Holiday Gift Guide: Runner Edition

Good morning and happy Tuesday!

I have a special holiday-themed post for you today…

Gift Guide: What to get the special runner in your life.

Holiday Gift Guide

Running shoes– new running shoes would be a welcome gift for any runner, but beware, runners are very particular about their running shoes. What works for one runner, may not work for another. I’m a Brooks girl- specifically these or these. If you are unsure what your runner prefers, take a peek in their closet.

Running clothes– A runner can never have too much running clothes. If you’re unsure of sizing, a giftcard to their favorite specialty run shop (like Fit2Run!) would be perfect. I’m not picky about my tank tops and will often buy whatever is cheapest, but I do enjoy these. For shorts, the biggest thing to consider is: brief or no-brief. I love my shorts with a built-in brief, and really prefer these, these, or these.

Socks– Want to put a smile on your runners face, get them nice running socks. My faves are Feetures and Smartwool, but the few times I have forgotten to bring socks and had to make an emergency Target run, I have turned to these, and actually really love them.

GPS running watch– ALWAYS a nice gift! You can’t go wrong with a Garmin.

Gym bag– A nice gym bag to lug all of a runners’ gear from point A to point B would make a very nice gift. I switch between this and this to get me from work to run.

Running belt/something to carry keys/phone/fuel– For shorter runs I use my Nathan running belt, and for longer runs I love my Nathan hydration pack.

Road ID– Peace of mind is always a great gift. Last year, I got everyone in my family a Road ID bracelet. Each bracelet comes engraved with name, in-case-of-emergency contact, and medical history.

Recovery toolsCEP compression sleeves or a new foam roller will earn you major brownie points.

Headphones– I love my Beats by Dre, but didn’t love the pricetag. Runners go through headphones a lot; I think a couple cheap pairs of brightly colored buds/clips would make a great stocking stuffer.

Magazine subscriptions– I’m kind of old-school and love print magazines. They are convenient to throw in a gym bag. Runner’s World and Women’s Running are my faves. Most local running shops carry Competitor, which is a free running mag; you could pick up a copy to include in your runners’ stocking. Save them a trip to the store! 😉

Gift subscriptions– A gift subscription to Audible or Oyster Books would make a great gift for the runner who likes to read.

Race entry– Know of an upcoming race your runner would like to participate in? Gift their entry!

Ipod– Upgrade their music-listening with a new Nano or Shuffle.

Stocking Stuffer Ideas:

Fuel– your runners favorite fuel would bring cheer to any stocking. I’m a fan of GU packets. You can pick up singles at a local speciality run shop or at Sports Authority.

Nuun– Staying hydrated can get boring; Nuun doesn’t.

Clip light/flashlight– Safety out on the road is nothing to be taken lightly; a nice clip light to see and be seen makes all the difference. I love my Nathan Orion. But, also some cheap mini flashlights would make a great gift.

Itunes giftcards

Antibacterial wipes– I’m a runner. I get sweaty. Wipies are where it’s at!

Body spray

Hair ties– they are constantly disappearing, so a runner can never have too many.

Question of the day

What’s missing from my list?


Weekend ReCUP special edition: Route 66 Marathon Recap

Happy Thursday and Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving I have a lot to be thankful for!

happy Thanksgiving

It’s been a few days since my last post, so we have a lot to catch up on. Let’s get to this special edition of the Weekend ReCUP!


I arrived in Tulsa early afternoon and could not have been more excited to get the weekend started.

After the most expensive cab ride of my life ($32!!), I was very grateful when my hotel allowed me to check in almost two hours early.

I stayed at the Best Western Downtown.

It’s a fairly new hotel, and was walking distance to everything and right across the street from the race expo. They were also an official race hotel and had some handy materials for all race participants.

I was going on about two hours of sleep, so once I got situated in my room, I took a nap.

After, I got ready and walked over to the expo to pickup my bib and to check out the bloggers forum setup.


The expo was small and pretty well organized. And the bib pickup line moved quickly. The expo hall however was pretty stuffy and warm; I got out as quick as I could as I didn’t want to get sweaty before the panel. 😉

I was starving and walked a few blocks up the road to see what I could find for lunch. I came up on a cute little cafe and decided to give it a try. Topeca was just what I needed! Gourmet grilled cheese and a side salad. Yum!


