Thursday, August 30, 2012

Run with Sole this Fall! All new programs announced!

Wanna Girl's Night Out? How about one every week? We're redefining the Girl's Night Out with our all-new Women's 5K and 10K Programs! Don't worry, you can still have wine after the run.

Ask yourself this: Have you always wanted to be a "runner?" Have you always tried to run but could never quite get it? Maybe you were a runner in a former life and you're ready to get back into it. Or are you an experienced runner ready to take it to the next level?

If you answered "yes" (or even "maybe!") to any of those questions, it's time to get things in gear and join one of our new Fall programs. Here's the info:

What:      Women's-only 5K Beginner and 10K Intermediate Running Programs

When:     September 18th through November 11th

Where:    The Fountain Park in San Elijo Hills, San Marcos (in town center)

Time:       Every Tuesday beginning 9/18 (5K program) or
                Every Wednesday beginning 9/19 (10K program) at 6:30PM

Price:      $85*
Register online:

We are offering a Women's-only Beginning 5K Program and an Intermediate 10K Program starting September 18th (the 5K Program) and September 19th (the 10K Program). These women-only programs will be fun, supportive and just what you need to accomplish your goal of running a 5K or 10K race. We will be training for the Athleta Iron Girl 10K and 5K at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on November 11, 2012. Train with us and you'll have the chance to meet new people, become a better runner and have a blast! Runners will receive a detailed training plan, weekly coached runs, informational seminars, discounts of running gear and so much more!

Please contact Coach Jenn at with any questions you may have!

We are also running a super special on our nutrition programs. All members of our programs (either group program members or private clients) are eligible for nutrition counseling at a HUGE discount. All our Sole Mates are able to add on a nutritional evaluation with or without ongoing nutrition counseling for 50% off the prices listed. You will receive an in-depth evaluation and a nutrition plan developed specifically for your needs that includes customized menus, specific meals and shopping lists (in general, what to eat and when to eat it!) to compliment your training, daily activities and other goals. See our website for more details and contact us with any questions!

Take advantage of this awesome deal! Your nutrition plan should be an integral part of your training efforts. You have to fuel your body appropriately in order to do all the things you'd like to do: from running errands to running a race. You would never put cheap, nasty gasoline in your car, would you? Why would you put cheap, nasty food in your body? Think of your body as a machine. You need to care for it with the right fuel in order for it to run well. Together we can develop a nutrition plan to help you feel good and reach your fitness goals! Whether your goals are to lose weight, get stronger, set a race Personal Best or simply change your current habits, we will work together to develop the plan that is best for you. Just as there is no "one-size-fits-all" training program, there isn't a "one-size-fits-all" nutrition plan.

Remember, you will reach your goals when you run with Sole!

*Price does not include race registration

Monday, August 20, 2012

America's Finest City Half Marathon and 5K

Yesterday marked the 35th running of the America's Finest City Half Marathon and 5K. It also marked the goal race for Sole Health and Wellness's second Run + Yoga Club with Ignite Yoga Fusion.

What started as a small running group/training program back in May, ended as a small family yesterday. Over the course of 12 weeks, we got to know one another, listened to some insane stories, discussed both silly and serious issues, suffered some, cried a little but laughed a lot. I am so happy I have the privilege and opportunity to meet such wonderful people for a living, helping them set and reach goals they never thought they could. Everyone found a new confidence, new friends and the belief that they really can do anything they set their minds to. And while it's always a little sad to see a training program come to an end, this isn't the end of the line for this group. I know friendships were made, running partnerships were forged and new goals will be set and reached. There are miles to go for this group!

Now, onto the race report. It was so incredibly hot. The heat, humidity and unrelenting sun will always be the first things that come to mind when I think of yesterday's race. We San Diegans are not used to hot, and certainly not humid, weather. Even though it's only been a year since I transplanted from the East Coast, I got used to the cool, dry weather this area has to offer very quickly. Even when I did live back east, I didn't do well in humidity. If I would classify anything in the world as my kryptonite, it would be humidity. I do not function well in it, and I definitely do not race well in it.

