This pregnancy has been such a learning experience for me. Even after 2 babies, 7 years removed from being pregnant, I thought I remembered much of what it was like physically and emotionally. But I have changed, our lives have changed, I’m older, I’m somewhat wiser and my goals have shifted. Heading into this pregnancy I thought I could average 60 miles a week, far less than my usual 90-100, run everyday, strength training 3 times a week, and ignore the passage of time. Instead I have averaged maybe 35 miles a week, taken many days off, missed gym sessions, slept days away, thought my running days were over on occasion when I felt tons of low pelvic pressure, and been searching for mini goals along the way to make the comeback feel less impossible. Because the comeback is high on my priority. I didn’t retire for a reason. My window in the next few years is short for achievement.
But you know what? I’ve lowered my expectation of myself, I’ve adapted training on the fly, made up workouts and created little goals every few weeks. It’s not what I’ve expected but it’s everything I have needed and been able to accomplish. I’m really proud of my mind shift as a professional runner, my ability to easily listen to what my body is telling me and to cherish this short (eventhough it feels long some weeks) time period in my life where I get to grow a baby. So hopefully if you’re in a place where you have less control, you’re being hard on yourself, or you feel you’re letting your goals slip, give yourself some grace and perspective. Chances are you’re doing better than you think and you’ll look back at this time and say “ I did crush. I was awesome. That was the best I had at the time. 📸 @_alisonmarkham
2 years ago I held my mom’s hand for the last time. I did not know how much I would miss a simple gesture of holding her hand. I wondered if I would wake up today and see the passing of 2 years as healing and be ok. You see time will keep moving and most people forget another person’s grief because it is not their own. And you see us happy, thriving, and living so you figure we’re good. On many levels I am. And yet as the anniversary of her death was nearing I couldn’t help but replay over and over again her last days, and our last conversations. So many questions, so much clarity, so many laughs, so many years.
Watching someone die is devastating yet being able to experience their last moments is such a gift. Knowing she was ready to go, but also wondering why she had to go. The person who knew me the best and the deepest. The person who loved me unconditionally and had no judgement is gone. Why do I have to be 39 with no parents? Why did she have to miss Riley and Hudson growing up and now never meeting our new baby on the way? But whys don’t get you anywhere. They make you stand still and stop you from living your life. So I really don’t ask why anymore. I ask how do I do it. How can I have the strength. How do I not look at others my age who have their parents and feel angry. How do I meet someone my age’s mom and not cry shaking her hand. How do I tell my kids how much Grammy would have loved to see their baseball games and to scratch their heads and to bring them more Egg McMuffins. How do I live my life as fully as I can with no regrets, because we only get this one life.
I know there is a hole in my heart that will never quite be filled but I have SO much ❤️ around me that the moments I feel the hole is so much less than the moments I feel full❤️ Thanks for listening to this cathartic self induced therapy session.
Miss you like crazy mom, that John Denver sure was full of shit.
6/13/47 - 6/4/21 Joan Elizabeth Rothstein
You would think our lives revolve around Little League lately. And you would be correct. Proud of these guys, all 3 of them, playing, practicing, coaching. Hudson finished off his AA season with some amazing hits, plays, a few arguments with the umps😆 and pitches. Riley and @bbjamin15 are heading into their AAA tournament starting tonight. If you need me this summer I’ll probably be at a baseball field😜
As my teammate @kellyn_taylor reminds me “I’m still here!” Finding joy in pacing workouts for teammates, Flagstaff running friends and anyone that needs help at the track. I basically show up asking people what they have and where I can help. It has given me a greater sense of purpose to my training these days since I have no racing or fitness goals besides staying healthy and training as long as my body allows me during this pregnancy. Appreciate my teammate @okhacker2 letting me pace 1 400 of his mile repeats this week where he looked so smooth, but pretended to be struggling behind me😆 Today helped @kellyn_taylor during her 800s and hopefully blocked a little wind.