And then it was time to head back to the expo to prepare for the bloggers panel. By this time, I was getting nervous. My heart was beating super fast and I was almost feeling a bit dizzy. I found a nice spot to sit and relax to try and calm down a bit.

I headed inside about 15 minutes prior and almost immediately recognized Colin (another blogger from the panel) from his blog/social media profiles. I went over to introduce myself and we started chatting. Thankfully! Because it really helped to calm my nerves.

The panel was a lot of fun!


And looking back, I shouldn’t have been nervous. It was about running and blogging- two things I am passionate about. And when you’re passionate about something, it just comes naturally.

Once Uncle Barry and Kristy made it to Tulsa, we quickly looked up a dinner spot to try out. Uncle Barry was all about his Man Vs. Food list, so we selected from there (throughout the entire weekend).

El Guapo won for Friday night. I even broke down and ordered sangria. And it was good! The food and service, I thought, were both great! And I would totally go back.




After grabbing a quick bite to eat at the hotel, we headed next door (to the Doubletree) for the Bart Yasso shakeout run meetup. I’m such a dork and was so so so looking forward to this. He’s a super nice guy!


We went out for three miles in the chilly Tulsa feels-like-high-twenties-but-is-really-windy temps. I wore shorts. I didn’t care! I kept telling myself I wasn’t cold (this proved very helpful the next day).

The run was beautiful and I had a lot of fun giggling the entire time with some Marathon Maniacs.


A little later, we headed over to the expo as Uncle Barry and Kristy still had to pickup their bibs. And then we spent some time walking through the expo. I wasn’t planning to buy anything. Especially because my bags were already pretty full on the way out to Tulsa. But, the Triggerpoint girl got me! And Kristy too. 😉

No, I’m kidding. Kind of. I did pickup a new foam roller. Like the Mac Daddy of foam rollers. You know it’s intense when you actually scream out in pain. But, I’m so happy that I did because I got it for a great deal and as long as I keep foam rolling I know I’ll keep running.

Boo (and Trevor) got into town just before lunch, and I was so happy to see my baby sister. I miss her terribly and she is the only reason why I agreed to do a marathon in Oklahoma, and I just wanted to make her proud.

For lunch, we consulted the list and decided on Kilkenny’s an Irish pub in what I would consider the Hyde Park part of Tulsa. I really liked this place! It was cozy, the food was great, and the service was excellent!

We then did a little walking around the Hyde Park-like village and then headed back to the hotel to rest up.

Grandpa and his wife Dana got into town just in time for dinner. When our first choice was way too busy (think two hour wait and a restaurant that doesn’t accept reservations), we decided on Hideaway Pizza for our pre-race dinner. The service was not good, the wait wasn’t terrible, and the pizza was decent (just don’t ask my uncle). Really it was the company that made this special!

And then it was time to pack up, get prepped, and head to bed. I wrote out my mile dedications on my arm in case I “got stuck” during the race and needed inspiration to get me through.


And then I was off to bed!


I was up by 6:00, and headed downstairs in my pajamas to grab the hotel’s continental breakfast.

After getting dressed and pooping (twice! And yes, I know. TMI!) we headed out for the start line. I had on two jackets and throw away pants, and while it was definitely cold, I would not let myself say the words. I just kept repeating, “I’m not cold. It’s not cold out”.

After taking a few pics with the family and removing my throw away/don’t want to carry but don’t want to throw away clothes, we were off to Corral C.

I wasn’t nervous at all, but I also wasn’t sure what to expect. I had a time goal of 5:30, but really just wanted to have fun and enjoy every moment.

The race started at 8:00 and I crossed the start line at 8:17. Here is a fun video of my corral taking off; I’m at 1:54 in and looking good! 😉

I started out slow, and made sure not to skip my first walk interval.

The course was hilly. A lot hillier than I was expecting. It started on a hill, and then just kind of stayed on hills. I learned a lot about myself on this race. I learned that I prefer going up hills more so than coming down them.

