On Tuesday, as I was huffing and puffing through the first 2 miles of my 6 mile stroller run, a thought kept running through my mind – I really wish I didn’t care so much about my pace.  My comfortable pace is a 10 minute mile, but I don’t want to run a 10 minute mile.  I want to run faster.  Why? Does speed make one runner better than another? I don’t think so.  I still have it stuck in my head though that speed = success.

Through doing speed work while training for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, I did improve my pace and I can comfortably run in the 9 minute mile range.  I still want to do better than that.  I’ll admit I am totally envious when I see people who do long runs in the 7 minute and 8 minute range.  That amazes me.  People who are faster than that are just crazy :).  I secretly wish I could run that fast just so I could be done with my long runs sooner.  I mean if I could run 20 miles in 2 and a half hours, I’d do it every weekend.  Well, maybe not every weekend!

The thing is that I don’t think that other people that run 9 or 10 minute or slower miles are slow runners.  I’m just hard on myself when it comes to running.  During that 6 mile stroller run, my first 2 miles were above the 10 minute mark and I felt like I’d never warm up enough to go any faster.  Then a funny thing happened.  I had the stroller weather cover on because it was 35 degrees and Zain stuck his tiny little hand out of the cover vent and was waving it around.

Hello there

He kept saying “happy, happy, happy!” Over the weekend, we celebrated hubby’s birthday.  Zain didn’t quite get “happy birthday” down, but he could say “happy.”  He’s been saying happy all week.  When he started saying “happy” during our run, it was the perfect reminder of why I run.  It makes me happy.  While pushing the stroller is tough, I love running with Zain.  I love his company and when he talks to me while we run.  When he kept saying “happy,” it was just the reminder I needed.  Running = happiness.  It doesn’t matter what my pace is.  What matters is that I’m doing it.

Running in your PJs is the cool thing to do

While I fretted about my pace those first 2 miles, I chipped away at my time as I went.  I ran the next 3 miles in the 9 minute range and the last mile in 8:43.  Yesterday, I ran a little over 5 miles with Zain and opted to run hills.  Hills with the stroller are brutal, but I know they’re good for me.  I ran those hills with an average pace of 9:44; I used to run hills with the stroller with an average pace closer to an 11 minute mile.  One of these days, I’ll learn to stop stressing over my pace and pay attention to the small improvements I have made.  In the meantime, I’m thankful that I have my happy boy to remind me why I love to run.

Happiness is having this guy as your running buddy


  1. Kara says

    He’s such a cutie! I love those PJs! We always run in pajamas too :)

    I’ll never be super fast and I’m ok with that. My interest has always been on running further, not faster. :)

  2. says

    Bravo to you for doing hills with a stroller! I ran what was supposed to be an “easy” run with my double stroller on Tuesday. My pace was horrible. I was beating myself up for such a “poor” run. Then I realized that I don’t just run to have a good pace. I run because I enjoy it. Thanks for the reminder to RUN HAPPY!!!

  3. Michele says

    Those are some amazing averages with a stroller (esp the hill miles – WOW)!  From someone who runs about 7:45 on long runs, I can tell you that we ALL feel the way you talk about.  I don’t view runners who run 9/10 min miles as slow – but I’m always looking to speed up my runs and I’m totally envious of people who run low 7s and even 6s on long runs! I guess we all want to improve – isn’t that what makes achieving a PR so special? =)   Based on what you wrote – you have so much to be proud of – the improvements you have made are fantastic!!!

  4. robinbn says

    Such a cute post.  I can’t believe you did a sub-9 minute mile with the stroller.  To me that is amazing.  And I agree with Michele, all runners want to run just a little bit faster.  Sometimes, I think it is important to just relax and slow down.  Nice run!

  5. Tina Alestra says

    Like you, I beat myself up on pace also.  I just started getting serious about running last fall and I’m around a 10:30 mile.  I want to start running with my son in the jogger because I love his company when we go for walks.

    Glad you enjoyed your run.  I love reading your blog.  Thanks!

  6. Kyria_W says

    I agree! I think that we can’t help comparing ourselves to others or trying to better ourselves. It’s in our nature. And it’s okay as long as we remind ourselves that we are happy in the now! Thanks goodness for kids. They are so free and happy and honest! 

  7. Lu says

    Can you tell me the running stroller brand you use and if you have tried any others? I have a 38 pound child I run with occasionally, and am less than thrilled with my stroller.
    Lu @ tokeepmegoing.blogspot.com

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