Friday’s Fitness Faves

Good afternoon, everybody. Thank the Lord it is Friday. I got my nails done at lunch and have a whole new perspective on life afterwards…funny how that happens after a little pamper session at the end of the week. I figured I would share with all of you some fitness favorites and send you all off with maybe a couple of inspiring moves, tunes and ideas!

Thanks for reading!!

Hill XO

Forearm Stand

I have been working on getting myself into a forearm handstand for quite some time. It is frustrating that every time I get up I get into the pose for less than half a second, I fall. However, yoga is about exploring that fall and welcoming it. I recently came upon this article by Pop Sugar with great poses to help you get ready for a forearm stand. I plan on working on this this weekend a little bit. Here is the article if anyone is interested. I love being upside down and I do enjoy working for it.

Early Morning Workouts 

I go through phases with early morning workouts…There are stretches of months where I can’t even fathom getting out of bed before the scheduled time and then there are weeks where getting up 1-2 days a week to work out is no problem. The past two weeks I have gotten up early either on Thursday or Friday to do my own workout – no spin. I find that sometimes when I am at work I get too excited to work out and rush off as soon as the clock strikes 5 and I sort of enjoy the quietness in the morning. In the morning I do feel slightly rushed but then I make sure that I really push it or cut down on the rest time. I am trying to work on going before work because I would like to run a 10 mile road race this summer and getting over and complete in the AM is my preference since getting a glass of wine after work on a hot day is a TOP priority for me!

Favorite Workout Move/s

When I was in Portland I woke up and went to the gym on Saturday morning. The hotel had a pretty decent workout room and so I thought I would sneak in a workout since I knew we were going to be eating all day long. There was a TRX  there which was PERFECT because I have been hitting that shit up for abs! GIRLLLLL, I am always so sore afterwards. My lower abs in particular always feel like they got a good ass whoopin’. These exercises ramp up your typical plank and put some STANK AWN ON IT. I found this little cheat sheet on Pinterest for just some ideas!

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Current Favorite Song 

Alex Midi – In the Air Tonight (f. Delacey) Since this is a modern day remake of Phil Collins’ “In The Air Tonight” I just automatically loved this. I love the original for a heavy climb and this as well for the same choreography but with a little more beat. I also love the female vocalist. It may not suit everyone but it most certainly gets my blood pumpin’

Favorite Lippy For The Gym

Does anyone remember Revlon’s Colorbursts? Well…when they came out I bought them in almost every single color. The color I have on in this photo is Pink Lemonade. Talk about the most perfect peach/light pink. I have been grabbing this after my spin classes just for some hydration and color. I tend to look very washed out and dead with no makeup on so this light lip adds a little bit of vibrance to my face. Today in the car I found it in my jacket instead of my gym bag and I applied it right away.I was at a stop light and just had to get a selfie in real quick with this color!  I love this stuff!

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Fitness Fridays

So glad its Friday! My day has barely begun and I am already craving a dirty martini and sushi. I know you guys know the feeling. I thought I would jump start your weekends by just updating you all on some of my go to moves and fitness inspirations of the moment.

I completed another week of my spin classes. Some weeks are easier than others. But teaching every night, three nights in a row is a blessing and a curse. Because I teach on Mondays I tend to dread that class the most. I always take awhile to get into the groove of things however, after my Monday night class I feel the best. I don’t feel as foggy, I feel strong and much calmer. Here is the playlist I used all week.

Song of the moment: The Knocks – Kiss the Sky. I do not know why this speaks to me so much but it does. I think I like the fast beat and then how it slows down and then the chorus just makes me want  to be on a dance floor on a tropical island. An honorable mention goes out to Kelhani – Did I. This song is literally my girl anthem. Great beat. Good lyrics. It’s all about goin’ out and gettin’ it.

Favorite move/exercise of the moment: I have ALWAYS loved planks. I have worked so hard over the years to develop this strength. I love it because of the variations and because it hits so many muscle groups. I currently am loving plans that require your ‘under’ leg if you will to pass through. Here is a picture of one of the moves I  have been doing. It is so hard to do but I love how deep the soreness goes. My love handles and low back are a popular spot for me to put on weight and I just love the effect of these. I also enjoy lifting one leg (the top leg if I am in a side plank or just one leg at a time if I have both hands on the floor). If you go on to Pinterest there is an overwhelming amount of information on there and great for inspiration.

