Running with children

And I mean literally, running.

For those of you that don't know, I fancy myself a bit of a runner. I am not fast, by any stretch of the imagination. But I can go a long, long way with the proper training. I have run two full marathons (26.2 miles) in the past few months, one of which I completed in less than 5 hours which I was really proud of (yes, I'm slow, I know it!). I have also logged a 20 mile trail race in the snow, and many half marathons and 10Ks in my time as a runner.

The number of races I have done since becoming a foster mom? ZERO. Yes that's right, zero. I have probably run a total of less than 20 miles since my most recent marathon in June.

My parents helped us buy a (used) double jogging stroller when we first got the kids. I envisioned many miles together as they were enchanted by the world flying by them and enjoying spending time in nature, while I logged some much needed miles and got to enjoy my hobby with them.

What really happens is this:
* During the summer it is too hot to strap the kiddos in and run in 80-90 degree heat. They get basically no air circulation, and depending on the angle of the sun it sometimes shines RIGHT in their faces even when the canopy is out as far as it will go - just the nature of the beast, not a problem with the stroller itself. Plus I get overheated really easily - my optimal running temperature is in the mid-60's and I wear shorts and a T-shirt.
* Running into the wind and/or up hills while pushing 80+ pounds of children and stroller is HARD. Stroller + wind = pushing a parachute. Seriously. It's awful.
* Kids are not that entertained by the scenery. It might be because I'm slow, it might be because I really have to run on paved roads which take the more scenic trails out of the equation. It might be a bit of both. So they sit in the stroller and grab each others hands, poke each other's faces, squeal at each other, etc. And forget bringing toys - they will get thrown and/or dropped out of the stroller in no time flat.
* Inclement weather is not suitable for children. I will run in the snow, rain, bad heat/sun, etc. I probably wouldn't run in hail but anything else is fair game. However, it's not really nice or fair to put kids through all of that IMHO.
* Sometimes I feel like the kids are in the car so much that I feel kinda bad strapping them into the stroller. We take D to and from school, sometimes go run errands, plus they are in the car to go to their visit too. On any given day they spend no less than 2 hours in the car, sometimes more. So adding even a half hour or so to that so that I can get my run in seems a little selfish.

All that being said - I am going to try to start running again. Even if I can log 10 miles a week I think that would be great. So I have been doing most of my running during the boys' visits, but also taken them on a couple of runs too.

Today, I took them running. Like a good human being I checked the weather - overcast and 70 degrees, 25% chance of rain. That seemed reasonable. So I got them in their jackets (just in case!), grabbed a blanket (just in case!) and strapped them into the stroller, and off we went. I was planning on running about 2 miles, which is plenty when you are pushing a stroller.

Wouldn't you know it, right as I was reaching my turn around point it started raining. And also, wouldn't you know it, I had been running WITH the wind thus far. So it was time to turn around and run INTO the wind and the rain. Ugh! Utter fail. I ran about 1/4 mile and stopped under an overhang in front of a hotel. I walked in front of the stroller to check on the boys and they both looked at me with these super pathetic looks and their faces were all wet. Talk about feeling like a terrible human being! I waited a few minutes and it didn't look like the rain was going to let up. So I tucked the blanket around them, gave them (and myself!) a pep talk, and off we went.

As soon as we got home I changed them into warm dry clothes and they were soon back to playing and didn't seem any the worse for the wear. My run was a total of 26 minutes (2.33 miles!) so they weren't out in the rain for too long so that was good! Lesson learned: Even if someday I can muster more than 2 miles while pushing the stroller, I should probably not be very far from home and/or vehicle at any given time, in case of weather emergency.

Oh and I'm sure that every single person that drove by while I was out with them was thinking what a terrible human being I was for making my kids go out in the rain. Hopefully they realized it was just an accident!

I didn't end up getting to go to court yesterday, and I haven't heard what all happened either. Hoping to find out soon, otherwise I think I will get the court report in the mail sometime in the next week. Hopefully. :)


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