Tag Archives: Holiday Gift Guide

Gift Guide for Runners Who Can’t – 2016

Get well soon bitmoji

Holiday gift guides for runners are as ubiquitous as Christmas Carols after Thanksgiving… and generally about as unique.  Heck, even my guide from 2013 is pretty standard (cough boring cough cough).  In 2014 I focused on cheaper “dupes,” and in 2015 I tried to highlight more unusual offerings, but generally it’s always been a gift guide for active runners, or for people who at least pretend they’re going to run sometime.  Soon.  Maybe after New Year’s.

 

But what about all those bajillions of runners who get injured and can’t run?  I know you’re out there, and I know you still like junk, so this year, 2016 (The Worst Year EverTM), I’m offering a gift guide for the runner who can’t.  (Specifically for the runner who can’t run, but maybe also who just can’t in general.)

 

fracture cast boot shoe coverA Darco Shoe ($9.50 to $20).  Or an Aircast Boot ($65 to $75).  Or a cover to keep the germies off their floor (tall ($29) or short ($10)). Your (severely) injured runner probably already has at least one of these items prescribed to them by a doctor, but they might want an extra to wear inside, or at the very least they’ll want a foot cover thing to wear inside so they don’t track all the grossness from the outside world into their private cocoon fortress of rehabilitation (aka their tiny apartment).  An extra canister of Lysol wipes might also be appreciated.

 

 

hbo-netflix-hulu-amazonA subscription to Netflix, or HBO NOW, Amazon, or Hulu (Varies, generally about $8 to $15/month).  Because right now TV is their best friend, after you for getting them more TV.

 

 

 

Calm meditation backgroundA subscription to meditation apps like Headspace ($95/year with chocolate) or Calm ($60/year).  They might need this even more than the TV.  For what it’s worth, I’ve only tried the free trial of both apps and prefer the woman’s voice in Calm infinitely more than the man’s voice on Headspace, but online reviews say Headspace offers more comprehensive guided meditations (and comes with chocolate).  So, I’d say try the free versions and see which you (or they) prefer, or maybe they’re hardcore and can stick to a meditation program without hand-holding apps.

 

 

couch tableA couch table ($20) or remote control holder ($13).  If your injured runner is literally stuck on the couch all day, they will create a little nest of items they need within reach.  Help them feather this weird little nest of snacks and tissues and magazines and lip balm with this sad table and/or couch pouch.  What’s even sadder?  Those cookies don’t come with that table.

 

 

 

cashmere-travel-wrap-in-greyAn expensive cashmere travel wrap from White & Warren ($209 to $350).  A runner definitely couldn’t or shouldn’t run in this, but it would go great with their couch and some ice cream.  (It’s also great for flights to all their future races when they’re better, or to wrap up in when they need a cozy nap after long runs.  It’s also unisex!  And it comes in many, many colors!  Have I convinced you yet that this scarf/blanket is worth $300?  No?  Well then, fleece blankets are on sale at Old Navy for $5, normally a whopping $10.)

 

 

 

adidas superstars

Adidas Superstars ($80) or other fashion sneakers (varies).  Runners have soooo many pairs of running shoes.  The interwebs and the KardashianHadids tell me sneakers have become fashionable, but only the cute impractical sneakers, not Frankensteinen Hoka One Ones.  I always feel a little guilty buying sneakers I can’t run in, since I already own so many sneakers and it’s a waste if they’re not functional, right?  But if your runner can’t run, it doesn’t matter! Get them some fun fashion sneakers that are not appropriate for running and they can finally enjoy them guilt and run-free.

 

 

betsey johnson pom pom glovesBetsey Johnson Pom Pom Gloves. (At Macy’s, regularly $32, on sale for $22.40, with code “FRIEND” only $15.68!) These aren’t running gloves, and look like they’d be quite impractical for running or even life in general if you ever want to put your hands in your pockets or keep your fingertips warm, but damn do they appeal to the 14-year-old girl in me.  The male equivalent would be… what?  I’m not sure, but probably these.

 

 

vrai-oro-trillian-diamond-necklaceDainty gold jewelry from Stone & Strand or Vrai & Oro (Varies, $50 to $$$).  I mean, one could run in it, but it looks better while not running so people can admire it for longer.

 

 

 

secure double walled electric kettleTea and Sympathy (Free, almost).  While I didn’t love talking about my injury, I did appreciate it when friends would check in, and I appreciated it even more when they’d stop by my prison cell apartment or made plans to see me that I could handle (e.g. at a nearby bar or restaurant, or planned an activity where I didn’t have to walk – like sitting on a park bench listening to a podcast together, or going to a movie theater with full reclining seats).  Even just encouraging your injured runner to crutch around the block if they’ve been inside all day will help them shake off the funk of watching TV nonstop and worrying they’ll never run again.  I have to say that those outings were the best presents I received this year, even if they weren’t intended as presents.  If you literally want tea and are in the market for a water boiler (aka “kettle”), I really like this one from Amazon.  It’s lined in stainless steel (thus avoiding any plastic taste or fear of shattered glass), boils quickly, and is only $32.  You deserve the upgrade for being such a good friend.

