I’m a bit discouraged right now when it comes to stroller running. The summer is around the corner and I know that soon every run will be with three little people in tow.
Stroller Running………I love it and I hate it. I love to hate it and I hate to love it. It’s hard. VERY VERY hard. If you haven’t ever pushed a running stroller or 100+lbs of kids you don’t know what I am talking about and likely will never understand it. I am not being a baby.
EVERY single stroller run is a huge accomplishment to me. It takes more motivation than I ever thought possible just to get out of the house. I don’t just decide to go for a run – get dressed and then walk out of the house. It takes a good hour to get three little people dressed, snacks ready, kids happy, and everyone buckled in. Some mornings I want to quit long before I’ve even begun to run. I reason with myself that I will feel better if I go outside – that the treadmill during nap time should be my last resort – that the fresh air is good for not only me but the kids.
The truth of the matter is that stroller running encourages me and discourages me all at once.
When I am having a not so great stroller run I feel discouraged.
Instead of waking up the next day and not wanting to run with the stroller – I normally want to get back out there and prove to myself that I can still do it. I can still push myself and push myself fast. Lately I’ve been letting the negative creap in…..it needs to stop. I need to get my game face on if I am going to make it through this summer and be able to train.
Two Fridays ago I pushed the boys for 10 miles. It was hard – it was hot – it was hilly. I was miserable during the run but felt encouraged post run that I still was fit if I could run that far with them. At the time I didn’t realize that my distance pr for pushing the double is 10 miles – had I remembered that I think I would have pushed it for one more mile.
Saturday I went out for what I had wanted to be a long run – it ended 4 miles later. I didn’t have it. Even though I was running solo my legs were too tired from the 10 with the kids.
Sunday I still felt a tad sore so I planned on taking a rest day. I wasn’t in the greatest of moods and knew that a run would turn it around. We set out for a family run and 8 miles later I felt better.The next day I decided to time my run to fit in with naptime. I would drive to the W & OD trail that I love so much and push the boys on the paved path. Because there are no turns it’s much easier than pushing them around my town. When I arrived at the trail the overcast sky had burnt off – it was sunny and hot. I tried to talk myself out of my negative attitude but I just couldn’t do it. With in moments of starting my run I saw that they were doing path work and it was closed – you had to take the detour down the gravel bridal path.
IT WAS MISERABLE. The stroller sunk into the gravel stones and I felt like I was pushing a cargo plane. Mile 1: 9:11
A 9:11 is not a bad time for a mile especially when pushing two kids but I was MAD. I was mad that I have to run pushing my kids all the time. I was mad about all the people that complain about having to get up early to run – I’d love to get up early and run solo. I was mad about my friends who get to run together in the morning. I was mad about friends whose husbands or wives stay home with the kids while they go out to run first thing. My feelings were completely irrational but I didn’t care. I wanted someone or something to blame for my bad mood.
Mile 2: 9:11 – this made me even more mad. How could I not even be moving a second faster than the last mile? I was back on paved trail now which mean that I was actually going slower because it took less effort to push them on this. I thought about quitting.
Mile 3: 8:55 – OK Dorothy you have got to snap out of it. Stop complaing – stop being a brat – some comparing yourself to others.
Mile 4: 8:54 – Dorothy You know that obstacles make things better. If you could run whenever you wanted to it wouldn’t mean as much to you as it does. It’s because it’s hard. It’s because it takes work that you love it.
Mile 5: 7:52 – HOLY CRAP. This is what happens when I decide to control my mind instead of letting it control me. When I think negative my body is negative. When I think positive and truly believe that I can run as fast alone as I do with a stroller then I can run fast. I wasn’t discouraged anymore by this run. I was encouraged. For the next mile I decided that I was going to take anything negative that has been said to me, about me, or has happened recently and I was going to use it as fuel. It made me giddy. You win when you don’t let yourself be a victim. I’m getting excited just typing this out. When people want to bring you down but all they do is push you up – you win. Take every time someone told you that you couldn’t run a race – or that you weren’t an athlete – or that you were the uggliest girl in the world [yes I was told that once in highschool when I cut my hair boy short and got braces] – take those words and prove those people wrong. You don’t have to tell them. They don’t even have to know but use the negative and make it positive.
Mile 6: 7:34 – #irunthisbody
Mile 7:01 - I felt on top of the world. I made a choice that day to work on how much I dwell on things. I don’t dwell on the positive – I dwell on the negative. I feel sorry for myself. It’s silly. Life is too short and too precious to waste it on the negative. I need to stop thinking about the negative and push it out of my mind as fast as I do a bad run.
Mile 8: I knew this mile was going to be a challenge. I had to go back onto the bridal path and push the stroller through the gravel. I reasoned to myself the faster I ran the easier it would be – sort of like keeping the momentum going or something like that. I wanted to finish strong.
8 miles pushing both boys – 8:13 avg – 1:05:52
I was encouraged.
I sit here now hoping the memory of this run encourages me and motivates me. This morning I am taking Colton for a run once Miles is at school. It will be my first stroller run since this run last Monday. My mom was in town last week and between her, my grandmother, Eric and the treadmill I got to run solo for an entire week! No negative thoughts are allowed on this run – I will dwell on the positive.
Do you run with a stroller? Does it encourage you or discourage you? Or both?