Sunday afternoon, as I was wrapping my children's Christmas presents--haphazardly sticking pieces of tape onto the jaggedly cut snowflake paper, then using a Sharpie to write a name on a bow-less package rather than finding gift tags--I envisioned the lovely tinsel-festooned, ribbon-bedecked gifts some mothers create for their kids. I paused, debating whether I should take more care and put more effort into gift wrapping.
Nope, I decided: Like canning plums and figs from the trees in our yard or knitting sweaters for my kids, creating beautifully adorned presents are not in my wheelhouse. I'm doing the best I can with the time and energy I have, and I'm not going to feel guilty if our family's presents look like they are wrapped by outcast elves on the Island of Misfit Toys.
Like with this post, the gifts shine enough on their own. And so, with no two-sided tape or hand-stenciled butcher-block paper, here are the three winners of each the first four days of the AMR 5K of the Holidays. (The winner of the NordicTrack 1750 treadmill will be announced Dec. 20 or 21.) Also, below are two (2!) winners of Thule Chariot Cougar 2 child carriers: One winner chosen from our website giveaway; the other from guests who entered the giveaway at Mother Runner parties in the second half of the year.
Day 1: Inspire Me
What was one inspirational running moment you had this year?
Andrea: "I was driving home one day from work. Bad day. It was rainy and cold out and all I wanted to do was go home, get into my PJs, get the kiddo to bed and have some wine and a brownie. Instead, as I was driving along, I saw another mother runner (had to be) running along in the pouring rain, headphones on and singing! She completely inspired me. I got home, changed into my running gear and had the wettest, coldest most badass run I have had in a longtime. Completely changed my day."
Lori: "This year’s inspirational running moment was volunteering to pass out water during the Pittsburgh Marathon with my family. I took a year off from running it and was totally inspired see all the faces as they strived toward their goals."
Samara: "I’ve been inspired all year by my new Instagram running community. It’s amazing everyday to to see all the women out there, getting the miles done, day after day, running the races and accomplishing amazing things. I love seeing the daily posts!"
Day 2: Fuel Me
What flavor do you hunger for either during or after a long run?
Mrs. F.: "I love chocolate milk after a run. Got hubby hooked on it too!"
Kim D.: "Well before the run it’s peanut butter. After (way way after, I can’t eat anything for at least an hour after a run) it is something citrus-y."
Pam: "I love Peppermint Stick flavored GU. It wakes me up during my runs and is such a refreshing flavor. I buy it by the caseload!"
Day 3: Cover Me
What running route or trail do you daydream about covering?
Sarah the Other Diva: "The trails in Northern California, either in the redwoods, which have a magical soul lifting power, or the trails in Mendicino County. So calming."
Amber C.: "I dream of running through the west coast trails of British Columbia."
Kelly K.: "I’d like to go on vacation and run with my husband….anywhere!"
Day 4: Restore Me
What restorative activity do you make time for in your life?
Michelle Waldorf: "I use my foam roller and softball on my trigger points while watching movies on Netflix."
YetAnotherSusan: "Other than escaping the house for a nice long run.... I always make time to read. other than on a long run, you will pretty much always find a book in my hand. even a quick lunch break at work can be a relaxing getaway when you have a good book!"
Claire: "A massage after a half or a full marathon."
Thule Chariot Cougar 2 from site (and how she juggles running + young kids):
Meg: "Oh, jeez…there’s no one plan, is there? On days when it’s warm enough, I take my 3- and 1-year olds, but more often in the winter (or if I really want to run for pace), I get up early. Or else I mean to, and then spend the day yearning for a run."
From our parties: Suzy Smith, who was at our Columbus shindig.
Whew! Like the headline of this post promised: a windfall of winners. If you are one of the 14 women named above, please email us at runmother [at] gmail [dot] com, telling us your full name, mailing address, phone number. Michelle, Susan, and Claire, go to 110% site, measure your calves, then tell us what size Flat Out Sox you need. You Cover Me ladies--Sarah, Amber, and Kelly--please tell us your clothing size, tops and bottom. Finally, Andrea, Lori, and Samara, tell us what size Oiselle Podium Pajamas you'd sport.
All the rest of you ladies: Happy holidays, and good luck in the NordicTrack 1750 giveaway!