Dear Santa... 2013 Triathlete Gift Guide
Confession: with only about a week to go, I've yet to finish my Christmas shopping. Sigh, not enough hours in the day... For all you procrastinators like me, here are some of my favorite gift ideas for your little triathlete or runner. Basically it includes all the great stuff I had to distract myself from when trying to find gifts for all my non-triathlete family. Take a look, hopefully you find something for that special someone on your list! (of, if you're like me when it comes to Christmas shopping: "one present for mom, one for me!, one present for dad, one for me!" hahaha - just kidding, sort of.)
For your Pool Rat (or aspiring Pool Rat): BlueSeventy Swimsuits
I know a lot of us are already set with gear (if not, the Helix and PZ3TX are good make-em-love-you-forever options—long-term investments there), but every triathlete could always use a new swimsuit. I've worn my favorites to death this season and, I mean, if they're good enough for two world champs AND 50% off with the code "trainfast50" through the end of the year... I went ahead and ordered the energy stripe suit (shown below on Leanda) in purple for myself.
For your City Rider or Commuter: Zackees Turn Signal Gloves
I know nothing about these other than they look pretty cool and I wish I was better at being seen while riding. I don't commute much but when I did while living in DC and in Philly, I would have loved these to be clearer to drivers about my next moves. As I know all too well, better safe than sorry!
For your Diva: SmashFest Queen
I picked up the all-pink Kona Berry in Hawaii back in October but secretly wishing I had held out for the Carbon Flyer kit. Love love love the pink accents on the down-to-business gray and black. I love how my Kona Berry fits and am currently eying the cycling top to go with my tri-kit. Also some great arm- and knee-warmers that go great with the overall look.
For your Race Addict: Rev3 All Access Pass
...or if you have friends all over the country - split those races up! This is especially great if you're a long-distance triathlete who lives in the NorthEast. Do the math: you can pay $1,200 for two measly Ironman races or $1,200 to race as many Rev3s as you want. The crazy part is that Rev3 not only allows you to go in on this deal with a friend—they actually encourage it!
For your Butter Fingers: Life Proof
It's water-resistant and great to protect your phone when slipping into a sweaty jersey back-pocket—just be warned it muffles calls... like, a lot. I loved it for training, whether on the bike or on the pool deck, but my mom complained that she couldn't hear me every time I called. I ended up using it only when I was training... which meant on the way out the door to race Kona that morning, of course I dropped my phone, sans case, while trying to lock the condo door and totally shattered my screen. Whoops!
If you want the daughter/wife/hubbie of the year award: Normatec!
Last year my brother and I joined forces to give my mom a pair of Normatec boots. She had tried on mine and fell in love with them—she has some leg problems that keep her from going back to complete her second half-marathon. She seriously raves to me about them every time we talk on the phone and in Kona she bought the compression for the hips... which I have not yet tried but am excited to over Christmas! There's also free shipping through the end of the year so get on it!
For your Workout Partner who likes to hit the town: SmashFest Meredith Dress
Yes, yes - another SmashFest Queen design.... another little number I picked up in Kona from Hillary and Michele's Booth (and Anabel looks pretty fine modeling it here, if I do say so myself!) It's been cold here in Austin the past few months so I've only worn it around the apartment but I have a feeling it's going to be my go-to summer dress in 2014, whether just hitting the town in Austin or doing a deck-change post-swim or post-race. No need for anything else in your bag, the straps are supportive and the material is nice and lightweight (no wrinkles!) that you don't have to look like a bum after hitting it hard. I'm predicting right now that this is going to be the podium dress of 2014.
For Your Practical Health Nut
My parents gave me this for Christmas last year... and I am HOOKED. I now make almost-daily smoothies, the occasional soup and have started to make my own nut butters. Oh, and during the off-season, you can make a mean all-fruit margarita in it :)
If you loathe the word "Saddle Sore": Pearl Izumi shorts
I wouldn't know but I could imagine the worst word a triathlete could say to their non-triathlon significant other is "saddle sore". Once I went PI, I never went back. I love their shoes, their tri-tops, but most of all I love their shorts. In fact, I'm kind of biased where the only shorts I'll actually let myself wear are Pearl Izumi, SmashFest and Soas.... all others generally just mean trouble. In particular, I love my long cycle pants for the chillier days in Austin—though rare, they feel exceptionally warm and luxurious—a great investment for your cycling partner (.... or for yourself)!
If you are on a team, in a sorority, or love the thought of being matchy-match: SPLISH!
I didn't know this existed a few months prior but am now OBSESSED. You can literally design any suit you want using their custom color- and text-builder and it takes no longer than any standard suit from a retailer. Julie built these for TeamHPB at Kona, we all ordered one and I love love love my suit. Already I'm thinking about what I want to custom-design next :)
Just a little something special—shades (tri-specific) - Rudy Project
I LOVE these! I previously had some Oakleys that were solid but blown away with the new Rudy Projects that I now rock on all of my rides and runs. Compared to most athletic shades for the ladies, I don't feel like a cyclops and don't notice them at all when working out—which is exactly how I like it!
Just a little something special—shades (everyday) - Oakley
I lost my new favorite pair of "around-town" shades in San Francisco last month and promptly ordered a replacement—I love them that much. Definitely an '80s throwback but the lenses are semi-reflective meaning you can't see through them and light-weight and easy breesy for a super casual look. Here I'm wearing them after my release from a two-day stint in the ICU... they help hide the lack of make-up and giant bags and swollen eyes from 30-hours of IVs and post-Ironman water retention...
For your Data Nerd: Basis Watch
If your Christmas someone is at all into the Quantified Self movement, this is the perfect gift for them! After my Kona collapse, I figured I needed to be smarter about monitoring my heart rate, sweat and body temp so bought myself the Basis. It is amazing when it comes to tracking steps, HR and sleep times but falls short when it comes to live sweat and temp data. Basically, you can only see it after you connect your watch bluetooth to your smartphone. That being said, it is really cool and good to keep track of and motivating to see what you are doing outside of your normal swim/bike/run times. Basically it told me I sit on my rear all day when training—which is why I now make special trips to the break room to keep myself moving even during the day.
That 10% of your time when you're not SBR-ing: "Mighty Clutch"
The clutch that charges your phone. I repeat, the clutch that charges your phone. How cool! An a-mah-zing invention if you ever make it out of your Normatecs and onto the town.
For an easy stocking stuffer: Ombre Bobby Pins
Yeah... not really triathlon related but certainly cute and would do the trick at pinning those layers back on race day!
If you're a Cheapskate: cut-up left-overs from a flat tire
The best thing money can't buy is a faster swim split. The best gift I ever received was from my coach: a small cut-up piece of rubber bike tub cut and tied into a circle. Lots of band-only work and I've gone from a 35-minute half swimmer to 30-minutes. One of the best things that's ever happened to me...
That's about it! The only other things I would recommend would be a Netflix subscription for your triathlete who spends a lot of time stuck inside on the trainer or a Spotify subscription for your runner who absolutely needs their music on their iPod while running around town.
Hope this helps, let me know if I missed any must-haves heading into 2014!