Give Your Challenges a Wink + My GIFT GUIDE for RUNNERS (And Kids)!!!!

In case you missed out last week… the top three posts were:

*I should have done this sooner + I’ll give you some hints + YOU inspire me.

*14 Stories from my iPhone + they’re back + don’t try this at home!

*Since we last talked + what I miss + do you have a strong opinion about this?


I am trying to get in as many bump pictures as possible before she comes;)

Our Sunday was pretty normal… lots of food, resting, church and games.

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It was also quite windy out, and snow is on the forecast for today!


A few things happened before church…  Including Brooke explaining to Knox some of her favorite memories from when she was a baby (thanks to her Chatbooks).


And even before that we made MUDDY BUDDIES (because they sounded so good to me and it’s basically like eating cereal for breakfast) .

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Thanks General Mills for sending over the ingredients.  They were delicious and just what I was wanting at 9 in the morning.

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After church we got in some FaceTime calls.  My sister said that before he fell asleep for his nap he said he couldn’t wait to see me when he woke up and that melted my entire heart.  I’m going to visit him today.

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There was also a good amount of snuggling (aka I didn’t leave the couch for a few hours there)!

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For lunch I tried to recreate my favorite salmon salad from Shoga and I was pretty darn close.  I know that fruit on salads is probably strange to most people, but it is one of my absolute favorites.

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For dinner I had nachos and they were heavenly.

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Our next tradition was making sugar cookies to deliver to people.  I always use THIS RECIPE (I don’t add the lemon or the nutmeg though) and they taste so so good.

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Let me know if you want any of the ones that the kids decorated… their sprinkle to cookie ratio is right on;)

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We then attempted teaching them how to play Uno which they eventually learned but it took a great deal of patience.

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Then Andrew and I got to work on a puzzle that we bought for the kids but changed our minds and wanted to do it ourselves ha.

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I saw this quote on IG yesterday and I absolutely loved it!  I think this is so perfect for life and for our running.  I am definitely going to encounter some running challenges as far as it goes to getting back into racing shape again over the next year but I love the idea of letting that inspire me rather than get me down.  I want to think about this quote when the mile repeats are feeling tougher than I remember or when I am in a race and the hill I am climbing seems steeper than ever or when running is taking a bit longer than expected to click again.  Give those challenges in your running this week a wink… don’t let them get you down!

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I’ve had some requests for a gift guide for RUNNERS so here are a bunch of my favorites! If you have any runners in your life, here are some things to grab and if you want to send this list to people buying you presents… go for it!  Affiliate links included:)

*I might be alone on this but I LOVE a good pair of arm warmers. They are perfect for days where it starts cold and then warms up and you just want to pack them up and carry them!  These are my favorite for races.

*Believe Training Journal

*Compression Socks—>  My personal favorites!

*The Garmin 225 or the Suunto Spartan Trainer  (both watches that I LOVE and you can find my reviews on them here and here).

*Want to get them a book about running?  A list (with links) of my favorites are HERE!

*The best running belt on the planet (it doesn’t move around while you run and it fits so much in there… even my huge phone)!

*Hook up the runner in your life with a bunch of their favorite fuel—>  Huma Chia Energy Gels and Shot Blocks are my favorites!

*The PERFECT running sunglasses!

*My favorite wireless headphones and I also love these Yurbuds!

*Reflective gear like this bracelet, band, this vest or safety lights!

*If they don’t already have one, runners have a love/hate relationship with a foam roller!  I have/love THIS one!

*A gift certificate for… a massage, a punch pass to a studio for yoga/barre/etc to let them get in their cross-training, a running store, a Spotify subscription or a pedicure.  Or you could also sign them up for a race!  Have they talked about one they really want to do or one that they love… sign them up for it!

*If they run in the snow/ice… grab them some ice spikes for their shoes!

*ACCESSORIES—>  Headbands, ear warmers (I really want this one too), socks, a neck warmer, gloves, running vest or a gym bag!

*A water bottle for during the run or one for after!

*Nothing makes a runner happier than a new pair of running shoes.  Sneak into their closet, see which ones they love and what size they are and buy them a new pair!

*These active bracelets (with AWESOME mantras) have been a favorite of mine for a very long time!  The one that says ‘I can do hard things’ is quite motivating to look at while you are running.

