Inspiration and Christmas Gift Ideas for Runners

I love uplifting running blogs.  I adore reading the positive messages and words of inspiration from other runners.

Unfortunately, I’m just not usually that way.  I should try harder to put out a positive vibe–really, I should.  But honestly, it’s about whatever works to get you motivated, and right now, I’m motivated to head out and do some speedwork in an hour or so because I just wolfed down an approximately 1,000 calorie Chick-fil-A Spicy Chicken Sandwich meal deal at 10:45 in the morning.

I did get the unsweetened tea, so I give myself a small golf clap for showing restraint and not getting the sweetened stuff.

I’ve been getting in frequent runs, including almost 7 easy miles on Sunday at a 9:20 pace and an easy 3-miler on the treadmill Monday afternoon (my 14-year old likes our club gym now, so I’ve taken him a few times and resigned myself to the drudgery of the dreadmill.)

The bad thing about the gym is that I start watching other people and comparing myself to them.  Imagine my pissiness on Monday when an older man strutted in right as I did, didn’t stretch or warm up or anything, just stepped on a treadmill and started running at a 7.6. I swear he was smirking as he did it.  I tried to tell myself that he was running intervals or trying to jump start his workout  or something–but NO, that bitch kept it up for 30 minutes (I use “bitch” a lot, and it can refer to any female or male that I hate/am jealous of/have a healthy respect for.)  I was a few people down running my pathetic 6.5 with a 1% incline (9:09 pace) and feeling lousy about myself.

Of course I obsessively looked up treadmill pace conversions when I got home and saw that he’d been running an 8:14 mile.  Not as incredible as it seemed, but I was still surprised that he started right up at that speed.  I would pull a hammy instantly and then fall flat on my face before flying off the back.  Mama likes her warmup!

It was inspiring, though…I’ll give him that.

Aside from running, I’ve been tackling Christmas like it’s December 15th already.  I’ve scored some great gifts, including an “I Love to Fart” coffee mug for my youngest.  I’ve done major amounts of shopping, my gift wrap station is up and running, and I’ve cajoled (read: steamrolled) my family into a new tradition:  a White Elephant gift exchange.  Everyone has to bring either a handmade gift or a White Elephant gift suitable for all ages.  The men are grouchy, but I don’t care.

I sent my sister this awesome Christmas card that I found at Urban Outfitters…


Gift wrapping in the basement is giving my plenty of opportunity to watch my übertolerant son play his Xbox with two obnoxious companions…


I’ve also compiled a wish list for my family in case they need ideas, which includes a few running-related items.  I would love another pair of Zensah compression sleeves, a Handana hand/wristband for wiping away sweat and snot (I saw this on someone’s running blog, and now I can’t remember whose blog it was or I would give them credit!), gift certificates toward a Garmin 220, and a pair of Tifosi sunglasses.  I’d ask for a sub 1:50 half marathon, but I don’t think even Santa can deliver that.

Do you have any great Christmas gift ideas?  Any ideas for a handmade gift that I can dazzle my family with?  Do you get inspired from bad eating decisions?