Did all the advertising somehow escape you and you just realized that you’ll be emptyhanded during romance-palooza this evening?
Fear not. Your two correspondents at URP have cobbled together some great ideas that a little bit of money (or even no money) can buy for that special ultrarunner in your life.
1. New shoes. You know if she likes the shoes she’s wearing, right? Steal a shoe, head to the running store, and buy a fresh new pair. Guys, don’t mess with the color. They say they don’t care, but they’re lying. Level of difficulty: 2/5.
2. New shoes, another approach. Similarly, you could also head to a store with a liberal return policy and buy him a pair that definitely won’t fit him. That’ll allow him to go shopping and pick out whatever he wants. Be sure to let him in on the plan when he opens he box or he’ll think you’ve lost your mind. Level of difficulty: 2/5. Just make sure they’ve got a good return policy.
3. Provide a shuttle service. Tell her that you’ll be the chauffer for the day and will drive she and her running friends to wherever they want for a point to point run. Then you’ll get them all home safely afterwards. Bonus for having a cooler full of surprises at the end. Level of difficulty: 3/5. It’s easy to give (write it on a dang card!), but tougher to execute, as you’ll likely be sitting in a car at a trailhead for hours on end.
4. Buy him a race entry and be his sherpa for the day. Get him to the start, crew him at aid stations, and bring him a beer at the finish. And smile the whole time. Level of difficulty: 3/5.
5. Beer! Head to a good beer store and spend a few bucks on a couple of beers. Has he ever had a $20 Belgian? How about a specialty craft brew from your area? Now’s the time to let him try them. Level of difficulty: 2/5.
6. A coach. Even if it’s just for a couple of months, getting some solid advice from an expert can really change the way a runner looks at training, racing, etc. Level of difficulty: 3/5.
7. Massage. Yeah, you could offer a personal massage, but come on, who’s that really for??? Get her a real sports massage, or if she’s into it, a spa-type massage a couple of days after a big race or run. She’ll appreciate it and most places have gift cards. Level of difficulty: 2/5.
8. Subscription to Ultrarunning Magazine. One year for the US is $40. Easy. To keep it interesting, add a little spice to his name like JoeSexy Smith. Level of difficulty: 1/5.
9. Pedicure, foot massage. For the men or ladies, ain’t nothing like having someone massage your feet after a day on the trails. Bonus for painting over black toenails. Level of difficulty: 4/5. You have to find someone willing to work on black toenails and runners feet.
10. Strange for this list, but how about a piece of non-running gear? We’ve got so damn many running shirts, a normal shirt would be nice to have sometimes. Level of difficulty: 3/5. You need to know sizes outside of S/M/L.
11. Socks. We can never have enough socks. They go missing, they wear out and they get eaten by the dryer monster. Figure out what type she likes and grab four or five new pair for her. Level of difficulty: 2/5.
12. Glassware. Head to BevMo or another beer store and buy some glasses (maybe even to go along with idea #5.) Would he wear racing spikes in an ultra? No? So why in the heck is he drinking a double IPA out of a pint glass? Help the poor guy out and click the pic over there for advice. Level of difficulty: 3/5.
13. A Magic Bullet and a bag of protein powder. Add some milk and fresh fruit and you’ve got yourself a great meal. Easy to clean and relatively inexpensive. I’ve had mine for years and it’s still going strong! Level of Difficulty: 3/5.
14. General support. Coming from someone with a less than totally supportive ultra wife, support him for awhile. Don’t let him (me) go overboard, but a little support goes a looong way. Level of Difficulty: 1/5.
15. Surprise! Tell her you’re going to surprise her at a random aid station sometime this year, then show up and re-do V-Day at mile something of some random race. Level of difficulty: 3/5. May come across as a half-assed and last minute like that “hugs” coupon you got your mom, but if execute poorly, roses, balloons, cheesy music and a tuxedo shirt when she’s bonking may just make it all worth it.
16. Groveling? How about an amazing running camp in Tuscany with footfeathers?
There are certainly more ways to express your feelings for your ultralover on this day, but let this be a starting point. Happy Valentine’s Day y’all.