2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Runners

It’s almost Christmas! I can’t believe how fast this holiday season is flying by. If you are like me, you haven’t finished all of your shopping left. Maybe you have a runner to buy for and aren’t sure what to give them. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite products in hopes that it helps you in your gift search!

2014 Christmas Gift Guide for Runners:

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1.) KT Tape

I have been using KT Tape for a few years, and it has really helped me to be able to run while dealing with minor aches and pains. I struggle with knee problems a good bit, and when I wear KT Tape, I can pretty much run pain free* so I am super thankful for this product! It’s a great stocking stuffer.

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2.) Workout apparel from Fabletics

This is my second time getting apparel from Fabletics, and I am REALLY happy with this outfit! Here I am wearing the Heather Grey Long sleeve and the Salar capri. The capri’s are thick and sturdy with a really fun print at the bottom, I love the fabric. I am really impressed with the top, too. I usually struggle with long sleeve tops being to short in arm length, but this one fit perfect and is a soft snuggly material with a really flattering neckline. I ran in this outfit yesterday and everything stayed in place with no rubbing, chafing, riding up or falling down. I would also feel comfortable wearing this out to the store as well.

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I am aware this is a very dorky pose, but I wanted to show the arm sleeve length!

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3.) Clothes from Janji

Janji is a great company that does a lot of good for the world! When you purchase clothing from their site, money goes to different people in other parts of the world who are not as fortunate as us to have clean drinking water. For example, the blue long sleeve shirt in the second picture, if you purchase it, a person in Peru will get four months of clean drinking water. How awesome it that? Both shirts are made of a very soft thin material that is very comfortable. I have been sleeping in the long sleeve top on cold nights! Janji makes clothing for men and women, and they are great for workouts and include a wicking fabric. The blue top is 65% polyester, 35% cotton. be sure to go to their site to read about their story.

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4.) BIC bands

In case you haven’t noticed, I have a lot of hair. I cannot stand for the wind to blow my hair in my face/eyes, especially when I am running. These headbands have become a near daily essential for me, and there are some adorable colors and prints! BIC bands also gives to a different charity every month from the sale of their bands.

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5.) Gone for a RUN medal hanger display

Every runner should be proud of their race achievements, and have somewhere to display all of their shiny, well deserved bling. I have several different medal hangers, but I must say I love the color options and prints available at Gone for a RUN. There are a ton of options to customize and personalize your hanger display, go check it out!

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6.) Garmin 15

I was sent this GPS watch to test out back in July, and I prefer it to my Garmin 10 for a few reasons. I really like the step counter option, and the battery life is much longer. It’s small enough to wear every day but simple enough that you don’t have to be a tech geek to figure out.

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7.) Runner’s World Subscription

I have had a subscription to Runner’s World magazine for years, and it all started with a gift subscription for Christmas! This makes a great stocking stuffer, just make sure the runner you are buying for doesn’t already subscribe. :0)

8.) Running Skirts.com compression socks

If you know me at all you know I am a huge fan of Running Skirts and even used to work for them. One of my favorite items of theirs is the selection of compression socks. I wear them during and after races, and I can really feel a difference in my legs when I do so. I don’t get nearly as sore, and if I am sore, it goes away much more quickly in these comfy and cute socks. (Use code SKIRTSASS at checkout for 15% off your order!)

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9.) iTunes Giftcard

Most runners love to listen to music when we run, and the same songs can get really boring over and over again on long training runs. An iTunes giftcard would be a great stocking stuffer!

10.) Race entry

This is THE ultimate gift. Most runners love to race, so gifting an entry fee to a race is a great gift! Between all the clothing and gear, expensive race entry fees can add up, making runners have to plan out their race calendar very carefully. My two favorite race series? runDisney and Rock ‘n’ Roll. I will be running the runDisney Princess half in February, but first I will be making my comeback with the Run Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans half marathon in January. I cannot wait to get back out there! If you want to buy for a runner and they aren’t ready to run a half, that’s ok, you can gift them entry into a 5k or 10k! (If you use code LOOKINGGLASS at checkout you will get $10 off the entry into the half or full marathon, and LOOKINGGLASS10K gets you $5 off entry into the 10k for Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans.)

