Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Many of the considerations are the same for choosing a bike trailer as a jogging stroller. The wheel diameter choices are 16" or 20". You can choose a double or a single. There is, of course, a range of prices from over $900 (Chariot) to under $100 (inStep). All come with a wind screen which is important for protecting against flying debris from your back tire. Burleys are a great choice, especially for bumpier trails, but I went with the cheapest one: InStep. For occasional use and a small child (under 40 lbs), it seems like a great starter trailer. I could even buy a second one and still spend less than the next brand up.
The 16" tires won't roll quite as smoothly as the 20" ones, but they will be compatible with the tires and inner tubes I already have for my jogging stroller. Once this train is rolling forward, not much is going to stop if anyhow.
The bike trailers also fold up much smaller than strollers so my garage likes this too.
Friday, October 22, 2010
It used to be really easy to get replacement parts for a Dreamer Design. They had really good customer service at their 1-800 number, but now they are out of business, so too bad. If you are in need, I have two hand brake assemblies (all parts including hand brake, cable and calipers) and two quick-release front wheels. I can also send any other part that I can remove from the stroller. I will send it to you for the cost of packing materials and postage. Let me know!
I folded up the stroller so it would take up less space in the garage during the parts-harvesting process and I told the kids that it was broken and we couldn't use it anymore. Everyone present was actually crying. We were all really attached to those stroller rides.
Monday, October 18, 2010
4th Annual Halloween 1-Mile Fun Run
(*Must be in costume to participate*)
When: Saturday October 30, 2010
Check-in begins at 8:15 am
Race begins at 9:15 am SHARP!
Where: Burke Lake Park - Shelter A (near the large playground)
Cost: $10 per child 12 and under
Parents are encouraged to accompany young children for no additional
Refreshments, face painting, and arts and crafts will
be available following the race. Everybody wins a
Other outdoor family fun:
Enjoy the Ghost Train Ride* (10am-5:15pm) provided by Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, spooky music, the parade of costumes, a playground, arts and crafts and face painting. *Ghost Train Ride: $4.50/person; pay this fee at Burke Lake upon riding the train
Reservations required. For more information and registration contact South Run Recreation Center 703.866.0566. (Laurie Strickland- Event Director)
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
I was really hoping to squeak the rest of October out of this stroller since I still have several weeks until my fall marathon, but alas. My husband and I brainstormed the possible options for holding the stroller together (duct tape, drill and bolt a metal tube, etc.). While I hate the waste from an environmental point of view, fixing the welding isn't practical. We would have to remove the already torn fabric (i.e. flammable parts) which is riveted to the frame and then re-attach it afterwards. Plus, do you happen to have the ability to weld in your garage? Not unheard of, but also not common. We do not.
So, like tearing off a band-aid. It is done. My double-stroller days are over. Sniff. Sniff. No, really. Most people are like, "Oh! Are you so happy..." I actually start to cry a little when I think about it. If you've been in a position with multiple small children, you'll know what I mean: that stroller was like my life-line for 5 years. That red stroller gave me freedom to get out of the house and to work out and get/stay in shape and even just to walk to the store or the park.
Now it is just me and Francesca cruising in the ol' purple single jogger while the older kids are at school. We've even gone to the gym (agast!) when it was pouring rain...you know, like a normal person...
* Thanks Brittany Spears
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
1. Baby Jogger
Double plus a "jump" seat
3. In-line strollers
There is often more than one brand offering each of these configurations, but this is a start.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
"Being outrun by a woman. This can only happen to men. It's best when it happens to macho men. It's even better when the woman is wearing a skirt. Tough trail women wear skirts. And look hot. And beat men."
I will one-up that. I like to pass men while wearing a skirt, looking hot, AND pushing my stroller! It happens! Often!
Anyway, if you are already a runner, being able to keep it up is great physically as well as psychologically. Of course, to what extent one can keep running varies greatly from one person to another. The Runner's World article did a good job of showing that it can be done safely and healthfully, but to run to the extent that these ladies do while pregnant is a special case given their pre-pregnancy fitness and the amount of professional coaching that they receive.
