Dandelions and Dog Poo: Exercising With Children

With the longer days and warmer temperatures, my thoughts have turned to getting into a regular exercise routine. I’m trying to keep it realistic since most of my time is spent with my children and there’s a limited amount of exercise I can reasonably do with a two-year-old and a seven-year-old in tow.

There is a rail trail in our town, though, and I was thinking I might be able to put the toddler in the jogging stroller and my daughter on her training-wheels bike and do at least a little bit of running a couple of times a week. And since Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea (authors of Train Like a Mother) state the miles run while pushing a jogging stroller count double, that means I could easily get my weekly mileage up to nearly 20 miles with just three runs a week (or up to 6 miles with just one run a week, since I’m trying to be reasonable with my goals here).

Today was our proof-of-concept run. Er…walk.

My son insisted on riding his walking bike so we left the jogging stroller at home. After 10 minutes on the trail, we’d gone about 20 feet and my son had fallen about 12 times (two of which were actually unintentional). We finally stashed the walking bike in the trunk, and he and I walked hand-in-hand, pausing every few steps to throw things in the water-filled ditch to the side of the trail or smell the weeds or collect dandelions for his “bouquet,” all the while trying to keep up with my daughter who was pedaling away on her bike. The highlight was when my son ignored my cries of warning and picked up a piece of dog poo he thought was a rock.

Successfully revising my expectations rather dramatically on the fly, I was feeling great about getting out and walking with the kids for a half-hour today. Until, that is, I mapped our walk and discovered that it took us 30 minutes to walk 0.78 miles.

Not a bad toddler pace, I guess, but I probably didn’t need to struggle into my sports bra for that.

It was, however, a good trial run. If I can get my son to sit in his jogging stroller next time, I’m confident I can get a little closer to my standard 10-minute-mile pace. And perhaps we’ll even be able avoid needing to use quite as much hand-sanitizer as we used today.

One Reply to “Dandelions and Dog Poo: Exercising With Children”

  1. i love this! Especially you struggling into your sports bra… and the poo, of course. It may not have been your dream workout, but what a great time for your kids to spend with you.


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