Our 2016 Holiday Gift Ideas – and a Present to One Lucky Reader

Christmas is only ten days away, and while we think we are finished with our shopping there always seems to be one gift that we forget we needed to purchase and end up shopping at the last-minute.

Today we wanted to share some gift ideas for the runner in your life. Keep reading all the way through, we’ve got a giveaway from Holloway to share as well!

Stocking Stuffers:

Road ID– Every runner should have one of these. We seriously can’t recommend them enough! Customize it with a badge or two to match their personality. They even make ID’s that snap onto an Apple Watch and Fitbit or Garmin fitness trackers and watches.

Nuun- A tube or two of a favorite flavor makes the perfect stocking stuffer.

Buff– These are such versatile pieces! With 12 different ways to wear it, a Buff makes a great addition to any runner’s closet!

A Personalized Gift:

What better way to surprise a runner than to commemorate hitting a goal, or celebrating a year of accomplishments? This one can go a couple of different ways.

If you’re the crafty type here’s a fun idea that only takes a short time to make.


I made these last year using the bibs from all of the races that Travis ran in 2015. Rather than cutting up the actual bib I made photo copies and cut them to fit the letters. A couple of layers of mod podge and some dry time (they should at least dry over night, but preferably a couple of days so they’re not tacky feeling) and you’re done!

You can also find a ton of running related gifts online that can easily be personalized. Each year we have a tradition of getting a new ornament for our tree, and I had this one made to commemorate Travis’ (former) PR in Chicago last year.

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One final awesome personalized gift idea is to get a race course print made with all the pertinent information to remember the day. These are designed well, hand-made and look great in any room in your house.  I know from experience these are a wonderful gift to receive and will help commemorate that special someone’s hard work and dedication.

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New Gear: 

Some awesome new gear is always on someone’s wish list. Here are a few gift ideas we know we would (or have) loved.

Every runner wants a GPS watch. You still don’t need one to enjoy the sport and get healthy but they are nice and provide a ton of useful information. In our household, we would recommend the Garmin Vivoactive lineup of watches. The Vivoactive and the Vivoactive HR are perfect watches for those maybe looking to take their training to a new level. Although not the most expensive or the cheapest available, they are respectably priced and offer way more features than simply time and distance. Be sure to check out our YouTube videos on the Vivoactive HR if you have questions (click the link in our “Connect with Us” section).

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When your special someone is logging a lot of miles over the course of 2017, they will need to take every opportunity to recover. May we suggest the best compression socks / sleeves available anywhere. The SLS3 Compression lineup is amazing, affordable and best of all they come in sizes to fit your legs and an array of colors to match your outfit!  IMG_1647

If you run in cold weather like we do, you need a jacket that you can layer and will provide a break from the elements, without weighing too much or being to bulky. Enter, the Raider Softshell Jacket by Holloway Sportswear. This lightweight and weather-resistant jacket will become a staple for all your outdoor activities no matter the time of year.

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Our friends at Holloway Sportswear have offered us a Raider Softshell Jacket (the men’s version is here and the women’s is here) to give away to one of our readers! Keep it for yourself or give it as a gift, that’s up to you! Here’s how to enter:

  1. Leave a comment telling us one thing on your Christmas List
  2. Follow @hollowaysportswear on Instagram and leave a comment telling us you did
  3. Follow @taleof2halfs on Instagram and leave a comment telling us you did!

The giveaway will run through December 21 and we’ll update this post with the winner. Good luck!

*******Winner!*******

Congratulations to Maggie for winning the Holloway Sports Raider Softshell Jacket!

SLS3 Dual Pocket Running Belt + Giveaway!

Usually when we’re out on long runs there is always some extra gear that needs to be carried along- phone, fuel, ID, keys etc. The question is how to carry everything with while not feeling like a pack mule at the same time. We’ve both tried several belts in the past and while they’ve worked for us there’s usually something we’d like to change about them be it pocket size or fit.

We were recently sent a Dual Pocket Run Belt from SLS3 to give a try. So far, we’re pretty impressed! We haven’t had the opportunity to use it at a race yet but here’s what we love so far:

-There are two pockets on this belt making it easy to organize your stuff. Things like your phone, ID, and cash can go in one pocket while the other pocket can be used for the things you’ll actually need during your run or race like fuel or chapstick. This way you don’t risk losing important items while pulling out fuel during a run.

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-Though they look small, the pockets are really good sized! My main issue with the belt I was using previously was that after upgrading to an iPhone 6 from the iPhone 5 my phone would no longer fit leaving me nowhere to carry it. Travis’ Samsung Galaxy S6 fits as well while still leaving plenty of room for other items.

-The pockets are polyurethane lined meaning you don’t have to worry about your items getting damaged from sweat or rain. Not only are the pockets water resistant but the zipper is as well so there won’t be any moisture coming in through the zipper.