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QOTD: Which of these gift ideas would YOU most like to receive? Anything else on your list I didn’t mention?

My (Temporary) Break Up With Running

Well guys, this is a post I have been meaning to write for awhile, but didn’t because 1.) I didn’t want to come to grips with the fact that it was indeed happening, and 2.) I wasn’t ready to deal with the feelings that came along with the realization, and somehow not saying it out loud (or on the blog) made it feel like maybe it wasn’t real.

Bottom line: I was not meant to be a pregnant runner for this pregnancy. Oh, how I tried. I forced myself to do it, and did so semi successfully until about 20 weeks. After that, I could no longer deny the pain, and slowly dropped down to once or twice a week of run walks, determined to not give it up all together. Then it got to where the pain kept me up at night so I switched to walking, but I would still “try” to run once a week, all with the same results. Yes I tried stretching, yes I tried yoga, yes I tried a support belt that did absolutely nothing to help me. Most people call it round ligament pain, I call it the evil constant pains that took away my outlet, my therapy, my way of staying in shape and staying sane.

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I ran Dopey and Tink pain free (and also didn’t know I was pregnant!)

So this is what happened. As I was training for the Crescent City Classic 10k, I realized that during and after some runs I was struggling with pain on both sides, low in my pelvis. I figured it was just a temporary growing thing that would go away in a week or two. I kept with it, but had to take Tylenol to complete the 10k. I made it through the race, but paid dearly for it later. I couldn’t even get out of a chair on my own because my pelvis hurt so badly. Sneezing, walking, bending, etc. was all excruciating for about 2-3 days. Again, I thought it was just because it was the most mileage I had run since the Glass Slipper Challenge, but the pain continued on my next run even after taking several days off.

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After the Crescent City Classic, my last race I would run during Pregnancy at 16/17 weeks.

I really didn’t understand why this was happening, I was in amazing shape (for Dopey!) when I got pregnant, and even ran Dopey and Tinkerbell before realizing I was pregnant. When I ran The Glass Slipper Challenge at 9 weeks pregnant at the end of February, sure I was sick and nauseated, but I didn’t have any pain. It never crossed my mind that I could potentially be one of “those people” who struggled with running during pregnancy and had to stop. I tried not to think about it, like maybe it wasn’t really happening, but in the past couple of weeks it has become impossible for me to run without severe pain, so I stopped and started only power walking.

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Glass Slipper Challenge at 9 weeks. Nauseated and exhausted, but no pain!

I knew things were getting bad when I power walked 2 miles the other day, and that same pain started creeping in, WALKING. I know I am 30 weeks now and shouldn’t expect to be totally pain free, (which I don’t) but it is really frustrating to have these limitations when people much further along than me are running and working out like normal. I KNOW it’s wrong to compare, and I am happy for my friends still able to push hard and run, but I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little jealous. I guess it’s the same way I feel when I have an injury. You so badly want to be out there, especially when you see everyone’s awesome instagram photos, new race medals, and shiny new PR’s, and you are stuck on the couch unable to participate. I am trying to be open and honest about my feelings here, because I am sure there are other mamas-to-be out there struggling with the same battle.  Before I start getting hate mail about how I should just be happy to be pregnant, please hear me: Yes, I know I am super blessed and am thankful to be pregnant, but still longing to participate in my favorite hobby, which is a very valid feeling. Accepting my limitations has been mentally difficult for me, and this is my space to share and be real and honest.

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Frustrated after a 20(ish) week run/walk gone bad.

I have ten weeks to go, so I will keep reminding myself that in the end it will be worth it because I WILL get back to running, and I will have a new baby girl to share my passion with once she is here. I will look back on these few short months where I couldn’t run as a blip on the radar, and it will be totally worth it.

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30 weeks pregnant, after a sadly painful one mile walk

So running, I am sorry we have to have a temporary break up, but my body is being used for something else more important right now. However, I promise you, I WILL be back!

QOTD: Mamas, did you run during pregnancy or have any pain issues?

Is this how everyone feels during an injury? Frustrated?

