Pregnancy isn't an illness. I think some people have taken it as you should lie down and stuff your face with pizza, but it's the exact opposite. Everything I ate, everything I put into my body and everything I did with my body, my child was experiencing. I took that very seriously.
You should be treating your body like a sanctuary. Don't get me wrong, I was definitely a pregnant lady, so I had my [tough] times, but I found out the better I was with how I ate and how I ran and how I moved my body, the better I felt. Not that every day I was able to run, but if I got out and walked, got some fresh air and exercised, I felt so much better.
I can't imagine the moms in the past, who stopped [exercising] because they felt like they were doing something wrong for their babies. So I recognized the opportunity I had. I wanted people to know this is what a pregnant woman looks like and this is what a woman in my profession looks like continuing to do my job. This is who I am, this is what I am, and I'm able to do it so there's no reason why I should not run.
ACTIVEkids.com: What kind of impact did your training have on your post-partum recovery?
Montano: My number one thought with my training was the health of my baby and myself. I knew that being a healthier Alysia would make me a healthier mom, and in turn lead to a healthier family, but I was also making a very healthy baby. We all know that blood flow is very important for the making of cells, the regeneration of cells and the recovery of cells.
It certainly also played a huge part in my recovery post-partum. The first instruction I was given after I delivered my daughter was to walk every single day to prevent blood clots and aid recovery.
Five days after my daughter was born I had my wellness check, and I was nearly fully recovered. For a lot of women, that can take up to three weeks for the initial healing to take place.
I was able to get started on a more active journey two weeks post-partum, although I didn't start running until six weeks later. I could've started earlier, but I was in no rush and I really wanted to spend that time at home with my daughter. It had nothing to do with my health and my ability to start my running journey.
ACTIVEkids.com: What would it mean to you to go to the Olympics and represent not just your country, but also your family and your daughter?
Montano: It would mean the world to me. I like to think that Linnea has absolutely been on the [USA Running] team. She's been able to be a part of this journey, and I think it would be icing on the cake to make the Rio 2016 Olympic team and have her come finish that journey with me.
From my pregnancy with her, to my first year post-partum, to winning two national titles and then hopefully making the Olympic team would mean she finished this journey with me.
To learn about all Olympic hopefuls, visit TeamUSA.org. The Olympics begin August 5 on NBC.
- The Benefits of Running While Pregnant
- Twins with Severe Autism Find Joy in "Silent Running"
- 6 Reasons to Encourage Your Child to Run
Find activities for kids near you.