Tag Archives: working out

40 Minute Workout: Core and HIIT

Good afternoon!

Yesterday’s Workout:

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes

Today’s Workout:

  • Core workout – 20 minutes
  • HIIT workout – 20 minutes
  • Walking/cooling down/stretching

This morning at the gym, I did the following workout:

PicMonkey Collage

After the ab exercises, I did a high intensity interval workout on the Stairmaster. I climbed fast for one minute and recovered for two minutes. My recovery speed was 5 and my work speed was between 18 and 20. The Stairmaster at my gym only goes up to a speed of 20, so I was nice and sweaty by the time I was done!

I finished up my workout with some slow walking and stretching. My hip has been bothering me lately, so I am trying to make sure I stretch.

Post workout I had an EAS protein drink and a Kashi bar – random but I was hungry!



I have still been wearing my FitBit on a daily basis and I walked almost 20,000 steps yesterday! So close!


So far, I am really liking it. The one thing that I don’t like is that I have to put it to “sleep” each night. It’s really easy to do – you just have to tap it 5 or 6 times, but for some reason, I can never remember to do this. I am not too concerned about my sleep, so it’s not really a big deal to me. And it also has to be “woken up” in the morning. If I do remember to put it to sleep, I usually forget to wake it up in the morning.

The one other thing I don’t like is that I don’t think it counts the Stairmaster as steps. I walked over 100 floors and it didn’t count it. Besides that I like using it and I feel like it helps keep me accountable.

The kids don’t have school tomorrow so I won’t be teaching BodyPump. Instead, we’ll be getting ready for Easter!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite cardio exercise or machine?
  • Do you prefer strength training or cardio?
  • What do you do for Easter?




1 Comment

Filed under Fitness, Working Out

My FitBit arrived!

Good afternoon!

Today’s Workout:

  • Women on Weights Class – 45 minutes
  • 2 miles, indoor track

In women on weights class today, we did stair runs. We ran up and down the back set of stairs at the gym. Have you ever run up and down stairs?! It’s hard. My heart rate got up to 176 bpm and it doesn’t even get that high when I run fast. Definetly a great workout.

After class, I ran two miles on the indoor track. About three laps in, I remembered that I recently bought an iPod shuffle, so I went and grabbed it out of my gym bag. Now I remember the one reason that I like running with music – it makes me run faster.

Don’t you have that one song that comes on that makes you want to run faster, workout harder, or just dance?

Then, I also remembered why I hate working out with music – the dumb right earphone kept falling out. Sigh.


We usually go grocery shopping on Sundays, but we we’re busy this Sunday and weren’t able to make it to the store. We were also busy yesterday – Jaden needed an allergy shot and Jacob needed a pair of sports goggles (those things are expensive!!) so we weren’t able to make it to the grocery store yesterday either.

Needless to say, we don’t have much food in the house. When I picked up my niece today, I had to borrow an egg from my brother so I could eat lunch. Thanks for the egg, Paul. You saved lunchtime.

Bringing home the egg in my cup holder:


Egg whites, cheese, and jam on a English muffin:


I also had some salad.


Danny found this Dole chopped BBQ salad with kale that is delicious. I just left off the tortilla strips.


My FitBit arrived today! Yay!


I plan on putting it on tonight so I’ll start with a full day tomorrow.

I ordered mine online so my only color choices were black or blue. My super sweet friend from the gym gave me her extra pink band so I could switch the colors out. (The FitBits come with two different size bands). Thanks, Jess! :)


I am excited to start wearing it :)

Tonight I should probably go grocery shopping. Does anyone else hate grocery shopping?!

Have a great afternoon!!

  • How often do you grocery shop?
  • What did you have for lunch today?
  • Favorite workout song?


Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

New Goals

Good afternoon!


Breakfast this morning was an egg white omelet with red and green pepper, red onion, spinach, green onion, and mozzarella cheese.


I also had a side of pineapple because I love pineapple – it’s one of my top five favorite fruits. Hmmm…now I’m thinking about delicious fruit. Here are my top five favorite fruit, in no particular order:

  • watermelon
  • pineapple
  • strawberries
  • mango
  • apples

After breakfast, I worked for awhile and then I worked out.