Hospital Week

Oh boy. What a whirlwind the past few days have been. I will be sharing fun photos and video from our gender reveal party tomorrow, but I am just still too tired today to write all about it and edit photos!

So instead I will tell you what has been going on with my family the past few days. Wednesday night at 8:00, I got a frantic call (I mean FRANTIC) that my dad had passed out and the paramedics were there. I couldn’t understand anything else she was saying, except he was going to the hospital. I immediately sent out texts and tweets asking for prayers (thank you all so much by the way!)

I grabbed a few clothes, jumped in the car, and drove like you know what 1.5 hours to where my parents live. On the way there I was finally able to get some more info from a neighbor who drove mom to the hospital. Apparently my mom was in the bedroom and my dad was in the back of the house watching TV when he started feeling faint. He got up to go tell her and made it about ten feel before he passed out, fell backwards and hit his head on the hardwood floor.

My mom had gone to get a neighbor, and he helped my dad until the ambulance came. My dad tried to stand up again, passed out again, and we had no idea why.

When I got to the ER my dad looked awful and was having terrible stomach cramps, and other things that come along with that. We immediately thought some kind of stomach bug, especially since they had just been out of the country. They were able too get his blood pressure stabilized (it had plummeted when he passed out and was super low in the ambulance).

He was in a lot of pain and they were afraid too give him morphine because it would drop his pressure more. In the end, they did it anyway because he was in so much pain and just put him in the CCU instead of a regular room so they could monitor his pressure. He got to the CCU at 2:30 (I had gone home to my parents house to sleep).

The next day I spent the whole day at the hospital with my dad while they waited for results from a bunch of samples they did to see if he had a virus or C-Diff. We had to gown up and wear gloves in case it was C-Diff. They did a catscan the night before that was clear, and they had put five staples in his head from where he fell. He was feeling better, still not wonderful, but much better.

We spent all day waiting for dr.’s to come in (surgeon, regular dr. GI dr. Cardiologist, etc.) and were told around lunch it wasn’t C-diff (hooray!) so no more gowns/gloves. At 4:30 we saw the Gi dr. and his theory made the most sense. Between going overseas, jet lag, stress from his mother dying/funereal/estate stuff etc., dehydration, not eating well…it just all came together and caused this. (He had a couple fancy terms for it now I can’t remember!)

So basically, he wasn’t “sick”, didn’t have a virus, and needs to take better care of himself. He had to stay overnight again Thursday, and I spent all day Friday with him again at the hospital. He. was. going. stir. crazy. He was perfectly fine by then just a little weak because he was on a liquid diet, and the doctor didn’t come to discharge him until 4:00! It has been a long few days, but I am SO thankfully it wasn’t anything to do with his heart, a stroke, or something else. I am also glad he didn’t hit his head on the brick fireplace two feet away, or the corner or a piece of furniture.

Also, my mom normally would be at church choir practice at that time, but she was so tired that day she didn’t go, so she wouldn’t have even been home! I don’t even want to think about what would have happened then.

So, sorry to ramble on with the story, but up until Thursday afternoon we weren’t even sure if the gender party was still on for Saturday. I could tell he felt so bad about it all, but I wasn’t concerned about the party at that point. Luckily, all is well, we are taking my dad’s blood pressure several times a day, making sure he drinks a lot of water and gets some rest. Hopefully this hard lesson won’t have to be learned again. It was one of the scariest moments of my life!

QOTD: have your parents ever called you with a health scare?

Weekly Workout Recap: January Week 5 2014

Oh boy what a week. I didn’t do so great with my workouts, because I re-injured my back. I tried my first run after Tink last Saturday, and Sunday morning I was hurting again. It slowly got better, then Thursday I did some circuit training at the house and Friday it hurt as badly as the day I originally injured it (I woke up in the middle of the night in tears it was hurting so badly). So, no running for me this week, and probably for several more days as I continue to ice and take it easy!

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Oh how I wish I felt this good again!

We also had a random ice/sleet storm come though Tuesday and Wednesday, so schools, gym, pretty much everything was closed all week and we were cooped up inside (hence the circuit training in my living room on Thursday). Here is what I DID do last week:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 45 minutes stationary bike

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 30 minutes circuit training (think squats, lunges, jumping jacks, etc.)