*My favorite running visor and running hat!

*All of the running jewelry from Erica Sara is amazing!

*Run Angel (such an amazing way to stay safe on the run… mine should be here any day)!

*Run Fast.  Eat Slow.  I actually don’t have this (hint hint Andrew;) but I have heard it is an amazing cookbook!

*Runner’s need happy feet—>  MY FAVORITE SLIPPERS EVER!


A few things that our kid’s love in case you have some 5 year old’s to shop for!

*We got them this Boogie Board Magic Sketch and I am positive it will be there favorite toy ever.

*They are obsessed with playing Suspend!  Other games that they love are here, here and here!

*HugFun sleeping bags ($25 at Costco)!

*Our kids think that their Walkie Talkies are the best invention ever… they chat all of the time on them to each other.

*They both LOVE coloring books like this, Pirasta posters (so cool) and scratch books.


Anything running related on your Christmas list… please share so we can get more ideas!

Fruit on salads—>  delicious or no thank you?

Have any running challenges going on right now for you that you can wink at;)?

What was the best part of your weekend?

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Those sugar cookies look SO GOOD! Sugar cookies are my absolute favorite, and every year when you post them, I always wish I were on your delivery route!

Right now my running challenges are all mental and remembering that I am capable of accomplishing the goals I want to accomplish. Because I was out for so long and for such a serious reason, it’s been VERY challenging getting back in shape, which definitely presents a lot of mental barriers that I need to overcome. The thought of racing (which I miss SO MUCH) again scares me a lot, and that’s something I need to wink at and just go out there and conquer. Thank you for sharing that quote!! :)


Come on over and I’ll give you a plate of them Natalie! Oh girl, coming back after taking so much time off is REALLY HARD. You are doing a great job overcoming the mental side and taking care of yourself! You’ve got this… just keep remembering to wink;) I hope you have a beautiful Monday!


You’re so sweet, Janae! Thank you for always being so encouraging. And I definitely want to come visit you soon and eat those cookies with you! :)


Can I just say that I LOVE that your sugar cookies are about 1/2 ” thick?! THAT is the way to do it!!!!!!!!!!! :) Yum!

Fruit on salads—heck yes!!!!!

I don’t know if I’d call it a running challenge, but I’m just coming back from my calf injury slowly and embracing every day! I’m up to 25 MPW and ran 8 yesterday! Close to double digits again. Most importantly, I’m ENJOYING running again. Before I got injured, I wasn’t enjoying it so much. I think I tend to get mentally and physically burned out. My coach and I need to keep this in mind as we plan into the future………….I’m thinking of taking it easy this winter/spring and doing some new races as workouts and then hopefullly be healthy to go into marathon training next summer! Time will tell :)

I have a friend who’s about to start marathon training. He hasn’t run a marathon since Boston 2014. He’s VERY gung-ho about it and focused, which is great. I tried to gently remind him yesterday not to forget that he’s more than “just” a runner, but I think he got a little miffed at me saying that. I think it’s a good reminder for ALL of us ALL of the time though!!!!!


I totally agree… I do NOT like thin/crispy cookies… they need some thickness!!! Jen, I am so happy your calf injury is all cleared up and way to go on 8 miles yesterday! You are rocking it and the fact that you are enjoying it so much right now makes me SO happy. This is huge! I completely agree with what you said about us being more than just a runner! Time away from running is always a huge wake up call to that fact too! PS I would LOVE if our daughter’s shared a birthday… love love love love love. Enjoy your Monday Jen!


Yes to fruit on salad!! I love the different flavor it brings! Have you checked out Milestone Pod? It’s a little “pod” you tie to your shoe and it tracks a ton of stuff like stride, efficiency, and leg swing! Hoping Landon gets my hints and buys that for me this year!! ;)
Happy Monday, Janae!!


I have never heard about Milestone Pod… off to google it now! That sounds really cool and I hope you get it Bethany! PS love love love your third half marathon recap and that you ran with your mom for her first half (for the first 6 miles)! Seriously, the pictures made me so happy! Congrats to both of you!


