My #1 Reason to Race

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Last week I shared my #1 Race Pet Peeve here, but since I don’t like to be a Debbie Downer too often, this week I’m sharing what I’m most looking forward to when I can race again.

Have any guesses?

The Benefits of Racing
There are so many great things about racing:

  • Exploring a new location
  • Challenging yourself
  • That feeling of accomplishment at the end of the race

You can read more about reasons to race here.

The thing I’m most looking forward to?

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Of course racing with friends makes the atmosphere even more fun!

The Atmosphere!
The atmosphere at the start of a race — during the race, and the finish line — if you’ve never been, the energy is just amazing.

The energy of race day is why I’m not personally a fan of virtual races — there’s just no way to feel that excitement, that encouragement, that feeling that we’re all connected — in a virtual race.

The energy of race day is what got me hooked on racing in the first place. Maybe not the first time I raced, and probably not the second time either, but boy it hooked me from that first half marathon!

What are you most looking forward to about racing again? 

Do you think your first real race will be local or a destination race? 

Already have a race picked out? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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Zooming around: 5/11 – 17 WRD

Finally Spring has arrived! Although in typical Northeast fashion, it looks like we’re going to skip right over Spring and go into Summer. I am not complaining about that at all!

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and sharing what little movement there was this week.

Workouts update

  • Monday:  Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (30 min)
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: 3 miles easy
  • Friday: Dogwalk, SB (15 min), Bodyweight + Kettlebells (20 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Saturday:  Dogwalk, Yoga (60 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, 6 miles easy, Yoga later maybe, maybe some ST, maybe both . . .

Mileage: 9 (-3)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

Kind of a rainbow . . . 

Thursday
Body wanted lots of extra rest again this week. The good news is that after all that rest, my runs felt better than any of  last week’s runs. Maybe that was also because I decided to bring back structured run/walk intervals as I continue to struggle|work on nasal breathing. The weather was again perfection, so worth the wait!

Even a pandemic can’t stop Memorial Day prep

Sunday
Running in  skirt. Living in a skirt. I’ve missed that! Cloudy, but great running weather. This run felt hard at times, but that may have been due to the incessant hills. I did both roads that lay on either side of my neighborhood, and they’re both hilly. I think run/walk is the way to go for now.

Not sure why he looked so sad, he loves his walks!

Favorites of the week
I don’t Zoom as much as a lot of people — it’s totally a verb now, right? There was more zooming for me this week than usual. My brother’s 60th birthday call (we did get my Mom on it), blogger Zoom, the Yoga Zoom with friends last weekend. I did miss the Zoom with my local running friends, but what can I say? Evening doesn’t work well for me and I was just especially tired this week.

I made an ecard for my brother’s 60th with a collage of family, too (it was my third in about a week!) but it was fun.

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Auto balancing my chakras below me as I practice Yoga on the deck

There’s been quite a bit of deck Yoga, which has been lovely, especially with the rainbow chimes chiming below me.

Other than that, not a whole lot going on. Although I may be teaching my private Yoga student again in the near future — outside in my backyard. Let’s hope I can find all the dog poop. 🙂

Is it Spring or Summer where you live (or worse, not even Spring yet)?

Any Memorial Day plans?  Not here. Unless we can work out the bathroom situation going to my Moms.

Do you think your furkids will be upset when things get back to normal? Although we’ve both gone out, not at the same time and not as often. I had already said to Mr. Judy that we’ll have to recondition them to us being gone longer eventually.

Coming up on Tuesday: What I can’t wait to experience at a real race (which probably isn’t going to happen for me this year). Friday I’ll talk about the pros of running near to home. Gotta try to stay positive here! Don’t forget that Skirt Sports is selling off its inventory, so check out the sale here.

Hydration is good for ________

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Fascia!

Your fascia is just reason #999 to stay well hydrated.

Fairytales and Fitness

What is Fascia?
Fascia is all the rage/buzzworthy right now, but what exactly is your fascia? Short disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional, fitness expert, or fascia expert. Fascia gives you shape. I know you think it’s your bones, but your fascia surrounds all your bones, your organs, your muscles. It’s actually what keeps you upright.