Friday: rest (not move from the couch with an ice pack on me)

Saturday: Long easy walk by myself

QOTD: Have you ever pulled your back? How did you do it? How long were you out of commission?

Weekly Workout Recap December 2013 Week 4

Good morning! My last weekly workout recap of 2013! Crazy right? I am so, so close to Dopey (and so, so freaking out!) Ok, time to be real. I have had several people ask me if I was still running Dopey because I hadn’t said much about it. Weellllll there is a reason.

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Why yes, Snow White. That IS nervous laughter. Your 7th dwarf is going to be the death of me.

About three weeks ago I was seriously considering deferring Dopey. If you have been reading my blog for awhile you may remember summer of 2012 when I had to get a cortisone shot in my foot for my morton’s neuroma diagnosis. I did well after that, and recently had a flare up in October. My theory is a did a lot of shoe swappin’ around that time and that’s when it hurt like the dickens to walk on hardwood floors barefoot. I limped my way through Wine and Dine, and put some custom shoe inserts in a tried and true pair of running shoes, and it has really helped a lot! I had a minor setback Thursday because I wore heels all day on Christmas which made the problem worse, but at least now I know that with ice, ibuprofen, and my inserts it’s much more manageable and I have very very little pain when running (even with no meds).

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Here is where the problem comes in: The inserts (or more likely the change in my running form due to the inserts) causes right hip pain. (Neuroma is in the left foot). I literally had to get off the treadmill and stop it was hurting so badly on Friday after 6.2 miles. My plan of attack: Foam roll, KT Tape, ice, Ibuprofen, repeat up until Dopey. Oh, and pray like heck that does the trick! I’m not going for any PR’s here, I just want to finish, and I am confident I can do so, but not confident it will be pain free. Fingers crossed! Let’s take a look at this week:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 3.5 mile run

Tuesday: 30 minutes elliptical

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 7.5 mile run

Friday: 6.2 mile run

Saturday: rest

QOTD: What are your best remedies for hip pain?

Weekly Workout Recap: August Week 2 2013

Oh what an interesting week. Last Saturday, you may remember we ran 13.1 miles. In an effort to pretend I was fine and in hopes it would go away, I didn’t mention the terrible ball of foot pain I had during and after the run. Does anyone remember this from last summer?

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it was literally almost a year to the exact date that it started hurting again, after a full year of no pain. Ug! I have been walking around my house all week in running shoes. Barefoot on my wood floors kkkiiilllssss. I have been taking Ibuprofen, and taking it easy on the running (I only ran twice this week) in hopes it would be fine. No such luck, but with pain meds it’s manageable to run n at this point. I really don’t want another cortisone shot right now.

So, with that said, I decided to take it SUPER easy this week, I even took TWO rest days in a row, which I never do.

Sunday: rest

Monday: 20 minutes stationary bike

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: 3 mile run, weights

Friday: 30 minutes stationary bike, weights

Saturday: 7 mile run

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My 7 miles were decent, but my foot feels the same. I just need to get through Disneyland half/Dumbo then I can decide what to do next.

QOTD: Do you ever take more than one rest day in a row?

July Goals 2013

Yes, yes I know I know. Nine days in and just now posting my goals. I apologize! But, I’m here now so here we go! Let’s review my June goals:

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1.) Heal my IT band:(C)  Eh. yes and no. It still bothers me but I can run on it. It aches after and sometimes my hip aches when I run longer than 4 miles, but I am managing.

2.) Get on track with Dumbo challenge training. (C-) Getting there. I have upped my mileage to 7, but I need to start skipping and run 9 next time, then 11 and 13 to get ready for dumbo. it’s so close!

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3.) Get back to my happy weight. (B-) Yes and no. I did lose a couple pounds but I still have a couple more to go.

4.) Stop Worrying. (A-)  Happy to report that that this one has gotten much much better! Not perfect, but I am coming to grips with it.

Not my best month goal wise, but they can’t all be great right? I try to find a balance between hard to reach and not out of reach, but sometimes I fall short and that’s ok. This is why some months you will see me repeat some of the same goals again. I will do the same this month.