Being pregnant does slow you down for a time, though. We'll see how things go as I begin my first two-years post-partum and not pregnant. Will I continue to improve or does the 2 1/2 year cycle of pregnancy and recovery reach the same plateau?
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Women's Saucony® ProGrid™ Ride 2 :: Get the smoothest ride of your life in this flexible, cushioned, everyday trainer. The women's Saucony® ProGrid™ sets you up with a new, wider base for better balance, an upgraded insole for plush comfort, and softer crash pad for cu...
Don't size up
Sizing: Feels true to size
Width: Feels true to width
Arch Type: High Arch
Best Uses: Road Running
Describe Yourself: Avid Athlete
I haven't run in them yet because they were huge! It says to size up 1/2 a size which I always do in Mizunos, Asics or Nikes, but don't size up in these- especially if your feel are relatively narrow as mine out. Felt cushy and comfortable though and I am looking forward to actually running in my smaller pair. They are in the mail.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
So, we packed up the family for a family run the other morning. It's good to get the husband out with a stroller from time to time too (empathy). My response was that it was good to keep the stroller pushing muscles fresh and perhaps more importantly, keep the kids in the habit of riding. My husband's response was, "These kids need to learn how to ride their bikes!" Also true.
So, a couple tips as you re-enter your fall schedule (or start running with your stroller for the first time):
1. Destination running (to the park, pool, store, etc.) is a good step to get the kids psyched up again and keep each trip shorter.
2. It is still hot. Bring everyone their own water or somehow you'll end up with none.
3. Start with relatively flat, straight routes. Add the hills as you regain comfort. If the kids are indeed heavier than when you left off in the spring, downhills are just as much a change and the uphills. Be careful.
4. Hide secret snacks/toys that the kids only get on the way home/second half.
5. Try running longer routes more frequently (i.e. 6 miles every-other day rather than 3 miles everyday). It is easier to keep going once everyone is already packed up and the kids won't drag their feet about the stroller so much if it is not EVERY day.
6. Check tire pressure. Air leaks out when you don't use the stroller for a while. Like a car uses more gas when your tires are under-inflated, pushing the stroller with flat tires makes it much harder.
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I have run 5 marathons before - 2 of which have been the Marine Corp. The wrench thrown into last year's training was appendicitis. At least I can count on that not happening again. I figured the first place to start with forming my training plan was considering what I did last time. My husband, who has a knack less for planning and more for recording afterwards as though he planned it all along - has a great athletic log.
Here's what I did last year:
You can guess for yourself when I had appendicitis and when I had Swine flu.
Last year my husband and I did all of our long runs together while a babysitter watched the kids in lieu of "date nights".
A while back I cut out "Marathon Training for Busy People" from Runner's World Magazine. Subtitle: "Running by Time, Not Miles, Lets You Get the Most Out of Every Minute". It peaks with about "6 hours 30 minutes" rather than the more traditional "40 miles" +/-. It allows faster runners to get more miles in...you get the idea. It is, in essence, a very traditional plan, however. It mixes tempo runs with easy runs and long runs on weekends. It has 2 rest days, but little suggestion about cross training.
What I am proposing is entirely different. This year, I am considering running my son to school which is an 11-12 mile round-trip. Three days a week plus just a couple 20-milers on the weekends might do the trick. I really like my gym days despite waking at 4:30 am so that takes up Wed and Fri. Sundays I like yoga after church. I like my schedule, why change it? It is working. I haven't suffered any running injuries. So, here's the gist of my Marathon Training with Jogging Stroller:
Mon 10-12 miles
Tues 10-12 miles
Wed weights gym
Thurs 10-12 miles
Fri weights/bike gym
Sat 15-20 miles
Sun yoga gym
*Not racing with the stroller - the race organizers don't allow it. PLUS I'm not talking about a single stroller with a cute little 15-pounder riding along like those dads that have those record marathon-with-stroller times. I'm using a double stroller with a 2-year-old and a 5-year-old weighing a combined 75 lbs +/-.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I recently watched "Up In The Air" - that George Clooney movie. A part of the movie is Clooney's character traveling around making "motivational" speeches beginning with the question, "What does your life weigh?" Well, MY life weighs about 125 pounds plus gear (that's two 50-pound kids plus a 25-pound kid). I happily take the burden of that weight over the alternatives of finding and paying a babysitter every single time I need to exit the house and/or get a little exercise. Even bringing them to the gym isn't a great solution since I have to work around nap time and camp or school and it is sort of a zoo in there Monday-Friday.