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My favorite yoga pose of the moment: Hands down this would be Bow pose. It is so beautiful. I work on this one to open up my chest and promote good posture. Having a large chest I really gravitate towards posture perfecting poses that help open up the chest cavity and create space. I also recently read an article in an old Yoga Journal about how having a flexible spine is so important. When I taught my first barre class last weekend we did Bow pose. We did three rounds of and held the pose for about 10 seconds each. For a lot of the people this was a new sensation…they knew they were working hard and strengthening but it was also a great stretch. The dichotomy of the work vs. stretch opens people’s eyes to yoga. I had a student say “That class was so different. It was nice to not do the same moves all the time”. That was because we did a great strength and stretch routine without weights (we did weights earlier on and finished with yoga strength). So at the end of class you knew you worked hard and felt like you exerted yourself but also felt open and lengthened. That is a very important thing for me in my daily practice and I was glad it manifested in the class.

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Favorite healthy snack: OMG I have been going cookoo over sweet potatoes lately. I didn’t go grocery shopping this week I know, I know  but had about three sweet potatoes and as long as I have an option for a decent carb for dinner I am good.  So I have been heating one of these bad boys up every night in the microwave for about 5 minutes and then I go to town with the seasonings. I sprinkle on some cayenne pepper, garlic pepper, onion powder, then pour distilled vinegar on top  (this is a true Rhode Island thing) with some ketchup. HEAVEN.

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That is it everyone! Thank you all for reading!

Hill XO

Current Wishlist

Good morning,

I have a wishlist. I need to share it. There are a lot of things out there right now that are calling my name and I think I need to share them with all of you not because this is a safe place to communicate wants and desires but because I need some feedback.

Some of these things I have tried and will be purchasing, but others I need help on…

HERE GOES

NOW, I recently received samples of the Blue Moon Tranquility Cleansing Balm and I am obsessed. I used it once and I just know it is my favorite cleansing balm of all time. That is high up on the priorities of my wishlist. It smells like  Lipsmacker and is so hydrating.

The other thing I have tried is the Laura Mercier Candeglow Soft Luminous Foundation…I had a really hard time finding my color match. In Sephora I picked up Ecru which seemed to work for my paler winter skin however online it said that it was for light skins with cool undertones? HUH? I am a little bit cool but I have quite olivey skin. Has anyone tried this? I loved the formulation but am wondering if I could go a shade or two darker…I am a little afraid of my local Sephora lady so I have confided in you all.

Jaclyn Hill recently discussed this new Becca foundation. I feel like it is literally the foundation form of the Backlight primer. This looks like it will give a really dewy finish and help glow everything up. I am highly interested in this and would probably purchase this over the LM if it is better. I want both but know that life does not work that way, or does it?

Moving on with this Makeup For Ever Ultra HD concealer. NOW, since I turned 25 I swear I all of a sudden see these fine lines under my eyes and my skin is just crap right now. I look ruddy, feel ruddy and flat. I currently have an outbreak of milia on the tops of my cheekbones that look GOD AWFUL when I have highlighter on. I know these are first world problems here but WHAT-EVER. Every time I use my under eye concealer my circles look more pronounced. I know this can be because my concealer is too light…so I am sort of looking into this MUFE one. They have this concealer in correcting shades and concealing shades and I am most interested in the correcting ones. This is $27 vs. the Bobbi Brown Correctors which are $40. Does anyone have both and have an opinion? I use a super hydrating eye cream and think I just need a better concealer…any thoughts or insight would be helpful.

