Stuff I want: happy birthday to me: part 1 (running gifts)

As you probably know, my birthday is coming up in less than a month.  I’m sure you’ve been agonizing over what to get me since approximately December 26. (My cat is helping me type this list, so I would like to apologize in advance for any odd errors. He’s pretty smart, but spelling is definitely not his strong point.)

I thought I’d break this down into a few categories & post some stuff every few days, so as to a)  not overwhelm you and b) make sure no one misses their chance.

I  may have mentioned once or twice that I am, in fact, a runner. Running is supposed to be this awesome pure sport where all you have to do is put on a pair of shoes & take off – no equipment needed.

I suppose that is technically true, but if all I wore on a run was a pair of shoes, I would be likely be in a LOT of pain and  possibly in jail (maybe not in that order).

So – besides shoes, which I have, what else does your typical (i.e. me) runner need?

1. Socks! You cannot wear cotton socks from Target. You will get blisters. Every runner has favorite socks. I have a few pairs that I rotate, but there are really two pairs that I love the most. Both of them are in such heavy rotation that they are getting thin on the bottom, which will likely lead to blisters. My running socks of choice: (size small!)

SmartWool PHD Running Ultra Light Micro Socks
SmartWool PHD Running Ultra Light Micro Socks

2. Capris. I adore my capris. They are perfect for running in spring & fall (and most of winter, unless it’s really cold). However, I have only one pair, and despite my best laundering techniques they are getting….stinky. So – I need at least one more pair, for rotational purposes. I run 4x/week, and this time of year, I prefer to run in capris for most of those runs. These would be awesome (size small):

Nike Women's Distance Tech Running Capris (small)
Nike Women's Distance Tech Running Capris (small)

3. Shorts. Shorts are obviously important. I hate loose shorts, and instead prefer to run in my Under Armour tight shorts. They are super awesome. Comfortable. No chafing. Plus, they highlight my nice runner’s butt. I love these! (size small.)

Women's UA Achieve 7" Shorts (small)
Women's UA Achieve 7" Shorts (small)

4. Sports bras. Obviously this is key. Really really key. I do not think it is possible for a woman to own too many sports bras. Because I wear two every time I run, and I run four time a week, sometimes I am forced to run in an unclean bra. Because sports bras are expensive! If someone can find me a sports bra that is supportive enough that I only need the one AND is not white or beige (extra bonus points if it also isn’t black) and doesn’t look like actual infrastructure, that would be awesome. In the meantime, I will settle for these.(any color but black or white, 36DD)

Moving Comfort Fiona (36DD)
Moving Comfort Fiona (36DD)

5. Hat – hats are super important! They keep the hair & sun & rain out of your face. BUT, they also have to let your head sweat so you don’t overheat. Enter Headsweats hat!

head sweats race hat - red
head sweats race hat - red

6. Shirt. I have a lot of race shirts – and a lot of great tech shirts. The one thing I really don’t have is a great running tank top. I am not sure if this one is great, but I like the way it looks! (size medium.)

Nike Dri-FIT Pacer Womens Running Tank Top (medium)
Nike Dri-FIT Pacer Women's Running Tank Top (medium)

7. Running sleeves – I am craving some of those – when it’s not quite cold enough for a full-sleeved shirt!  Aren’t they kind of awesomeZensah Arm Sleeve (S/M)

Zensah Arm Sleeves (S/M) NOT PINK - NOT EVER!
Zensah Arm Sleeves (S/M) NOT PINK - NOT EVER!

8. Night running safety gear! I run at night a LOT – especially during the winter, when night comes early. I have a blinky headlight, but would love to get some more safety gear. Such as this vest (below) or this

LED Runner's Vest
LED Runner's Vest

9. Fuel belt. I have a fuel belt, but at least one of the bottles is not usable, and I don’t like the way the bottles snap (or sometimes not) into the holders. Also, the pocket is velcro & doesn’t always stay velcroed – so stuff occasionally tries to fly off. I’ve read a lot of good things about this one.