So, having all three home most of the time this summer is sort of like a sneak preview for when I can't run whenever I want by just loading up the stroller. Enter: creative solutions. Today I did Step aerobics in the basement during nap time. Before that I rode the bike trainer in the garage (not so scenic), we have been to the gym too, there was the stroller plus backpack incident, but I was pretty sore after that. I've considered wind sprints back and forth in the driveway, but fear that to be over the line of mind-numbing. It is a good thing that I am not training for something right now. I've got this month "off" before marathon training sets in.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Women's MIZUNO® WAVE® RIDER 13 :: Discover the perfect balance of soft cushioning and responsive flexibility. The women's Mizuno® Wave® Rider 13 has a new collar liner that locks heels in place and throws away the key. Innovative flex eyelets reduce strain on your instep...
Rocks get stuck
Sizing: Feels true to size
Width: Feels true to width
Arch Type: High Arch
Pros: Good Arch Support, Breathable, Cushions Impact, Durable
Best Uses: Road Running
Describe Yourself: Avid Athlete
I really like the shoes. They seem to run narrow, but that's perfect for me since I need to wear narrow Nikes or Asics. They are holding up well for my ~25 mi/wk. Biggest drawback is that when I run on packed-dirt trails, gravel pieces always get stuck in the treads. Rocks as large as a 1-inch diameter get stuck in the heel as well.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The best thing about being in the jogging stroller is that you can eat snacks the whole entire ride. I like to go across streams in the jogging stroller because it is fun. If you are wearing shoes, you can jump out and walk across the stepping stones. I like riding in the double stroller better than riding in the single stroller because there's more room. It's better when one parent pushes you in the jogging stroller because you only have one grown up to talk to and you don't get mixed up when the other person tries to talk to you. I prefer riding in the jogging stroller with my little sister [rather than my little brother]. She doesn't talk as much as my brother who is really really annoying. He talks constantly.
I like to run to playgrounds because I love to play at playgrounds! When it is a bumpy ride I like to shout out, "Ahhh," and make my voice sound all bumpy. My least favorite thing about the jogging stroller is when you get squished like a potato when your brother or sister reaches over and punches you. To me it doesn't seem fair when my little brother and sister get to ride, but I have to walk [to school].
If you have to ride in a jogging stroller try to stay to your side. If you have a brother or sister they might punch you. Example: My mom is going to put me in the jogging stroller tomorrow and I am going to bring fruit snacks. You might want to bring a sweater or socks just in case, but I don't like to. It takes more work. That's all. The end.
Monday, June 21, 2010
We have been running around Mercer Lake/Burke Lake for over three years now and though they are still the solid go-to runs, it is nice to have a little variety. I greatly prefer trails to roads. They are quieter, shadier, safer (away from traffic) and there is more nature to look at. The stream crossings are a great chance to play "Magic School Bus" when you turn into a sailboat or a motor boat.
Be prepared for the hills.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
First, I couldn't make it up the hill at the bottom of my street anymore without unloading one or more kids. Then my son reached 45 pounds (the manufacturer's maximum recommended weight is 50 lbs). The fabric on his side of the stroller is starting to tear. I tried to switch him to the other side of the stroller, but I guess I wasn't accustomed to that since that whole side of my body seized up by the end of that run.
I had been forming grand plans to run my son to school next year, but I may need to revisit those plans. Luckily he will be in school five mornings a week so it is not a desperate situation. None of the kids are proficient bike riders and none are even close to being old enough to be left behind at home. We are, perhaps, entering a sort of limbo. I will still be able to run with my daughter in the single stroller while he is at school, but that puts us back in the car a lot more than I would like.
In the meantime, I replaced the bald tires (that set only lasted one year) and made sure they were fully inflated. I lubricated the moving parts. Perhaps most importantly, I am constantly reminding the kids to sit BACK. I've written before about how much it affects the steering when the kids lean forward.