The morning started off with a beautiful sunset overlooking San Diego Bay from the Cabrillo National Monument (the start of the half marathon). Unfortunately, I wasn't able to see our 5K runners at all since their race began and ended in Balboa Park. Even though the half marathon also finished in Balboa Park, our 5Kers were long gone by then :) And my coaching counterpart (aka my husband John) ran with the 5K group, he neglected to get any photos. Oh well.

I was only able to see a few of our half marathon runners before the start and during the race. It was really chaotic and I wasn't able to see everyone. I am really disappointed about that because I love to see everyone start and finish their races. But it wasn't meant to be this time. But those I did see were doing really well and running strong, despite the heat, humidity and blazing sun. 

Overall, I think the AFC is a good race. It is the 3rd "jewel" in the Triple Crown series, with the Carlsbad Half Marathon in January and the La Jolla Half Marathon in April serving as the first and second jewels, respectively, in the series. A few of our runners were completing the Triple Crown at AFC this year, including myself. In addition to running some of the race with my group, I also ran with my good friend Mary, who also completed this year's Triple Crown.

Those Triple Crown runners received a special fourth medal (in addition to the 3 medals earned from Carlsbad, La Jolla and AFC). In my opinion, the Triple Crown medal is downright gorgeous. I love it and I'm pretty proud to be wearing it!

They've been putting the AFC race on for 35 years now, so they should have things down to a science. But, as with any large race, there are some things that I think could use improvement. For instance, the first 3 miles of the race have plenty of water stations. But in the span between miles 3 and 6+ and 10+, there was not any water. While I always bring sports drink with me for this very reason (and advise my runners to do the same), not everyone does this. I felt really badly for people that didn't have any fluids with them. It was too hot for there not to be more water stations along the course. Granted, there were some stretches of the course where having a water station would have been impossible, it wasn't entirely out of the question. There were people going down left and right, literally, and having the extra water stations could have helped those poor runners.

The finish line area was fun but a little chaotic, in my opinion. Thankfully the area within Balboa Park that was used for the finish line and post-race party was large enough to accommodate the 9000+ half marathon and 5K finishers. With the majority of runners and spectators parking in parking areas within Balboa Park, though, leaving the race was a bit of a nightmare.

The race course is definitely one of the pluses of the AFC. It starts in Point Loma, runs along Harbor Drive and the San Diego Bay, runs up through the Gas Lamp District of downtown and finishes in Balboa Park. There are plenty of areas with something interesting to look at, hopefully distracting you from the weather! I would classify the course as rolling hills. The course map would lead you to believe it has a large downhill section as the majority of the race, but it isn't really that downhill. And the last hill of the course, between miles 11 and 12, is definitely manageable. Really, the only thing bad about that hill is that it happens so late in the race. But the last mile is only a slight climb before you turn into Balboa Park and run downhill to the finish.

Even with it's shortcomings, and the hideous weather, I still plan on coaching programs targeting this race in the future. It's a great hometown race that fills you with pride as you run through what really is America's Finest City.

Speaking of future programs, we have some exciting new programs for the fall. We have Women's 5K and 10K programs, as well as another Run + Yoga training program. Check out our website for all the details and to register. 

Happy running!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Halfway there (and then some)!

Our Run + Yoga Club has just over 4 weeks until their goal race: The America's Finest City Half Marathon and 5K. They have been working so hard all summer; we are so proud of them. For the past 8 weeks they've trudged up hills, run in the rare San Diego heat and humidity and sweated their you-know-whats off in their Yoga for Athletes class. They've blown through the halfway point and are in their final weeks! They will kill this race!

I love halfway points. In fact, my runs kind of center around them. I don't allow any talk of food or coffee until the halfway point in a run. It's too painful to start thinking about food too early in a long run :) Seriously, though, I love cutting a run in half and when I get to the halfway point, I know there's less ahead of me than what I've already covered. It's a huge motivator for me. I've always felt running is just as much mental as it is physical (sometimes more so) and anything that gives you a mental edge (like breaking a run in half or even smaller chunks) makes things seem a lot more manageable. Knowing there is less ahead of you isn't quite as overwhelming.