Nathan Speed 4 Waist Pack with Four 10-Ounce Nutrition Flasks
Nathan Speed 4 Waist Pack with Four 10-Ounce Nutrition Flasks

10. Nutrition…this is definitely a huge part of running  and I’m always running out! Orange Shot Bloks, Vanilla Bean Gu, and Hammer Endurolytes.

Don’t worry – there will be more suggestions in days to come. Biking gear, swimming gear, random other stuff I desperately need.

Of course, if you happen to have other runners or bikers or people who like stuff, I suppose you could use my ideas to get them gifts instead.  They may not have the same brand preferences as me, but I’ll bet that most runners would like to have at least some of the above stuff!

Recent Comments

  • Carolina John
    January 28, 2010 - 9:57 am ·

    the led runners vest and zensah arm sleeves are fantastic. great stuff. headsweats are fantastic too; i’ll wear anything of theirs. check their skull cap for the bike stuff too.

    and really, can you have too many gu’s? i love the vanilla gingerbread flavor.

    • gazelle
      January 28, 2010 - 10:17 am ·

      I have the bike skull cap and LOVE it!

      I haven’t tried the vanilla gingerbread flavor. That sounds a little too sweet, I think. I’m weirdly picky about flavored stuff, though.

  • CilleyGirl
    January 28, 2010 - 10:48 am ·

    Two sports bras??? Seriously?? Wow, we’re basically the same size (I’m a 38) and I only have needed one — I use Moving Comfort’s Maia and I love it. The latest generation has adjustable straps, which made a huge difference for me in terms of limiting bounce. It really is almost like two bras in one.

    • gazelle
      January 28, 2010 - 7:12 pm ·

      the maia’s are too…I’m not sure what the right word is…tall? for me? they go up too high into my armpits, and are super uncomfortable. With just the fiona bra, I still move when I run, and prefer to not feel one ounce of bounce. I can usually get by with one if it’s brand new, but once it’s a couple of weeks old, I need two. (it takes two….)

  • Alisa
    January 28, 2010 - 11:14 am ·

    Haha, I love that you said NOT Pink ever =). I have the Zensah sleeves and I can’t wait to wear them. After that freakishly warm run we had I now keep them with me all the time in my bag.

    So many good ideas of birthday gifts…lots of these items are also on my list but sadly my birthday is in July!

  • Kristin
    January 28, 2010 - 12:20 pm ·

    Great stuff! I have one pair of Smartwool running socks and sadly, one seems to have been misplaced in the wash…hoping it turns up! 🙂 A comment about the Nathan fuel belt…I have the Speed 2 (two water bottles) and that size has been all I’ve ever needed even running a marathon. I also have a fuel-belt brand with four bottles, and I like the belt fine, but I’ve never ever used up all the water in the bottles, even running in Eastern Washington in the summer (of course, I was able to refill every 5 miles). But I think that unless you are going LONG distances with no water availability, you might want to consider the two-bottle kind to reduce weight and bulkiness. Better yet, one of each kind!

    • gazelle
      January 28, 2010 - 7:14 pm ·

      I ran with 3 bottles all last summer, and that just wasn’t enough for me. I ran out of water almost every time. I’d rather carry more fuel & not need it than ever run out again.

      I have my smaller capacity fuel belt now – just need the larger one! 🙂

  • carrie
    January 28, 2010 - 6:29 pm ·

    Have you ever tried Injinji toe socks? They ROCK…I used to get bigtime blisters and since I started wearing the Injinji’s I’ve only gotten them once…which is mostly because it was 86 freaking degrees and I ran through every single sprinkler and water hose on the marathon course. But I digress. Wanna try the toe socks? I’d love to send you a birthday present!

  • Michael
    January 29, 2010 - 12:31 pm ·

    All great stuff! I need to get something bright for night running as well as I just about got creamed the other night by a car with one headlight not stopping to make a turn….