And it's making me stronger...
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
We ran around Burke Lake on Monday morning after Mother's Day. I chuckled at the morning after debris: a sock, a hat, some spilled "puffs", and Sophie's sippy cup. While the list seems short, it is rare to see such things along this shared-use trail. It seems that there were lots of Dads that helped out Mom by taking the kids around the lake to give her a break :)
Thursday, May 6, 2010
PowerBar® GEL :: Refuel with PowerBar® Gel, now featuring the new PowerBar® C2 MAX carbohydrate blend. During strenuous exercise the body burns carbs and loses key electrolytes through sweat. PowerBar® Gel replenishes and restores those nutrients to help maintain peak performanc...
Cons: Taste Bad, Not Durable
Best Uses: Short-Term
Describe Yourself: Avid Athlete
My favorite gel is Accelgel. Gu is not bad. The Power Gels were terrible. I had Vanilla. It seemed that the gel separated into a watery top half and a thick, goopy bottom clump that required chewing. Not cool. I never even exposed these gels to extreme temperatures or anything like that, though one would hope that it could handle that anyway since my pocket in August can get pretty darn hot.
Monday, April 26, 2010
As we pass street sign or stop sign posts at each intersection, we alternate passing them on the right or left so that the kids can "tag" the post. We slow down, of course, to avoid injury, but don't stop! You'll have to pry their little hands off! It helps the time pass and breaks things up into short intervals. I was surprised by how much with kids liked playing this.
(A disclaimer: this is not for when you are in a hurry. You also need to be careful to avoid wooden posts with splinters, rusty staples, etc.)
This is especially fun when it involves going up and down curbs or struggling through brush. Make it an adventure :)
*Credit due to MC Hammer???
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I have a like-new Baby Jogger Performance Double 20" wheel stroller to sell. Includes rain shield, air pump, inner tube and a super fantastic orientation to the use and maintenance of a jogging stroller. Must be local or willing to travel to Northern VA. Asking $300.
I've been biking, swimming, spinning, lifting, and - of course - running. Right - and chasing three kids, feeding, cleaning, driving, reading, and on and on.
If you are beginning to feel that it takes too much effort to get out running or that it is so hard pushing that big stroller, train for a triathlon for a while. You will come to appreciate the simplicity of running (with or without a stroller).
So, I'd better get to bed before doing it all again tomorrow.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Step 1: Shovel instead of the regular workout.
(THERE ARE BREAKS BETWEEN BLIZZARDS.)
Step 2: Trainer in the garage and Step aerobics in the basement.
(ROADS NAVIGABLE FOR 4X4.)
Step 3: Treadmill at the gym.
(BEGIN TO CLEAR SIDEWALKS AND PATHS BETWEEN OUR HOUSE AND SCHOOL.)
Step 4: Baby in the backpack. (Though this requires all the other kids to walk, there is so much pent up energy by now, they can keep up.)
(SCHOOL IS BACK IN SESSION AND SNOW BEGINS TO MELT.)
Step 5: Stroller Biathlon!!!!
It would have been cooler if I had the shovel strapped to my back like a rifle, but I actually just carried the kids' small plastic shovel in the under-stroller basket. What needs to happen next to clear my path requires a saw, so I'm weighing the pros and cons of bring a saw with us tomorrow. Hmmm...
Thursday, February 18, 2010
The swivel front wheel and tiny tires that I complain about for suburban jogging proved invaluable for the shimmy between inner and outer doors and making side-to-side maneuvers while going up curbs. I jogged briefly. The swivel wheel gets a little wiggly, but the bigger problem is that the handlebar is very narrow. Perhaps a perfect candidate for healthy handles!
Friday, February 12, 2010
Gee! Really? Because I LOVE jogging on the road while the gravel shoulder is covered with 6 inches of snow plus the detritus from the plow! And certainly I didn't look first to make certain that there were no oncoming cars for this very short section before I turn into my street. Thanks lady.
