We three kings of Orient are Bearing gifts we traverse afar: A Runner’s Christmas Wish List

Matthew 2:9-12

9ย After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10ย When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11ย On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12ย And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

The shepherds might have been the first ones to the Christmas party, but the wise men started the tradition of giving gifts. My Christmas gift list isn’t on the caliber of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, but then, none of us are the Son of God. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  I’ve made a list of some of my favorite running items and things that may help you (or your running buddies) with running and gift giving.

  1. Devoted Training Journal: I am biased here, but I love my Devoted Training Journal, and I think it would make a great gift for your running friends. The journal covers 4 months, which is perfect for a training cycle or the start of a new year goal.
  2. Milestone Pod: This little pod is such a fun running tool, and it really does help me with running. It’s extremely reasonable in price ($29.95), and you can use the code PodTeamMeridith33ย for 33% off of your entire order until December 5th.
  3. Beauty Counter lip gloss: I have always liked running with something on my lips, and for longer runs, you really need a gloss that will last for a while. I found this Beauty Counter lip gloss, and I love that it is also safe for Cadence, who always wants to share. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  There is a great special right now for 3 for $48. You can order from my friend here.
  4. Beachbody on Demand: I was really surprised by how much I like this subscription. I really haven’t used many of the strength programs (although they are great), but I do love the yoga programs! I do not have the time or the money to go to a yoga studio, but for $99 a year, this is a great option.ย  I signed up for my Beach Body subscription through Heather here.
  5. Shoes: If you are looking for a pair of shoes under the tree, I have had great success with Saucony. My favorite shoes are the Kinvara for racing and the Freedom for training. I always have more than one pair of shoes to rotate during the week. (And the Milestone Pod looks really good on a pair of shiny Sauconys. ๐Ÿ™‚
  6. Books: I love to read and run on the treadmill, and I find that I can go through a lot of books that way. One of my all time favorite running books is Once a Runner (followed by the sequel Again to Carthage). It’s fiction, and it will make you love running and feel super motivated. I love everything by Matt Fitzgerald. He adds a lot of research to his writing, and everything is relatable.ย  I read 80/20 Running for the second time this year, and I used a lot of the training strategy for my San Francisco Marathon. If you like science and biology (for females), you will love ROAR. Finally, not running specific, but getting the heart and head in the right place makes everything better: Nothing to Prove.ย  And my favorite cookbook of the year is Wellness Mama Cookbook.
  7. Clothes: I ran the Gorge Waterfalls 100k in April, and it was supposed to be chilly and rainy. I bought the Patagonia Houdini at the recommendation of a friend, and it was the PERFECT jacket for the weather. Super light and perfect breathability. For general running clothes, I love Rabbit clothes.ย  Get 10% off with this code.
  8. Nutrition: I started using the Juice Plus protein powder this year, and it is the best tasting protein powder I’ve ever tried. Plus, it is all plant-based, and I feel confident letting Cadence eat it. You can order yours here. If you just want a stocking stuffer, I love Honey Stinger waffles and Nuun.
  9. Recovery: I carry a Lacrosse ballย in myย purse and I keep them throughout the house. This is such a great way to recover! For my birthday this year, my husband surprised me with a Boom stick. It’s the kind of recovery that hurts so good and gets so deep!
  10. For your training buddy: If you have followed me for more than a minute, you know that I love the Thule Urban Glide for stroller running. I also love our Kelty hiking pack for cross training hikes with Cadence. We got our pack off of Craigslist, but you can find a new one here.

It’s easy to lose focus at Christmas time with all of the lights, presents, and parties.ย  At the end of the day, God gave us the best gift when he sent his Son to this earth. Merry Christmas everyone!

What’s on your Christmas wishlist?

Christmas Wish List: Silver white winters that melt into springs, These are a few of my favorite things

In the spirit of Christmas, I thought I’d share some of my favorite running things. Maybe this can help serve as a gift guide (giving or receiving!).ย  I do not like to shop, so if I can order an item online, I will do that every time.ย  My running wardrobe is nothing fancy, so you won’t find a pair of $400 tights in this list.ย  Haha.ย  But there are a few things that have made running more enjoyable to me, and they are listed below.

