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: 8:55OK Dorothy you have got to snap out of it. Stop complaing – stop being a brat – some comparing yourself to others.

Mile 4: 8:54Dorothy 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?  


  1. Christa Barlow says:

    Definitely both. But, now that I’ve read that you were pushing 3 and I only push 1, I think I need to focus more on the positive!

  2. I too run with 100+lbs of stroller and boys. It often discourages me because I would almost literally be faster walking than my runs with them. I try to console myself that come race day – with no extra burdens – I am MUCH faster without them in tow. And they love it (at least for short runs, but I now have an iPod to help keep the older one busy on the next long run we try). When I was out of town, they asked my husband when he was going to take them for a run. He told them he wasn’t going to (not a runner) and they said “Oh, I guess only mommies run”. Things like that keep me going.

  3. Definitely both! Pushing two kids is no joke, I can’t imagine pushing 3, lol. I hate running hills with the double but I know they make me stronger. Staying positive is a must!

  4. Im so glad that others struggle with stroller runs, too!! I feel so awkward and slow! Last week I finally ran three miles, no stops with my 14 month old. It motivates me, too!

  5. Seriously, you are amazing Dorothy! I can’t imagine pushing 1 child in a stroller, let a lone 3. You are one of my running idols!

  6. I used to run with the stroller when my kids were younger and it was so hard. The furthest I ran with them was 8 miles and I was exhausted for a few days because of it. I can’t imagine the paces you were hitting with a stroller. I am in awe. Nice job.

  7. Im a new runner and mom of 22 month old and 3 yo boys. So far I run alone but do push the stroller while rollerblading. I think that is helping me get ready to try running with the big load. my husband, solo evening, runner says pushing a stroller reminds him of pushing the sleds in high school football practice.

  8. I just started running with my (first) baby boy in a single stroller about a month ago. He’s only 11 lbs and I’m a good 30-40 seconds/mile slower when I run with him. I’m new to stroller running and I love it most of the time since sunshine>>treadmill for me and I can only get a solo outdoor run 1-2 times a week if im lucky. It’s definitely harder with a baby (and the prep: feeding/burping, pumping, prepping the diaper bag) so you’re an inspiration for being able to do it with three much bigger people. Reading about your adventures in stroller running gives me hope that I can continue to run as we grow our family even if it’s hard. Thanks for posting!

  9. Dorothy, You are seriously amazing. I have a love/hate relationship with the stroller, too. My little guy loves it and it makes me feel stronger on solo runs–but hills and fast miles never come easy. I can’t even comprehend running a 7:00 mile pushing three kids. That is incredible!! Thank you for being so real. Love you!!

  10. Dorothy, you are such an inspiration! I don’t have any children (yet!), so I haven’t experienced stroller running–but every time I see someone on the path with running with a stroller, I think of your descriptions of how tough it is, and I try cheer the stroller-runners on.

  11. Holy WOW! Those paces are amazing. I understand the love/dislike but only as it is with a single jogger…not a triple. So I guess you feeling are times 3 in comparision to mine. I know that I always feel better after the run jogger or not but lately it is easier to run on the treadmill than to negotiate with my 3 yr old. Next time I am going to whimp out, I’ll think of you Dorothy and I also teach my little that sometimes he doesn’t get his way. (Although he usually likes going for runs under a hour)

    Keep up the amazing running. You are a very strong person…as if you need to be told that. 😉

  12. Wow, what a run! This is definitely an encouraging and a little discouraging post to someone like me who has not yet tried to run with a stroller. The key word here is *yet since I’m not yet a mommy. I don’t think I’ll ever run with three though. One sounds hard enough! haha

  13. I hear ya on this one! Many times the only run Incan get in is a stroller run. We live in a really hilly area and Sometimes I am so discouraged by my min/mile pace with the stroller. But a mile is a mile and it’s better to do it with a stroller than not at all:)

  14. I have a love/hate relationship with pushing my 2 kids (ages 7 & 4). I have good days and bad. No doubt. IT. IS. HARD! I’m 4’10” and 103 pounds so pushing 100+ lbs. of kid and stroller is physically and mentally draining. Sometimes I tell them, “let me get in the stroller and you push Mom!” lol. In any case, I know it makes me stronger even if I can’t run as fast as I’d like. Thanks, Dorothy for the post.

  15. Dorthy,

    Question: how old were your kids when you began running with them? My wife and I are expecting our first in the fall. And I have no idea what age is safe to run with them. I am looking forward to it at the moment (you post didn’t scare me too much). 😉 I didn’t grow up with people who stressed fitness and good health, the opposite actually. So, I want my child to see me as an example of good health habits. You should be very proud (and I am sure you are) that your kids are growing up seeing hard work and healthy habits “normal”. Far too many kids don’t get a healthy habit role model and I think it is one of the most overlooked components of parenting.

  16. I used to be able to when mine were little but now they wont let me. Its so frustrating and I too envy those who have lives the allow them to run whenever they want.

    Back in my kid free days I used to run the WO&D trail all the time—-(sigh) I miss it SO MUCH!!!!

  17. Wow, I can’t believe you push three kids around! I don’t have any kids, but I went running with my friend the other day and I pushed her 2 year old and my arms were sore the next day! I don’t know how you do it. Like you said, It’s because it takes work that you love it. As runners, we love the challenge! And I think you are stepping up to it and hitting it out of the park!

