Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Favorite Things

I know that Christmas is only days away, but I thought I would post about some of my favorite things that might be nice last minute gifts for a runner in your life.  Or yourself.  I also have included some things on my list that I would love to get.

1. Garmin- or other GPS watch.  I have the simple Forerunner 205 and couldn’t live without it.  If I had my way, I’d trade it in for one with the heart rate monitor.  I don’t train with my heart rate often, but I think about doing it now and then.  If it were just a matter of strapping that monitor to my chest, I would do it more often.
2. iFitness Double Pouch running belt--  I am actually planning on devoting an entire post to this.  It is my single favorite running item.  I use it almost every day.  I use it even when I am not running.  It is the perfect belt to carry my phone, my keys and a little cash.  On days when I can’t find it, I’m lost.  I like having the comfort of having my phone with me when I run and this little belt allows me to do that. 
Neoprene Double Pouch Black w/ Pink Zip
3. Fleece vest--  I love my fleece vest.  It is the perfect addition to my cool weather running wardrobe.  I bought it for a mountain biking trip, but I have worn it dozens of times running.  It has a zip pocket in the back and is cut for cycling, so the back is lower.  Mine is made by Sheila Moon, but it doesn’t seem like they still make it. 

4. Compression Socks—I use the Recovery Socks after my runs.  I often wear them sleeping overnight.  Do they prevent injury?  I don’t know.  But I know I seem to feel better after wearing them.

5. Gloves—My hands get really cold when I run in less than 50 degree weather.  Luckily, it doesn’t usually get super cold around here, so my Target knit gloves work perfectly.  Whenever they go on sale I buy some, so I have several pair of $.50 gloves.  If I need to chuck them if my hands get too warm, I’m not out much money.  These are great stocking stuffers!
6.  Arm Warmers—I love my arm warmers.  I have two pair.  One I LOVE and the other one not as much.   My favorite pair is a cycling pair by Louis Garneau.   They are nice and soft on the inside and moisture wicking on the outside.  They are perfect here in Southern California where it starts out cold and warms up as the run progresses.  These stay up on my arms and never need adjusting or tugging.  They have a band at the top that keep them up without squeezing.  I don’t even think about them.  I have run entire marathons in them.  My second pair is by Zensah.  I had high hopes for these, having read great reviews.  They are soft and comfy and a cute pink.  The only problem with them is that they don’t stay up really well.  I have only worn them a few times (if my black ones are in the laundry) and I felt like I had to tug at the top.  The compression is nice throughout, but during the run the top seems to sag a bit.

7. A hat—  Hats are underrated items of apparel. They keep me warm, dry and keeps the sun out of my eyes.  Now that my hair is getting longer, I need a hole to put my pony tail.  The hat we got from the Santa Barbara Marathon doesn’t have a pony hole.  What’s up with that?  I have tried running in knit hats, but I find I like a nice brim on my hat.

My wish list:
1. Unlimited race entries—I love, love, love running races.  There is something so exciting about the race environment.  Unfortunately, races are expensive.  My favorite Christmas present would be a premium membership to (if that actually existed) where I could register for any race for little or no money.  I have so many races on my list to do and they aren’t cheap!  While we’re at it, I would love to be able to travel to races as well.

2. Unlimited shoes—Ah, to be sponsored by Brooks.  Now, that would be something.  They say that shoes last 500 miles.  I find that by 300 miles, I start experiencing aches and pains in my lower legs.  My shin splints and IT Band Syndrome both start bothering me when my shoes reach the upper 200’s mileage-wise.  This gets to be very expensive.

3. A wind-proof, water-resistant jacket with zip-off sleeves--  This would be so convenient around here.  Often when it is cold, it warms up by the end of my run.  When it is raining, it often doesn’t rain the entire run.  A convertible jacket is just what I need. This one looks nice.

4. Vibram Five FingersI am curious about the barefoot running thing.  Even though I wear stability shoes and feel all sorts of issues when they get too old, I always wonder how much my form might improve by going “back to nature.”  I wouldn’t mind trying out some Vibrams, but I don’t want to invest the money, in case I don’t like it.  I would do just a little at a time, probably out on the trails.

5. Compression pants—I have two pair of running pants, but they were both relatively inexpensive.  They are nice and warm, but require some annoying tugging.  I think that pants with some compression features would be much more comfortable and help in my recovery etc.

6. iPod ShuffleI don’t use music as much as I used to.  I wear my iPod Nano strapped to my arm.  It gets a little cumbersome.  The shuffle (or even better, the new Nano) is small enough to clip on a collar.  I have a perfectly good iPod, so a new one is a silly thing to want.  But since this is my wish list, I can list whatever I want, right?  While I’m at it, I think I want the Oakley MP3 glasses, where it is all built into my sunglasses.

7. A headlamp—We often start our runs when it is dark.  I sometimes wear a flashing light or a Tinkerbell pin belonging to my kids.  That helps people see me.  I wouldn’t mind a lamp so I can see better.  I would like one that is super lightweight.  One that clips to my hat would be perfect.

8. A Treadmill—as much as I hate running on a treadmill, there are times when it really comes in handy.  The weather this week has been horrible.  I don’t mind a little rain, but it has been raining HARD for several days.  I definitely would have used a treadmill this week.

I am sure there are more things I love in my own running bags and drawers.  I am even more sure there are additional things on my wish list that I forgot to mention.  Luckily, I really have everything I need.  I have my running friends and I live in a place where the weather is [almost always] perfect for running.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday and that the new year treats you well.

Happy Running…


Laura said...

They do have a thing on where you pay a yearly fee and then get like $5-10 off each race. I've never tried it but it seems like it's probably worth it.

I haven't tried compression socks or pants but they seem to be all the rage these days! Maybe I'll get some in my stocking :)

The Green Girl said...

I've grown attached to my iFitness belt as well. I've found it's great for hanging out with my niece because I can slide it around depending on what activity we're doing (going down a slide, crawling on our stomachs).

Kristin said...

I <3 compression socks! I got my first pair in Portland, and have added several more... I have been wearing them for running (only with long pants or tights) and sometimes to work! (CEP plain black is great.) Have a great Christmas!

Terri said...

Awesome post, Lisa, and I like a lot of the same stuff. Of course this year, no one's buying it for me like in the past, and I've realized I have more than enough to get by on too. :-)

But the ifitness belt - my brother has it too and he loves it!

Anonymous said...

Great list! I highly recommend the shuffle! It's very durable and convient!


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