Friday, December 11, 2009

God Bless the Dog Walkers

This blog entry was going to be named, "It Is Not Always As Easy As I Make It Sound." We've just entered the real cold weather for the first time this season. Last year my youngest was just a baby in a giant fleece suit that covered her hands and feet, but this year she is a willful one-year-old who doesn't care for mittens and LOVES her snow boots, but for exactly 29 minutes at a time and no more!

So, she has to learn a few things like how much the cold air hurts your little fingers if you don't wear mittens and I have to remember a few tricks that I must have used before because this is my 6th year of cold weather running with one or more children in the stroller!

Yesterday things were not going so well, but when it is cold, nothing is gained by stopping - it just prolongs the whole process. I gave up on the mittens early because she's figured out she can pull them off with her teeth. I put the boots BACK on three times before I gave up on that. She was still wearing socks plus she was inside the wind shield. She had moved on to trying to climb out from behind the plastic - and then we saw a dog.

Screeching in the uppermost frequencies that humans can hear, and probably those that only dogs can hear too, my dog-adoring child forgot all about the boots and hood and cold hands and empty cup and she sang at the dog and yelled at the dog and looked at the dog and waved at the dog. Though we passed by quickly, the excitement carried us to the next dog sighting and the next.

So, to all you loyal dog-walkers who are out and about in the cold morning weather: thank you and God bless!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fallen Trees

After a weekend of modest, but wet snowfall, there were 4 trees down on our run yesterday. So, how do you get a double stroller that weighs in around 100 pounds over a tree? Well, it depends...

Level 1 crossings: Less than ~12"
Just pop that front wheel up and over like a curb. Depending on your wheel diameter, you may need to use the bottom of the stroller frame like a see saw to get the front wheel down on the other side.

Level 2: ~12-18"
Turn around and pull the back wheels over first. (And, yes, I do work out.)

Level 3: ~18-30"
Take the kid(s) out. Get them to the other side and then lift the empty stroller over.

Level 4: Over 30"
Find a way to go around it or change the plan to an "out and back" run.

There are other complicating factors such as branches or multiple trunks. You, of course, need to use your own good judgment depending on your strength, experience, and the weight of your children.

Finally, if you keep lots of random stuff in the under carriage basket as I do, you'll want to check that you haven't lost anything after the big tipping. Good luck.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

I've heard before that if you tell people that you are on a diet, you will be more successful since they will "hold you to it," so to speak. It was 29 degrees F yesterday morning, but we ran. The primary reason that I packed us all up and went out was that I talk so much trash about running in all seasons and all conditions!

So, go ahead and talk a little trash about how tough you are. It is good for sticking to the plan and it is good for your ego. The key is, though, that you have to follow through. Someone might just ask you about your frigid morning run!

The other half actually does involve some money. That is buying the right clothes and equipment to keep you and your kids comfortable and safe in these extreme temperatures. Things like a wind/weather shield, mittens and even boots for the kids are key in the sub-freezing temps.

I'll see you out there...but don't be offended if I don't say hello. My eyeballs might be frozen...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Marathon Training Question

Dear Jen,

I came across your blog while trying to get more info on training for a marathon with a stroller. Your time at the Marine Corp Marathon is good, at least by my standards! Do you do ALL your training with a stroller?

I'm thinking of seeing if I can get in shape for a spring marathon but I have very little opportunity to run without the stroller and it is the one hobby of mine that my baby son and I can enjoy together. So I was perhaps going to try an experiment where I train exclusively with the stroller (and maybe go to a weekly spinning class). My longest run will probably be a hilly 18 miler. Do you think a one-year-old would sit in the stroller for over 2.5 hours?

I have one session that I do now where I push the stroller up a short but steep hill and jog down it repeated. And another when I run fast for a minute and slow for a minute. However, for the long runs I have to keep it fairly slow as I live in a city and have to keep crossing roads! I guess for my long runs I need to get out into the parks?

So far my best time is 3:45. I doubt I can better that, but I'm wondering if I can still beat 4 hours!?


Thanks for writing. I appreciate the compliment following my most recent marathon attempt! I don't do all my training with a stroller now because my husband and I have been doing "date runs". In 2004, however, I did all my training runs for the Honolulu Marathon with my 18 month old daughter while my husband was deployed. Some of those runs were 3 hours long and she was fine. It was basically like this:
Hour 1: Enjoy scenery, sing songs, etc.
Hour 2: Sleep.
Hour 3: Eat snacks.
Presumably your son is pretty comfortable in the stroller for an hour or more already. My advice is to try to run at a time that he typically takes a nap so that he will sleep for a big chunk of the run. Bring lots of snacks he can feed himself. I did 3:59 in that marathon.

If you do all your training with the stroller, however, it is difficult to know what pace you'll be able to run without the stroller in the marathon. For a single stroller, subtracting one minute per mile from your long run with stroller times is probably a safe estimate. Also be careful with your hydration. Running with the stroller, I get used to drinking whenever I want, but the race will have water stops only every 4 +/- (?) miles, so keep that in mind too.

After training on hills for what turned out to be a relatively flat marathon, I realized that it is important to train on similar terrain as your race. Hills aren't always better just because they are hard. It would be great to find a route with minimal street crossings both for safety and for making your legs practice going and going without so many stops. You already have to stop periodically to "adjust" things for your son.

Good luck!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Berlin Wall

The anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall has been in the news and that got me thinking...wouldn't it be just a little convenient to have a wall separating the two sides of the double jogger sometimes? Since that, at the very least, would be very heavy, here are some other ideas for keeping those little hands to themselves:

-There is "My Francesca" and "Baby Francesca" (the doll). Some people may shy away from giving baby dolls to boys, but I've found it really helpful to fill my rough-n-tumble boy's hands with something that he can give a good squeeze to if he just can't resist the urge. He has his own Francesca, so he can keep his hands off of mine! Sometimes it is his airplane instead. Anything big enough that he needs to use both hands to hold on to it.

-2 separate blankets in cold weather. They can tuck their hands inside instead of mittens and that keeps them to their own sides.

-Or if the weather is warm, you can take their shoes off so that the kicking is less effective.

-Tight harness so they can't lean too far forward. (Also makes it easier to steer. Probably safer too...)

-Snacks and drinks in duplicate. You would think that a 3 or 4 year old would find Zwieback toast or Biter biscuits to be disgusting...until you don't offer him one!

