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My Sweaty Valentine: A Gift Guide for the Fitness Lover in Your Life

I love Valentine’s Day! I’m not a fan of going out and dropping a lot of cash on the big day, but I AM a big believer in thoughtful gifts :) Especially since we JUST had Christmas, I think Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity make or create (or at least Etsy) a homemade gift!

^Etsy can be a verb, right? ūüėÄ

For the runner, triathlete, or just fitness-lover in your life, here are some of the ideas I came up with!:

Re-purpose Race Swag: Every race comes with its own set of SWAG (Stuff We All Get). From drawstring backpacks, to t-shirts, to luggage tags.. There is tons of stuff that most of the time ends up in the trash.

For IMAZ, I re-purposed the license plate covers that came in our SWAG bags into frames from the road trip we took after the race.

frames

I also really liked the idea of reusable bags made out of race tees:

race tees

I found the tutorial here: http://artthreads.blogspot.com/2011/03/wednesday-sewing-repurposed-t-shirt.html

Race Bib ‘Scrapbook’: Over time, those race bibs started piling up, but I didn’t want to just dump them in the trash. So, a few years ago I started making a race bib book to keep track of my races.

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I’ve used Snapfish¬†to create a custom photo book where I simply grab a few photos from the race for one side of the page, include the name of the race, the date and my time, and then leave the adjacent page blank.

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Once my book comes in the mail, I just glue the bib on the opposite side! It is an easy way to keep the bibs organized, track of my yearly races, and create a neat momento and 21st century scrapbook. This can be a lot of work, but much easier than my previous method of actually scrapbooking the bibs. Plus, I really like having these on my bookshelf!

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My first half! and my first almost triathlon! (it was cancelled during the bike due to weather)

 

Race Bib Magnets: I am OBSESSED with these adorable instagram-inspired square magnets from Shutterfly.

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Simply scan, or take a photo of your race bibs, and you can upload them and make some cute (and motivational!) magnets for the fridge. These will also hold up a lot longer than the paper bibs will!

Capture

Pardon my crummy photos, but I often cut the bibs to fit them into my 8×8 Race Bib¬†Book¬†(get the 8×12 if you don’t want to cut any of them!)… but you get the idea!

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Running Trail Art:

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Does your sweetheart have a favorite running path or bike trail? Do you have the eye for photography? Grab your camera and take a few shots, maybe, at sunset or during a fresh snow! We debated doing this for our wedding table numbers, but you could frame a print, or make the magnets from above out of them! A nice way to incorporate your love of running into décor that is slightly less obnoxious than race bling :)

DIY Medal Display: Etsy is FILLED with custom medal and bib holders and those can make a great gift! Paul originally gifted me a medal hanger only to realize that we filled the few hooks almost immediately. Uh, now what? Instead opt out of the pricey custom hangers and just invest in a $5 curtain rod from Wal-Mart. The curtain rod can hold as many or as few medals as you need, and is adjustable and sturdy. To class it up a little bit, you could add some framed pictures from your races or other prints above the rod.

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^^Okay, our medal collection is a bit much, but see how many more the curtain rod holds than the 10 on the custom one? That custom one has also fallen off the wall about 12 times, but not the curtain rod since we could screw it into the beams.

If you do want to get a medal holder online, I’d recommend one that has large hooks so multiple medals can fit on them.

Hefty hooks!

Hefty hooks!

Race bibs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so I would recommend a holder with clips, rather than hooks so the holes don’t always have to line up!

Clips, not hooks so that all bibs will fit!

Clips, not hooks so that all bibs will fit!

Race Photo Redux: 

Wedding Sketch

We all know that race photos tend to not be the most flattering. You don’t get a 2nd change for a redo, but what about taking a not-so-great shot from an epic moment and turning it into an awesome sketch?! This artist, Almost Noelle on Etsy, angles her work for wedding photos (and there are tons of other sellers doing the same), but an awesome finish line photo would be a great piece of art for right above your medal hanger!

Other quick ideas:

  • Create a custom playlist for your sweetheart to take on a run!
  • Go on a 2.14 mile run or walk together!
  • Sign up for a fun run that you plan to do together
  • Couple’s Massage (clich√©, but hey, I’m not one to turn it down!)

Do you exchange gifts for Valentine’s Day?
Do you prefer to go out to eat, or stay home on the couch?

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**Just a fun reminder that these ideas are all my own opinion. I am not sponsored or affiliated with any of the above companies or products.

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