Well, the holidays are upon us, once again. Thursday is Thanksgiving! One of the things I love about being a runner is guilt-free eating. So, first of all, happy Turkey day, and may you find a multitude of things to be grateful about.

Admittedly, I’ve not been on the trails lately because of the plantar fasciitis I’ve been fighting and have, thus, been “water running” (which isn’t really running at all) and peddling on the stationary bike at the gym. Still, my runner’s heart is out there with all of you.

I’m making my holiday gift list just as you are, too.

So I’d like to offer my top 6 ideas for the runner in your life – particularly the back-of-the-pack runner who spends more than the average number of hours on the course.
1. Present a piece of Tarma running jewelry to her to show your support. Last year Bill have me a necklace with a pendant of a running girl inside of circle (looks like a peace sign), and I’ve gotten countless compliments on it.

2. Put a box of her favorite energy gel in her stocking. These nasty tasting, but absolutely essential running supplies are not expensive, but they can add up. There’s nothing worse than getting ready for a long run and discovering that you’re out of café latte or red raspberry gel. Get her a month’s supply. Remember, she needs approximately one gel packet for every hour of running.

3. For the compassionate minded runner in your life, take the “26.2 Challenge” by donating to the Hall Steps Foundation. With a $26.00 donation you can help Olympian marathoner, Ryan Hall, and his wife, Sara, bring clean water to the world. My husband, Bill, recently went to hear Ryan and Sara speak and this year, we’re donating.

4. Alternatively, if you’re inclined to give a donation in your runner’s name, consider contributing to Girls on the Run, an amazing international organization that promotes self-respect and healthy living for elementary school age girls. I volunteered to be a running buddy with the local group a few years ago, and now I’m sold on them. They do GREAT work!

5. Give an iTunes gift card to keep your favorite runner in hours of hoppin’, inspiring music. And if she doesn’t have an iPod Shuffle, why not spring for that, too?

6. Last (for now) but not least, don’t forget to give your favorite runner a copy of Second Wind: One Woman’s Midlife Quest to Run Seven Marathons on Seven Continents by yours truly. I’m a slow poke marathoner who has experienced the life-changing power of the marathon as a metaphor for all of life. She’ll appreciate being encouraged by my story and my admiration for all runners, no matter their pace.

So this is a start. Don’t be shy, add to my list and I’ll update it over the next month to give you more ideas. Have a great week.

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