How to know when to run through the pain and when NOT to run through the pain.


So far today we have:

1.  Gone to see Dr. B.  The foot is feeling back to it’s good ol’ right foot self but I just want to be extra careful. 

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2.  Had a date with the treadmill for my 8 mile fartlek run—>  my coach adjusted it to ’10 x 1 minute hard’ to be cautious.  

This is what this week’s workouts look like:

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3.  Had a flashback when this song came on Pandora during my treadmill run.

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Flashback—>  When my high school boyfriend and I broke up right before a school dance my sister decided that she and I needed to get out of town and go to Vegas for the weekend.  She was in college and I was 16.  For about 4 hours straight we listened to the above song on repeat on the drive down.  We memorized every single lyric to this song while munching on pringles and chocolate twizzlers.  We sound pretty awesome when we sing it together.

Okay, I am in jr. high in this picture but you get the idea.  

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And me with the dog that my parents bought me when my sister went to college because I was devastated she was moving out without me:)  

Crystal was my best friend for many years.

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4.  Went to look at a house.  I am just in the homework stage of everything and figuring out what I want and don’t want.   Brooke was disappointed that the doll house didn’t come with the home.

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5.  Drank hot chocolate because it is snowing/raining here.  It’s April.  Wrong on so many levels.  

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I have had my fair share of injuries.  I’m probably a little bit injury prone and for many years way too weak in the important areas (glutes and core especially)… But many of my injuries became serious injuries because I didn’t take a few days off from running when I should have.  Over the last two years I have worked hard on injury prevention. I have also tried to listen to my body more when it comes to taking time off.

**I’d rather get to the starting line of my race a little undertrained (because I had to take a few days off every now and then to avoid a serious injury) then never make it to the starting line because I ran through too much pain and ended up injured during my training.  

**Running with pain takes the fun out of the sport.  Might as well get the problem solved now by easing back instead of running through the pain and making it even worse.  

These are just my opinions.  I am not a doctor, I am just a random person from the internet that blogs about running.  So yeah, this is just what I do.

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When NOT to push through the pain:

-There is swelling.  On Sunday when I noticed that my foot was swollen I knew that I should NOT push through the pain and that the swelling needed to be gone before I resumed running.

-The pain is causing you to overcompensate in other areas and change your form in order to run more comfortably.  Overcompensating (i.e. your left knee hurts so it causes you to change up your stride and run on the outside of your foot etc) will most likely result in an injury.  When we force other areas of our body to overcompensate for the area that is feeling pain or injured then we are really putting ourselves at risk.  If you are limping and/or running funny… I think it is definitely time to take a few days off until you can run with your normal stride and form without pain.

-When you get second (and third and fourth) opinions telling you that you should take some time off.  I sent out a text on Sunday to a few people asking their opinion about my foot.  All texts back said—>  take an extra recovery day.  Dr.  B told me the exact same thing too.  So I did.   We are kind of crazy as runners and getting an outsiders perspective can be a huge help when questioning whether you should be running or not.

-If you have to take pain relievers before your run.  I personally do not think that taking medicine before a run/race is a good idea and if you are having to in order to run, it is time to take some time off.  Plus, if we are taking pain relievers as we run we could be hurting in other areas also and not even know it…  which may cause even more serious injuries.

-Your basic instincts are telling you something is wrong.  This last Saturday I think I told my mom a few times that I was just feeling too run down to do my tempo run… my basic instincts were right.  I didn’t listen to them—> fail on my part and that resulted in me freaking out over my foot all of Sunday.  We know deep down when things aren’t right so don’t turn up your headphones so loud that you can’t hear what your basic instincts are telling you:)

When to push through the pain.

-There are just some things that flare up for me that I have experience with and know how to treat.  For instance, my plantar acts up about once or twice every other month but I still run on it.  Same thing with my IT band.  I ease back my workouts a bit when they flare up but I know how to fix them and without taking time away from running.  

-Blisters and chaffing are painful but I run through them.  Running with these things aren’t going to cause any longterm injuries (that I know of).

-When I am just being a wuss and looking for excuses.

