The Birds….. The Birds…..

Saturday being our usual long run day, Phil and I headed out to the Frisco Greenway trail that connects Joplin to Webb City just down the highway. It’s not one of my favorite trails, flat and straight and pretty dull, but sometimes you need an easy run.

It was so boring, in fact, that I didn’t even take a single photo. So what do you do with a boring run?

pterodactylWe counted birds. There were a quadrillion robins in the trees along the trail, two enormous hawks hovering overhead, and a great blue heron swooping along looking like a pterodactyl.

Doesn’t get much cooler than that.

And we talked about kids and Christmas and what we would do for the rest of the day. We waved to the few other runners on the trail, admired the youngsters speeding along, and laughed at the van that honked when we (apparently) looked like we were going to run straight out onto the highway.

Notice how smoothly I slid that Christmas reference in there? Do you know how much time we have left? Not enough.

So in the spirit of Christmas sharing, I’ve decided to list a few excellent last-minute gifts for runners. Just in case 🙂

1. Not TRULY last-minute since you might have to order it online and wait for it to arrive in your mailbox, but these are VERY HIGH on my list this year – mittens. I usually wear cheap little cotton gloves for running, but we’re about to arrive at the season where I’ll need something warmer.These smart layering mittens from Brooks would work beautifully.

2. A race entry. This would be a VERY EASY quick gift. Just use the online entry form for your runner’s favorite race, plug in her information, and print up a little certificate to put under or on the tree. Trail runner has a good 2015 race calendar.

3. A flip belt. Matter of fact, if I don’t get one of these for Christmas, I might just buy one for myself. It looks perfect for carrying my phone, a tissue, maybe even a little snack for a long run.

4. A subscription to your runner’s favorite running magazine. Runner’s World. Trail Runner Magazine. Go old school and have actual magazines appear in her mailbox. Or buy a kindle subscription. Or nook. Or iPad. Or whatever.

5. If you’re sticking to a strict budget this year, one very good option is to just support your runner. Offer to cheer or volunteer at her next race, schlep her bags, or do a load of extremely stinky running laundry. Here’s another option where you can create a gift certificate, tuck it under the tree, and remember to keep your promise when the time comes.

Whatever you decide, try to enjoy the season. The preparation as much as the actual day. And let’s head out to the trails and burn off some of those Christmas cookies.

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