My group has definitely worked through their running stumbling blocks (mental and otherwise). They are well on their way to reaching their goals. This past Sunday the Half Marathoners put another 10 miles in the mile bank and the 5Kers ran their first 3-mile run without walk breaks. Tonight the HMers will do their first speed workout as they sharpen their running skills before their taper and the 5Kers will put in another 2.5 miles in the bank. Everyone is doing really well. It's hard to run in the summer. Between the heat, vacations, weird schedules, etc., sometimes fitting in a run is too difficult. These runners have juggled running with life and have made this whole running-training-for-a-race thing look easy!

I can't wait to see everyone cross that finish line in 4 weeks!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Running With Sole

This morning was the goal race for my Evenings in San Elijo Hills Beginner 5K program and the Run + Yoga Club Beginner 5K Program with Ignite Yoga Fusion. Ten weeks ago, my runners made the decision to change their life by learning how to run in a fun, supportive environment. Over the course of the programs, we've gotten to know one another well, overcame some motivation issues and learned that it's ok to do something for yourself.

We ran the City of Encinitas 5K, which started and finished at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. It was a cool, overcast morning. Just about perfect. The marine layer wasn't thick, so it wasn't humid. Really, it was a nice morning weather-wise.

I think this was the perfect ending for the newest Sole Health and Wellness running program alumni! To my runners: I wish you nothing but happiness in your new found running career. Whether you become a runner for life or dabble in it from time to time, know that what you accomplished over the course of this program is something that will stay with you forever. You set a goal and reached it, something that is difficult to do with jobs, kids and other obligations. I hope the confidence you gained by reaching your goals permeates through to other aspects of your life. You can do anything you want!

If you're thinking about joining one of my upcoming programs, you're in luck! We're starting another Run + Yoga Club with Ignite Yoga Fusion. Starting May 29th, we will be training for the America's Finest City Half Marathon OR 5K. So, this program is perfect for the beginning runner wanting to do their first 5K or the experienced runner ready to conquer the half marathon. There will be an information session at Ignite this Tuesday, May 22nd, at 6:00pm if you'd like to meet me and the Ignite folks and have any questions you may have answered. You can learn more about the program and register on Sole's website. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Team for Kids

You all know about the crazy year we've had: having twins, John getting a new job, moving across the country, etc. It's been a whirlwind but we're feeling a little more settled everyday. Part of what has helped me get back on track here in California is exploring the roads and trails as I run. Running has always been my therapy and a way for me to connect with life, and it has been no different here in our new home.

As I was looking ahead to what races I wanted to do this fall, I realized that my fall marathon will be my 10th! I am pretty excited about this, especially since it's been so difficult training with everything we have going on. I decided I wanted to do something special.

I decided to make the ING New York City Marathon my 10th marathon. It is, by far, my favorite marathon and there isn't any place else I'd like to celebrate this goal. I'll get to see my family and some friends and go all out. But I felt this wasn't really enough. So I decided to do some fundraising for the New York Road Runners Youth Programs and Team for Kids. Team for Kids are volunteers who raise funds for critical services provided by New York Road Runners Youth Programs. These programs combat childhood obesity and empower youth development via running and character-building programs in low-income schools and community centers in New York City, throughout the country, and in South Africa. You know how helping kids has always been a constant in my life, whether it was through my work with Girls on the Run, coaching kids privately, volunteering at kids races, or helping my own kid become more confident and empowered through running.

I'm asking you all for your help in bringing much-needed youth programs to the kids who really need them. These are kids who live in low-income areas and don't have access to free programs aimed at helping them live healthier lives. And what these kids learn in the programs will go back to their families, indirectly helping thousands more people be healthy. This isn't just about providing fun sports programs. This is about giving them the tools to make healthy choices, while keeping them safe and off the streets.

You can read more about my goals, what Team for Kids and the NYRR Youth Programs do and to donate to our cause by going to my personal fundraising page here: No amount is too small and EVERY bit helps! Please forward this info to anyone who you feel would like to give back to a wonderful organization. The more people we reach, the more kids we help.

Whether you have kids, work with kids, or know a kid, I hope you'll join us as we change lives through running! Remember, running changes everything!

THANK YOU and happy running!

Monday, April 30, 2012

La Jolla Half Marathon

Yesterday I ran the second jewel in the Triple Crown race series: the La Jolla Half Marathon. This was my fifth half marathon since giving birth to twins last year, all in preparation for my first post-twins marathon, the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon on June 3rd.

