How do you entertain three kids while running?
They have been in the stroller a lot, so they are used to it. And the race was amazing; people cheered for us the whole way. I’ve also tried really hard to pull away from the habit of providing my kids with constant entertainment. Being in the stroller for runs is a quiet time for them. They can talk to each other and look around, take a nap. I’ve read a lot of research about the benefits of quiet time and children aren’t getting enough of that time anymore, which hurts imagination and creativity.
That being said, none of that was even happening at the race. The atmosphere was amazing; the kids had a great time. We went through a tunnel, over a bridge, we saw horses, a piano player in a field, dogs in costumes … all things that kids love.
I also had snacks and water for them. I tied a rope to the stroller (you can see it in the pictures). It was not to hold the kids in, it was to hold their water bottle and baby chew toys that normally get tossed over on runs.
How did you find the right stroller?
Unfortunately there are very few triples to choose from.
How about the Deena Kastor shoutout?
That was so neat; I wasn’t expecting it. I didn’t even know she was there. She is an amazing person and I feel honored, very honored to be acknowledged by her.
How do you balance being a mom with this kind of training? Is it fun taking your kids to ‘work’ with you?
Taking my kids with me is an emotional experience. They get to see everything I do and experience all of the things I get to see on a run. My kids have grown up riding in the stroller. They take all their naps in the stroller, and it’s a comfort to them to gently rock along as the world goes by.
They see all kinds of amazing things on our runs; lots of wild animals, beautiful sunsets, clouds, trees and other people outside. They witness the change of the seasons. We have run all over the country together.
What kind of precedent do you think this sets for your children?
I want them to feel inspired by their childhood. Not many kids get to say they rode a stroller to a world record. I want my kids to know that if you work hard at things you are good at, you can do big things.
What advice would you give moms about running? Especially after returning to running after pregnancy?
Just because you have a kid, it doesn’t mean you should stop doing what you love. Parents often think that since they’ve had kids they can’t do what they want to do and they can’t stay active. Kids shouldn’t change your life that way. Parents can stay active with their kids in the stroller. It’s good for them to see active parents and encourages them to have a healthy lifestyle when they grow up. I used to go on 12 mile runs with my baby and would have to stop and nurse on the side of the road, then keep going. Your runs are less planned, but they are still possible.
By Allie Parker. Parker is a rising senior at Virginia Tech where she studies Political Science, Pre-law and runs marathons.