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July goals:

1.) Heal my IT band: ‘nuff said

2.) Get back to my happy weight: again…

3.) Go back to body pump: I was enjoying this class until I hurt my IT band and I stopped going. I need to go back!

4.) Continue with my leg strengthening exercises: I have been told to do some certain exercises to help with strength and I want to keep it up to fast track my healing.

QOTD: What do you do when you don’t obtain a goal?

Weekly Recap: June Week 4

Good morning! Sunday already wow. The weekend sure is flying by, but I did get in a good 6 mile run in an hour on Friday!

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I saw lots of people racing this weekend thanks to Facebook and Twitter. Bobby did great in his duathlon yesterday and shaved 5 minutes off of his time from the last one a month ago. Yay Bobby!

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(taken with my Blackberry Z10, it takes great movement shots!)

We had a lazy day yesterday after the race, I even ended up taking a long nap, it was wonderful. Let’s take a look at my workouts for the week.

Sunday: rest

Monday: 5 mile run, upper body weights

Tuesday: 45 minute power walk

Wednesday: 2 miles speed work

Thursday: upper body weights, 45 minutes stationary bike

Friday: 6 mile long run

Saturday: rest

I got a massage for my IT band on Thursday as well as some active release from my chiropractor. It’s still sore, but hoping that in the long run it helps! I am so far behind in my training for Dumbo. This week calls for a lot more stretching and foam rolling, as well as a 7 mile run. I have a feeling it will be on the treadmill with the heat we have been having lately. Have a great day everyone!

QOTD: Would you rather have three wishes that had no catches or six wishes with minor catches?

Disclosure: I was provided with a wireless device and free service, all opinions are however my own

Weekly Workout Recap: June Week 2

Morning lovelies! This week I slowly started to get back to running. My knee still gets sore after, but it isn’t really bothering me when I run.

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I am going to continue to stretch and strengthen plus foam roll and hope it all works itself out. Even though I did slowly start running again this week. I made sure to take more rest days so I didn’t overdo it on my body. I wasn’t feeling good this week so I let myself sleep 9 hours at night and took a nap on Saturday after my run. It was glorious. Here is what the week looked like:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 1 hour elliptical, weights

Tuesday: 2 miles outside, weights

Wednesday: rest

Thursday: weights, 30 minutes stationary bike

Friday: rest

Saturday: 4 miles outside with Bobby

I am hoping to go back to body pump this week and just take it easy with the lunges/squats and any twisting around. Also Hopefully I will run a five miler on Saturday as my long run, as well as two shorter runs in the week. Fingers crossed I keep healing up and getting stronger!

Also, HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all the dads (and fur dads) out there! I am so thankful for my dad and everything he has done for me and my family over the years!

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QOTD: Would you rather sleep for 3 hours a night on a comfy bed or as long as you want on a cold hard floor?

Weekly Workout Recap: June Week 1

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Another week has come and gone. How is it the second week of June? How is it the sixth month of 2013? Yeesh. Quick recap of a less than stellar and very frustrating workout week. My IT band is still not doing so great. I went to the chiropractor and that helped (active release) but it’s still tight but not as painful. I ran 3 times this week (well, run/walked) 1 mile, 2 miles, and 3 miles. I am going to wait until Tuesday to try again, and hit the treadmill instead od the hills around my neighborhood and see if that helps.

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Enter code “SKIRTSASS” at runningskirts.com for 15% off your order!

Here is a summary of my week:

Sunday: rest

Monday: 30 minutes elliptical, weights

Tuesday: rest

Wednesday: 1 mile run, weights

Thursday: 45 minutes stationary bike, weights

Friday: 2 mile run

Saturday: 3 mile run

I was doing SO WELL the past couple weeks with my two a days and my hard workouts, so it’s a little frustrating to have a lot of the high intensity come to a screeching halt, but I know I have to rest to heal. I am keeping KT Tape on 24/7 to aid in recovery and healing as well. That’s all I have to report for the day. back to stretching and foam rolling!

QOTD: How do you mental handle a sports injury?