Product Review: Audio Underwater Swimbuds Sport Headphones

Coach Lora Erickson swimbudsI was super excited to try my new underwater iPod and Swimbuds Sport Headphones today in the pool. As a triathlete I always look forward to running with my music when I train so I really looked forward to this workout in the pool with music – can you believe it?! On occasion the water aerobics class will have some music that’s enjoyable but more often than not the “elevator music” doesn’t get me pumped up like my own music would. I’m a big pop fan. I also like new country and some of the 90s rock. Yep – I pretty much love my teenagers music. There is just something about rhythmic music that makes exercise more enjoyable for me. At first I was a little nervous to put the iPod and Swimbuds Sport Headphones in the water because it’s sort-of unbelievable that they could be waterproof; but the fact is they are and I was able to listen to my tunes while swimming today! This is a first for me. I loved it! This has just increased my desire to want to swim more often. I now can enjoy my favorite Taylor Swift tunes while I swim! The audio was really clear on these high quality headphones too.

If you struggle with wanting to get to the pool or if you just want to have some tunes to work out with I would highly suggest getting one of these. I still can’t believe its waterproof as it looks like a regular iPod!
Bonus: The headphones act like ear plugs too so they keep the water out of your ears. So if you use earplugs anyway then why not listen to music too?triharder audio
I could also see this being a good training tool, especially if you use songs with the right cadence, or you can get creative with your workouts and push yourself or do a drill until the end of the song. I could also see these being useful for wet rainy or snowy weather for running (I am sure that Ogden Marathoners would have appreciated them this last weekend).
Training Tip: As a coach I like to tell my athletes to wear ear plugs if they tend to get dizzy or vertigo in the pool so this might be a good solution for them too!
Also if you tend to get headaches like me or be overly sensitive to the environment (often caused from concussions) this could be a good solution to controlling pool noise. Often when I swim it’s really noisy. This helps control that. Love it!
To learn more or order for yourself visit Underwateraudio.com

View on YouTube – The Blonde Runner – Swimming Underwater Audio Product Review

Race Report – Hits Half 70.3 – First Place Division

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Hits Half Distance 70.3 Triathlon