-Emergency pretzels sticks. Never get caught unprepared. Great for relatively clean snacking as well as math games!
Me: "How many do you want?"
Sp: "Four."
Me: "OK, here's two. How many more do you need?"

-Two sets of headphones attached to a splitter so both kids can hear the music, but not each other. (I only break out these big guns for runs >= 10 miles.)

-Toys TIED to the stroller so they can't get thrown overboard.

Every child is different. We could pass hours just singing with my oldest daughter, but now if I try to sing anything, my son yells at me, "Don't sing!" What do you do?

#5 at 5

So, it was now a couple weeks ago, but I finished my 5th marathon (the Marine Corp Marathon) 5 weeks after the whole appendicitis fiasco. In retrospect, I do remember the doctor saying something about how my stamina wouldn't be what it used to be for a while. that is what she meant! The short story is that I lasted 3 hours. Unfortunately, I only covered about 21 miles in that 3 hours and the last 5.2 miles were a combination of walking, jogging and hobbling. Lucky for me (?) my husband was pretty much ready to throw in the towel at that point too. At least it was a lovely day and it fit our definition of a date!

Unlike the last time I failed to make my "goal" time at the Marine Corp marathon, I don't feel bad about this one. I stayed hydrated and well fueled. I really don't think I started out too fast. I just think that my body had 3 hours in it - at whatever pace I saw fit. Besides, I did achieve my down-graded goal for this round of marathon training: I didn't die. (I realize that sounds overly dramatic, but I'm actually being completely serious.)

I also need to thank my two youngest kids for putting up with this marathon training nonsense! They've spent countless hours sitting in the jogging stroller with minimal complaining. I couldn't train like I do if they weren't so great! Don't forget to thank your kids for tolerating your idea of fun :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Fun Run

If you live in the Fairfax County, Virginia area, come meet me and my family at the

3rd Annual Costume Halloween Run at Burke Lake!
(A Fairfax County Park Authority event.)
*Must be in costume to participate.*

Date: Sat. Oct 31, 2009
Place: Burke Lake Park - Shelter A
Race start times:
Group A - 9:00 am 13 and older
Group B - 9:15 am children ages 12 & under (plus their parents if running as chaperones)
Distance: Group A will walk or run around Burke Lake (4.5 miles)
Group B will run to the dam and back (approx 0.75 miles)
Cost: $10 children 12 and under; $15 ages 13 and older

Goody bags, refreshments and a raffle following the race in Shelter A.
Shelter A is next to the big playground with the rainbow twisty slides.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Racing with a Stroller

I have found that East Coast races pretty uniformly prohibit the use of jogging strollers. When we moved back here from Hawaii, we were so disappointed since we ran with our jogging stroller in half-marathons and 30K races out there. Just to make sure, I checked the Marine Corp Marathon and 10K race, and they don't allow strollers either:

The race organizers generally cite the liability as the reason why, but I'm not sure who they are worried about - the kids in the strollers or the other racers. While it is certainly easier to run a race without the stroller, sometimes the hassle of finding a sitter makes it look highly desirable.

If it softens the blow at all, though it was fun to run with the stroller in relatively LONG and SMALL races with the stroller, I also brought my stroller for a Race for the Cure 5K and it was a disaster! Shorter races with big fields - and the MCM 10K definitely falls in this category - never spread out enough so that you can comfortably run with the stroller anyway. Either you have to hang out in the back of the pack or CONSTANTLY call out "Passing on your left" and maneuver past other runners. It was not fun.

I got a little jealous when I read about the man who ran some awesome time with his jogging stroller in a marathon because,
1. He practiced with his stroller like two times before the race and I have to push this stroller nearly every time I jog.
2. He probably got special permission to run with the stroller in the race because of the good publicity, but whenever I've asked race organizers, I just get, "No."
3. If I hadn't had a baby every two and a half years, I'd be pretty darn fast too!

Good luck finding a sitter!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Longest Mile

The other day we dropped off my daughter at school and #s 2 and 3 and I set off for a routine 5-mile run. I felt like it was the longest run of my life. For a while, we ALL felt like we were not ever going to get home. I wasn't actually running much slower than usual. I think that time just stood still for a while.

We did eventually make it home about 48 minutes later, but this run reminded me that running with a jogging stroller really is as hard as it looks. There is no easy way to start. Either you have a tiny (i.e. light) baby, but you just had a baby after being pregnant for 9 months or you are starting up when your kids are a little older (i.e. heavier). Regardless of how you begin, it will be hard, but you will rise to the occasion!

You will get used to only swinging one arm at a time and you will become accustomed to the slightly different posture of pushing a jogging stroller. You will also get stronger. You will gain mental toughness - especially uphill! I'll let you know what happens to the physics of the situation when the stroller/passenger unit actually weighs more than I do....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Infant Running

Letter from a reader:


I googled "running and baby jogger" and came across your blog. I have not read all of it yet but I do have some questions I would like to ask you since you sound like a "pro".

I am a runner and just gave birth to my first child. I would like to train for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in April which means my 18 week training plan would start in December. Right now my baby, Mazzy Mae, is 4 weeks old and I am currently running on the treadmill between nursing and changing diapers; however, I am getting extremely bored and would love to get back outside. I recently bought a baby jogger but I am reluctant/apprehensive to use it. I have a snuzzler and a neck roll so I am not so much worried about head or neck movement as I am about diaper changes, feedings, low temperature, and running in the dark.

I guess my first question for you is 1) how do you change a diaper in a stroller that only semi-reclines? 2) How cold is too cold for a baby (she will be bundled up but I worry about her face)? 3) Is it possible to take a baby on a long run for example - 20 miles? What if I become engorged on a long run? How would I go about breastfeeding especially in the cold? 4) Is is stupid to take the baby on a jog in the dark even if I have lights and reflective gear/tape on stroller? (I run after work, 5:30pm, and it gets dark by that time in late November).

I would really appreciate any advice you can give me.


My reply:
0) My midwife really really stressed the importance of waiting 6 weeks after childbirth before running again. I had run almost up to the day of delivery, but there are so many internal organs and connective tissue that has to get back in the right spot. Your body will recover faster and better if you give it a rest up front. I know that itchy feeling to get going already, but you can do lots of other things like walking, elliptical machine, step aerobics, etc.