Marathon training is not exactly easy on our bodies and little aches and pains are always going to pop up—>  We just need to be smart about things and know when to take some time off and when to run through them.  


How do you know when to run through the pain and when not to run through the pain?

Are you having good weather where you are or crazy weather like us?

What pets did you have growing up?

Three things that you have done so far today!!

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That dollhouse is a dream! I always wanted something like that as a kid :)

That list is great too. Something that every new runner should have to reference when you’re questioning whether to keep going or take a break. It definitely takes awhile to get to know your body, especially starting out, but it’s so valuable once you figure it out!


If I am feeling something tweaking a bit, or it just feels off – that is the signal to really access the problem and more than likely take the day off. One day off can save a whole lot of pain later.
We are having really nice weather today – a bit windy, but good :)
I had an adorable poodle and he was the light of my life!!

Three things: 1. went to the beach with my son 2. did a tiny bit of core work 2. Ate a really great salad!


You went to the beach today… LUCKY!!! Good job on the core work and salads really are the best!


oh my gosh! what a cute pic of you and your sister!


I have literally spent all day today in front of our file cabinets at work. And I am still not done. I will likely spend all day tomorrow doing the same thing. I did have a pretty awesome lunch with two of my favorite people though. And my run after work will be good, I know it.

I just try to pay attention to my body. I know that when I taper I am prone to imagining illness and injury but if it last or is actually painful, time to take a day or two off.

It’s misty here. Not actually raining but cool and cloudy. Actually my favorite weather. I would take a rain shower though!


I live near boston and it is HAILING outside!!! Hard, torrential hail too – not just a sprinkling of hail. Hopefully it is getting it out of its system for the Marathon visitors!! :)


Hail!?!?! NOOOOOOO we are 12 days away. We need some sunshine in Boston:) Hope you are having a great day Amanda!


I skip workouts or modify them if I’m feeling pain. Just like you said, better undertrained than injured!
We’ve had insane fog and super high humidity here. It’s the strangest weather, and the temperature is right at that spot where you’re not sure if it’s warm or cold.
Three things from my day: signing a lease, contacting movers, and then window shopping on the Brooks site to relieve stress!


wait—you’re house shopping? why did i not know this! super fun!


I need your tips Ash! Yep, sick of paying rent and I know I want to live near my mom and sis for the rest of my life so it is time to buy:) I miss you. Yogurtland trip asap.


It’s still so cold in NYC (and it seems, everywhere). There should not be a need for puffy coats in April.


Love the throwback pics! My parents only let me have a rabbit when I was kid, I wanted a dog so bad.

I’m not always good about knowing when to run through pain or not. Your list was great. I am getting better at realizing if something hurts, it’s probably not going to get better after a mile or two! I’m on a doctor ordered two week running break right now to try to get rid of stupid IT band syndrome once and for all.


Those pictures are priceless! Three things I’ve done today; ran, showered and are a big salad. I feel like you!


It’s freaking snowing here right now and it’s driving me crazy!


SSSSSNNNNNNOOOOOWWWWWWW why??????? It is spring break here. I just can’t handle this, we need sunshine.


I’m so glad to hear you’re on the mend!!!
I’m the worst at differentiating between soreness and pain.
It’s 80 degrees and sunny in Nashville today!
We had two pups growing up and they were family.
3 things: ran a hilly route with friends, written tomorrow’s blog post, and I have pasta fagioli simmering on the stove for dinner.


3 things I’ve done today:

a morning yoga routine (felt so good after)

fixed and ate a premium bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon, raisin, walnuts and brown sugar

read a bunch in Patricia Cornwell’s new Kay Scarpetta novel. I love that series.


It is 87 degrees here today, EIGHTY SEVEN! That’s even hot by my Florida standards for this time of year. Running is getting harder and harder…..okay, I’m finished complaining.

I’ve had animals, especially dogs, my whole life.

3 things, I ran, walked the dogs, cleaned my house

And….I tend to run until my injuries are serious because I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, I’ve gotten better at it, but I’m still not as ‘in touch’ as I should be.


I usually can tell the difference between pain and discomfort. Any sharp pains means I’m done – no running.

I went to school and worked, ate a stirfry and just finished a chocolate egg. Livin the life!!


