Category Archives: gift guide

Dear Santa, I’m a runner, so….

…any of these will do. Pleaseandthanks! Happy holidays. Enjoy the cookies.

I’d be happy with any or all of the following under the tree or in  my compression-stocking. If you’re looking for some unique ways to surprise the athlete-of-any-flavor in your life, you’ve come to the right place!

We’re going to kick things off with a charming gal I met at the Morgan Hill Half-Marathon Expo last month (he ran, I got to stand around with coffee for a change!). LaRene had earned her own large booth, right by the packet pick-up. The unique coasters and prints caught my eye as something that would fit right in with our travel souvenirs, adding a different note.

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I immediately started working with her to design a year-end gift for Coach Katie, which turned out absolutely perfect:

athleticartworks_teamamazingday

You can shop around on Etsy or LaRene’s Athetlic Artworks website, and create a unique little beauty for yourself or someone who has done badass things and might like to see those things in print, every day.  Browse around and you’ll see she does more than just sport-specific creations! Go outside the box and you can come up with anything meaningful to you & yours.

For the holidays, use code HCFIT10 for 10% off!

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Once you’ve got your commemorative creation, let’s get you dressed. Lucy sent me this Fall/Winter outfit to test out – they must’ve heard the word that I’ve strayed just a little from my lulu-only wardrobe – and I’m thoroughly impressed.

The Endurance Run capri (seen in action below) is a true-to-size fit, flexible and sleek. There’s a zip-pocket in the back and two side-pockets along your hips – perfect for an iPhone/pod, keys, eats, etc. Pair with the Run Your Heart Out LS (pictured here in Poppy/Lucy White Strip) for a comfy cozy jog in the cool temps. My favorite thing about this top is the material – you can find warmth and thumb-holes from a lot of active wear, but comfort matters, too! This is soft enough to lounge around in, should you choose to veer towards my daily work wardrobe choices.

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If there’s one thing an athlete can never have enough of? It’s socks. I buy them at almost every race expo, REI / running store sale, etc.  There isn’t a more practical stocking stuffer ‘round these parts.  Bombas sent me two pairs to keep my digits warm and comfy. Similar to TOMS, they donate a pair of socks for each purchased. These are feel-good happy feet!

bombas socks_1 Bombas_2

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In case none of the above tickle your runner’s knee, these are a few more of my favorite things:

– 12 oz Nathan handheld water bottle, for longer runs & trails

– lululemon {run} Speed Shorts (of which I have at least 10 pairs….)

Polar RC3 GPS Watch

Mizuno WaveRider 17 / 18 shoes (I order .5 size up)

–  TOMS flats, for everyday wear and keeping trashed running feet happy

Splish grab-bag swimsuits, which could in many different ways…

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What’s on your holiday wish-list?

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Fit & Chic: UA Sports Bra & Full Zip-Hoody

In the third installment of our WCS run-group’s Under Armour (UA) reviews, we have an outfit. Today, the lovely Erika models the Armour Bra and Kara takes comfort in a big full-zip hoody.

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Erika – Armour Bra:

I immediately fell in love with this sports bra!  The first thing I noticed when I put the bra on was how secure I felt.  I usually layer two sports bras, but this one did the job! It was tight in all the right places, and super comfortable.  I was also was pleased with the mesh under arms, which eliminates any unflattering under-arm fat.  The look is great –perfect combination of sporty and feminine.  It completely eliminates movement without flattening out my chest.

Erika UA sports bra 2  UA Sports Bra back

The back design is sporty and stylish.  It clasps in the back, which makes it easier to take off after a sweaty run.  I found it almost impossible to clasp the bra on, so I found myself clasping it and then pulling  it down over my head.  The first day I ran in it, I wore the bra fastened on the middle clasp and it felt great.  The second time I wore it on the last clasp, and felt the metal digging into my back.  But after moving it back to the middle clasp, it once again felt great.

Sizing Tip: I usually find myself debating on a B or C cup, so I wasn’t sure what size I would be in this sports bra.  I went with the C cup and was happy I did!  I’d say if you are in-between sizes , go for the larger size.  The cups fit perfectly and do a good job of separating  and securing, not squishing.

Overall, I highly recommend this sports bra!  I will definitely be purchasing more! (Other UA Sports Bras found here.)

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Kara – Charged Cotton Storm Full-Zip Hoody:

Full Zip Cotton Hoody

I’m a huge fan of comfy sweatshirts and sweatpants on cold fall days, and the Storm full zip hoody fits the bill.  It’s fairly lightweight and not bulky at all, yet it kept me extremely warm.  This hoody is also water resistant, though I haven’t had a chance to test out that feature quite yet.  Although it’s a men’s hoody, it fits me perfectly, and the squadron blue is a great, unisex color.  I plan to spend many more cold winter weekends in this hoody.
(More UA comfy cotton sweatshirts here!)

My two cents: This is obviously a men’s hoody, but I know a lot of gals who prefer men’s sizes because they like the looser, comfy fit. These can go either way!

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Thanks, ladies! And another thanks to Under Armour for the gear. We have one more review coming up – the shoes!