The race starts at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and runs south to the La Jolla Cove. Most of the race is along scenic Highway 101 (also known as Pacific Coast Highway). The race also runs through Torrey Pines State Park. This is a beautiful park open to the public with great trails and views of the ocean. It's also home to one of the most famous golf courses. And, it is also home to one of the most hideous hills I have ever had the displeasure of running.

I was already pretty familiar with most of the race route. My running partner and I run along Highway 101 every Saturday for our long run. We start in Encinitas and run south. For our longer long runs, we have to run the hills of Torrey Pines. I've run through the park twice now. But on a training run, we stop at the half way point to eat and take a little rest. During a race, this isn't an option. We also run at least a minute to a minute and a half slower for our long runs than our usual pace, not to mention our race pace.

The weather yesterday was overcast and in the 50s and 60s throughout the morning. It was pretty much perfect weather. It wasn't humid, which is often the case when it's overcast here. There was a nice breeze coming off the ocean, which kept the temperatures manageable. We parked at the Fairgrounds, where the race started, and planned on taking the shuttle bus the organizers offer from the race finish in La Jolla back to the Fairgrounds.

The start was great. While everyone is packed together at the start, it didn't feel overly crowded as some other races often feel. Because the race starts on Jimmy Duarante Blvd., which is fairly wide, it was quite a roomy start. There wasn't a huge amount of bobbing and weaving in the beginning, which is always a good thing since it burns a lot of much-needed energy.

After about the first mile or so, we were on 101 and running along the coast. We hit Torrey Pines just before mile 6. As we were entering the park, I had to leap over a snake! This was my first encounter with a snake here and it startled me. It was definitely a race first. It looked to be baby and it was curled up in a pothole of the street. I don't think it was a rattle snake and I don't even know if it was alive. I didn't stop to examine it. But it was definitely weird!

Running through Torrey Pines killed me. As an East Coaster and used to running pretty flat courses, the hills of San Diego still get me. I've been running them for 8 months now and while I'm definitely stronger than when I first started, I still have to do a lot of hill work. After Torrey Pines, I saw my husband and kids, which always gives me a little boost. Though it wasn't enough to really get me back on my race plan. It took me quite some time to recover from those hills in Torrey Pines. Regardless, I managed to recover and run the rest of the race relatively well.

After the Torrey Pines, the route winds it way through La Jolla, passing UCSD, the Salk Institute and Scripps Hospital. While not the most scenic part of the race, I was pretty familiar with the route and it was pretty flat. We then ran down La Jolla Shores Dr., passing by Scripps Pier (a popular surfing spot). That section was a steep downhill, but one I enjoyed. We then turned into and ran through downtown La Jolla. The race finished at the Cove in downtown La Jolla, but not without another annoying incline. There is a great park and that's where the finish line, post-race festivities, beer garden and vendor booths were placed.

My main gripe with this race was the shuttle bus fiasco. We ended up waiting almost an hour for the shuttle bus to take us back to the Fairgrounds. I don't know if they just didn't have enough buses, more people were taking the bus than usual or some other reason, but we waited a long time. It was cold, we were hungry and tired. Once we got on the bus, we made it back to the Fairgrounds quickly and once we were back in our car and on the way home, all was right with the world.

Bottom line, it was a good race and I'm glad I did it. Though, I probably won't be doing it again any time soon :) I'm not discouraged that I didn't run my best race or had trouble with the hills. It's important to learn from bad runs and I know from this race, I need to focus on strength training more and adding more hill work. I have been focusing on building my mileage base while only doing strength training sporadically. I need to build more strength, especially my core which was annihilated from having my twins. And now that my base mileage has been pretty well established, I can do some hill and speed work more regularly.

That's the key: if you've had a bad run or race, learn from it. Be disappointed, but let it go and try to figure out why the run didn't go the way you wanted it to. I'll be posting some "bad run" tips soon, so stay tuned!

Until then,

Happy Running!



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Meet the San Diego Running Examiner!

When I was in DC, I had the distinct pleasure to be the Washington, DC Running Examiner. This allowed me to examine the local running scene and share my discoveries with my readers.

