She Says… Dang

Dang, running is hard.

Well, I should say running is hard FOR ME.

I have never been a runner. In middle school I was a chubby kid who could barely run “the mile”. Exercise-induced asthma didn’t help, but honestly I think that was just because I was out of shape (although perhaps we know where Owen gets his asthmatic tendencies!). A few years ago, when I got into biking and made the conscious decision to spend more time at the gym, I began to try running again. Little by little I worked my way up to running 3-4 miles at a time. Slowly, mind you, but it was something. I stopped running when I was in the throes of trying to make a baby and grasping at straws trying to figure out what was causing my anovulation. Then when I finally got preggo I ventured back onto the treadmill (in the air conditioned gym!) for some easy runs in my first trimester. By around 18 or 20 weeks my belly was so darn big that running became a liability (and felt like a water balloon bouncing around in front of me), and I distinctly remember the day that Benjamin forbade me to run anymore until little Owen was born.

I haven’t run since then.

Except if you count, like, running to the car because it has just started to rain and I don’t have an umbrella.

So I’m not really sure what possessed me to go for a run today. But run I did.

See, it finally cooled off a bit today. It stormed all morning and then the sun came out, and the cool breeze was just calling my name. I was about to sequester myself in the basement for a little cardio action on my elliptical, but I was NOT feeling it. I also needed to walk Schnitzel for the day, so the lightbulb went off and I figured I could kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

More like kill myself and Schnitzel with 1 run.

Let me cut to the chase. I did just under 3 miles (according to Google pedometer) in about 35 minutes. That’s not too shabby considering a) it’s hot out, b) I was wrestling with Schnitzel and had to stop to let him pee/poop a few times, c) I MUCH prefer running in air conditioning on a treadmill than running outside and d) I haven’t run since early 2010. I just kept thinking about this quote I saw on Pinterest recently:

No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.

So true, no? So I’m not worrying about how long it took me. And I’m not even worrying about how far I went. I’m just glad I got off my ass when the urge struck, and did it.

That said, there are some things I should do differently next time:

1. Bring iPod. Duh. How could I forget that? Funny thing is, I didn’t even notice until at least the end of mile 1. There was something kind of nice about listening to my feet hit the pavement… until I got totally bored.

2. DON’T bring Schnitzel. As much as I love the dog, and I love the idea of going running with my pup beside me, he makes things a LOT more complicated. I don’t know how Kara does it with a dog AND a stroller! He trotted alongside me for the most part, which was awesome, but he also stopped to pee and sniff a few times, thus yanking my arm backwards and causing me to lose my balance (what? the dog weighs only 30 lbs less than I do!).

3. Bring water. Another duh. But I figured with the dog leash and the inevitable poop bag (see #4) that I had enough to carry. Also, I get annoyed with carrying things while I’m running. Needless to say, Schnitzel and I were both pretty parched when we got home.

4. If bringing Schnitzel, plan run where there will be trash cans. Schnitzel pooped about 8 minutes into the run. Not close enough to go home to throw away the poop bag, and yet so, so far away from the end of the run. So I ran holding a produce bag full of dog shit. For over 2 miles. Once I got irritated with the swinging poop messing with my rhythm, I palmed the poop (checking the bag first for holes. ‘Cause that’s nasty.). Yep, that was me, running down the street clutching a warm bag of doggie doo doo.

Any other tips for a newbie runner who really, really WANTS to like running?

Which do you think is easier, running with a dog or a stroller? Our new bike trailer converts to a jogging stroller and I’m interested in seeing how I do with that. But I need to make sure I am actually going to continue this whole running thing to make sure it’s worth the investment for the conversion kit.

Lastly, anyone out there want to buy me a treadmill so I don’t have to carry dog shit on my runs?


18 responses to “She Says… Dang

  1. Go you for running, Kate! What a sense of accomplishment and I love the quote. Awesome!

    I’m the opposite of you–cannot run indoors, but LOVE outdoor runs — when I do them. Which is rare.

    My first post-partum run was so freeing but I def. didn’t have my dog with me! I give you props for that. Rocco weighs 102 lbs now so no way could I run with him — impressed you did.

