Pampering and Soothing Gifts for Runners This Christmas

When we pile in after a run at this time of year we need all the pampering and brow stroking that we can get, so much of my gift wish list this year is all about the feel good factor. So although I couldn’t do without my running belt, sports watch and all the host of gear and gadgets, I mainly want to be pampered and soothed this Christmas please.

Oolala thong flip flops

How about these super cushioned flip flops to take the stress off tired feet and joints? Yes please. I’ve tried some on (like walking on marshmallows, seriously) but I don’t own a pair-yet. They’re just the sort of thing I’d like to pad around the house in after dragging off my trainers. And of course I’d live in them all summer long.

O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet

I do neglect my feet. I expect them to just keep doing their job with no attention at all and few things in life will put up with that. So I could use a nice foot balm. I’d definitely go for this foot cream from O’Keeffe’s because I’ve just squeezed the last bit out of a tube of this and it’s just amazing. It’s packed with glycerine will give you the softest feet ever. Next time I want to opt for this tub packaging as I find it easier to scoop up just the amount I want.

Lemon Sole Shoe spray

Now for a bit of tlc for my running shoes themselves. I have just sadly parted with my beloved worn out Brooks and I’m wearing a lovely bright lemon pair of Asics at the moment, so in the interests of continuing the theme, this spray is a perfect match. I am complete. Well, if it’s sticking out of my stocking, I will be.

A lemony fresh blast into the dark interior of your shoes.

doTerra Breathe Respiratory Blend

My love of essential oils knows no bounds so these are always high on my wish list. I spotted this respiratory blend (what could be better in a runner’s stocking?) which promises to promote easier breathing by clearing your airways. Even reading the list of ingredients steadies my breathing.


Laurel Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Melaleuca Leaf, Lemon Peel, Cardamom Seed, Ravintsara Leaf, Ravensara Leaf essential oils

It can be added to a diffuser but I plan to rub a couple of drops together in my palms and inhale…

Doterra Deep Blue Rub

Another doTerra product I’m lusting after is this muscle and joint rub.

A run, a dip in the bathtub then massaging this cream on to my overworked leg muscles sounds just heavenly. A blend of Wintergreen, Camphor, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Helichrysum, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile, and Osmanthus essential oils.

Balega Unisex Hidden Comfort Socks

As I’ve got older, and with the words of my podiatrist ringing in my ears (“Remember, your feet age just like your face does. Thinner skin, looser muscles and less padding.”), I’m always searching for the ultimate cushioned sock.

These socks pride themselves on ‘cushioning for impact resistance’, with extra cushioning mid-foot and at the heel so I’m eager to give them a try.

TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller with Free Online Instructional Videos

I’ve chosen this pressie as it’s something that, as an older runner, I know I should be doing and would definitely benefit from but…I don’t want to do it. So if I could reframe it as ‘pampering’ and some kind soul could buy me one I’d feel more inclined to use it. Foam rolling is a kind of self-massaging technique which loosens muscles – sort of smoothing out the kinks – thereby reducing any pain from tightness and promoting all those other lovely things that come with more relaxed muscles such as increased flexibility and reduced risk of injury.

2019 will see me foam rolling.

Philip Kingsley Preen cream

I first bought a tube of this cream a few years ago, intrigued by the suggestion that it simulates the effects of ducks preening their feathers. It’s been repackaged now but I’m ready for more – it’s great at giving a smooth finish and adding shine and silkiness to my frequently ravaged hair.

I wash, condition and towel dry my hair then comb through a pea-sized blob of the preen cream. It doesn’t feel greasy or weigh my hair down – just adds a nice sheen and smoothness.

Nivea In Shower Body Moisturiser

My skin drinks up anything I put on it and still feels dry (well, I guess that’s the price I pay for running in a warm climate) so I’d love an in shower body moisturiser. Doesn’t have to be super expensive – though the packaging can be to die for, I honestly don’t think that the more you pay, the better the product. That’s not my experience, anyway. This will do the trick nicely thank you…

I’m a big fan of Nivea products. They’re so affordable, the smell is heavenly, it reminds me of my mum and THEY WORK.

Instant Pot

My main present, please. Not exactly a pampering gift but a ‘less time in the kitchen’ gift and that’s not far off being the same thing in my book. Initially I ignored the avalanche of rave reviews for this pot but the devotion continues unabated so I eventually caved and spent an afternoon researching its many virtues and now I want one. The thing is, as you get more into running and longer distances you need to carve out more and bigger chunks of time. And annoyingly there always seems to be mouths to feed and as a few of the company’s taglines are “Make more time for other stuff”… and “Easy to use, just press a button and walk away!” then how can I resist? PLUS it keeps it all warm for you…

Instant Pot is a multi-cooker that apparently does the job of seven different kitchen appliances. It’s a slow cooker, electric pressure cooker, rice cooker, steamer, yogurt maker, sauté/browning pan, and warming pot.

