NOTE: I will not be offended if you want to skip my suggestions, scroll down & enter to win the SKECHERS!
On the day after Thanksgiving, my daughter, Grace, (age 8) handed me her Christmas list. My reaction? Wow. I suppose it could've been worse. Some of the items on her list include (but are not limited to):
~ a top hat
~ a magic 8 ball
~ fairy furniture (ie. chairs, tables, pots, pans) for the fairies that come visit her in the night but that she never sees - yes, she believes.
~ a fairy spells book (with real spells, not fake ones) meaning, don't get me a book and write them yourself, mom, because I won't believe that.
~ a giant giraffe stuffed animal (as tall as my room) I asked her what she would do with this. She told me she'd just hang out and talk to him.
~ a long hair wig think Crystal Gayle.
Sweet, bizarre, wonderful Grace. Clearly, this year is going to be a bit challenging in regards to making her wishes come true. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, I do have a few suggestions for the runner in your life. This list is always a ton of fun for me to put together. Throughout the year I try out a boatload of running-related products including everything from apparel, food, drinks, shoes, and gadgets and the goodies listed below are the ones I think are worth sharing. Whether you're looking to give to someone else or you need some ideas for yourself, all of these are, in my humble opinion, totally awesome. Check them out and have an amazing holiday season!
RWM 2015 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
A few years ago Skechers introduced their performance shoe line created specifically with the serious runner in mind. They are now worn by the likes of pro-runners Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher among so many other runners of all levels of ability, myself included. This year I had the honor of becoming a Skechers Performance Ambassador. The GoRun Ultra Road is one of their newer releases and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I am totally obsessed. This shoe does not allow you to sink like it's competitors due to a highly responsive underfoot ride. It's also insanely light given the high level of cushion with the added perk of a knit upper for breathability. They are ideal for long runs and recovery days, but will work for almost any type of training. It is, for lack of a better description, my dream shoe. It may be a bit strange to put running shoes on your wish list. But, then, so is a top hat and a long hair wig, so, why not?
RETAIL VALUE: $115*
* Want to try them now?? Yea, you do. Scroll down to enter the RWM Skechers giveaway.
I love all things Oiselle. Most of you probably know this. And there are so many stellar winter items on their site right now. But this vest is, hands down, my top pick. Winter weather is a fickle beast, particularly for runners. We start off cold, warm up, get too hot, then the wind picks up and we get cold again and so on and so forth. The Gilman vest solves a lot of those problems. It provides a layer of warmth for your core and a shield from the wind. But, it's also light and airy, so if you heat up, it's barely there, which is exactly what you want. Plus, it has a reflective design on it for running in the dark. Goldilocks comes to mind as I write this as everything is "just right" with this baby.
RETAIL VALUE: $77
Feetures socks are always on my list. They are beyond amazing as they have kept my feet comfortable, dry and blister free for thousands of miles. Literally. I've run 2,158 miles to date this year and they've all been in Feetures socks. And just when I didn't think they could get any better, they introduce this funky line of limited edition striped socks. Proving that running socks can fit well AND have some personality. This is the perfect way to complete the running outfit you'll be giving or potentially receiving. If you've been good, of course
RETAIL VALUE: $11.99
When you're feeling like you just can't make a decision or don't have time to deal the elves over at RUNNERBOX will happily do the work for you. This special edition gift box is filled with fun seasonal flavors and accessories pertaining to your athlete’s chosen field of endurance (run, bike, or swim). There are so many good treats in these boxes of joy, all hand selected and tested by RUNNERBOX first so they are guaranteed to be awesome. Added bonus - all orders received before 12 PM EST on December 20th will arrive before Christmas.
Because so many runners tend to also be coffee drinkers, and because I am a huge coffee fan in general (yes, I might have a small problem), I have added Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee to the list. This stuff is truly the nectar of the Gods. The rich bold flavor is likely above and beyond anything you have ever tasted. Yes, it's pricey, and, yes, it worth every penny. I'm salivating just thinking about it.