 -The elastic on the back of this belt measures 1.5 inches and is adjustable to fit waists/hips 24″ to 38″

-It stays put! I like to wear it on my hips rather than my waist and I haven’t noticed any bouncing or wiggling so far. I do like to rotate it a bit so that my phone sits more on the side of my hip and the second pocket is in the front center rather than both pockets in the front but that’s personal preference. The fit is comfortable- it’s tight enough to where it stays put but doesn’t feel too tight. There’s nothing more irritating when you’re running than having to constantly adjust where a belt is sitting so I was really pleased that this one doesn’t budge.

 -My belt is all black but it also comes in other colors: blue, purple and lime green

SLS3 has offered our readers a chance to win one of the Dual Pocket Run Belts! Click on the Rafflecopter link to enter!

If you don’t want to wait for the giveaway to end, you can also check out SLS3 on Amazon! For a limited time the belt is on sale of $12.90 (57%off of the retail price of $29.90)

What items do you have to carry with you on a run?

Friday Five 2/5: Virtual Races (Giveaway!)

Good morning! TGIF! Travis will be home this afternoon after 2 weeks of work travel, we can’t wait! Unfortunately he’s only here for 2 days before hitting the road for another week but we will take what we can get! This week was pretty uneventful for us minus a random “snow” day in the middle of the week. We woke up to everything covered in a thick sheet of ice and by early afternoon it was 55 degrees and all of our snow was melting. I could handle a winter like this every year!

Today’s post is sponsored by Level Up Runs (as always, all opinions are our own). Level Up is a company founded by two brothers with the idea of helping keep runners motivated while training for larger races. Proceeds from their races go towards helping schools that don’t have the funds to keep their athletic programs running- what a great cause!

Today we’re talking virtual races. A virtual race is exactly what it sounds like- you register for a race and participate on your own time. They can be done outside or on a treadmill and most will have options for distance as well. Here are some reasons to do a virtual race:

  1. Motivation to train: If you don’t have an actual race coming up virtual races can be a great way to keep your motivation up! For most virtual races there will be a spot to submit a time, that is usually done on the honor system, though sometimes you may have to submit Garmin data.
  2. Difficulty finding races: We live in a small area and there aren’t that many races that are available to us without having to travel at least a few hours to get to. Virtual races give the ability to run a race without having to travel.
  3. The bling: I’m sure you’ve seen some of the awesome medals that virtual races put out! The race usually has a theme and a medal to match!
  4. Charity: Nearly every virtual race that we have done has been to benefit a charity. It’s a great way to give back and have fun doing it!
  5. Create your own competition: Why not grab a few friends or family members and have some fun with it! If there’s a certain theme to the race you could come up with awards for costumes, etc.

Level Up has a Star Wars themed virtual race running February 15-29 called “The Runner Awakens”. The cost of the race is $25 and in addition to the medal you will also receive a gift certificate from their sponsor SLS3. If you’d like to register you can use the code SAVE15 for 15% off of your entry!

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We love when companies support other companies – SLS3 has offered a giveaway of one of their dual pocket run belts to our readers (keep an eye out for a full review of the belt coming soon!) Just click over to  rafflecopter to enter. Good luck!

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We’re linking up for the Friday Five with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar!

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Do you participate in virtual races?

 

Friday Five 12/18: Favorite Winter Activities

Hello and happy Friday! Thankfully this week has been a little calmer than last week was. We’re pretty much over the illness that has been hanging around our house. I thought I was going to get hit pretty hard with it earlier in the week, but once I was able to tame the awful sinus pressure I’ve been managing alright.

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Today we’re linking up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar for the Friday Five. This week we’re talking winter activities. We live in an area where we usually get a boat load of snow that hangs around for months. This year has been an exception though. I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a green Christmas. We’ve gotten a few dustings of the white stuff but nothing has stuck so far. This makes me very worried for what February and March are going to bring this year. All of the typical snow means there’s no shortage of winter activities for us! Here are some of our favorites:

  1. Skating: Travis plays hockey on a league and I had a very short lived stint as a figure skater way back when (like kindergarten!). We also enjoy just going for fun. Parker has also taken a HUGE interest in hockey in the last few weeks. We took him skating for the first time a couple of weekends ago. It’s going to take a while for him to get the hang of it, but we think he really enjoyed it.
  2. Lights on the River: This is a local event held leading up to Christmas every year. A local campground is turned into a series of light displays designed by local businesses. You drive through and look at all of the displays and at the end you vote for your favorite. Last year was the first year we went and we’ll be going to check out this years displays this weekend! lights on the river
  3. Frozen Foote Race Series: Another local event! This is a 4-race series. There are 4 mile races in December, January, February and March. It’s the same course each year and if you complete 3 out of the 4 races you earn a t-shirt from the series. It’s a great way to keep motivated throughout the crazy winters we get here!
  4. Saranac Lake Winter Carnival:  Saranac Lake is a little town in the Adirondacks not far from Lake Placid. Each February they host a winter carnival with all sorts of outdoor activities like a parade, frying pan toss, a fun run, curling and broomball. The highlight each year is a castle built entirely from ice. palace1987
  5. Ice Fishing: Travis loves to ice fish. He doesn’t get to do it all that often but was able to get out for a day last winter. The thought of walking on a frozen lake kinda freaks me out a bit though!

