Category Archives: running with a chariot

Unexpected Long Run

My plan for today was to get in a 10-12 km run. However, my plan changed very early this morningand it worked for the better. What I ended up with was a long run and after three days of not running it was exactly what I needed.

At some point between 5:00-6:00 this morning my youngest daughter (1) decided that it was time to get up. Eventually it became apparent that there was not anything we could do to get her back to sleep. 

My wife came up with the idea that I should take for a run. Initially I thought it was a silly idea but then realized that I was not going to get back to sleep soon either and that if I did not go this morning it would be tougher to go later in the day because I would be exhausted from the early wake up call.

I quickly got ready for a run and loaded my daughter into the Chariot and headed out. Since I had the day off from work today I had the benefit of not having to worry about being on a deadline. My goal quickly became an 18-20 km run and I ended up with an 18.8 km run.

While my day did not get off to an ideal start a change in plans it worked out for the better in this case. I managed more mileage than expected and my daughter managed to get back to sleep over the course of our run.

Running with my Kids

Today I managed to get in mileage with my kids in two seperate runs. The first one this morning was a shorter run with my two oldest daughters. Taking advantage of Sunday Bikedays, which shutdown the parkways here to traffic for part of the day, I took my 3 year old in the Chariot while my 6 year rode her bike alongside us…

We managed 4.6 km. Unfortunately today was the last day of the year for Bikedays this year. However, now that she is too big for longer runs in the Chariot having her bike alongside me gives me another way to continue bringing my oldest with me when I run in the weekends. Hopefully we will be able to take advantage of it more often next year.

Run number two of the day was a standard run with my 3 year old in the Chariot this afternoon. After loading snacks into the Chariot we were off for another run, with a stop along the way to return some library books.  This time I ended up with a run of just over 15 km. 

Overall, I managed just under 20 today. Splitting it into two runs was not ideal but it was what worked best and spending the time with two of my daughters made it more entertaining and enjoyable. 

Adjusting to a Newborn

I have not been running or posting much lately with the arrival of a newborn nearly two weeks ago. There has not been as much time for running as we adjust to the new arrival at home.

Fortunately I have been able to fit in some runs over that time to keep me active. Most of those runs have come late at night after the kids were asleep and before I shut down for the night.

Today I was fortunate enough to be able to get in a run during the day. It was a hot day, 30C (86F), but it was nice to get out during the day again. I also had a partner join me for the run…

10 km done w. My 3 yr old in the Chariot in the heat today #runningdad #running #instarunners #run613 #6run3

A post shared by Patrick Girard (@pat42.2) on

Eventually I will get back into a more regular running routine once things at home have settled down a bit. I will be pacing the Army Run half-marathon in September once again this year.

For now I am enjoying something more important, spending time at home with my family.

Running with a Stroller


Roughly six years ago my wife and I purchased a Chariot stroller so I could run with our oldest daughter. I did not realize at the time how big a role the stroller would play in my running.

One of the things I regret is not keeping track of the mileage I have put on it since I started running with my kids. I’ve surprised myself by how far I’ve gone with it (30+ km runs) and how much my two girls have tolerated it.

It has been a great way to spend time with my two girls on the weekends and also a great way to share something I enjoy with them while seeing the sites around our city. I’ve shared many adventures with both of them.

It has also been a big reason why I have been able to continue to train for marathons with young kids at home. Anyone who has run a marathon before will agree that it is a big time commitment. If I did not have the option to take one of my kids out for a run with me I would have had to do more runs late at night or sacrifice more runs.

With my two girls now 6 and 3 I thought my time running with the stroller was coming to an end. My oldest is getting big to push around on my weekend runs and my youngest is not far behind. I thought this spring/summer would likely be the end of my running with the Chariot since my youngest will likely be too big to push around on long runs by the time next spring rolls around.

I’m happy to report that my adventures with the Chariot will continue for a while yet. My wife and I are expecting #3 this summer. I just hope the new arrival will enjoy joining me for tours of the city in the Chariot as much as her older sisters did.

Back to Running with the Chariot

Witht the nice weather here again I am back to running with the Chariot on weekends. Last Saturday my two year old and I went for a 22 km adventure. Here is what we saw along the way…

A duck in a fountain

The War Memorial


The Parliament Buildings


A statue of Rocket Richard, my dad’s favourite hockey player 

And finally, the horses of the RCMP Musical Ride 

As you can see it was a pretty eventful run. Now the tough part will be to come up with other sites to see the next time we go out.

A Long Run Divided Into 3 Runs

Sunday my schedule called for 27 km with the final 8 km coming at my goal marathon pace. My plan was to get started early with my youngest daughter in the Chariot for the first 19 km at an easy pace. Following that i planned to drop her off at home and do the remaining 8 km on my own.

As many of you know already, runs do not always go exactly as planned. Instead of going the way I planned my 27 km run ended up being divided into 3 runs of nearly identical distances.

The first part of my run went partly as planned. I started out with my youngest daughter as planned. However since her sister was awake when I left the house meaning I would have to find a way to include her. The first part of my run ended up being a quiet 9.5 km at an easy pace.

The second part of my run began when I returned home to switch kids with my wife. I headed back out with my other daughter to get in the remaining 9.5 km at an easy pace.