Today’s Workout:

  • Core workout – 20 minutes
  • HIIT workout on indoor track – 25 minutes
  • Stretching - 5 minutes

I started my workout with some core work. These are the exercises that did:

  • 30 knee crunches (knees at 90 degrees)
  • 20 leg raises
  • 25 flutter kicks
  • 60 sec plank
  • 30 cross crunches (foot on opposite knee, crunch toward opposite knee)
  • 20 bicycles
  • 20 heel touches
  • 20 supermans

I did each exercise back-to-back and then repeated the circuit one more time. I did skip the bicycles crunches the second time around because my abs couldn’t take anymore :)

After the core work, I did a HIIT workout on the indoor track. I started by walking one lap and then running one lap as fast as I could – I mean, all out sprinting.

I ran the running laps really fast – I can’t even remember the last time I ran that fast. It really got my heart rate up and I sweat more in those 25 minutes than I’ve sweat all week. I finished up with five minutes of stretching.

Post workout, I had half a Cellucor chocolate protein shake and a Larabar.


Yesterday, I went to Barnes and Noble and bought a book called The New Rules of Lifting for Life. I started reading it with my afternoon snack when I realized that it’s actually a book for middle age people that want to start weight lifting. I don’t feel like I am quiet middle age yet…so I decided to return it. How old is middle age? I don’t even know.


Since I had to work last night, Danny was nice enough to exchange the book at Barnes and Noble for me and get The New Rules of Lifting for Women.


Since I can’t really run as much as I used to, I am looking for a new fitness goal. I really want to work on building more muscle and this book has so much awesome information.

It gives you a whole six month weight lifting plan, discusses why long endurance cardio doesn’t always help build muscles, why weightlifting is more beneficial than cardio, and why eating the correct macronutrients are important.

I found lots of great information for building muscle in the book, but if you’re a long endurance athlete, this book might not be for you.

In delicious dessert news, I found these dark chocolate covered strawberries at the grocery store over the weekend.


Only 60 calories for four strawberries halves and they are delicious! These are the perfect after dinner treat if your craving something sweet. Yum!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Do you have any fitness goals that you’re currently working on?
  • Do you lift weights?
  • Favorite healthy dessert? Favorite not-so-healthy dessert?
  • What are your top five favorite fruits?




Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

PJ’s Organics Breakfast Burritos

PJ’s Organics

Breakfast was something a little bit different this morning – a PJ’s Organics breakfast burrito!

I was recently sent three of the PJ’s Organics breakfast burritos to try out. I was really excited that these products are organic and they offered a “skinny” breakfast burrito.


The three burritos I received:

  • Skinny Breakfast Burrito – organic egg white, feta cheese, spinach, and sun-dried tomato – 300 calories, 15 grams protein, 2 grams fiber
  • Surf’s Up Breakfast Burrito – organic eggs, ground beef, jalapenos, and cheddar cheese – 330 calories, 14 grams protein, 3 grams fiber
  • Denver Breakfast Burrito – organic eggs, cheddar cheese, red and green bell peppers – 340 calories, 14 grams protein, 2 grams of fiber


I don’t eat ground beef so I left the Surf’s Up burrito for Danny :)


Danny brought his to work this morning and texted me saying that he thought it was really good.

I was really excited about trying the skinny burrito. It’s basically all my favorite things rolled up in a tortilla. I’m all for a breakfast that is quick and easy!

PicMonkey Collage

The skinny burrito was delicious and very filling.

I also love that all three breakfast burritos have under 340 calories and contain a good amount of protein.

If you love Mexican food like me, be sure to check out PJ’s Organics regular burritos too!

Since the kids don’t have school today, I worked out at home. I practiced the BodyPump release that I will be teaching Sunday and then I did the Jillian Michaels abs DVD.

Since there’s no school and I don’t have to work, the kids and I are going to head to Whole Foods later. The closest Whole Foods is about 25 minutes away. I am almost glad that we don’t have one closer or I would always be broke :)

Have a great weekend!

