The Gift of Fitness

No matter what controversial color your coffee cup may be, the holiday season has officially begun and just like every year prior, I am committed to getting all my holiday shopping done sooner than later; but for the first time ever, hubby and I have agreed to give gifts just to the kids and not to each other. Why?  Because we buy gifts for ourselves throughout the year anyway and only I truly know what I want! Saving stress, time, money, and wrapping paper- sounds like a Christmas miracle!

Hubby was also getting annoyed at my answer to the question, “What do you want for Christmas?”  The answer: “You know, workout stuff.” He’s over reading my mind and I’m over never getting the workout stuff that I actually want so this year I made my list, checked it twice, been really nice, and Santa Laura is getting/giving EXACTLY what I want this year all in the name of yuletide fitness! HO HO HO!!!

For years I have wanted to participate in a weekend-long fitness retreat. Through my blog, I was lucky to meet Adam, the owner of Run Voyages, a company that combines running, yoga, coaching, and group training, with awesome weekend destinations and local cuisine. When Adam invited me to participate in his December retreat in Sonoma with ultra running superstar Magda Boulet and yogi extraordinaire Reba Gray, I happily said yes!

I am beyond excited to attend this Sonoma retreat- 3 days filled with group trail running, yoga, run coaching from Magda, plus all the luxuries and landscapes of beautiful wine country! As you likely already know, Magda Boulet recently won the Western States 100 miler, was the first woman at the 100k Ultra Race of Champions, and second woman/first masters at the 100k Courmayeur Champex Chamonix on the Trail du Mont Blanc. Instructor Reba Gray has been teaching yoga for runners sessions here in the Bay Area for years, including a recent workshop at The Green Yogi in Berkeley. At the retreat, Reba will present a restorative “curriculum” geared for just runners.

Want to join me, Magda and Reba and gift yourself (or someone you love) this amazing weekend of fitness? Then be sure to use code R4TR50 for $50 off registration, click here to register and check out the tentative event schedule here.  (If you opt for the Saturday only option without lodging, the $50 off makes the day a great bargain!)

When I started running in 2006, I didn’t know much about running but I knew about Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders– LMJS is a large social, recreational, and competitive running club here in Oakland that hosts a monthly Fourth Sunday Run (5K, 10K, and 15K) around Lake Merritt. Their 4th Sunday races are very popular with the locals due to the low cost ($3 for members, $5 for non-members), familiarity (if you run in Oakland, you run Lake Merritt All. The. Time.), and PR potential.

For 9 years, I’ve known about their races, I’ve known a lot of friends that have joined the group and this year, I finally KNOW I’m ready to meet more runners as well as get some good coaching on my side so I gave myself the gift of more running and signed up for the LMJS half marathon training program beginning later this month (target race: the Oakland Running Festival Half Marathon in March).

The LMJS training program includes Saturday morning long runs throughout the East Bay, race day pace groups, certified running coaches, a training shirt, Oakland Running Festival registration discount, plus a hospitality tent on race day! 4 months of all this value for only $105 (not including membership but you can join LMJS for only $20/year)! Gotta love that!!!

I am really looking forward to my first training run with LMJS and re-focusing my efforts towards the next half marathon goal with the help of professional coaches. If you want to join me and LMJS to gear up for ORF 2016 too, be sure to check out their training program. We can celebrate Christmas together again in March when we cross that finish line and earn that medal!

I was having dinner at my friend Lisa’s house a while back and she told me that her gym, Truve, offers free boot camp classes on the weekends because owner and trainer Alison believes that fitness should be available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.  I eagerly signed up for the free boot camp session and got my booty happily kicked by Alison- kettle bells, medicine balls, resistance bands mixed in with push-ups, squats, lunges, crunches and sprints! More, more, more!!!

When I walked into Truve, I immediately fell in love with the space- artistic, modern and minimal with plenty of room to move around and equipment to use. I also appreciate Alison’s instruction- she is direct, corrects form as needed, and holds you to all the reps (she really notices if don’t do all 30 of any exercise and will certainly tell you so- my kinda gal!). Plus, Truve is located in Uptown Oakland’s The Hive, a very hip, newly renovated historic space geared to become a micro-neighborhood for local businesses, social entrepreneurs, and artists to converge- Alison’s Truve fits right in!

After looking at Truve’s fabulous schedule of classes, I decided my final Christmas gift to myself will be more time at Truve, so I signed up for the new member 10-class card (only $100!) and can’t wait to get started! If you’re in Oakland, be sure to stop by Truve and check out one of Alison’s community classes (in addition to boot camp there’s free TRX, yoga, kettlebell basics and more!) and let her know I sent you!  More time conditioning = better running = happier me!!!

Jingle your bells, yule the logs, and nog those eggs if you got ’em- Christmas is going to a breeze this year and it’s still only November, YAAAAY!!!  What are you asking for/giving to yourself/giving to your loved ones this holiday season in the name of fitness?

2 thoughts on “The Gift of Fitness

  1. Alison

    My husband and I aren’t doing gifts either, but my mum keeps asking me for gift ideas so I’m going to ask for a new sports bra, socks and running caps. They probably don’t sound like cool gifts to some people (non-runners clearly!) but they will get used every week, so a useful and thoughtful gift idea.
    I’m also gifting myself a marathon entry.

    1. Laura Post author

      Including gift receipts, also useful and thoughtful 😉 plus, those that don’t run often find better accessories than those who do! I hope you get all that you want this year! What marathon are you getting ready for???


What do you think?