So, I ran only once with my new Baby Jogger and then we got pummeled with snow. There is a solid 3 feet on the ground even after a couple melting days and drifts are even higher. Roads are narrow and paths are buried, so I'll have to get creative. Unfortunately or fortunately (I'm not sure) some roads are totally clear which means I really can't put the stroller on skis.
In the meantime, my one-year-old seems to be suffering from stroller withdrawal. She climbed right up today and happily sat to watch my husband ride the bike trainer in the garage.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
1. It is January, so we'll have to wait a couple months to find out about the dripping sweat issue.
2. I tried to really pay attention to this one. I found that I do better with this than I realized. The real bending at the waist comes when walking up a hill. Generally the hills I can jog up are still steep enough that the stroller is already above me, so using the Healthy Handles in a position above my handle bar made them shoulder-level. I don't want to dismiss different as bad. I generally hate change, but I am aware of this personality "quirk". It sort of is equivalent to the difference between a seated chest press and an inclined chest press.
3. It is nice to have >2 options (i.e. top or side). Like how you can get tired of always holding your bike handlebars in the same place.
4. I have not tried the Healthy Handles on my single Kelty yet. I think that they are not compatible. The Kelty handle bar is already split and at angles.
5. With the Healthy Handles above my handlebar my elbows are bent to less than 90 deg. I'm not sure that this tighter arm position is either better or worse. It is like "The Flying Scotsman" .
Overall, I definitely think that these are AWESOME for anyone over about 5'10" AND anyone who struggles to turn their stroller. The longer lever arm is perfect for that. My Dreamer Design is already incredibly easy to turn, but unfortunately for you, that company has gone out of business.
I am going to experiment with some inside-the-handlebar positions next.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
1. When it is really hot out, sweat drips off my elbows, but since my husband is taller, it runs down his forearms and slimes up the stroller's handlebar.
2. Flats and downhills are fine, but I am bent over at the waist going up hill.
3. My left pointer-finger knuckle is stressed from generally holding my handlebar palms-down.
4. My single stroller doesn't really track in a straight line.
5. It is frustrating when my shoulders fatigue before my legs.
Check back to see how it goes!
Friday, January 15, 2010
My husband's flexible work schedule allows for us to occasionally run together with the double stroller while my oldest is at school. I've joked in the past about who gets to push the stroller since we are basically the same speed. Recently we've just been splitting it first/second half. It certainly takes practice to push the stroller for miles, but there are also some tips for the person running alongside.
1. Let the person pushing the stroller be the pacer. This is easy going uphill when it would obviously be very obnoxious to go ahead. It can be frustrating when the stroller speeds past you downhill, but it is very hard to go any slower on a steep hill so let them get a little money in the bank and you'll catch up easily when things level out.
2. Run on the left if you are on a path. This allows the stroller to stay right at a relatively constant pace. On the left, you can easily drop back if someone is coming from the other direction and then come back up again. If you are on the streets, do the same on the right (i.e. the traffic side).
3. Don't dive in to give the kids stuff or make adjustments that require stopping without consulting the "pusher" first.
4. Don't grab the handlebar to "help" push uphill without asking first.
5. Don't cut over curbs and corners that the stroller has to go around...and then stand there like, "Hey - what's taking YOU so long?"
Anything else that helps you?
Monday, January 4, 2010
First - random, possibly automatically generated email from, http://www.easydogstrollers.com
Second - an article, "Unexpected Upsides" by Marc Parent in January 2010 Runner's World. I quote, "The nonrunner sees the runner as a one-dimensional animal. From the perspective of a couch or car seat or park bench, the runner is simply a person who runs. After a little more thought, the description may change but only slightly - runners are seen as either fit or insane or, how I'd always thought of them, both. When pressed, nonrunner may expand their idea of what a runner is, but the perspective remains primitive - the runner is a person who is fit, insane, and really tired."
I have to admit that I scoffed at the idea of putting one's dog in a stroller for a run, but then I wondered whether nonrunners or childless runners think I am just as crazy for pushing two kids on three wheels all over town. In short, I am crazy. Our last two runs were in 24 deg. F weather. I'm well on my way to rock hard! And I guess I'm a little tired too...
So if you are crazy for your dogs (I'm thinking "Best In Show" crazy), you're set.