 

What do I want for Christmas 2016?  A non-broken ankle, a non-ruined body, and the last 8 months of my life back.  Not possible?  Then I guess chocolate.  Or that cute guy from PT.

 

What do you buy yourself when you’re injured?  What’s the best present you gave or received this year?  What do you want for Christmas?  Share in the comments!

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners in 2015 – Good Stuff & Weird Stuff

Some of the (mostly weird) stuff I recommend for runners!

Some of the (mostly weird) stuff I recommend for runners!

A gift guide before Thanksgiving?  Yep, that’s apparently what we’re doing now!  So, it’s (already) that time of year again…  The time of year where you have to do a lot of holiday tasks, like possibly roasting a turkey, possibly sending out Christmas cards, possibly decorating cookies, possibly doing some extra cleaning in case you’re having guests over and you don’t want them to know how you actually live, and definitely shopping for yourself under the guise of holiday gift-giving.  To help you, I’ve highlighted some of the nifty gadgets and gear any runner (aka you yourself) would enjoy.  (For more ideas, click here for my extensive wish list from 2013 and here for my “dupes” edition from 2014.)

 

The Good Stuff!

Soundpeats Bluetooth Headphones – I’ve finally found a pair of bluetooth headphones I love!  The SoundPEATs Q9A Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Sport Headphones fit well in my ear (almost too well, blocking quite a bit of ambient noise) and hook over my ears ensuring a sturdy fit and no bounce, but can still be worn with sunglasses.  They’re lightweight, the cord doesn’t get in the way or make noise, the battery seems to last quite a while (they claim 5 hours but I haven’t tested them), and they even have a microphone for calls (which I only just discovered, thanks Mom!).  Occasionally I’ll get some interference or a dropped signal, but it usually resolves itself in a second or two.  The controls (on/off, volume up/down) are small and I wish they had a separate skip button (instead of having to hold down the up volume), but otherwise these are currently the bluetooth headphones to beat.  (SoundPEATs Q9A Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Sport Headphones, currently $50 at Amazon, sometimes on sale at Amazon for $30.)

 

Athleta topAthleta Neothermal temperature control top – I don’t own one of these (yet…) so I don’t know if they really work or not, but the idea sounds fabulous – a winter top that magically regulates your temperature so you’re never too hot or too cold.  How does it do this?  With magic???  I don’t know!!!  (Neothermal Top, $79 at Athleta.com.  Note that reviews say it fits small, so consider sizing-up, and to wash it inside-out to prevent snags.  Also available in a hoodie version.)

 

Vizlet snowflakeVizlet Snowflake – I’ve loved Vizlets for years now, and this season they have a cute new snowflake shape.  Be seen, be safe.  (Vizlet LED Snowflake, $10 each at Amphipod.)

 

 

Fenix HL23 Headlamp – After my headlamp disaster at Ragnar Trail New England, I wanted to get a nice, powerful headlamp.  I’ve also committed to taking the NYRR running class at 6:30 pm, which currently starts and ends in the dark, so I felt like I could justify spending some cash on another headlamp.  I went with my Ragnar teammate’s recommendation and got the no-BS Fenix HL23 150 lumen LED headlamp (currently $35 at Amazon, includes two batteries, requires one battery).

 

Phillips Wake-Up Light – In keeping with the light theme, let’s round it out with this sunrise alarm clock.  I’ve been skeptical about these things for years, but after noticing how it’s dark now almost the entire day (and it’s still only mid-November!), I finally got one during an Amazon Gold Box sale.  I’ve been using it the last week or so and while I don’t know if it really makes a difference in mood or energy levels or any of that jazz, it is a lot nicer to wake up to a bright bedroom than a dark one.  This could be an especially nice present for the runner who wakes up early to run, or for your single friend who doesn’t have to compromise on their alarm situation.  (Phillips Wake-Up Light with Radio, currently $119 at Amazon, newer, fancier version Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light With Colored Sunrise Simulation available for $115 with instant coupon.)

 

Garmin Forerunner 225 – Ugh, I already have a great Garmin (my Garmin 620, currently on sale at a jaw dropping $240 with heart rate strap included, originally $450) but now really I want the 225.  I love my Garmin but hate wearing the chest strap, so I almost never do.  This new Garmin 225 (pictured at left) has a heart rate monitor built into the watch itself – no more uncomfortable strap!  Huzzah!  Will knowing my heart rate change the way I’m currently training?  Probably not, but still – heart rate without strap!  (And it’s currently on sale at Amazon for $266, regularly $300.)

 

Luggage – Everyone always needs a new bag.  No?  You have plenty?  You must be mistaken.  Get a new bag.  Pretend you’ll use it to carry stuff to the gym, or to an out-of-state-marathon, or on a trip around the world.  Fantasize.  Get another bag.  Repeat.  (Price on bags and fantasies vary.)  (The bag on the left is Heys America Lightweight Pro 21″ Carry-On Spinner, the lightest-weight dual-bar handle spinner I found after copious research (only 5.1 lbs), available on Amazon for $112 with free shipping, but might be cheaper elsewhere on the interwebs.  The backpack on the right is the Adidas Rumble, available in multiple colors at Amazon from $20 to $49 (price depends on color), is lightweight, water-resistant, and holds a ton.)