I have a question for you: do you see your doctor every week or just when things flare up? If every week does he just make sure you are in alignment and if not, then he adjusts you?

I think we are going to get rain in Colorado, too. That is why I chose riding the bike outside today and running tomorrow (I actually love running in the rain, but cycling, well not so much).

Growing up we had a miniature schnauzer named Heidi. She was such an awesome dog!


We’ve been having crazy thunderstorms, complete with hail all day long!

3 things I’ve done today: run, work and indulge in a little Starbucks :)


You are so right on all points about taking time off from running or any working out for that matter. Way to be cautious and smart. And house hunting! No advice there. Here in the Bay Area you can’t find anything good under a million. Ugh. :(


If i’m swelling up like a balloon, thats a good indication I need to stop. My injuries have only ever been rolling my ankle, so i can usually tell when I need to stop hahah.

We’re sort of having crazy weather? but not really. We got rain yesterday which was INSANE for Los Angeles and everyone was freaking out…. but today its back to being super sunny.

We had a LOT of pets growing up. Always a cat, but we had Piggy, Newman, Hotchkiss, and Lightning for cats. then we had three rabbits (Buttercup, Mary, and Slick), two guinea pigs (Chip and Beethoven), a mouse (Lucy), a gerbil and a hamster (dont remember their names), a dog (Dixie), and a couple of horses (Daisy Mae, Carrot Cake, Snickers). Now in the whole immediate family we have- a cat (Cat), dogs (Panda/mine, Otis and Hooper/sister, Jameson/brother), and horses (Snickers, Oreo, Little Star, and the newest- Tucker Olaf). I’m hoping I can have a horse with me soon!!


The weather here (in NC) is pretty nice right now temperature-wise. It has been in the 60s this week. It’s kind of rainy right now but I’d rather it be rainy and warm than freezing!


Today Indiana has been super warm and full of thunderstorms–I don’t mind because it feels like it might finally be Spring! :) We had a shih tzu growing up named Trouble, haha! Today I did a practice tri with my friend who is visiting from Michigan (300 m swim, 16 mile bike, 5k run), ate a delicious burrito for lunch, and now am trying to drink as much water as possible to stay hydrated. :)


Thanks for the tips! I am training for my first half and this was super helpful.

Any advice for a cracking knee? It has only been doing it for a few days when I go down the stairs, and it doesn’t hurt very much at all. It sounds super gross though!


Very informative post.!! I feel like there’s so much pressure to always run. even with injuries.! so it’s good to let people know when to not push through the pain
and love the throwback of you. :)
Crazy weather here.!! yesterday there were tornado scares and today is all sunny.! and I live in Oregon.

Three things : Went to Panera for the first time. Drank tons of water for the first time also. haha. and ran.


These are GREAT tips! Thank you for sharing!

I grew up dancing and learned how to be very in tune with my body and differentiate between “good pain’ and “bad pain” as my German ballet teacher used to say.
Articulating it to others though can be so challenging.


Good tips! I have learned the hard way many times to not “push through the pain” and I cringe whenever I see someone promoting that mentality. I have learned to listen to my body and when I need to ease up. I always thought I was Superwoman until I ended up sidelined for longer than it would have taken me to just rest.

Three things I’ve done today:
1. Had a meeting w a rep for a new app/blog post
2. Did my studio’s workout in my home gym bc it’s gross and foggy outside
3. Ate an AB + jelly sandwich


I’ve been running for about 20 years without any major injuries, so I’m pretty sure I am a little too cautious! Although I trip over my own feet enough that I have injuries, just not from overuse/training.

I think we just had the last rain of the season – So Cal is in trouble water wise.

We had so many pets that our nickname was Fultz’s (my maiden name) Farm! More dogs than anything, but also guinea pigs, rabbits, squirrels, hamsters, tadpoles (that became frogs), lizards, a few cats, and a tortoise that was given to us by a retiring teacher! There was never a time that we didn’t have a pet.

2 things today – I took my husband to the train station so he could get to the airport (week 8 so far this year that he’s had to travel for business) But I deep cleaned my house because he wasn’t here – he works from home when he’s not traveling and he kinda gets in the way when I’m in my “let’s get it done” mode.