1) I’ve never tried to change a diaper IN the stroller. I’m sure you can do it. I’ve done a diaper change in a car seat. Even though there will be a few long runs to train for your marathon, few are really longer than 10 miles, so I would expect that the need to change your baby mid-run will be rare. If you start out with a clean diaper, the majority of the time it will be OK.

2) If you are running on cold weather, you absolutely NEED A RAIN/WIND SHIELD. It will make a huge difference. With my second child I drew “the line” at 32 deg F, with my third we were out as cold as 19 deg F. BUT you need to have the wind shield and baby boots or something warmer than socks like a snowsuit with feet and hats and all that stuff. When it was really cold I also stuck some of those air-activated hand warmers on the OUTSIDE of her snowsuit. They are much to hot to put near a baby’s skin, but it kept the blankets a little warmer. YOU need to be careful when it gets that cold too. Any moisture on the road will be ice plus you are at risk for pulling muscles, etc.

3) Though it is not ideal for anyone, I have taken my eldest daughter on a few 18-21 mile runs. She was about 17 months at the time which means she was old enough to feed herself snacks which is incredibly helpful. When she was younger, I attempted once to bring a bottle along, but it was still frozen so I ran for a while with it in my sports bra to try to warm it up, but hilarity ensued and I just ended up sitting on a park bench and nursing her anyway. You’ll have to expect to make stops along the way. Bring a jacket for yourself to stay warm if you do need to stop to nurse. I haven’t found engorgement to be too much of a problem during runs. Between a supportive/snug-fitting sports bra and mild to moderate dehydration, it usually keeps things in check. If possible, try to run during times that your baby is usually asleep. When they are little, that is a very useful trick.

4) I would NOT encourage you to take the stroller out running in the dark. I know it is incredibly frustrating when there is such little daylight, but it would be awful if something happened. Maybe on a lit track it would be OK, but probably just as boring as your treadmill. With darkness as a consideration, I would encourage you to use your treadmill during the week. If you do some speed work, you can probably cut back a little on the miles and then just make sure your get your long runs in on the weekends. You could even split your treadmill workouts between the morning and evening since it is so awful to have to spend a very long time on a treadmill.

Conclusion) I’ve run many races while nursing – generally my “comeback race” (sprint triathlon, 10K, etc.) - is when my baby is 3-4 months old and they have been fine, but I’ve also done a marathon while still nursing and I swore I would never do it again. While it was awesome for weight loss, it was IMPOSSIBLE to stay adequately hydrated during training or during the race. I think that I was pushing too hard/fast, so I encourage you to take it a little easy. Nine months in and nine months out! It won't last forever. My baby turned one this summer and by that time I was totally back at 110%.

Go Daddy!

Passing other runners out pushing jogging strollers is pretty rare around here. Certainly there are more on popular paths than in the woods behind my house where I usually run, but nevertheless, I've recently observed something I found surprising. There are a lot of dads out there pushing strollers!

Now that we are out every* Saturday morning doing the training-for-a-fall-marathon thing, I've noticed that very nearly every jogging stroller we see is pushed by a man! Sometimes Mom is running alongside too, but not always. I feel that I've short-changed all the dads out there pushing along, but I wonder if the stroller manufacturers have too.

My husband and I have had the good fortune to run together more often recently and again the question arises of who should push the stroller? We are both about the same speed so the solution is not obvious. We are both a little competitive, but it is no longer just about "being the man" or that sort of thing. I think that we both really appreciate the benefits that can come from pushing all that extra weight around. Once you've already resigned yourself to a run of some distance, you might as well get the most out of it, right? You wouldn't want to carry all that extra weight on your person because of the possible damage to your joints, but pushing your little kiddies up those big hills can really pay off!

The beauty of a double stroller is that it is SO wide that on the really big hills, we can both fit behind the handlebar to push together.

But I wonder
1. Who pushes the stroller in your house?
2. If or when Dad pushes, is the stroller built to accommodate the typically larger frame of men?

I feel like the handlebar on many brands would be uncomfortably low and that the wheel base is perhaps too far back (relative to the handlebar) such that a runner with really long legs might accidentally kick the rear axle with long strides. Are those problems for anyone out there? Should we march on the stroller companies to fix this?

*Except, of course, the Sat. after I had surgery to remove my appendix. I'm always making excuses...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Following the Garden Path

So, this fun story does not directly involve the jogging stroller. My husband and I now hire a sitter to stay with the kids every Sat. morning so we get to work out together (in lieu of "date night"). Anyway, she's like my enabler for doing silly things. Like running 18 miles.

Running 18 miles is not necessarily bad. We are training for the Marine Corp Marathon and I had completed that distance the weekend before with no ill effects. Part of training, however, is also working out a good plan for eating and drinking. Take note: eating half a Power Bar and drinking about 1/4 cup of water over the course of 18 miles is NOT a viable plan.

So, as one might expect, I felt bad afterwards. I pushed it to the end (mental stupidity - oops, I mean mental toughness). Really bad. Like crap with a capital "C". OK, so I figure I am dehydrated. I rehydrate. The next day I still feel terrible. Well, I probably drank too much water = hyponatremia. So I eat some salty pretzels and drink some sports drink. But now we are going on day 3. I still feel terrible, I've barely eaten in 3 days, and I've had one episode of violent shivering. I'm tough, but not dumb, so I go to the doctor. I'm getting worried that I'm going to have a heart attack from messed up electrolytes. Oh yeah, and this nagging pain in my lower right abdomen, but that is the least of my worries, because I've hurt myself there at least three times before.

So, I felt a little old when my daughter's teacher was younger than me, but I felt even older when the doctor was younger than me! Anyway, I think that I ran my big mouth and inadvertently bullied said young doctor into agreeing with me that it could not possibly be my appendix because of the on-set of symptoms, etc.

To make a long story only slightly shorter, by Tuesday afternoon I realize that I need to go to the hospital. Something was not right. I had a high fever at this point and I could barely get off the couch. Several hours and a CT scan later, I have appendicitis! In the nurse's words, "It needs to come out right now."

So, I'm OK now. Apparently after a Laproscopic Appendectomy, you can start running just 7 days afterwards. All that is holding me back now are the side effects of the cold-turkey weaning of baby that went along with this fun adventure. At least it gets my mind off my belly...