  18. Stephanie with Stroller Warriors says:

    First off, you are one strong lady!!! I too run with a stroller and push my two sons, plus one wee one on the way. For the most part, I enjoy pushing my boys and have done so for the past 5 years, but I do understand your perspectives. It’s not easy and some days are harder than others, especially if the boys are in a rowdy mood!

    What could help you is leaving your watch home. I know that sounds nuts, but I find that some of my most rewarding runs are without being tied to numbers, splits, or mileage. I can spend time listening to my cadence, improving my breathing or foot strike, praying, reflecting, planning, or even just staring off into the pristine blue sky, taking in what a blessing it is to run. My 3-year-old son has spinal muscular atrophy and is unable to walk, so this past year, so I now see running with entirely new refreshed perspective. Any time I flounder, all I have to do is think of him and his challenges and suddenly anything I’m doing not only seems easier, the pain becomes a gift. Embrace it.

    Don’t get me wrong…it’s great to be competitive and if you want to train to achieve certain goals, there is definitely a time and a place for tracking splits. But, for some runs, especially long ones pushing the stroller, it might be best to leave that watch home.

    My only other advice is to find another Mother Runner that could share your journey with you. I have the privilege of leading an international running club of military wives called Stroller Warriors. Even though sometimes the going gets rough, we generally don’t notice because we’re having too much fun together! So if you can seek out another Mother Runner of similar ability, that might help distract AND motivate you. BEST OF LUCK and thanks for the very real blog that helps us all examine why and how we run. Thanks. :)

  19. what you do is incredible and amazing (pushing 100+ lb of weight while running for eight miles) and it has made me so appreciative of my free time to run (unemployed college grad). thank you for the change in perspective!

  20. I thought I had it bad when I run with my dog!!!! You’re so inspiring! I’ve been a runner since I was 15, but someday I’ll have to be tough enough to run with a stroller……not yet, though :)

  21. Oh stroller running….it’s inevitable for me. About every 3rd run is a stroller run and I’m only pushing one so I can imagine what 3 must be like.

    I feel your pain but we know it’s necessary if you want to run. On the lighter side, I’ve found that I’ve gotten faster since I started running with a stroller. :)

  22. That is amazing, Dorothy! I can’t believe your speed! You’ve inspired me to run with my stroller, too. I couldn’t do a solo run this morning, so I toughened up and took my son on a four-mile run/walk near Lake Audubon. I felt so strong and proud while running! (I totally walked every hill. South Reston is HILLY, yikes!)

    My distance and pace were half as impressive as yours (4 miles in an hour), but I’m still over the moon with that small accomplishment. Thanks for the inspiration.

  23. RunWithJes says:

    This is truly amazing. I’d like to run as fast as you consistently without a stroller :) On the days where you hate it, just remember how many people you inspire.

  24. Ninety percent of my runs are with the stroller. I am only pushing one at 40 pounds of metal and baby but it’s tough. I never not want to go because my son is still at the age where a run might put him to sleep but I hate pushing myself. I always want to make it easy because I think I can’t hit certain paces with the stroller. Maybe that’s true but I can still run hard.

  25. Wow, I have no kids so I have never run with a stroller but I never realized how much I let my mind run me when I’m running. I fight it all the time – it’s too hot, too humid, I’m pressed for time I shouldn’t even be out here, I think I drank too much before I ran, these shoes are too wide- why did I buy them, and on and on. Geez- I couldn’t even imagine pushing a stroller!!! You have totally motivated me into turning those negatives into positives because really – there are more positives!! Thanks for your blog!!!

  26. Lizzy @ runbakerace says:

    Wow, I can’t believe that you run so fast with 3 kids in the stroller! I am in awe. :) I am just getting ready to run with a stroller for the 1st time when my baby turns 8 weeks old.  I know it’s going to be hard but I love all the blog ladies who talk about the good and bad of stroller running. I hope it makes me a stronger runner.  

  27. Brett Bilak says:

    I run about 5k daily with my 2, very big boys. My 3 year old weighs 50 lbs and is nearly 43 inches tall, his younger brother is following close behind. When I started running seriously with the stroller and the boys- it was out of anger and your post really hit close to home. Now I find that my ass and thighs look better than ever (probably from the extra weight) and I am able to really use running to improve all aspects of my life. I find it totally encouraging.

  28. rI don’t know how I came across this but it must’ve been the cosmos. I see other mums running along effortlessly(or seemingly so) and wonder where their motivation comes from. Every word you said spoke to me. Except I am pushing a 16 kilo bub and simultaneously dragging and holding back two dogs. People say leave the dogs behind but they were my running buddies long before the baby. They deserve that time too. Thank you for your words of encouragement. My shoes are by the door and the leashes hanging on the pram, ready for tomorrow.

  29. You made some really good points there. I looked on the internet
    for more information about the issue and found most individuals will
    go along with your views on this site.

  30. What type of pram is that and where do you get it, I can only think to add a skateboard. To a city select. Keep up the running, enjoy being healthy


  1. […] got to thinking about this after reading a particular blog post written by Dorothy Beal over at Mile Posts. Dorothy […]

  2. […] for a gently used stroller on facebook and check garage sales as well. To find out more about stroller running, head over here to Mileposts. Dorothy is living proof that if you set your mind on a dream and you […]

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