Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tempo Run Turned Stroller Run

In the mornings, I set my alarm for 5:00am.  I have my clothes laid out before to not make noise opening / shutting drawers.  And I even go so far as to put my contacts on in the spare bathroom.  The reason?  My son is an early riser.  Chalk it up to another way my life has changed after having a baby.

On Tuesday, I had originally planned on an 8 mile tempo run.  I'd warm up and then run 6 miles at 6:40ish pace.  It'd be a great run, I wouldn't poop my pants, and people would high five me as I rounded the last corner to my house. (Two out of three of those are fantasy, you choose which ones) Unfortunately, just as I was digging my Garmin out of my laptop bag, I heard it. . . . . The sound of my son playing and laughing in his crib.  Normally I would try to sneak out without my wife noticing  Being the loving father that I am, I made my way towards his room to give him his pacifier.  It was when I got close that I heard my wife say (from bed): "Why don't you take him with you!".  And that, is how my tempo run became a stroller run.

I don't often run with the stroller because I'm trying to hit one workout or another.   That and, quite frankly, I'm a WUSS.  My body is built like a runners - scrawny and chicken-leg-ish lean and mean.  I don't have a lot of "wasted" muscle mass that would be used for such useless things as "moving heavy objects" or "impressing women".  I don't have needs for these types of things!  I need to move - FAST.

Stroller wheel loves to wobble - slowing me down MORE
So, when I do run with a stroller, I find that I'm easily 45 seconds a mile slower.  At least.  Essentially, it feels like I am constantly running up a hill.  My body just doesn't have the leg strength to push the extra weight around (That's what she said).

The real trick is to realize that I'm going to be a touch slower and try to compensate for it.  My first few stroller runs, I went out like a blaze of fire and almost killed myself off trying to hold my "normal" training pace. Just like in the bedroom, I've found that when running for two slow and steady does it.

Other than pace, during my run on Tuesday I found that there are a few other differences while pushing a stroller.  
  • First, I can't corner half as well as I do normally.  That is, unless I want to give my son whip-lash.  
  • Also, I've found that since it is 80 degrees or so out at 6am, I try to stop every 15 or 20 minutes and give my son a little squirt of water to cool him off.  
  • (This might be one of the biggest issues) I still haven't figured out where to put my hands and arms.  I can't swing them by my side, so I can't figure out if I go for one hand or two.  Left, or right?
  • Finally, I found that when we see a HUGE jackrabbit bunny hopping along, I stop for 2 minutes and let him check it out.  It was like my son was looking at a UFO.  His eyes.didn't.move!

Ultimately, after 5 miles, I decided that I had enough and called it a day.  I had worked up enough sweat to sufficiently scare the neighbors and gross out my wife.  Mission accomplished.

Schwety.  And a bit skwinty.  I think the sun was in my eye on the one side.

Also, turns out that hanging out with me makes you really thirsty 
(that, and my water bottle is surprisingly baby bottle shaped)

How much does everyone else find that stroller running slows them down?  Should I zip up my man suit (my new favorite saying) and push (literally) harder?

44 comments:

MotherRunner said...

Ahh, running with a stroller.. it's evil. For some reason if I hold on with one hand and let my other arm swing free, I feel like I'm limping, and like I might just run in a circle.

I'm doing an experiment to see what pushing my double stroller does to my pace if I keep my heartrate the same... It'll be on my blog tomorrow! :)

Kovas said...

I'm faster, at least on the downhills when I jump on and let 'er rip!

Megan said...

Hahaha love this post! It looks like you (and the baby) survived!

Jamoosh said...

Apparently the force is not with you - otherwise you would be moving the stroller by mental telepathy.

Julie said...

Running with a stroller is so hard! You did great! Look at that sweat!

I used to run with a double stroller. I think at one point, before I finally gave up on this stroller pushing stuff, I was pushing close to 80 pounds of metal/rubber/and kids. Oh my.

Karen said...

I'm way too wimpy to run with a jogging stroller...and my jogging stroller is totally ghetto. However, the purely evil Elisabeth Hasselbeck offered some advice in Runner's World: http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-243-544--13765-0,00.html. She recommends going "pump, pump, pump, then switch hands." ...Wait, are we still talking about running?

Brenna said...

I absolutely hate running with a stroller. I also get up and do my morning run about 530 so that I can do it kid free! The few times I have had to take lil man- I feel retarded. I like my arms moving and having to push the stroller is tough cause I feel all uncoordinated!

