I haven’t shared my crazy story here about how two weeks ago, I ran 13.1 miles pushing the double stroller. Yes, that is not a typo. I am certain that I’ve fallen into a new category of runners.
Running has been happening even though I haven’t really written about it here in some time. This fall/winter, I’m signed up for two half marathons. One was a couple weekends ago and the other is the first weekend of December.
I’ve been officially training since August 2, though I’ve been running consistently since May. Like last time, 95% of my runs are pushing the stroller except that now it’s a double stroller. Sometimes I get lucky and only have to push the single or get even luckier and can run all ALONE.
This time around, I knew I wanted to really push myself a little harder with training so I’ve been following the Hal Higdon Intermediate plan. My first race was scheduled for October 24 and December 6 is my next one. If you follow me on Instagram, you might know that the October race got cancelled due to weather. Here’s where the part about running 13.1 miles with a double stroller comes into play.
I was super determined, after having trained for 12 weeks to run my half marathon. But the rest of that entire race weekend it was raining, so we knew the only way to run our “race” was to do it during the week while pushing our strollers. We decided to run it on that Monday morning, since the weather had cleared by then.
The meeting spot was downtown at the lake, which has more than enough trails to comfortably suit the distance we needed to run 13.1 miles with our strollers. The fun part about running with a stroller is that you can carry things in the stroller pockets/console like water and snacks. My friend brought extra GU and shared it with me, which was awesome since I forgot.
The three of us (one didn’t have a stroller) started out at a good pace. The run was mostly on semi-flat mixed gravel/concrete trails and the weather was in the low 60’s to start. I failed to record my splits for each mile, but I think we averaged 9:00 – 9:30 minute miles for the first 6 miles. It was a great pace for running a 10K but I knew that things probably wouldn’t stay that way the entire time.
For me personally, if I know I’m running a longer distance (meaning, longer than 1 hour) AND pushing 50+ lbs. of stroller and kids, I knew that I would have to slow my pace down a little.
After about mile 6, I started dialing things down a bit and slowed to about 10:00 – 10:30 minute miles. I knew I had at least another hour of running left to do, so decided to err on the conservative side. It was around this time that I popped some GU and stopped to give the toddler his first snack. That was a mistake. He kept asking for snacks about every 2 minutes for the rest of my run. Let’s just say I was over it by mile 8.
Despite that, the kids did great. I know it is a lot to ask of a 2 year old toddler and a 7 month old baby to sit in a stroller for over 2 hours so my expectations were pretty low. With the baby not so much, but the toddler yes. There were probably about 10 different times (though I really didn’t count) I had to stop for snacks or lost crayons or some other random reason. I’m glad I packed plenty of snacks and activities to keep the toddler busy. Mostly, he was just happy that I was giving him food every 15 minutes.
By mile 11, I hit my wall. I knew it was coming because from past experience, that’s usually where I hit my wall but this time it was definitely harder because of pushing the stroller. The temptation to stop and walk was very high at this point, especially since the other mom I was running with was ahead of me by a few minutes. (Stroller-free mom left us in the dust.) I sucked down the last remaining applesauce pouch that was meant for my toddler and it never tasted so good as in that moment. By this point, I was starting to run low on water but thankfully I was almost done.
From start to finish, it took me exactly 2 hours, 19 minutes and 59 seconds to run 13.1 miles. My average pace was 10:41 which is certainly nothing to write home about but since I pushed a double stroller the entire time, I think that counts for something.
Since then, my friend and I have joked about how it takes a certain special type of crazy person to run a half marathon with a double stroller and I’d have to agree. While I love running, I certainly don’t have a desire to run 13.1 miles again with a double stroller anytime soon. But I’m glad to have a crazy special type of friend who will push her double stroller next to me for 13.1 miles. 😉
Next up, I hear the course for my December race is nice and flat. Also, I will be running stroller free. Yes and yes.