Tuesday, December 30, 2014

A look back at 2014

Another year is coming to a close. Every year I am floored at how fast time is passing by. Just when I think things are going to slow down, it's as if the clocks are on overdrive and another few weeks have passed in a blink of an eye. You know time is flying when your kids make mention of it. My 9-year old son has repeatedly said how fast time is flying. He's 9! If it's going fast for him, we obviously need to slow things down a bit. Which is why I'd like to spend some time looking back.

Before Finish Chelsea's Run 5K 
2014 has been a good year for Sole Health and Wellness and all of our Sole Mates! Our first program of the year began in January and trained for Finish Chelsea's Run 5K on March 1st. This evening program met entirely in the dark each week but they didn't let the cold and dark of winter stop them from reaching their goals. In fact, race morning was the first time we saw each other in the light of day! And this particular race day brought with it a huge rain storm, preventing one of our members from joining. But the clouds parted just in time for the race and it turned out to be a beautiful morning (that is, until it started raining just as the 5K ended). It was great to see the success and achievements of this special group. This was the first time we did a program for this race because when I learned about its story, it was too late to do a program for 2013. But I knew I wanted to support this race as soon as I heard about Chelsea King. If you don't know about Chelsea King, the local young woman for whom the race is named, be sure to read about her story and the reason behind Chelsea's Light Foundation. And local runners, send your friends and family to us to train for the 2015 Finish Chelsea's Run 5K. It's an amazing community event and one that we are very proud to be a part of. Take a look at all of our photos from the race.

Post-race bliss for our CA 10/20 runners!

February brought the inaugural running of the California 10/20 10-mile race. This program actually started in November of 2013, so their awesomeness actually spans between 2013 and 2014 ;) Honestly, this was a great race and a great group of people. These runners were mostly beginners and this was the first double-digit race for many of them, which was very exciting to be a part of. I actually ran this race with my group, which I rarely do since I want to be at the finish line to see everyone. Because this was the first time this race was put on, I needed to check it out to be sure it was one to come back to and train another group to run it again. So for me, this was a chance to be both coach and participant and enjoy the best of both worlds. Race day was a little cloudy and rainy at the start but in true San Diego fashion, the clouds parted and sun shined on us as we ran through Del Mar, Solana Beach and Encinitas. And we were lucky enough to make it into the Marathon Show podcast for the race. It was great finally meeting Joe after listening to him for so long. You can listen to the podcast here. Excuse my bumbling as I was a little star struck that I was talking to Joe. Such a great guy! We're at about 19:00 into the podcast. The race itself was very well done, which isn't usually the case for a first-time race. But these organizers had their game faces on and we all had a blast. Can't wait for our current 10/20 runners to toe the line this coming February. Take a look at all our photos from the race.

Pre-race love fest with the crew!
The weekend after the CA 10/20 began our 10K and Half Marathon group. A few weeks later, our 5K group began as well. All three groups were training for the Girls on the Go 5K, 10K and Half Marathon in May. This was the second year we did a program for this race since 2013's event was a lot of fun. And the 2014 race did not disappoint. All of our runners did a fabulous job and for many of them, their respective race was their first time doing that distance. This race takes place in Mission Bay, which is always a great place for a race. The course is flat and you have several opportunities to see your runners as they make their way through the course. We had such a great group this go around and it was a great time for me to see them all reach their respective goals. It's always bittersweet when my Spring programs end. I take the summers off to be with my family, which is amazing. But I end up really missing all these crazy people I've become really close to. But it definitely gives us all something to look forward to when that Fall program begins! Take a look at all our photos from the Girls on the Go race.

It was always a celebration with this group!
The Fall brought another program training for another first-time race: the Celebration 10K and Half Marathon. We began in August and over the course of our 12-weeks, we definitely had some highs and lows. The race date was changed to a month later. Then the race distance was changed (from an 8K to a 10K) but we all took it in stride (get it??). There were some injuries along the way and some excessively hot long runs, but everyone overcame their respective issues and rocked the house on race day. They truly celebrated all they worked for over the course of the 12 weeks and earned all the kudos, accolades and yahoos bestowed upon them. This program was also the first time we partnered with our friend and Sole Mate Chris Vettel over at Perfect Balance Therapeutic Massage in San Marcos. Registration for the program included a 50-minute massage as well as a discount on a second massage, in addition to other goodies they received from us along the way. Working with Chris was a blast and I know this was only the first of what will be many partnerships with her in the future. Take a look at all the photos from the Celebration Run 10K and Half Marathon.

