A runner’s holiday wishlist
One of the best things about running is its simplicity — you don’t need a bunch of expensive, high-tech gear to do it. In two minutes flat, you can throw on your running clothes, lace up your shoes (even that’s optional), and hit the roads.
But when the holiday shopping season rolls around and the commercials, catalogs, and hustle and bustle get us in the spending spirit, even we runners can get a little ga-ga over new gadgets. And with the New Year just around the corner, it’s not too soon to start thinking about what running goals we might want to achieve next year.
With that in mind, we put together our lists of the stuff we’ll be wishing for, and the goals we’ll be thinking about to start the new year off on the right foot.
1. Trail shoes. I’m a newbie trail runner, and my road shoes aren’t quite cutting it. When the trails are wet (or snowy, as they will be soon), I’m not getting the traction I need. And I’ve had several close calls with rolling an ankle or even falling to avoid it, due to lack of stability. And though plunging through streams is fun, my shoes don’t do much to keep the water out. I haven’t done too much research, but the trail shoe that keeps catching my eye is the Salomon Speedcross 2. At about $125, the price is steeper than most hills I face, so if Santa could bring this one, I’d be one happy trail runner.
2. Hydration system. I never used to carry much water when I ran roads, choosing instead to park the car in a convenient spot and loop back to it whenever I needed a drink or some food. But on trails, that’s just not possible, and my friends tell me I need to get used to carrying water if I’m ever going to run any 50- or 100-mile races. A vest-style hydration system seems to be the way to go, and all of my far-more-experienced trail runner friends run swear by one from Nathan Sports. The bladder is suspended in a shock-absorption system that keeps bouncing and sloshing to minimum. For about $60, this one seems like a steal. Especially if someone else buys it for me.
3. A 50-mile race. Unfortunately, Santa won’t be able to bring me a race medal; I’ll have to get it myself. Last year, my goal was to qualify for Boston, and now that that’s out of the way, it’s onto ultramarathons. I have three 50K’s planned for the Spring, but what I really want for 2010 is a 50-miler under my belt. And while I’m making wishes, how ’bout a 100-miler, too?
1. Lots of injury-free miles. My number one goal this year is to stay healthy and run the 2010 NYC Marathon, but if I could do my dream race it would be the Hood-to-Coast Relay. This 197-mile relay is the world’s largest and stretches from Mount Hood, Oregon to the Pacific Coast. It is fast becoming one of the most popular “must-do” races. In fact, there’s even a support group if you don’t get accepted via the lottery system.
2. Sweat-proof pop music. I already have a pair of these Sony headphones, but I highly recommend them. Unlike earbuds, these will stay put when you start sweating. I don’t usually listen to music during races, but some Fergie or Miley Cirus tunes can really power me through the last few miles of a long run.
3. A speedier recovery. After spending much of 2009 battling hamstring and IT band injuries, I’m ready for a new start in 2010. I’ve seen good results from recovery socks, so I’d like to step it up a notch and snag a pair of CW-X compression tights. Perfect for cold, snowy runs in Central Park!
4. Hydration Motivation. Now that all Sigg bottles are BPA-free, I have my eye on this “I Love Running” bottle.