Moral of the Story: Don't blame yourself if you have a bad run, you might have a serious illness!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Good for Your Health?

A friend of mine recently agreed to get in the pool with me and tell me what I was doing wrong with my stroke. The short answer is, well, everything, but that was not the most interesting part of the whole experience. Kerby observed that when I breathe, I could take a fluid breath on my left, but struggled a bit more and lifted my head higher on the right. I replied, "Right! That's from all the biking. You always look over your left shoulder for passing traffic, but rarely over your right. Look at this! I can actually turn my head much further over my left shoulder than my right."

We talked about extending your stroke straight out ahead of you. This time my right arm was doing a good job of staying straight, but my left arm was going too wide. I shared, "Well, that's from running for years with a jogging stroller that pulls to the side. I didn't even realize that it made me crooked until recently. My right elbow always stays down by my side, but my left elbow sticks out at 90 degrees when I'm pushing the stroller."

So much for all this exercise "improving" my body!

Finally, we talked about extending each arm stroke all the way behind you to give you the maximum pull as well as the maximum window to take a breath. Well, I don't even know if my arms go back that far. That one maybe is from pushing the stroller, or maybe from lifting at the gym, but my money's on my bad posture when nursing the baby. But we already knew that no matter how much you love them, your kids are sure to screw up your body one way or another :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

The 3 R's: Race, Reflect and Recover

All summer I've been training (7-9 hours/week) for a singular goal: the Luray International Distance Triathlon. Now it has come and gone. Time to start marathon training!

But, I pause for moment to reflect and recover. Here are some of the thoughts I have:

1. I am a *&%# slow swimmer. Scapegoat: can't swim with kids in a jogging stroller! No, really, I was 10-15 minutes slower in the 1500 meter swim than the other competitors in my age group that I finished with in the final results. Encouraging thought: if I can catch up with my swim time, I could place in the top 3 next year!

2. I am a pretty fast runner. Thank you jogging stroller. Speed is all relative, though. My dad cut out an article from a local paper for me once "How to Win a Marathon". The short version - find a really small race. It is hard to know when you are just a big fish in a small pond and getting a big head about it. My poor husband has to deal with this big ol' fish flopping around (see #1).

3. Though it is more difficult to balance triathlon training than just running, I think that it saved me this summer from mental and physical breaking. Mental because it forced me to hire a babysitter a couple of hours a week and physical because I am pretty sure that if I ran 9 hours a week every week that I would break something.

4. There is more to recovering from a very hard race than just taking a couple days off. And I haven't figured it all out yet. My legs were a little stiff the week after the race, but what was really messed up after a hot race was eating/hydration stuff. I would say that it took a week to feel back in "balance". I've read lots and lots of articles about eating to recover, etc. it is just really hard to do and to know exactly how much of everything you personally need.

5. Looking forward-Now that we are approaching back-to-school, we are also approaching back-to-jogging stroller! Everyday. To school and back and back again and back. Plus, when you also throw the breast feeding in the mix, despite my best efforts, I think that I have been chronically dehydrated all summer, so I could really use some cooler weather! 8 weeks and 6 days to the marathon...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Great Question From A Dad

I have two boys 5 and 2.5 and try and do a long run on Sundays. We have #3 on the way so am thinking about getting a stroller. WE have the Bob Revolution - so I was leaning towards a Bob, but was wondering if you had any advice. I generally run on pavement and do 5-6 miles. Thanks so much. I am thinking about a double to take both boys, but will probably go with a single.

What?! No triple stroller? They only cost $999.99!

It sounds like you already have a single, but I absolutely think you should get a double so that you can take both boys on your Sunday runs. My kids are exactly the same age-split as yours (plus one year). Though not for too much longer, the 5-year-old still fits fine in the stroller and it will be a welcome break for your wife. The advantages of a double are many. You can always use a double with only one child (with, of course, witty comments as you pass confused pedestrians such as, "Oh no! Where's Tommy?" or "Yeah, the other one was giving me too much lip!" or "Don't worry. He'll catch up!"), but you can't put two kids in a single. I've tried and it is super-duper hard to turn. Likewise with putting three kids in a double.

As the older child adds more school and extracurricular commitments, it also allows you or your wife to take #2 and 3 in the stroller while #1 is at baseball or whatever a couple years down the road.

Personally, we find that it is worse on the parent left at home for the other parent to take the 5-year-old, but leave the 2.5-year-old behind than to leave all the kids at home. Now you've got to entertain the younger ones because the most useful kid who would otherwise do the entertaining isn't around.

The double strollers do get harder to turn than singles. If you are running on pavement anyway, I would avoid strollers with suspension. You are not pushing a little baby either so the big kids can take it. You want to run for real, so a swivel front wheel is going to be a liability- especially downhills. If you can afford it and if you have the space to store it, my dream stroller is the Baby Jogger Performance Double. It is 5.5 pounds lighter than the BOB Ironman Duallie and 7 pounds lighter than the BOB SUS Duallie. If you don't care too much about a sun shade, you'll be able to find used Baby Joggers on websites like for much less than a new one as well. They are built to last.

Sit Back and Relax!

How To Turn Your Jogging Stroller, Part 3

After a near-roll-over on Sunday's run, I started thinking a lot more about how center of gravity affects turning your stroller. I've heard a lot from readers about how so many strollers (particularly double joggers with fixed wheels) are IMPOSSIBLE to turn. How the manufacturer has designed the center of gravity makes all the difference. There is a fine line between being easy to turn and being a flip-over-backwards hazard. Despite the weight difference, our double stroller is actually quite a lot easier to take around corners than our single because the seats are farther back relative to the rear axle.

To really demonstrate this, let your child lean forward (even with a 5-point harness, a kid trying to see past the sun shade can pull up several inches) when you try to make a turn. Then have him/her relax all the way back into the seat. It will be much much easier to turn. This is hard for curious kids to maintain. Even my 11-month old likes to grip the sides and sit up as far as possible within the constraints of a 5-point harness to see what is passing her by. Before trying a turn, however, look down and make sure your child sits all the way back. It will be easier and safer. Especially if you are going fast!

So, if you are still reading, here's the dirt on how I almost rolled the single jogger. There is a really steep, paved hill at the bottom of our cul-de-sac. It is so steep, that when I've got the double, I have to back down it because the stroller is too heavy to control. My son, in the single, wanted to go "fast" so I did, but the 90-degree turn at the bottom with that telephone pole in just the wrong place, made it really essential that I turn no matter what. So we made it, but not without getting up on one wheel, doing a 180 degree spin out and tipping to about 45 degrees. Good thing I buckled the kid in!

