The jogging stroller

At Corban’s four-month pediatrician visit, we got the all-clear for him to ride in the stroller the big boy way and use the jogging (er, running) stroller. Yay!

That was a few weeks ago, but finally today I got around to dusting off (literally) the InStep 5K stroller I bought for $25 on Craigslist. It needed some air in the tires, a once-over with the vacuum and some love from a wet rag.

Unfortunately, the straps are a bit worn from age so they shed scratchy black fuzz all over Corban when I tightened them around him. It also doesn’t look like the most comfortable strap situation, so I may try to cobble together a cover for the straps at some point.

The other disadvantage to this stroller over our usual stroller is the hood, which doesn’t come down quite as far, so Little C is at times exposed to a bit more sun.

The good news is this stroller is much easier to run with than our regular stroller, the Baby Jogger City Mini (ironically not a jogging stroller). The larger, air-filled tires make for a smooth ride that is easy to push and steer while running.

I took it for a quick 1.5-mile jaunt just to test it out, and though I still would prefer to run sans stroller (it’s nice to be able to swing your arms!) this jogger will work for the times I want to take Corban with. After realizing how much less fun stroller running is than I anticipated, I’m glad we didn’t end up buying an expensive running stroller.

Semi-related story (not for those who are afraid of diaper talk): As I was cleaning and prepping the InSTEP, I had Corban strapped into the City Mini so he could watch me. When I finished and picked him up out of the City Mini, a huge yellow blob was revealed in the seat. Major poopsplosion! Peter and I teamed up to tackle the messiest diaper leak yet, and after a full outfit change and some stain prevention measures, Corban and I headed out for our (my) run. When we returned home, I caught a glance of myself in the mirror only to discover a yellow spot in the middle of my shirt. Yes, I ran through our neighborhood with poop on the front of my shirt! Oh, the things I never imagined about motherhood…

Hello, yellow stain (it looked bigger in person, unfortunately).

Getting back in shape after baby

For the first few weeks after Corban was born, I was content to take it easy, rest and let my body take its time recovering from childbirth. I tried not to lift too much weight (even Corban’s car seat was a bit much) or be on my feet too much.

As I started to feel better, Corban and I went on a few walks, but walks have never really been my thing.

Three weeks and five days after Corban was born, I was ready to run*.

Peter hung out with Corban and I headed to the Y for the first time in months (I never got around to canceling my membership, so I am just going to consider it a donation to an organization that does a lot for the community so I don’t feel too guilty…) The plan was to walk on the treadmill, then work up to a run, and just see how I felt.

As it turned out, I felt amazing. I ended up running for 25 minutes straight, at a pace ranging from 11 minutes per mile to 9:30 per mile.

It was extremely encouraging, but knowing my injury-prone self, I knew I should take it slow in building up mileage. So here’s my tentative plan for getting back into running shape:

Goals: Work out at least three times per week. Run a half-marathon this spring, most likely the South Shore Half-Marathon on April 7 ($12 race entry!).

Training: January 1 – 29 do weeks 5 through 8 of couch to 5K (using the Ease into 5K app); January 30 – April 7 do a 10-week half-marathon training plan (not sure which yet – will keep you posted). I also would like to make baby yoga a weekly habit (we have not been able to make it out the door in time to go since our first class) and get back to Body Pump in the next week or two. Body Pump seems daunting right now – I know the first class will be the hardest!

So far the couch to 5K plan has been going really well. It is forcing me to be really conservative with mileage buildup, which is great. The workouts are measured in minutes, not miles, and they usually involve a walking break in the middle. I’m up to 25 minutes of running.

Earlier this week the weather was freakishly warm for January in Wisconsin, so I was able to run outside and take Corban with me. That’s right, I did a few stroller runs!

We bought a running stroller for $25 on Craigslist, but Corban is still too small for it, so I used our Baby Jogger City Mini with the car seat attached. The City Mini is not meant for running, but the front wheel locks into place, which makes me suspicious that it actually is perfectly fine for running but they tell you it’s not for liability reasons. Either way, Corban is nice and secure in the car seat so I feel comfortable taking it on short, slow runs (like mine were).

Running with a stroller is tough! Granted, I was running with a heavy car seat in a stroller that is not fully optimized for running, but still. Not only is it heavy, but you can’t swing your arms and you have to concentrate on keeping the stroller in line and in control. Hills and wind were brutal!

It was nice having my little buddy out there with me, though.

Anyone else have fitness goals and training plans for the new year? Please share! And join me on Daily Mile for daily training updates.

*I know a lot of people wait for their six-week postpartum check up before exercising, but I was told to do what feels comfortable with no set time restriction.

