Monday, November 7, 2011

A Few of my Favorite Things

Six favorite things pictured here!
I can't believe how quickly the holidays are approaching. We are just 17 days away from Thanksgiving, then comes Christmas. Ackkk!!! We keep the holidays simple and try to avoid getting caught up in the consumerism aspects. In fact, my older son was browsing around Netflix yesterday and entirely of his own choosing watched the documentary The Commercialism of Christmas: What Would Jesus Buy. Even I was a little shocked. I hope I have not made the kids too cynical because there IS something magical about the holidays -- but as a time for family and friends, gratitude, slowing down, and observing beliefs and traditions. (Oh and the Christmas day run!)

It will be a lean Christmas around here, but no one really needs or wants much of anything. And honestly, what we define as "needs" are almost never truly "needs" but are instead, wants. We don't save up our happiness for gifts or vacations, but seek happiness each day. Or we try!

So rather than a list of things I might want, I give you my UNChristmas list of ten treasured training related things that I already have. Note: this does not include favorite books, favorite DVDs, or most importantly, favorite people. Or my bikes!

1. Waterproof iPod shuffle - It's pricey, but after several failed waterproof cases this really is unmatched in swim tunes. I've had this for nearly a year with no issues, although it does rankle people to see you clip an iPod on your goggles and dive in!

Lifting straps
2. Asics arm sleeves - These are inexpensive, comfortable, versatile, and easy to wash. These are good for cool morning runs in the 30's or 40's or if I just need one more layer under a long sleeve top. Yes, I'm one of those who unapologetically sports the tank top and arm sleeve/glove look.

3. Pink lifting straps - I'm not a big pink fanatic, but these do give me a bit of girl power in the gym. (these are used for exercises where grip strength could be a limiting factor...they loop around the wrist then are wrapped around the bar, dumbbell, or handle.)

4. One-on-One running cap - it's a Headsweats brand hat, weighs nothing, and goes through the washer time and time again just fine. Plus it gives a shout-out to my great coach!!

stretchy stay-put Xtenex laces
5. Xtenex shoe laces- I'll never use anything else in my running or triathlon shoes. They are comfortable, stretchy, and require no adjustments after you get them in. My kids are big fans too. Who wants to waste valuable time tying shoes?

6. ISM saddle - I have the Road model on my road bike and the Race model on my tri bike. I discovered this unique brand when I worked a support station on a century ride and saw a girl come through with the ISM. She sang its praises and now I do too!

7. Three-year-old Adidas running gloves - This was the first running-related thing I ever bought so they have a lot of meaning for me. I've had to sew them up numerous times. I don't wear them in races because I'm afraid to lose them!

8. Garmin devices - I have the Edge 305 for the bike and Forerunner 405 for running along with the cadence sensor and foot pod. They are a few years old but still dependably deliver all kinds of data to delight this engineer.

9. Petzl Tikka headlamp - This is what allows me to run before sunrise. I love the freedom it affords me, and it's lightweight and comfortable. I wear it over a running cap or winter hat to keep it from sliding.

10. Training Peaks - This is an unparalleled online system for workout scheduling, logging, and reporting. It provides easy communication to/from coach, excellent accountability, and great analysis for a numbers junkie like me. I don't consider a workout done until it's been uploaded and commented upon in Training Peaks!

What are some of YOUR favorite things?