticking to something would leave you prepared? I need to sit down and wrap my head around this.

Two weeks to go. Eeep. I'm starting to see signs that its approaching. Other than the banners, I got my confirmation packet in the mail, along with an email reminding me that I signed up for that big race in October. Oh, and everyone has been asking, "Are you ready?" "Are you scared?" and my personal favorite, "Should you be drinking beer right now?"

Two weeks. Yup.

The most embarrassing post I will ever write.

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

 
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Photo: heartlandparcel.co.uk

Before I begin, I'd like to apologize to my parents. Despite what you may think after reading this post, I assure you I was provided with a very cultured upbringing. During my 12 years of private education, I attended the ballet at the age of 5, knew the difference between Monet and Renoir at the age of 10, and was was the self-proclaimed next Benny Goodman in the middle school band (1st chair, what what!). I bet they never thought their little Renaissance girl would one day be discussing poop on the internet for all to see. I'm sorry.
 
It was supposed to be magical. That infamous 20 mile run most marathoners complete before they start to rest up and taper off for the big day. It was supposed to be serene and life-changing. A story I could tell my grandchildren one day as a story of how I was able to train for the greatest accomplishment in my life. A tale of guts and glory.
 
Well, not quite.

Continue reading...

Running Feet Helping Hands- Back On My Feet

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

This week's edition of Running Feet Helping Hands highlights a new organization dedicated to helping the homeless through running. Check out Back on My Feet and the press release below for more informatin!

 

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Back on My Feet (BOMF), the nonprofit organization that uses running as a vehicle to promote self-sufficiency among homeless populations, will launch in Chicago on September 22 when 30 homeless men will begin their journey with BOMF by running their first mile. Joining chapters in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Boston, Chicago is the organization's first chapter in the Midwest.
 
"Chicago is home to a tremendous community of businesses, civic leaders and, of course, runners that enthusiastically support our cause and have welcomed Back on My Feet to the city with open arms," said Anne Mahlum, president and founder of Back on My Feet. "We're thrilled expand our presence to the Midwest and look forward to being a strong force in helping to combat homelessness in the Windy City." 
 
Mahlum started Back on My Feet in Philadelphia in 2007 when she was noticed a group of men congregating on the corner of a shelter while on her morning runs. Running had been Mahlum's saving grace to deal with her family issues surrounding her father's gambling addiction. She could never figure out a way to help her father, who she saw a lot of in the men on the corner. She thought that running could benefit these men in the same way it helped her find herself, boost her self-esteem and give her focus and discipline.  
 
Back on My Feet has grown into a very comprehensive program that all starts with running and, if the members stay committed (they must have a 90 percent attendance rating at all times), they earn access to the organization's connections to job training, employment and housing, as well as a $1,250 grant to move their life forward. The program has a success rate of close to 60 percent and, in 2009 alone, BOMF  helped more than 120 members find employment, enroll into job training programs and/or assist in moving members out of facilities into independent living.
 
Back on My Feet will initially work with three homeless facilities in Chicago: St. Leonard's Ministries (2100 West Warren Blvd.), YMCA - Lawson House (30 West Chicago Avenue) and Residents for Effective Shelter Transitions (REST) - Interim Housing (941 West Lawrence Avenue). Each team will be composed of ten members.   
 
A number of events will commemorate the launch of Back on My Feet Chicago:
 
·         Inaugural Shoe Fitting: September 21 at 8 a.m. at Universal Sole,  3052 North Lincoln Avenue
The first 30 members of Back on My Feet Chicago will be outfitted for sneakers and official BOMF running gear at Universal Sole, BOMF Chicago's official running store partner. All sneakers will be donated by Universal Sole.
 
·         Inaugural Run: September 22 at 5:45 a.m. at YMCA - Lawson House, 30 West Chicago Avenue
To kick-off its presence in Chicago, all 30 members that are part of the initial BOMF Chicago teams will run their first mile together. Volunteers, board members and other supporters will join them on the run; more than hundred runners are expected to turn out for this event. The route for the one-mile run will be:
o   Begin at YMCA - Lawson House; run west to Michigan Avenue
o   South on Michigan Avenue to Ontario Street
o   East on Ontario Street to State Street
o   North on State Street to Chicago Avenue
o   East on Chicago Avenue, ending at YMCA - Lawson House
 
·         Inaugural Accenture Back on My Feet Breakfast in Your Sneakers Presented by the Marriott: September 22 at 7:30 a.m. at Chicago Downtown Marriott, 540 North Michigan Avenue
Board members, civic leaders, volunteers and other friends will celebrate the launch of BOMF Chicago at a sit-down breakfast. Registration and coffee service will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 8 a.m., and the breakfast and program will be from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.
 