Afterwards, I was trying to figure out what made turning so hard when I had successfully made the turn so many times before. Here's what I've got:
1. I am more accustomed to the double stroller with a wider wheel base.
2. The wheels are nearly bald, so rather than a pivot, I got a skid.
3. Spencer was leaning forward in his seat which further accentuated the skid vs pivot problem.

So, make sure your kids sit back...if they know what is good for them...and if you start to tip, teach them to NOT stick out their arms to try and break the fall. Tuck and roll!

Stroller Reviews

I realized the other day that I've been running long enough with a jogging stroller that neither of the models that I own and use are available anymore. The Kelty Joyrider has been replaced by the Speedster and Dreamer Design is simply out of business. Furthermore, while I've found success running with both of my strollers, neither is ideal for shopping, traveling, etc.

There is a new website that is off to a fabulous start at providing comprehensive reviews of a wide variety of stroller types. The majority of reviews are for casual use strollers at this time, but they are just getting off the ground! You can't purchase strollers from this site, but I think that is better since you know you are getting an honest opinion from someone who actually uses the stroller being reviewed, rather than from someone who is trying to sell it to you. After reading many of the reviews posted to date, I can say that I generally agree with their Pros and Cons for each stroller that I am familiar with. I've added some comments where I felt it to be useful.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Opportunity, Not Liability

Think of your jogging stroller as an opportunity, rather than a liability. Use your stroller as a training tool! Pushing your stroller provides a great chance to improve your strength and endurance faster than running alone. In fact, my husband and I have found success using both strollers even when there are only two (out of three) kids with us. Rather that one person pushing both kids, we split them up, with one child in each stroller to keep us better matched in pace.

Sure, it is easier to run without the stroller, but if I'm going to bother getting out there, I can't say that I mind the benefits that come with pushing the stroller:
1. have a place to put my water.
2. exercising the upper body.
3. burning more calories.
4. impressing the other walkers and joggers that we pass.

So, embrace your stroller! Keep in mind, however, that you will enjoy running with your stroller more if it is a good fit for you! I am happy to give advice and answer questions about choosing the right stroller for you. Please contact me ( if you have questions about buying a new stroller or about issues with your current stroller. Happy running (or jogging or slogging or walking)!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Turn on a Dime: How to Turn a Fixed Wheel Stroller II

Obviously, the stronger you are, the easier it will be, but I've defined 4 key areas that you can work on to make it easier to control your stroller*. Likewise, running with your stroller can strengthen your upper body as well as your legs!

1. Abdominal Muscles. You can't underestimate the importance of a strong core - for anything! This is not just about getting your tummy back into shape after baby #x. Your abdominal muscles support your back and whole torso. In addition to classic crunches and/or sit ups - to borrow from Yoga - plank and side plank are great moves to practice. Plus, it is harder for the kids to climb on top of me when I am not laying on my back!

Plank begins on your hands and feet as though you are at the top of a push up. You could also go down to elbows/feet or hands/knees to make it easier as you begin. Trying to keep your body as straight as possible as you hold this position. Take a break and repeat. Side plank is when you rotate onto just one hand or elbow and the outside of one knee or foot.
2. Deltoid Muscles (Shoulders). Let's start with exercises that don't require any equipment - except maybe for a small child if you happen to have one lying about. These are the muscles that surround your shoulders: front, back and side. You can do push ups. You can lift your child up to chin-level, keeping your elbows high ("upright row"). You can lift your child over your head ("shoulder press"). Side raises and front raises hit the right area too, but you might find that any child old enough to be handled in this manner to be too heavy.

3. Pectorals (Chest). Push ups can help here too. The traditional exercise is a chest press while lying on your back. You can try using your kid for this one too, though results may vary.

4. Triceps. These are the muscles that extend your arms. Dips off the end of a chair or bench are great. Tricep push ups keep your hands and elbows in close such that your arms brush your sides as you move up and down. If too difficult, you can do these standing upright and leaning on a wall. Tricep extensions keep your upper arms/elbows still right next to your ears while you move a weight up and down.

* I am not a personal trainer, these are just exercises that work for me.
Also, all pictures are borrowed from other websites. Please click on a picture to go to the website from which the graphic came. Thanks.

Turn on a Dime: How to Turn a Fixed Wheel Stroller

Part I
There are two basic ways to make a fixed-wheel jogging stroller turn where you want to go. Both will feel quite different from turning a swivel-wheel stroller. With a swivel front wheel, one pushes into the front wheel(s) so that it will grip and ground and turn. With the fixed-wheel alternative, you will either
1. lift the front wheel and pivot on the back wheels or
2. torque the stroller to turn without lifting any wheels off the ground.

If you need to make a big turn, such as turning a corner, you will need to push down on the handlebar to lift the front wheel off the ground and pivot on the back wheels. The easiest way to do this is to bring your body in close to the handlebar to take advantage of your core strength and possibly even the weight of your upper body. For big turns or with heavy kids, you may find it helpful to lean with your outside forearm on the handlebar to push it down. Make sure that your kids are leaning all the way back into their seats as well.

For smaller or more gradual turns, it is not always necessary to turn with the front wheel off the ground. I can best describe this option by comparing it to turning a boat by heeling in the opposite direction; heel right to turn left and vice versa. Of course, if you are unfamiliar with sailing, that is not particularly helpful :) This option is more of a lateral push that will torque the front wheel in the direction you want to go. This is ideal if you are making gradual turns along a curvy path or around obstructions that you can see well in advance. Note: This technique will be much more effective when you are running that if you are trying to walk.

If you find this very difficult, there are a few key muscle groups that can help. That's Part II.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Splish Splash

There was a bit of rain on Tuesday...I think that about 1" was recorded which sounds like so little, but...

I had been sick over the weekend and didn't run for 3 days so by Tuesday, come hell or high water, we were going. Well, I got high water. When it is not also cold, it can be liberating to run in the drenching rain. You don't have to worry about leaping over puddles once you've already got water squishing between your toes. You don't worry about covering your head from the rain once you're already so wet that your fingers are shriveled up like raisins. Plus, it is good for mental toughness and for testing out socks.