I am super jealous of your relationship with your sister! It makes me so happy to see. My sister is 3 years older than me and we were 2 grades apart in school, but we were never close and I am not sure we will ever have the dream sister relationship I think about…but I have learned to appreciate and accept what it is and focus on the being thankful she has given me a niece and nephew :)


I think our weather has been pretty similar to yours. Hail, rain, some snow, some sun… it’s all over the place in Central Oregon. Right now I am looking out my window at some serious dark clouds – no telling what will happen next.

Three things I have done today – running and non-stop chat with a good friend (the best!), watched two episodes of Parenthood while multitasking around the house, and visited with my mom. ☺


so glad your foot is feeling better! It was in the 80s here in North Carolina today!!


I probably run through pain a little too much…

3 things I’ve done today: Run, PiYo, and work!


– I use the rule of symmetry to determine whether or not I should run. For example, if both of my quads were sore, I would run since it would probably just be from a hard workout. But, if only one were bothering me, I would take some time off since that may be a muscle injury. Also, I cease running with any sharp pain!
– For the most part the weather is great! It’s a little warm in the pm, so I run in the morning. I’m just bracing myself for the scorching summer temps :)
– I have a pitbull and she is the sweetest thing ever :)
– So far I have gone to school, given a speech for the National Honor Society at school, and stuffed my face with SkinnyPop!

I hope you’re having a great Hump Day!!!


After a week or two of lots of clouds and snow it’s finally getting warm and sunny again. It’s starting to feel like spring.


I’ve just started running. Your tips are great. I was a swimmer in high school and developed serious shoulder injuries that still flare up today (10 years later)… I can’t really swim anymore but I needed to do something on my own – thanks for all the tips!


I’m so bad about running through pain, because I always run through it. It definitely doesn’t always end well. I once ran a half marathon on a fractured hip. I do not advise this–it was a LONG road to recovery after that one.

The weather here is not bad. It’s warm which is great, but it is a bit humid. I’ll take that over the cold, though!

Today I ran, worked and ate. You know, the essentials. I wish I had something more exciting to work, but weekdays usually don’t provide too much fun.


This is something I’m terrible at. Two stress fractures in one year, neither of them did I have any symptoms to back off and avoid them. I don’t feel “pain” the way other people do. I’m really not wired to feel it until it REALLY hurts. I wish I could flip a switch and change that. Looking back, I think the key for me is knowing when I’m feeling run down and too tired to workout. That is my sign to take a rest.


We always had a pet dog growing up – first it was Pudgy, then Snowball, then Angel. I was responsible for naming all 3 haha


I had a small issue to deal with Iin my foot this week, and after taking some time off running I feel so muchbetter! It’s hard, but so important!


Most of the time I try pushing through but if I’m just not feeling good then I stop or modify.


I tend to use common sense for running through pain. If I am second guessing myself my rule is not to go.
There is still so much snow here and the lake is totally frozen across for miles until the other side. People are actually still skidooing across and going for group cross country ski trips! The snowbanks are at least 4-6′ high and there is easily 2-3′ of snow over all the grass, and it has melted significantly over the past 2 weeks. Going to be a lot of mud around here soon!
Over my childhood we had a dog, 2 cats, and 3 chameleons.
Did an interval workout today, played with the kids, and did food prep! Exciting times haha


I didn’t know you had braces! Your teeth are so beautiful now.. hopefully my braces will be worth it!

Today I went to school, ran, and went to work.. pretty exciting:)


Just a fun fact about taking meds before you run…
When you take NSAIDS, which are common pain relievers, they decrease inflammation and decrease pain by inhibing an enzyme called cyclooxygenase. Turns out this enzyme is also important in regulating the blood flow to your kidneys, which needs to increase during exercise. So if you take an NSAID {pain reliever} before exercise, not only are you ignoring pain you need to pay attention to, you’re actually depriving your kidney and other important organs of the increased blood flow that they need during exercise. I know you’ve been really wondering about the effects of pain meds on your kidneys so I just thought I’d clear it up! :) But you are definitely right to not take meds to run!