I thought the entire course was well thought out and beautiful and the crowd support was awesome! We ran through so many residential areas- so many residential areas that were littered with throw away clothes and GU packets- and yet these residents came out in droves to support us. Also, I don’t think I have ever seen so many alcohol pit-stops during a race! People would just setup tables outside their houses with beer, Jell-O shots, tequila shots (with lime wedges), and so much more! Around mile 14 is where the party is at. 😉 I didn’t partake, but it was cool to see.

Once the half-marathoners turned off just before mile 13, it really died down. Of the 12,000 runners on Sunday, the majority were most definitely running the half. There were so many full-runners that looked tired and were struggling to move, and we were only halfway!

Not me though! I was having so much fun out on the course, and was cheering on everyone around me, and thanking all the volunteers and police officers. I honestly smiled the entire race! And it felt great!

At my last (and first) marathon (Disney- Jan 2015), mile 18 is where it fell apart. So coming up on mile 18 here, I still had it in the back of my mind, “what if?” But, I told that little voice in my head where to go, and just kept running…and smiling.

I “saw” my family around mile 21. And by “saw” I mean I heard my baby sister screaming, but only because she was screaming while running towards me and then continued to run with me for a few feet. I was so in the zone that I missed seeing them all! Whoops!

She even tried to take a selfie of us while running…


I dedicated each mile to someone in my life, because if I reached a difficult moment or needed help continuing I was going to focus my energy on them and the times we have shared. I never reached that point, and that felt really good. There were a handful of songs that I put on my playlist in honor of those on the list, and when certain ones would come on I would laugh. (P.S. Check back tomorrow because I will be sharing my KILLER marathon playlist).

When I got to mile 25, I told my big brother Hayman to bring me home, and that’s just what he did. Thanks Hayman!

Mile 26 felt amazing! I felt like the strongest runner out on the course- everyone around me was walking (and not part of a walk interval), and when I turned that corner and saw the finish line, I opened it up and just took off. Coming in to the finish line chute I could hear my family cheering me on. I threw my arms up and ran it in! 

I finished in 5:31:40 and it was a perfect race!

People came from all over the world to run Route 66 Marathon, and now I know why. It’s a great race! Not like any race I’ve ever done before!

They say running a marathon changes you. I didn’t feel that after Disney. I do now!


Just for fun, here are my splits…

  • 12:34
  • 13:25
  • 12:26
  • 12:41
  • 12:11
  • 11:49
  • 12:07
  • 12:48
  • 11:39
  • 12:18
  • 12:04
  • 13:07
  • 11:21
  • 11:44
  • 12:29
  • 13:11
  • 12:40
  • 12:33
  • 12:40
  • 12:25
  • 12:34
  • 13:05
  • 12:51
  • 12:07
  • 12:28
  • 11:21
  • 8:56 (.8 miles on the Garmin)

And, for fuel and hydration…

I had 4 GU packets total. One about every 5.5 miles. And one to two sips of Gatorade and almost all the water in the water cup at almost every water stop. For about the first 8 miles, I stopped at every other water stop.

And, for strategy…

I did a run/walk interval of 1:00/0:30.

For even more pics from the weekend, click here!

Thanks for reading!

Question of the day

Tell me about your best race ever! 

That felt good!

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

And, a big thank you to all Veterans- past, present, and future. Happy Veterans Day!

I have today off from work in honor of Veterans Day; it feels so weird to not work on a Wednesday.

Yesterday was an interesting day! I was very fussy, and was blaming it on my taper blues, until I realized I will be hormonal this week. 😉 Fun stuff!

You know you’ve got a true friend when you call her up, whine that you need chocolate, and she shows up within two minutes with a giant bag of peanut M&Ms.

After work, I headed over to Fit2Run and proceeded to buy 23 bucks worth of GU packets to get me through the remaining 1.5 weeks of training and the big day.

The weather was so so beautiful for our training session- there was a nice breeze, and almost no humidity. It was Tempo Tuesday and I had 30 minutes on the schedule.

I felt great and am pretty sure I smiled throughout the entire 30 minutes! I love runs like that!

That was just what I needed!

Route 66 is still 11 days out, but I need to get packing. I always over-pack, but I’m only allowing myself a backpack and a tote bag. This will be fun to see!

Also! I cannot believe we are this close to marathon weekend and I have yet to draft up an itinerary. Slacker! 😉

Question of the day

Do you travel with an itinerary?