  • What do you usually eat for breakfast?
  • What’s your favorite store?
  • Any plans for the weekend?

Disclaimer: I was sent the PJ’s Organics burritos to review at no charge. All opinions are my own.



Filed under Breakfast, Product Review, Working Out

Danny’s Indoor Mini Triathlon

Good afternoon! I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend!

Thursday night, I taught BodyPump because one of the other instructors wasn’t feeling well. I also taught BodyPump on Friday morning. Needless to say, my right leg was killing me. I took it easier on Friday morning, holding the bar out in front of me as a third leg instead of putting it on back.

Surprisingly, my hip feels really good today. Maybe that cortisone shot helped more that I thought. Too bad my quad and glute still are painful.

After teaching BodyPump, I had the new Cookies and Cream Quest Bar.


(I also burned 615 calories teaching). As I mentioned before, I recently started a new nutrition plan that I have been following really good. Larabars are fine to eat, but I’m not sure about the Quest Bars. I ate it anyway.

If you can get your hands on one of these bars, I totally recommend it. So many chunks. So many cookies.

I haven’t had the chance to try one baked yet, but I will.


Danny and I woke up at 5 am this morning to get ready for the indoor triathlon at our gym.


Danny participated in it and I worked during the triathlon, keeping track of laps and time. The indoor triathlon consisted of a 10 minute swim, 20 minute spin bike ride, and a 15 minute run. The winners were determined by their total distance rather than time taken to complete everything.


There was 19 people total that competed in the indoor triathlon and Danny came in second!

I am so proud of him! He won a $25 gift card to Sports Authority.


It took about 2 hours for everything to be completed, then we went and picked the kids up from my mom’s house. From there Danny dropped me back off at the gym because I had to work at 11am. I got there a little early, so I walked/ran on the indoor track.

I walked two laps and then ran two laps for a total of 2 miles. My quad still really bothers me but honestly, it’s nothing new.

This afternoon, we’re going to Build-a-Bear. We promised Jaden that we would take him for his birthday. Jaden is the only child I know that still loves his stuffed animals. He truly loves them – he feeds them, he talks to them, he sleeps with them, and he tries to sneak them in his backpack when I’m not looking.

Have a great weekend!



Filed under Family Fun, Working Out

At Home Workout

I finally left the house for the first time in three days! The weather has been crazy here in Chicagoland. Yesterday with the wind chill, it was -40 degrees outside. That’s crazy. Needless to say, the kids and I didn’t leave the house.

The kids were supposed to go back to school yesterday after having two week off for the holidays but school was canceled due to the extreme weather. Saturday night and Sunday it snowed all day and night, so we just stayed in and watched tons of episodes of Dexter (Danny and I, not the kids :) )

The icicles hanging off of our house:


By today, I was starting to go crazy so the kids and I ventured out to the store to get a few groceries. It was nice to get out of the house even for such a short time, but I am glad to be in my warm house now!

My gym canceled all fitness classes yesterday and this morning, so I practiced the new BodyPump release in the living room.


Yesterday, I was so lazy and didn’t even change out of my pajamas all day. I hate feeling so blah so I made myself get up and do something active inside. For me, I much rather workout at the gym than at home, but there’s so much you can do at home. I have a few workout DVDs at home, but you don’t always need DVDs or equipment to workout.

Here’s a workout that doesn’t require any equipment at all and you can do it your living room:

PicMonkey Collage


This has been my standard breakfast lately:


A Chobani yogurt topped with Kind granola.

Hopefully the weather will be a little better tomorrow and things will go back to normal. School for the kids and the gym for me!

Have a great afternoon!

  • Would you rather workout at home or at the gym?
  • Favorite home workout or DVD?
  • How’s the weather where you are?



Filed under Breakfast, Fitness, Working Out

Baking and Cooking

Thank you for all your kind words and nice thoughts on yesterday’s post. Crystal’s dad’s double lung transplant surgery went good and he is currently breathing with the new lungs. The doctors say that the road to recovery is a lot riskier than the surgery itself because there’s still a chance his body could reject the lungs. But so far, so good.

