**Powerful Self Defense for Women** **End of Summer Tomato Salsa Salad**

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Dear Friends,

For many this is the last weekend of summer before school begins. I still get butterflies in my stomach this time of year remembering how I felt as a student, then parent and now mostly thinking of you and what you are feeling as summer ends. I can still remember the nerves, excitement and tears as I watched my children walk away from me and into a new year of learning and adventure. This year my son will be leaving soon for a semester at the American School of Paris. I still see him as a Kindergartner walking away from me with his blue book bag. If he had a good day he’d come home with a Happy Gram. My thoughts and prayers for you are that you end each day with a Happy Gram too! While we mourn the end of summer nights, mid-day happy hours, and lazy beach days, there’s something exciting about the approach of Fall. September brings a new year, a fresh start. You can reinvent yourself, make new friends, sign up for a race (had to slip that in) or elevate your career. So here’s to sweet summer memories and New Beginnings!

COUTURE CONDITIONING is going strong, and offering new opportunities too!

There will be no classes the week of August 22nd. My daughter Erin and I will be on the Los Gatos Creek trail most mornings, if you’d like to join us for an easy fun walk/run and strength workout! 🙂


*6:00AM Custom Fit Boot Camp is BACK! Beginning September 6th and every Tuesday and Thursday.

*9:00AM Custom Fit Boot Camp will continue to be offered Monday through Friday.

*For Private Sessions, Training Calendars (free), help with Special Events or coffee (my treat), call or message me anytime! 🙂

*Run Club. Free training run every Wednesday evening at 6:30PM. All levels welcome. Core work and Yoga included.

*On-line Fitness & Nutrition training and challenges every month.

*Team races every month for the new and experienced runner.

SAFETY TIPS for runners!

As you may have heard police in Michigan, New York, and Massachusetts are investigating three deaths of female runners over the course of nine days. None of the cases have been solved, though officials currently state they believe the killings are unrelated. The women were running during the day on familiar running trails. Tragic events like these remind us we live in an uncertain world and anything can happen at any time. As a runner, and a mom of two daughters who run, this hits close to home. For any female I’m sure it hits close to home. As I have been talking about this with my classes and friends, I was amazed that almost every woman had a story of feeling uncomfortable or threatened on a walk or run. Many of us, including me have experienced the creepy guy on the road or trail who caused us concern and some degree of fear. I do love to run with others, but I also love to run alone. Here are some safety tips, self-defense products and a video from a crime prevention officer from basic self defense moves, to knowing how to properly use pepper spray.

Reminders of what we should do, not because we are frail and helpless, but because we are sensible and we want to be running at a nice old age:

1. Try not to run alone. If you do run alone, let others know where you are going.

2. Run with pepper spray and a whistle. Be prepared to alert others and attack if you can’t run away from a dangerous situation. I don’t carry pepper spray for every run, but if I am in secluded areas that might contain wildlife, lone individuals or hiding places, I take it along. Yesterday, my friend Barb showed me her whistle which I also think is a great idea. In addition to a whistle, she has an alarm app on her phone. I found some great products on Amazon for pepper spray, whistles and small alarms.

3. Avoid running with ear buds. I realize some of you love to run with music and occasionally I do too. But not very often. Remember there are certain times and places where you need ALL of your senses to be alert in order to stay safe.

4. Run with your phone. But be careful if you are walking and talking on your phone. The bad guys look for distracted females.

5. Change up your daily routine. This one is hard for me. I am a creature of habit and I like my favorite routes. This can also be dangerous because it gives anyone who might be seeking a victim a way to know where you’re going to be alone on a given day. Tweak your route and time of day you run occasionally.

6. Go with your gut! Trust that feeling that says you are in danger!

Powerful self-defense tips: There are 4 key self-defense moves. The goal is to get the attacker off-balance or disabled so you can run away.
(courtesy of www.runladylike.com)

1. Heel of the Palm. With the hand slightly cupped, use the heel of the palm in an upward motion to hit the chin to the nose and follow through, or to strike the side of the face below the ears on the neck. Your whole body should come forward as you strike. Shout “NO!” while doing this.

2. Elbow Strike. Using the front of the forearm and upper arm, you can strike an attacker in the face, sternum, ribs or groin using your full body force. This move can also be helpful if you are ever grabbed from behind.

3. Knee Strike. The most powerful of all the physical techniques because our legs are 5 times stronger than our upper body. Using the force of your entire body, you drive your knee (patella strike) into the groin or ribs of an attacker. Brace your stance so you don’t fall backwards.

Runner’s World Video, tips from Officer Thomas DeFrank:

Although the odds are very low that you will ever be attacked or assaulted, the stakes are very high. Strong, independent women runners are also safe runners. Smile every mile, and do it safely! 🙂

What’s for Dinner:



(by Sara Kate Gillingham)

The garden is bursting with tomatoes! I never get tired of a good Caprese Salad, and I’m always looking for new fresh tomato salad ideas!

Serves 6

1-1 1/2 pounds tomatoes (about 4-5 medium)

1/2 small red onion

2 small cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1-2 jalapeno or serrano peppers, seeded if desired and finely chopped (use half in the dressing and toss the rest into the salad itself)

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or chili oil

2-4 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, to taste

Flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Slice the tomatoes into bite-size pieces and set in a colander over a bowl to drain.

Peel and slice the onion into slivers. Submerge the slivers in a bowl of ice water and set aside, stirring once or twice, for ten minutes.

Meanwhile, in a mortar and pestle, bash together the garlic and salt until they form a paste. Add half the minced jalapeño and smash into the garlic paste. Stir in the lime juice and oil.

Drain the onions. In a mixing bowl, toss the onions with the tomatoes, remaining chili peppers, and cilantro. Pour over the dressing and toss well.

Place on a serving platter or individual serving plates and top with black pepper.

Calories 82

Fat7 g (10.7%)

Saturated1 g (4.8%)

Carbs 4.9 g (1.6%)

Fiber 1.3 g (5.2%)

Sugars 2.8 g

Protein 1 g (2%)

Sodium 199.8 mg (8.3%)

Have a wonderful week and I hope to see you soon!!

Much Love,


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