Running is my sane place. I started running back in 2007 when my college roommates asked if I wanted to run the Honolulu Marathon with them that year. I laughed and said “sure.” I had never really run before but thought it would be something fun the three of us could do together. I walked the last six miles of that (my first) race but when I crossed the finish line, I was someone new: a runner.
While I have gone through seasons of running less, running has become a passion of mine. It is great exercise and the best way for me to clear my head. I got a dog (Apollo) and he became a great running partner. I added a second dog (Kona) and we became quite the trio; I was occasionally recognized in public and asked if I was the girl running with the yellow lab and German shepherd. Yep, that was me.
And then I added a baby. I must be nuts, right? Most days, I think so. But my husband is gone a lot for work and the dogs need the exercise, I need the exercise, and if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. So I’ve learned to make it work. Running with dogs is fairly straightforward; I personally recommend the following:
-a reflective leash
- a good harness (I just discovered Kurgo and LOVE them!)
-poop bags (seriously, I can’t stand people who leave their dogs’ waste lying around)
-water if you plan on being gone longer than an hour (I follow the general rule that if I stop for a drink, the dogs get a drink too, especially on warm weather days)
Add a baby into the mix and it gets a little more complicated. I recommend:
- a jogging stroller (if you plan on trail running, make sure the wheels are at least 6” in diameter)
- a weather shield for the stroller (leaves no excuses for cold/wind/rain/snow…I know, you hate me now)
-toys to occupy baby
When running with dogs and/or baby, don’t expect to run for time. Dogs like to sniff and pee on everything; sometimes baby needs a mama break. Running while pushing a stroller is a GREAT workout, so you may even find yourself improving your solo-run time (does this even exist anymore? Ha!). Most importantly, have fun. Lace up your shoes and get yourself out the door. It may be stressful getting everyone ready (it has taken me upwards of an hour to get us all ready and out the door) but once you start, you won’t regret it.
A little about Megan: I'm currently a stay at home mama to a little man named Declan. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology at Hawaii Pacific University, where I focused on marine mammalogy. After graduating and moving back to Washington, I worked for a marine mammal research organization, doing photo identification work and stranding response. I currently live in central North Carolina but hope to make it back to the coast so I can work in my field again. You may remember me from my previous guest post on The Pierogie Mama on how to make your zoo visit count!