Tom and I have been providing lists for friends and
families of runners off and on over the last few years as a
service to runners. Runners have a tendency to be somewhat reserved in
just asking for what they want - we can be be an enigma to our friends
and family - must be that all that "alone time" with our thoughts while
running makes us weird. So we have taken it upon ourselves to collect gift ideas and share with others. (Hey - There is a whole category in the Lounge on gift ideas for runners!)
I have been a runner for more years than being mom. And now that I have been a mom for 10 years, I really can't remember not being a mom. Put those two facts together and I can't remember the time when I wasn't a running mom. So, in my mind, that makes me a near expert on the topic of what mom's really want for Mother's Day.
But, I could be off base so if you haven't had the chance, drop by the forum today or Wednesday and leave your idea on what running moms really want for Mother's Day to make your self eligible for the chance to win the book, The Ultimate Runner, for you and a friend.
Here's my list....feel free to add on....
1. Things that make us smell good after running. Yes, we know we smell funky after a run and we can almost stink after a long run in the summer. In fact, sometimes we can downright offend even ourselves. So give us some of the good soaps, bubble baths, mists, and sprays for us to use to pamper ourselves after the runs. If you don't know what we like, we love a chance to go shopping for it ourselves if given some time. Regardless of what the kids tell you, they don't really know what fragrances we like best as they have a tendency to pick out stuff that smells like Great Aunt Mildred or Great Grammie Vivian. Both who smell like fake flowers from Walgreens drenched in $1 perfume.
2. Time to use the good stuff you bought us. Ok moms out there, raise your hand for the number of times you have been fully able to shower and clean up after runs. Hold 'em up high....let me count them. Looks like it is a 1 in 10 chance. You complain about us stinking, but it is because we rarely have enough time to run AND shower. There's soccer, gymnastics, baseball, school pickup, groceries, and on and on. So the gift of time would be great. And if that breaks the bank to give us time - splurge on a box of baby wipes for our car. And the good ones - no skimping.
3. A good book to read or video to watch after a long run. So many choices, where to start....oh, I know, I know... The Ultimate Runner. Come on, you had to see that one coming. But seriously, most runners are readers and do like something to do to after a run to relax the legs and body. You can go with the classic running books (see this list the Lounge built ) or go with my favorite Once a Runner. Pure runner bliss! And another book shout out for running gardeners - Easy Container Combos - fantastico! Videos are great too! Grab a favorite movie, or a Instant Download Netflix subscription so your runner doesn't even need to get up from the couch.
4. Time to read the book or watch the movie. We are so well aware of the amount of time we spend
running that we hate to take more time for ourselves when we get home. So help us relax. Give us some time to crash and read the book or watch the movie. Get us an extra comfy pillow, blanket or chair. See this handsome red devil on the right... That's my reading chair for just such an event...as rare as it happens...I still live for those moments when I can sit in it and read something besides Dr Seuss.
5. A place to celebrate our running memories. Look closely above the chair - that is my small space in the house devoted to my running. My lovely husband mounted my old medals in a frame last year. And the picture is a one time only signature print from my god daughter a few years ago. And when it is cold, I drag out of the footrest a running t-shirt quilt. I am in running memory heaven. Give the mom runner in your life a place to look back and remember what they have done. It doesn't need to be fancy - but it does need to be about her.
6. Drinks and snacks. Runners are usually creatures of habit. They like about the same things to eat or drink before or after a race. They go to about the same trails or clubs. So treat them to a gift certificate to make it easy for them to stop and pick up their favorite drink or snack before or after their run. My kids treated me to a $10 gift certificate a while back. It took me 8 long runs to use it up - that was nice!
7. Listen to our race report. We know that after the first major run or race in our life, our race reports started to sound about the same to you. We are pretty keen to your level of actual listening when we prepare to respond to the question, "How was your run?" which we can interpret to mean "So glad you didn't kill yourself out there, good to see you home, now let's get on with the day." For the next race, listen to our stories. They are really good ones. Even the ones about the porty potty's, the big guy with the little spandex shorts, and the 8 year old girl and old lady who out sprinted us to the finish.
8. Give us a field trip. Before we were moms we ventured out to some really cool trails, out of the way of our daily chores and commute. After motherhood, our runs have had a tendency to be scheduled in more convenient places and times. Give us the gift of a field trip to go run on our favorite out of the way trails. And even better - join us or send us with a friend we never have a chance to run with anymore.
9. Become our personal fan club and cheerleader for race day. We appreciate when you come to races. And we appreciate when you stay home with kids so we can race. Really, we do. But for mothers day, step it up a notch and do the unexpected. Make a big dorky sign. Have the cute kid hold the ultimate "I love my mom cause she is a runner." which will make all the other running moms start to blubber like babies while they run by and mutter, "wish my kids and husband were out there." Give us flowers at the finish. Offer to hold our sweaty socks or extra shirt. Or even better, have ready our absolute favorite food we stopped eating weeks ago in the name of a PR. (what were we thinking!) And if you are going for "best husband/friend ever" - send us a card or note when we are still training - for no reason at all - but to encourage us to keep running. (Here is a card we sell a lot of on line!)
10. Let us take a nap. Lordy, the granddaddy of all wishes of running moms. Especially of those moms training for any kind of race. We get dog tired. If we get to take a shower, I guarantee many of us wish we could crawl into bed for just a few minutes after we are in our clean, comfy clothes. Just a few winks...a little shuteye...close our eyes for a few minutes....What a dreamy thought.