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It’s made up of ground substance, and that ground substance has collegen fibers and blood vessels — and a whole lot more. Click herefor a really deep dive into fascia (it’s fascinating!). I also highly suggest watching the Fuzz lecture here.

Your fascia actually gives your body feedback on your the state of your muscles, and is important in proprieception (figuring out where you are in time and space).

Makes sense that taking care of our fascia is important, right?

Ground Substance is thirsty
Ground substance is 70% water. Many liken it to a sponge, as you can see in this post here:

When a sponge dries out it becomes brittle and hard. It can easily be broken with only a little force because of how crispy it has become. However, when a sponge is wet and well hydrated it gets springy and resilient. You can crush it into a little ball and it bounces back. You can wring it and twist it, but it is difficult to break.

Hydration is important to your fascia, and once you’re dehydrated, it begins to stiffen and stick to itself — and you feel knots and stiffness, too. You can’t completely hydrate your fascia by drinking more, but good hydration is a good first step to keep your fascia happy.

Fascia is also hydrated by movement (this is where foam rolling can come in), although not by repetitive movement — like running — which is why cross training is so important. Running can be good for your fascia — but only running, not so much.

Rest is important too (you know I’m always harping on that!). Tom Myers, an expert on fascia and author of Anatomy Trains (Amazon Affiliate link here),  writes:

The fascia gets temporarily weaker and then comes back stronger after a heavy workout. Always alternate work-outs with periodic rest to allow for maximum integration and strengthening of the fascial network.

You can also check out his YouTube channel here.

Coach Debbie @ Coachdebbieruns is a Fasical Stretch Therapist. Read her post hereabout how FST can make you a better runner (someday we’ll be able to do this again!).

Did you know what fascia is?

Are you more motivated to help your fascia stay happy?

What do you do when you feel stiff in the morning?

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ICYMI: Feeling in need of a longer stretch after a run? When I shot my postrun stretch  video for the 21 Day Yoga Challenge (sign up here), I went a little long on my first try. Like double the amount of time that short video should have been. When you have time to take more time stretching it out, try out my new Post Run Stretch Video here.

My #1 Race Pet Peeve

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I’m sure most runners right about now would be willing to overlook a lot of race faux pas if they could just race! Today’s subject was “What was the worst thing that ever happened to you at a race?”.

I’ve been lucky; nothing horrible has ever happened to me at a race. Instead I’m sharing one of my biggest race pet peeves.

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Water. Sometimes it makes or breaks a race | Photo by Meir Roth on Pexels.com

Running out of water!
This is what drove me to always carry water when I race — no matter what the distance is. Even for a 5k. I am a thirsty runner. Not only that, but did you know that your fascia (the webbing that surrounds pretty much everything in your body) gets more tangled the more dehydrated you are? I’ll be telling you more on Friday about that!

Some of the stiffness you feel post race (or the next day) can actually be traced to dehydrated fascia. It’s enough to drive you to drink!

Bottoms up
I have run numerous races where they’ve run out of cups, run out of water, or run out of both. Some only for the BOTPers like me — some for even the speedy runners. I understand that trying to figure out how much to get is a science, and that when the weather is not as predicted that can throw a real monkey wrench in things.

Maybe I can understand running out of water when it’s unseasonably hot (and not predicted to be so). But cups? That’s just disorganization. I know that putting on a race is not easy, but it seems to me that should never happen.

There is still nothing worse than running a really hot race, coming up to an aid station, and finding it dry (as dry as you are). Or finding they actually do have water — but no cups!

I’ve had some hot races with no water where I’ve given serious consideration to stealing someone’s water bottle — before I started to always carry my own water.

What’s your biggest race pet peeve? 

Do you already have a plan for your first race post C19 (whenever that may be)? 

Have you had races run out of water or cups or both? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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S is for . . . : 5/4 – 10 WRD

. . . Spring or . . . Snow????

Yeah baby, it snowed yesterday. Multiple times. No real accumulation, thankfully.

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Joining Kim @ Kimrunsonthefly and Deborah @ Confessionsofamotherrunner, and sharing staying cool. Literally!

