Friday: Scheduled rest day.
Saturday: Unscheduled rest day.
Sunday: 6.13 miles at a 9:54 pace.
Yes, you’re seeing the words “rest day” two consecutive days in a row and you’re probably thinking “Um, Allee…you have a half marathon this week.” And you’re right. And you’re also judgmental and mean so go away.
Truth is that it was not at all running weather outside yesterday. In fact, there were snow flurries and winds were around 35mph. Plus, I figure it’s best to get on a Sunday run schedule since that whole 13.1 mile race is on Sunday. These might sound like excuses to you, but I already know you’re judgmental based from the previous paragraph so just go away!
So I wanted to take a minute and discuss a form of fitness that is new to me that I tried on Monday. Talking to other runners, every one of them said “gosh, running is just so easy. It’s not a physical challenge. If only I could run and push a 17 pound baby human in some type of metal apparatus.”
Well, good thing you can do just that.
Enter my jogging stroller.
When I found out I was pregnant aside from being all like “ooh yeah, I’m going to create life,” one of my first thoughts was “I NEED A JOGGING STROLLER.” Of course, I thought about other things like what kind of mom I’d be, setting up the nursery, taking prenatal vitamins, but those things aren’t very important when you compare it to me being a cute, stylish fit mom. While most pregnant chicks were busy researching breast pumps and car seats, I was busy perusing all of the internets for reviews on jogging strollers. I figured the whole baby raising thing would work out by itself, but a jogging stroller needed nine months of graduate school level research.
By the time my baby shower rolled around, my mom asked me what I wanted. That’s why I love my mom. She knew that the baby shower would be all about the baby (what a concept), but my vessel of a body deserved a damn present too. I immediately told her that I needed a jogging stroller and if she bought me one, I’d put her in one of the finest nursing homes when the time comes (just kidding mom. Kind of.) She obliged and bought me my jogging stroller and for that, she’s going to get my Spice Girls CDs in the event of my death.
Now that Caroline is old enough (I’m not the world’s most knowledgeable mother, but bouncing a fresh newborn with weak neck muscles around in a stroller didn’t seem like a great idea) and the weather is occasionally getting nice, it was time to bust the bad boy out. While Ryan was away in California, I thought I would take the initiative to put it together myself.
With C-Rock down for a nap, I went downstairs and unloaded all of the pieces. It seemed pretty straightforward: pop on some wheels, a cup holder and call it a day. I found the instruction manual, opened it up and “Step 1” involved the word “axle” so like any self-respecting woman, I set down the instructions and went back upstairs. I don’t have time to be familiarizing myself with man jargon and hardware. Eff that. I got married for a damn reason.
Ryan finally put it together on Sunday in time for Monday’s unseasonably warm day. I went to work excited that I was teaching Eastern Asian Dynasties (anyone else get excited over them?) and that I was going to run outside with my baby. The entire morning was like Christmas Eve for a giant running dork.
The night before I asked for suggestions on Facebook of local areas I could run with the stroller. I decided on a nearby nature park that I drive by everyday on my way to work. The main positive to this park is that it has a small 1.2 mile loop that is relatively open and usually well populated. As someone that is painfully attractive, I have to be cautious to not be kidnapped. It’s a cross I’ve had to bear , being so beautiful, but one that I’m happy to work around. Furthermore, I’ve been blessed with a baby that can make any kidnapper rich in the baby pageant circuit so I need to protect her as well.
Once I got the stroller up and going, we were off to hit the trail. I put Caroline’s Yankee hat on her because the sun was shining and I felt like she needed a little “hood” to keep the criminals away. She’s gangster, what can I say?
We got going on the trail and I knew this would be a very difficult run. The trail was very trail-y (a technical term) meaning it was uneven, hilly, full of gravel, rocks , dirt and some large animal feces. As if that weren’t enough of a challenge, the stroller worked as some intense resistance training. Once I found my groove, I figured I was running at least a 10:30 pace. I looked down at my watch and nope, there was the number “12.” I was working so hard to be so slow! I was getting nowhere fast. Fail.
Caroline, on the other hand, loved it. She was yelling at every person we went by and didn’t mind the rough terrain. At various points of the trail, I seriously thought I was going to give her head trauma by how bumpy it was, but she just kept smiling. So either she really did love it or her brain was just tired from being sloshed around. By mile two, she looked tired so I reclined her seat and gave her Raffie. From there on out, she snoozed away while I did another 2.4 miles.
The scenery was pretty. The park goes in and out of a marsh so you’re surrounded by trees and low-lying water. At one point, we saw two deer sleeping just a few yards away from the trail. They looked at us like “yo, we know this isn’t a hunting area.” I felt happy for them and their shotgun free zone. Bambi is safe in this park, praise Jesus.
By the last mile, Caroline was slowly waking up and I knew I could probably squeeze in one more lap before she turned all Mussolini on me and began punching innocent bystanders in their kneecaps. I was right. As we approached the final curve, she was yelling in her foreign baby language something about pooping up my backseat and not giving me grandchildren.
We sat on a bench for a while as I caught my breath and I kept thinking how positively awesome of an experience it was. I love running and I love my baby and I got to combine them! It’s like a peanut butter m&m. I love peanut butter and I love chocolate and BAM, they’re together. Sometimes the world just works in your favor.
So that’s the tale of my first experience with the jogging stroller. I was beat after that slow ass run. Pushing that thing uphill and on a trail is no joke and I encourage anyone in need of a little physical challenge to grab a baby and a stroller and get to work. But don’t grab just any baby because I think that’s a crime. The baby should probably be yours and if it’s not, ask permission to borrow it. Actually, that’s just weird…