Saturday, June 21, 2008

The "In-Crowd"

I feel like I’ve been voted off the island.

Last weekend, I could still jog whenever I saw other people on the trail – which was frequent. Then I walked when no one was looking. I made it 5 miles and even passed a couple other joggers along the way. I was happy. Then I was sore for days.

Despite my greatest aspirations to run until the day I delivered, I think that I’ve crossed over the line of doing more damage (to me – not the fetus) than good, so today I walked. Unfortunately, my 8-months-pregnant belly is not yet bigger than my pride, so I’m a little sad to be out of the club.

You’ve probably noticed that runners typically acknowledge an oncoming runner with a quick wave or grunt or something…anything. At 3-years-old, my daughter even noticed that runners generally acknowledge one another in passing with a quick greeting: “Hi!”, “Good morning!”, or “Nice day!” “How about 'Macaroni and Cheese'?” she suggests. So for the rest of that day we said “Macaroni and Cheese” to each person we passed.

It seems, however, as soon as you are a “walker” you become invisible to these other runners. I’ve now noticed this phenomenon at different times and in different places, with and without my jogging stroller, and whether or not I attempt to greet them first. Have you noticed this?

I can’t remember specifically, but I only hope that when I was out running miles and miles, I gave an equal-opportunity grunt to runners and walkers alike.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Flat Tires

Oh no! You have a flat! You could
a) Quit running.
b) Bring your tire to a bike store and PAY someone to fix it.
c) Fix it yourself!

Here's how:

Step 0: Remove wheel from the stroller. The front wheel probably has a quick release lever and the back wheels probably have a quick release push button.

Step 1: Use a set of tire levers to remove the tire from the rim.
Step 2: Remove flat inner tube from tire.
Step 3: Carefully check the inside of the tire for any sharp objects that may have caused the flat. (You can also add air to the old inner tube and submerge it is soapy water to find the location of the hole.)
Step 4: Partially inflate new inner tube* before placing between tire and rim. This will decrease the chances of pinching it and causing another flat.
Step 5: Starting with the valve in the rim, slide new inner tube into tire.
Step 6: Lever tire back onto rim, being careful not to pinch the inner tube.

Step 7: Re-inflate to desired pressure (read the side of your tire for how many PSI are right for your tire. Ideally, use a hand pump with a meter. Try to avoid air compressors like the ones at gas stations as they are very strong and are likely to over-inflate your small tires.

* A note about inner tubes. If you can locate the hole on your old inner tube, you can patch it with a kit available at any local bike store. Sometimes it is just easier to buy a new tube. If you are not sure what size wheel (usually small = 12", medium = 16" and large = 20") you have, just pop it off and bring it with you to the store. It might even be the same size as your older child's bike wheels.

Thank you to my friend, Eileen, for taking the pics!