Grand Junction, Colorado – Saturday May 16, 2015

First Place Division Finish

I was pleased to participate in the Hits Race Series Half Distance Triathlon in Grand Junction Colorado (my hometown) over the weekend.  This was my first 70.3 event starting with a 1.2 mile swim then 56 mile bike ride and finishing with a 13.1 mile half marathon run. This is a challenging event even in perfect conditions but Mother Nature decided to make it even more difficult. The air temperature at the start was 43° with waters temperatures around 60° by the shore and about 58° farther out, so it was cold for the 7 am mass swim start (all ~230 of us). As I was waiting for the swim start countdown in the water I couldn’t stop shaking and was relieved to get started so I could move my muscles and get warm.  When the horn went off it was chaos as everyone was fighting for space with lots of splashing, kicking and arms flailing everywhere. It’s like being in a washing machine and reminded me of Nationals a few years back when I got hit so hard I got a concussion so I guarded me head well and tried to find people to swim parallel to going my speed.  It was difficult to relax and my stiff cold arms didn’t want to move and I found it hard to rotate or pulling quite as effectively so my timing was off and I was swallowing more water than I would care to admit.  After about 300 yards the crowd finally started to thin out and my body started to warm up so I could relax and get in a groove. Upon finishing the first loop we had to get out of the water and go around a yellow buoy on land and then swim another loop.  I took this opportunity to glance at my watch.  I was shocked to see such a slow time even with a rough start. I was determined to swim a much stronger second loop.  After the race many people suggested the swim was 300 or more meters long so that made me feel better. Getting out also added time and with the cold conditions all of the swim times were slow and some pulled out of the race b11139358_10206700719986649_5799319843106755577_necause of hypothermia. Looking back at my GPS data I ended up swimming 1.75 miles.  Clearly it was long and I took the scenic route and need to work on swimming straight.  LOL
There was a long run from the water to transition of maybe 150 or 200 yards or so.  Before the race I had decided it was worth the extra time in transition to put on layers because I tend to get cold easily and didn’t want to go hypothermic.  As I pulled my wetsuit off I managed to pull my timing chip off as well; as I was trying to put the Velcro strap back together I discovered my hands not wanting to work. It was hard to get a grip on things between my pointer and thumb, they were frozen. I struggled to pull on arm warmers so ditched them but I did pull on my knee warmers, beanie, a jersey (couldn’t get it zipped), cycling jacket (it took me a long time to zip this up but I knew I needed to keep the cold air out) and gloves.  The cycling gloves were by far the hardest to get on but I knew these were a must so I struggled for what seemed like an eternity to get them on.  After strapping up my helmet – that buckle was a struggle too – I was finally on my way.  That was the longest transition time of my life but I figured it was better to finish then have to pull out with hypothermia as many did (or so I heard).
I was very timid on the bike as I am still nervous to ride out on the roads after being hit in the Fall and took every turn extra slow.  Undoubtedly this cost me time and results don’t reflex my true potential but I didn’t wipe out either.  On the bike I pumped my fists opened and closed to restore blood flow and hoped to improve my grip for gearing and grabbing food I needed to consume.  It worked and my hands started to get warmer!  I believe getting the proper nutrition on the bike can make or break the race and started eating and drinking as much as my grip would allow me to. This was a challenging bike route and leading up to the first climb I geared into my small chain ring and passed many cyclists on the accent. Unfortunately lever gearing from the tops of my aerobars takes working hands so I had no luck getting back into the large chain-ring for the remainder of the 56 mile ride despite many attempts; This robbed me of some speed on the decents and my overall bike time did not reflect my ability. I knew I had a lot of time to make up from the swim and T1 time so this was a bit frustrating not to have all my gears to utilize.
For the entire ride we had a light cold rain and even had the wind pick up at times blowing me around. About mile 30 I found it difficult to get my speed up and even though the road seemed flat it wasn’t. This false-flat went of for 10 miles with a strong head wind.  I was greatful this was an out-and-back portion of the ride because I knew it would be much easier to make up speed the other direction. At about mile 38 or so I saw two ambulances zipping by and found out later that a girl was so cold she ended up wrecking and hit her head going unconscious and was taken to ICU.  That helmet saved her life and she suffered a broken wrist and most likely has a severe concussion.  Here’s the story Scary! Having suffered from concussions myself, I feel her pain.  From what I know she is doing well now.  I know of another women that had some possible frostbite on her toes but I pushed on despite the awful conditions.
I pushed as much as I could after the turn around on my bike despite not having all my gears (my hands were still not working well enough to engage my front derailleur).
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Upon coming into transition I was excited for the run (my favorite part).  In T2 while removing my leg warmers I pulled off my timing chip yet again and had to replace it (Velcro – sticky little bugger) but my hands worked much better this time. After leaving transition I noticed that my GPS watch had been stopped so I took the time to clear and set it for the run so I’d have some feedback on pacing. I felt pretty strong and believe I got the nutrition I needed on the bike. I utilized Elete electrolyte tablytes – which are much more concentrated than other products on the market so you don’t have to take as many – great product!  (Visit eletewater.com, set up a free account and use the code “blonderunner” to save 15% on your first order).
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The first 10K was strong with a 51 split at the turn around right on goal pace for a 1:42ish half however my left knee was starting to bother me.  About 4 months ago I had knee surgery as a result of being hit on my bicycle by a truck last Fall.  It has slowed my training and my knee has been off and on sore. I had another few strong miles but with the up and downhills the knee really started to bother me and I could feel my form changing.  I tried to keep my effort steady and my running smooth but my legs started feeling heavy and I had some slow miles in there and considering the overall decent out and overall increased elevation on the way back my effort was steady. I was constantly passing people despite the knee and ended up with a 1:51 half marathon split. Not too shabby after a cold swim and wet long ride. I couldn’t help to be thrilled to finish my first 70.3 and into my families arms.  It was a scorching 48° at the finish #sarcasm
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Despite the conditions I managed to take First Place in my age division which I was thrilled about. It was an unforgettably cold and challenging event. The sun finally came out for the award ceremony. It was fun to make some new friends and visit some family while in town. I was happy to have my husband and kids to share this experience with and I really appreciate their support along with friends and sponsors.  A special thank you to Xterra Wetsuits for keeping me much warmer in the water with your great wetsuit, cap and booties!
#Intermountain
#WasatchRunningCenter
#EleteElectrolyte #tablytes
#BountifulBicycle
#Cocogo
#Malibu-C
#ChampionSystems
View on IG:  The Blonde Runner
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Running Form Class – June 17th