Nearly 500 individuals, including the 30 new BOMF members, will be in attendance and hear remarks from Mahlum and her father - who, in part, inspired Mahlum to establish the organization - a BOMF alumnus and Tom Pate, executive director, U.S. Geographic Services at Accenture. White Lodging will also make a sizable check presentation for donations collected during its National White Lodging Sneaker Day held Labor Day weekend.
 
For additional information and involvement opportunities with Back on My Feet Chicago, visit http://chicago.backonmyfeet.org.

A Recap of What's Been Going On

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

Well hi there! I bet you've been wondering where the heck I've been, huh? Well, I've been running.

And running.

And running.

Actually, not that much. But yes, I'm up to 18 miles. EIGHTEEN. Can you believe that? Because I sure as hell can't. It's weird. The whole things just weird. When people ask me what mile I"m up to and I say it out loud, I immediately end it with, "it's crazy, right!?" Maybe I'll believe it when I see the finish line photo, lol.

Anywho, here's some things that have been happening. I'm going to use the infamous blogger bullet point stream-of-consciousness post format because I'm too tired to make it connect some how...

  • I had a cold and was out for a good week. Ahhh, sweet, snotty relief.
  • I have what I like to refer to it as, "random stabby knife pain" in my foot. It comes and goes, but now I can really say R.I.C.E. really does work! Who knew?
  • I have my big 20 miler this weekend (last big run before I get to start winding down). Eep.
  • My thoughts go from "I'm so excited!" to "I'm not ready!" to "OH DEAR GOD I'M GOING TO DIE" then loop back around. Every. Five. Minutes.
  • Chompers and I ran! We did about 2 blocks before he started leaping in the air and we had to stop. He needs to work on his form.
  • Poor Amy Guth, she gets the most annoying emails from me, mainly about the littlest things. "My toe hurts, will it fall off?" "My knee feels twitchy but only when I wear green shoes and dance around to old 90s hits, is that bad?" "Is [insert unhealthy food here] protein? What if I drink it with beer, that has calcium right?"
  • I am so insanely happy its cooler out. God Bless the 2 weeks of Chicago Fall. I hope they last until 10-10-10.
  • Speaking of 10-10-10, has anyone noticed I've been posting all my posts at 10:10:10 am?
  • Did you just look around to see if its true?

 

 

Chicago Half Marathon Kick Off Song Winner!

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

It's a landslide- Jacky wins! Thanks again to all the participants and all those who voted! Here's Jacky's song choice to kick off the Half Marathon September 12th. Good luck to all the runners!

 


Complicated en Yahoo! Video

Chicago Half Marathon Photo Gallery

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

The entries are in for the Chicago Half Marathon Kick off Song Contest! Leave your comments below and help me pick a winner! I'll announce the winner Friday.

Thanks to the participants for entering, good luck you guys all rock! =D

 

 

 

 

Gallery sneak peek (6 images):

View the gallery...

Finally, a bright side to all this running.

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Connie (Marathon MissFit)

I have the office lifestyle of Pam Beasley, the fabulousness of Lauren Conrad, and the witty repartee of Homer J. Simpson

I was walking through Woodfield this weekend with my friend Carolyn doing some much needed retail therapy. We were gazing/drooling at the new boots in Aldo when I began to reminisce about the wonderful heels I used to clomp around in pre-running. Since I started training I've pretty much traded heels for anything with comfort, arch support, and that would correct my pronating. (Which by the way goes with NOTHING.)

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Photo: Aldo.com

 

Then it hit me. Maybe, just maybe, after all is said and done, when the marathon's over in a mere 30-something days, my feet will be so numb and dead from pain, that I'll be able to wear heels again! And not just any heels, high, hot, painful heels that normally would crush toes but since they'll probably fall off by then anyway it won't matter!

So at least I've got that going for me. =D





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