Friday, December 19, 2014

FootZone Staff Christmas Gift Recommendations! (or secret wish lists?)

The clock is ticking... There's less than a week until Christmas!  

Feeling stumped by the runner who has it all?  Maybe you want to give something more inspired than a pair of socks?  Curated by the hard-working and hard-running staff at the FootZone, this is the list for you.  You'll find all manner of gear here, run-tested by staff who use it and love it (or really, really want it themselves...  Take note, spouses!).  In their own words, here are FootZoners' top picks for Christmas gifts!

If you need the CliffsNotes - just get them a Craft Baselayer! 

I would be totally stoked to receive the Ultimate Direction Fastpack 20. This is a sweet pack that would be both a comfortable daypack and hold lightweight gear for a multiple day adventure. I'd love taking this on the John Muir Trail next summer! Here's a great review by Megan Hicks of irunfar. 

A Craft Baselayer. I pretty much live in these during winter. And since it's Central Oregon, I'll use 'em in fall, spring, and even summer too. Lightweight and warm. What more could you ask for?

Oiselle Lesley Knicker - stylish and comfortable.
FlipBelt - Perfect for carrying my iPhone on a run bouncelessly, or in the evening instead of a purse as it conceals easily under a blouse.

A FlipBelt- keeps your hands free and also can be used for travel- credit card, money, driver's license, etc.

A Craft Baselayer - wahoo! Keeps you warm while you sweat and dries quickly!

Injinji NuWool sock - all 5 toes swathed in their own little wool pockets! (Yeah, you wanted more than socks... but these are inspired socks!)

A Buff Band! Who wouldn't want headband/hat/balaclava/neckerchief/face mask/do-rag/awesomeness in fabulous colors?

Honey Stinger Chews, Gels, and Waffles. Everybody needs a little fuel for their adventures, and Honey Stingers are some of my favorites.

Lauren Fleshman's Believe I Am Running Journal- an awesome way to keep track of your upcoming year of training, races, and adventures.

Craft Storm Glove - awesome for Nordic skiing, your morning bike commute, shoveling your driveway, and impromptu snowball fights.

Kari:  "I love too many items to select just two!  And I'd like one of each, please." :)

A GRID Foam Roller - I use this thing every day.  It keeps me injury free and my body happy.  A must for all runners.

A lacrosse ball - like the GRID, a must-have item for self-massage, but at $5 the perfect stocking stuffer or gift to give a pal.

Running journal - Lauren Fleshman's Believe I Am journal is a great gift for your BFF, or a treat to give yourself.

Swiftwick socks - a great, blister free, breathable sock.  My go-to for racing, especially long distances. 

Sugoi's Jackie tight or knicker - the perfect weight tight for any time of year.  Holds up great, allows for fluid motion, can be paired with a tank top or lots of layers.  Super versatile.

Craft Baselayer - perfect for those cold mornings.  Wear it for running, snowshoe running, or skiing.  Breaths well and keeps you warm and dry.

Black Diamond Headlamp - will help light your way into the New Year!

Hydro Flask Insulated Water Bottles - FootZoners and their families use these multiple times a day, every day.  They hold up great and are good for the environment.  Personalize yours with some Run Dirt or FootZone stickers and show us some love!

A FootZone Gift Card - all the fun, none of the stress.  The gift that makes everyone happy!

Ultimate Direction Body Bottle or Salomon Soft Flask - a nice new addition to any race pack for carrying water. It's something not a lot of people have tried. 

Lacrosse ball - this is probably on some other lists but it is indispensable for a runner.  A must have!

The Salomon Fast Wing lightweight vest - THE greatest layering piece that you can own.  Great for those chilly mornings or wintery runs where you need some protection from the cold but a full-on jacket is just too much. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Running the New York Marathon to Fight ALS

My aunt Fran is living with ALS. Commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. The progressive degeneration of these neurons causes the brain to lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement. 

Fran is a life-long New Yorker, other than the few years she lived in DC for college, which happened to be where and when I was born. This was not only handy for free babysitting, but resulted in us bonding early on. Fran has always felt like a big sister to me, and as I got older, she became a true friend. Growing up, my sister Ali and I spent lots of time with Fran in New York, and one event we always heard about was the New York Marathon. Fran and her friends were loyal supporters, camped out at mile 7 with encouraging cheers and spirit, and no doubt a pitcher of cosmopolitans at their side, for the thousands of runners tromping by. Because of these stories over the years, I have always considered New York to be THE marathon. I started running more seriously after my fellowship in 2012, and tackled my first marathon last fall in Fairbanks with Ali. Running has been an amazing outlet for me for many reasons, and has helped immensely in keeping me refreshed with the challenging work I am doing in hospice and palliative care. 

Ali and I never had the chance to watch the marathon with Fran, but this year are thrilled to run it in her honor, along with our cousin Eric, as part of Team ALS. It is a fund-raising event to help find effective treatments and work toward a cure for this terrible disease, for the thousands of people inflicted with ALS who will never run again themselves. I humbly ask you to consider making a donation in Fran’s honor. 

I very much appreciate your support, and will be thinking of the amazing outpouring I have received along the way. You can be sure we will have a very special toast in your honor at the finish - with Cosmos, of course.  Many thanks!

~ Jenny Blechman is a local runner and hospice doctor at Partners In Care. She and her family have lived in Bend since 2002.