Now I get to do the same thing here in San Diego! Last week I came on the scene as the San Diego Running Examiner. It's been great so far! A lot of the things I do I feel like I can make into an article to share with the local running community. Everyone needs an insider's view, right? :)

In addition to reporting on local races, running stores, events and local runners, I plan to write about general running issues, national and international running news and more.

I hope you read along with me as I explore everything this great place has to offer us runners. Really, there is no better place to discover!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Run Like A President

In honor of President's Day, we thought it would be fun to see which of our nation's leaders shared in our love of running.

Former President Jimmy Carter jogged regularly through his presidency and still likes to take his running shoes for a spin every now and then. He even made the Official Jogging Handbook :)

It's pretty well known that Bill Clinton was a runner, even if his most famous runs included stops at McDonald's (pre-heart ailments, of course). All joking aside, it has been well documented that Clinton is a regular runner and while in office, he often took other heads of state, dignitaries and colleagues out for a run through Washington, DC.

No comment on those shorts!
As you can see, Al Gore was not only Clinton's presidential running mate, but often his running partner. In fact, Al Gore ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 1997.

Former President George W. Bush was also a marathoner. He ran the 1993 Houston Marathon in under 4 hours. Not bad, GW!

President Obama is not only an avid basketball player, but he's also a runner. He better keep training though, if he wants to be as fit as his wife! Michelle Obama has to be the fittest First Lady we've ever seen!

We've even seen a few Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates hit the road. Former Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin is an avid runner. She's finished the 2005 Big Wild Life Runs Marathon (formally known as the Humpy's Marathon) in Alaska in under 4 hours. Her running even made the pages of Runner's World in their monthly "I'm A Runner" feature. Pretty good, Ms. Palin.

Former Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards is also a pretty serious runner. He's run 5 marathons, his best being the Marine Corps Marathon in just over 3 and a half hours and has also graced the cover of Runner's World.

And there's always the Running Presidents at Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals baseball team. At every Nats home game, George, Teddy, Abe and Tom race during the 7th inning stretch. It's really a sight to behold and if you're ever in DC during baseball season, you should check out a game just for that.

Other famous running politicians? Bill Frist, Michael Dukakis and Mike Huckabee are all marathon finishers while Mitt Romney and Rick Perry are running for President in between their morning runs. There have been several running politicians over the years, who are quite literally running our nation. Now, if these folks can manage to get in a run in between Committee meetings and press conferences, then so can we :)

Happy running!

Monday, February 6, 2012

What do stand up paddle boarding and running have in common?

It may not be a question you ask yourself often, but in case you've ever wondered...the answer is A LOT!

Yesterday my friend and I took a stand up paddle (SUP) boarding lesson in the Carlsbad Lagoon. I am not a water sport fan. I like to go to the beach, I like to go to the pool, but I'm not a water sport person. I don't surf. I don't swim that well. In fact, in the triathlons I've done, the swim was the ultimate challenge. But my friend is in town and we wanted to do something fun that we'd never done before.

We met Matt and Ryan from 2 Stand Up Guys at the Lagoon. Right off the bat, they were fun and friendly and made us feel at ease. They gave us excellent preparation instruction and once they thought we were ready to get in the water, we did.

Getting into the water and onto the board was no big deal. Standing up was a little worrisome for me. But I was up and paddling before too long. Matt stuck with me while Ryan was with my friend, Lynne (who was a natural!). As we were moving along, Matt could tell I was nervous and immediately tried to distract me with stories. We talked about where he was from (he grew up in Montgomery County, funny is that? We JUST moved from MoCo!), how he became a SUP instructor, how he met his business partner, Ryan, etc. He made me talk about myself, how we ended up in San Diego, etc. It was good. This is a tactic I use with me runners too. Get them talking so they can't think about what they're doing (and it's a good way for me to tell if they're struggling). But then he started talking about the mental aspect of SUP and how most people who are not comfortable in the water have to get over the doubt. That we have control over the board but it's the doubt we place on ourselves that prevents us from being successful.