RETAIL VALUE: $34.95
The idea behind this book is so cool. Poet Kostas Patinios reached out to artist Pola Hadjipapa asking her to "marry" a poem that he'd written to a sketch that she'd drawn and posted on social media. So she did:
---> Earlier that morning Pola had gone for a run next to the sea - her every step a game with the waves, up and down, back and forth. Her sketch - a simple, playful line with circles and curves - reflected the question that Kostas posed in his poem: "If feet had brushes, what shapes would they draw?"
From that point forward a bond was formed and this project unfurled as they shared drawings and texts, one influencing the other with running as the common subject matter. Over time it became apparent that, for both of them, running is a way of life and an endless source of inspiration. Just...wow.
RELIEF: This citrus scented balm is made by the same geniuses who created Body Glide, bless them. The gentle heat therapy can be used to aid blood circulation and relax muscles and joints. Roll it on before or after your run for instant warm relief and to help aid with or restore range of motion. Like Body Glide, it, too prevents chafing and skin irritation. Awesomeness in a stick.
RUNGUM: With essential ingredients that include caffeine + B-vitamins + taurine, Run Gum is a quick and safe energy solution that works for anyone on the go. Pop a piece of RunGum in pre-workout for a quick energy boost. Then chew another piece post-workout for aid with recovery. Double awesome whammy.
SPORTBEANS: This sweet treat is quick and easy solution for the oft-needed mid-run fuel. They're soft and easy to chew and they taste as good if not better than the traditional Jelly Bellys. Be warned...they're slightly addictive.
NUUN: A tube of NUUN is the perfect stocking stuffer for both the runner and for anyone who needs to hydrate on a regular basis, which applies to most of us during the holiday season for many, many reasons. So many delicious flavors to choose from with caffeine and without. NUUN is your holiday hydration solution.PERFORM ATOMIC HEAT: Much like the Relief balm, Atomic Heat cream can be rubbed on muscles and joints to help relieve acute and chronic pain. Again, good for the runner and any active person who needs support, particularly during the cold winter months. It should be noted that this stuff is heavy duty (like, don't rub it on and then wipe your lips) and you only need a small dallop for maximum effect. The heat is instant and insanely intense. Like, wake up in the middle of the night feeling the heat, intense. Yep. That good.
ATHLIGHTS: Keep yourself or the runner you love safe this winter with AthLights, the world's smallest safety lights for athletes. They are bright, compact and easy to use as they are magnetic. Just stick them on your clothes and hit the road. Stay safe. Be seen. Run when you want.
Not only am I in a giving mood. But the good folks over at Skechers are feeling festive, too. When I mentioned that I was putting this gift guide together, they jumped in and offered up, not one but two pairs of shoes to giveaway to a couple lucky RWM readers. I already raved about the GORun Ultra Roads above, but, honestly, I'm a huge fan of the entire line of performance shoes and I feel strongly that every runner should try them. So, I'm thrilled that I get to offer up a pair of GORUN Ultra Roads and a pair of GORUN 4s. What better way to kick off the new year than with a brand new pair of sneaks? Details on how to enter are below. Huge thanks to Skechers for providing the shoes for this contest.
HOW TO ENTER:
1. Comment below. Tell us....what's the most unique gift you've ever given or received? You can also just say you want to try the shoes, but what's the fun in that?
2. Post the following message on twitter: I want to #haveafastday with @runningwmusic & @skechersGO this holiday season.
3. Send an me an email letting me know that you want to #golikeneverbefore with Skechers this holiday season.
The fine print: This contest is open to US residents only. The winners will be chosen on Wednesday, December 16th. Colors may vary. Retail value of the GORUN ULTRA ROADS is $115. Retail value of the GORUN 4s is $100. Good luck!
Listen to this:
Light Out - Javelin