After 8 years of running with a single or double jogger, we are entering a new era. We are soon to be that crazy family you see with 1 to 3 kids on bikes while mom and/or dad are attempting to run for exercise. These are not serious training runs I'm talking about. Just those in-between jogging-for-fitness days.
I have often worried about what happens when your kids are too big for a jogging stroller, but too young to stay home by themselves. Occasional sitters are fine, but it would be way to expensive to hire a sitter for every jog that I go on. So, enter bicycles. We successfully removed TWO pairs of training wheels from the fleet in the month of May, so that puts the 8-year-old and the 5-year-old on two wheels each. The two-going-on-three-year-old prefers her bike as well (with training wheels and tow rope), though she will sometimes get relegated to the jogging stroller once I build up the older kids' stamina a bit. Our current maximum is about three miles.
Some people probably view their kids growing up with some trepidation, but I will say, that I find it incredibly satisfying to give your kids that shove to get them started off on the bicycles. It seems so symbolic of sending them out into the world to sink or float on their own. I'm still running nearby, but there is that big push and then it is up to them.
I hope to get the 8-year-old up to about 5 miles this summer while I run with the single jogger. Though not so much an opportunity for speed-work, it is good enough for daily maintenance running. You know - mental health runs. We'll see how it goes...