A Runner’s Christmas List

I’m seeing these pop up everywhere this time of year, so I thought I’d throw my two cents in.  In my opinion it is hard to shop for any kind of outdoor enthusiast, because sometimes the gear specifications, although perfect for some, are not for everyone.  If you find a super convertible fuzzy hoodie thing, you might want to pass – or consider gift cards at local stores so your runner can find their perfect fit.  Check return policies.  Or consider swiping what is clearly and old favorite piece of gear and simply replacing it with a new version.

Or maybe I’m just a really picky pain in the ass, I don’t know.  But here goes…



The HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2 by Orange Mud.

This is clearly the best pack ever built.  Shown here in bright pink, this is the one piece of gear I’m coveting over all others.  TWO bottles, pockets everywhere, bungee for extra storage…I don’t know what else there could be.  I have the Single Barrel and I absolutely love it but just want more hydration capacity.  The design is what caused me to switch from bladder-based to bottle-based hydration – I can’t stand sloshing, and I never felt like I was cleaning the container properly.  Then I found Orange Mud, and I can’t imagine any other type of pack.

You can find the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 2 here.




The SPIbelt

I have two of these, but they’re so cute and available in so many colors and combinations that I want them all.  This is definitely a on-size-fits-all item.  I don’t know ANY runner who at some point hasn’t thought it would be convenient to have a pocket for their phone/gels/keys/whatever.  Even if it’s not used daily, when you need this little gem, it’s perfect.  Heck, I’ve even used it at the laundromat for my quarters when I didn’t have a pocket.  Not only does it do its job, it does it well.  This pack will not be bouncing all around or sliding or riding up.  All function, no annoyances.

Check out the SPIbelt here.



The Nathan Lightstreak

This is the kind of thing that will save your (or your runner’s) life.  It’s not necessarily about being cute, although it has a non-restrictive cut so you won’t look disheveled.  Lights on the front and back keep you safe and visible to everyone on the road, from vehicle to other pedestrians.

The Nathan Lightstreak is available here.



The Tipsy Goat by Blenders Eyewear

If you’re a day runner, you don’t need the reflective vest – but you probably need eye protection.  Blenders Eyewear offers affordable eyewear that will protect your eyes from the sun’s rays…and they’re stylish, too.  Gift certificates are available, and the site has sales and promotions quite often.

Check out the entire collection here.



Myssage Balls

Last but not least…these are integral for me, and I would recommend them for any runner, hiker, cyclist, waitress…hopefully you get the idea.  Any person that may have repetitive stress issues and/or sore muscles will appreciate being able to effectively give themselves a massage.  I often talk about active recovery, and these babies are my #1 go-to !  From a kink in my neck to relaxing plantar fascia, the Myssage method is crucial.

To purchase Myssage balls or learn more about the method, go here.


What are the pieces of gear that you’re drooling over and wish Santa would bring you?  Do you have any brands that you swear by?


No matter if you’re naughty or nice, I hope you have an awesome holiday season full of trails, cocoa, and time with your family and friends.


New Routine

I, like many runners, have weak glutes.  This manifests in calves, knees, hamstrings, and in my case…hips.  I fall victim to piriformis syndrome as a result of my hip weaknesses.  The over compensation by my piriformis to correct the imbalance leaves it inflamed.  The nature of this bitsy little muscular blob is such that the sciatic nerve passes through it, so if it gets puffy it squeezes that lovely nerve and then all hell breaks loose.


I call it “getting a butt knot” which is not at all technical, but that’s the best way for me to describe the discomfort.  I am lucky that it isn’t mimicking sciatica and causing even more pain issues:


The whole point of me telling you about my ever-cramping butt is to let you know about the new nightly routine I’m adding to the mix.  It includes stretching AND strengthening exercises and doesn’t take a lot of time.

Read about them here.

They go over foam rolling exercises, too, but I already use the Myssage balls instead.  I find them more portable, pretty, and proven than foam rolling.  The balls are designed to get in between tissue so you can really find the sweet spot.  It’s the same myofascial release but more concentrated and, in my opinion, more effective.  Just go slow and increase pressure when you find the right area.

Myssage is a technique developed by Juniper Bowers as way to soften the connective tissues in our bodies.  It is a lifesaver for me (and my S.O.).  Anyone who has repetitive stress…heck, anybody who is aging can appreciate using Myssage as a way to keep those tissues engaged, flexible, and happy.  I’ve linked to the Myssage site, but here it is again.

I use “the balls” every night.  I cannot express how strongly I suggest using this method as part of your active recovery routine.  They used to live in my recovery bag – with my ultrasound machine and TENS unit.  Now I use them so often that I just leave them out.  Check out the videos and read more about the method, then get yourself some balls!