Yesterday’s Workout

  • BodyPump – 60 minutes


I went to BodyPump at the gym yesterday morning. I am still working on learning the new release. I have the moves down, now I am just working on the timing. The timing is always what I struggle with learning. I have come to realize that I am not a musically inclined person. I don’t hear or feel the beat and I count along with the beat to save my life. The instructor at my gym keeps telling me that it’ll get easier with time but I think she’s just saying that to make me feel better. :)

After the gym, I finally finished up the rest of my Christmas shopping. I bought myself a little treat to celebrate…or just because I really wanted to eat these chocolates.

They’re the Frango candy cane chocolates and they are amazing.


That box looks really big but there was really only four pieces in it.

Yesterday afternoon, Jaden had his holiday party at school and now the kids are off for two weeks!

Today’s Workout

  • A few strength exercises
  • 2.5 miles treadmill

I woke up at about 7 am this morning, so I decided to head to the gym. As I was trying to sneak out of the house, Jaden popped his head out of bed so I brought him to the kid’s room at the gym.

I started out doing a Nike Training Club workout, but my hip and glute really started bothering me.

I have been working out a lot more in the mornings lately and I was really sore last night. I decided that it would be best not to push it, so I hopped on the treadmill, ran one mile, and then walked the rest while chatting with a couple of girls at the gym.

After the gym, I took Jaden to get a much needed hair cut. I swear, my kids’ hair grows so fast!

After waiting forever to get a haircut, we made it home and I started making some cookie dough. I am making a whole bunch of dough so it can refrigerate overnight and be already to be baked tomorrow.


We have a family Christmas party tonight, so I am also making three pans of potatoes. I will be busy in the kitchen!

I wanted to share one of the cookie recipes I am making because they are so darn delicious!!

Reese’s Butterscotch Cookies    Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

Makes approx. 16 cookies


  • 2 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup Reese’s Pieces


  1. Mix flour, baking soda, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to mix softened butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until no lumps remain. Mix in the egg and combine. Then, mix in the egg yolk until combined. Finally, mix in the vanilla extract.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a little at a time and mix until combined.
  4. Fold in the butterscotch chips and Reese’s pieces with a large spoon or spatula.
  5. Cover bowl and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 3 days.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Take dough from fridge and let sit for 10 minutes to soften to room temperature. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Roll the dough into balls, about 3 tbsp. of dough per cookie. Optional: tip each cookie with more butterscotch chips and Reese’s Pieces.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees 11-12 minutes. Cookies may appear to be undercooked but do not overcook them. They will continue to cook on the baking sheet. Cool for 5-10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
  9. Enjoy!!

I’ll post a picture of the cookies tomorrow after I bake them!

These cookies are delicious and I am excited to give them away as well as eat a couple  myself!

Have a wonderful day!

  • Do you have any plans for today?
  • Are you all ready for the holidays?
  • What’s the last thing you baked?



Filed under Christmas, Fitness, Recipes, Uncategorized, Working Out

I Finally Got New Shoes

Good afternoon!

I finally broke down and bought a pair of shoes online. I really like to buy shoes in the store because I need to try them on but after having no luck finding a pair that I liked in size 11, I finally ordered a pair from Sports Authority.


They are the Asics GT-1000 2′s. These shoes will be for exercise classes and BodyPump shoes, not running shoes. I don’t mind spending a lot of running shoes since I have so many running issues, but I don’t also want to spend $100+ on exercise shoes.

These Asics were on sale at Sports Authority for $59.99 with free two-day shipping if you paid with PayPal. That’s a pretty good deal.

I was actually eyeing these shoes at the store but I couldn’t find a store that carried my size. At least I finally found a pair and I can get rid of my old pair that are falling apart!

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced BodyPump – 1 hr 17 min (including stretching)

I am supposed to film my BodyPump video on Sunday and we have a busy weekend so I’ve been really trying to get in as much practice as I can. I practiced for a long time this morning, and burned over 500 calories.