Loved running with these ladies!
Our last 5K program of 2014 was also a first for us! This was the first program in which we partnered with local running store Running Center in Carlsbad. I first went to the Running Center back in June of 2011 when my husband and I were here house hunting before our actual move across the country. I fell in love with the local store, known for their amazing shoe-fit process, work with the community and overall expertise in all things running. It reminded me so much of the early days of Fleet Feet Sports, Gaithersburg, where I worked for several years in several capacities, right up until the move here to San Diego. Anyway, working together, the Running Center and I hosted a 5K program training for the Oceanside Turkey Trot 5K on Thanksgiving Day. This program was so much fun and every week was such an adventure. While the 5K distance wasn't a new one for most of the runners, they were all coming back to running either after a break or really wanted to learn the "right way" to run, so they could run forever. Watching their transformation over the course of the 8 weeks was truly inspiring. I can't wait to partner with the Running Center again in 2015 as we team up to offer another 5K program training for the Finish Chelsea's Run 5K. Be sure to join us!

And let's not forget all of our wonderful private running and nutrition clients we've had the pleasure to work with throughout 2014. There were pounds lost, age groups won, new race distances conquered, new countries and continents run and a couple of Boston Qualifiers. It was wonderful learning everyone's stories and being a part of their goals. It's always an honor for me to come along with my runners as they work towards something great, whether it's their first race or 500th, their longest distance ever or their fastest. I absolutely cannot wait to see what's in store for all of them in 2015. As for Sole Health and Wellness? Be on the lookout for exciting new training programs, personal training packages and some strength training classes in 2015. We'll help you run your best and strongest this year and in the years to come!

As you look back on 2014, remember the highs, respect the lows and learn from them. Not every year is great for everyone but know that downhills lead back uphill and eventually those hills even out. I wish all of you a very happy and healthy New Year. You have all made 2014 especially amazing for me and I am looking forward to working and running with you in 2015! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Seven stocking stuffers in the seven days before Christmas!

We're in the home stretch before Christmas. If you're anything like me, you've bought all your gifts and are ready for Christmas morning. For some reason though, there's always a scramble to find something for the stockings. I don't know why this always happens because, in our house, the gifts in the stocking are just as exciting as what's under the tree. Therefore, with just a week left before the big day, here are some ideas for last minute stocking stuffers. You don't have to buy them online, just pop over to your local running store or sporting goods shop like REI. The fitness enthusiast in your life will thank you for it!

1. Nutrition items. If your runner has a favorite nutrition item, throw a few in their stocking. You can get most popular fuels in running stores or REI and even at the grocery store. Take a peak in their fuel belt to see what they like. Or, use this as a chance to give them something new to try. You don't have to go crazy. Items like Honey Stinger chews, Mamma Chia squeezes and Jelly Belly Sports Beans can all be found in the grocery store.

2. LED lights. These are a running must-have, especially in the winter when the chances of your runner hitting the roads in the dark are greater. Most running stores carry LED lights that can clip onto your outer layer. There are steady lights, flashing lights, red lights, green lights. Really, the possibilities are endless. Check out Knuckle Lights that you hold while running (just don't hold on too tightly as that can add unneeded tension to your run), available at most Dick's Sporting Goods. Other lights such as those from Nathan can be picked up at REI as well as your local running store.

3. Anti-chafe product. We runners chafe. It's an unfortunate side effect to an otherwise healthy addiction. There are a million anti-chafe products out there. Ask 10 different runners and they'll probably give you 10 different products. My favorite is RunGoo which is made locally here in Encinitas and can be found at a bunch of California stores and beyond. You can also buy it online but it may not arrive in time. Other options that can be found at most sporting good stores are products like Body Glide and Sports Shield from 2Toms.

4. Magazine subscription. While print materials are becoming less and less popular, there's something exciting when my Runner's World arrives in the mail. I love taking 30 minutes to read through all the latest-and-greatest news, events and inspirational stories each month. I also like to refer back to my older issues when I know there's something that will help a client's or my training. Sign up your runner for a year of magazines from Runner's World, Running Times, Trail Runner Magazine or any other health and fitness magazine. Buy one issue to place in the stocking with a note that a year's worth of info is on the way!

5. Massage tools. Any runner can benefit from regular massage. And while seeing a massage therapist that knows how to work with runners is your best bet for staying loose and preventing injury, it's not always feasible. That's where having an arsenal of massage tools comes in handy. Tools like the Moji 360 Mini Massager, The Stick and products from Trigger Point such as the GRID mini foam roller, are an absolute must for athletes and non-athletes alike. You can find these products at most running and sporting goods stores. The only limitation is the size of your stocking!

6. Gift cards. Back in the day, gift cards had the reputation of being impersonal, boring and lame. Not anymore and especially not for runners. We runners are a peculiar bunch and we like what we like. We have special socks, shoes, clothes, hats and gloves that we use and we only want certain ones. And forget about sizing. We like things to fit in a certain way and often have to try things on before we buy them (especially running shoes). Instead of making yourself crazy trying to figure out the size, color, brand, fabric, etc., get a gift card to your local running store such as The Running Center in Carlsbad, and let your athlete choose exactly what they want. Just Google "local running stores" to find one in your area that gets good reviews.

