I think I’ve figured out part of my problem with running: my stroller mocks me. Not just by its general cumbersomeness, or by its resistance, filled as it is with 30 pounds of Girlie. No, like anyone with whom you’re having an argument, the problem is all bound up in tone. By rights, it ought to fairly hum along, not unlike a cordless drill boring a hole. But it doesn’t. Most of the time, it rumbles like a car tire on a gravel road– “ch-hu- cru-Ch-hu”– and I’d swear I can feel the tiny imperfections in the surface of the rubber. On rare occasion, it’ll hit a steady, low tone “MMMMMMMMMMM…”, but it never finds that higher register, the elusive “mmmmmmmmmmmmmm”. Oh sure, it really pulls me down the hills, but most of the time my stroller is saying, “is that all you’ve got?”
I’ve been working toward my mid-summer memorial run, trying to prepare for lots of hills and heat. So I’ve started doing a timed loop, once a week, connecting two bridges in DC, plus a little leg out to the WWII Memorial and back. The first time out, I did it in about 37 minutes. Then I responded to that initially slow effort by a blistering 39 minutes. So today, I warmed up a little, then pushed out hard from the start, feeling every hill and the longer run I unwisely scheduled for yesterday. And I nearly quit when I saw that the homestretch was closed for the fireworks tomorrow, but I did a U-turn and took the long way around the blockages to get-er-dun in just under 37 minutes. I felt really good about this, but the stroller just rolled to a stop and headed back to the car while I tried to catch my breath.
Someday, stroller, I’ll make you whine. You just wait.