Bargain stroller

About that exciting purchase I alluded to yesterday

A jogging stroller!

The InSTEP 5K Single Jogging Stroller, to be exact. The tires are flat and it could use a bit of dusting off, but it seems to be in excellent shape otherwise. And you can’t beat the price: $25. Thank you, Craigslist!

This model is discontinued, but probably cost about $100 originally. It’s not a high end jogging stroller, but for $25 it’s worth the risk that it might not be perfect. I can’t wait to use it next summer! I might actually take it for a test run this week, if I can overcome the embarrassment of pushing a 20-pound weight around the neighborhood in a stroller. Peter suggested putting a blanket over it so it looks like a baby.

Since we were able to find such a great deal on this running stroller, it made our “regular stroller” decision a lot easier. I had been debating between three models:

The BOB Revolution CE. A true running stroller made by runners for runners. Has options for fixed or swivel wheel (you want fixed for running, swivel for everything else) and can hold kids up to 70 pounds. Probably the best running stroller out there. The downsides are it’s pretty big (I think it’d be a bit tough maneuvering around at a festival or something, and would probably want to get a little cheapie stroller for that) and it’s expensive, at $469.

The Baby Jogger City Elite. Smaller and lighter than the BOB, but apparently can hold kids up to 75 pounds. Again, fixed or swivel wheel options. Pretty maneuverable. Nice adjustable handlebars to accommodate different heights. Not recommended for serious (like double digit) runs (though that’s probably debatable) and hefty pricetag at $399.

The Baby Jogger City Mini. This one is actually not a jogging stroller at all, though I know people who have run with it (probably not long distances though, as it has a swivel wheel only). It is highly recommended by practically everyone for its ease of use – you can actually fold it up with one hand. It’s the smallest of the three and the easiest to maneuver, though the weight limit is 50 pounds. Price is more reasonable at $239 (or $179 in one of the uglier colors).

For a while I was leaning toward the City Elite, since it seemed to have the best of both worlds (made for running, but also easy to maneuver).

But now that we have a decent (or at least passable, hopefully) running stroller, the City Mini is definitely the best choice. I have heard nothing but good about this stroller, and it will be great for everyday use, travel and tight spaces. Now the only question is do we get one of the less attractive colors (primary blue or bright pink) and save $60, or go for the lovely light green and gray model we’ve been eying (linked above). Hmmm. What would you do?

27 weeks

I’m officially in my third trimester! I can’t believe it. My due date is exactly three months from yesterday.

Sometimes I’ll walk into the bathroom at work and catch a glance of myself in the full length mirror and think, “WHOA. Am I really that big?”

And yes, I know I’ll only get bigger from here, but it does seem like my belly has really rounded out in the past few weeks.

I think I wore a real maternity shirt every day this week. It’s actually kind of fun incorporating some new clothes into my wardrobe — all of which were free (borrowed) or super cheap (thrifted). And maternity shirts just look better since, obviously, they’re designed for my current shape.

I’m still clinging to a few pairs of my regular pants, mostly ones that are low-riding, but I did end up purchasing a pair of maternity jeans this past week. I had $30 in “bump bucks” at Destination Maternity if I spent $75. So, of course, I stretched that $75 as far as I could and got a pair of jeans, a nice top and a tank top for a grand total of $50.

The jeans are actually skinny jeans (but not the skin tight kind), which will be nice since I can wear them with flats now and boots later. They’re really comfy (huge stretchy elastic waistbands tend to be). The only problem is they stretched out a bit after the first wear, as jeans tend to do, and kept sagging on me the second day I wore them. I guess that means there’s room to grow though.

I mentioned that my belly has been rounding out, but unfortunately the rest of me is feeling a little jiggly too. This is, I’m sure, due to the fact that I haven’t worked out in a good 2 weeks. Too tired in the morning + commitments every evening = no exercise. I haven’t exactly been holding back on the desserts either. Thankfully this week is a little slower, so I plan to get back to body pump and maybe even try out that prenatal belly dancing that I’ve been teasing you with.

I did attempt a run this evening, just because it was so nice out and I felt like it. I had limited time, so I did one mile, switching off walking and running every .25 mile. I think the one word that would best sum up how I felt is HEAVY. Those extra 15 pounds have never been so evident!

To keep me accountable, here’s a quick workout plan for the week:

M: Walk to the Y (2ish miles) + 7:20 p.m. Body Pump
T: Prenatal belly dancing
W: 2-mile walk to farmers market and back over lunch
Th: 5:30 a.m. Body Pump
F: Rest
S: 3-mile walk

I also made an exciting purchase this afternoon that I will share with you tomorrow. (Oh the suspense!)