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The next Running Form Class will be held on Wednesday June 17 from 6-7 p.m. in the Bountiful area.  This is a one-time lecture style class designed to review common running form mistakes and give you direct feedback on your form.  We will go over injury prevention and review drills to make you faster and more efficient.  Please dress to run – we will only be running a little bit to learn the drills and give you form feedback so it’s not rigorous.  Beginners welcome.  Message theblonderunner@gmail.com if you’d like to learn how to reserve a spot.  Pre-payments is required.

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

About the Coach:

Coach Lora Erickson has been running for over 30 years.  She is a USATF certified running coach and USA Triathlon coach.  She has been coaching for over 18 years and love to help people get faster.  She ran on athletic scholarship in college for distance running.  Learn more.

How to get your wetsuit off – video demo

Watch Coach Lora demonstrate how to get a wetsuit off.
Need help in the water? 
Openwater and pool swimming lessons are available.  Contact Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com to check availability and pricing.

Underwater video analysis also available – Learn more

What is the extra hole on your running shoes for?

You might be wondering what that extra hole at the top of your running shoe is – this is what it’s used for if you want to “heel lock” your laces.  Be careful not to tie it too tightly or it will put a lot of pressure on the top of your ankle or foot. I also recommend a double tie. Check it out.

Coach Lora Erickson

www.BlondeRunner.com

Yasso 800s

Yasso 800’s are a classic workout that I suggest for those trying to determine a potential marathon pace.  Build up to 10 x 800 repeats at your goal pace (ie.  if you want to run a 3:30 marathon then 3 min. 30 would be your interval time for each 800) with a 400 meter jog recovery between.  Happy Training!

Coach Lora Erickson

BlondeRunner.com

Blonde Runner partnering with Malibu C

malibu swim shampoo miracle repairMalibu C is a product I have been using for many years now; I remember the tall white bottle I used in High School and great smell of the product.  It still smells just as great today and I still love this product!  As a true blonde and a triathlete I have sensitive skin and fine-thin blonde hair so I really like to give it all the help I can to stay healthy and get the harsh chemicals off from hard water at the pool.  I remember as a little girl my younger sister really loved to swim, she pretty much lived in her little orange bikini swimming suit all summer long and we’d fill up the small collapsible pool in the backyard with the hose and swim around for hours in circles occasionally taking a break to eat a Popsicle.  We often had green hair from the copper and other minerals found in the water that would just cling to our hair making it look green.  Regular shampoo just didn’t get those minerals off but Malibu C does.  It really works!  Too bad we didn’t discover Malibu C sooner – no green hair!

As an active runner and triathlete I am constantly exposed to the sun.  Sun is an oxidizer which can damage the hair and skin so the antioxidant vitamins found in Malibu C products can clear up free radicals and restore the texture of the hair.  Malibu-C is also a vegan product so they don’t test on animals.  As an added bonus – it’s made in the USA.  They also have a skin care line, all designed to normalize hair and offset harsh chemicals (no more itchy pool skin!).  If you are as active as me you will want to look into this product!

This company also believes in and supports me as an athlete and I am pleased to be partnering with them.  A portion of every purchase made from my portable page will help fund my training and travel expenses and help me achieve my athletic goals.  I really appreciate all those that support me.  I couldn’t do it without you!