 

Weird (but still really good!) Stuff

 

Ruby’s Lube & Monistat Anti-Chafe Powder Gel – Ruby’s is my current favorite anti-chafe product for my feet and Monistat’s Powder Gel is my favorite anti-chafe product for bra lines and other, um, sensitive areas.  Good gift items because nobody wants to buy this stuff but all runners need it. (Ruby’s Lube, 3 oz tube plus free mini tube, $15, & Monistat Anti-Chafe Powder Gel, 3 for $21 or 1 for $9.75 both at Amazon.)

 

Folca Pill Case – This isn’t specifically running related, but I learned about this case at EMT camp this summer and now it’s something I’ll never travel without.  It’s about the size of a thick deck of cards and has 8 compartments (4 small, 3 medium, and 1 large).  I recommend filling it with whatever OTC meds you use or might need on a trip, and then LABEL everything with the brand name, the generic name, the amount of active ingredient per pill, the expiration date, and ideally the dosage if there’s room (there’s a plain space on the case you can use to tape a small piece of paper with dosages printed on it).  This ensures no forgetting which pill is which like when they’re all just dumped into a single container (like I used to do) and lets you know exactly what’s in each pill (extra handy if you’re overseas and need to restock, since you’ll have the generic name right there).  Note that this case is not completely airtight or waterproof.  Also, I do not recommend using this case for prescription medication – that you should keep in the bottle with your prescription information on it.  [Shhhhh…. I made one of these for my parents and each of my siblings, which took a long time (and a lot of pills), but I hope they’ll find it as Type-A pleasing as I do.]  (Folca Pill Case, $5.80 at Amazon.)

 

Skinny Pop Popcorn – This also isn’t exactly running related, but it is the most delicious 100-calorie snack I’ve found.  I’ve eaten multiple, multiple boxes of this stuff, and I never get tired of it, because it’s simply popcorn with a little salt and oil.  Freakin’ delicious, and sorta healthy I guess (and definitely better for you than those three-flavored tubs of popcorn that go stale after a couple days but you still eat because you can’t stop eating waste food), and no one would be disappointed to get a box of this stuff this holiday.  They might be puzzled, but not disappointed.  (Box of 30 for $25.66 at Amazon.)

 

Stamina X Adjustable Height Plyometric Box – They have adjustable-height plyometric boxes?  That’s almost inspiring enough for me to consider getting one someday!  (Stamina X Adjustable Height Plyometric Box, $200 at Amazon.)

 

Undress dressUndress dress – My sister got this for me last Christmas (while it was still a Kickstarter project) and it’s pretty nifty (sorry I haven’t done a proper review of it – I haven’t actually used it in the wild yet).  It allows you to change without exposing yourself (sort of like the Chawel – but instead of changing inside a bag/towel, you slip the dress on over your bottom and under your top, so when you peel off your top layers you’re just wearing the dress.)  If that’s confusing to you like it was to me, visit their website for the video.  (The Undress, $79.)

 

 

Just Weird Stuff

 

Gotta go running skirtThe Gotta Go Running Skirt – Another Kickstarter project, this is basically running shorts with a skirt on top and a trap door on the crotch, so you can just drop the flap and pee behind a bush, without exposing yours.  It’s a great idea if you don’t wear underwear when you run, don’t ever poop when you pee, and don’t mind not wiping before closing the trap door and running with urine-speckled shorts.  (The Gotta Go Running Skirt, $75 on Kickstarter but MSRP of $79 – what savings!)

 

 

Race Dots or Race Clips – Can you not be trusted with sharp objects?  Do you have issues with safety pins?  Are you good about bringing small objects to a race?  Are you good about then saving those small objects after a race and not losing said small objects?  Do you not mind having extra weight (e.g. magnets, plastic clips) on the front of your running shirt?  Do you like spending money on something you’ve been getting for free?  Then race dots or race clips might be the perfect thing for you!  (BibBits Magnetic Race Bib Holders, $17 with shipping at AmazonEventClip Pinless Bib Race Number Fasteners, $8 with shipping at Amazon, Magnetic Bib Dots, $36 with shipping at Amazon.)

 

tigerlady clawstigerlady claw singleTigerLady Self-Defense Claw – OMG.  It’s a device you grip in your hand during a run, and when you squeeze it literal claws come out, so you can scratch your attacker and run away with DNA evidence.  Just don’t accidentally reach up to wipe sweat out of your eyes!  OMG omg OMG.  (TigerLady Self-Defense Claw, one for $29 or get the “running grips” package, two for $51 – one for each hand!)   (Mom, please don’t even consider getting this for me – I already have like a dozen.)

 

What’s on your holiday wish list?  What have you already bought for yourself?  Are you going to have more nightmares about the TigerLady or the pee pee shorts?  Share in the comments!