I tell this to my runners all the time. The only doubts we have are the ones we place on ourselves. No one else places the doubt but us. We have to tell ourselves that we're in control over whether or not we can get through a run and nothing else. Matt went on about stamina, endurance, pacing ourselves, etc. It was a little strange for me to be hearing the same things I say to my runners.

What was most interesting is the technique in which you use to paddle board. You bend your knees, keep good upright posture, but have a slight forward lean (ahem, proper running form sounds pretty similar, right?). You need to look in front of you to where you want to go. When you look down, you change your form, which throws off your balance, increasing the likelihood of you falling. Again, this is exactly what you should do while running.

How did I fare? I did pretty well. I did fall in once but that was because I didn't turn my board fast enough when we entered the marina and I crashed into the dock. I scraped up my arm and leg but am fine for the most part. After Matt explained the whole looking down thing, it started to come together. There was even a moment when we were paddling along that I felt like I was in control. It was a fun morning!

I have to say that the experience was much better than I had anticipated. Once I realized that there really wasn't anything to worry about and I had more control over the situation than previously thought, I felt a lot better. Who knows, maybe stand up paddle boarding will be my new cross training activity. It was definitely a great total body workout. If nothing else, it helped me get over some of the apprehension I have when it comes to water sports. I'm not saying I'm going to become the next big thing, but instead of watching, I may actually get in on the fun next time. The whole point is to be open minded and just see where it can take you.

What is the moral of this story? Have confidence in yourself. You may think you can't do something but that's mostly because you've never tried it before. The fear of the unknown is a powerful thing. Don't let it prevent you from moving forward. You never know how successful you'll be unless you try. And if you fall, just get right back on your board and try again :)

Happy running!

Cardiff Kook 5K & 10K

I have found my first race here that I hope to do every year!

Yesterday we ran the Cardiff Kook Run 5K and it was a blast! The Cardiff Kook is a statue of a surfer sitting on Highway 101, that has become a symbol of the lifestyle of the area. It's real name is The Magic Carpet Ride but the locals have embraced it as the Kook, often dressing it up in various costumes. We run by it every Saturday on our long run and I actually look forward to seeing it and the outfit it may be wearing at the time. When it was announced that there would be a race, I was all for it. I know proceeds from the race will help restore the Kook, keeping it as kooky as possible.

Can't beat this for a race start!
The race started at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, ran through some side streets and then out to 101. The 5K turned around before the Kook but the 10K ran past the Kook. It was a great course but a little tight at times with all the people. The right lane of 101 was closed to cars for the race in areas, so it wasn't too bad for the first half of the race. But at the turnaround, it looked as though the lane was no longer completely closed and runners had to avoid oncoming traffic. And the water stop was also at the turnaround, causing more congestion. If I had a gripe, it would be that area. There should have been more space for the turnaround as it could have been a bad situation with the oncoming traffic.

To honor the Kook, the race also included a costume contest. There were some great costumes out there. Cowboys and Indians, sharks, a group of very fast women dressed as Flamingos, Ghandi, Batman (there were several super heroes represented), pirates, bumble bees and more. But don't let the costumes fool you! There were some serious runners out there as well. The winner of the 10K did it in 31 minutes and change and the winner of the 5K did so in just over 16 minutes. Whether you're looking for a fast time or a fun time, this race is one where you can have both!

We got our Kook on!
A dear friend of mine is in town and we were just planning on running it for fun, so we decided to run with my twin daughters in their stroller and just have a great time. My husband and son didn't officially run, but my son did cross the finish line with us. We didn't wear costumes, but I think next year that is definitely a possibility. Look for the entire Gill family to toe the line in costume!

It was a beautiful morning and I'm already looking forward to doing this race again next year!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Carlsbad Half Marathon

Yesterday I did my first race here in California. While this wasn't my first race since having my twin girls, it was my first race as a local Californian. I was pretty excited for a number of reasons, and running with a good friend was top of the list.

This was my first time running this race and I have to say that it was a good one to do. It was very well organized, the water stations were well stocked and the crowd support was decent. The course started and finished at the mall in Carlsbad. It went from the mall, through Carlsbad Village and then onto Highway 101, which is along the coast. You can't beat the scenery. Running along the beach has got to be the best way to run a race. The breeze cools you off and the views definitely pass the time nicely. There were rolling hills, more than you would expect, but nothing that isn't too ridiculous. My neighborhood is far hillier.