Lastly – LuLuLemon sports tops. I will preface this that my cannons are a humble size of 32F. Yes. You best believe when I work out I go all in with back and shoulder exercises to keep my posture looking like Lisa Kudrow from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (come on the magnet scene is so hilarious but oh so mean). So, my question is – do you girls find that these tops are supportive? I do have other LuLu tops that have a built in bra but I always wear another sorts bra under them. Do you think that if I wore another sports bra under this it would just become a bulge-y, back fat issue? HELP! I’m desperate for something hip and airy. I am leaning more towards the one on the left because I think there could be more natural support…however, I think my additional sports bra on the right could look less out of place. Just to preface this for you all – I am 5ft tall, I weight 13o lbs and I wear a size 4 in the tops and the pants.

FEEDBACK. PLEASE. GO.

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Monday Blues

My thoughts exactly above.

Today is just so painful. I have been noticing that Mondays are worse for me when my weekend was less than eventful. Yesterday’s weather was just so ANNOYING. It was 60 degrees and it poured all day long. I opened the windows to my apartment and it was so humid and uncomfortable. I was also really looking forward to the Golden Globes last night but was SOOOOO bored….The whole event is like one big inside joke that no one understands if you aren’t famous. I watched the first half hour and then just decided to call it a night. I will say I did enjoy seeing a lot of women winners. GIRL POWA. Side note: what the hell was J. Lo wearing?

Anyways – I just hope this week comes and goes. I miss my family and my boyfriend. Wah.

Here are few pics. Sorry for the lame Monday post but ya know what? THAT’S LIFE. It ain’t always awesome but I am thankful that I am in good health, have a nice roof over my head and have a great family.

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When I studied abroad in Barcelona these were my weakness. Barcelona in the South End has just the best vibe and the best food. 

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The only productive thing I did yesterday was head out to the gym. It was sticky walk home.

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On Friday night, my mom and stepdad came up to Boston and I met them out at the Salty Pig right next to Back Bay. My roomie met us there after work. If you love cured meats and awesome pizza- this is your joint.

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My current favorite eyeshadow combo. African Violet by Laura Mercier and Satin Taupe by MAC. Satin Taupe looks nothing like how it does in the pan… its quite purpely/taupey… nothing like below! That’s why it is so amazing. 

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I recently found this awesome instagram account called “alwaysssleep” and its just pictures of beds from wherever. This new bed set was a Chrismtas present from my mom and its just so cozy. 

Fitness Fridays

Hello everyone!

I apologize for being slightly MIA this week. I really hit the ground running…I taught spin A LOT and have just been dead! My cold (really just my cough) has been driving me insane. Mucinex is a godsend but kind of is not great for my tummy. 😦  Hopefully you all can forgive me.

So now that January 2016 is in full swing I know that our group exercise classes are probably overflowing and your usual treadmill has been occupied all week by some newbie who just texts the whole time and is walking at a semi-glacial place. I do have a few tips and tricks to work around this small issue!

TIP #1: Try going at a different time. SHAKE THINGS UP.

I know this sounds crazy…us gym people are creatures of habit! Why should we have to go at a different time in order to work around the Resolutioners? Sometimes its good to try a different time. Who knows – you might actually like it. Perhaps a small change could be made. If you normally hit the gym at 5:45PM…maybe head there an hour later. You can maybe catch up on some work or go home and clean those damn dishes AND then burn those calories. This week I opted for an AM session vs. a PM workout. It was great because after work I just went home to relax. Of course it was a total BIATCH to get up but after breaking a sweat I didn’t want to stop.

TIP #2: So what if that new person took your spot or your bike. GROW UP.

Seriously. We are not children. I remember at the first gym I ever taught at the women that were in their 40’s – 50’s were BRUTAL about their bikes. Hey – you snooze, you lose. Bikes (at the gyms I have taught at anyways) are first come, first served. If your name (or towel, water bottle) ain’t on it…IT AIN’T YOURS. I think we need to remember that we are not children and it is good to move around the room – get a new perspective. The ride is about you…I get it…every bike is different so your settings may vary, but who knows maybe you will sit next to a super motivational person or maybe the music is a bit louder so you feel like you’re one with the beat.