Lora Erickson

“Blonde Runner”

Click on the link below to visit my portable page

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Overcoming Self-Sabotage

i can do itI have been thinking about this topic of self-sabotage a lot lately because it seems to be something that I run across with my weight-loss clients and athletes often. I have even done this to myself. Self-sabotage can be defined as something that you do to yourself that prevents you from achieving your best in something. I believe it is generated in our minds from our self-concept. It can range from negative self-talk to down right getting in your own way.  Self- imposed limits can hamper your ability to perform and can happen for various reasons. Maybe you don’t feel like you’re worthy or deserve to perform well, it’s out of your comfort zone; Maybe you’re feeling guilty for something in the past that you have to punish yourself for.  Or maybe you can’t handle the expectation that would be created if you did everything perfectly right. As a perfectionist I can tell you that can be dangerous thinking. The beginning of every year I purposely eat something bad the first day of the year so I don’t put the pressure on myself for the entire year to eat perfectly every day. This may sound silly but it works for me.  Some of us may have high expectations for ourselves and when we feel like we can’t meet them we give up completely.  

Do you beat yourself up when you didn’t do it perfectly?  Being more forgiving of yourself can help you regain control and keep you from throwing in the towel or your hands in the air and going off the deep end.  As I’ve grown older and wiser I’ve realized that everything doesn’t turn out perfect and it’s not healthy to live extremes.  All-or-none thinking can be dangerous and can lead to a lot of self- sabotage.  Not everything is black-and-white and most people tend to live in the gray area. So this is why I teach principles like the 90/10 rule.  90% of the time you’re eating for fuel and 10% you’re eating for fun. I don’t expect myself to be perfect 100% of the time nor should anyone. The fact is no one is perfect. For me to have a little something “unhealthy” on the first day of the year is my way of reminding myself that it’s okay to not be perfect. We all make mistakes but our response to these mistakes is often what leads to a positive or negative outcome.  

What about negative self-talk? This is probably by far the most common way people sabotage themselves.  Most people constantly have a stream of communication going on in their head with themselves. What they say to themselves repeatedly is usually what translates to how they behave.  If they are constantly telling themselves they’re not good enough and they’re not smart enough and they are a loser it’s going to reflect in their actions. Some of you may recall several SNL daily affirmation sketches with Stuart Smalley. Although entertaining I believe they have some value. 

As an athlete I have read a lot of material on mental strength and how to perform better using mental techniques.  I have found a common thread. Positive self-talk and visualizing yourself as being successful is what leads to success.  The more often you practice positive thinking, the more success you will have. This may seem cliché or simple but it really works.  No matter how thin you slice it there is always two sides to any situation. You could always look for the positive or you can look for the negative. The choice is yours. But look at those people in your life that are most successful. Are they positive or negative people?

Don’t get trapped in a comfort zone. Often we self-sabotage because we are afraid of the unknown or to go into unfamiliar territory. If we’ve always seen ourselves as unsuccessful and then we start being successful that could be uncomfortable.   Those fears can cause us to self- sabotage so we can return to our comfort zone. But to create a new you, you have to let loose of the old you.  It’s different and it’s going to feel different. Embrace it. I’ve always like to tell people; You have to go out on the limb because that’s where the fruit is. Don’t be afraid to define a new you. Undoubtedly there will be resistant at first from yourself and others but you can except a new you.  

What about the power of suggestion?  I often believe that negative comments from others sometimes can become our thoughts about ourselves. If someone tells you, “You are no good, weak or are a selfish.” Do you believe them?  What do you say back to that in your head? Do you echo it and make it a self-fulfilling prophecy or do you find other words to replace it like, “I’m worth it, I am strong, and generous” etc… I’ve had my fair share of damaging and abusive insults in my life time but I’ve always tried to find a way to negate them.  Sometimes it takes time to convince ourselves and others of the qualities that we have. But just like the great sculptor Michelangelo viewed a piece of granite; he simply brought out something that already existed in it. So can we. We all have greatness in us. We may have to use that power of suggestion on ourselves. Tell yourself what you want to see in yourself and you might find that you’ll start seeing more of that. Often we find what we are looking for. 