Brandon @ A Healthy Dad said...

Running with a stroller is tough work! I have 2 kids (3 and 1), so running with the double stroller, I'm probably pushing around 80 pounds.

I've found that, for me at least, the one-handed method works best. I usually push with my right arm and let my left arm swing. That at least feels like semi-normal running. I'm also 6'2", so I have to be mindful that I'm not hunching over to push the stroller, since it's a bit of a reach down for me.

Stephanie said...

How could you resist that smiling face and not take him with you. So cute, the baby, not the sweaty pic :)

Stephanie said...

How could you resist that smiling face and not take him with you. So cute, the baby, not the sweaty pic :)

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Running with my single jogger slows me down only a little, maybe 30 seconds/mile. Luckily I can lock the front wheel if it's getting annoying. The double, however, is another story! It can slow me down well over 1 min/mile. Needless to say, I avoid pushing both my girls at all costs.

What a nice guy to give your little guy some entertainment and your wife a little extra sleep though!!

Mark said...

Guhhhh. Stroller running. I've only done it a couple of times. It. Sucks. I'd say it easily tacks on a minute per mile and definitely feels like running uphill. You're a good man...not so sure I would have sacrificed my planned workout like that!

Runners Fuel said...

I've never ran with a stroller, but I do lay out my clothes and even fill my water bottle the night before, so I don't wake the hubs. he's such a light sleeper.

Holly said...

So I don't have a running stroller, but I have pushed a double regular stroller on walks and than was hard enough. I think that it actually do some good for you to push the stroller and it might make your legs stronger in the process, which might help your running. You'll feel faster when you aren't pushing it!

Annette@(running)In the Right Direction said...

Well first your slow is my "never gonna happen". I do find it to be much slower and I don't like doing it unless, like you, I get caught on the sneak out by the hubby. The worst is when my daughter wakes up also and wants to go...that's over 50 pounds in the damn stroller! I really prefer never to run with a stroller...its really annoying.

SupermomE12 said...

I dont' run with a stroller so I am not much help. I just got done reading the story about the Dad who pushes his 40 year old son for the Boston marathon every year (the son has Cerebral Palsy) and the Dad runs a sub 3 hour marathon while pushing. Crazy! I have a son with CP and am inspired to start running with him, although afraid it will be super hard too.
You are a great dad and a great runner! Fun post! :)

SupermomE12 said...

Plus, if you keep running with the stroller you will probably get all kinds of excess muscles and before you know it you will be moving pianos for giggles and impressing all sorts of women. :)

Lin said...

Great job. I love running with the jogging stroller - as long as I don't hold myself to the same pace standard =) I use it mostly for recovery runs... and a stop at the park for a baby swing ride.

Sarah said...

My stroller runs are always slower but often, I appreciate the running more - looking around, talking to my toddler, multiple potty breaks that aren't all for me! I run one-handed and then switch pretty frequently. Fun times!

Chad said...

You don't need to keep a hand on the stroller at all times. I just maintain course with little touches to the handle with one hand. I obsess a bit about touching the same number of times with each hand, but that makes the miles go by faster.
This will make you stronger. It's uphill, both ways!

Nobel4Lit said...

I hope my future husband rolls w/the runner stroller!!!

I'm sure it will help you become an even stronger runner, or at least I'd like to think that.

katierunsthis.com said...

What an interesting perspective! As a soon-to-be mama (and runner), a good jogging stroller was one of the FIRST things we registered for. For some silly reason, I just assumed that I would be the only one using it. I have read lots of blogs about mamas running with their kiddos in jogging strollers but you are the first daddy I’ve seen! Kudos!

What kind of stroller do you have? We were looking at the BabyJogger brand.

I totally think you should just zip up your man suit and push on through. I hear that running with a jogging stroller (training, if you will) is actually better because on race day you will run faster since you won’t have the stroller weighing you down. Makes sense, right?

XLMIC said...

I think you should put on that man suit, zip it ALL the way up, and tell your wife 'no'. I think running w/ the stroller messes up your gait. I partly blame mine for my hip injury that kept me from exercising (yes, that includes running and walking and EVERYthing) for 8 very long years. My hat is off to those who gut it out, but… I agree w/ that previous commentor… jogging strollers are evil.

Laura said...

No kids here but I love this post.
....and I still can't run even half as fast as you WITHOUT a stroller...

Mary said...