And I have a turtle… :)


I’ve been following your blog for a few months now and I really enjoy reading about your training! I just finished a 30k in the desert sand of Moab and got huge blisters! I struggled to walk for nearly a week. What’s your go-to to run through the blisters?


Good question about the weather, because it is horrible here in VT and I was feeling very sorry for myself on my run earlier. The snow is not exactly hail but it’s hard and hurty! I hate skipping a run, but I am planning to do 3 miles at 6am and I am just not doing them if the weather is still so bad!


That dollhouse reminds me of Monica’s from Friends. Just make a Phoebe-inspired one with Brooke instead ;)

Great tips! I agree with them all.


When we lived in Logan, Utah it snowed on Memorial Day weekend!

It is so important to listen to your body, especially when running longer distances. I’m glad your foot seems to be only a minor issue now. You must have been a nervous wreck all day Sunday until you got it sorted out on Monday.

Three things from today:
1. My Wednesday Word linkup when live today for the very first time!
2. I worked.
3. My husband picked up Peruvian chicken for dinner (so yummy)!


I’m really bad about taking a break when I know I should. I’m working on it.

Our weather is all over the place, but I feel like that’s just the way spring goes sometimes.

When I was growing up we had cats, dogs, chickens, hamsters and rabbits.

Today I hung out with a bunch of toddlers, did a tempo run and went to the grocery store.


I love the picture of you and your sister and I think its so awesome that you are so close. We had 2 dogs that I remember growing up. A Doberman and a Chihuaha. We didn’t really play with them though, they weren’t very nice. We are expecting some severe storms tomorrow (hope they are wrong about that). 3 Things I did today: 1. worked way to long (12 hours) 2. de-stressed on the treadmill 3. ate pizza


Aww I love your junior high photos! They’re much cuter than mine! haha


hi janae! Ok so what’s your tricks on that it band to tell it to calm down and deep breath and let go :) thanks in advance!!


I’m probably too careful with aches and pains. I’m still trying to learn what is a normal ache and what is a sign I should stop. With a previous knee surgery and weak hamstrings, I’m always taking extra care.


*There are crazy thunderstorms heading towards MI today. But I’ll take them last week Tuesday we got a few inches of snow that made the morning commute a dream and then by the time i got out of work it was 50*. Strange.
*We always had a golden retriever and basset hound growing up, odd combo right? lol
* Today (Thursday) I’ve woke up, got dressed, went to the gym. It’s only 6:30 am now :)
Happy Thursday!


I needed to read this post today! My right hip had been really tight for a couple of weeks and it’s FINALLY loosened up but now my left hip has just totally seized up. It’s totally different than what I was experiencing wtih the right hip…. actually painful instead of just tight. I wanted to see if I could just do a short run today but I think you’re right, running through pain just takes the fun out of it. Better to schedule a dr. appointment and get it treated.


I’m working through C25k, and was supposed to start week 2 yesterday, but while I was running on the treadmill, the muscle on the outside of my right leg got really tight, which often happens, and prevents me from continuing. I’ve been trying to stretch and start out slow, but it’s just so frustrating! If you have any advice, I’m all ears.


It’s been raining for four days straight here! Glad to know we aren’t the only ones!!


ahhhh I love those pictures of you and your sister as teenagers! SO CUTE!! I love the poses by the piano, hahaha


Please show me how you do Brooke’s messy bun…it is so cute!!

I grew up on a ranch, so I had pretty much every animal. All of them were my favorite, but the horses probably are my first pick!!

I ran my first half marathon last year and while training my right hip flexor got really angry with me. We have a PT at work and he helped work on it. I did run and finish, but could barely walk for weeks afterwards. Looking back I didn’t strength train enough.


I’ve ran through plantar fasciitis pain but soon realized my body started compensating and my stride went out of wack. Actually I didn’t even feel the change. It wasn’t until I was in physical therapy that I realized what damage I had done. I’ve recently laid off running but the pain is still there and now I’m just lazy. Lol so not sure if taking time off was good in my case.