When it comes right down to it, it’s what we are saying to ourselves that determines the outcome of a race. The winner of the race is usually the person that believes that they could win not the person that called himself a loser.  True, it may not be in our capability range to win a race but what you say to yourself is still important. What do you say to yourself when someone passes you in a race? “Great job, look at them go” or “I am so slow” or “My friends or family are going to be so disappointed in me.” Sometimes we become overly consumed with what others might be thinking of us; I know I am guilty of this, but the person opinion that matters most is ourselves. The best thing to do is just worry about what we can control and doing the best we can. I have found a lot of joy from living in the moment and enjoy the process of what I am doing at the time and searching for the positive.  I guess you could say I take time to smell the roses. Show gratitude for the things that you enjoy every day and concern yourself less with things you have no control over like the future.  When you do this you are too busy to self-sabotage. Focus on the process, live in the moment and enjoying every moment of every experience. If you messed up, forgive yourself and resolve to get back on track and be the best you.  

Live Well, 

Coach Lora 


Learn more about Mental Prep for a race  View the video clip

Race Report: Run Down Memory Lane – Salt Lake City Half Marathon

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Many of you may have read my recent article for the Outdoor Sports Guide Magazine talking about the The Big Five – Utah’s Must-Run Marathons.  The first race I mentioned was the Salt Lake City Marathon.  There are many reasons I choose to include this event and over the weekend I had the privilege of participating in the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. I had a great experience at this well-organized event! The expo was packed with great booths and staffed well; so the lines flowed easily at packet pick-up the day before the event.  It was fun to bump into friends there and browse the booths.  The next morning I got an early start and was thrilled to see perfect temperatures for the event. Many people parked at the finish and racers bib numbers gave them a free ride on TRAX to the start.  The starting line was situated next to the University of Utah outdoor track.  It was a fun and festive environment with music, laughter, nervous excitement and lots of people.

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I believe there were nearly 6,500 people participating in the 5 different event options.  The Marathon and Half Marathon participants where to start together in waves. Each runner was assigned a corral based on estimated finish time starting with A at the line and continuing back through the alphabet.  After dropping off my tagged bag I headed to my assigned corral which was B and started with the gun. Other corrals were roped off and would be started in 30 second waves. It was great to see many familiar faces at the starting line and chat for a few minutes before we began.  I especially enjoyed talking to a former teammate I ran with in college. The race started with perfect tank top running weather at 45°.  Soon the race was underway.  The 1st mile included a fairly steep hill which separated a lot of the pack.  As usual the first mile pace was fairly fast as everyone is burning up all the extra energy they have at the beginning of a race and settling into a pace.  I hit the one mile mark with a 7:07 split. The next few miles were like a run down memory lane for me. I am originally from Colorado and was recruited to run long distance for the University of Utah on athletic scholarship. My freshman year in college we used to run the same roads as I was experiencing at this time in the race on 1100 East.  It was a thrill to run down Memory Grove and truly did bring back a lot of great memories for me. The flow of people was steady and I felt like I was out on a run with a bunch of friends with all the “hello’s,”“How are you doing?” and “Hey, it’s Blonde Runner.” The great thing about participating in large events like this is you don’t have to worry about taking a wrong turn since it’s well marked and having people around keeps you motivated and it is always fun to chat a little.

Soon we found ourselves running on some of the main streets in downtown Salt Lake. There were many crowds of people cheering along the way and my ears especially peaked up when I heard familiar voices cheering “Go Blonde Runner!” and fun to see familiar faces at aid stations. The aid stations were mainly stocked with water and Powerade and volunteers were well-training and friendly.