Post workout, I had a Clif Pumpkin Spice bar. I figured I earned it after my workout!!



Lunch this afternoon was one of those “use up the things in your fridge before they go bad” meal. I scrambled up four egg whites and cut up some veggies. I cooked the veggies first in the pan before adding the egg whites.

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I scrambled everything up and then put the eggs on a FlatOut wrap, added a little salsa, and some cheese and lunch was served. Yum!

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I also have to admit that my niece was eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch at the time, and I couldn’t help myself from having a little bowl. So good. Cereal is definitely one of my downfalls.

In totally random news, I just got this Roxy sweatshirt from TJMaxx.

sp 017

I love the button neckline on it. Cold weather has arrived!

I am so glad that tomorrow is Friday! It’s going to be such a fun weekend!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What kind of shoes do you wear?
  • How much will you pay for a pair of shoes?
  • Do you like cereal? Favorite?


Filed under Fitness, Lunch, Working Out

Roasted Veggie Salad

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Roasted Veggie Salad

I have a salad for dinner most weeknights, and sometimes it can get a little boring. Last night, I made some roasted veggie and decided to top my salad with them.


I like roasted veggies and I like salad, so why not combine the two?

I found these pre-portioned bags of salad at Target used one for the base of my salad.


I like buying pre-portioned and pre-cut foods sometimes because it saves me a lot of time at dinner. And dinnertime is the craziest time of the day in my house.

I roasted Brussels sprouts, broccoli, carrots, and red onion with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a little bit of salt in the oven for about 25 minutes.


When they were done, I topped my lettuce with them and added slivered almonds and pear slices. I’m not sure why I added the pear, I just wanted a pear at that moment, and it worked well in the salad.


Since the roasted veggies were so flavorful, the salad didn’t need any dressing. I ate it with a peach Greek yogurt for some protein.

Today’s Workout

  • Practiced BodyPump at home – 60 minutes
  • Stretching, foam rolling, and tennis ball rolling

I woke up this morning and could feel a cold coming on, so I stayed home from the gym and practiced BodyPump at home again. Four days in a row without going to the gym?! What’s happening to me?!

I need to learn this BodyPump release so right now, staying home and practicing is what’s working for me.

After I practiced for about an hour, I did some stretching.

My torture devices:


Lately, I have been using a tennis ball to roll my glute. I just sit right on the tennis ball and roll out the knot and tight spots. It hurts but it works great. Tennis balls also work great on your feet if you have plantar fasciitis.

Bulu Box

Bulu Box is a monthly subscription box that I have mentioned before. As a Bulu Box ambassador, I have a coupon code for my readers for a free Bulu Box. It is totally free – there is no catch and you don’t have to provide any payment info.

The code will be expiring at the beginning of November and will no longer be valid, so if you haven’t used the code before, now is the time! The code will only work once, so if you’ve used it before, it won’t work again.

Just enter BULUGAN972 at checkout for a free box!

Have a great afternoon!

  • What’s your favorite veggie to roast?
  • Do you get any monthly subscription boxes?
  • What’s the craziest time of day at your house?



Filed under Dinner, Fitness, Recipes, Working Out

5k Race Tips

Good afternoon!

Yesterday’s Workout

  • Row Circuit Class – 30 minutes

Today’s Workout

  • Elliptical – 15 minutes
  • Treadmill, walked – 60 minutes
  • Stretching/Foam Rolling – 15 minutes
  • Practiced Triceps/Biceps BodyPump Tracks (at home) – 30 minutes

I didn’t really plan on such a long workout today. Actually, it was supposed to be an easy day because my hip is bothering me.

I started out with 15 minutes on the elliptical and then got on the treadmill. I only planned on walking slow for about 15 minutes but I ended up watching the first few minutes of The Rivals on MTV on the treadmill TV and I was hooked!

I walked on the treadmill for an hour just so I could watch the whole show! So, although my workout was long, it wasn’t very strenuous because I just walked.

When I got home, I practiced the triceps and biceps tracks.