The size of the field was manageable. After running Las Vegas, anything would be manageable. I think I heard there were about 10,000 people running both the full and half marathon, with the majority running the half. So, with the race size being relatively small, we were able to get good parking, use the restrooms in a timely manner and get into the start line with relatively little trouble. The one time it felt claustrophobic was making our way into Carlsbad Village (mile 1 of the race). The roads were a little narrow and it was tight since it was the beginning of the race and the field hadn't thinned out much yet. But this is common in the beginning of a race.

My race started off great. We set a good pace and we were feeling good. It was great running with my friend Mary. We met in September and our sons are in the same class at school. We have a lot in common and our husbands do as well. We've become really close and I'm so grateful to have found such a wonderful friend. I was really looking forward to running the race with her since we'd done the majority of our training together.

But after about 6 miles, my stomach decided it was time to throw a wrench in my race plan. This has happened before as I've been struggling with stomach issues since I had my first child in 2005. Pregnancy changed the way my body responded to sugar and I've been having problems ever since. I told Mary to go on ahead. There was no sense in screwing up her race. I had to make a pit stop and I didn't want her to waste time waiting for me.

I was so disappointed that, yet again, my stomach screwed things up. In the year after I had my son I was able to get things under control. I was able to get back into shape quickly and get the stomach issues resolved (for the most part) so that I could enjoy racing and even set PRs. However, my pregnancy with my twins really did a number on my body and I've been having a hard time getting back to where I'd like to be.

Under normal circumstances, I would beat myself up for my performance yesterday. Tell myself I'm a loser and I'm not fit to run, let alone coach anyone. If you haven't noticed, I'm super hard on myself. But yesterday during the race, I had to talk to myself as if I were a client. Here's how the conversation went:

"Jenn, think about where you were a year ago at this time. You were pregnant with twins, you had been on bed rest for 3 months at that point, with 3 months left to go, you had been through one surgery with another one looming and you had gestational diabetes. And let's not forget that once you actually got through the pregnancy and birth of those beautiful girls, you had to pack up your house, sell it, buy a new one and then move your family of 5 across the country. And once you got there you had to get everyone settled, get your son into a new school and deal with all that comes with that, deal with the ups and downs of caring for infants X two (read: be up all night and on the go all day), plus your husband started a new job AND you started a new business. You're still learning how to fit in endurance running in your life. And you're still coming back physically from having twins. That is very different from having one baby and it changes your body completely. You're basically starting over.  GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK."

So after my coach said all this to me, I felt a little better. I'm not a loser. I'm totally fit to run and my years of running and experience make me a great coach. In fact, these current struggles will make me an even better coach. Ok, yesterday's performance wasn't terrible. It was an accomplishment!

We are our own worst critics. Why is that? Why are we so hard on ourselves? Yes, setting goals is important for a number of reasons, but when we don't reach them, we shouldn't beat ourselves up to the point of wanting to throw in the towel. The greatest achievements in life are hardly ever reached on the first attempt. We have to work hard and keep trying. That's what I plan to do.

Friday, January 13, 2012

New Beginner 5K Running Program in San Elijo Hills!

We at Sole Health and Wellness are pleased to announce our first program for Spring 2012: the Beginner 5K Running Program in San Elijo Hills! 

“I’m not a runner,”“I can’t run,” and “Running is just not for me” are common phrases we hear. But we feel ANYONE can run as long as they go about it the right way. In our program you’ll learn all the ins and outs to help you be successful!  

The program is specifically for new and inexperienced runners. The program starts Feb 14th and will meet at the fountain in the San Elijo Hills town center every Tuesday at 10AM. Strollers are welcome and it's truly a beginner's program. No running experience is required. It's a fun, laid-back intro to running and we'll gradually build up to run a 5K at the end of the program. We're training for the San Marcos Fitness Roundup 5K on April 21st. The program is 10 weeks long, includes weekly coached runs, information sessions, weekly newsletters, a detailed training plan and more. The cost is $85, which is $8.50 a session! 

People can email me with questions at, they can learn about the company at and they can register for the program at

Can't wait to see you February 14th!