7. Gift certificate for coaching. Coaching isn't just for elite or professional runners. Anyone can benefit from having a professional take a look at their form, assess their training plan, give advice and recommendations and so much more. I offer gift certificates for private coaching, my running programs and nutritional counseling. If your loved one is looking to take their running to the next level, tackle a new race distance or wants to give running a try, think about getting them a gift certificate for some one-on-one sessions with me or a spot in one of my upcoming running programs. And nutrition is just as important as the training, which is why I offer gift certificates for nutritional counseling as well. And you don't have to be local to San Diego to work with me. Just email me and we can discuss your options!

Nothing tells someone you love them than giving them something that helps them lead a healthier, happier lifestyle. We all know being active helps you live a long and happy life. Therefore, by supporting their fitness you're saying you want them to be around for a long time :) That's the best gift ever!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A new 5K program in the New Year!

Join us as we train for a race that is near and dear to our heart! We're teaming up with The Running Center, Carlsbad once again to bring a program training for Finish Chelsea's Run 5K.

In this laid-back, supportive, non-competitive and FUN program, runners get a detailed 8-week training program, weekly coached runs, unlimited contact with the coach, information seminars (including info on running form, nutrition, injury prevention and more), discounts on running gear from the Running Center, product samples, technical t-shirt and much more! Race registration isn't included in the program!

The price for the program is $60.00. This price does not include race registration and the program dates and location are subject to change. This price will increase to $75 on January 1st, so register today!

It's time to challenge yourself in new ways this New Year. But instead of just saying you'll "get more active," be specific. You WILL run a 5K! You WILL meet new people and you WILL achieve a new goal. This is so much more than a running program! 

Program starts January 14th. Get all the info you need on our website!

Contact us with any questions you may have!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Sweet potato, fennel and carrot soup

In case you haven't noticed, I like soup. Like a smoothie, it's the perfect meal. You can put lots of nutritious, healthy, delectable foods together, that perhaps you wouldn't really eat much on their own, and blend them up into a fabulous meal. This soup is no exception.

Sweet potatoes should be a staple in anyone's pantry. Potatoes in general get a bad rap because carbs themselves get a bad rap. But, let's face it, there are good carbs and bad carbs. Processed, refined carbohydrates are bad. Think white bread, pastas and baked goods. Carb sources that are whole grain, whole food and in their most natural form? That's the good stuff. Sweet potatoes are high in vitamin A, vitamin B5, B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and are rich in carotenoids (powerful antioxidants known to decrease the chances of developing certain cancers, such as breast cancer). Add some fennel, which is also high in antioxidants such as quercitin and vitamin C, as well as other vitamins and minerals like iron, potassium and magnesium, and you have a combo that will help reduce inflammation, boost immunity and taste pretty darn fantastic. The carrot adds a little more sweetness (as well as vitamins and minerals) and the garlic, onion and ginger will also provide some anti-inflammatory goodness. Whip up a batch of this soup, add some hemp seeds or other protein source and have it after a workout for a great recovery meal.


2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
1-2 fennel bulbs, cored and sliced, fronds removed
1-2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced
2 gloves garlic, minced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 quart vegetable broth
1-2 tsp ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste

Because you're ultimately going to blend the ingredients, don't feel obligated to chop your veggies to perfection.

In a non-stick pot, add 1 tbs water and heat on medium-high heat until the water bubbles and moves along the pot. Add the onion, fennel, garlic and carrot. Saute for a few minutes, until the onion and fennel soften but do not brown. Add the broth, sweet potatoes and ginger. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes are softened. After simmering, I added my soup to the Vitamix to blend but you can also use an immersion blender and blend it right in the pot. Or, if those methods are not possible, you can add everything to a food processor.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Butternut Sqush + Hemp Seed Soup

It's raining here in San Diego! Most of us are doing a happy dance because we desperately need the rain. But it is kinda cold. Which means it's time for some warm, yummy soup. We make a lot of soup in this house because it's quick and easy and a great way to sneak in all the vitamins and minerals you need. Today's delightful soup addition is Butternut Squash and Hemp Seed soup.

This soup is as healthy as it is delicious. Butternut squash is packed with vitamin A, the vitamin B complex vitamins, vitamin C, iron, zinc, copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, just to name a few. Hemp seeds are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats and vitamins and minerals. Combine the two? You have a healthy and deliciously filling soup that everyone will love.
Here's how to make it:


2-3 medium butternut squash, cut in half and seeds removed
1/2 cup hulled hemp seeds (I like Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts)
2 cups filtered water

Preheat your oven to 425. Place the halved squash, cut side up, on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast for about 45-60 minutes. After roasting, cool slightly. Scoop out all the squash. To your high-speed blender, add the water, squash and hemp seeds. Blend until at the consistency you like. You can add spices or salt if you'd like. I didn't add anything as I really like the nutty flavor added by the hemp seeds.

If you don't have a high-speed blender, you can place your ingredients into a large pot and use an immersion blender or you can add everything to your food processor. Whatever is easiest.