5k Running

Next weekend, I have a 5k coming up – it’s super close to my house, about 5 minutes away. This will be my first race since getting injured and since my running still isn’t what it was before I got hurt, I just plan on running the race slow and having fun. And that got me thinking about 5k running tips. Most people start out with 5ks as their first race so I thought I’d go over some of my 5k running tips.

A 5k is 3.1 miles which is a great distance for those new to running or even those who have been running for awhile. I have ran countless 5ks and feel like they are a good distance for me. Long distance running has never been my strength so I use 5ks to help improve my running, for fitness, and just for having fun.

5k Running Tips

  1. Fuel – 3.1 miles isn’t a race where you are going to need tons of endurance so you don’t have to worry as much about fuel as you would with a long race. There have been a few times when I haven’t ate before a 5k and have been fine, but I usually just eat something small, which is what I would suggest. I normally have a piece of toast with peanut butter or a Clif bar about an hour before a race. I always save my coffee for after a race because that’s what works for me. 006
  2. Water -  You really shouldn’t need a water bottle for a 5k race. When I first started running, I had a water bottle with me at all times. I felt like I needed the water. I finally stopped running with a water bottle and it helped improve my form and I learned I could run 3 miles without water. Of course, it’s totally your preference. Some 5ks will have water stations and some will not. I usually drink a lot of water the day and night before a race and a little the morning of the race.
  3. Race Info – If you have never run a 5k before, you might be a little nervous. It’s better to have all the details worked out beforehand. If possible, pick up your race packet the day before. Know where the race is being held and where to park. If you live close, drive to the race location so you know how long it will take you to get there. Check out a map of the race course. Even drive or walk the race course if you want – I’ve done this with a few races. 001
  4. Racing Gear – I like to set out all my racing gear the night before the race so it makes the morning smoother. I pin my race bib onto my shirt, set out my clothes and everything else I need, and set an alarm. Everyone has different stuff they wear and use for a race, but I usually lay out: shirt, jacket (if needed), capris, sports bra, socks, shoes, calf sleeves, iPod, headphones, sunglasses, and my Garmin. 030
  5. Start Slow, Finish Fast – It’s best to conserve energy in the first part of the race and then really give it your all at the end of the race. I usually end up starting out races way too fast and then I lose all my energy and am dragging the last part of the race. Try to pace yourself and finish strong. 467911_540925245948790_453752203_o
  6. Don’t Compare Yourself to Others – Run your own race. I admit that I often compared myself to others when running and would end a race feeling bad. If she can run fast, why can’t I? or I am younger than that person, why can’t I run as fast as them? You don’t know anyone else’s story – maybe they have been running a long time, maybe they’re new to running, maybe someone is coming off of an injury, maybe someone is running the best race of their life. Don’t compare yourself to other and don’t judge others. 0977d7859af22eb4ac285beb3500f1e7
  7. Be Positive - This kind of goes along with don’t compare yourself to others. I would always feel so bad after a race if I didn’t do as well as I have hoped. But you know what? I still did it and that’s all that matters. If you are getting up, out of the house, and running, you are doing something physical and that makes you awesome. Whether you run a 5k in 20 minutes, 30 minutes, 40 minutes, or 50 minutes – the point is that you are doing it and you should be proud of your accomplishments. Of course, you can always work on your running times and having healthy competition with others, but don’t get upset about one race where you feel like you didn’t do your best.
  8. Have Fun! – I know that races are called races for a reason – they are supposed to be competitive and someone will win, but I know that I am not going to be coming in first place, so I have fun. Yes, running is hard for me and I struggle through races but I also enjoy it. Beside two 5ks that I signed up for at the last minute, every single race that I have ran has been with family and friends. I know this isn’t possible for everyone, but it’s great running with others. We don’t necessarily run together but just having my family there to support me and for me to support them is great. It’s also great getting the kids involved – it shows that them fitness can be fun. Just enjoy the race – enjoy running, enjoy the people, enjoy the scenery. Have fun :) 042


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Do you have any race tips to add?

1 Comment

Filed under Fitness, Fun, Race, Running