  2. Ok, so I could probably go on for miles here (ha. get it??), but I will try to be succinct. I was actually a runner in high school… but more specifically I was a sprinter & a pole vaulter & a hurdler, which does NOT equal any kind of distance running. About a year or so before I got preggo, I did the couch to 5k thing (modified a little for someone who was actually pretty fit) and got to the point where I would regularly run 3 miles or so. Unlike you, I don’t do treadmills… I much prefer the outdoors and the sun beating on my back. Plus, I have this weird phobia that I might fall. I know, stupid. I was not allowed to run while pregnant (not sure why, but docs orders) but really got back into it after Eli was born. Even ran my first 5k in May!

    Anywho, here’s my suggestions: 1. Buy good running shoes. Find somewhere locally that will do a fit test and put you in a pair of shoes that are right for you. Be prepared to spend $100. Your feet, legs & joints will thank you. 2. Buy good socks… my faves are balega. Again, your feet will thank you. 3. Music is a must, obvi! I don’t like running with an iPod, though, when I have Eli with me… I run on the road in my neighborhood and I like to be able to listen for cars. I use Pandora on my phone… that way Eli & I both get to jam out! 4. The Run Keeper Pro app is amazing. LOVE it. It was free for my android phone, but I’d gladly pay for it if it wasn’t. Tracks your run, time, distance & pace. It even talks to you every 5 minutes.

    On the stroller/dog question… I don’t have a dog. I do have a very crappy jogging stroller. I’m really hoping that B.O.B. wants to send me a free one to review. Mine was salvaged from the neighbor’s garbage and has a bent wheel that happens to also be static. It’s a pain because it always veers left. If you are going to invest in anything jogging stroller-wise, I’d suggest one that has a front wheel that can turn. I’ve jogged with a friend’s stroller before and it was great… super easy and totally worth being able to get out and run whenever I want instead of just when Hubby is home.

    I think I’ve said enough… sorry & good luck! 🙂

  3. Haha, I loved this! I have a strict STRICT system with my dog for running. First, she has to poop in the yard first. She knows we don’t go until she “goes”. Second, she’s not allowed to stop for any reason. It took over a year to firmly implant that idea, but it’s solid now. There is no sniffing, no peeing, just running! She has to trot next to my left side, or face the shame of “Peanut, you BAD DOG” which in her world is the ultimate punishment.

    It’s easier to run with just the dog versus the stroller. That stroller is hard to push up hills! At least the dog doesn’t need a push!

    Tips for enjoying running:

    Bribe yourself with new songs on your iPod for running
    Try new running routes to avoid burnout
    Run with a friend (find another mommy!)
    Cute running clothes!
    Figure out how to be comfortable while running: carry water, get an iPod holder that doesn’t bounce, whatever.
    Sign up for a race!

    I’m so proud of your 3 mile run 🙂 Now you need to get on Daily Mile!

  4. Kara talks about poop more, but you did a commendable job.

  5. I agree, the swivel wheel strollers are MUCH easier to maneuver. However, everything I’ve read says it’s very dangerous to use the swivel wheel while running because it compromises the stroller’s stability (if you run over any kind of rock or bump, the stroller can swerve or tip over very easily). My husband will NOT run (or let me run) with the stroller unless the front wheel is locked (and since we have a BOB double, it is truly painful to run pushing 75+ lbs of stroller and kids with little maneuverability). I guess if you’re going really slowly it would be OK to let the wheel turn, but for more serious running, definitely keep the wheel locked.

  6. I refuse to run with my dog. She bounces up and down trying to bite the leash for at least a good mile. I say run without the dog for sure. I think the stroller would be much easier because unlike a dog, it doesn’t have a mind of it’s own and it doesn’t poop. So, 1. you’re not going to have to vary your pace b/c of it and 2. there are no “side effects” 😉

  7. Kara’s a machine! Even walking with a dog + stroller is difficult. I can’t imagine running. The stroller would definitely add some resistance while running!

  8. Congratulations lady!!! That is a great accomplishment.

  9. Also, I’d like to add that running is hard. Not just for you, not just for me, but for everyone. 🙂

  10. Okay, when I get back from vacation, I think we should do Saturday morning running dates. I’m in need of getting out of Rehoboth every now and then and want to get back in shape (I haven’t run much since I ran a half last November). September, yes?

  11. I love that quote!!! Great job on the run – something I”ve found has built up my endurance dramatically is doing a run/walk – like 3 minutes run, 1 minute walk. That way you can catch your breath and stretch out your legs on the walk, but ultimately you end up working out longer, which is amazing for your C/V system!

