She Ran With That Badass Bump All the Way to Her Due Date

“It was difficult to deal with my slowing pace, but I learned to accept my changing body with grace.”

Brigid Pickett
Hana Asano

Brigid Pickett only needed to pace her husband for 10 miles. When she met him at an aid station, he was 90 miles into Idaho’s IMTUF 100, and struggling, hours behind schedule. She wanted to help him to the finish. What was 10 miles? Still, she had reservations. “I didn’t want to be a concern to him,” she says. “And I was really worried what people might think.”

Pickett, 29, was 31 weeks pregnant. She felt pangs of worry. Her bump was growing—running while pregnant drew stares. But Jeff insisted that if she felt good, she should pace him.

Brigid Pickett photographed by Hana Asano in Fort Huachuca, AZ, on October 31, 2018.
Hana Asano

Three years before, when Pickett was pregnant with her first child, Mila, she didn’t run at all. She had high blood pressure and feared that asking her doctor to run would be perceived as selfish.

“I was intimidated by my label of high risk,” she says. “I was scared that running could be harmful to my baby.”

But as soon as she was cleared post-baby, Pickett went back to her routine and trained for the Dead Horse Ultra 50K. “Trail running became my ‘me’ time,” she says. “I felt that after a run, I could come back to being a mom with more confidence and a better sense of calm.”

Hana Asano

During this pregnancy, Pickett, who lives in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, got cleared to run right away. When she started to slow down in the early weeks of her pregnancy, she was understandably frustrated. There were physical challenges—difficulty breathing, frequent bathroom breaks (not a huge problem on the trails, Pickett says), and aches and pains in the pelvis and lower back.

As Pickett got bigger, she adjusted. She let her body tell her what pace she could handle, ran trails she was familiar with, and went out in the morning, when the temperature was cool. The few interactions Pickett had while running with a big belly were mostly positive, and that reinforced the notion that she should keep doing what she loves. “I ran by a forest service worker, and he told me to, ‘go on with your bad self.’ ”

Hana Asano
Hana Asano

In those last 10 miles with her husband, the pair talked about how running allowed Pickett to keep her sense of self when their whole lives were about to change again. “It was fun to be at the aid stations with her,” says Jeff. “Everyone was blown away, and focused on how amazing she was.”

Hana Asano

On November 19, 2018, she welcomed Beck Pickett into the world, just three days after she logged her last miles of this pregnancy. She hopes she won’t be down for too much longer, because she has big plans once she can hit the trails again—her first 50-miler.

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