PS My oldest daughter’s birthday is this Thursday—maybe your baby girl will be born on that day, too!! December 7th–Pearl Harbor Day–but it’s a good day for a birthday :)


Hubby and I are doing the 4 gifts thingy this year — Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. It’s so much easier to shop for him with these four categories! For my “something to wear” I have a few layering options for the gym — long sleeved running/workout tops specifically, as I usually just workout in an old tee.

Depending on the day, I love fruit on salads. Apples and walnuts are a go-to when I’m feeling fruity… as well as Spinach and strawberry with this raspberry poppy seed dressing that my mother in law makes — delish!

No running challenge — except I’ll be starting to train for the Charleston Bridge-run 10K thingy this year. But prior to that Hubby and I are going to participate in our first every strongman competition! I’m nervous and excited!

Best part of my weekend, hands down, was having an impromptu lunch + Coldstone date with friends! Always a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon!


Oh I love that idea Susie for presents! I hope you get a top that you absolutely love that is perfect for layering! Okay, apples and walnuts sound so good on a salad right now (along with some Coldstone)! SO EXCITED FOR YOUR STRONGMAN COMPETITION! You are going to do amazing!


I had a salmon salad for lunch on Sunday too!! Minus the fruit (although that would have taken it to the next level!). I’m already craving it again! :) also muddy buddies are a great idea, I fully support making and eating them at 9am! :)


Gotta love salmon salads!! I am craving it again right now too! Thanks for the support Dawn! The onion rings you posted on your blog made me drool and have FUN SHOPPING at J Crew (those coupons get me every time too;)!


Saw this on twitter; though you might like…and a +1 for the Huma gels!!

Happy happy Monday and enjoy! Time is precious! You go snuggle for hours with Brooke :p!!


Okay, that goal setting worksheet is PERFECT!! I am printing that right now. Thank you so much and I hope you have a wonderful day!!


That massage sounds like the perfect gift! I don’t normally put fruit on my regular salads. I think it depends on the dressing mostly.


I hope that you get a massage this Christmas Jenny!! PS I LOVED (and needed) your post on building mental strength and those hard runs helping us to do so. Such a great post!!!


I do like fruit on salads, but I typically either a get a salad that only has fruit (and maybe nuts) and meat on it… I don’t like to mix vegetables and fruit on salads. Might be kind of odd!
I have not been running much lately – I got some class passes to a local fitness place and I’ve been trying all kinds of new workouts lately, and it’s taken away from my running time. But that’s okay! I don’t have anything I’m training for and I know I’ll have to build my training back up, but it’s not like I’m just sitting on the couch. I’m enjoying doing different things.
Best part of my weekend was Saturday night – my friends and I got together and made homemade pizzas and watched two movies. It was perfectly relaxing and becoming a tradition for us!


Oh that is awesome that you are using class passes right now… which new workout has been your favorite? This is the perfect time of year (in my opinion) to take some time away from running, try new things and gain strength! Homemade pizzas + movie night= perfection! Enjoy your day Rhiannon!


I started going to Pound classes and they are SO MUCH FUN! And a great workout that doesn’t feel like a workout. Also got to try some TRX classes and a HIIT training class that is killer, in a good way. I think you are right, this is a good time to take a break from running (for a bit, I still want to run but I’m working out a new workout schedule with these classes) and I think it’s good to “shock” your system sometimes and confuse your muscles.


I love fruit on my salads — esp pineapple!

YES to sugar cookies! We are making some in a couple weeks with my nieces!


Now you have me craving pineapple on my salad! I want everything on your Christmas wish list… everything! I hope your day is a beautiful one Laura!


Cute shoes with your dress. Where did you get them?


Hey Kristen! Thank you! So I have been searching for them online and can’t find them (I bought mine like 4 years ago at Nordstrom) but the brand is dolce vita and they have really cute booties! I hope you have an amazing day!


That salad and those nachos, yum!!! I had salmon last night for dinner and could eat that for every meal!


That’s how I am feeling right now… it would be delicious with every single meal! I hope you have a great Monday!


I love that black dress on you! Super cute!
And muddy buddies are sooooo good – we call it puppy chow??
I would love a sports massage for Christmas…gloves/headbands/hats/winter running accessories are on my Christmas list!
I love fruit on salads, especially apples and berries!


Oh thank you Erinn! Yes, we call it puppy chow sometimes too and I just ate some more ha. I hope you get that sports massage and some awesome gear! Enjoy your day and the vest you posted on your Friday post is SO cute… I need!