It is important, however, to have the right equipment if you want to run in drenching rain. #1 = rain shield for the stroller. I can choose this for myself, but it would be unfair to soak the kids. At the end of the 50-minute run, I could wring myself out, but the boy's left leg was only slightly damp and the baby was dry. I would also recommend a hat to shield your eyes from the driving rain and lightweight shorts that don't absorb as much water as mine did.

Q&A Dreamer Design

Q: I need some stroller help! I just bought a new Dreamer Design Ditto Deluxe, 2007 model. It's the model with one-hand fold. Is anything on it likely to break? Anything I should know? I am worried since I can't get parts. If I need new wheels, can ANY bike store wheel work, or does it have to be a certain kind (no longer made)? Also, will this stroller turn? It's a fixed wheel, and I jog, but slowly. Actually I am walking now since baby #3 is due in 2 months.

A: I have the 2005 and 2006 Dreamer Design Ditto models, but not 2007 so I can't speak to the folding mechanism, specifically. I have a Kelty single stroller which has one-hand folding and the only problem I've had with that is that the handlebar padding getting a little torn and as it has aged, you have to make sure that it clicks into the locked position with the build-up of dirt, etc.

You probably will need to replace the tires every 1000-2000 miles, but your 16" stroller tires are just the same as a 16" children's bike, so they are easily found at a bicycle shop like Performance Bike or your local shop. Likewise, the innertubes (in case you get a flat) are easily found at a bike shop. With light-to-regular jogging on paved roads, I would not expect you to have a problem with the wheels or spokes themselves. I had to replace one of my wheels for becoming untrued (bent), but a bike mechanic can fix this if it is not too bad plus I take this stroller off-road and stuff so I'm sure that contributed to the problem. I did recently discover, however, that though they appear to be the same, the front tires from different brands are not necessarily interchangeable because of the quick release.

I have also replaced the brake cable and calipers (the parts that squeeze the wheel to make it stop) after about 2000 miles. They just got worn out and gunked up since I don't do a good job of cleaning off dirt, etc. after runs. When DD was in business, you could order the whole thing, but now you'll just have to get the parts at a bike shop. Just the same as a bicycle as well except that the cable is really long.

What IS likely to break on your Dreamer Design is the fabric. With each year, it seems like it becomes flimsier. Just check to make sure that all the nylon straps which support the seats are going around the frame so that the fabric is not supporting all the weight of the child.

This stroller turns GREAT! That is actually the #1 reason that I stuck with Dreamer Design despite the cons (such as going out of business). Because the back wheels are relatively far forward as compared to other strollers I've tried, it turns much easier than other fixed wheel strollers. You'll find it much easier to turn when you aren't pregnant anymore too. Though it can be annoying when you are walking, you would want to lock a swivel wheel into the fixed position for jogging anyway.

Two important cautions:
1. Also because of the back wheels being relatively forward, it is easy to tip over backwards if one of your kids stands up in his seat or if the stroller rolls backwards and hits a bump or even if you lean too hard on the handle while running uphill. Keep the kids buckled just in case.
2. You may experience this with 3 kids - the footrest looks like a really appealing seat for whichever kid doesn't get a real seat, but it will break the frame if you let the kid sit there because it is only welded together.

Good luck with #3...Third's a charm! I love having three.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

How Running with a stroller is like doing a triathlon

This (belatedly) marks my return to "Multisport"!

On April 25/26, Roger and I did two duathlons as a relay team at the National Duathlon Championship in Richmond, VA. On Sat., he rode the mountain bike and I did the trail running segments. Then on Sun., he did the road runs and I biked. Other than being *&%#ing hot, it was great and we definitely held our own, though we did just miss placing on Sunday (we were 4th). I ran over some glass at the very end of the race, but luckily, the tire held air until it was all over. This is very very lucky since I did not realize until we were back home that I did not actually have all my tools and supplies for changing a tire.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to our friend Lily who traveled with us and watched the kids at the hotel while we raced. THAT is a good friend!

Running with kids in a stroller is, in many ways, like training for a triathlon. The running part should be obvious, but you are simultaneously worried about getting a flat. Pushing the stroller also requires significant arm strength.

I have also observed that triathletes tend to be an always-be-prepared sort of crowd. As an individual runner, it is easy to throw on some shorts and lace your shoes and that's about it. You can depend on water,etc. at a race. Just as a triathlon requires goggles, towels, water, helmet, bike,2 or more pairs of shoes, spare parts and tools, the list goes on and on... packing up for a jog with the kids in the stroller generally includes 2 or more water bottles, snacks, a towel and/or blankets, hats, first aid kit, keys, phone, tissues, and -oh yeah, right - the two kids!

Finally, at the very least, I'm just trying to keep my head above water both literally and figuratively. Today marks DAY 1 of 2009 triathlon training. Alas, this requires a babysitter since the local rec center won't let me tow the kids in a boat behind me as I swim (kidding). Anyway, 2000 m actually felt good. I'm not fast, but I held my own in the "Medium" lane. So, here we go!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Running my stroller into the ground

Well, it's conclusive. The lifespan of a Dreamer Design Ditto jogging stroller is 4,000 miles. Now the welding at one of the joints has failed in addition to the untrued creaking wheel which is stuck onto the frame, torn fabric and rusted snaps. Unfortunately, it appears that Dreamer Design has gone out of business! Maybe we just ran off-road one too many times, but I do feel that I've gotten my money's worth out of it.

For now I've got it duct taped together while I decide what my next move should be. After giving advice to other people about buying a jogging stroller for so many years, I know exactly what my options are, but none of them are particularly cheap! Even though Spencer is 3 1/2 already, I think that I still have 2 more years of running with the double since he'll go to afternoon preschool and I don't prefer to wait until 1 pm to run everyday! Hmmm...

I chose to buy the exact same stroller from a seller on craigslist. I had to stay with red. I feel like it's me trademark at this point. I'm the crazy running lady with the giant red stroller. The guy selling it was nice. It may have been used 2 or 3 times, but it looked like it was straight out of the box. Though Dreamer Design is no longer in business for replacement parts or warranty issues, now I have a stroller for spare parts too.

