Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Running Up That [Long, Terrifying, Steep, Huge] Hill

After about two months of research and ridiculous indecisiveness, I finally gave in and bought a new stroller, the Bob Revolution for two. It is huge and has giant wheels, but that makes it very easy to push and steer and navigate. And now I can go running with the girls.

I know. It seems crazy. But I have been longing to transition from treadmill runner to outdoor runner for a while. I know this isn’t going to be easy. But I am going to do it, dammit, and the girls are going to do it with me.

We (weird to say) went running for the first time today in Central Park yesterday. Here’s how outdoor running is different from treadmill running:

• There are real hills, not “inclines.” Central Park is filled with these annoying hills in size, small, medium, and are you kidding me, and there is no button to make them smaller. Believe me, I looked. Running uphill is murder, for obvious reasons. But running downhill, much to my chagrin, is not much easier. I thought that I would just sort of roll-glide to the bottom of a downward slope. Instead, I found myself gaining speed a little too quickly and then needing to apply downhill body brakes, which causes me to access muscles I don’t usually use.
• There are many, many more people around me. Hundreds, perhaps. Runners, walkers, power-walkers, bikers, people heading to work and dog walkers. The gym at 5:30 in the morning is pretty empty, except for the sauntering Rush t-shirt wearing tough guy who busts out dance moves between sets; the bearded, Mostly Mozart Festival t-shirt wearing, Times-reading recumbent biker and the short-haired treadmill walker who looks like a woodpecker.
• There is no television in front of me. I miss my morning shot of news. Now how will I know what the traffic is like?
• On a treadmill I can run four or five miles. Monday, outside, in Central Park, I managed a paltry one and a quarter before puttering out to a fast walk which then turned into me pretending to be fixing Avery’s glove but really catching my breath. Today I got all the way up to a mile and a half. It’s going to be a long road. I am currently googling “flattest parts of Central Park to run.”
• Let’s just say I wasn’t running at my typical pace.
• I love having the girls with me. Maddie seemed really Zen and into the whole experience, all cuddled up in her fuzzy pajamas and coat and hat and mittens and blanket. Avery was so very excited every time she saw a dog, of which there are many in the park, which means Avery was excited pretty much the entire time.

I am going to keep going, though, and figure within a month I can double my miles and within two, be back to my old pace and distance. At least, that is my intention, winter and crazy hills be damned.

And the bean thing strikes again. Since we bought the new stroller I put our old stroller up to sale…and it sold!

Pictured above, my new running partners.


calliope said...

wow. you are all kinds of awesome!
I bet the girls are loving the adventures.

suz said...

The bob is an awesome stroller (we just have the single). Even though it seems like you're wimping out, you're doing a much tougher workout so by the time you get back to your old mileage but with a double stroller you'll be way more fit than you were before!

K J and the kids said...

Look if you have to have a running partner....those two are the PERFECT ones. So supportive and by supportive I mean, willing to sit in a stroller in the cold while you run.
My kids try climbing out, hit and kick at the other one, throw shit so I have to stop and pick all but the shirt on their backs up.

Shelli said...

if you get comfortable enough to do the "upper loop," and by upper loop I mean - OH MY LAWDY, let me know, and some random Monday, Malka and I can meet you at the playground at the top of the park!

Michelle said...

I also love the Bob stroller (single here). So easy to push and maneuver (I am often walking baby and dog together).

It is a LOT harder to run with a stroller than to run on a treadmill. Pushing the stroller is its own exercise. But think of what a better workout you'll be getting between the stroller and the varied terrain of the park.

CD and SP said...

Hmm..I remember when I foolishly thought I could run a 5K "training" around the Reservoir behind-ish the Met (more in front of the Frick)--a 2-ish mile loop on the East Side. It was flat enough and your big-ass stroller wheels can handle the part that's on dirt easily. Might be a hike for you if you're on the W. side though. But--a good warm-up walk, probably!

utRus said...

we LOVE and I mean LOVE our Bob Revolution Duallie. the thing is brilliant. did you get the sun-shade too? it's also pretty good for keeping the drizzle or light rain off, as opposed to the "weather shield" which is more plastically. also, you should get one of these if you don't already have one: http://www.rei.com/product/710206

anyhow, have fun running and taking some long fast speedwalks! good stuff! and even better that the weight of the girls will increase little by little giving you a better workout! :)

Lynnbug said...

That is a great idea--you get to get out--the kids get out--wonderful! I wish I had that kind of energy.

Jess said...

You are an inspiration to us all!