What’s your favorite winter activity?

Have a great weekend!

Friday Five 12/3: Holiday Wish List

TGIF! This has been an incredibly LONG week. We’re still fighting off illness over here. Hopefully by the end of the weekend everyone will be back to normal again. Sick kids is bad enough but throw in a sick husband to go along with it and I’m completely spent!

Can you believe that Christmas is only two weeks from today? Thankfully, this year I stuck with my goal of being done with all of my shopping relatively early and I finished it up yesterday. A few stocking stuffers to pick up and I’m good to go! Today we’re talking wish lists, and linking up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar for the Friday Five! We’ve also got another giveaway for you today!

When it comes to buying Christmas gifts, both of us will say that the other is incredibly difficult to buy for. We’ll both deny it too! Today we’re sharing our wish lists for this year.

Travis:

  1. Under Armour Storm sweatpants- These are his favorite sweats!
  2. Asics GT 2000-4– These are his go to shoes, and when he’s training he goes through them so quickly!
  3. Reflective/light-up gear– It’s getting dark so early now that he’d like something to make him a little more visible if he’s running when it’s not quite light or dusk outside. We looked at these at the Chicago Marathon Expo and they were pretty awesome!
  4. Compression Gear– I think this one is on both of our lists. It’s nice to have multiple pairs of compression sleeves/socks when you’re training! To spread a little holiday love, our friends at SLS3 have offered a pair of compression sleeves/socks to one of our readers! To enter, you can click here to visit the rafflecopter for the giveaway! This will run from today (December 11) to December 18! Good luck! We love our SLS3 sleeves! If you’ve never tried them before, you can read our full review here!
  5. A giant buck. Well, this isn’t something that can exactly be bought. Travis is actually away on a hunting trip trying to find his Christmas gift right now. Wish him luck!  

Jen: My birthday and Christmas are only 9 days apart so Travis always says he has it extra difficult! 

 

  1. Sparkly Soul Headbands: I can’t get enough of these! They are the only headbands I can get to stay on my head. There’s a ton of different colors/patterns to choose from!  
  2. This shirt from Fellow Flowers– I love the message in this group and the saying on this shirt would be perfect as I start my training for Chicago 2016. The first step is believing in yourself, right?braveenought
  3. Mantra Band-These are so simple, but I love them! My favorites- “She believed she could, so she did” and “Dream bigger”
  4. Fuzzy socks- This is something I request every year. My feet freeze in the winter!
  5. A Run Far hoodie- I live in hoodies in the winter. This one looks so comfy!

What’s one thing on your wish list this year?

Gifts for Runners and a Giveaway!

Now that Thanksgiving is over I’m in full blown Christmas mode! I’ve decided that unlike previous years I am not going to procrastinate and leave all of my shopping for the last week before Christmas. Today, I thought I’d share some things that would make great gifts for the runner in your life! We also have an awesome giveaway to share so keep reading!

Earbuds – A great pair of earbuds are crucial for running! We both use Yurbuds and love them! They are comfortable and stay put. While you’re at it, why not thrown in an iTunes gift card or a subscription to Rock My Run .

Fuel/Hydration of choice – Runners can go through a lot of fuel when training for races, so a stocking up on some of their favorites would make a great gift! Grab a couple tubes of Nuun and their favorite gels or chews!

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Socks – There are several different options you could go with for this category. You could get them a few pairs of their favorite low cut socks or a pair of compression sleeves/socks.

Road ID – These are an absolute must have for any road runner. I love the rubber style bands with the charms!

A Running Book The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons I run Long Distances, Meb For Mortals, or the Believe Training Journal are a few examples.

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Shoe Charms – I love these Foot Notes from Momentum Jewelry!

A Subscription Box – These are monthly boxes that come with all kinds of goodies for runners so it’s like getting a new gift every month! Some options are The Runner Box or Stride Box.

Shoes – We go through shoes like crazy. A new pair of their favorite trainers would make a wonderful gift!

A Marathon Course Map Print – If your runner just ran a goal race these prints make an awesome commemorative gift! This one looks really nice and can be personalized with the runners name and finish time!

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A Race Entry – Is there a race your runner has been talking about wanting to run? Why not gift them an entry and wrap a copy of the registration for them to open! I’m positive that any runner would appreciate the support of their hobby!

*** None of the products above are sponsored. They are just things we use and think would make great gifts!***

And on that note, we have a giveaway! Our friends at Spartan Race have offered us an entry to one of their races to give away! The entry is good for one entry for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the Continental United States.

To enter: Leave a comment telling us which race you’d choose. For additional entries: follow us on Twitter (@2halfsblog) and leave a comment telling us you followed and follow us on Instagram (@taleof2halfs) and leave a comment telling us you followed. Giveaway will close Friday night and we will choose a winner at random!

Spartan Race is also offering deals on registrations!

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