Workouts update

  • Monday:  3 miles easy, Dogwalk, Bodyweight/Kettlebells (20 min)
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, SB (10 min), Bodyweight/Kettlebells (30 min), Yoga (20 min)
  • Thursday: 3 miles easy with 5 x 20ish strides, Dogwalk
  • Friday: Dogwalk
  • Saturday:  Dogwalk, Taught Yoga on Zoom (30 min)
  • Sunday: Dogwalk, 6 miles easy, Yoga later (maybe, if time between Zooms)

Mileage: 12 (+2)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Update

The Magnolias survived

Monday
I may often miss a Monday, but glad I managed to get out there this morning before the weather went South (or is that North?). It was a beautiful morning, but the clouds moved in, the wind picked up, and the temps dropped. Thankfully it was nice during my run, which was slow, but I knew that’s what my body needed today.

Are you EVER coming back (before I’ve even left)

Thursday
Today was a beautiful day. A bit windy, but nothing too bad. I wasn’t quite sure how strides would work with nasal breathing, which still seems hard. I do my strides at the end of my run, sprinting from my mailbox to a neighbor’s fence, then pausing my watch and walking back to my starting point.

More neighborhood rainbows

That walk back gave me enough time to recover from the harder effort — while still continuing to breath through my nose. Without the strides this run would have been on the slower side, but glad to see I could still incorporate some strides. A girl’s gotta run fast sometimes.

A rainbow AND a letter for Liz @ Librofulltime

Sunday
I was really optimistic about this run. I just had a feeling it would go well. Unfortunately, it was a slog. I think my body was saying no thank you to running long today, but I still finished 6. Not sure why. I spent the last couple of miles in a sort-of fartlek. Maybe I need to go back to run/walk intervals until (if?) nasal breathing feels easier.

Quite a few takes to get a decent photo

Favorites of the week
We mugged for the camera to get the photo above to use in the ecard I made for my mom today. Happy Mother’s Day to all who celebrate! Let’s just say it took multiple takes over two days, but since we don’t have any photos of all of us, glad we persevered.

Not quite as happy? I thought my mom could phone into my brother’s 60th Zoom birthday call tomorrow. Turns out you only get dial in numbers on a paid account — as far as I can tell. Let’s just say Zoom’s support docs leave a bit to be desired.

By the way, Zoom is also now requiring passwords for all meetings.

We haven’t given up, though. She does have a laptop. I’m going to try another test and see if she can actually manage to click through. She’s not tech savvy, it’s hard when you can’t see her computer while trying to help, plus she has a significant hand palsy. If she could manage it, then she could even see us!

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There have been a lot of times over the years we’ve lived here when I’ve wondered if somehow we got transported to VT. Yesterday was on of those times!

Almost forgot to share our snow yesterday. I mean, it was just a dusting — although we had flurries twice more during the day. I have never seen snow here this late in the year. The good news is it’s slowly going to warm up next week — and it looks like maybe Spring will arrive — and stay.

To end on a happier note, I also taught a Yoga class to Running Buddies D&J yesterday on Zoom. They gave two thumbs up to the Airpods, which stayed connected well the whole time. Zoom also let us chat after for a long time, so win-win! I will probably offer to teach a donation based Yoga class for the Humane Society now that I can communicate effectively. I still need to test them out on FB Live, so I may be starting back there, too!

Real cards or ecards? I hate to slaughter trees for cards

Are you parents hopping on the Zoom craze? 

How often to you go grocery shopping now? Every week I’ve been saying I really need to physically go to a grocery store. Every week I decide not to. Well, this week it was finally time. In fact, I went to two. I should be good for another month or so. Grocery deliveries are always an adventure — let’s just say substitutions can be interesting, and sometimes there are substitutions for no apparent reason.

Coming up on Tuesday: The topic is your worst race experience, but I went with my biggest race pet peeve. Any guesses? Friday I’ll a surprising benefit from good hydration. Don’t forget that Skirt Sports is selling off its inventory, so check out the sale here.

15 Years of Skirt

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A Love Letter

I did not start wearing Skirt Sports 15 years ago — heck, I wasn’t even running 15 years ago. I lived in a different state. I didn’t have dogs yet (although I would get my first dog soon). I was the crazy cat lady who liked to walk, who had a treadmill because I lived in TX and the summers there are brutal.

