Rolling On Down the Road
I drove past a shirtless guy today HAMMERING down the road with earbuds in and a toddler in his running stroller. Seriously, he was running like he was being chased by the mafia (or his wife trying to get him to do the laundry)…sprinting so fast that I wanted to buy his kid a helmet and a pair of wrist guards. I was both in awe and sort of terrified, wanting to applaud him and report him at the same time. This guy is obviously not alone — according to the Guinness Book of World Records:
- The fastest time to complete the 10 km (6.2 miles) Pram Pushing race: 34 min 19 sec (by Russell Stokes pushing his daughter Paris, at the Sydney Striders 10k Race, Sydney, Australia, on 1 March 2008)
- The fastest female time to run a half marathon while pushing a pram: 1 hr 30 min 51 sec (by Nancy Schubring (USA) at the Mike May Races Half Marathon, Vassar, Michigan, USA on 15 September 2001)
- The male record for the fastest time to run a half-marathon while pushing a pram: 1 hr 15 min 8 sec (by Neil Davison (UK) who completed the City of Norwich Half Marathon, Norfolk, UK on 12 June 2005)
- The fastest time to run a marathon while pushing a pram: 2 hr 42 min 21 sec (by Michael Wardian (USA) at the Frederick Marathon, Frederick, Maryland, USA, on 6 May 2007)
A 2:42 marathon pushing a stroller — seriously? And people are competing for world records in stroller pushing — really?
I’ve done my fair share of fast running with a stroller (usually when it was the only option or when I couldn’t quiet a screaming baby at 5am). And in those moments, I was overwhelming grateful to be able to get out the door at all; it was often the only chance I had at a real-deal workout. So I totally respect and understand sprinting stroller man…and seeing him reminded me that for every thing there is a season.
But as time has gone on, and the kids have grown tired of sitting for long periods of time and I’ve wanted to carve out workout time as “me time,” my stroller runs are now more about company and conversation. They’re about us, not me. We talk about the seasons and traffic patterns and how the flowers smell and how the neighborhood construction projects are coming along; and the kids ask questions like “why does that car have a blanket on it?” and “why did that guy walk when the light was red?” We look at the ocean. We figure out what we’re going to eat for brunch afterwards. We don’t count miles, we count park benches. We have low heart rates and high spirits.
I’ve learned to love these runs for what they are — family time. And save the sweaty sprints for the treadmill.