My legs felt good and strong and my mantra for this race was to stay relaxed, be patient, run efficient and smooth and be strong. I took each mile in stride and enjoyed the experience. This was the first year I had participated in this event and it was fun to be part of such an iconic and highly anticipated event. The route toured many familiar roads and I especially love closed courses like this when we don’t have to worry about traffic.  There were many mild incline and declines to keep it interesting but overall the course was downhill. Just before mile eight there was a significant and challenging hill right after an aide station, and about another mile down the marathoners peeled off to the left and the half marathoners stayed straight. It was great to see now where I was at in the race and set my sights on passing some of the people in front of me. Soon I reached mile 10 and was reenergized knowing I only had a 5K to go. Having done hundreds of 5K’s in my life I continued to repeat my mantra in my mind and maintain good form. As I rounded the corner of the final turn and could see the finish arch in the distance I continued to push all the way through the finish and was awarded my finish medal. It was an awesome belt buckle – I love practical things. I completed the event in a time of 1:36:40 (7:23 average). I was pleased with my efforts considering I had just had knee surgery 12 weeks ago as a result of being hit by a truck on my bicycle last Fall.

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The finish area is always so much fun with the music and people cheering. They had an assortment of food and I loved that the finish area was only for runners. I mingled with many friends and made some new ones as I waited for many of athletes to finish. I was delighted to find out later that I had placed 2nd in my division and 3rd Overall Masters at the 2015 Utah State Half Marathon Championships. It was a great event and I won’t hesitate to participate again.

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Special thanks to my sponsors, friends and family for their support: @tbrtriathlon @champsys @wasatchrunning @intermountain ‪#‎malibu_c @xterrawetsuits @drinkcocogo ‪#‎elete @bountifulbicycle ‪#‎running ‪#‎races ‪#‎athlete ‪#‎coach ‪#‎saltlakehalf ‪#‎halfmarathon #2015UtahStateHalfMarathonChampionships #roadrunnerclubofamerica #rrca

Be part of 2016!

The good news is they have a blitz going on for 2016 and you can get 45% off registration until April 26thLearn more

If you need help training for your next event (running or triathlon) please contact me at Coach Lora Erickson at theblonderunner@gmail.com I would love to help you reach your goals.

Get involved in a local charity event on Memorial Day (Monday May 25, 2015).  Learn More

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Lagoon 10K Race Report – First Overall Female

April 6, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Prevention & Safety, Product Reviews, Races

Blonde Runner with lagoon 1st place femaleIt was about 40 degrees at the 8 a.m. start, so a bit chilly.  I decided to wear gloves and a hat and my red TBR short sleeve shirt since my custom Champion System Blonde Runner gear is not ready yet (can’t wait until it’s done – it’s going to look awesome!).   Even though it was cloudy I do wish I would have grabbed my sunglasses to keep the air from getting into my eyes as I was tearing up the first 1.5 miles.  The tree pollen and dust counts have been extremely high in Northern Utah the last few weeks;  which is no fun for those of us with seasonal allergies.   Soon we were off, I lead the first mile with a split of 7:08 which is where I wanted to be.  I knew the next mile was going to be slower because of the twists and turns and incline.  There were three significant hills on this out-and-back route which was apparent with the next and much slower mile slit time.  The route was really fun taking us past animals, over water and on a few short wood bridges; it was a beautiful groomed paved path.  I loved it!  I really enjoy out-and-back routes because you get to see other competitors and wave and say hello and the time went by fast.  The last two miles had us touring most of the Lagoon Amusement park winding around all the rides.  Even though it was flat I found it hard to push the pace with all the tight and frequent turns etc.  The race offered three difference distances; half marathon, 10K and 5K events so it was fun to be able to see some other runners as all the routes ended with the 2 miles in the park.  It was a sprint to the finish for me to capture First Overall Female in the 10K event.  I was pleased with the race results considering I wasn’t feeling 100% this week and it has only been 10 weeks post knee surgery.  It was fun to see so many of my friends and athletes there and cheer for them.  It was also fun to make some new friends.  If you’d like to learn more about the event visit Lagoon Half Marathon.

A big thank you goes to On Hill Events for putting on this fun event and all my friends, family and sponsors that support me!  I couldn’t do it without you!  Thank you so much!

Coach Lora Erickson

@champion_systems @intermountain @malibuwellness @_malibu_c @xterrawetsuits @bountifulbicycle @drinkcocogo @eleteaddin @wasatchrunningcenter #lagoon #10k #races #firstplace #friends #fun #inauguralevent #running #run #onhillevents

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lagoon races 4.6.2015

 

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