I am a slow runner to start with and when I bring the jogger out I am about a minute slower.
I end up taking the little one on a run about once a week just because the Hubs works crazy hours and I turn into a mean mommy and even meaner wife i don;t get to go out.
But the next day when i go out without the stroller I feel like I can fly.
As for pushing it and what the hell to do with your arms... it just sucks.

Tim "Palantar" Jones said...

It slows me tons! But worse than that it makes my knees hurt. As you know from my throbbing pulsing (that's what she said) MRI picture, I'm coming off a knee injury, and I find that I can do alright if I concentrate really hard on being all POSE method-y. But if I'm pushing a stroller, I'm just doomed. My knee is going to hurt for days.

Whitney said...

I am MUCH slower... and it seems to workout different muscles on me. But it sure is fun to have her with me! It gives me an excuse to take frequent walk breaks to "check on her".

Terzah said...

Your posts are hilarious (and your son is super cute, even if unwieldy on a run). I have twins and I ran with them in our jogger exactly one time--it just added a layer of unwelcome stress to a process that's supposed to make me feel less stressed. I do sometimes still pull them in a bike trailer, though, and now they're 4 1/2, so that allows me to feel like a badass.

FYI, I also tiptoe around in the morning. If they hear me going out, they LEAP out of bed and it's OVER.

funderson said...

Yes, stroller running is a drag. Unfortunately or fortunately, I've found the little stinkas won't tolerate it for too many years so suck it up while you can.
Also, I'm still trying to believe 80 degrees that early?? You're a badass..

BabyWeightMyFatAss said...

Ahh the stroller run. It sucks. I do the one hand on, one hand swinging because two hands on makes me feel weird. So obviously my form is off and my speed but I really don't have speed so umm yeah. lol.
If your wheel is wobbly and you aren't pinning it to run it straight it might just need some adjustment.
Your son doesn't fall back asleep? bummer. lol he probably takes a nice nap when you leave for work with all of that fresh air so early in the am!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Never ran with a stroller, and really admire those I see doing it. I have a hard enough time keeping myself going. Send me a message and let me know how you like the headphones in the pic. I have thought of trying them.

Forward Foot Strides said...

No stroller advice here, I just had to comment on how happy your guy looks in the first picture!

Running Through Phoenix said...

I dont get to run mch with Harrison anymore. He is getting too big for his stroller. Yeah im slower with him but this time will pass quickly and we wont get it back until we start doing bank heists together and i have to push him in a wheelbarrow full of 50's down main street.

Chanda M. DeFoor said...

Your son looks pretty happy with your running efforts. This is a great thing for him to witness!

Chanda M. DeFoor said...

Your son looks pretty happy with your running efforts. This is a great thing for him to witness!

Nitmos said...

Any chance of more pictures...with your shirt ON? Seriously.

Adrienne said...

Wait til the little one gets older, than it's a real nightmare with them trying to climb out every 3 minutes. I don't really hold onto the stroller when running, I use the strap thing and then only touch, steer it when necessary. Ask jogging stroller mom she is a pro at it.

Tricia said...

cute baby=more comments

you've finally figured out the secret to success!

:)

Hi! I'm Erin said...

I've never run with a stroller, but I can tell you that one of my friends runs with hers on almost every run she does. It actually made her faster since now it's so much easier to run when she doesn't have the stroller.

Kristin said...

Firstly, the type of jogging stroller makes a big difference. This is the only baby item I splurged on. Locking front wheel is a MUST. I have a BOB Sport Utility Stroller and it is amazing. It sort of feels like it pushes some of it's own weight. Also, I find that I do better when I push stroller focusing more on using my chest muscles, not my arms. That's giving me a weird mental image right now....but don't use your arm strength to push, tap into your chest and back strength.

I've been running with a jogging stroller for years, and it really does suck. But you do what you have to do. And when you remove the jogging stroller, you feel like the fastest, strongest runner ever.

Lindsey said...

Put on your man panties and push the damn stroller! I did it with a 2 year old and a 4 year old for a year, you sure as hell can.

And I find it's easier to push one handed, and alternate every now and then.

Maggie said...

Don't stop for snakes. :)

When the kids are old enough to ask to go in the stroller, it's time to stop. :)

Cypress Runner said...

I just started running and have only ran with a jogging stroller loaded with my 35lb son. I run with both hands on the handle and find that my son loves the father son time.

Al's CL Reviews said...

Never have run with a stroller, but after running with a dog, I find during a race, I don't know where to put my arms since I'm so used to having them being pulled out of sockets by the dog when he sees a squirrel. It is a weird feeling.