Running? It was not something I thought about. It was, as they say, the thing I’d do only if there was a bear chasing me.

Fairytales and Fitness

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This was used in a Skirt Sports Ad

Then I started to run
We moved to NY, treadmill in tow, and I slowly began to run (mostly on that treadmill). Slowly being the operative word. I’ve always felt that if you look good, you do good — so the hunt was on for cute running clothes.

I tried running in skirts. Let’s just say I don’t have the lean runner body so many imagine when they hear you’re a runner — and that’s okay — because in truth, there is no “real” runner body. We’re all real runners.

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Touring hot & humid NOLA

As much as I wanted to love skirts for running, the shorties always rode up on me. I tried brand after brand only to be disappointed. Then I bought my first skirt from Skirt Sports, which was a Happy Girl Skirt, by the way, and I was in love. The pockets! The cute patterns!

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Running through hot & humid NOLA to a PR!

It was, as they say, the beginning of a true love story. Forget music being the background of your life — for me it’s been skirt.

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I may not look like your typical runner, but I can do hard things, like run down mountains

I came for the cuteness . . .
. . . I stayed because Skirt Sports is a company that cares. They cared what people thought of their skirts. They didn’t just have Ambassadors (yes, I’ve been an Ambassador for quite a few years) to help market skirt, they really listened to us.

Like any company Skirt Sports had its skirts that knocked it out of the park — and those that were near misses. They included their many Ambassadors in so many decisions: which skirts to put in the line, what patterns to put those skirts in, what new products they should focus on.

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Teaching Yoga in Skirt Sports — they don’t care your age or your body type, only your story

They were inclusive in choosing their Ambassadors, too: all sorts of bodies, all sorts of sports — not all Ambassadors were runners!, all ages. No cookie cutter Ambassadors here.

Skirt Sports also tried to help all women benefit from the joys of activity, whether it was their #womenwhomove campaign or their Running Start Program.

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I had such high hopes for this race: the skirt didn’t disappoint, but the weather did

I remember the first half I ran in Skirt
When I first started running in skirt, I chose the Happy Girl Skirt because it covered my legs more. I was self conscious about those non-runner/runner legs. It got me through the brutally, unseasonably hot Heartbreak Hill Half. In fact, at the top of Heartbreak Hill, when they doused me with water, I remember suddenly thinking oh s#@t! My phone’s in my pocket! Both the phone and I survived (me, just barely!).

Eventually, as with many love affairs, I strayed. I cheated. I had gotten over the self consciousness about my legs; all I cared about was being able to run comfortably and having enough pockets. I ran into problems, though — Happy Girl was just a little too long for this petite girl, but I chafed in the more popular Gym Girl Ultra in longer distances.

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My “uniform” for all hot races (and my longest race)

Eventually, though, the ever innovative Skirt Sports team came up with the Cool It Skirt, and for this runner’s body, it was perfection. It was all Skirt Sports, all the time from then on out.

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Who wears short skirts? And Cool It Tops are great in the Summer & transitioning from Winter to Spring

I even began wearing the shorter skirts, the Jettes and the Lionesses — my legs may not be my best feature, but they can carry me 18 miles, and I fell in love with those shorter skirts! I turned many friends onto Skirt Sports, too.

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Will run for chocolate

Skirt helped me tackle trails, too. They got me through my first trail half, which obviously lived up to its name: Mud and Chocolate. Usually you’ll find me running trails with my friends in the Summer, though, and I’m usually looking to cool down, not warm up (the Cool It tops work great for Summer trail running!).

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Skirting through Summer

Skirt for Life
In the warmer months, I live in skirt. In the Winter months (which is about half the year in the Northeast), Skirt Sports gets me through my cold runs.

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Cold, snowy runs — more fun in Skirt Sports & with friends!

I have hiked through many states, and many scenic areas in my own state, in Skirt.

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Kicking it up in the National Parks in UT
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Scenic upstate NY
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Walking with the dogs
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So many walks & hikes with dogs! Those pockets help so much with doggy paraphenalia
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Meeting new Skirt Sisters in Savannah just last year

One of the best benefits of Skirt Sports are the friends I made. I ran into an Ambassador — or a Skirt lover — at so many races across the country. Sometimes by design, sometimes randomly, sometimes more than once!

