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First things first
This is an official, unofficial list of 5 things to do before you run a race pushing a stroller. I have done this several times and each time I have made major mistakes, comical, hilarious, why-did-I-not-get-these-on-video mistakes. Hence, the official, unofficial list.
First, you need about a 35 – 37 lb child – I prefer boys so I will be talking about a boy here. Maybe this isn’t the first thing, as this is the obvious. But, for funsies sake lets start with you need a cute child and a stroller. My stroller is a BOB. I heard someone describe them as “…the monster trucks of strollers…” HaHa this is perfect because they are beasts!! The wheels are huge, the lower part will hold ginormous bags, food cooler, Kavu Purse, water bottles and a boppie (some little people call these blankets 😉 )!
OK, I digress, sorry squirrel moment. Let me start over, you have a child and a stroller…now lets begin.
1- Have all food ready and within arms reach
I should say this seems obvious. However, there is nothing more infuriating then when you are running, great speed, kicking up some good gravel when your sweet child is hungry. Ugh the-what-the- NO! You pull to the side, dig around the ginormous bottomless bag holder and search for food. Even a simple apple sauce pack can slow you down.
So, make sure you have the snack tray. A MUST! Do NOT try to run a race without this most amazing stroller asset. This is the best tool we have on the stroller – it will hold his snack and juice/milk with no issues. With his bottle in the holder and his snack(s) on his tray – you can not not win (or at least run your buns off). Then on each side of his seat, are two pockets. I will put extra baggies (already opened – this is the key here) for him to grab whatever he wants.
I also, have a little chat with my love of my life. Explaining that mommy is running and wants to do really well in the race, so what do you need before we get started. Let’s get it all out now. Tell mommy everything you may think you want, even if I think it is absolutely ridiculous. During the run will be the time little man would want his remote control monster truck – not that extreme but you get the point.
2- Have tablet on and ready
I thought I was going to be that mom that did not use her phone for entertainment or, heaven forbid, let my child use a tablet (iPad, computer) before the age of 4. Oh, how wrong I was. It was my first training run with little man that I realized that I had to have some form of entertainment. When I train, I am not as equipped for the little person. I just go out and run. For races, completely different story.
We got a small tablet from T-Mobile when we switched over phone companies and soon realized that that was the perfect size for his little fingers and hands. Immediately purchased a case for it just in, well, case, he actually drops it and slams it to the ground. Which he has on runs, walks, just standing there holding it – so money well spent. We have Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video installed so we covered all the bases. The only problem is, he can’t change his mind mid-run and want to switch shows/movies that is from one network to another.
I have his movie/show ready and in the back pocket of his seat, so all I need to do it grab and slide to him when he wants it. If he hasn’t already started before the race. Great distraction and an easy way to keep him occupied during the race.
3- Change the diaper right before the race
Even if little man only went minimally before I start running, I change his diaper. I never know what he is liable to do during the race. Should say, I have been very, very lucky during my races that little man has never had an accident. And, he, as of now, is potty training so that might change the game considerably when I run my next race. Or, I just say screw it and keep his cute behind in a diaper at least for the run. Yeah, I’ll do that – no sense making a stinky when I can solve the problem with a diaper. Ha!
But, I digress. I always make sure he is completely dry and clean before the race. Now, of course, accidents happen and what can you do – the health of your little one is too important. So, just pull over and change him. This is also why I always have trash bags in the stroller, tucked underneath, on the side, top – I have them stashed everywhere. They ball up so they really do not take up space.
4- Have a towel at the ready
Most races start early in the morning where the temperature is much cooler. By the time you are finished everyone is sweating and soaked, even the stroller. One race, I made the mistake of having little man in the cutest little track suit, he was so hot at the finish that I could not rip his jacket off fast enough. Poor guy! So now, unless it is in the winter months, I usually have his legs bare (shorts) and he has a jacket on. Something that can still be taken off easily if it really came down to it. I never put a hoodie on because that involves limbs and parts moving and clothes getting caught on his neck. (Actually happened, I can laugh about it now but then, I used colorful adjectives).
This is also where the towel comes in. I use the running towels you get at races, small and yet really long so I can wrap his legs up if I need to and then he can take it off if he gets hot. Also, with all of the food he eats, he can wipe his hands, if he gets sweaty he can wipe his face. These actually are the best towels because they are microfiber so they sop up anything and are perfect for toddler legs.
And they ball up nice and small and tight so it is not a bulky item in your stroller or anything that will weigh heavily down. Unlike, little mans boppie (blanket) a full twin blanket that he carries everywhere where we have had to fight him to keep it. Literally has got caught in the wheels, again I am only writing about knowledge of the subject of actual experiences.
And finally, I am a huge component of sunblock. I have had many training runs where I forget this and little mans legs are so red. I feel just horrible. Now I always have babyganics sunscreen spray 50+ that I just whip out and apply to his legs. So easy, really not that messy and if it really came down to it you could spray while running and know they are protected.
I should add, I use their products for majority of little man’s daily activities. They have a great insect repellent, body lotion, eczema cream, body wash, you name it – they probably have a product for your bundle of joy. And, I may be wrong, but, I previously wrote about Toys R Us closing down and they may have these products on sale now. It will definitely be worth checking out.
Official, unofficial list
As I mentioned, this is the official, unofficial list of 5 things to do before running a race pushing a stroller. It never fails to forget something or run out of something before the race starts. Especially pushing a stroller during a race usually means that you will start in the very back. This past race we ran in Charleston, SC (Cooper River Bridge Run) and we had to start in the last corral – literally a full HOUR from the start of the race. Little man drank all of his juice and half of his food – so, I say all of this as the utopia of running a race perfectly; but, it hardly always work out this way.
Happy running. Until the next race.