Yes, it’s here. The first annual gift-giving guide for your runner friends and family! Noooo, this is not a self-serving list! I am perfectly satisfied with last year’s model shoes and a grand total of 3 pairs of Balega socks that I have to wash multiple times in a single week to meet my running needs. Hey, this is not about ME! This is for YOU! Enjoy!
A Book. Yes, a book! It’s not lame – It’s so funny! And with all the difficulties of distance running, it’s great to laugh about things and read about other people’s stories of pain and enlightenment. It’s a cheap and quick read. You can’t go wrong. I’ve sent photos of pages from this book to everyone I know and they all crack up – even non runners! Also, full disclosure, it’s like a comic book inside. So even people who don’t like to sit down and read will be able to read this. Lots of funny pictures etc.
Socks. Ohhh don’t knock ’em til you try ’em. But, ok, I guess if you’re not a runner you won’t need to try them. But your runner friend would love them. I was skeptical until people on the blogs told me about these. They are great post recovery. And a lot of runners won’t justify the costs of buying them for themselves. They seem kind of… well, decadent or an unnecessary expense. I mean, as a runner you’re already out the cost of shoes, a watch, an iPod, your non-chafing outfit that’s made from NASA technology that costs a fortune. Expensive recovery socks that you might not even run in seem like a luxury you can’t afford. So buy your runner friends some of these! They come in a million crazy styles and colors. And yes, I do like the retro ones.
A Playlist On A CD. Yep, I’m going homespun here. If you have any ideas for good/fast/crazy songs, burn them onto a cd this instant and wrap it up in a bow and give it to a runner friend for the holidays. For the runners who listen to music while they run, there is nothing more annoying than an old playlist or having to search for songs to create new playlists. It’s the worst. I’d gladly run half marathons every day if someone could ensure a great new playlist each and every time. Ok, slight exaggeration but point is nobody will say this gift sucks. Even if you don’t know any great songs but just go
and download the top songs from each category on iTunes, that’ll work. Even at $1.29 per song or whatever they’re going for, you can still get out of there for $20-$40. Your friend may be a music snob or extremely particular, but you can still have fun with this. I once put Kenny Roger’s The Gambler on my friend’s list as a joke “book on tape” song. Seriously, have you listened to that song? It’s like a mini story and, well, I always find it funny when I’m running to think of my friend listening to that song… “You gotta know when to hold ’em. Know when to fold ’em. Know when to walk away… Know when to RUN!” hahaha!! What happens next?! What happens to the Gambler?! You have to listen to the end! Book on tape, see? Throw that in with a bit of Get back mother****er you don’t know me like that! and you’re set.
A Surprise Turkey Trot/Race Entry. Now this gift I’ve been wanting to give for years but the stars haven’t aligned yet. And it doesn’t have to be about a turkey trot. It can be any upcoming local race. My plan is for one year to have certain relatives over to our house for Thanksgiving (or Christmas or New Years), sign them up for a Turkey Trot (3-5 miles tops, under $50) and then, the morning of the race, go pounce on their bed with their run shoes and scream in their ear “WAKE UP!! WAKE UP!! WAKEUPWAKEUPWAKEUP!!! WE’RE DOING A RACE!! No seriously, I’m not kidding. Get your stuff on! We’re going to be late! No, you can’t opt out! I paid $200 for each of us for a children’s charity and they won’t get the money unless you run it! YOU HAVE TO WAKE UP!!! LET’S GO OR WE’LL BE LATE!!!” … now this last part you have to sort of tailor to your audience. Chances are they’ll be too asleep still to debate you on the details. But choose whatever amount they can’t write a check for from their bed right that second, whether it’s $200 or $2,000. See, I always donate to the Ronald McDonald House every holiday so technically there IS money going to a charity and I tend to drop it off on the day of so it would be helpful if we were out in town anyway right? See how it isn’t really a lie? Well if you donate to Ronald McDonald’s House Charities this year then you can use this line too! Cuz, frankly, I don’t know how many people will allow you to drag them out of the house without a story like this at 4 or 5am. And, alright, this may be one of those gifts you give that’s really for you too. But puh-tay-toe, puh-tah-toe! So sue me if I want to have an excuse to blitz a loved one at o’dark thirty for a surprise race that also fuels my inner mean prankster! Trust me, everybody wins on this one!! (no really, everyone does win on this one… especially the kids at the RMHC and their families)
Popcorn. You always have to have a food option in there somewhere right? What runner doesn’t like food? But runners generally don’t want to knock back a 10lb chocolate bar or a bottle of whiskey do they? (I’m talking about runners other than my friends here). Generally they’re more of the vegan energy bar type. But vegan energy bars are for regular training days, not holidays! So why not get a little treat which is also in the not-so-awful for you category? Hey, popcorn has antioxidants! It’s a fact!
Garmin 220. Not much to say on this one. This watch kicks ass. I’m thankful for every day I have this watch. If the runner in your life doesn’t have a watch as nice as this one, then they are going to flip for it. They’ll love it. It’s the sure-thing gift. It’s also not cheap so you have to REALLY love this runner… or at least you have to really want this runner to run more or something. You know, like how my spouse signed me up for the Walt Disney World Marathon for my birthday present and said it was because he “knew how much I loved marathons?” Yeahhhh, right. More like he wants me to lose 10 lbs. But, I digress… the Garmin is perfection for distance training. It lasts 8+ hours without having to be charged. That basically means you can forget to charge it and still go out for a long run without a problem. Just an added benefit for forgetful runners like myself.
Mini Keurig. Last, but not least, coffee. Ahhh, coffee… my best friend, my one true love, my reason for living. If only I had coffee at the push of a button like this. I do have a cappuccino machine now though, a gift from very generous family, but it’s not instant and it’s not small and it can’t go on road trips with you in your bag or take vacations with you or snuggle with you at night. Just kidding (sorta). Point is, this thing is a great gift for people who run. If the runner in your life doesn’t have a coffee option that magically appears within 5 seconds of pushing a button, then that runner needs this. Even if your runner already has a regular Keurig, maybe they want this mini one for their office, you know, for that moment before they leave work when they know they have to race home and somehow get a run into their busy afternoon. Maybe a little coffee for the ride home is just the ticket!
Run Vacation. And for the true ballers out there who want to really convey their love of their runner in a four-figure amount, this is the way to go: Marathon Tours & Travel. Let me tell you, this looks awesome. I haven’t gone through them but it looks amazing. I’m one of those people who is all for paying for convenience and especially when traveling in a foreign country and having a marathon to do.
Enjoy and Happy Holidays everyone! Hope all you runners get your long run in this weekend and hope all you non-runners find the perfect gift for those crazy runners in your life!