What say you, Santa?

Probably The Best Anti Wrinkle Cream I’ve Ever Tried

A combination of age, hot climate and lots of running and I’d inevitably noticed my skin was losing its lustre and…eek… getting a bit leathery if I’m honest. I’ve tried both expensive and budget creams over the years and they’ve all pretty much done the job. Nothing show stopping – just an ‘okay’ result.  Then, for a several months every time I scrolled through Amazon I’d see this super affordable (under £15) product getting rave reviews so eventually I caved and bought some.

It. Is. The. Best.

I now know why it has over 2000 4.5 star reviews on Amazon.

Viola Anti Wrinkle Face Cream*

My default setting is not to believe extravagant claims for face creams. I take little notice of the ‘wonder’ ingredients and know for sure that no cream is going to truly eliminate my lines, wrinkles, dark circles and the rest. But if you’re interested, here are the main ingredients:

– Matrixyl 3000

– Hyaluronic Acid

– Argureline

– Vitamin C

– Jojoba Oil

– Green Tea Extract

and the full list…

All I care about is how my skin feels after using a product – immediately and for several hours afterwards. My main goal is hydration.

This is a lovely, lightweight cream and a little goes a long way. It smells slightly medicinal (a bit like tea tree oil but I’m happy with that as I connect that scent with the beauty salon…). It’s not oily and absorbs quickly and is non greasy.

My ‘crying out for moisture’ skin always looks instantly moisturised whenever I apply it and feels really soft and dewy for hours. I got really interested in this cream when I’d been using it for around 4 weeks and was heading out one day – I was driving and happened to touch my face. It felt different; wonderfully smooth and much less dry than it used to. Then when I got to the mall I could really see how much better my skin was looking. Yes, I was that person peering into store mirrors! The only thing that I’d changed in my routine was the addition of this cream so – although I can’t be totally sure I’m right – I put it down to that.

Any downside?

Well it would be great if it contained sunscreen too but it’s no bother really to apply that as well. I also wish it came in a huge tub so I could slosh it all over me.

The very good news is that the company also produce an anti ageing vitamin c serum and an anti ageing eye serum. I’m trying them out now and will share my thoughts in a few weeks. If you do decide to try (or have already tried) the cream in this blogpost please do let me know what you think! Here’s the link: Viola Anti Wrinkle Face Cream

this is an affiliate link. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. However, I only ever give a completely honest review of products that I have tried.

Packing Cube Convert

Towards the end of April I set off for a 6 week trip to the US. I knew I was going to be in and out of hotels almost daily for the first 2 weeks so I decided to try packing cubes. To be honest, I’d never even heard of them before they popped up on Amazon when I was searching through travel items. They were billed as ‘the ultimate suitcase organiser’. Suddenly, I needed them.

As I was to be travelling through several states, the weather would be really varied too so I had quite a bit to pack. My running stuff was going with me too, not least because when I reached Utah I was determined to emulate Forrest Gump’s epic run! (Photo at bottom of this post :-))

I bought these PRO Packing Cubes:*

First impressions were that they were super lightweight, seemed durable and the zips glided easily (pet peeve is sticky zips!) There is a mesh panel which I initially thought would be useful for checking contents but you can’t really tell what’s in there by peering through that.

I followed advice from several Amazon reviewers who suggested using the different colours of the cubes to identify contents; so, jumpers in the red cube, underwear in the yellow cube and so on. This turned out to be a great idea as after a couple of nightstops, I soon remembered what items were in which colour cube and could put my hands on what I needed super quickly.

I used one cube to pack all my chargers and leads and another for toiletries.

Here’s my case just before I zipped it up to head off to Heathrow:

I thought the cubes were brilliant. I’d check into a hotel, flip open my case and just grab the handles and lift them out.

And more importantly, I could get hold of my entire running kit in seconds, before my ‘maybe I’ll give the run a miss tonight’ mindset had a chance to kick in. Pre-cube days, I’d be travel weary and rifling through my case making a huge mess trying to find my shorts, my socks, my Garmin and everything else. It’s easy (for me, anyway) to be tempted to give in when I’m tired, thirsty and faced with a run in a unknown place.

I ended up giving over 2 entire cubes for my kit but it was definitely worth it for motivational reasons.

I used one cube in my carry on baggage for glasses, kindle, medication and all those things I’d need on the flight. The manufacturer suggests using a packed cube as a pillow on an overnight flight … maybe next time!

And finally … couldn’t resist a bit of Forrest Gumping! Pulled my running gear out of the car, wriggled into it and just set off like a looney. Felt a total muppet but passing cars seem to be used to it 

* this is an affiliate link. At no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.