I love fruit on salads! Your pictures make me smile every time; the kids always look so happy. The best thing about this weekend is true for every weekend…just free time with my family. My kids recently got bigger bikes and was able to to transition off their training wheels so we’ve really been enjoying bike rides together. The best party of this weekend, though, is we were able to buy a pet bike seat for our dog to accompany us on bike rides. We were thinking he’d need a learning curve because he’s such an anxious dog with some things, but he absolutely loved it. It sits in the back and he goes from side to side trying to look past my husband’s back. I have to be in the back because if I go in front of them, he starts whining and although he looks around at the sights and smells, he always looks back to make sure I’m still there. Seeing him so happy was such a treat. :) Have a great day, Janae!


Oh that is so exciting about the bigger bikes, and I LOVE the pet bike seat (I didn’t even know those existed)! How fun Marie!! Keep enjoying that, it sounds perfect! Thank you and I hope your Monday is a great one too!


Fruit on salads, yes please (blueberries and kiwi especially).

Favorite part of this weekend, doing all of the Christmas traditions with my daughter. We saw Santa (last year she screamed in terror, this year she was shy but very excited to see him!) and decorated Christmas cookies.

Just signed up for my 3rd FULL marathon, next fall. So I have to commit to making 2018 my best running year yet!


APRIL!!! I am so so excited for your marathon next fall! Which one is it? Sounds like the perfect weekend with your daughter… gotta love how their opinions of santa change over the years! I hope you have an amazing week!


I’m always looking for new running gear for christmas!! This year I’m hoping for some new warm gear:)
I love fruit on salads too! Have you had the strawberry poppyseed and chicken salad at Panera? I think it’s only on the menu in the summer but it is my #1 favorite!!
Weirdly, my running challenge right now is to try to get myself to SLOW DOWN! I’ve been running a little too fast a little too often, and I’m starting to feel achy. My mission this week is to be more mindful of my pace and to keep my end goals in mind!
The Best part of my weekend was hosting my annual girls night/christmas potluck! Already looking forward to the holiday parties coming up next weekend:)


I think that is a GREAT challenge Kerri and I have definitely had to do that with my running too (and it helped me with my speed on race day and to have less injuries)! You’ve got this and keep me updated with how you are doing!

WE DON’T HAVE PANERA HERE (such a sad thing right!?!)… but that salad sounds amazing, I need to have it someday! Enjoy your Monday!


Anything running related on your Christmas list… please share so we can get more ideas!

Fruit on salads— Always! blueberries and grapes and strawberries are some of my favourites

Have any running challenges going on right now for you that you can wink at;)? I am just lazy right now but I can’t be for much longer because I have some big running goals next year . I will get there.

What was the best part of your weekend? Falling asleep in my pjs. Had a Christmas party, lunch with the family and a movie afternoon with friends so I am wiped:).

Happy Monday! Excited to meet the newest little addition to your family :)


I think this time of year is the perfect time to pull back a bit on running before building up for next year:) You are going to rock your goals next year Kristine! I am so excited for you. Sounds like you had an amazing weekend! Thanks so much and keep me updated on everything!


Thanks for all the gift ideas!!! Love them. And I need to try your sugar cookie recipe:) my fave!!! Did you get Brooke a Christmas dress yet? Just wondering where if so. I am having a hard time finding one this year for my little girl
Have a great day Janae


AHHHHHH JANE!!! Thank you so much for the reminder of getting Brooke a Christmas dress. I completely forgot. Let me know if you find one and I’ll let you know if I find one. Thank you!!!


I LOVE all of those gift ideas!! Running gifts are just so much fun!! I am eyeing a Garmin watch for sure! :)

I’ve never been a huge fruit on my salads type of person. Strawberries are probably the extent of my fruit options with salads! I just can’t get into it with the dressing! I may just be crazy though! Ha!

Best part of my weekend was just getting to be super productive and knock out a ton of things on my to-do list! I love it when that happens!

PS Those sugar cookies look SO yummy!! They did such a great job decorating!


Oh I hope you get a garmin this year… that would be awesome! You are not crazy… I think I’m the weird one with putting fruit on my salads! Way to get the to-do list done and I want to send you some cookies! Thanks Chelsea!


