Wednesday, November 14, 2012

BOB, BOB, BOB around

I sat in the examining room, peppering the doctor with questions. I, of course, wanted to know what I could do to help Miles, how to best administer his breathing treatments and what exactly to look for if his oxygen levels (again) dipped dangerously low.

But I had an agenda.

What I really wanted to know was whether Miles' illness and the seeming quick escalation was my fault. I wanted to know whether I had done something wrong by taking him for runs on these chilly mornings, our breath visible in the thin air.

She looked at me, with the reassuring look she always has, and said no. It was not my fault; Miles has a virus, and it is the cause of his bronchiolitis and ear infections. If I wanted some advice on cold weather running, she did have some.

Use common sense.

Common sense winter stroller running tips

Feel the burn. Our doctor's primary indicator for whether it was OK to run wasn't a temperature rule as I've been adhering to. She said if the cold air burns as you breathe, it doesn't feel good for the little one to breathe, either. It's best to stay indoors.

Cover up. If you need a hat, the kid needs a hat. If you have gloves, so does the child. Of course, it's easier said than done. We've lost a hat on the trail, and Miles loves to kick off his boots. I've found that we can do a hat if we cover it with the hood. Mittens work but so do socks. Even better socks over mittens.

Get into gear. Buy the weathershield to help with wind resistance. It will also keep kicked off boots from flying off into the middle of the street.

Safety first. Wear the strap, put on lights, run against traffic or on well-lit trails. I put Road ID lights on my hat and waist band, as well as one on the canopy of the stroller. I also plan to pick up some reflectors for the wheels. Winter means less daylight and, when on a tight schedule, it can be difficult to do the whole run in broad daylight.

Take it slow. I know I'm not going to break land speed records with a dog and baby in tow ... most of the time. Instead of focusing on speed or taking out the BOB for repeats, I use it for steady-state or long runs and focus on form, breathing and pacing. A slower pace is especially important as wet leaves or a bit of snow could cause slippery conditions. And seriously, pushing the stroller already counts as resistance - especially if there's any semblance of a hill or wind.

Inflate your ego. Just like a car, the stroller's tires need to be inflated properly. Or so Mark tells me. It's important in cold weather especially and properly inflated tires will make sure you go over any slick spots safely.

Create a soundtrack. On the occasion that Miles has been grumpy, I will turn on music on my iPhone - whether it's Pandora's Toddler station, Elmo CDs that I've downloaded to iTunes or the latest music from BODYPUMP that I'm trying to ingrain in my memory. And there was that morning, at 7 a.m., when we were looping the neighborhood as Christina's Aguilera's "Dirrty" blared. Oops. On the worst days, I've sang my own version of "Wheels on the Bus" - "Wheels on the Stroller."

OK. That last one is not really winter - I guess I just wanted to confess my inappropriate running tunes. I'm so a shoe-in for Mother of the Year.

Any mother runners have some tips for me?


  1. Great tips - thankfully the only person I need to worry about is me.

    ps - your little guy is adorable.

  2. I think you covered everything!

  3. It's been cold in the mornings, so I've been heading out in the afternoon for a run with BOB instead. I also wear a safety reflective run dork :)