I loved this post! I actually sent you an email a while back about my multiple injuries and I’m glad I’m not the only one. Last weekend, after running my half marathon, at mile 10, my left leg’s IT band had pain shooting through. I was surprised because usually, like you, I’m more prone to injuries in my right leg, plus, I was just getting over a bad case of shin splints in my ankle. I’ve NEVER had IT band problems, so when I thought it was healed, I ran/walked 16 miles with one of my running friends, at mile 13, I stopped to cry in pain, but I was determined to finish, so, I did. I decided to take a week off from any fitness, since it’s been A LONG time since I have and I feel better physically/mentally. Your posts definitely help too. Thank you SO much! I’ve even decided, after much prayer, to take this year off from racing and focus on other things. I’ve ran 38 different kinds of races in a little over 2 years and I’m ready for a break. :) Keep up with the good work Janea!


If it is above 5/10 on the pain scale and/or is causing me to change my gait, I don’t run. And I’m really good about doing that. It’s just not worth it.

Sigh. It snowed last night.

I have always had wiener dogs…and so I have one myself now. A long-haired one.

1 – got out of bed, 2- walked the dog, 3 – realized I forgot to buy more coffee yesterday


It’s cold, gray and drizzling. I believe April is drunk.

I had a dog and cats growing up. My brother had a bird, fish and a mouse as well. They were most definitely his.

My groin pull is causing me to compensate so no running this week (again, sigh). My marathon is in 2 weeks and I want to be able to run it. If my gait changes I don’t run. If it’s sharp pain rather than saying hello to a muscle I haven’t seen in a while I don’t run. I also don’t run when my doc clearly says “don’t run.” He’s pretty good about letting me go so I listen to him.

I went to a 7 am meeting, went to the oncology surgeon with my husband and made dinner for the next 2 nights.


Girl, I feel your pain. I have had NINE STRESS FRACTURES in my running “career.” Nine. NINE. I haven’t been injured in two years, though, and think I owe it all to eating well and resting often. High mileage is great, if it’s done in moderation (taking “cut back” weeks every now and then, and taking a full season off with easy running every year), and is supplemented with mucho food. Stay healthy!


Good luck with the house hunt!


That picture of you and your sister…your sister looks like YOU, and YOU look like your NIECE!

I, too, am usually a little stubborn when it comes to taking time off to avoid injury. I’ve gotten better, but definitely learned the hard way! I’m so excited for your race in Boston! And a little jealous, too, since it’s my major goal right now to qualify!


Dear Janae,

I’m a long-time reader of HRG and (at the risk of gushing) will start just with this: your writing, your words, your experiences, and your wisdom have propelled me through so much—running and otherwise. Thank you isn’t enough.

About three years ago I started running recreationally, and as with so many others, fell in love with it. Fast forward a year (just over 12 months ago) and I make the amateur mistake: ramping mileage too quickly and wrecking my knee via an IT band strain. I took some time off, foam rolled like a maniac, but ultimately fell into almost 6 months of off-time for recovery. I was discouraged and amazed at how integral running had become to me—without its relief to look forward to, so much went downhill in my life. Eventually I got back in and now I’m just under a year of training for my first ever half! Small potatoes in this community, I know, but the training itself has made for some of the best days of my life.

Two days ago I did a beautiful, well-paced 18k after ramping up for 21k slowly and maintaining around 13-15km on weekdays and 17-18km weekends. Came back feeling great. Thought I’d squeeze a quickie 13 in yesterday and, literally a block from my home, felt the overextension snap and buckle of my same knee. I’m devastated. I’ve been foam rolling aggressively, icing, etc., to try recovering but worried about my May 1 half.

All in all: I know you can’t offer clinical professional advice, but it would mean so much to me to hear from you and this amazing online community you’ve crafted while I’m feeling down. Any words of help, advice, encouragement would do so much for me. I’m hoping to pick up a Pro-Tec compression band tomorrow, take a couple days off, then give it a whirl. Also researching cortisol shot options but that seems a little big leagues for me.

Thank you again, for everything, Janae. Happy Easter to you, your family, and all the HRG folks here!

Love from Canada,


Oops I should mention I’ve done hip, glute, and ab exercises daily for 8 months! Glute bridges, planks, squats on heavy rotation among sit-ups and bird dogs.

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