Surrounding myself with my fellow pro athletes reminds me where I’ve been and where I will find my way back to post partum. For now I am thankful and proud to still hold my own in some sessions while other days taking running off because my growing belly needs a break. #pregnantrunner #grit #journeywithsteph #hoka #nazelite #timetofly #flagstaff
This was me around 13 weeks pregnant. It was the time where I had just told my entire team that I was expecting. I felt safe around these people as they are my teammates, sharing our ups and downs together each and every day. Yet I was still nervous. How would it be received? You see I had announced earlier in the year I was not retiring and the fire was still burning bright. I still had big goals and dreams. But I also wanted another baby. So would they take me seriously? Would people be confused as to my timeline? Perhaps. And possibly some would question my desire to the sport and my goals. But I knew my desire is strong enough to do both. To take a little break for pregnancy, grow our family and still have the motivation, the guts, and the work ethic to come back from this baby. So internally the news was out and I felt relief and at peace that I didn’t have to carry this beautiful secret any longer at practice and in training. And they would now know why I was sucking wind and hopping in and out of workouts, and not announcing a racing schedule😜
Feeling all the feels on this Mother’s Day. On one hand missing my mama, but also so full of love for carrying my little girl, being Riley and Hudson’s mom, having my stepmom @mpaccione as a mom for the last 15 + years and for my mother in law @rebeccabruce1816 . So yes life is full of sorrow and loss and longing but if you’re lucky enough to let those holes be filled with new family and memories and moments you’ll find yourself living more in love than in loss. Happy Mother’s Day to all those special moms, moms to be, and those missing mom today.
The early weeks of pregnancy were rough. Getting off the couch a daily struggle. I hit the 2nd trimester and began to have enough energy to start training again. Feeling like I’m in that sweet spot now where baby girl is giving me some good vibes physically, and as a runner it almost feels like track season to me, without the looming racing schedule.
I head to practice excited to see who I’ll match up with, who I can maybe help pace, what my body will let me do in the day. It is truly a privilege to be healthy enough to train during this pregnancy, to have the support of my teammates and coaches, to get called a badass at times (which we all deserve to be called) and to hopefully show other pros if they want a family it’s ok to take the break in their career and go for it. To show women our bodies can handle it, if we choose, not everyone and that’s ok if we stay on the couch and don’t feel motivated. Every pregnancy experience is different and I am simply sharing how mine is playing out. But if we can we choose to be champions and mothers, am I right @andmother_org . We simply need the support and the belief we can!
First off big shout out to my hubby @bbjamin15 who this weekend was all about. Really the last 2 weeks from his Boston finish to getting to this start line. I had the honor of holding the finish line tape when I saw him in the distance in 1st. To win Big Sur marathon 13 days after running 2:28 at Boston. What an accomplishment for him.
Now to my goal of training and racing through this pregnancy. I ran the Big Sur 12k this morning, 18 weeks pregnant, won the women’s race and averaged 6:09 pace. A few days before I was excited thinking I believe I can run maybe 5:40-5:50 pace based on how workouts were going. Then reality set in. I’ll be honest when my alarm went off this morning I thought to myself “Stephanie you don’t actually have to run this race.” Sleeping sounded much more enticing. The motivated pro athlete mindset has really shifted this pregnancy and I’m slowly getting used to this different version of myself. Now I know many would read this and think “woman you’re good. You’re not being lazy, you’re doing great you’re pregnant. But it’s important to remember my frame of reference is this is my job and I love the crap out of training and competing for a living. It is a literal dream come true. But also so is motherhood. And I know in a few months, probably weeks based on my growing belly I will slow down quite a bit and eventually be too uncomfortable to run, let alone race. So on a morning I felt unmotivated I chose yes because my future self will look back and says thanks for running when you still were healthy and strong enough to do so. And you had your friend @pelvicpotential guide you as to how my pelvic floor is functioning and my round ligament so now I know the work to be done and body awareness to have for the next 20+ weeks. Great racing to anyone who toed the line at @bsimevents this weekend. Always remember we signed up for this and that is pretty sweet motivation in itself that we were willing.