TIP #3: Harder spurts to get in and get out

Ok. You get to the gym and all of a sudden you sense there are WAY more people there than when you walked in and started your work out. People are starting to have loud conversations, the mirrors are fogging up – you feel distracted but you still have 20 minutes left on the elliptical…ahhh what do you do? Start some intervals. Crank up the resistance or the speed. Bring that heart rate up and push, push, push and then give yourself double the time for rest. You can do whatever time intervals work for you. I am personally a huge fan of 30 seconds on and 60 seconds off. You’ll burn more calories, possibly have a cardiovascular breakthrough, get that metabolism revved and you’ll be out the door.

It is important during these times to find the positive and obviously to make things work for you!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND

Thanks for reading

Hill XO

Monday Blues

Lazy but productive Sundays are the best types of Sundays. Throwing in a load of laundry between Curb Your Enthusiasm episodes is my definition of getting $#@* done without the whole “let me blast music and clean the absolute crud out of everything and ditch the workout since THIS will be my cardio”….CRINGE…that was not what I was about to do yesterday. Subtle cleaning was my aim. I cleaned up my room a little bit, dusted my picture frames and Windexed my glass trays…the devil is in the details.

Even though I slept in, had a nap, did some yoga and was an all around sloth – I am still so tired! GOD, MONDAYS JUST ABSOLUTELY KILL ME! I would love to be able to work four, ten hour days and then have Mondays off just to amp myself up for the week. Working on a Monday vs. Friday is much less appealing. On Friday you still have a touch more momentum.

I hope everyone has a great coming week…I only have two photos…I am very lame. I will be back this week with some good stuff. PROMISE!

Thanks for reading,

Hill XO

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I found this photo on Pinterest to show you all my favorite yoga pose at the moment – Frog. It is VERY INTENSE and you feel quite vulnerable. I do this after my workout or after my practice and stay in it for about a minute. The blocks are detrimental since they help keep the upper body open and aligned. Make sure your knees make a 90 degree angle so you feel those inner thighs and pelvic bowl release a bit. Do this right before bed…when you come out of the pose, it feels amazing. 

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My current lip favorite. This is much more nude than what it looks like on the lips. Bite makes such great colors and formulations. This is “Retsina”. I will try to feature a make up look with it this week! 

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My dog (Henry) on his favorite chair next to the Christmas tree. Such a love. 

The BEST Ride of My Life

 

For those of you that enjoy indoor cycling classes, I just have to boast about my playlist from this week. When you teach there are times when making a playlist takes about five minutes and other times when it takes what feels like forever. Once I start thinking about it too much,  I lose my mojo. This week there were some new releases on iTunes that made my playlist making a cinch. This week we climbed at the beginning for quite a bit and then took it down, added in some speed, jumps, MORE speed,  medium hills and then ended with SPEED AGAIN to top it off.

Here is a peak at the playlist with choreography…

  1. LunchMoney Lewis – Ain’t Too Cool ~ This is the Uptown Funk of 2015. Warmup.
  2. Audien – Rooms ~ 5,6,7 with an aggressive pace
  3. Justin Bieber – Children ~ Standing climb out in 3rd. 7 for resistance. Saddle during the verse, out in 3rd for the chorus
  4. Halsey – Hold Me Down ~ 9 to 7.5 in the saddle the whole time. No pace really, just get through the maximum resistance and then during the chorus release it for about 30
  5. David Guetta – Rise ~ MY JAM FOR JUMPS. 4 counts – fast counts during the verse, slow counts during the chorus
  6. David Guetta – Lift Me Up ~ Transitions. 3rd at 6.5 (just enough to get rid of the bounce) and then explode with speed in the saddle at 70% on a 5, 2x
  7. Kiiara – Gold ~ Isolations with tap backs! THIS SONG MAKES ME WANT TO GO TO A TROPICAL ISLAND AND SNORKLE
  8. Flo Rida – Dirty Mind ~ Anything Flo makes me move. Small resistance increases, Saddle, Standing, 3rd with quarter turn adds, 3 rounds
  9. David Guetta – Night of Your Life ~ I mean we all know Jennifer Hudson takes this to a smash hit. Get on a 5, then to 65%, 75%, 85% of cadence max, 15 seconds at each interval, 45 seconds total, 3x!!!! If they ain’t dog tired – they ain’t workin’
  10. The Weeknd – In the Night ~ I am so glad this is his new single. It is the best song on the album. Very MJ. Jumps during the chorus on a 7. add resistance after every chorus.
  11. Christina Aguilera and CeeLo – Make the World Move ~ WOOOOOOHOOOOOO. I thought with all the negative things going on right now I needed an uplifting song. Three sprints, 25 each.