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There were good times with my parents in skirt, too

Skirt Sports has been there for me, through the good runs, the bad runs, the good times in life — and the bad times in life. Yes, I even wore a Skirt Sports skirt to my parents 70th anniversary celebration — and to my Dad’s funeral service.

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Not a PR, but a rare AG place!

I came to Skirt to run, to race, and I have, indeed, run so many races in Skirt Sports. Good ones, bad ones, the rare ugly one, the PRs. Looking cute and feeling comfortable always gave me that little extra boost.

Final Thoughts
I apologize for the many photos and the length of this post, but those of you who’ve known me for a while via this blog, know that my love of all things Skirt runs deep. I can’t believe there won’t be a #31daysofskirt this July. I can’t believe there won’t be cool new patterns to drool over next year. I can’t believe there will not be new skirts that are even more innovative.

I have had my own business, too, and I understand that there often comes a time when you are ready to move on — and that that moving on isn’t easy. Thank you, Nicole DeBoom, for sharing your dream with me and so many other women. You have made a difference in our lives, and we wish you well wherever life takes you.

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Shop the Skirt Sports Finish Line Sale here

Cute running clothes may seem silly. Until you run or race in them. Cute, functional running clothes? Those can literally change your life.  — Chocolaterunsjudy

No questions today. Just sincere love & gratitude for being a part of the Skirt Sports family.

So You’re Running Virtually . . .

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Why not spruce up the scenery?

Virtual races are all the rage right now! So far I have not participated in one, but I might for one or two when the charity is right. Just to run? No thanks! But that’s me, everyone is different.

Maybe the weather sucks, or maybe you have to entertain babies/toddler/young children, or maybe you’re not allowed to run outside. Maybe the treadmill is the only option for you. How will you keep yourself motivated on that treadmill?

I did a little digging to find some options that might make a virtual race feel a little bit more like a real race. I haven’t personally tried any of these, but here goes:

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Make a treadmill run easier by “running” somewhere scenic | Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Virtual Active
Virtual Active lets you pick videos from scenic places to run all over the world. They can be guided or unguided. $7.95 for SD, $10.95 HD. Buy multiples in a pack for a discount. Subscribe to their newsletter for 20% off your first purchase.

You’ll find the running videos here (there are also videos for hiking and cycling).

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Maybe a virtual trail race is the only way you’ll ever run trails | Photo by Ogy Kovachev on Pexels.com

Virtual Runner
Virtual Runner seems to be trying to appeal to more hard core runners. In addition to the videos you purchase in an app, it displays elapsed time, distance, pace, HR, and cadence. Of course most of that information comes from a footpod, and it wasn’t obvious to me where you buy the footpod.

The cool thing about the footpod is that it will slow down or speed up the video to correspond with how fast you’re running.

You must be able to maintain a 15 mm pace to use the app.

There are links to Android, Apple, and Microsoft apps here.

Peloton App
I think most runners, unless they’ve been living under a rock, are aware of the Peloton App (which you’ll find here). Peloton includes running classes and outdoor course videos. You can try the app for 30 days free. Did you know that they’ve stopped selling Peloton Treadmills because of the installation? My 20 year old treadmill better survive this virus.
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Run London on your treadmill | Photo by Samuel Wölfl on Pexels.com
Free Course Videos
Okay, I’ll bet that there are plenty more resources, but how about running the World Major courses with the elites without having to travel anywhere? I found course videos of them all on YouTube — except oddly Boston.
The only thing I could find of Boston was a live stream from Heartbreak Hill (which I walked up, long story) — but seriously, watching runners endlessly battling Heartbreak Hill probably wouldn’t really be that inspiring. Or maybe it would be to you!
  • London Marathon here
  • Tokyo Marathon here
  • NYC Marathon here
  • Berlin Marathon here
  • Chicago Maratho here
There are lots of course videos for other races, too. Google the one you want to run and see if it’s there — it may very well be!

Do you ever run on a treadmill using course videos? 

Do you think it would make it feel easier to run on the treadmill if you did? 

What can you add to my list? 

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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