Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Along for the Ride

No jogging stroller running for me last week! I, along with at least half of America, was on vacation. My husband and I had the opportunity to travel to five of the National Parks in southern Utah: Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches. All were amazing. None were truly stroller-friendly. That’s OK for a few reasons:

  1. My parents were watching my kids 2,000 miles away.
  2. Terrain that cannot accommodate a stroller may be dangerous for children in general, so perhaps this is a good filter. i.e. high cliffs, sudden drop-offs, etc.
  3. There are other options available because some of us are either crazy or very inspired to share the outdoors with our children.

So how else, besides a stroller, can one transport his or her child over distances and/or terrain that the child is unable to navigate him or herself?

  1. Put his/her car seat in the back of your off-roading Jeep! I thought I had seen it all, but this was pretty common to see in Moab, UT last week.
  2. Bicycle seat (front or back) or trailer. I can talk more about that another time.
  3. Carry him/her in a backpack. I have a Kelty child carrier which has traveled many miles both indoors (shopping) and out (trails). I have an older model, so I don’t remember what it is called, but, yes, it does match my single jogger. Works great for the mid-sized baby/toddler. NOT FOR NEWBORNS. Seems obvious, but I saw a lot of tourists last week… And I have jogged with the backpack as well.

I found that jogging with my 30 pound child in the pack was awkward since I felt compelled to lengthen my stride quite a bit to decrease the bouncing. He liked it, though he did burp quite a lot. It was the only way to run the particular trail I was on – having tried the same course unsuccessfully with the stroller in the past and it was a fantastic quad workout. I would try it again except that I can no longer buckle the waist strap comfortably around my waist.

Anyone else run with their child carrier backpack for longer than it takes to cross the street? Did it work for you?

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Not-So-Fast Food

The combined influences of having a number of friends who have just had their first – or fourth baby – and then finally passing the halfway point of my own pregnancy has led me to think back to some memorable stories about running with an infant.

I think that many people would agree that eating is a popular activity to keep the kids quiet in the stroller. Or, if you find yourself rushing everyone through breakfast to get out on your run, as I do, I’ve found it so much easier to just feed them in the stroller. This tactic, of course, is dependent on the kids being old enough to get 51% of their snack actually in their own mouth and not choke on it.

So, in the spirit of reminiscing, I’ll tell you what does NOT work:

Six months after my first daughter was born, my husband returned from a 7-month deployment and he started to train for the Honolulu Marathon. Along on a training run with him, I had to feed the baby during the 2 hour run. At about 7-months old, she was, maybe, old enough to hold the bottle in her own mouth, but as a primarily breastfed baby she just didn’t get a lot of practice with that. Here’s the problem: this is partially defrosted breast milk so it is cold, right. So there I am, running down Monserrat Ave. in Honolulu, pushing the jogging stroller, with a 4-oz Playtex bottle stuffed in my sports bra, trying to thaw it enough for consumption.

The short story is that it did not work and we had to hose off the stroller when we got home.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Humble Pie

Six months ago, I was fast! I was faster, stronger and lighter than I’d ever been as an adult. I was running 7 min/miles (8s with the stroller). I was psyched. THIS pregnancy (my third), I was going to be like Paula! Scaled down to human levels, of course, but there was no stopping me. I was going to run right into the delivery room this time.

Yes, well, then the “morning sickness” started. You know, the kind that actually lasts from the moment I opened my eyes in the morning until I fell asleep at night. That was a really awesome 4 weeks. Then my knee started making this really lovely crunching noise, so I scaled back even more on the miles.

Then, I got to the second trimester. Things were really looking up for about a week. I felt good; I ran; I lifted; I fixed some things around the house, and FULL STOP. When I say that “I hurt my back,” I mean I strained something, badly, where my legs attach to my lower back and could not even stand up for two days. I had to sleep in the basement because I could not get up the stairs. It took a third day of slowly shuffling sideways before I could even put one foot in front of another.

It has been almost two weeks now and things are holding together well. I jogged/walked 5 miles the other day, but it wasn’t pretty. My workouts are much reduced and as much as I aspire to run like Paula, this may be yet another walking pregnancy. C’est la vie!