After dropping my oldest daughter at home I headed back out for what was supposed to be a quick 8 km on my own. Taking advantage of a main street closed to traffic on Sunday mornings I decided on an out and back route. The first half of this portion of my run went as planned. However, as I hit the turnaround point I ran into my parent in-law riding their bikes back toward our neighbourhood so for the second half I had pacers beside me on bikes.

To top it all off I also drained the batteries on 2 Garmins yesterday and had to finish my run without a watch. My current Garmin died as I dropped off my second daughter. I grabbed my old Garmin which was still in a drawer when I headed out for the marathon pace portion of my run. Unfortunatley it died before I finished that portion of my run.

Thanks to mapping websites I know I completed the 27 km I intended to but since my old Garmin died before I finished my run I am not sure exactly how long it took me to complete.

In the end my run did not go as I had planned but this run probably turned out better than planned.

Last Long Run Before the Ottawa Marathon

Since my coach has me going with a two week taper this time today was my last long run due to the fact that race day is now in two weeks. It was also one last opportunity to test my race day routine.

As per my routine I was up at 3:30 to have a breakfast consisting of a bagel with peanut butter, a bowl of oatmeal and a banana. After getting that down as quickly as I could I went back to bed for a couple of hours.

The plan for this morning was to push my youngest daughter. It was a perfect morning as we headed out to start the run…

With the Ottawa Marathon being in May some years it ends up falling in the first warm weekend of the year. The temperature got up over 20 C here today so I did get in a long run in warm weather before race day.

Since race day is only two weeks away I stuck to a slow and easy pace today. You may recall that for my other runs of 30 km and over I finished with the last 4-6 km at my goal marathon pace. Today the goal was just to complete the mileage without getting injured.

Since I was planning to be out for more than two hours I was not sure how long my daughter would last. I am pleased to say she lasted the entire 32 km that took us 2:52 to complete. Not bad for a 1.5 year-old!

She did start to get restless and I did have to make more frequent stops over the last 10 km, including stopping to see a pair of ducks wandering around downtown, but overall she was a great running partner this morning.


If you have not already done so there is still plenty of time to get entries in for the giveaway of a copy of 4:09:43 Boston Through the Eyes of the Runners.

Is Spring on the Way?

Now that I am writing this post the weather will probably take a turn for the worse and the extreme cold weather will return but for this weekend at least it felt like spring was on the way with above 0 temperatures the past two days. It certainly made for more pleasant runs this weekend.

Yesterday I managed to get the Chariot out for the first time this year and take my youngest daughter with me for my run. The only downside to the run was having to dodge large puddles caused by the warmer weather…


This morning was time for my long run. After watching the gold medal game in men’s hockey at the Olympics I headed out for my run. Once again the temperature was just above freezing, perfect for a 25 km run…


As I write this the weather forecast came on tv and indeed colder weather will be back this week so it looks like the spring-like weather while it lasted. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long for the next stretch of warmer temperatures.

2014 Resolutions

Last year around this time I post a series of resolutions for 2013. I was successful in keeping up with most of them. Following that theme it is now time for my 2014 resolutions. Many of them carry over from last year but I have made some additions and updates. Here are my resolutions for 2014:

  • Do regular yoga stretches .
  • Keep up with the mobility and strength exercises my coach assigns me.
  • Weekly speed intervals at the dome over the winter.
  • Regular hill workouts.
  • Get more sleep instead of staying up too late during the week.
  • Have at least one vegetarian day per week.
  • When the snow is gone, weekend runs with one of the girls in the Chariot.
  • Kick off the racing season with the St Patrick’s Day 10 km in March.
  • Run the Run for Reach half-marathon in April. I’ll add in my goal pace after discussing the plan with my coach.
  • Stick to the running plan my coach assigns me.
  • Match or surpass the amount I raised for the Ottawa Hospital last year as part of Ottawa Race Weekend.
  • Learn from my 2013 marathons and get my Boston qualifying time (3:10) at the Ottawa Marathon in May.
  • Help my wife plan meals so we have healthy food in the house.

What resolutions do you have for 2014?

One More 30 + km Run to Go

I’m getting to the end of the heaviest mileage in my training for the Philadelphia Marathon. Following a 32 km run this past Sunday I have one more long run to go in my training.

During my training for previous marathons I completed 3-4 runs of 30 km or more. This time around I am only scheduled to complete two of them. My first was the previously mentioned 32 km run I just completed and the second of course will be my final one this upcoming Sunday which is scheduled to be 36 km.

Although the weather was not great, cool with strong gusts of wind, my 32 km run this past Sunday went well. I ended up setting a mileage record for myself with the Chariot by pushing it for the entire 32 km. The first 20 km of that was with my youngest daughter and the final 12 km was with my 4 year old.

As mentioned, my upcoming long run is scheduled to be 36 km. I am planning to do that one Sunday morning. This run will be longer than any previous training run  have done. I think the longest previous one was 33 or 34 km. Hopefully the run will go as well as my last one. It will certainly go a long way toward having me ready for race day.

The fact that my last run of at least 30 km run is coming up is another sign that race day is getting closer. I am starting to get excited for the trip to Philadelphia!