Coincidentally, REI had all their BOB strollers on sale the same week I was making this choice so, on a whim, I put Maddie and Spencer in a BOB Ironman double (the really popular yellow one with suspension) and it was RIDICULOUS! The effort it took to push THROUGH the suspension to make a turn made it almost impossible to turn at all. No wonder so many people find it so hard to run with a jogger! Now I understand why they made a front swivel wheel. Once they added the suspension, you can't turn anymore! So silly...

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Next Big Thing

Arm warmers! I'm convinced that the next fashion fad in running is arm warmers (after the summer, that is). Leg warmers made a comeback, right? So, you heard it here first!

I ran the Cherry Blossom 10-miler this past weekend. I missed having my stroller along - just an itty-bitty bit - because if I wanted to wear any extra clothes to start out, I wouldn't have anywhere to put them! It was a beautiful day, but a little chilly (50 deg F, +/-) when you weren't actually running. I had to wear shorts and short sleeves to run as fast as I could, so arm warmers were the answer! They are standard wear for bicyclists - which I am also trying to become - so it was great! When I got hot, I just tore them off and stuck them in my waistband. I didn't even need to slow down.

I chuckle a little since there are so many problems with trying to transition from jogging with a stroller to racing without one. But if I can figure out the wardrobe, at least that is a start. I used to subtract 1 min per mile from my stroller pace to approximate my non-stroller pace, but I think that the stroller must be getting heavier because I pulled 7:22 min/mi, on average, in the race and I am definitely not running 8:30s or better with the stroller these days.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Free Stuff!

Recently I wrote about a great high-impact nursing bra. If you would like to try this bra for FREE, email me ( or leave a comment below with your name, address, and size. I'll randomly choose a winner on 4/14/09 and Expressiva Nursingwear will send you one for FREE!

That's a good customer service rep!

I realized after I wrote the above, that it is a little weird for you to send me your address and bust size and everything - but then my power went out, so I couldn't change it right away! Anyway, just email me and I will email you back if you win and then at that time you can privately give me the other information :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Marine Corp Marathon 09

We are all signed up. Who's in?

To run or to babysit...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Measuring Progress

How does one measure progress when running with a jogging stroller? The seemingly obvious answer for gauging progress in running is speed, but as you get stronger and faster, your kids also get heavier! I guess I'll just keep working at it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Diet Advice

Having been inspired to try to stop eating "crap*" between meals and before bedtime, I gave it a try the last couple days. It seems, however, that only leaves me with about 1200-1500 calories a day. Not enough when my day includes running 11 miles and nursing the baby about 7 times.

Back to the drawing board...or at least back to my post-baby diet after my first child was born: punctuate every meal with a PB & J sandwich. I want to lose 5 pounds this year - not 5 pounds this week.

*I define "crap" as anything that includes, is derived from, or is coated in chocolate chips.

Great Nursing Jog Bra

I am now in my 39th nonconsecutive month of breastfeeding a baby and only now have I finally found a nursing bra for high-impact activities, such as running!

Any "sports" bra I've tried from Motherhood (maternity store) has been woefully nonathletic with one exception that appears to have been discontinued and I think that one only really works because it is a size too small.

I've tried the regular sports bras with a zipper on the front for "easy access", but it also leads to easy chafing.

I've even tried the one nursing bra offered by Title 9 Sports, but its stated use is for low-impact activities and they are right.

But it turns out that La Leche makes bras and they are great. I don't know whether it had been there all along and I just found it or if it is a relatively new item, but I highly recommend it. I wore it for the second time today on an 11 mile run with a break at the playground in the middle which included nursing the baby before heading home. It was very comfortable and there wasn't any chafing. It is available elsewhere, but was least expensive at Expressiva Nursingwear.

I considered including a picture - of the model, not me - but thought that might be a little weird.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Over-Dressed to Kill or Dressed to Over-Kill?

One of the biggest benefits of running with a stroller is that you always have a place to put stuff. You don't have to start out your run freezing cold because you can just take off the layers and stuff them into the stroller as you go. This only works, however, if you remember to wear layers. The weather has started to warm, if inconsistently, but my clothing choices haven't caught up, it would seem.

As I found myself suffering through another run in pants that were just too hot, I tried to think motivational thoughts:
1. Maybe the extra warmth will help prevent my joints and muscles from injury.
2. Resistance training.
3. Sweat off a couple ounces.
4. Better to run hot than run in my underwear.
5. Mental toughness.
6. I've got to get home somehow.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dear Jen

Q: I'm about to have my 2nd baby in April and am VERY anxious to get back into running. I already signed up for a couple of fall marathons. Ambitious - but I think I can do it. I've been running with our Bob stroller for a while, but will soon need a double wide and wondered what brand you like. Have you been training with your new baby in the stroller and did you have to use your car seat for the extra support for such a young child?

A: Congratulations. I run with a Dreamer Design double. I bought this one b/c it was and is my only double so I also wanted to use it to walk to the store, etc., but if I was choosing only for running, I think I'd go with a Baby Jogger. If you love your BOB, definitely consider their double, but I didn't prefer the extra weight that comes with the bells and whistles, the extra effort it takes to push through the suspension to turn and the extra cost.

Both my second and third kids have started going for walks in the jogging stroller at 2-3 weeks old and jogging by 6 weeks and I haven't used an infant seat. Really, at 6 weeks post-partum, we're moving at 6-8 MPH - on a good day. Hardly breakneck speeds. I just use one of those head cozy upside down U things and some rolled up blankets. I will say that even though it was really hard mentally to wait 6 weeks, my midwife had a really really compelling argument about internal organs, so I recommend that as well. I just started up the low impact stuff like STEP aerobics and careful weight training sooner (~2 weeks post).

I've always done my first "comeback" race at 3 or 4 months post. Previously a sprint tri or half marathon. I don't see why you couldn't do a marathon in the fall, though I will say that I've struggled with racing while still nursing because of the hydration and electrolyte balance issues. If you have any suggestions on that point, I'd be happy to hear. My first big spring race is in about 3 weeks, but I still nurse my 7 month old constantly so it looks like I'll need to come up with some solution - and quick. I've heard that salt tablets work well along with all the water.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Psychosomatic Response to Poorly Mixed Energy Drinks

There are some energy drinks (gels, bars, etc.) that are only really palatable when you really need it in the midst of a workout. And then there is that same energy drink mixed with the incorrect powder to water ratio. I'm sure you've encountered it at random water stops along a race course. You might grimace a little, but it is that or nothing, so you gag it down. But now let's say that you were really hurting at that point in the race - totally overexerting yourself - maybe you even yack it up at the finish (sorry), but my point is, every time you drink it in the future, that is the moment you remember, right? And it just never tastes good again.