Full Disclaimer: UA did not provide any compensation for these posts; the reviews are unbiased and straight from the source(s). The gear was provided to the reviewers free of charge.

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Gift Guide: Women’s Cozy Under Armour Hoodies

In the next edition of our WCS Under Armour (UA) reviews*, the girls don comfy on-the-go hoodies. These two are avid gym-goers – spinning, lifting, etc – and are also part of the original WCS run-group.

They both picked a UA hoody that is keeping them warm in the office, between work and work-outs and sometimes on-the-run. Here’s what they think:

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Ashley – Women’s Armour Fleece Divide Hoody:

The Women’s Armour Fleece Divide Hoody is comfortable and warm. Wearing it all day at my causal workplace environment is great! The inside is an amazing soft fleece material that kept me warm and cozy without feeling over heated throughout the day.  Also, I loved the color (purple is my fave!) and the contrasting color lining the hood with light purple gave the perfect touch. I love finding comfortable clothes that I can wear to work andon a lazy day! Thank you UA!

Ashley UA hoodie purplegirls in Under Armous

Rachel – Women’s Charged Cotton Storm Full-Zip Hoody:

The Full Zip Hoodie is great to wear around the office (felt like a cozy sweatshirt on the inside and looks exercise-chic on the outside!). It’s not the best for running when the sweat started and didn’t quite “wick” away as it would with most of my long sleeve running gear.  But, when I’m not running, I’m loving the compliments I receive for the hot pink trim and breast cancer support (way to go UA!).

Rachel UA hoodie 3Rachel UA hoodie 2

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Do you have a favorite on-the-go hoody?
Have you tried UA’s options?

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*Round 1: Gift Guide for Guys – UA Shirt & Shoes

Full Disclaimer: UA did not provide any compensation for these posts; the reviews are unbiased and straight from the source(s). The gear was provided to the reviewers free of charge.

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Gift Guide: The Guys’ (Under Armour) Run/Sweat Stuff

Fitness contest update: the official judging has begun. If I hear anything by tomorrow, it will be good news (semi-finalist). I’ll keep you posted! I can’t say “thank you” enough – you’re amazing and I’m so lucky to have your support!

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In other news, we have a bi-weekly run club at the Wellness Corporate Solutions (WCS) office – every Monday and Thursday a crew goes out for a few miles along the C&O canal right after work. It started last Spring as the nights were getting light again and it was pretty clear that leaving at 5pm would just land you in traffic. Why not stay at work for an extra 30-40 minutes, get your workout in and miss out on the rush-hour headache? Brilliant. Done!

When a local Under Armour rep reached out to see if there was any interest in trying out some of their new gear, I turned to this stylish run-crew and offered it up. Each person selected their own UA “gift” and has provided a review! Today, we start with the guys, Jared* and Ari.

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Jared’s Review – Men’s Coldblack T-shirt:

I wore the Men’s Coldblack T-Shirt to the gym this week for an early morning workout. It felt great when I put it on.  The fit was slim and well matched to my frame size around the chest, arms and shoulders, but the shirt was a bit long for an exercise piece. The material was light-weight and stretchy, yet felt very durable which made it quite satisfying to wear.  I started my workout with a  one mile to warm-up on the treadmill.  The length got in the way a bit here as the shirt grabbed around my butt, preventing it from moving freely with my running stride.  I proceed with a circuit workout of Olympic lifts (deadlifts and overhead squats) during which the shirt performed perfectly.  The length may have even helped me when raising my arms above my head. The fabric kept me cool and felt appropriate to the activity.

Mens Coldblack short sleeve UA shirt

All in all, I really liked the Men’s Coldblack Shortsleeve T-Shirt, and with a potential alteration to the length, I will happily keep it in the rotation.  Or I’ll just save it  for days when I’m not running.

*Side-note: Jared is participating in Movember – show your support of his classy ‘stache here!

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Ari’s Review – Men’s Spine RPM Running Shoes:

I used to love running, but then I moved and joined a gym.  Don’t get me wrong, the gym is beautiful, and offers classes, weights, fancy machines, all that jazz, but now that I pay to belong to a gym, I want to get my money’s worth, which means a lot less running outside.  It only took a few months going to the new gym before I started to hate running.  There was something about those treadmills that irked me.  I would do classes on a bike, use the elliptical, but with the treadmills it was like forcing a kid to eat his broccoli.

Then something changed.

Yesterday I got home from work and had a brand new pair of Under Armor sneakers waiting for me {Under Armour’s Spine RPM Running Shoes}.  They looked awesome, but it wasn’t until I put my feet in them that something in me changed.  The fit was like Cinderella trying on her glass slipper – perfect.

Ari UA Spine RPM Running Shoes UA Mens spine RPM running shoes

I decided at that moment I was going to see if these made the treadmill any better.  And you know what, they did. I felt like a gazelle. The support was awesome and I was enjoying  running again.

Obviously I look forward to using these outside sometime, but for now I’m actually excited to get back on a treadmill.  Oh and I look awesome in them, too.

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Full Disclaimer: UA did not provide any compensation for these posts; the reviews are unbiased and straight from the source(s). The gear was provided to the reviewers free of charge.

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