Thanks for reading everyone!!!

Hill xoIMG_0286.PNG

Monday Blues

This Monday is more painful than any other Monday. I’m exhausted. I feel like I have been living out of a bag and in my car for the past couple of weeks. I NEED A BREAK. With Thanksgiving being about four days away, I am sad to say that this hobo lifestyle will continue for another week or so. I went to my cousin’s wedding this weekend in NY and that pretty much consisted of drinking dirty martinis, penne with pink vodka sauce, and dancing to a whole lot of Donna Summer.  My body has been punishing me since yesterday due to my outpour of gluttony. My skin is breaking out, I can BARELY keep my eyes open – I feel like a snake because I have seriously drifted off WITH my eyes open, my stomach seems to be accumulating that lovely extra layer and my hips are begging for pigeon pose.

Until Thanksgiving, I am going to try and curtail the salty foods (burgers and fries), kick ass in spin, get some extra air and try to take a little more ‘me’ time. I hate the monotony of routines, however, when the holidays come around I feel very off and sometimes just want to hide under my covers until it’s all over…I know I am a little bah-humbug right now, but I know it will pass. So, in order to get through this next week of booze, turkey sandwiches, almost too much family time and the urge to online shop for SHIT I DON’T NEED, I have compiled some cardinal rules to make it through like a champ…

 

If you’re not going to go to the gym – do yoga ~ I have been trying to integrate more stretching and yoga into my routine as of late. Since I have added one spin class to my weekly schedule, I have been trying to take about 20 minutes after I have eaten and showered to just slow things down and give my body a little bit more love. So that will be my first rule during this holiday week…If I don’t want to work out because I am too tired, possibly hungover or I don’t have the time, I am going to practice some deep breathing, focus on some areas that need opening and also hit some poses that detox the body. I love doing twists!

I cannot wait to do this

This is one of my favorite poses – detox but strengthening

Do not (try not) to eat out of boredom, stress or anxiety ~ Because I will be celebrating Thanksgiving with my bofyriend’s family this year I know there will be new faces as well as familiar ones and I am sure there will be a few awkward silences. I tend to ALWAYS just keep shoving food in my mouth before the main meal because I sometimes get stressed out while mingling and trying to remember who everyone is. Now since I know this will not be obliterated in one blow, my rule is going to be – eat veggies and fruit, not pigs in a blanket. Of course I will indulge in the processed meats (I’m drooling just thinking about prosciutto on a stoned wheat cracker with some jelly) but if I sense that I am getting anxious, I am going to head straight for the healthy stuff and it can be bottomless.

I found this on Pinterest and think this is a great guide – nothing restrictive but influences us to be mindful with our choices

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE – WATER – REPEAT ~ This will probably be the easiest rule for me. SHOCKER. As I have gotten older, I LOATHE the way I feel when I drink too much. The rings on my fingers feel tighter, my face is all puffy, I have the world’s worst headache and I just am an all around fun-sucker. I also detest how red my cheeks get when I have had a few – dead give away….I am not even a slur-er, my face is just a warhead. So, my rule for this is – have a couple but drink at least 8oz. of water between each one. I am going to try to keep my ratio of water to alcohol higher than the inverse. I also am going to try to stick with the same kind of alcohol and not mix. Kettle One martinis tend to call my name but I am going to try to go for an option with less sodium.

Black Friday deals and steals should be for others and not for you~  Because my birthday is in December and I love winter fashion – I tend to overbuy. I need to know that when I receive an email with 40% off, it is still money that I do not need to spend.  If I do indulge, I am going to try to make sure it’s for someone else’s Christmas present. I am giving myself a budget of $40…that is all I can spend on myself.

