Thursday, August 21, 2014

Diary of a Stroller Run

It's 7:10 a.m.

Miles is watching "Jake and the Neverland Pirates," and I sitting on the couch. Counting. Planning. My training plan calls for 6 miles, easy, and 4 strides. I opted to sleep in this morning, leaving me to sandwich my run between daycare drop-off and work.

But I'm just sitting there. Doing nothing. And then I remember something I should have considered the night before: I can run with the stroller. Bonus: I can take Denali to get some much needed exercise.

"Miles, do you want to go for a run?"

"Uh ... no."

"What if I give you a Fruit Roll-up and a sticker."


I put on some running shorts and a top, get the stroller out of the garage and pump up the tires. I return inside to leash up Denali, grab the Fruit Roll-up (+ Nuun and more snacks) and get Miles so I can buckle him.

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"Wait. I need my life vest."

"Why do you need your life vest?"

"I want to be like the Hulk."

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I head toward the street and I notice a rainbow. I marvel for a moment then furiously check the skies for signs that more rain is to come. Thankfully, the clouds are moving and the sun is peaking out.

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Mile 0.0 to 0.25: We head down the street toward our regular route when I'm reminded by construction equipment that we will need to detour. I make a quick left, and I'm greeted by a decent incline. Hills aren't my strong suit, especially at the beginning of a run and especially with the stroller. I grunt. Miles asks for something to drink.

"You are going to have to wait until Mommy stops."

"Hey, there's a stop sign!"

"You have to wait till Mommy is ready to stop."


Mile 0.25 to 1.75: At the intersection with a busy street, I stop and give Miles the bottle of orange Nuun. He takes a swig and then I ask for a drink. "Don't drink it all," he laments as I sip. I start to put it back in the basket when he insists on holding it. I don't fight it and let him hold it. We head down the street, and I spy more construction equipment. Great.

"Hey! There's a bulldozer!"

"Oh, yeah? That's exciting!"

"No, no, no. I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to Dewani." (Despite multiple corrections, Miles does not pronounce Denali correctly.)

We continue along and despite my correction, I'm surprised at how chill Miles is acting in the stroller. There is no talking - much less whining. If I didn't hear him thump around, I would almost worry that he was asleep. I start to wonder whether I can eek more miles out of this trip.

Miles 1.75 to 2.94: Thank you sweet, Denali. The dog has to pee, and I can stop for a moment. I wrangle the Nuun as Miles, again, protests that I not take it all. We make our way to the Greenway, and Miles starts to ask to go to the park.  I take great care to route us so that we don't pass a playground, where a meltdown is sure to happen.

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Mile 2.94 to 3.85:  As we wind through the back end of the park, I am surprised that I'm running so well. I'm not breaking records but it's my third day in a row, and I'm averaging below 9:20. I think about picking it up more when Miles demands to stop. For a stick. Off the trail. I've already taken us to a point on the route that will bring us closer to 5 miles and his limit so I give in. Upon handing off, I realize it's far too big to be carried safely so I suggest breaking it. Miles is amenable - thank goodness.

With a stick in hand, we make our way to the turnaround point. A pivot turn with a fixed-wheel stroller and dog is a little clumsy.

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Mile 3.85 to 5.03: Thunk, thump. Shit. Miles dropped the stick. I stop the stroller and nanosecond later, stop my Garmin.

"You dropped your stick."

"I don't need it. Can I have another Fruit Roll-up?"

"No. I have an applesauce, though."

Miles eats his applesauce as I tackle my least favorite hill in the neighborhood. As I near the top, I am shuffling more than I'm running. I'm happy to see cross traffic so that I have a reason to stop and catch my breath, steal more of Miles' Nuun (I've stopped fooling myself at this point). My watch shows a pace in the 8's for a brief moment as my legs rejoice on the flat road. But Denali is tired, and I ease up to cut him a break. We detour around the construction (again) and make our way home.

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Miles asks to get out of the stroller so he can walk with Denali. I've hit 5 miles, and I'm more than happy to stroll - even if Miles is not a walker. Rather, he will go 0.005 mile, look at a stick and throw a rock before going another 0.005 mile.

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He starts to move with a bit more purpose when he stops dead in his tracks. He is in need of a restroom. I had worried about this a couple miles earlier when I realized I didn't make him go before we left. I start to tell him it's OK but before I can get the word out, he starts to drop jammy pants. On the sidewalk. Apparently, he wanted to do his business outside. It was so wrong for so many reasons.

I get him back in the stroller and speed walk the 0.2 mile home. With a big ole smile on my face. For one, I logged 5 miles with the boys - a mile-plus farther than I've tried in ages. Two, I kept Miles from going to the bathroom in someone's yard. Three, I can shower before work and not produce an odor offensive to my co-workers.


  1. This is so awesome!!!! Nice work on the run too!!! :)

  2. I LOVED this post! because i can totally relate to it. But i am also jealous you can get to FIVE miles with your kid! a quarter mile in and mine is asking to get out and run or get out and do something other than let me do my thing. i have to fight for that short run. and she insists on ruining my zone. But Miles rocked it! Great job, Mama!

  3. I know this scenario so well!

  4. Haha, I laughed so hard at Miles wanting to drop his pants right then and there. Oh three year olds. Ella doesn't request to wear a life vest but she does refuse to leave the house without a tiara or some sort of headband, her walking bee, a baby, and snacks. She only eats when we're not at home of course.

    P.S. Coming to town, well, state, for Thanksgiving. Thinking about making it a week long endeavor. Will you be around?