So, flash ahead to the day my third child was born. My loving and supportive husband (who, by the way, hates anything and everything to do with food preparation) was tasked with bringing stuff to drink because I was busy BEING IN LABOR. Anyway, he mixed it wrong. You know that overly dilute bitter taste. Yeah.

So now that I'm back on my B game, we came home from a ride and mixed up some Accelerade but, as it turns out, he still doesn't measure anything. Wow. Total recall of being in labor. Still tastes bad, but at least the baby is really cute.

Everyone Can Vs Everyone Should

First, let me say that I am not trying to be unsupportive of anyone training for a marathon right now. It is an ambitious goal. Is it a realistic/ideal goal for everyone? I don't believe that it is.

Tonight there was a program called "Marathon Challenge" on PBS. Very good message about how running throughout one's life has great health benefits, but I felt like they really glossed over the question of whether running a marathon is really appropriate for everyone. A 300-pound former linebacker isn't the traditional physique of a runner for good reason. In addition to the pounding on joints, the ratio of slow-twitch vs fast-twitch muscles isn't ideal.

To be fair, after running four marathons in the past eight years and with a half marathon PR somewhere around 1:35, I continue to consider whether running marathons is even right for me. My current conclusion is that I should only try another marathon if I can do it "right" which means, for me, not just training well, but that I can do it fast. It is a little bit of pride and a good dose of avoiding too much wear-and-tear.

Marathons have become very mainstream, but didn't the very first Greek to run a marathon distance, keel over and die at his destination? I fear that the popularization of marathons is short-changing shorter distances as a really good goal to get people exercising and even competing.

On the other side, I also do NOT consider the marathon to be the ultimate test in fitness - as mentioned in an earlier commercial for aforementioned TV program. A marathon is just an entry point into the world of crazy-stupid endurance events ;)

Motherhood in a Dish Drain

Breast pump . . . coffee pot . . . pretty much sums things up.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ode to my Rain/Windshield

Rain? Doesn't matter. Cold winds? Not a problem. I highly HIGHLY recommend that you get a weathershield compatible with your jogging stroller. It's like a little greenhouse in there so the kids are really comfortable even when it is only 20 deg F outside... though my brake cable is still frozen and I'm sucking it up on the outside. But we call that mental toughness :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

2 cents

(From the March 2009 issue of Runner's World)

Useful advice: "Mood is an early indicator of overtraining, so take a rest day if you're feeling cranky."

Not so useful advice: "'When I can sleep for 10 or more hours, I notice a big difference in the quality of my workouts.'"

People can do that? That's a choice? Maybe she means 10 hours in two nights?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

9 months in, 9 months out

After a particularly exhausting week, I realized that I'm carrying (or pushing) around a bunch of extra weight, diverting enough calories to grow a person, and suffering through sleep disturbances. Sounds like pregnancy, right? Except the baby is 6 months old. So, despite being the third child I've nursed, I think, perhaps, I've underestimated at times that I am still growing a child, so maybe don't be so hard on myself. This is tough since my standard for "recovered from pregnancy" has gotten higher with each one.

There was an article on this very topic in the Feb. 09 Parents Magazine, "Scaling Back". It is hard wanting your body back, but at what expense? I don't have the will-power for really cutting calories when I'm already cutting hours of sleep which might be for the best. I'm happy to report I've had three chubby - and happy - babies. Workouts fit in between feedings or before the kids wake in the morning and 9/10 times, the kids come with if I'm running. But something always does fit in.

So, I won't be training for another marathon until Francesca turns one this summer, but Roger and I are signed up for an on-road and off-road duathlon in April. He mountain bikes, I trail run, I ride the road and he runs the roads. Shorter distances (relative to the marathon) but consistent training as a part of one's routine and keeping the foundation strong is key. Helpful for my physical and mental well-being and key for keeping the kids "on board".

Trying to put a 2-year-old in the jogger for the first time because you waited to get back into shape and then convincing him that sitting there for an hour or more is OK, let alone fun, is unlikely. Train them from birth, and they'll be climbing in the jogger every time you turn around. Plus they'll appreciate the good times - you know - when the temp is over 30 F and the run is under 90 minutes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Equipment Warning

Use caution when you are using hand-me-down or new-to-you equipment! We had a catastrophic failure of a 2001 Graco Doorway Jumper over the weekend. Luckily the baby is fine and I was right next to her so that after the nylon strap snapped and the spring part fell on her head, she did not also fall to the ground.

I mention this in the context of jogging strollers because large, expensive, possibly occasional use baby items are always tempting to use second-hand. That's fine, but be very careful to inspect these items before using them with your children. I've always heard that 7 years is the max for a car seat and no accidents, but how do you check the integrity of a stroller on Craig's list?

I don't have any authority to say this is a complete checklist, but do check the following:
1. Hand and/or foot brakes. Hand brake cable is just like a bicycle so parts are easily replaced. (I have an old post on maintenance.)
2. Tires are inflated to recommended pressure. Read the small words on the side of the tire to figure out what PSI is recommended for your tires.
3. Wheel spokes are tight and true. Loose spoke nuts can cause flats. "True" means that when you spin the wheel, you don't see a wobble.
4. Wheels are securely attached to the stroller. Either the nuts are tightened or quick-release is snug and, for the front wheel, lever to turned to "closed".
5. Harness for children is in good working order. All clips work, straps are adjusted to the correct positions, etc.
6. There are no loose parts that could injure a child. Loose screws? Stays from the canopy?
7. Runaway strap is attached to stroller and free from any moving parts.
8. No tears in the canvas seats.
9. No excessive rust.

These are also things that are worth checking periodically on your own stroller. Good luck.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Too Cold to Run?

The handbrake on my jogging stroller seems to be frozen until the temp reaches about 35 deg F.
Is this a sign that
a) it is too cold to run?
b) it is too cold to run hills?
c) I should stop being a wimp by using the brake to go slower downhill?

Cast your vote here :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Before I had kids, I never lost a sock. I don't think I even ever lost a ball point pen. 3 kids later, this is what was left over after some routine laundry recently. You know, 6 or 7 loads.