Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Need for Speed

One often hears about endorphin-highs and people who are addicted to exercise. I definitely feel better - physically and mentally - after I've had my workout for the day, but I think it is my kids that are addicted. Let me explain. Our weekday routine generally consists of walking my eldest daughter to school, going on a jog of variable length with the stroller, and then heading home. The baby always falls asleep during this evolution, though the 3-year-old is just along for the ride. I've observed that on days when we skip this because I've run by myself on a Sat. or some similar interruption of our routine, everyone is just a little crankier than usual. The baby doesn't nap well and the 3-year-old is out of sorts.

So, now that we are revisiting cold weather, I'm finding that this dependence on the stroller has adjusted my tolerances. In an earlier blog about cold weather running, I think that I defined my minimum temperature for taking a baby in the stroller to be about 40 deg F. This year, with this baby, we are redrawing that line at 30 deg F. Poor baby #3...*

*Don't worry, this baby is well-protected by the cold with a snowsuit and blankets and wind/rain shield. She sleeps like, well, a baby :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Let's Race

When I'm not in peak shape, I often think of races as a waste of money. Why pay someone to go on a run I could just as well do by myself if I don't have a chance of winning anyway? Generally I can't bring the stroller, so I have to find a sitter or my husband and I have to take turns.

Well, a lot can be gained from running races even if you are not particularly close to the top.

5. Many races are beautiful courses that are not accessible under normal conditions.
4. Particularly for longer distances, the support is nice so you don't have to carry water, etc.
3. It is a goal to aim for that can really help motivate you to get out the door to train.
2. Improves your speed.
1. The whole family gains enthusiasm for running.

My husband and I run in a lot of races so we signed the kids up for a local Halloween Costume Fun Run. When they've done it themselves, they can start to better understand the need for Mommy to practice before her big race. Plus, we hope that they stay interested in running as they get older. It is good for their health and it is an activity that the whole family can do together, even as the kids outgrow the stroller. Now we'll see how that works out...