  12. good work! this is super impressive. as mom to an 8 month-old who’s been trying to get back into running shape for a few months now, i feel you. i’m one of the crazies who takes the jogging stroller AND the almost-100-lb-2-year-old-crazy-ass-dog on my runs pretty regularly. i do everything i can to avoid it, which more often than not means running out the door as soon as my husband gets home as i loathe exercise first thing in the morning. but it’s worth it because my dog inevitably poops just like schnitzel did, and after that SNIFFS EVERYTHING. i must look insane lumbering along, pushing the stroller and screaming, “RUFUS, COME ON. RUFUS, STOP. RUFUS, ENOUGH.” over and over again. so i’d heartily recommend avoiding both the leash and the jogging stroller at all costs. but if you can’t, an amazing stroller is essential. we love the BOB revolution. good shoes, socks, music (as mentioned above) and cute running clothes (they’re motivating!) all help. mostly, just cut yourself some slack. the fact that, in my case, i’m pushing about 25lbs and dragging almost 100 counts for something, right? upper body strength and cardio combined? exercise is exercise. but if you’re working towards a goal (a 5k, a time goal, what have you) i’d definitely encourage you to make a commitment to carve out some time for solo runs. good luck!

  13. Hi Kate,

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while but have never commented before. I have an 11 month old son and do a lot of running with him and our 36kg golden retriever. I’m from Australia but had the baby jogger FIT ( sent over here from the US. I absolutely love it and it runs like a dream. It took a fair bit of training but our dog runs perfectly along side it now and he’s only 18 months.

    One of the best things about the proper jogging strollers is the suspension, it’s so comfy it makes my son fall asleep all the time (either that or he’s squealing with delight that we’re going so “fast”).

    Good luck with your running if you keep it up, it’s a great way to combine your exercise, an outing for Owen and the dog’s daily run!


  14. Julie, thanks for the note on locking the wheel while jogging… not having a swivel wheel stroller, I have never looked into why they actually have locked ones! Now I know! Don’t tell my hubby, though, ’cause that is still my excuse for trying to buy a new stroller!

  15. My advice? Don’t run, it is bad for your knees. Bike + walk + elliptical instead 🙂
    My two knee surgeries make me slightly biased on this.

    Good luck!

  16. Run intervals (I do ten minutes running, one minute walking)…seriously, it makes running so much more fun (you get to cool down + drink water during that one minute) and it makes running distance so much easier!

  17. hi kate! 🙂
    i have been reading your blog for well over a year now. i don’t know why it has taken me so long to say hi and comment, but i figure there’s no better night than tonight!
    i found your video on youtube back when you first posted your happy bfp news and was instantly drawn in to your awesome blog. what a great idea and way to document it all…with your husband. i cried such happy tears when i saw you in awe of your “pregnant” hpt. what a much deserved happy ending!
    owen is adorable! i love his expressions and personality. i love the way you and your husband capture it all through your beautiful photos and awesome videos. that christmas vid from last year was genius.
    (wow, looks like i should have say hi a long time ago, i have too much to say lol)
    but i think it’s totally awesome you are running. i love to run. i too have been on and off with it. but it is such a rush when you’re done and realize all you’ve accomplished. hahaha i think the best way to find a free treadmill is cruise the streets for some free ones out for trash. seriously!! we just found an eliptical on the street for free!! who wants to run with dog shit!? hahaha you’re so funny!
    thank you so much for sharing your story. you are such an inspiring family. i started my blog back in april. my husband and i have been ttc for almost 2 yrs now. 5 losses since due to my husband’s chromosomal inversion. we’re still fighting and it’s mamas like you that make keep on keepin’ on. thanks again.
    wishing you a lovely weekend without any dog poo!!! ❤
    *music is key for me…you go girl…not using an ipod and not realizing it. i also find running one. walking half helps and of course, telling myself if i run ten miles i can eat a whole plate of nachos 😉
    maria 🙂

  18. I am like you, I’ve never been a runner, and I *definitely* prefer a treadmill indoors (in air conditioning) to running outside, especially since pavement and elevations always seem to do bad things to me. I absolutely can NEVER, however, run without music. Just can’t do it. I hate holding things, though, when I run. I have an iPod classic because I’m not cool enough to have a touch, but I also have an iPod shuffle, which is one of those little mini ones that clips to you. I clip it onto my shirt and go, and I don’t even think about it except when I feel like skipping a song (it can run in random mode or in order, however you want).

    Need to do Couch to 5K, and I appreciate the Droid app suggestion above, but right now it’s too damn hot here in SC, and I don’t have a treadmill or an affordable gym that provides childcare 😦

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