Have you ever done something crazy to ensure you can run?
Like head out the door at 3:00 a.m., because you were traveling all day but wanted to get a run in? Or wash off with baby wipes before a business meeting because you had to run but couldn’t shower?
My husband is in the military and was recently deployed again. When the military deploys a married soldier, they give them a little extra money each month called “Family Separation Pay”. This is supposed to help ease the burden on the spouse back home. Many hire a lawn service or house cleaner. Others might treat themselves to a spa day or some other luxury to help forget their loneliness. Me? I bought a triple running stroller!
When I decided I wanted to have three kids, a serious consideration was how I was going to run, since I could no longer fit them all in a running stroller. I got a treadmill for the basement, which has certainly helped, but it hasn’t solved all my running problems. I’ve tried to be creative, doing workouts at the playground while they play in the infield, but it’s hit or miss on how much I can get in. And I can’t justify the cost of paying for childcare just so I can run, at least not at this point. But I need regular, dependable, running to keep me sane while my husband’s gone.
The Search for the Elusive Triple
After much research, I couldn’t find anyone that currently manufactures a triple running stroller. There must not be a high demand for these for some reason – Ha! The last company to make one was BebeLove, and you can still find plenty new on Amazon and eBay. But the reviews for these strollers aren’t great, and it’s a lot of money to fork over for something that doesn’t seem like it will withstand regular or faster running. Valco Baby currently makes a high end, well-reviewed double running stroller, and has an additional “Joey Seat” that snaps onto the front converting it into a triple. I contacted the company, and they made it clear that they do not recommend running with three children in the stroller. After seeing it in person, I agree; putting one child out front makes it seem like balance would be an issue.
There are several options for triple strollers out there (think day-care style), but none of these seem agile enough for running. Multiple companies also make “Stand Boards” that can attach to the back of double strollers, but these are not good for running either. Leg room for the adult pushing the stroller becomes a problem, as well as the safety and tolerance of the child standing!
After a few weeks of eBay stalking, a Baby Jogger Q-Series Triple became available, and at a cost less than the brand new, but poorly reviewed, BebeLoves. Since this stroller was discontinued in 2008, I couldn’t find any reviews, but felt confident since Baby Jogger is a reliable company with good product reputation. I contacted the company directly and they gave a generic answer about how they base their supplies off market needs.
Found! But was it as wonderful as I expected?
In theory it seemed like a good idea, but how was a triple running stroller in practice?
I LOVE IT! One of my best, favorite, purchases of all time. Worth every penny, and I’ll just resell it to another crazy runner when my oldest is too big to fit in it. It’s given me flexibility and reliability to routinely get runs in as a single parent. I still use my treadmill, but this allows me to run outside and share the experience with my children. To be honest, we missed running together.
As far as the stroller itself, I am pleasantly surprised with the condition. Although I bought it used, it must have been a floor model because it came in the original box, the tires have all their tread, and the stroller itself is in perfect condition, despite being over 10 years old. It is sturdy and solid, I’d even say comparable to my BOBs.
Running with the triple is not that much different than running with the double. It’s harder to turn with the fixed wheels, and I’m really slowing down and huffing and puffing on hills, but once I’m rolling, it’s fine. It’s too wide to fit through a normal doorframe, but when the wheels are removed, it actually folds up more compactly than my double BOB.
I do feel a bit like a freak-show out there, but mainly because of other people. When I’m blissfully unaware in my own world, it’s great. But every single car that passes either stops to make a comment or just stops to stare. I want to yell back, “Haven’t you ever seen a triple running stroller before?!” but I don’t, because I haven’t either! But it’s fine. Just as I don’t mind showing up places disheveled, in running clothes, and sweaty because it was an opportunity for me to run somewhere, I don’t mind the weird looks because I need this. I consider it a great investment, one that will keep me physically and mentally fit.
Have you ever gone to great lengths, or done something others might find questionable, so you can run?