Training in the cold with a newborn = adventures abound!

This probably goes down as one of my more adventurous weeks of motherhood.

First, bundling up Greta for a stroller ride when air temps are -2 is a big deal (and windchills in the -30s). How do we do it?
First: three outfits, the last last of which is a HUGE monkey suit. It’s funny because it’s twice her size and usually you can’t even see her in it since the hood covers her eyes. Don’t forget socks on the feet AND hands.

Gigantic monkey suit!
Then, nurse so that she’s full and happy during the ride.
Next, get myself ready. Brooks down jacket = my jacket of choice now! It’s so cozy!
Not me. Photo from
While dressing, heat up both a corn bag (homemade) and a heat pack. Throw in the stroller to warm up the inside of it before she gets in.
Take heaters out, reheat in the microwave for the ride.
Then put the kiddo in the stroller, and let’s go! This entire process takes no short of 45-60 minutes. Usually we’re running a little behind so breakfast is hit or miss for me. Yay fasted runs? It’s probably a good thing, I still have some baby weight to shed.
Some of our adventures this week:
1. I caused a mailman to fall
Yep. We were running on one of these -30 degree windchill days and the mailman from across the street tries to figure out what’s in the stroller. He/She looked over at us, then bent over to look into the stroller, kept staring, bent down further to get a better look, and must have stepped on something because then he/she took a digger.
Greta and I stopped while they got up. He/she waved and we were then both on our merry ways.
Our mailman is not a polar bear. Sadly. That’d be pretty cool.
2. I completely messed up a “community baby shower” event
I was excited because the air temp was above 10! 
We get suited up, but are running late (darn Greta, she decided she was STILL hungry after getting into her stroller… commence mom racing to find a bottle and frantically feed…). Plus, it’s super windy which has caused the sidewalks to be blown over with snow. There were literally more than 5+ times that the snow was just too deep and I had to walk/push the stroller through deep snowbanks. I look crazy. Turns out that slows your pace.
A good strength workout?
We get to the community center 12 minutes late. I consider this a success based on the morning and our commute.
Where we go for our ECFE classes. Can’t wait until it looks like this instead of it being covered in snow and ice!
Except… there’s really no one here? Weird… 
My first thought: Is it Thursday? (good question when you have a newborn!)
Then I saw that the event actually started at 10, not 10:30. What? How did I miss that? Now we’re about 45 minutes late! Crap. (my exact thoughts)
I then saw the parent educator in the hallway. Apparently the shower had been rescheduled because they didn’t want people out in the cold. They had emailed everyone that registered (oops, guess I missed that memo about registering… along with the start time detail… ahh…).
Leave it to me to RUN with my kid to an event that they cancelled due to the extreme cold!
In case you’re wondering, I registered for the rescheduled baby shower when we arrived back home.
On the plus side, we got in 6 miles with drills and strides to and from the cancelled event!
3. Craig told me to get my lazy ass out the door on Monday

Ok, so that’s not exactly how he put it.
I had a run planned Monday but after “mom club”, Greta and I decided it was more fun to hang out inside our heated home than to go for a run in the negative temps.
An expertly timed text at about 3:00 asked me how my run had gone. Our conversation:
Me: I haven’t gone out :(. 1. Think it’s too cold for munchkin and 2. Sooooo unmotivated 🙁

Craig: You should go run. Even just 20 min. It’s either that or the treadmill if you’re worried about lil’ G, but doesn’t outdoors sound way more fun?

Me: Ahhhh, yes. But no at the same time. I’m dressed for outside, just stalling. maybe when Nate gets home so I can just run without the stroller/getting her all bundled. I don’t know why I’ve had such motivation issues lately… I used to be so dedicated! I think part of it is that running is just downright hard now. I know there’s only one way to make it easier…

Craig: That’s understandable, which is why I’m telling you to suck it up and run anyway. Go while it is light out so Nate and I can ski in the dark.

Me: Ahh shit. I know you are right. I’ll get out.
I got out. I raised his 20 minutes and did 21 MINUTES. Proud of myself. And also so thankful for a good friend that knows when to yell at me.
I do think I have been more lax in my coaching relationship with Chris than with Jerry. Perhaps I need to ask Chris to be firm with me when I’m struggling with motivation…
4. Jeff pulled out one of the best responses as of late
We meet at Fit to Be Tri’d for a lot of our runs. On Tuesday quite a few schools decided to close because of the cold. That takes a lot for us hearty Minnesotans! 
So, it’s freakishly cold. And I’m running with a newborn in a stroller.
Tom’s appropriate greeting when we arrived with the stroller: “You’re not taking your kid out in weather like this, are you?”
Jeff, without any hesitation, says, “Oh no. Of course not! We brought Mesa in the Chariot instead today!”
I swear Tom came running out from behind the counter to see the dog in the chariot. HAHAHA. Nope, just Greta.
I give kudos to Jeff for being so quick witted.
I give myself kudos for getting after my 20×15 second hill repeats later in the run! GET AFTER IT!

5. Greta’s stroller goes rogue

I’m so proud of myself that we’re out the door on time. We’re meeting Craig at the shop at 11:30, so we started getting ready at 9:45. We breast feed, get her dressed, and then mix a bottle because she still seems hungry. She decides it’s more fun to be silly and have a smiling fest while trying to eat. Ug. I get myself ready in between failed attempts to feed her – until she’d fuss because she was actually hungry. Then, more smiley eatings… then mom gets stuff ready… then some fussiness… you get the picture.

We get into the stroller and she starts to wail. “I’m HUNGRY, mom!”, Greta shrieks. No! We have to go! I bring bottle out to the stroller, propping it up so that she can eat but that I can still start running. Wonder how long it’ll stay in this position…

Then, try to close garage door. Big gloved hands = multiple attempts at the code. After the 2nd failed try, I turn to see the stroller rolling down the driveway! AHHHHHHH!!!!!

I sprint to catch her as the stroller crashes into the snow bank.

Actually, it was more of a gentle stop into the snow, but it reminded me: Wear the safety strap when closing the garage door 🙂

I only hope the neighbors were watching. It would have been fun to have watched, I’m sure.

So far this week I’m on track for 45+ miles! Woot, woot! After Monday’s motivational issues I’ve decided that my goal is to get out every day and do the workouts that Chris writes. Running won’t get easier until I’m stronger/more fit.
Let’s get after it!

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  1. Major props to you for beating your motivation blues at the beginning of the week! Especially with the insanely cold temps! It is amazing how much effort is put into going for a run with you have a newborn! You are inspiration that it's still do-able to get it in, even with the obstacles!

  2. You gave me some motivation today, it was chilly 15 above. i was going to re-schedule my appointment waiting for the bus which is 20 minute walk because it was late and super cold. Well the bus came and got the appointment done. On the way home I felt kinda proud, I told myself if my sister can do -50 below with an infant I can do this! So thanks 🙂

  3. You are lucky you can run! My incision still bothers me from time-to-time. I don't feel is as early in the run, but I am only good for 5 or 6 miles before I start to feel it. :/

  4. Hi Nichole. Are you finding that you can run faster after the birth of your baby? We have a local girl called Lizzie Lee (Leevale Cork) who runs around the same pace as you who also had a baby recently. I think that in her first race in her comeback she set a PB. You might want to Google Lizzie as you two have a lot in common.

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