Christmas Gift Guide 2012

Here is your gift guide for that young urban professional-runner-yogi-healthy eating-dessert loving-blog reading special someone on your list.  In other words, here are a couple  cool things that I have and love, as well as a few things I would appreciate under the Christmas tree this year!

For the foodie on your list… The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – OMG if you do not read this blog, you are crazy!  I saw her  cookbook at Angthropologie and I died.  It is so beautiful.  I have tried a good number of the recipes from the blog and they are just so wonderful, and the posts are so funny and well written.

the smitten kitchen cookbook

For the runner on your list… a Garmin!  This completely changes how you run and think about training.  Before recently, I would have said that it isn’t really worth the $300 investment for most runners, but now that the Garmin Forerunner 10 is out, I think it’s a super accessible running accessory that will have huge impact.  I even want one now because it’s so much smaller and cuter than the older versions.

For the snobby healthy eater on your list… a Soda Stream.  This is like one of those things I would love to have, but probably wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it for myself at this point.  I do think I would use it a lot.  I mean, what would you rather have, lemonade or sparkling lemonade??!! DUH!!

For the Yogi on your list… a Jade yoga mat.  I can not tell you enough what a difference a good yoga mat makes.  My Jade yoga mat was expensive, but SO WORTH IT.  I never ever slip on this mat, and I am a super slippery sweaty yogi.  I have the travel mat because it is cheaper, and it is still super thick.  I saw that they have an environmentally friendly one on Amazon now!

Jade Travel 68-by-1/8-inch Yoga Mat

For the yuppie on your list (or me)… I have been feeling especially needy this season, which is not something I am really proud of.  Last year, I said I don’t really want “stuff”.  This year, I was overwhelmed by how much “stuff” I found myself wanting.  I had to take a step back and realize that they are just a bunch of things I would enjoy having, but I don’t need anything new in my life right now.  That being said, I would really like new Citizens jeans, some light brown Aerosoles boots, everything at J.Crew (pink vest!), a nice wool coat, a tablet, and money to help me pay for a Crossfit membership this winter.  lol you know… nothing really…

However, I do hope that Santa (and everyone else) considers giving to people who actually do need things this season.   In fact, I would also really appreciate someone gifting me a donation to Girls on the Run.  I am especially passionate about the program in the SF Bay Area because I was involved with it, but all of the local chapters are doing a great thing!


Gobble Gobble Gobble 2012

Last year, Brendan and I signed up for a turkey trot in Salem, MA.  It started really early in the morning and it was pretty far away… so we slept through it.  Never doing that again!  This year, I signed up for the race that was just a few minutes from our house and started at 9am… much better.  Brendan was still not convinced it would go any better, apparently, so he just drove me to Starbucks and then to the start line.  I take what I can get.

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It was 40 degrees outside, so I was pretty pumped for a chilly, but comfortable 4-mile run.  I started the morning off with a bowl of pumpkin pie oatmeal at home (old fashioned oats cooked normally, add canned pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar.  Finish with a dollop of vanilla yogurt on top!)  Then Brendan took me to Starbucks for a caramel brulee latte. 

DSCN0899I pretty much wore all my favorite running gear: Lululemon tank, highlighter warmer-than-normal half zip, full length Zella tights, unisex Nike hat, Garmie, and Five Fingers.  I ended up wishing I had worn a lighter half-zip when I got warm, but it was freezing at the start, so I think it was the way to go.

This race truly was my last race before jaw surgery, so I wanted to push it, but I also knew I hadn’t been watching my pace at all recently, so I had no idea what to expect.  Brendan and I talked about my game plan the night before, and we decided a 9-minute pace was realistic.  I knew I could do better since I ran last weekend’s half marathon at a 9:15, but I’ve historically not been very good at changing my pace.  My marathon pace is my half pace is my 5k pace. 

I know I’ve said this before, but there is just something so cool about people coming together to run as a group.  It is so magical when you are walking to the start of a race and runners are appearing at every corner, all waking up to meet and share this common love.  It’s like we are all in on a secret.  Runners are scattered on the sidewalks creeping towards the start, until suddenly we are less discreet…

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How cool is that?!  I don’t have Garmie with me right now, but my splits were approximately:

Mile 1) 8:15

Mile 2) 8:15

Mile 3) 8:30

Mile 4) 8:00

For a 4 mile race PR (I don’t think I’ve run a 4-mile race before) of about 33 minutes!  I was more than happy with my time!  The race was hard.  It was hilly, it was cold, my left leg sucked the whole time.  Did I mention it was like REALLY HILLY!  But it was really fun, too.  A lot of people dressed up with turkey costumes or hats, a lot of families came out to run together, and a lot of neighbors brought their Thanksgiving coffee outside to cheer us on.  It was a really awesome community event, and I will definitely be signing up again next year. 


Happy birthday to me!

I love self-gifting!  We’ll see where these babies will take me… after my race this weekend!

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Water stops

When I go out for a long run I usually bring my water bottle.

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It only holds 12 oz. which keeps it light, but also means I need to plan stops along my route to fill it up.  Not too hard.  I also love that it holds my keys, money, chapstick, etc.  I don’t really want to bring it out on runs longer than 12 miles because my arm will get tired and I will want to throw my expensive water bottle into the Bay.  Bad on so many levels.

So… when I go out for a longer run I plan stops along the route (usually every 4-5 miles) where I can buy a drink, water, or candy.  My favorite stop is Trader Joe’s because it is cheaper than convenience stores, has clean bathrooms, and has delicious gummy tummy candy!

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This all goes really well when I am out for an afternoon run, but what about during a race!?  I would really like to say that it is easy during races because you can depend on the race organizers to provide an electrolyte drink and water, so you just have to bring your own Gu, candy, chomps, or whatever. But I tried that at the Eugene marathon.  I brought my own Sharkies and then had a plan to stop every 4 miles for Gatorade and water.  The problem is that I suck at drinking from those cups, I have to walk to get any fluids, it slows me down, they are always mixed differently AND I ended up super dehydrated by mile 20 anyway!

In my book that I am reading…

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The author talks about her technique for drinking water at water stops.  She folds the paper cup right when she grabs it so that it is like drinking out of a milk carton, and then it is easier to drink while running.  WOAH!! I thought everyone either stopped and walked or choked and drooled like me.  Apparently not because when I Googled it, I found this Runner’s World forum about folding the cup OR carrying a big bendy straw (like the ones you would get as a kid at Red Robin or TGI Friday’s) and using it at each water station.  So intense!

I’m running the SF Marathon on July 31st, and I was planning to carry my water bottle, refill around mile 6, and then hand it off to Brendan at the half.  Then I was hoping I would go into the second half in better shape than before.  Now I am considering my options.

The book also recommends practicing grabbing cups of water in front of your house.  LOLOLOL!!! I’m pretty sure I would fit in perfectly in Berkeley if people saw me doing that.