This morning when I opened the curtains I saw our neighbor heading out for one of her first runs with her new baby. I was so proud of her for getting to it so soon, but I couldn’t help but think of some tips for her as I was running later today.
So, if you have recently ventured into parenthood and are considering starting or continuing running, here are my tips for you: all free of charge, paid for with my experience.
1. It’s really not too cold for the baby. Let’s be honest here: it’s too cold for you.
2. Invest in good equipment. Some say this really increases your enjoyment, thus making you want to run more. I say it really ups your guilt level, thus motivating you to use the stroller you just paid exorbitant amounts of money for. Or maybe a little bit of both.
3. Do not, under any circumstances, eat or drink more than 2 ounces of liquid within an hour of starting your run. Unless you are one of those people who actually did kegels before, during, and after childbirth. If so, don’t talk to me about it.
4. Plan on your departure time for each run being hopelessly and inevitably delayed. Every time. Therefore, plan to have bathroom breaks for all potty trained kid/adults accordingly.
5. Be sure to leave the house running, looking put together, barely breaking a sweat. As soon as you pass the last neighbor’s house that you know, you now have permission to walk/sweat/pass out.
6. If you used to run, double your per-mile pace and halve your distance. Consider anything beyond this an accomplishment worthy of a medal, or at the very least, some ice cream. If you are new to running, lose the watch.
7. To be safe, alter your route and time, don’t wear earphones (hey, I can feel your sneers of dissapproval), and take an overprotective dog or relative with you. I don’t have an overprotective relative, so I take the dog. She is for hire.
8. If no one vomits or screams during the run (this includes you) you may have double the amount of ice cream upon returning to the house. Hey, it’s a good stretch goal.
9. Try running by yourself sometime. You will now feel what it’s like to be an Olympian. Of course, I do mean completely by yourself: even the presence of other adults can break this fragile illusion.
10. Remember, upon rounding the corner where neighbors may see you, to begin running again. If you’re not smiling, then you should start. I won’t tell.
Really, though running with Abi has been an amazing experience. Many a hard-earned nap time has come about from running together, we have had lots of run exploring new places, and met some incredible moms and dads who also love to do this stuff. It’s truly worth it and I feel so blessed to have an outlet for those days that try my nerves and my patience!