Monday, May 20, 2013

Faces of Races

I've never bought any of the photos taken by professional photographers at road races with the exception of a set from the Philadelphia Marathon which I then gave to members of my famliy for Christmas (really? what was I thinking? At the time they insisted they wanted them which was sweet of them anyway...). But it is nice having the link to photos of most races I've run right there next to my name in the results. Faces of Races. A permanent record of faces of pain, triumph, bad fashion choices, ill thought out sunglasses.
May 2013: It feels like a 35:59, but alas it's a 39:58. The dreaded season of tree pollen, makes me breathe not so much.

May 2013: So spent after a massive asthma attack, I am practically walking across the finish line... in 40:03 (yes, better stop that watch, who knows that ginormous chip on the back of your bib may malfunction!)

June 2008: Casually jogging it in for 18.13 5 km because I had given up on running "fast" (Hey Younger PPC - enjoy that 18.13, they're going to become scarce! (oh and while you're at it, buy stock in google). Hey Present Day PPC enjoy that 39.58 and the relatively fit and healthy body that allowed you to run it!

October 2010: one of my best recent races, a 17.52 5 km in which I was 100% focussed and committed and finished absolutely on my knees; you'd never know it from the casual expression here 200 m from the finish with my tongue LITERALLY in my cheek.
March 2010: Racing at my ideal running weight and cruising to a 17.55 (and my GINORMOUS mittens probably broke 17:50).
March 2009: Racing on the same course one year before the previous picture about 15 pounds over my ideal racing weight but with a 5 month old fetus on board.
September 2011: "Racing" the 1 km with Thing 1 and learning it is far easier to get across the finish line with the baby inside than outside. In actuality I was experiencing both as Thing 2 was safely tucked away inside me when this photo was taken.

Don't call child services, things were much better just a few seconds later.

July 2012: And even better a little under a year later as Thing 1 found the joy in crossing the finish line under her own power.
September 2012: Bad hair
April 2013: Bad form
June 2009: All I remember is that grass felt so good after 9.6 km of pavement.
October 2007: Just a perfect fall day.
Thanks for the memories Photo (and sorry I am so cheap!). I promise to start shelling out some bucks for the photos when Thing 1 & Thing 2 start hitting the roads some more.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Newfound freedom

It has been so long since I last wrote anything other than work-related text that whatever narrative ability I ever had has completely atrophied. Finally, I bring fingers to keyboard to celebrate my latest and now favorite running gadget, in fact I love it so much, I took a double. Thing1 and Thing 2, your Chariot awaits (your 2007 CX2 Chariot that is...)

I love the chariot for many reasons (and apparently I love it way more than Thing 2 does in this photo). First off, despite being almost 7 years old (purchased second hand), it rolls like a dream. On flat, even ground there is barely any percpetible extra effort over running alone. The only real increase in effort comes from not being able to swing my arms and not from the actual pushing of the chariot. And even then, the chariot rolls so straight that I find I often give it a firm push and run for a few strides behind it without even touching it. Or, sometimes to the kids dismay, I give it a push and then pick up my pace and run in front of it waving cheerfully at them.

From an assembly/disassembly standpoint, it is super easy even for a klutz like me. I did not watch the previous owner disassemble it and yet I was able to put it together, without instructions, in under 2 minutes. The quality of manufacturing is very apparent in the way the pieces are constructed and fit together. Fully disassembled, it takes less room than I expected. We easily fit it into the trunk of our Hyundai Elantra Touring with room to spare for other items. I had always assumed that if I ever did take the plunge into the double running stroller world, I would not be able to use it as a means of transport for the kids to daycare simply because it would consume too much real estate in the small sized storage room our daycare has to offer for strollers. I am actually feeling optimistic that I will be able to store the CX2 there after all without annoying too many people.

It is also worth mentioning the storage space; there is ample storage space behind the children though overloading it does mean the items will press into the passengers backs.

And the reason I love the CX 2 the most; here is what transpires within the first 5 minutes of the run:

Ok, so one out of two isn't bad... and the one who isn't asleep is still awfully happy. Which kind of highlights the one major drawback. The passengers cannot recline in the Chariot which makes my primary purpose for this stroller somewhat awkward; I was hoping to use it at night to put both chlidren to sleep while ALSO getting my run in. Thing 1, who can sometimes be a tough nut to crack, is clearly demonstrating above that the lack of a proper business class lie-flat seat might mean sleeping by stroller is not feasible.

Overall though I am hoping that having the CX2 in our lives will mean using the car less and therefore reducing our environmental footprint and saving on gas and wear and tear on our 2009 Elantra Touring. In return I hope to increase the mileage on the 1974 PiccolaPineCone because she is in a sorry state of unfit these days...