Get outside~ Since the weather has not felt too winter-y just yet, I am going to try to get outside more this week. I tend to do very well with outdoor workouts or just being outside in general during this time of year despite my allergies and asthma. With dry indoors (I need to get a new humidifier, nose bleeds anyone?) I want to make more of an effort to go on a brisk walk with my dog or my boyfriend, head to my local beach and see the sunset. Nothing feels better than crisp air after being in a hot building.

Take a walk! From reducing stress to encouraging creativity, walking has so many benefits!:

Grab a friend, relative, or spouse and get outside! Enjoy the sights and sounds.

And there you have it – 5 ways for me to make it through this week without feeling like a sloth…PLEASE PLEASE feel free to share yours. Even though it’s a joyful time of year, it can still be quite stressful and any other tips and tricks that work for others will be awesome to read.

Thanks for reading,

Hill XO

Friggen Friday!

Hello everyone and Happy Friday! The weather this week has been very unpredictable here in the Northeast and I am happy to say that I am excited to not have to pick out an outfit for work these next couple of days. How am I supposed to look “fallish” when its summer temps and even has some of its humidity? It has been in the 70’s and only in the 50’s at night. Sleeping has been slightly uncomfortable since we are on the top floors of our building and I hate sweating when I am getting ready for work. SO YES! Bring on the weekend!

I am planning on grabbing myself a new pair of spin shoes and also getting certified in Barre Conditioning through Boston Sports Club. This certification is only from 9-3 and is FREE but the certification only really means something within the company. If I wanted to teach at any of its locations I could but I couldn’t walk into a boutique barre studio and say I am certified because in truth, barre certifications take weeks of teachings just like yoga and pilates, but I figured that since it was free and just one day that it would be fun to learn some new moves!

As some of you know – Sephora is doing its Beauty Insider discounts from Nov.6th  – Nov. 9th. I love when they do this every year because as well know, discounts from Sephora are VERY rare. Below I have included a couple of things that I am coveting…not much…suprisingly! What are some things you all are coveting during this event?

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I’ll be back on Monday!!

Thanks for reading,

Hill XO

Estee Lauder

Estee Lauder’s Little Black Liner…anything double ended I am so into. This is the equivalent of a makeup fiend’s light saber.

Tocca Candle

I received one of their candles as a gift and it lasted forever. It burned evenly and has such lovely scents. These make great gifts too may I add.

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A cleansing balm…with gold? INTRIGUED! Peter Thomas Roth is so well priced as well!

HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

Happy Friday everyone! This week just sort of seemed to drag! I could honestly care less about it being Halloween. I think I would rather spend the money on a NYE dress than buy a costume. Just my opinion. I am going home to RI for the night to see the fam and my boyfriend and then will be coming back up to Boston forSaturday. I honestly am really looking forward to going home for just one night and seeing some of my favorite people.

Last night after work I randomly decided that I was going to go out for a run no matter how late I got home or how tired I was. There was something about the temperature being in the mid 70’s in October and knowing that it was probably going to be one of the last times I could run after work with it still being light outside. As soon as I got home, I laced up and took to the streets of Southie. It was such a great run. I had no expectations and enjoyed my music without doing counts for spin. I went straight to Castle Island for my run and the sunset was just MAGNIFICENT. The wind was so strong that I felt like my obliques were taking a beating but I felt so alive and just fought through it. I ended my run by HAULING ASS up G Street which is straight uphill. I have ran up it many times and sometimes I make it to the top without stopping and sometimes I only last about 30 seconds. I kept repeating over and over in my head “FIGHT FOR IT”. I didn’t stop once and then it was only about 5 minutes to home from there. I felt like I could have kept going by the time I reached my place.

I very rarely run anymore. In college I always ran and took spin to supplement my soccer training and then after college I started teaching spin right away so I never really harvested my running skills. I have run two 10-mile road races in my hometown which are a blast and this past summer I really wanted to run it for my third time, but my allergies were horrible and I couldn’t get a handle on them, I was really stressed out at my job and then I started a new job…the timing was just awful. But after last night’s run, I can say it was one of the best runs I have ever had and it seriously motivated me to hit the streets!

Here is one of the pics from my run! Thanks for reading everyone and I will talk to you this coming week! Everyone have a FAB weekend!!

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Hill XO