  1. Apple Shuffle: I love to listen to fast beats while I run, but I do not like to us
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    Shuffle, Ultimate Direction Jenny vest

    e my phone for music.ย  Instead, my preference is the shuffle. Also, my favorite jam for running fast is MotionTraxx music with a bpm of 180 or more.

  2. Lacrosse balls: I’m a fan of foam rolling, but I’m an even bigger fan of lacrosse balls.ย  I ordered the pack that comes with two balls, and I keep one in my purse and the other in my bedroom. I use these balls daily to help work out tight spots, and they seem to get deeper than just a foam roller.ย  (If you are in the car, stick the ball under your hamstring and work away!ย  Safer if you are the passenger. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  3. Flexibility: while you can’t really give someone flexibility, you can help them achieve their goals with a subscription to ROMWOD (range of motion workout of the day).ย  This is a $13.95/month service, so if you give it as a gift, be prepared to keep giving… and giving… But my husband and I have found that we feel so much better after completing the daily ~20 minute sessions of ROMWOD together.
  4. Milestone Pod: this is a new toy that I started to use, and the price of $24.95 is super reasonable to give as a gift to your favorite runner.ย  The gait data points are pretty cool, and any running junky will love it!
  5. Compression Socks: I like to wear compression socks after hard runs to help speed up recovery.ย  I’ve really noticed a difference!ย  Also compression socks are nice for speedwork days because they minimize the vibrations that your calves experience.ย  I like Pro Compression because they seem to have the best prices when accompanied by a discount code.
  6. Hydration Vest: I love my Ultimate Direction Jenny vest!ย  I’ve tried other vests, but this one fits the best to me.ย  I wore this vest for my 100 mile race, and it was perfect.ย  I doย  not wear a vest for the shorter distances, but any trail runner who aspires to be outside for a couple of hours should invest in a good vest.ย  For shorter distances, I like a handheld.
  7. Running in the dark: two things that have made early mornings safer: my Nathan Streak vest and my cheap but good headlamp.ย  You can buy great expensive headlamps, or you can buy good cheap ones.ย  I’ve used this headlamp for both a 50 mile and a 100 mile race, and it served me well. It also does great on my early morning runs. The batteries need to be switched every ~4 hours for optimum brightness, but it is super bright and not too heavy for general running use.
  8. Fanny pack: ok, so not really a fanny pack, but a running belt is fantastic!ย  I started running with my phone after I got pregnant, and I now I like to have it in case I need the baby (or the other way around ;).ย  I use the SPIbelt, but I think any belt would be fine.ย  My belt is not water proof, and it will bounce when I go really fast,
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    Thule Urban Glide, Milestone Pod, Coast headlamp, clip safety lights

    but for most of my runs, it sits snugly around my waist. I can fit my phone and a couple of gels without a problem.

  9. Essential oils: There are several different uses for oils, from topical to aromatherapy. My favorite oils that I feel have helped me with running are aromatherapy with lavender (there are studies that show that lavender helps reduce cortisol levels), and melaleuca for skin abrasions (I have taken many falls on the trails, and this is my favorite!). I use doTerra, and I also like their Deep Blue product.ย  If you are looking for a kit, the athlete’s kit is my favorite.ย  Also, here is the diffuser that I use.
  10. Strength training: I love the Bosu Ball, medicine ball, and elastic bands for strength work.
  11. Thule Urban Glide: this would be a pretty expensive gift, but it is hands down the best running accompaniment (along with the baby!).ย  It is the smoothest stroller around, and it handles long distances and fast speeds.ย  Also look for the rain cover/windbreaker, snack tray, and console. These lights are also good to strap onto the bars of the stroller or these can clip to the stroller or clip to your clothes.
  12. Books: you guys know that I love love love reading.ย  Here are all of my favorite running books and reviews.ย  I also highly recommend Run Fast, Eat Slow.

Bonus: I do not use my RoadID bracelet very often anymore, but I had one made when I got pregnant and printed PREGNANT as my medical condition.ย  This was important to me in case I needed emergency attention so that the first responders wouldn’t give me anything that could harm the baby.ย  At some point, it becomes pretty obvious that you are pregnant, but in the first few weeks, sometimes it’s good to spell things out.

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Bosu ball + cute baby

Do you have any favorite running items that I can add to my list this year?