“Don’t run in front of me; I may not follow. Don’t run behind me; I may not lead. Just run beside me and be my friend.”
(a modified quote from Albert Camus)
This morning was a four mile trail run with my Wedgie (thank you for getting out today)! I don’t think there’s anything better than having a great running buddy – I always look forward to runs I otherwise wouldn’t be and always enjoy our talks. Funny enough, I never thought I’d ever be able to run again let alone run and talk, but I do manage to find a way to talk in almost every situation so it shouldn’t really be a surprise!
It was a gorgeous morning here in Calgary and we hit the trail around 10:30 a.m. The temperature was crisp, but not so much that it made it hard to run. For anyone who has run the Glenmore Reservoir, you know that it’s delightfully paved during the summer/spring/fall months, so the first kilometre of the trail was fairly bare with a few icy spots. However, apparently since we’ve been blessed with lots of snow and low temperatures early this year we spent the better part of our run today on snow.
As you know, getting around in snow has its many challenges and so imagine what we looked like running through it. Slipping and sliding all over the place and avoiding animal turds everywhere (that’s a plus with the white snow, you can’t miss a huge brown turd). Wedgie even commented that it was comparable to running in sand (I said specifically it reminded me of one hateful run on Dominion Beach in Cape Breton). But we powered through it and kept a pretty good pace given the conditions. At about the 3.5km mark, we had a big hill to climb. There was a nagging voice in the back of my head saying, “Quit. You do not want to do this hill.” But I just wasn’t ready to give in and the two of us hit the hill and were treated to an incredible view from the top (or as incredible as you can get inner-city).
We turned around at the 4km point and finished the last 2 km so we would avoid the super steep hill on the way back. It was a well-devised plan.
A great running date with Wedgie! Thanks for coming!
Here are todays stats:
- Distance: 6:05
- Time: 40:08
- Pace: 6:38
- Best Pace: 6:00
Anyone who knows me would say it’s karma. A child that is busy 24/7 and throws down temper tantrums more often than Naomi Campbell and Mel Gibson combined. However, knowing that I have a kid who would rather be busy and on the go, I make darn sure I’ve got the necessary supplies to endure our running adventures. Plus, I love how independent and dramatic my kid is!
Here are some things to keep in mind if you plan to run with a toddler:
- If your kid is prone to tantrums, make sure you don’t go just before nap or prior to meal time. Always try to organize runs around a well-rested and fed child. Trust me. Learned the hard way.
- Make sure you have plenty of snacks. Even if your toddler isn’t hungry, bring snacks along for the run. I know you shouldn’t encourage kids to play with their food but if s/he isn’t screaming, who cares?
- Bring toys. Think about this for a minute. We don’t go ANYWHERE without our phones, iPods, iPads etc., so imagine that you have to sit through the most boring 1-hour lecture of your life; maybe something along the lines of public health policy. Now, imagine you have to sit through it without some form of entertainment. EXACTLY!
- Engage your child throughout the run. Now, I’m definitely not saying you try to carry-on a conversation, but point things out along the way. “Wow – look at the pretty trees. What colour are the trees?” etc. Nothing is more boring than hanging out with someone who (a) pretends you aren’t there, and (b) won’t talk to you
- Keep your stroller activity to an hour or less. Seriously people. Your child is definitely not interested in running with you for longer than an hour. Let’s remember that at this young age, their attention span is that of a hummingbird.
- If you want to listen to music, put it on so you can both hear. In my case, I put my iPhone in the cup holder and crank the volume. Yeah, I know it’s a little disrespectful to the people around me but it’s better than being disrespectful to my little running buddy. Plus, I NEVER listen to 50 cent in mixed company!
- Make sure you praise them for good behaviour throughout the running adventure; and treating where appropriate.
- Finally, be respectful of their age and development. Your four/five year old does not want to be pushed around in a stroller anymore. They want to run WITH you.
Now, I can’t speak to #7 from experience, but I was at Sobey’s grocery shopping one day when a woman strolled in with what appeared to be a kid of AT LEAST six, maybe seven. He wanted to get out and walk; she wouldn’t let him. It was weird and creepy. At that point, I’m sure the kid could’ve kept up during the run anyway…
Anyway, hope this helps on your running journeys. It has helped me! Happy Trails!