Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jogging Stroller Races and Records

There's been a lot of racing going on this spring, since the Seaside half-marathon!  While the weather has been a little crazy with the back and forth of cold and warm, we've managed to have some great days for racing mixed in, and my little girl got to participate as well.

Jason and I participated in two 5ks in March, the first of which was the UAH Shamrock 5k on his birthday!  This was a small, laid back, community event to support abused children.  Jogging strollers were welcomed, so we took ours along with us and I pushed Eloise in the race.  Well, I got a jogging stroller PR with a 25:35!  I realized I was on target after the first mile (which was mostly downhill) and so I tried to really push the rest of the way.  It was a sunny but cool day and Eloise was trooper.  She pointed out the ducks and a dog that was also in the race.  She occasionally said, "Weeeee!" causing any runners in front of us to glance back to see the source of that funny sound.  Many people cheered us on as we ran and Jason came back to get us about half a mile out.  He offered to take the stroller, but I told him I had to run the whole way with it. So he ran beside us and taught Eloise to say, "Goooo Mama!" (which she now says all the time at random moments even when we aren't running).

I was excited about my finish time and Jason ran a good race as well.  I think he finished in 17 minutes or something crazy like that.  We followed up our birthday race with a birthday donut from Dunkin Donuts, and I got in 5 more miles later that afternoon.

The next weekend we ran the Lead Me to the Cross 5k to support a dear friend and the local fire department.  I was aiming for another jogging stroller PR, planning to push hard from the beginning, but I met with some obstacles.  First of all, this race was much bigger than the Shamrock, so the start line was really crowded. When running with the jogging stroller, I always try to be super courteous and not get in other runners' way, so I stayed behind runners until an opening appeared instead of the usual weaving in and out until the crowd thins.  It got sort of annoying at times because runners would run side by side all the way across the road, but the road eventually widened and I was able to pass them.

rounding a corner in the last mile (I think)

 This course was also HILLY!  And usually I try not to let hills slow me down too much, but when pushing a stroller with a 25 lb baby in it... that is harder to do! I gave it all I had, though, and finished in 25:55.  Only 20 seconds slower than Shamrock, so not too bad!  

I had one guy say as I passed him in the race that it wasn't fair I had help. I thought he was joking until he came up to me after the race and said (with a smile, but still) that I cheated having all that "propulsion" in front of me... WHAT?  I smiled at him and just laughed, but I wanted to offer him a mile behind the stroller to feel the benefits of all this propulsion he thinks I had.  I think it might have been sour grapes because he got passed by the stroller lady or he's just... well... dumb.

Jason duked it out with a 12-year-old who beat him by 2 seconds. They finished in 17 something and the 12 year old set a state record for his age and in the 5k. 

It was an exciting finish for race supporters, and we had a good laugh about it when one of my friends said it was so nice of Jason to "let the kid win."  That's not how Jason runs.  No mercy!  But we had a blast running this 5k and seeing so many friends out there too!

Our team!  Everyone in this pick one an award (except for me).  ;)

Two great 5ks in two weekends, and we had a blast!  I love easy-going race atmospheres where they welcome jogging strollers. It allows Jason and I to both participate with no baby sitters or organizing schedules. We just hop in the car with our bright yellow stroller and our girl, and we run! 

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