Hi Janae! Congratulations on being so close to your due date…so exciting!! Where did you get those booties that you’re wearing with your church dress?! I love them and have been looking for a pair just like it!!


HEY TESS!! Thank you so so much! Okay, so I got them at Nordstrom a few years ago and the brand is dolce vita. I have been looking for the same ones online and can’t find them (I got them four years ago)! BUT they have the cutest booties so hopefully you find a similar pair you love! Have a great day!


I love fruit on salads. The more toppings the better! I think every bite of a salad should taste slightly different.

Biggest challenge this week is Santa Ana winds. They are predicting gusts up to 70 mph in the next couple of days. Running in anything above 30 mph is pretty insane around here (I’ve been knocked over a time or 2) so I’m staying in doors. I don’t have a treadmill so Les hooked my bike up to the trainer. I needed that quote this morning – I had a tough workout but was able to press through to the finish.

What was the best part of your weekend? Peppermint ice cream!! I wait all year for it to come out!


I’m definitely a fruit on salad person. I love adding berries – they add a little sweetness and make my salads more interesting.


I really want a pair of the Goodr sunglasses but I can’t pick what color! Too many fun options!

Another great gift idea for kids this Christmas is a personalized book all about how their name was created. Check out my site at !


I think I need to make my sugar cookies fatter after looking at yours!
I can’t believe you don’t have run fast eat slow cookbook. Hopefully Andrew gets that for you or you can gift it to yourself soon! There’s a few recipes I make regularly from there and some I will probably not make but definitely a good one.


Fruit on salad is a big yes please! Aside from our family favorite tortellini salad (with berries) the holiday favorite is chopped romaine, small diced apple, small diced pear, dried cranberries, cashews, shredded swiss (or provolone) and a favorite dressing. I make my own poppyseed or hawaiian onion dressing is good too! It’s so good. In fact, shredded chicken on top would be nice for dinner!

Best part of weekend was a spontaneous 16km trail run in the snow!

Running gifts? I always love apparel, or winter running socks (smartwool) or mittens. LOVE MITTENS.


ANNND now I want nachos thank you very much.
this year I have no Christmas list, my bf and I are buying each other a house hahaha that is Christmas, birthday and anniversary combined this year. down payments are no joke.
Fruit on salads—> delicious
running challenge-getting out as much as I can during the cold and when I have very little light to work with, trying to overcome my fear of running in the dark. just need to be safe about it.


Fruit on salad is the BEST!!

We were pretty excited to ride on our road bikes this weekend….and now we have a few inches of snow. Guessing it is the last time we will see the ground until Spring….though, it has been a weirdly dry/warm start to winter! Ready to cross country ski. Such a killer workout!


I don’t get how people eat salads with just grilled chicken and vegetables plus no dresssing?? No.
I purchased the wait belt after you raved about it on I’ll Have Another podcast. How did I ever run without it?


Oh man, I am going to have to make some sugar cookies this weekend now! Those look soooo yummy! And fruit on salad is amazing—they make the salad look even more colorful!

One company that you should totally check out, if you haven’t already heard of it, is Sarah Marie Design Studio:
Like all runners, I am a sucker for a good workout shirt with an awesome quote (preferably ones that have to do with running haha). Her shirts are awesome and she even has running quotes on other items such as coffee mugs, hats, etc. These would make the perfect gift for anyone or for yourself!

Thank you so much for compiling this runners gift guide! I totally just forwarded this to my boyfriend haha.


I love fruit on salad! Especially paired with goat cheese and maybe some balsamic vinegarette…im a goner! And you really should grab Run Fast, Eat Slow. If you sign up for their newsletter you can get it 20% off right now. I make so much stuff from there!! My favorite is the recovery quinoa salad….it’s got a southwestern flavor to it with cilantro and lime, etc. I eat it every week!!


Your salad looks fantastic! And balanced with your later meal of nachos. :)


I’m getting ready for the Jeff Galloway 13.1 race weekend next weekend. I need to wink at that challenge! I want a SparkleSkirt with my podcast logo on it for Christmas!


Thanks for the gift recommendations. Me and my sisters are runners and I have a 4.5 year old so your guide hits both those groups :))

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