Runner Mom: Chelsey @ChelseyLovesToRun

Let’s meet our Runner Mom this week, @Chelseylovestorun. If you follow, Chelsey on instagram, you know she’s on a run streak logging most of her miles with her three-year old daughter in a BOB stroller. But let’s let her fill us in on the rest.
Family: Married to Burley for 7 years in March. He’s a firefighter for the county we live in and we have one little girl, Emma (she’ll be 3 in January)
Running accomplishments: Oh man, there’s many that mean a lot to me! 1) Getting 2nd place in my age group in a local 5k that was all hills! 2) Getting 3rd place in my age group in a 5 mile race while pushing the jogger! 3) Running a virtual half marathon completely by myself on all public roads in brutal heat and still managing a sub 2 hour finish!
Describe your fitness/running, etc. before you had Emma.
Before Emma I just ran. And I ran a lot! High mileage every run and constantly injured. It wasn’t until I found out I was pregnant with Emma that I finally chilled out on the high mileage and just ran for sheer joy and sanity. The pregnancy was a blessing in disguise, so to speak, because my body never hurt anymore on runs, I wasn’t forcing any mileage, and I just ran because I could.
What was your fitness/running like while you were pregnant?
I ran my entire pregnancy with Emma. I was very sick with morning more like ALL DAY sickness my entire first trimester, but I ran 2-3 miles as often as I could. I never hurt or had pains on my runs while I was pregnant. My speed slowed almost instantly but it truly never bothered me because I just thought it was so cool to run with a belly! Especially the bigger I got! I listened to my body, and if I was real tired I didn’t run, which was more often than not in that first trimester, but my energy levels finally came back to normal once I hit trimester 2, and running was great!
Any suggestions for moms-to-be on staying active during pregnancy?
1. Listen to your body. That sounds silly, but it’s so important. 2. Hydrate even more than you ever did before! Of course you need to stay plenty hydrated while pregnant, but I can remember being overly thirsty during and after my runs while pregnant.  3. Don’t START up running or any physical fitness while pregnant until you get with your Dr. and get the okay. And 4. If you lifted, ran, did yoga, whatever BEFORE you got pregnant then ABSOLUTELY KEEP DOING IT! It will make the biggest impact, in the best possible way, during labor and postpartum!
How has your fitness/running changed after baby?
My running now is better! I am significantly faster! Before pregnancy I ran 10-10:30 min/miles, during pregnancy I stuck around 11-12 min/miles, and now I am almost at a sub 7 while pushing the jogger! I do CrossFit now whenever I get a chance (I’m a mama first), and I do yoga each day also. I have found the best way to get back into shape after having a baby is 1 thing: patience! I see and follow soo many new mamas on Instagram and they are working so so hard to get back to pre-baby shape in 3,4 months time and it’s just not realistic! Or maybe for some women it is. It was NOT for me! I was still wearing my maternity jeans when Emma was 5 and 6 months old, and I ate soo healthy (healthier than I do now!), I breastfed (3 months), I ran once given the okay by my midwife, and I ran pushing the jogger. It takes 9, 10 months to put on the weight and it will take at least that, if not more, to lose it, and that IS OKAY! I didn’t start wearing my pre-baby jeans and feeling like “myself” until Emma’s 1st birthday. I wish so badly more women would give themselves grace and more patience. Hard work pays off… in time.
What does the verse “and let us Run With Endurance the race marked out for us” mean for you and your life?
I love this verse both figuratively and literally. Of course I love it for running. I have chanted to myself this exact verse on runs before and in races when I was worn slam out; even before I discovered it on the Fit & Faithful apparel! And I also love this verse for birth and motherhood. Both are an endurance “sport.” God has our births marked out for us, and we should keep our endurance through it, even when it’s tough, because the reward at the end is soo worth it! And I believe the same is true for motherhood. Granted there are soo many times when I feel my endurance is at an all time low and I’m exhausted, God heard mine and Burley’s prayers for Emma and He gave us exactly what we asked for: a healthy baby. He will grant us the endurance to “run this race” until she is all grown up and starts her own life.
Thank you, Chelsey, for sharing some of your journey and story with us. I love how she ties in Hebrews 12:1 to pregnancy and parenting. I can’t speak for parenting just yet, but pregnancy is definitely about patience and endurance. You have shared some valuable wisdom with us and have the cutest little family!

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  1. I am loving this series on running mamas. Brian and I aren’t trying to get pregnant yet but I enjoy reading your posts right now because I know that time is coming in 2017 and it is preparing me. Like 1st trimester reality, etc. Thanks so much for this!