If there was ever a day I dreaded going into a running store, it was Saturday.
I had Silas' 53,203-pound car seat slung over my right arm (12-pound Silas was in it) and a box with a pair of Asics GT-3000 in my left hand. I was taking two items in but I would only be leaving with one. And since Silas was sleeping, I figured I would take him and return the shoes.
Ah. The shoes. I had purchased them the week before when Mark and I were shopping with the boys. We had spent plenty of money that day and I figured, "Hey! Why not spend more?" Also, the achy, old lady knees wanted new shoes.
The store was busy that day but I managed to snag an experienced store employee, who re-evaluated my gait and gave me some suggestions.
I pronate. Not a lot but enough. I could keep wearing Brooks Ravennas but if I were a new runner, he might suggest something with more stability.
I had been thinking more stability and decided that a post-partum return is much like being a new runner. I tried on the Saucony Guide, Brooks Ravenna and the Asics. I ran up and down the track in the store, trying to get a feel for the shoes all the while trying to corral my oldest son as Mark bounced the youngest.
Finally, I decided that I've never been particularly picky about shoes and the Asics were good enough.
Except they weren't. Two runs in, and I wasn't in love. I don't know why. And, for the price of running shoes, you should love them. So, on Saturday, I returned them.
"I'll come back when I don't have kids with me," I sullenly told the senior floor sales manager.
Thus the gist of this post: Five things a mother runner should never do.
1. Shoe shop with kids in tow. If they are able to walk, they will want to run on the treadmill, try on shoes, try on "boots" (aka leg mannequins modeling compression socks), taste the "snacks" (nutrition products) and play with balls (myofascial release tools). If they can't walk, they will want to snack ... on you. You will be distracted, frustrated and make poor decisions.
2. Skimp on the stroller snacks. For the fearless leaders of the stroller brigade, bring no less than one food item per mile. It can be as simple as a Dum-Dum per mile or a cache of healthier options like baby carrots, fruit and raisins. Think I'm joking? Miles can put down a package of fruit snacks, granola bar and string cheese before our first water stop. Listening to him yell, "I'm hungry," for 3 miles is like my version of a slow death.
3. Put Nuun, Gu, etc., within reach. I can't count how many times Miles has flooded the bathroom sink in an effort to make his own Nuun. Chocolate Gu tastes like frosting. Chomps are fruit snacks. And, to him, they are all his. Except one package of Chomps is nearly equal in cost to a box of fruit snacks. His favorite song right now might be "Worth It" but I say no.
4. Use the only foam roller in the presence of children. They will sit on you, push you off, tell you that you are doing it wrong. Grab a second one on the cheap at TJ Maxx or wait until they go to bed. You'll be crying enough for the both of you when you finally get to your IT band.
5. Discuss things like bloody nipples, relieving yourself in the woods or other bodily functions in front of them. They will remember it. THEY REMEMBER. Of course, they can't tell you what you just said or what they had for lunch but they can recall bloody nipples. And then, they will ask your running partner about bloody nipples every time they see him.